Do you know an Unguided path makes one a storyteller? Yes, It does, and Dharamkot Himachal Pradesh did.
For me, an Unguided path is best defined as – Entering a cinema hall during the start of a movie, which means you make your way in the darkness with your destination in your mind.
Okay, I Got it.
Where is Dharamkot?
There are two Dharamkot, not to confuse you. One is Dharamkot Punjab & the other is Dharamkot Himachal.
Dharamkot is present in Himachal in Kangra valley, Dharamshala being the headquarters in the state of Himachal Pradesh. It is 5km and 2km away from Dharamshala Mcleodganj, respectively.
It is located just above the McLeod Ganj, and one can see spectacular views of the Dhauladhar ranges upon reaching Dharamkot.
Dharamkot is genuinely a place less explored by Indian tourists, with a maximum of people making their presence till McLeod Ganj.
How to Reach from Delhi to Dharamkot?
One can reach Dharamkot Himachal upon reaching McLeod Ganj quickly from Delhi.
Dharamkot is 2-3 km from McLeod Ganj and can be covered on foot. If anyone is willing to take Taxis or Autos, that too is available till Dharamkot from McLeod Ganj taxi stand.
The most convenient way is by Bus apart from your departure is from the states other than Delhi, Punjab region.
Let’s take an example of people coming from Delhi to Dharamkot by Bus –
Starting Point – New Delhi
Destination – Dharamkot (486 km)
People taking the option of coming up with their vehicle is also blissful because the drive to Dharamshala is scenic, and one cannot miss those views.
Ahh, you hoped in your comfort buses and ready to leave.
McLeod Ganj to Dharamkot
There are many ways within the McLeod Ganj region to reach Dharamkot. These include –
- Upon reaching the McLeod Ganj bus stand and entering the Tibetan market on the left, one goes to Dharamkot (1.8 km) another goes to Bhagsu nag Waterfall (1.5 km).
- Upon reaching Upper Bhagsu, stairs go straight up to Dharamkot, passing by a trail less traveled.
( I have explored Dharamkot’s journey like an unguided path ).
Dharamkot Himachal Pradesh
Me – Welcome to the foreign land!
You – Foreign land?
Me – Wondering why I have stated foreign land here? That is what the majority of the Indians are going to feel here because of the reason for more foreign tourists than native tourists.
Yes, I know you guys.
On a funny note ?.
This place is mainly covered by foreign tourists, especially from Israel, the U.S., and other countries, and some are settled in the Dharamkot.
It’s a peaceful area with a lot of conversation and more minor disturbances.
For me, Dharamkot Himachal is not just a regular place in the mountains, but it’s away from the summer crowd of Mcleodganj, and the word “peace” defines here.
That might fascinate you because of the reason of no honking, no traffic jams, and other areas of disturbance, but do you know why?
Because there are no proper roads inside Dharamkot.
i:e No cars = No traffic = Peaceful environment
All you have to do is a hike from up-to-down and vice – versa.
Wait, what’s up and down here?
There is an Upper Dharamkot and a Lower Dharamkot.
There is no such difference from a Traveler’s perspective, but from a hiker’s perspective, Upper Dharamkot will check your stamina not much, but still.
I know you guys will rock.
Okay, what I noticed –
More Availability of Hostels and Home-stays than the Lower one and that too at a slightly lower rate. Cafes with a full view of the Dhauladhar range are the USP. A quiet place if I have to say one word.
What makes this area unique is its cafes and lively environment. People are interactive and friendly. People most prefer this area during daylight. A happening place, if I have to say in one word.
Note – One Insider from a local
Locals of Lower Dharamkot don’t give much preference to the Indians/local tourists when it comes to offering Homestays and Hotels because foreign people will stay longer than the local tourists.
One of the important reasons is behavior (This was a part of the conversation b/w me and the local).
i.e., more days stay and more – I hope you guys have got this.
Likewise, if anyone says no, don’t be disappointed as you always have the option of staying in the Upper part.
Also Read, Chitkul Travel Guide – A Guide to the India – China border.
What makes Dharamkot a significant attraction among foreign tourists?
From my point of view, I think It’s the vibe and love for the culture which connects them and makes them settle forever.
I noticed people and found that they always try to make a healthy environment like a smile for a smile, not with a perspective to make anything, but it’s in people’s nature, and it can be seen. Also, they love to speak Hindi, words like Namaste, Dhanyawad, and much more.
What to Pack for Dharamkot Himachal
Dharamkot weather remains pleasant when unbearable Delhi heat is scorching overhead. No hard-hitting packing is required; just like visiting any other mountain place, it’s just like that.
Short and Simple.
Cafes in Dharamkot
It can’t be possible that a place like Dharamkot doesn’t have pretty cafes.
Let’s see cafes in Lower Dharamkot first –
If you’re planning a visit, keep an eye on these cafes –
1. Funkey Monkey Cafe and Restaurant
From a Healthy breakfast to Homemade Muesli, life happens in Dharamkot.
Contact – 9829873439
2. Chillax Cafe
Just on the other side of Funkey Monkey is Chillax Cafe.
3. Cafe Moon Light
Make sure to add a Cafe moonlight on top of your checklist.
The ambiance is vibrant with delicious food and a feeling of sitting in a lively environment. (Must Visit)
4. Bodhi Greens
This organic vegan cafe is a delight for vegan lovers.
5. Space Out
Upon entering Lower Dharamkot’s first cafe, you will encounter “Space Out.”
With sitting arrangements in open fresh air to inside decor. Everything looks perfect with an added flavor of food.
6. Open Heart Cafe
In this world of jealousy, keep your hearts remain open.
This is my list of must-visit cafes in Lower Dharamkot.
I feel that cafes don’t need an intro, especially Dharamkot cafes. Therefore, listing down the name of restaurants if anyone would like to check out during their visit and wondering about places to eat and chill.
Let’s hike to Upper Dharamkot now –
- Day and Night Cafe
- Heena Cafe
- Friends corner
- Dream catcher
- Manu’s place
These are some of the cafes in the Upper part, although they are not much talk of the town still you can give them a try.
What I found interesting in Dharamkot is people’s talent. Everybody is showing their talent, whether singing, dancing, or yoga. So I personally now call this place a “Talent Hub.”
You can see on the faces that eagerness to learn and grow is what makes this place attractive.
- An Astrology and Tarot reader (Luna from Argentina)
- Jolly music House – Where people come and learn music styles.
- Foreigners running yoga and meditation center (You will come across many here)
- Tim from Finland runs a small handmade candle stand shop ( In Upper Bhagsu).
And much more…………
Also Read, Kalpa Trip – Heritage Village in Kinnaur Valley
Yoga is firmly practiced in the Himalayas, and people from all over the world come here for relaxation and to find peace.
Some yoga centers are –
1. Amara Prema
200 hours of Yoga Teacher Training
June – Sept 1st – 26th
For more details, contact – +919072096550 or visit – www.amaraprema.com.
2. Himalayan Lotus Yoga
Pranayama free – 9-9:15 a.m.
For more details, contact – +919895728187 or visit – www.himalayanlotusyoga.com
3. So Shanti Yoga (Near Trek N Dine)
So Shanti Yoga is present near Trek N Dine Restaurant. Hatha and Meditation with Sat and Sun are also open.
Contact – +919130885282 or visit www.soshantiyoga.com for more info.
Without a doubt, Dharamkot is a lovely place I have been to in the Himalayas, and I think for you too after seeing it.
Things to do in Dharamkot
There are exciting things to do in Dharamkot –
1. Triund Trek
Dharamkot to Triund Top distance is around 9-10 km and is a perfect beginners trek for indulging in Trekking and Camping activity. The Dharamkot route is an easier one because of proper walkable steps. Moreover, one can visit the Gallu Devi temple, a starting point of the Triund Trek.
Q. Can Triund Trek be done in one day?
Ans. Yes, Early morning start, and you can be back easily before the sunset after spending plenty of time on the foothills.
Like seriously, you guys are far better than me at shopping. But what can you shop here?
Local people make crystal, hand stones you must check out with local Himachali, and western dresses, which attract foreign tourists.
Shopping is an essential part of our journey to make the trip more memorable.
Relaxing in the Himalayas is what everyone dreams of in the Mountains with a backdrop and breezy wind but don’t forget a cup of tea in your hand.
Ahh, I know you have started to imagine.
4. Eat and Repeat
Dharamkot has some finest cafes and restaurants in the town. I have listed some above you must check out.
Who doesn’t want to interact with the people, especially the locals or foreign tourists, to gather knowledge about the Himalayas and some funny stories to inspire?
I love conversations, to be honest. Especially from strangers because it brings out the sincerity of the person.
Nearby places You can Visit from Dharamkot
Apart from Dharamkot, you can visit –
1. McLeod Ganj
McLeod Ganj is just below the Dharamkot, and daily up-down is easily possible. I did 3-4 times up-down a day.
It’s within a walkable distance, and Dalai Lama Temple and Monasteries must be on your list.
Dharamshala is about 7-8 km from McLeod Ganj. Tibetan markets and Tibetan food attract tourists from all over the world. Yoga and Meditation are best practiced in these areas.
3. Bir (Trekking and Paragliding)
Bir is about 60-65 km from McLeod Ganj and can easily be reached by Bus, which complies every day from the bus stand. Experience paragliding at Asia’s highest paragliding place.
That is Lively Dharamkot Himachal Pradesh from my side.
Do let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
Please share and follow if this has somehow helped you.
I spent a night when I went for camping at Triund.
I didn’t book any accommodation and I was just roaming in Mcleodganj, knocking door to door for a room. Even if I could just a bed. Some local told me about Dharamkot that I might find something there.
It was already more than 11 in the night and I took a hike to Dharamkot from McLeod. At times on the way, I got scared like anything. I picked up a stick for safety. My phone had almost died. And then I heard some noise. It was music “teri ankhya ka yo kajal” coming from a cafe. I took out my camera, zoomed to its full capacity (35X) and found a group dancing around bonfire in a hotel.
I took a breath of relief.
“Ab main insanon ki basti me aa gya hoon…”
That sounded like quite a memorable moment. But, you know that’s what I love about the places and people, especially in hostels. Mleodganj and Dharamkot is such a happy place that you might see even souls enjoying till the morning. And, thanks, Rajat, for sharing your unique story with me.