Take a guided drive to and around the quaint and hill station of Dharamsala. On this drive, visit the beautiful cloud-kissed tea gardens where you might get a chance to experience first hand on how tea leaves are plucked. Visit one of the highest international cricket stadiums in the world; Along with that visit the Kangra Art Museum, the War Memorial, the famous Buddhist institute of Norbulingka and ancient Hindu Temples including Tapovan, Aghanjar Mahadev Temple and the Indrunag Temple.
Book this fully customizable six hour drive with Pink House and explore Dharamsala and surrounding areas with a reliable driver and a comfortable car.
+ A comfortable car
+ A reliable driver cum guide
+ A Map of Mcleodganj
The tea gardens here are not as wide spread as Assam or other North-East states, but they surely are nice enough to keep you busy for hours.
This tea region of India comprises exclusively China or China hybrid tea plants. The history of Kangra Tea records say that Dr. Jameson, then superintendent of the botanical Tea gardens visited Kangra in 1849 and pronounced that lower slopes of the Dhauladhar range of mountains was ideal for Tea cultivation.
The seeds for planting were obtained from china and by 1892, the area under Tea was extended to 9,000 acres by Europeans as well as local proprietors. Kangra Tea reached European market through London, Barcelona and Amsterdam and won gold and silver medals in exhibition of tea in Europe during 1886-95.
Stunning. Breathtaking. Awesome. The adjectives roll out as one enters the most beautiful ground in India. The Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association [HPCA] Stadium in Dharamsala, with a capacity of 23,000, is as picturesque as the Adelaide Oval and Newlands, if not more. A small and glittering green plate, the ground has a snow-capped background in the form of the Dauladhar hill-range. The mountains add to the serenity of the venue, which lies at an altitude of 1317 metres above sea level. Another impressive feature is its openness and small-sized stands, which allow for winds to sweep across, giving fast bowlers assistance in the air. The venue is the first in India to use winter rye grass scattered around the outfield, which prevents the grass from dying when temperatures fall below 10 degrees.
The 2010 expansion of the IPL brought Dharamsala wider attention and it has the potential to become one of India’s most popular venues.
Inaugurated in 1990, it houses an impressive collection of arts, crafts, artifacts, costumes and other treasures, which can be traced to as far back as 5th century. The variety of items on display includes woodcarvings and tribal jewelry, sculptures and pottery, anthropological items, collections of coins and manuscripts, royal tents, Shamianas and pandals, etc.
Open from Tuesday to Sunday, Kangra Art Museum has a library and a separate section to display the works of contemporary artists, sculptors and photographers.
There is also an art gallery that houses exemplary specimens of famous Kangra Kalam works or the Pahari miniature paintings, the exquisite art that is being actively promoted from the museum.
This school of painting is famous for the use of seductive figures and fine colors. It is said to be a pictorial representation of the cultural heritage of Himachal Pradesh. The colors used in this style of painting are extracted from dried-up flowers and herbs and this art form has a strong thematic base.
The most famous miniature paintings of the Kangra School revolve around historical, religious and traditional background of the royalty and the courts of the former rulers of Kangra that belonged to Katoch dynasty.
The wall of the memorial is curved, signifying the continuity of life and establishes the fact that these great soldiers will be immortal in the minds of the Indians. At the Memorial, you can also look out for inscriptions and memorials dating as far as 1046. Make a trip to the Memorial, if for nothing else, than for the sense of pride one feels at standing at a Memorial of such brave men.
Norbulingka Institute’s visual focal point is its main temple where 1,173 images of Buddha decorate the 44 foot high temple hall. The temple is the master spiritual centre which took more than a year for its completion. The gilded 14 foot copper statue of Buddha Shakyamuni is the largest of its kind ever made in exile. A subsequent six and eight foot statue of Guhyasamaja and Kalachakra images respectively are works that have also never before been attempted in exile. The statues are magnificently curved showing elaborate figure composition with Buddha occupying the chief position.
Other worth seen paintings depict the twelve deeds of Buddha, fourteen incarnations of the Dalai Lama. Its ground plan based on the proportions of Avalokiteshvara, the pattern god and Bodhisattva of compassion, which invoked against the dangers that threaten mankind. ‘Avalokiteshvara’ is represented in many forms and the most common being the images with four arms”.
The skills preserved and passed on of high quality art objects at Norbulingka institute include statue making, thangka paintings, appliqué needlework, woodcarving, carpentry and metal work crafts. `thangka paintings’ known as `patta’ in sanskrit are traditional Buddhist scroll paintings drawn on cloth and canvas and are prepared with the use of traditional vegetable and mineral colour. These thangka paintings are of sacred and ceremonial subjects. They are hung up in temples and can be rolled up to be carried while traveling. The work done in different art sections, itself elaborate that the efforts in preserving Tibetan heritage and passing it on to the new generation of young artists is true and encouraging.
The statue and sculpture work is indebted to those sources from which they drew their religion and culture. The statues are made of different sizes, cast in the traditional lost wax method, to colossal images assembled from hand beaten copper plates. The images describe the detail of weapons and ornaments, the number of heads and arms as well as symbols and the position in which the divinity sits. Mention may be made of Tibetan metal work with wide range of domestic wares and jewelry which are adorned with bends and mixing of metals found in the favourite device of the Kinnouri & Spitian smiths. The techniques of reposes, the lost wax method and sand costing is used in the craftsmanship of metal work.
The appliqué artists at Norblingka do the finest work in preparing silk thangkas which become popular in 19th century. These are constructed of many hand cut pieces of silk and brocade as long as the size of fifteen story high building.
The carving of wood with tools they make themselves with elegant detail and delicate perfection take us back us to the 7th century and remind us of the ancient art tradition. The completed carved objects are made smooth and shiny in the time honored manner, painted in the healthy Tibetan traditional colours of further embellished with a gold leaf.
Richness and diversity of Tibetan costumes is introduced to the world by the Losel team of monks in the losel Doll museum of the institute. Attractively skilled and minutely produced more than 160 dolls in different characters in the Losel Doll museum is another site of admiration in the Norbulingka institute.
The indigenous knowledge of art, architecture and culture traits flowed from north-east since 7th century in India is well observed in this institute’s entirety.
The complex includes a 9 meter high image of Lord Hanuman, a magnificent Rama Temple, a meditation hall, a school, and a health and recreation centre.
The Chinmaya Mission follows the Vedic teacher-student tradition (guru-shishya parampara) and makes available the ageless wisdom of Advaita Vedanta, the knowledge of universal oneness, providing the tools to realize the wisdom in one’s life. Vedanta, the essential core of Hinduism, is the universal science of life, relevant to all people of all backgrounds and faiths. Vedanta inspires seekers to understand their own faith better. Thus, although Chinmaya Mission is a Hindu organisation, it does not seek to convert other religious practitioners. As a spiritual movement that aims for inner growth at individual and collective levels, the mission offers a wide array of Vedanta study forums for all ages, promotes Indian classical art forms and operates numerous social service projects. To date, millions worldwide have benefitted directly or indirectly from Chinmaya Mission’s numerous centres, ashrams, classes, events, services and projects.
The story behind the temple is that once when Arjun, of the Mahabarata legend, was on his way to the Kailash Mountains, Lord Shiva appeared in front of him and blessed him with the Boon of Victory over the Kauravas. At this place, Baba Ganga Bharati has fired “Akhand Dhuni” (Sacred Fire).
An ancient temple built by the local villagers, they strongly believe that this is the place where their lord has protected them and will continue to do so against natural disasters.