Places to see in Dharamshala, Dharamshala Tourist Places
Places to see in Dharamshala
- Baijnath Shiv temple
- The Baijnath temple has been continuously under worship ever since its construction in 1204 A.D. by two local merchants named Ahuka and Manyuka. The two long inscriptions in the porch of the temple indicate that a temple of Siva existed on the spot even before the present one was constructed. The present temple is a beautiful example of the early medieval north Indian temple architecture known as Nagara style of temples. The Svayambhu form of Sivalinga is enshrined in the sanctum of the temple that has five projections on each side and is surmounted with a tall curvilinear Shikhara. The entrance to sanctum is through a vestibule that has a large square Mandapa in front with two massive balconies one each in north and south. There is a small porch in front of the mandapa hall that rests on four pillars in the front preceded by an idol of Nandi, the bull, in a small pillared shrine. The whole temple is enclosed by a high wall with entrances in the south and north. The outer walls of the temple have several niches with images of gods and goddesses. Numerous images are also fixed or carved in the walls. The outer doorway in the porch as also the inner doorway leading to the sanctum of the temple are also studded with a large number of images of great beauty and iconographic importance. Some of them are very rare to be found elsewhere
- Bhagsunag Temple
- During the rule of Raja Bhagsu there was once a severe drought in his capital. The local chiefs requested the king to do something or else the people would leave his kingdom. The king promised to do something this and set out himself in search of water. After about 3 days of searching he reached the Sacred Nag Dal (Lake) at a height of 18000ft. This lake was very big and had a lot of water. Raja Bhagsu used trickery to fill the water of the lake into a small vessel. He decided to spend the night there, as it had grown dark. Later in the Evening Nag the Lord of Snakes happened to pass by the lake and was shocked to find the lake empty. Following the footmarks he reached the place where Raja Bhagsu was resting. He challenged Bhagsu for a duel and defeated him in the ensuing fight. The moment the vessel containing the sacred water fell on the ground water started flowing from there. Baldy injured Raja Bhagsu prayed to Nag and moved by his prayers Nag granted him a boon that this place shall henceforth be referred firstly by the kings name and then by the Lords name and he shall become popular. Henceforth this place came to be known as "BhagsuNag". In the Beginning of the Kalyug Raja Dharamchand dreamt that lord Shiva asked him to build a temple here to bring prosperity to the area. Today it is about 5100 years since this temple was built.
- Jawalamukhi temple
- Jwalamukhi is a famous temple to the goddess Jwalamukhi, the deity of flaming mouth, built over some natural jets of combustible gas, believed to be the manifestation of the Goddess. Raja Bhumi Chand Katoch of Kangra, a great devotee of goddess Durga, dreamt of the sacred place and the Raja set people to find out the whereabouts of the site. The site was traced and the Raja built a temple at that location. The building is modern with a gilt dome and pinnacles, and possesses a beautiful folding door of silver plates. Under the gaze of the Dhauladhar range and set amidst the undulating hills that character sub-Himalayan Himachal Sati's tongue is believed to have fallen at Jwalamukhi and the goddess is manifest as tiny flames that burn a flawless blue through fissures in the age old rock.
The temple located on a small spur on the Dharamsala-Shimla road at a distance of about 20 km from the Jwalamukhi Road Railway Station attracts hundreds of thousands of pilgrims every year. No idol is located in the temple and the deity is worshipped in the form of flames which come out from the crevices of the rock. They are natural jets of combustible gas. There is a small platform in front of the temple and a(check usage) big mandap where a huge brass bell presented by the King of Nepal is hung. Usually milk and water are offered and the ahutis or oblations are offered to the sacred flames in the pit, situated in the centre of the temple in between the floor pillars supporting the roof.
- Kareri Lake is a high altitude, shallow, fresh water lake south of the Dhauladhar range approximately 9 km North West of Dharamsala in Kangra district, Himachal Pradesh. Its surface is 2934 metres above the sea level. Kareri lake is best known for being a trekking destination in the Dhauladhars.
Snow melting from the Dhauladhar range serves as the source of the lake and a stream, Nyund is the outflow. Since the source is fresh melting snow and the lake is shallow, water visibility is very high and in most places, the lake bed can be seen.
- Masroor Rock cut temples
- Known for its monolithic rock-cut temples, Masroor is 38 km from Kangra Town. There are 15 rock-cut temples in Indo-Aryan style and are richly carved. It is a unique monolithic structure in the sub-Himalayan region and is a protected monument.
The main shrine contains three stone images of Rama, Lakshmana and Sita. The temple complex is located on a hill and also has a large rectangular water pond. The view of snow clad Dhauladhar is amazing from the temple premises.
The nearest visitable places includes Pong lake near Nagrota Surian, 10 km from Masroor and hot water springs at Tattwani village, on the bank of Gaj rivulet near Salol village on Lunj- Gaggal road, 15 km from Masroor. It is accessible from Gaggal (30 km) on Nagrota Surian link road and 22 km from Ranital road.
- Nurpur is famous for an old fort and a temple of Brij Raj. Nurpur acquired its name in 1672, when Jahangir, the Mughal Emperor named it after his wife Nurjahan. Built in the late 16th century by Raja Basu the Nurpur Fort is massive and sprawling. It spreads across a long flat plateau forming the western end of the ridge and bears signs of great architectural designs. The fort overlooks the Jabhar Khud, a tributary of the Chakki rivulet and the vast valley formed by it. Earlier name of Nurpur was Dhameri, later changed to Nurpur after Empress Nur Jahan who took a fancy to the beautiful valley. Inside, the palace walls, though crumbling, have deep niches, decorative arches and the faint signs of some paintings. The northwest walls of the fort have some deeply carved panels showing animals. Particularly graceful are the bulls in their various actions like pulling a cart, or walking in a file; there are also figures of men, women, children, the kings, gods and goddesses and birds. The overall impact of the fort is one of awe and wonder.
The famous Brij Maharaj temple, inside the fort complex, is dedicated to Lord Krishna and it has a beautiful black stone idol of the Lord. It was brought from Rajasthan during Raja Jagat Singh’s reign. The walls are decorated with exquisite paintings from Indian mythology.
- Kotla fort
- Kotla fort is another heritage monument on the State Highway between Shahpur and Nurpur. Kotla fort stands on an isolated peak, impressively looking around the deep valleys. The fort was built by the Guler Rajas. The road to the fort winds upwards and is not too difficult; the climb going through the dense forest of pine is pleasant. At the main entrance is the Bagulamukhi temple, one of the incarnations of Durga. The idol inside the temple is magnificent. There is also a small temple dedicated to Lord Ganesh with roundish roof resembling Bengal roof architecture. Inside there is a unique Ganesh idol. The temple has wall paintings on the outer walls. The deep arches have superb workmanship, paintings and carvings. One particular wall with three arches and niches standing amid ruins displays a kind of grace and originality that is unique to the fort. The fort is at present with the archaeological department and efforts are afoot to restore its glory at least partially.