Surrounded by cedar forests, the sleepy town of Dharamshala is well known for being the spiritual centre for Tibetan Buddhism. It is also part of the snowy trinity of the Himachal. The term ‘Dharamshala’ means a sanctuary for pilgrims, with a plethora of incredible places to visit. Even though this is what Dharamshala is known for, one cannot deny the beauty of the mountains that attracts the adventurers. If you love trekking, Dharamshala should definitely be on your list! Here are the top trekking trails in Dharamshala:
Kareri Lake trek
The lesser explored Kareri lake is perfect if you are in Dharamshala for a short period. It can be done in two or three days. Beyond Kareri village, there aren’t many shops, which means you need to stock up on food and supplies. You can set up camp or use the numerous caves along the way. The breathtaking views of Indira Pass, Moon peak and Dhauladhar Range are sure to wow any traveller. The photo opportunities are limitless. You will pass dense forests, rivers and finally reach the Kareri Lake which is a high altitude, freshwater lake.
Another two-day trek is the Triund Trek which makes it perfect for a weekend. Around 18 km from Dharamshala, this fairly easy trail passes Galu Devi temple. Only the last two km of this trek is a steep incline whereas the rest is a relaxed walk with a gradual incline alongside rhododendron and oak trees. If you have some extra time on your hands, you can go further till you reach Lahesh Cave and traverse the meadows around Indrahar Pass.
Baleni Pass Trail
This impressive trail showcases dramatic views of the Chamba Valley and the Pir Panjal Range. This unlike the first two is a moderate level trek, which is best done in 8 days. The pass takes you from Chamba to Kangra. Each side shows a different side of the mountains and valleys. The Chamba Side boasts of views of Kali Kund, Nag Dal and the Kangra side of the Kareri lake. The Gaddi tribe used this pass to cross over their sheep, and their activities are evident in the rock cave on the way.
Lam Dal and the seven lakes
If you are a seasoned trekker and are looking for a challenging trek, look no further! Of the 22 lakes in the area, the seven that are explored are Nag Dal, Lam Dal, Kalikund, Chanderkup, Nag-Chhatri Dal, Kareri Lake and the Dham Ghodi Tal. These lakes are full of mythological stories and are considered holy by the Gaddi tribe. Each lake has its own charm and beauty and well worth the climb. Chanderkup or the Moon lake has ice-blocks floating in it. Kali Kund is worshipped by the devotees of the Kali Devi while the Nag-Chhatri Dal is visited by devotees during the Manimahesh yatra in August and September. The Lam Dal is the biggest and the deepest with a circumference of two and a half kilometres. While visiting all the seven lakes might sound ambitious, it is quite a popular trail with experienced trekkers.
Guna Devi Trek
Don’t have the fitness for the above trails? Are you pressed for time? Don’t be disappointed. You can do this mini-trek in just 7 hours. Have an early start and experience the beautiful Himalayan birds flying. The trek passes through Bahl – a Tibetan village. From here it is an hour to Guna Devi temple a spectacular view point for the Dhauladhars.You can go swimming in the river around Bahl village.
Looking for accommodation in Dharamshala? Indulge and pamper yourself with views of perennial brooks and majestic mountain ranges at Sterling Dharamshala. This full-service resort offers a multi-cuisine restaurant where you can choose between the exquisite buffet or à la carte and a spa. Complete that trek of your choice and come back to the modern comfort of Sterling. We guarantee you will sleep like a baby and wake up completely refreshed.