Daramshala, the Home of the Dalai Lama

Nestled in the Kangra Valley at the foot of the Dhauladhar Mountains, Dharamshala is surrounded by a dense forest of majestic trees at an average elevation of 4,780 feet (1,457 m). Rice, wheat and tea are the key crops grown in the valleys. Dharamshala loosely translates to spiritual dwelling.


At dawn and dusk, hundreds of Tibetans say their prayers while walking the kora (trail) that circles the Dalai Lama Temple complex in Mcleod Ganj, Dharamsala, India. Each night, butter lamps cast an orange hue as dogs rest amidst spinning prayer wheels and the low chants of monks mix with calls of chai wallahs and the bustle of shops just outside the walls of the complex. His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama, the most revered monk of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism, born in Taktser village, Amdo, Tibet, now resides here in the Namgyal Monastery as a refugee. On March 30, 1959, the Dalai Lama fled Tibet, reaching Tezpur in Assam, India, on April 18. He later set up the Government of Tibet in Exile in Dharamshala, often referred to as “Little Lhasa.”