Geography of Dharamsala

Dharamsala is a beautiful city that has been perched on the Himalayas and is a part of Himachal Pradesh in India. The state is mainly known for its hills and mountain ranges. Dharamsala overlooks the Dhauladhar range of mountains. The city is situated at an altitude of 1250 meter to 1550 meter. The slope on which the city is located varies thousands of meters from lower Dharamsala to upper Dharamsala.

Valley at Dharamsala


The geographical position of this beautiful city on the globe is 32.218N 76.320E.

Topography of Dharamsala

The city is mainly based on the hilly regions and hence has slopes where farming and sowing are done. The region is divided into distinct parts – the Lower Dharamsala and the Upper Dharamsala. In the lower part of the city the offices, markets and bazaars are situated and is mostly referred to as Dharamsala.

Dharamsala View


The part of the city which is situated on the higher altitude is the Upper Dharamsala and is known as McLeod Ganj. The two parts of the city is separated by the village known as Ganchen Kyisong. There is a significant history behind the settlement of this village.

There are no major rivers in Dharamsala and the city extracts its water supply from the various streams and waterfalls that come down from glaciers near the city.

The soil is fertile and mostly rice, wheat and tea are grown here. The Dhauladhar range remains snow clad almost all through the year.

A major water body at Dharamsala is the Dall Lake that is surrounded by pine trees and is a favorite tourist attraction during seasons.

Dal Lake Dharamsala


The roads of Dharamsala are generally very steep and are only accessible by light weight vehicles. Longer roads are provisioned for buses and trucks round the city. To reach McLeod Ganj one must take the narrow steep roads.

Climate of Dharamsala

Though Dharamsala is perched on the mighty and cold Himalayas, it is not always covered with snow. In fact, the Lower Dharamsala does not receive snowfall at all except for very few occasions when the cold climate had compelled solid precipitation in such lower altitude as well. Overall Dharamsala has subtropical climate which is humid during the monsoon season. The city is one of the wettest parts in the state of Himachal Pradesh.

Distinct weathers are marked for the city as well like the rest of the country – Summer, Monsoon and Winter. Summer starts in April and reaches to a maximum temperature of 36 Degree Celsius in June. Monsoon starts in July and culminates by the end of September. The city receives about 3000 mm rainfall every year.

Between Monsoon and Winter the weather remains ideal for tourists. The temperature soars from 16–17 Degree Celsius.

Winter remains for three to four months starting from December till March. Snow fall is experienced in the Upper Dharamsala or McLeod Ganj while the Lower Dharamsala only receives showers. The temperature also varies from Lower Dharamsala to Upper Dharamsala by few degrees. Heavy woolens are however required in both the parts of the city.

Flora and Fauna in Dharamsala

Since the city of Dharamsala is based on hilly area hence the flora and fauna are influenced by its climate. The Upper Dharamsala generally has pine, oak and rhododendron as the flora. Dharamsala is a good starting point for a number of trekking expeditions. One can find forests containing deodar, Himalayan oak and pine trees in abundance in these forests.

Deers and wild goats are seen in the surrounding flora of Dharamsala. The surrounding of Dharamsala is beautified with alpine pastures, woods and streams. The Kareri Lake near Dharamsala has many fauna varieties in terms of birds.

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