Religious Spots at DharamsalaThe beautiful city of Dharamsala in the lap of Himalayas has attracted many tourists to its land every year. Rich in heritage and cultural exuberance, Dharamsala is the perfect blend of nature, art and spirituality. Among all these, religious institutions are one of the main reasons of people gathering in this city from various corners of the world. People come to seek the blessings of the Dalai Lama and experience the Tibetan culture. For the spiritual seekers, there is the option to visit monasteries and Hindu temples and gain spiritual peace.
There are a few religious institutions for other religions as well which include Churches and Mosques. However, the numbers are less owing to the prominence of Hindu and Buddhist culture. The following religious spots in Dharamsala are mainly visited by the tourists and local people.
Famous Religious Places in Dharamsala
St. John's Church : This Church is situated about 8 kilometers from the town of Dharamsala. It lies between thMcLeod Ganj and Forsyth Ganj and falls in the forest of Deodar trees. The church is especially dedicated to Lord Elgin, Viceroy in India. He died at Chauntra in Mandi and was buried in the Christian Cemetry around the Church in 1863 A.D.
Jama Masjid: It is a place where Muslims gather to pray to the God every Friday. Generally the word “Jama” means a gathering in Urdu. The gathering happening on Friday is known as “Juma”. The mosque is situated at lower Dharamsala.
Kunal Pathari : It is one of the main tourist attractions at Dharamsala. The temple of Kunal Pathari is famous among Hindus. There is a mythological story behind the construction of this temple. It is believed that Shiva was carrying his wife Sati after she got burned. Her skull fell at Kunal Pathari and a temple was erected at the auspicious place. The temple dates back to centuries and is one of the oldest rock temples in India. The temple is dedicated to Goddess Kalpeshwari.
The temple is situated about 3 kilometers from Kotwali Bazaar at Dharamsala. Even without the temple being there, a walk to Kunal Pathari is refreshing. It is surrounded by tea gardens and provide a magnificent view of the Dhauladhar range of Himalayas.
Bhagsunath Temple in Mcleodganj: Bhagsunath temple is 11kms from Dharamsala town and is just few kilometers from main Mcleodganj. Fresh water springs are close to Bhagsunath temple which is considered holy. People come here for trekking and walk about 2 kilometers on a slope.
Durgeshwara Temple: The Dal Lake is as such famous at Dharamsala McLeod Ganj. The hindus who visit Dal Lake also pay a visit to the Durgeshwara Temple for blessings from the goddess.
Akhanjar Mahadev Temple: Snakes have been worshipped in India for centuries. The Akhanjar Mahadev Temple is dedicated to snakes and is situated about 8.5 kilometers from Dharamsala town in Khaniyara village. It is believed that snakes accompany Lord Shiva and are thus very holy creatures for Hindus. The temple also has a stream of cold water running throughout the year. There are stones which have taken the shape of snakes and can be found at the back of thetemple building.
Namgyal Monastery: Buddhist who have come down from Tibet have occupied most of the space at McLeod Ganj. The place is especially famous for its monastery in which Buddhists pray and monks stay. This monastery is known as Namgyal monastery which encloses the images of Buddha, Avalkoteshwara and Padmasambhava. The Thangka paintings from Tibetan culture have made the walls of the monastery look beautiful. The tourists must not miss to look at these paintings while roaming around the monastery.