The term Dharamshala has been derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Dharma’ i.e. highest human duty and ‘Shala’ i.e. Dwelling, meaning house or place of Dharma or ‘Rest house for pilgrims’ or ‘Spiritual Dwelling’
This beautiful city truly lives up to its name as it has been a sanctuary for Tibetans since 1959 when His Holiness Dalai Lama had to flee Tibet along with thousand others.
Dharamshala welcomed these foreign nationals with open arms and not just offered a place of safety and security but also encouraged them to preserve their history and culture by building Monasteries such as the Namgyal Monastery in McLeodganj and Norbulingka in Dharamshala.
Before the British Raj, Dharamshala and its surrounding area were ruled by the Katoch Dynasty of Kangra. In 1848, the area now known as Dharamshala was annexed by the British.
Initially, it was harbored as a cantonment for the troops stationed in Kangra; later in 1860, the Gorkha Light Infantry was stationed in the wild and picturesque scenery.
Gorkha’s who are also known as “The Bravest of the Brave” and the battalion today known as 1st Gorkha Rifles, has grown fourteen Platoon villages and exists till this day.
Dharamshala situated in the Kangra Valley at the foothills of the Himalayas,
the Dhauladhar Ranges is the second winter capital of Himachal Pradesh.
Surrounded by dense prolific coniferous forests, consisting mainly of deodar cedar trees, that house a plethora of local and migratory birds.
Historic Monuments have an eerie air about them, it almost seems like the energies that existed in the past are still palpable. Built by the Royal Rajput Family of the “Katoch Dynasty”, the magnanimous Kangra Fort is one of those fortified buildings which stands tall and is enriched with historic memories.