Dharamsala - literally, a place for shelter - is surely a name that was meant to be home to the Dalai Lama and the headquarters of his government-in-exile. This tiny dot on India's vast landscape is steeped in history and today, boasts of a cosmopolitan populace.
Overlooking the stunningly beautiful Kangra valley and interspersed with the magnificent Deodar, the imprint of Buddhist culture comes alive through its temples, monasteries and the orange robes of Buddhist monks. The aura of the Buddhist spiritual culture, its pervading serenity, the patient preparedness of the Tibetans towards returning to their homeland fill the land with a silent grace that leaves a visitor with a feeling that he has, indeed, visited a 'chosen land'. Founded by the British in 1846, this hill station seems blessed by Avalokitesvara–the Bodhisattva of Compassion, who is as close to being the patron deity of Tibet.
The author invites you to visit Dharamsala, to breathe its pristine air, to enjoy a trek amongst its lush, green surroundings. He introduces you to a 'piece of paradise on earth', a refuge away from the madding crowd a memory that lingers long after it has disappeared from sight.
Author: Jeremy Russell
Features: Full color photos, PB