Navigation: Kangra Valley Toy Train | India-Pakistan Border

Dharamsala

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We head out of Amritsar into the seamless unending fertile plains of the Punjab. We cross many irrigation channels transporting water from the mountains and distributing it to the thirsty crops in the fields. After two rather monotonous hours we leave the plain at Pathankot and get the first glimpse at the Dhauladhar range that soars to up to 5’639m.
20180219_124319_NIKON D500_DxO.jpg20180219_123145_NIKON D500_DxO.jpg20180219_151718_NIKON D500_DxO.jpgThe road starts to wind through valleys and over ridges that get us into the Kangra Valley and to Dharamsala. This is the area where the Tibetean refugees were allowed to settle after 1959. Upper Dharamsala at 2’080 m – also called McLeodGanj – is home to the Dala Lama, the government in exile and the Namgyal Monastery. The former British hill station is also known as Little Lhasa in reference to the large community of Tibeteans living there.  

 

20180220_115210_NIKON D500_DxO20180220_113041_NIKON D500_DxO20180220_121143_NIKON D500_DxOWinding our way down 700 m to Lower Dharamsala we cross the main business and administrative district and head out to the Norbulinka Institute. It was founded in 1988 to ensure that the integrity of Tibetan artistic traditions is maintained for generations to come. We watch artists painting Thangkas, woodcarving, wood painting and forming metal statues. The temple is rich with the output of the workshops and impressed us by the outstanding quality of the artisanship.

 

20180220_140711_NIKON D500_DxO20180220_141532_NIKON D500_DxO20180220_141813_NIKON D500_DxOThe 17th Karmapa stayed for some time at the nearby Gyato monastery and university that is specialized in tantric meditation. In the prayer hall we got nearly scared by ferocious looking statues and amazed by a wooden 3D mandala.
 

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Navigation: Kangra Valley Toy Train | India-Pakistan Border

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