Dharamkot

Go where you feel most alive.

India has long been luring spiritual seekers for decades since the days of the hippie trail. Dharamkot is a bohemian destination near McLeod Ganj area, absolute for a few days’ time off from real-world or months away if you’re fortunate enough to take time off work for that long. The aura of Dharamkot grows on you moderately and one can get totally hooked on to this place only in a couple of days. The tiny village of Dharamkot is marked with yoga and meditation centres, characterful cafés, and restful homestays. Despite an upward swing in commercial activity over the recent years, the small village retains much of its picturesque charm, with neatly terraced fields set against the majestic Dhauladhar Range, and walking trails through pine and cedar forests. The village is divided into an upper and lower part—while the former rush with tourist activity, the former is still thickly wooded, perfect for those looking for a spot of calm. There is just one concrete road that winded through the, so the chances of getting lost around these parts are almost next to none unless you drift off track into the woods.

Like a few others, Himalayan hamlets this village is one of the hubs of Israeli tourists visiting India. After finishing their obligatory servic, many youngsters from Israel take a break and come to Himalayan villages (Dharamkot being one of them) for a chilled-out vacation.

For the many who undertake the arduous and highly recommended two-day Triund trek, Dharamkot is the gateway to the spiraling, narrow trail in the mountains. If extreme hiking is not your thing, a diversion from the wonted route can take one to a shorter, less-visited trek to a local waterfall.

Accommodation in Dharamkot can be basic, usually, it’s just one or two rooms in homestays and in village houses and many only have a shared bathroom (some with Western toilets but some with Indian style toilets) and cold water.

Best Time to Visit

Dharamkot can be visited throughout the year and roads are within reach during all seasons. However, March-May is considered the best and safest months to travel, if you want to avoid the heat or travel here during October-December if you want to avoid chilly winters. Winter months get snowfall and you can love playing with snow in this part of Himachal.

February remains cool as well, but spring onsets during March and make the weather pleasant. From my personal experience traveling there during Oct-Nov gives you the best of both worlds. The hills flora are fresh green after the monsoon but the snow hasn’t set in yet. It is cold but not too cool, just the perfect weather to trek around and explore the place.

How to Reach

Mostly, I board an overnight train from Delhi to Pathankot station in order to reach Dharamkot. There are many trains but I prefer Dhauladhar Express because of the timings.

There are two options to reach Dharamkot from Pathankot – take a taxi to Dharamkot or a local bus to McLeod Ganj. The taxi takes approx. 3 hours depending on the traffic and the buses take 4 to 5 hours since they stop at many villages to pick up people and make more money.

If you travel by local bus, it will most likely drop you in McLeod Ganj, not Dharamkot. You can take 20 min walk to Dharamkot from McLeod Ganj or just take an auto-rickshaw or a taxi.

It is very unchallenging to reach Dharamkot by bus. You can also take a direct overnight bus from Delhi Kashmiri Gate to McLeod Ganj. A decent bus will cost you around INR 1200 – 1300 per person but I prefer the trains

Basic Gears

  • Travel Guide / Map Print Out
  • PhotoIDs for all members
  • Pen and a small Diary
  • Bag Locks
  • Torchlight or Flashlight
  • Power bank
  • Multi-Plug
  • Hand Sanitizer
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