India

Where to stay in Dharamsala India, Himachal Pradesh

AND So, you finally arrived in the Indian Mecca of the Tibetans - the upper Dharamsala (McLeod Ganj). If you have chosen a bus from New Delhi, then a night journey of 15 sleepless hours will not have the best effect on you, so the first thing you want to do upon arrival is to rest. It is about where it is better to stay in Dharamsala and where, in principle, you can stay and spend the night, you will learn from this article.

Two words about the "spiritual center" Dharamsala

Dharamsala in Hindi means something similar to "house of pilgrims". It is a place where followers of a particular religion live, or a place where members of a group or community can rest and find shelter during their journey. The word itself is also often used with the meaning "sanctuary".

Dharamsala is a city in India, which, thanks to the Indian government, has become home to many Tibetans waiting to return to their homeland. It got its name back in the nineteenth century from a small hut that stood somewhere on the side of a mountain, but describes the function that it currently performs quite accurately.

On the streets of Dharamsala you can see Tibetan monks with prayer drums - mills (mani-chhos-khor), both adults and teenagers (novices); Tibetan women in traditional mountain dress; Hindus; tourists in colorful Indian trousers (the most comfortable thing in the world) and "socialist guys" of all denominations and beliefs in standard jeans and European shirts.

The attitude of the locals, the vast majority of whom are Tibetans, is fundamentally different from attitudes of Indians towards Russian tourists in Delhi. It is more friendly and, most importantly, they do not see you as an ordinary money bag, but only as a person.

What can you do in Dharamsala and what is interesting there? Firstly McLeod Ganj an attraction in itself, as it is the largest center of Buddhism. In addition, the surrounding areas can definitely attract tourists with something.

Famous Bhagsu Nag Waterfall near the village of Bhagsu nag (you should definitely visit there); Dal Lake in Kashmir, famous for its Victorian boats built during British rule; Church of St. John of unusual architecture; the village of Dharamkot, which will surely win your heart and much more. However, the sights of Dharamshala are a vast separate topic.

Possible options for budget and comfortable accommodation in Dharamshala hotels

Air travel from Delhi is by far the fastest way to get to Dharamsala, but also the most expensive. If you want to pay a fare of 7 USD, and not an amount 10 times more, then choose bus is the most economical solution. Based on the choice of a bus as a means of transportation, we will consider three possible options comfortable, but inexpensive accommodation in local hotels and guest houses.

The first option: we are met and taken somewhere

From Delhi, the bus towards McLeod Ganj leaves at 5-6 pm and arrives the next day in the range of approximately 6-9 am. Even if your bus arrives at the stop in McLeod Ganj around 6 am or earlier, there is a good chance that someone from the locals will still be at the stop and offer you accommodation options.

Relying on the first person you meet is not particularly reasonable, but a sleepless 12-15 hour journey will undoubtedly exhaust anyone and you, most likely, will not want to look for anything yourself.

Possible disadvantages of this solution:

  • Firstly, you will have to pay for the fact that a person will take you to his guesthouse;
  • Secondly, you may not like the location of your new hotel and the room itself;
  • Thirdly, if you don’t like the number, then you are unlikely to find your bearings in a new place and will be forced to look for housing nearby, the location of which, most likely, will be far from the best.

Of course, this is not important, the next day you can move to another guesthouse, but still ...

The second option: we go and choose the hotel ourselves

However, if suddenly you arrive not too early and after the move you still have the strength, I advise you to walk around the village for 10-20 minutes and find suitable housing - fortunately, there are quite enough and very decent offers here. The main thing is to know where to go.

If you stand with your back to the bus station, you should go upstairs to the right, as if by the right shoulder.

Dharamsala bus station
Bus station

After 2 minutes of an easy climb, you will be at the main fork in the city. Second street on the right rests against the temple at the residence of the Dalai Lama.

Dharamsala center
Central location in the city

After 100 meters from the beginning, it branches. Left branch goes upstairs - there are chic expensive hotels, right to the temple. This street is quite noisy and tourists are delivered in batches along it during the season. At the same time, it is rather not for housing, but in order to take a walk there and buy souvenirs.

Third from the right - Jogiwara road. It has many acceptable accommodation options. If the temple, which is located behind the restaurants on the main square, is on the right, then you are walking along Jogiwara road, if on the left, along temple road, that is, to the temple of the Dalai Lama.

Streets of Dharamsala
The third street on the right is Jogiwara road

Fourth street on the right immediately forks: on the right, leading to the village of Bagsu (Bhagsu) (about 1.5 km on foot), and the left, leading to the village of Dharamkot (2 km). Both on that and on the other is full of diverse housing.

Junction at Bagsu
Junction to Daramkot and Bagsu

Far left street, which tends to climb quite steeply, also has several offers at the very beginning, but keep in mind that if you choose it, you will have to go uphill to your guest house every day. The street itself leads to several meditation centers and a mountain study center.

The third option: we immediately check into a verified hotel

If the bus arrives at 6 am or earlier (there are cases when buses arrive at 5.30 am), it will be difficult to choose accommodation on the spot, given that 99% guesthouses will be closed, and knocking on doors is not the most pleasant experience. And if you beat, then where they will open it for you.

In this case, we can advise you, of course not as an advertisement, a good guest house where you can stay without expecting a catch. Great view from the window, clean, spacious, sane owner.

view from the room
Great view from hotel room
Standard at Avoca Guest House
Standard Room - Interior
Balcony in the guesthouse
Balcony of a standard room Avoca Guest House

The guest house is called Avoca Guest House and is on the street Jogiwara Road (Jojiwara Road), third from the right of the center. The cost of the room per night is from 600 rupees, but you may be able to negotiate and reduce the price.

Another plus is that the fee is taken for the actual day. That is, if you checked in at 7 am, and check-out at 10 am, then the next morning by 10 o’clock, upon check-out, you will be charged not for two, but for one day.

A small minus, although for others it may be a plus, is that the guesthouse is located a little down from the city center. In this regard, you will have to climb to the center every day in a not very steep hill for about five minutes. At the same time, the place is very quiet and peaceful, as there are a couple of night discos closer to the center, the proximity of which can theoretically cause inconvenience.

How to find Avoca House in McLeod Ganj

In order to reach the guesthouse Avoca House, you need to go up from the bus station to the right for 2 minutes. When you go to the "patch" - the central square of the village, there will be streets straight and to the left. Choose the third street on the right - Jogiwara Road.

Walk 20 meters, there will be a temple on your right hand. After 100 meters a gradual descent will begin.

Road to Avoca House Hotel

Descent to the Avoca House Hotel

After walking for about 100 meters, you will need to turn left before the next guesthouse (pictured).

Hunted Hill House Hotel
Hunted Hill House Guest House

Further 30 meters deep, then to the left, leaving behind the right shoulder Moonwalk Restaurant. Almost immediately you will see the hotel you are looking for.

And finally, a map showing the exact location of this guest house. And so everything seems to be clear, but additional information will not be superfluous.


Having risen to the 3rd floor, on the left side is the second or third door of the host's assistant. The owner is Lalit Mahajan. Just in case, the owner's phone number E-Mail: mahajanlalit48@yahoo.com and address: Jogiwara Rd, McLeod Ganj, Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh 176219, India

Dharamsala is a great place, with an almost physically felt inner spiritual content. Most of the surroundings are pristine and clean, but unfortunately the "main trouble" of India has penetrated here too - dirt and garbage. Read the article about what this means and why it happens. Why is India so dirty?

Do you know why Dharamsala is compared to a hippie paradise? Without guessing, we can safely say that this is due to the special atmosphere of peace of mind and benevolence reigning in these places.

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