The Travellers’ Den: Dharamkot, Himachal Pradesh
At a height of 6,920 feet above sea level (2109 m) in Khangra Valley of Himachal Pradesh lies the quite village of Dharamkot. To reach Dharamkot the best option is for one to board a bus from Delhi to McLeod Ganj and from there to either walk 2 kms along a winding road which takes not more than 35 minutes or to hire a rickshaw from the rickshaw stand near the bus depot.
The village of Dharamkot is in the high hills above McLeod Ganj but the village is a complete contrast to the Tibetan world that one experiences in McLeod Ganj. Dharamkot is a village dominated by people from Punjabi and Haryanan decent and this is evident from their features, their way of dressing and most of all their language which is a dialect of Punjabi.
Each family in the village owns a few cattle and their house are characterized by the huge veranda in the center where they mostly dry hay that is stocked for the animals to graze on. While walking through the village one will notice potato and spinach plantations on either side as they walk along the concrete path.
The visitors coming to the village of Dharamkot are mostly foreign travelers and backpackers who prefer Dharamkot since the village is away from the noisy and busy town of McLeod Ganj and easily accessible. Most of these travelers make this village their home for many weeks if not months. Many travelers who work and help out in different NGOs in McLeod Ganj prefer staying in Dharamkot since its much lighter on the pocket.
Since tourism is a relatively new to Dharamkot home stays are the main feature of this village and there are a few motels but nothing fancy. It is possible to rent a room or a house if they wish to stay in the village for a long period of time. Some of the rooms even have an attached kitchen.
There are a few restaurants which serve up some really tasty food. These restaurants are make shit ones which are mostly set up in the veranda of the villagers’ houses. The food served in these places mostly caters to the foreign travelers.
One can also trek to the villages of Naddi and Triundi which are 3km and 7km away from Dharamkot respectively. There is also a much faster way to reach the village of Dharamkot from a way leading to the regional mountaineering center. Walking is the only option along this path and it is a common sight to see people mediating or praying in the woods.
During summer the days are warm and dry but the nights are pretty cold and chilly. The winters are pretty severe. The best time to visit Dharamkot is from the months of February to April and from the end of August to October.
The village of Dharamkot is truly a must visit place for backpackers and travellers while they are in Dharamshala as it has all the ingredients of a traveler friendly place.
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