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Dharamsala is a small city in the northern Indian province of Himachal Pradesh. With a population of around 20,000 inhabitants, it is best known as being the home of the Dalai Lama. It is located in the upper reaches of the Kanga Valley.
The town is divided into three parts
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Dharamsala is located between 1400 and 1750 metres above sea level and therefore has a climate that can best be described by being in between a typical Alpine climate and the climate found more to the areas to the south, which are hot and humid in summer. Dharamsala has summers from April to October when average daytime temperatures are between 25 and 31 °C and nights between 13 and 20 °C. Winters are much colder compared to areas to the south with days between 12 and 15 °C from December and February. Nights are just above zero during this time. October to December, as is April, are the driest months. From May onwards, precipitation increases dramatacially, peaking in July and August, which have a massive 800mm and 900mm respectively.
|Avg Max||15 °C||16.8 °C||21.1 °C||26.2 °C||30.3 °C||31.3 °C||27.3 °C||26.4 °C||26.4 °C||24.9 °C||21 °C||17 °C|
|Avg Min||5.9 °C||7.7 °C||11.4 °C||16 °C||19.8 °C||21.6 °C||20.5 °C||20.1 °C||18.5 °C||15 °C||10.6 °C||7.4 °C|
|Rainfall||113.9 mm||111.2 mm||232.6 mm||56.8 mm||67.1 mm||232.3 mm||879.6 mm||852.9 mm||374.1 mm||56.2 mm||19.5 mm||52.9 mm|
Gaggal Airport, also known as Kangra Airport or Dharamsala-Kangra Airport (DHM) receives few flights. Jagson Airlines has flights to Delhi, Chandigarh and Kulu, while Kingfisher Airlines only serves Delhi.
The nearest train station is Kangra Mandir, on the slow narrow-gauge line from Pathankot to Jogindernagar. Taxis to Panthankot take about 3 hours. There are comfortable night trains to/from Delhi, a much better alternative to the bus (see below).
The main bus terminal is in Lower Dharamsala, but some public HRTC buses to Delhi and Pathankot go all the way to the main square of McLeod Ganj. Buses to Delhi take up to 13 hours and usually travel overnight.
Public buses to between McLeod and Dharamsala leave roughly hourly, autorickshaws ply the same route but are much more expensive.
McLeod Ganj is small enough to be navigated on foot.
|Hotel Mount View (Dharamsala)||Jogiwara road near post office Mcleodganj Dhramshala||Guesthouse||82|
|Hotel Valley View Crest||Vill.Dhyal P.O.Totarani Via Dal Lake||Hostel||-|
|Jagatram Niwas Guest House||c/o Bavinder Singh, V&PO Bhagsunag, Tehsil Dharamsala, Distt. Kangra||GUESTHOUSE||84|
|Silver Moon House||House # 318/02 Bhagsu Nag Upper Dharamsala||Guesthouse||-|
|Snow Crest Inn||Naddi village||Hotel||-|
|Surya Resorts Private Limited||Surya Resorts McleodGanj||Hostel||77|
|Hotel Anand Palace||Bhagsunag, Mcleodganj||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Asian Plaza||Main Chowk Mcleodganj Mc Leodganj||Hotel||-|
|Pink House||Opposite Yongling School, Jogiwara Road, Mcleodganj||-|
|Hotel Pong View||Cantt Road Dharamshala Dist Kangra Himachal Prades||HOTEL||-|
|Staywell Hotel||Mcleodganj Khara Danda Road Dharams Near PWD Rest House||HOTEL||-|
|Misty Woods||44/3,Jogibara Road Mcleodganj||HOTEL||-|
|Hotel Asian Plaza- Dharamshala||Main Square- Kotwali Bazaar, Dharamshala Himachal Pradesh||HOTEL||-|
|McLeodGanj Homestay at The Flourishing Flora||The Flourishing Flora, opposite TIPA, Dharamkot ro Dharamshala, Distt-Kangra, Himachal Pradesh||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|The Exotica||Khaynyara Indru Nag Road||Guesthouse||-|
There's good coverage over most of India for Internet cafes. However, following the recent terror attacks in Mumbai and some other cities, all internet cafes have been instructed by the authorities to maintain a register and note down the identification details of all persons using internet. Sify iWay is a reliable and cheap cafe with over 1,600 cafes over India. iWay also allows you to open a pre-paid account that you can use all over India. Whenever you have Internet access probably the best and cheapest way to call family and friends at home is software that allows users to make voice calls over the Internet such as Skype.
Wifi hotspots in India are, for most part, limited. The major airports and stations do offer paid wifi at around RS.60-100 an hour. Delhi, Bangalore, Pune and Mumbai are the only cities with decent wifi coverage. At Mumbai airport, you get to use WiFi internet free, for an hour or so.
See also International Telephone Calls
The country code for India is 91. To dial outside the country from India, prefix the country code with 00.
The general emergency number is 100 (emergency response police & fire), while for ambulance you should dial 102 or 112, though some regions have 108 for this emergency. 108 is used in in the Indian states of Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Punjab, Gujarat, Uttarakhand, Goa, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha,Assam, Meghalaya, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. 108 can be called for medical, crime, fire, or any other emergency from any phone.
Local phone numbers can be anywhere from 5-8 digits long. But when the area code is included, all landline phone numbers in India are 10 digits long. Cellphone numbers usually start with '9', '8', or '7'. Toll-free numbers start with 1-800.
If staying longterm it is probably wise to think about investing in a mobile phone. You'll possibly need to provide a photocopy of your passport and itinerary, so come prepared. Make sure you arrange it upon arrival in a big city, as it can sometimes be difficult to organise with language barriers and such in more regional areas. You can buy a cheap nokia for about RS.1,200 with a pre-paid plan. Airtel is a good carrier to think about as they have great coverage, and constant offers for cheaper calling. To recharge, most shop vendors with phone carrier signs can do it via their own phone. You give them your mobile number, they put it in their phone and you'll both get messages as to whether or not the recharge has been successful. Also, if possible, buy the phone in the state where you do the most travelling as the charges are higher in the states where you did not originally buy the phone.
Over the entire country there are plenty of public phones, even in the middle of the countryside. Although most of the time these phones are not very well maintained and have horrible connections. Therefore remember when using one of these public phones one must be extremely patient.
For international calls from payphones, you'll have to visit a reputable internet cafe with a phone-booth. Mobile phones are usually a better and cheaper option.
India Post is the national postal service of India, and on their website you find details about prices to send postcards, letters and parcels, both domestically and internationally. For most postcards to send internationally, it is better to visit the post office before writing on the card as you may need quite a few stamps. Parcels must be taken to a tailor, he will then sew it up in white linen. Make sure he seals it with red wax, otherwise the post office may refuse to send it or try to get you to pay them to do it. Sewing up a parcel should only cost RS.50 to 200. In general, post offices are open from 10:00am to 1:00pm and 1:30pm to 4:30pm in most bigger towns and cities, though there are regional variations and some might keep longer hours or be open during (part of) the weekend as well. Ask around.
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