Dharamsala, India - Stein Travel
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Dharamsala

The state of Himachal Pradesh's largest hill station, Dharamsala is a gorgeous and deeply spiritual place. With a large Tibetan population, the community centres around the teachings and activities of Tenzin Gyatso - the 14th and current Dalai Lama, who resides in Dharamsala for large portions of the year. Cool, alpine Dharamsala has been attracting hordes of tourists for years - some drawn by its staunch Buddhist culture; others by the meditation, yoga, reiki and cooking classes on offer in the area known as McLeod Ganj; and yet others simply by its appreciable natural beauty. Hikers will be overawed by the trails available to them to explore - the pick of the bunch being the walk up to the summit of Triund, from where you can enjoy fine views of the snow-capped Himalayas in the distance. A popular tourist haunt that has somehow managed to keep itself unspoiled, visitors to India who find themselves overwhelmed by the smoggy, frenetic cities of the plain, should retreat to Dharamsala for some rest and rejuvenation.

Information & Facts

Language

Although English is generally used for official and business purposes, Hindi is the official language and is spoken by about 40 percent of the population. Urdu is the language common with the Muslim demographic. India has a total of 22 official languages

Money

The currency is the Indian Rupee (INR), which is divided into 100 paise (singular paisa). Major currencies can be changed at banks, and authorised bureaux de changes. It is impossible to obtain rupees outside India, but no matter what time you arrive in India there will be an exchange office open at the airport. It is illegal to exchange money through the black market and it is advisable to refuse torn notes, as no one will accept them apart from the National Bank. It is best to change money into small denominations. Travellers cheques and major credit cards are widely accepted, particularly in tourist orientated establishments. ATMs are not generally available.

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