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How To Reach Dharamshala by Road, Railway and Air

Travel Options

How to Reach Dharamshalaby Air

Despite being in the mountains, Dharamshala offers great air connectivity with the Gaggal Airport situated about 15 km from McLeod Ganj — the heart of the town. Direct flights are available only from New Delhi, while one-stop flights come in from all corners of the country including major cities like Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Jaipur and Hyderabad. These are serviced by reputed domestic carriers such as Spice Jet, Air India and IndiGo. It is advisable to purchase airline tickets in advance as rates can increase closer to your travel dates or during peak seasons.

Once you arrive at Gaggal Airport, taxi services are present on ground to take you into town. They generally cost around INR 900-1000 and take about half an hour to reach Dharamshala. 

Some travellers choose to only fly till New Delhi, with the Indira Gandhi International Airport being so well-connected to the country and the world. If you choose to do that, you’ll have to take a cab, hired car or bus to reach Dharamshala in a 10-11 hour journey.

How to Reach Dharamshala by Railways

Trains are a convenient and economical way to get to Dharamshala but there is one drawback — the town itself has no railway station and the closest one is Pathankot Station about 86 km away in Punjab. Having said that, you can easily find means to get to Dharamshala once you alight. There are regular buses from the Pathankot Bus Stand or taxis for hire, with the total ride taking about 4 hours. 

Direct trains to Pathankot are available from the following cities: 
Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Bhopal, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Coimbatore, Madurai, Kochi, Trivandrum, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Patna and Lucknow.

The second railway route to Dharamshala is from Chandigarh Station, which also welcomes trains from every major city in the country. You can catch a taxi from outside the station or any number of buses from the stand for the remaining 5-6 hours of road journey.

How to Reach Dharamshala by Road

You could drive to Dharamshala from your home city since the roads are in good condition. Most will have to drive up to Delhi and then catch the NH154 and NH503 that lead to the town. But if self-driving isn’t your thing, there are other more convenient road travel options such as hire cars, prepaid taxis and bus services. 

If you’re coming from New Delhi, there are plenty of vehicles renting agencies around or buses across every budget can be taken from the Inter-State Bus Terminus. A premium seat would generally cost between INR 1200-1800, running overnight for an approximately 11-hour journey. Cars or taxis should get you there sooner but it’s better to then do the journey by day.Also check out the best time to visit Dharamshala and book your tour accordingly.

Direct buses to Dharamshala are also available from: 

Pathankot, Dalhousie, Chamba, Manali and Shimla

Distance Chart:

City

Distance to Dharamshala

Chandigarh

247 km

Agra

702 km

Jaipur

740 km

Mumbai

1830 km

Kolkata

1945 km

Hyderabad

2033 km

Transportation in dharamshala

How to Commute Within Dharamshala

By Foot
The amazing thing about exploring Dharamshala is that you can access most parts of the town on foot, including all of McLeod Ganj, Bhagsu and Dharamkot. Just that circuit covers almost all of the town’s picturesque viewpoints, monuments and monasteries, cultural sites, dining options, hotels and wellness retreats. A short hike away, you can find lesser known villages nearby like Forsyth Ganj, Talnu and Naddi.
Walking around Dharamshala is truly an experience, so don’t miss it. 

By Car / Taxi
For longer distances or added comfort, cars and taxis are available for hire in the main town. They usually have fixed rates for sightseeing excursions and popular tourist spots. You can choose between government-run or privately-owned cab services. For shorter distances they charge approximately INR 250 for a one-way ride. You can easily find the taxi of your choice in the main markets. 

If you have your own or a self-driven hired vehicle, moving around Dharamshala can be done at your convenience but you are advised to be cautious on the mountainous roads.

By Auto-rickshaw
Auto-rickshaws can be found all over India, including Dharamshala! The zippy three-wheelers prove to be a cheaper alternative to taxis and can comfortably accommodate three passengers. They usually work on fixed tariffs that fall between INR 100-400, depending on the distance travelled. 

By Bus
By far the most economic option, albeit with some sacrifice on the comfort front, is the bus. There are regular daily buses running from the town centre to all of the major attractions, both near and far. The buses between McLeod Ganj, Bhagsu and Dharamkot cost just INR 10-20, and run at a good frequency. Although, bus journeys end up taking longer than other modes of transport, they are a safe and affordable way to move around Dharamshala. 

Now that you know all about the ways to reach Dharamshala, it’s time to look at some amazing Thomas Cook Dharamshala Tours Packages next and checking out some best places to visit Dharamshala Planning a holiday has never been as easy.

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