Dharamsala

Dalai Lama
Mcleodganj

Every year in February-March for ten days or so, and occasionally at other times, the Dalai Lama (http://www.dalailama.com) holds public lectures. Registration at Tibetan Branch Security Office near Hotel Tibet is necessary, preferably 3-4 days beforehand although shorter notice may be possible. Bring a cushion to sit on, a FM radio with headphones to listen to the simultaneous translation from Tibetan to English, a cup for tea, and a sunhat/umbrella, but as little else as possible since security is tight. The last day of teaching concludes with public prayers, for which no security pass is needed. Donations are welcome.

Bhagsu Waterfall

3 km from dharamsala. an easy walk down bhagsu rd through the village of the same name, then 1 km up to the waterfall itself. despite a sign advising visitors not to venture further, the path to the waterfall is in reasonable shape, except for the final 50 meters which are distinctly dodgy, especially in slippery weather. be careful if you decide to take a bath in the upper pools of the waterfall, as there may be shards of glass in the water thrown there by the villagers to prevent "indecent" behavior by westerners at night.

According to the official website of the Dalai Lama, due to health issues His Holiness no longer holds public audiences (http://www.dalailama.com/...)

Palampur, 50 km from Dharamsala. Famous for its tea gardens. The best Kangra tea is available at the Agricultural University at Palampur.

17th Karmapa

Visit the 17th Karmapa at his temporary residence at the Gyuto Tantric University in the town of Sidhbari near McLeod Ganj. For detailed information, check the Kagyu school's official web site: (http://www.kagyuoffice.org/)

Triund

If you are in for a brisk walk, climb the hill beyond Dharamkot to Triund with a beautiful view of the first peaks of the "real" Himalayas, and a wide view over the plains at its feet. As the peak is over 3000 meters, make sure to wear good shoes, carry water some food if you like and an extra vest or coat. At the top, even in summer, the weather can change from hot and sunny into a small snowstorm very quickly. Every year some tourists get themselves into serious trouble this way, wearing only sandals and a T-shirt.If you want to warm up before the Triund trak, try the trek to Guna temple 5 km one way, through jungle and quite a climb, but you will see nature at it's best

Dal Lake

4 km from dharamsala past naddi. fairly well signposted, this thoroughly anticlimactic sacred pond is the color and texture of its yellow lentil namesake. don't bother.

Trekking: Trekking for Indrahar pass starts from the Dharamsala, which is well known as the house of the Dalai Lama. This trekking trek passes through the snowbound Dhauladhar Range in the Kangra valley. This Trek ends at Lamu. (http://thrillophilia.com/...)

Meeting the Dalai Lama: Meeting or at least getting to see the Dalai Lama is the dream of a lifetime for many people, an intensive spiritual experience for Buddhists and a memorable moment for people of other faiths. It's also very difficult to pull off, so don't plan on it. It requires a good deal of luck or, as they say in India, karma. If you want to give it your best shot, the first thing to do is make sure that His Holiness is actually in town when you visit. He travels frequently, but his website lists his yearly itinerary, and an email to the email to the office will confirm his travel dates. While he does give scheduled public teachings, these are crowded. There are some that are only scheduled a few days in advance, so keep your eyes and ears open in Dharamsala. The ultimate goal is a private audience. His website says HH is no longer giving them. This isn't precisely true, but you have to have a really good reason or an "in." Go to the office of his secretary. It's in the Tsuglagkhang Complex. When you face his house, which has a gate with Indian guards in front of it, it's the last door on your right, at the end of the complex. This office is open all day, six days a week. The man behind the desk will tell you to apply online and give you the website address - go to an internet cafe and do it if you haven't already done it and been rejected months in advance so that you can say that you have, but it probably won't get you anywhere. If the receptionist is there alone, then His Holiness is not giving private audiences. If a bunch of people are there holding slips of paper with their personal information and their passports, he's giving private audiences they usually occur around noon. There is heavy security and you need a reason. Chat with everyone. Some people get in as a group, like a documentary crew or a family whose father is a politician. Actually, talk to everyone in Dharamsala about His Holiness, and you're bound to run into someone who is on his staff or knows someone on his staff. At the office, drop the name of every person you met. If you are visibly ill, you may get an audience based on that. Granted, this "audience" will probably last the time it takes for him to bless you, which is about 10 seconds, and an additional 5 to pose for a photo he has a photographer, and you are not allowed to bring your own camera in. If you actually get a pass in the door from his secretary, don't push your luck and expect a conversation. You've done something Tibetans worldwide only dream of. Count your blessings. Bring a khata white scarf - they can be purchased for a few rupees, but since you'll probably be treasuring that khata, you might want to shell out 20 rupees for a nicer one. If he poses for a picture with you, the security office will tell you to return with a blank CD and they will burn the picture onto a CD for you. Blank CDs can be purchased from the tech stores on Temple Rd for about 50 rupees. Remember to show appreciation for anyone whose name you might have dropped to get in - donate to their monastery, eat at their restaurant, etc. This isn't expected but it's a nice thing to do.

Peak Art Gallery
Temple Road, Mcloed Ganj
10am-7pm
1/2 way down Temple Road, below Cafe Nirvana

"We believe that it is essential that the Tibetan society in exile is not only staying and existing, but continuing to thrive and engage with the global community. With that in mind, we have started this social enterprise, Peak Art. Contemporary art is an expression of the unique and remarkable creativity that this community possesses. Peak Art provides a venue for artists to sell their work so they are able to support themselves as they continue to develop their art--and continue to thrive."

Courses

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Guerrilla Yoga

Five day yoga courses of several varieties in mcleod ganj go down the stairs at yongling school. it's the big green building. private instruction is also available. new studio, opened in march of 2008, great staff, very friendly. also has local art for sale, commission free.

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Courses range from yoga, meditation, reiki, Tibetan and Indian cooking classes, Tibetan language classes and Thai massage. All courses include vegetarian meals, and are offered at the following meditation centers:

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Tushita Meditation Center

(http://www.tushita.info). 10-day introduction to buddhism/meditation courses, 5-day meditation courses, and more mostly residential. silence is held most of the day but there are also discussion groups after philosophy lessons. situated near dharamkot, tushita practices the tibetan mahayana tradition and is a great introduction to buddhism. register online or at tushita, 10 day course starts at 4800rs inclusive of all lodging, lessons and 3 meals a day very tasty veg. even though there is a set cost at tushita it works out quite cheap per day around 500rs incl. food & lodging and can provide a gradual introduction to those new to buddhism.

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Yogi Cottage
Bhagsu Road
Mcleodganj

Yoga alliance approved RYS 200 & RYS 500 Yoga Teacher Training programs. Reiki lessons, private or in groups.

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Kailash School of Yoga & Holistic Healing
100 meters from the main square, walk down the stairs from the Green Shop

Ashtanga Vinyasa and Tribal Hatha Yoga classes are available daily to everyone on a drop-In basis. Treatments and sessions in Reiki, Ayurvedic Massage, Meditation and Sound Healing are also available but have to be arranged at least 1 day in advance. Additionally, the school offers a range of short and long-term courses in any of the above mentioned areas to suit the diverse needs of people who would like to gain a deeper understanding of a holistic approach to life.

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Buddha Hall - reiki with Usha

Usha is a grandmaster reiki teacher who runs courses in reiki i,ii,iii and master as well as tarot and crystal healing from buddha hall in bagsu, opposite the german bakery. she is a very flexible and compassionate teacher.

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Z-Meditation

(http://www.zmeditation.com) - fifteen-day silent meditation retreat in lower dharamsala. the center is surrounded by the majestic himalayas on three sides and there is the beautiful vast valley in front. the course includes a rational meditation technique of deep deconditioning inquiry, radiant mantras, creative meditations, assignments for disentangling your own life, and also two hours of daily yoga, three vegetarian meals and a refreshment break. the entire retreat is undertaken in silence. courses are $600-1,200 depending on accommodation arrangements. the course involves strong commitment for self growth.

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Meditation Retreat - with Amit

Meditation Retreat - with Amit (http://www.amitreiki.com/). Science of mental control. Learn techniques to heal and balance your mind body and get rid of suffering. Learn the basic techniques, tips, restrictions and regulations in meditation, to enhance your meditation. Amit has been over 8 years with holistic and alternative medicine. Even if you are not going to do a course, please meet him once and talk about yoga philosophy.

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Amit Reiki & Yoga Center

Amit Reiki & Yoga Center, (http://www.amitreiki.com/), 09418909046, amit@amitreiki.com. Has been involved with holistic and natural healing for over eight years. A traditional Reiki Master and independent teacher of the Usui System of Reiki, provides certified healing. Also an accomplished Yoga Master, offering both courses and classes in Astanga Vinyasa Mysore Style, Sivanada Yoga, Hatha Yoga, and Meditation.

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Asho Institute

In bhagsu village also provide courses in ayurvedic nutrition and tai-chi.

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Llhamo's kitchen

Learn how to cook traditional tibetan food, including momos from a delightful tibetan man called llhamo. it all takes place in llhamo's single room house right in the center of town.

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Mr Sangye's Kitchen

Learn how to cook traditional tibetan food, different courses every day, ranging from soups, momos and tibetan bread. we did the soup course and found the cooking lesson to be good, and the food and the chance to talk to a tibetan about the free tibet movement etc. sangye is based on the joqibara rd, further down from the post office and the pool hall. mobile phone number: 9816164540 or 9418066184, email: sangyla_tashi@yahoo.co.in

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Soundmassage, Soundhealing, Soundtreatment

Explore the secret sound of the himalayan singing bowls and make a journey to your inner self. make harmony possible only by sound and vibration. teaching possible. contact: antje, mobile phone number: 9816644273, email: antjensan@web.de, www.soundhealing.de

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Kundalini Yoga

As taught by yogi bhajan, regular classes. contact: jiwan kaur, thardoeling, near hh dalai lama temple, mcleod ganj, dharamsala, email: jiwankaur13@hotmail.co.uk, phone: 9816851691

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classes of study in Tibetan buddhism and language

Lesson: 1. tibetan buddhism, 2. tibetan language, 3. hindi language. timing: 9am to 12pm and 2pm to 5pm. monday to saturday. contact: phn. 9805391799

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email tibhintutor@yahoo.in