Dharamshala (also spelled Dharamsala) is the second winter capital of the Indian state of Himachal Pardesh and a Municipal Cooperation in Kangra District. It also serves as the district headquarters. It was formerly known as Bhagsu. The Dalai Lamb's residence and the headquarters of CTA are in Dharamshala. Dharamshala is 18 kilometers from Kangra.
Dharamshala has been selected as one of the hundred Indian cities to be developed as a smart city.
On 19 January 2017, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh declared Dharamshala as the second capital of Himachal Pradesh state, making Himachal Pradesh the third state of India with two capitals after Jammu & Kashmir And Maharashtra.
Dharamshala is a city in the upper reaches of the Kangra Valley and is surrounded by dense coniferous forest consisting mainly of stately Deodar cedar trees. The suburbs include MecLord Ganj, Bhagsunath, Dharamkot, Naddi, ForsythGanj, Kotwali Bazaar (the main market), Kaccheri Adda (government offices such as the court, police, post, etc.), Dari, Ramnagar, Sidhpur, and Sidhbari (where the Karampa is based).
The village of McLeodGanj, lying in the upper reaches, is known worldwide for the presence of the Dalia Lama. On 29 April 1959, the 14th Dalai Lama established the Tibetan exile administration in the north Indian hill station of Mussoori. In May 1960, the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) was moved to Dharamshala.
Dharamshala is the centre of the Tibetan exile world in India. Following the 1959 Tibetan uprising there was an influx of Tibetan refugees who followed the 14th Dalai Lama. His presence and the Tibetan population have made Dharamshala a popular destination for Indian and foreign tourists, including students studying Tibet.
One of the main attractions of Dharamshala is Triund hill. Jewel of Dharamshala, Triund is a one-day trek at the upper reaches of McLeod Ganj, about 9 km from McLeod Ganj.