Is Dharamshala Safe for Solo Travelers, Backpackers and Women? This is a pertinent question that needs to be addressed for the security of every first-time visitor. The answer is YES!


Dharamshala and Mcleodganj are as safe as travel destinations. Not only are they safe but they are exquisite. The majestic Himalayas form a riveting backdrop and you can’t help but stare at the natural wonder. A lot of travellers prefer to travel to and explore Dharamshala and McLeodganj all by themselves. 

In the current post, I will answer each and every safety question that has been posed to me by travellers across regions. The intention is for you to pack your bags and run off to the gorgeous Himalayan destination.

Is Dharamshala Safe for Travelers

Is Dharamshala Safe for travellers? 

Dharamshala and McLeodagnj will make you their own forever. The fresh air, the stunning view, the lip-smackingly delicious food at the lovely cafes and warm people always ready to help, are some of the things bound to leave a permanent impression on you. 

Let’s find out the safety of Dharamshala by means of the subsequent table. The metrics have been based on my own travel experiences – alone, with friends and family.


Type of Experience & Safety level
Solo trip

High

Trip with friends

High

All girls trip

High

Couple’s trip

Moderate to high

Family trip

Very high

Public places

High

Eating places

Very high

Transport

Moderate to high

Is Dharamshala Safe for Solo Travelers?

Dharamshala is one of the most sought-after travel destinations when it comes to solo travellers and backpackers. The reason for the high number of travellers isn’t just the beauty of the place. It has a lot to do with the security of Dharamshala.

It is quite common to see travel junkies explore this Himalayan town on their own. They stay here from just a day to over 2 months. For wanderlust lovers, Dharamshala comes across as a natural nest. If you’re travelling solo to Mcleodganj on a budget, here’s a blog can be useful

Hence, is Dharamshala safe for solo travellers? YES


Must Carry Things for a Safe Solo Trip to Dharamshala 

If you are travelling alone, it is important to take special care of certain things. I would suggest you include these things in your backpack:

Mobile Phone and Power BankIf you are a heavy phone user or have a phone whose battery cannot be trusted, make sure you carry a power bank. I carry a power bank of10000 mAH when I am travelling. The power is enough to charge my phone completely 2-3 times.
Pepper Spray- Fortunately enough, I haven’t felt the need for using a pepper spray in my travels till now. However, as a  safety measure, I keep a pepper spray at all times in my bag, especially when I am travelling alone.
Trekking Pole- If you are in Dharamshala, go on and head to one of the treks. If you are a beginner, one thing that helps in transversing through the mountainous terrain is a good quality Trekking Pole.
Torch- Not all areas around main Dharamshala and Mcleodganj have street lights. So, for dimly lit places, I suggest you carry a Torch. If I had to recommend one, I would say this Torch. I am using it for a  year now. It’s light to carry, bright and a true value for money. 

Is Dharamshala Safe for a Trip with Friends?

Each year thousands of individuals from groups and venture to this lovely hill town. As long as you don’t indulge in rowdy behaviour, don’t expect any harm to you. 

Fun and frolic with friends is an obvious thing when it comes to taking a trip. Dharamshala will in no way come between your thrill and you because it’s pretty safe. You can venture out with your pals and explore this beautiful town.

Hence, is Dharamshala safe for a trip with friends? YES

Is Dharamshala Safe for an All Girls Trip?

An all-girls trip is not just fascinating but inspiring. However, when it comes to planning one, safety can be a major issue.  Not every place is safe for a gang of girls when it comes to India. Dharamshala thankfully is extremely female-friendly.

Safety will not be a problem here. It is common to see solo female travellers explore the rare places of this Himalayan territory. Many can even be seen performing yoga alone on cliffs and hills. They embrace nature and nature returns positivity tenfold.

Therefore, is Dharamshala safe for the all-girls trip? YES

Must Carry Things for a Safe All Girls Trip

When you are travelling with your girlfriends, make sure you carry these:

Mobile Phone and Power Bank (for staying in touch with trusted people)
Pepper Spray (for emergency situations from anti-social elements)
Trekking Pole (for trails on treks)
Torch (for poor lighting conditions)


Is Dharamshala Safe for Couples?

Dharamshala is a good travel host to couples- married or otherwise. However, you have got to respect the local culture.  Avoid any kind of lewd behaviour in public. Try not to break any public rules here and you’re good to stay here with your significant other till your heart desires.

Make sure to carry a valid ID proof at all times. It will save you a lot of trouble.

Thus, is Dharamshala safe for couples? YES

Is Dharamshala Safe for Family Trips?

The north Indian town of Dharamshala is very safe for families. Each year hundreds of families flock here during summers and winters. There are fewer cases of criminal activity.

The only thing to be cautious about is shopkeepers. Do not allow them to rip you. Being a popular travel destination, they might ask you for higher prices than usual. Make sure you use your bargaining skills to the fullest. 

Therefore, is Dharamshala safe for family trips? YES

War memorial Dharamshala

The War memorial at Dharamshala is dedicated to the memory of soldiers who have lost their lives protecting India at the borders. If you are visiting for the first time, there are many such places that need to be a part of your Dharamshala trip plan

Is Dharamshala Safe when it comes to accommodation?

If you are travelling alone, one safety concern that definitely comes to mind is the safety of your stay. The stays in Dharamshala & McLeod Ganj are totally safe for backpackers. You will see a lot of solo backpackers including women staying in hostels, guest houses and hotels all around Mcleodganj.

I would recommend travellers to stay at Mcleodganj and Dharamkot instead of the main Dharamshala town. Some of the most credible places to stay in my experience are:

I have had a great experience in all the three places, and I can say that they are totally safe even if you are travelling alone.

So, is Dharamshala safe when it comes to accommodation? YES

Is Dharamshala Safe When it Comes to Public Spaces?

Being a popular travel destination, Dharamshala has its various spaces open to the public. These places are safe to visit. In fact, there’s seems to be a sense of calm all around. 

This is true for not just Dharamshala but Mcleodganj as well.

Whether you’re hiking up to Dal lake or sitting in meditation at the Dalai Lama temple, whether you’re getting clicked at the cricket stadium or enjoying momos at a punk cafe, you will feel safe at all times.

Therefore, is Dharamshala safe in public places? YES

Is Dharamshala Safe When it Comes to Eating Places?

Visiting Dharamshala and not exploring its eating places will be plain rude. The many restaurants, cafes and eateries are flooded with travellers.

The staff in most places is warm and hospitable. So are the owners. You will not find any kind of filthy behaviour around. At certain cafes, you will surely find people ‘high’ on a lot of stuff. But nobody will harm you in any way. 

Dharamshala is really a peaceful place.

Therefore, is Dharamshala safe when it comes to eating places? YES

mcleodganj food guide

There are many amazing cafes and eateries in Dharamshala & Mcleodganj. If you are a foodie like me, you may find this Dharamshala food guide helpful.

Is Dharamshala Safe When it Comes to Using Public Transport?

When it comes to internal transport, I suggest you prefer local minibuses to private cabs. This becomes even more important when you are travelling alone. 

Using public transport will ensure your safety and avoid you spending extra bucks. In a group, however, even private cabs can be hired because you will be pooling money and you will not be alone.

Therefore, is Dharamshala safe when it comes to public transport? YES

Must Carry Things for a Safety in Public Transport 

Using public transport in Dharamshala and Himachal Pradesh, in general, is safe. However, when you are using a bus to travel between places in Dharamshala, there are certain things you must ensure you are carrying. This is important especially for solo travellers.

Mobile Phone and Power Bank (for staying in touch with trusted people)
Pepper Spray (for emergency situations from anti-social elements)
Camera (For capturing emergency situations that demand attention)

Is Dharamshala Safe for Taking Hikes and Treks Around?

In terms of safety from people around, surely Dharamshala’s many treks and hikes are secure. However, the weather can be unpredictable in this part of the world. So make sure to pursue these treks only during pleasant weather. 

One trek that I will surely recommend is the Triund Trek for beginners. It’s beautiful up there and the trail is quite easy.

7 Safety Tips for first-timers visiting Dharamshala-Mcleodganj

If you are travelling to Dharamshala and Mcleodganj for the first time, you should take into consideration the following points. 

Accommodation check

Inform family members or friends about your place to stay along with the address and contact number of the respective accommodation.

Check the Cabs

If travelling solo, try using public transport. In the case of privately-operated cabs, check for the ID of the driver. Note the number of the vehicle and inform friends and folks about it.

ID Proof is a must 

Save yourself a lot of trouble by carrying an ID proof with you at all times.

Stay careful when Partying out

Always stay in your senses at all times. Do not trust strangers to drop you back to your place of stay.

Late-night outings

The streets may be deserted or dark at odd hours. Avoid meandering in the streets at night especially if you’re travelling solo.

Stay clear of Unruly groups

Dharamshala & Mcleodganj get crowded around the weekends. If you do happen to chance upon a rowdy group, the best thing is to stay clear of such people.

Going on treks

If you are going on one of the treks around Dharamshala, make sure you inform your loved ones beforehand. When you go to higher reaches of the mountains, the chances of finding a decent network is almost negligible.

Dharamshala will treat you well. Don’t be scared. Visit this place soon.T he snow-clad Dhauladhars, the whiff of romanticism, the quaint spiritual sway of his holiness – the Dalai Lama and the strong Tibetan influence make

Dharamshala a favourite weekend getaway for a lot of people. Dharamshala is all about vibrant Tibetan flags, rolling prayer wheels and the in-sync sound of ringing bells and warbling birds.

Happy wayfaring 🙂 

About the Author 

Author Bio

I, Akriti Mattu hail from the Himalayan town of Shimla, have roots from Kashmir and am currently settled in Bangalore. I am a free spirit in every sense of the term and hence quit a decent paying but conforming job to pursue what I love the most – being my true ‘self.’ In travel, I’ve found my selfdom, coherence and freedom. As somebody who has travelled across the expansive terrain of our planet, I am happily spending my days running a unique venture for travellers and bloggers from around the world – Budget Wayfarers. This is my most publicised venture and has come into existence for bridging gaps in travel on the internet. My journey to experience the magic of the world began a long time back. Now it’s time to span it out and share it with all of you. Along with my own travelogues are travel pieces of thousands of travellers from around the globe. Anybody passionate about travelling resourcefully and mindfully is welcome to be a part of my global family. Let’s make travel accessible and affordable for all TOGETHER. Be a part of my community – Travel Nomads & Guides, comprising of over 100K happy travellers. Reach out to me on Quora and Twitter.

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