Norbulingka Institute

Top choice in Dharamsala

Soothingly set amid bamboo, trees and flowing water, the delightful Norbulingka Institute, 6km southeast of Dharamsala, was established in 1988 to teach and preserve traditional Tibetan art forms. It's a beautiful and fascinating place to visit, and (except Sundays) you can watch artisans at work on woodcarving, metal statue–making, thangka painting and embroidery.

On request one of the staff will show you around. At the heart of the complex is a very colorful temple around which side buildings contain an upmarket shop of the institute's products and a small doll museum illustrating traditional culture. The on-site hotel and restaurant-cafe are both excellent options.