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Getting There & Away

So-called Dharamsala Airport, actually at Gaggal, has twice-daily flights from Delhi (except when they're cancelled by bad weather).

Plentiful buses connect the region with Mandi, Shimla, Pathankot (northern Punjab), Chandigarh and Delhi, and some with Manali and Amritsar. However, the only direct route northward towards Lahaul and Ladakh is the seasonal Sach Pass between Chamba and Killar, crossed by at most one bus a day.

The nearest mainline railhead is Pathankot (Punjab), though a useful alternative for Delhi is the overnight Himachal Express terminating at Amb, a similar distance (three hours' drive) from Dharamsala via Jawalamukhi.

Built to supply India's first major hydo-electric project, the narrow-gauge Kangra Valley Line links Pathankot via Kangra to Jogindernagar but it's very slow and more of a train buff's curiosity than a viable means of transport for most visitors.