It is one of the most sought after hill station by all youngsters and now I know why. If you want to have a relaxing vacation in mountains or are up for a nice #trekking experience at Triund then this is the place to be.
I went there with a group of friends during my MBA at FMS,Delhi. Took an overnight bus from Delhi to #McLeodGanj. I was really excited because this place has totally different culture than other hill stations like Shimla, Manali, Coorg etc.
“In March 1959, Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, fled to India after the failed uprising in 1959 in Tibet against the Communist Party of China. The Indian Government offered him refuge in Dharamshala, where he set up the Government of Tibet in exile in 1960, while McLeod Ganj became his official residence and also home to several Buddhist monasteries and thousands of Tibetan refugees.”
When to visit?
Best time to visit Mcleodganj/ Dharamshala is from September to December and Mid-March to Mid-July. Otherwise you will be poured with heavy rain and landslides and worse is dry season wherein there is no sign of waterfall and no greenery to enjoy.
Where to stay?
McLeod ganj is too crowded and touristy so me and my friends decided to take a small walk to a nearby small town named #Bhagsunag. It was 20-30 min walk from the main square at McLeod Ganj. You will find a lot of hotels in Bhagsunag that are much more economical. Be ready to bargain as prices will be at surge during season.
Places to visit and to satisfy your hunger pangs:
My journey started with the beautiful #waterfallatBhagsunag. It is like another waterfall yes but the view and the natural peace made me feel relaxed and calm. While walking there we crossed a small market and visited the Bhagsu Nag Shiv Mandir. The stairs to the waterfall are kind of tiring but if you are with a group of friends in such a picturesque place everything is fun. At the top you can enjoy food and drinks at #ShivaCafé, which is average but it’s only good place to have some. The view from top while you are sitting in the cool breeze catching the clouds in your hands is a thrilling and peaceful experience.
There was an amazing German Bakery not the one near Café Bhagsu but more inside on the road to Gallu Devi temple near Shiva Parvati Temple. We loved the food there and my friend took recipes from the guy too from which you can guess the quality :P .#Fourseasonscafé offered the best thukpa, chicken momos, soups, pizza, banana pancake etc etc if I had a longer stay I would have had each and every dish there. It is a very small joint so don’t judge by looks as they are mostly deceiving :P You can sit and read your novel or other novels in their bookshelf and enjoy their mouthwatering authentic Tibetan food. Other good cafes are Jimmy’s Italian, Nick’s Italian Kitchen, Woeser Bakery, Hooka bar etc on the small lane at the main square.
Then we decided to see the McLeod ganj. There are a lot of antiques, jewellery, designer woollens, Kashmiri shawls, hand-made musical instruments, singing bowls, Buddha statues etc but be ready to bargain a lot and enquire from various places before you buy. I really liked the work and variety available but settling at a reasonable price is a fight. Though the variety and artwork is unmatchable so I would recommend you to buy singing bowls, Buddha statues and pashmina shawls for sure else you might end up regretting like me :P
To get a true sense of Buddhism you must visit #GyutoMonastery known for its study of Tantric meditation, Tantric ritual arts and Buddhist philosophy. This is an extremely serene and peaceful place to spend an afternoon among the clouds. #TsuglagKhang houses the famous #Namgyalmonastery, a museum, a café, a book shop, a library and the private residence of the Dalai Lama.
The next destination was #DalLake. It is beautiful lake is set amidst lush green Deodar forests at a distance of 2 Km from from Mcleod Ganj market. I would suggest taking a cab or auto. An annual fair is held here in August or September, and is attended mainly by the Gaddi Community. Passing this lake make sure you go to the #sunsetpoint as the view is breathtaking with sky and mountains merging in each other while the sun sets spreading its colourful rays onto the snow to make it look blue and orange. It is impossible to describe the view that I witnesses there.
For all trekking lovers #Triund is the place you must go to. It is a one-day trek 10 kilometres (one way) from McLeod Ganj bus stand and many do camping there as well. During extreme rains and snowy season the trek is closed and unfortunately I went when rainy season began. But for all enthusiasts here is a detailed description you may refer to this link.
This covers my experiences of my trip to Mcleod Ganj. Hope you enjoy yours and explore all the scenic places.