If you are looking for a short 3-4 days relaxing break from your hectic schedule, try a trip to McLeod Ganj. The breathtaking beauty of this Dharamshala suburb (9kms) makes it the perfect haven for the tired city denizens. The tranquil surroundings can be credited to McLeod Ganj’s historical link with Buddhism and His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama. The serenity and beauty of the township has attracted even celebs, like Richard Gere.
Best Way to Travel
Approximately 500kms from Delhi, the best way to travel to Mcleod Ganj is via bus. You can take a bus from ISBT Sarai Kale Khan and arrive at this quaint, clean little township in 12 hours. McLeod Ganj does not have a railway station. The nearest station is Pathankot (90 km). The Gaggal airport is situated 15kms south of Dharamshala.
While tourists can easily spend all their time admiring the natural beauty of the mountain ranges, pine and oak trees and the deodar forest, there are several attractions of Mcleod Ganj. The must-sees include:
Bhagsunath Temple – This medieval temple is situated 3kms from the center of McLeod Ganj. Named after King Bhagsu, legend has it that the King stole water from the Nag Dal Lake, thus incurring the wrath of the Naag Devta (Snake God). This resulted in a battle between the two formidable forces. This shrine was built by the King to commemorate the occasion of being pardoned by the Snake God. The temple is frequented both by the Hindus and the Gorkha communities.
Bhagsu Waterfall – Located very close to the Bhagsunath Temple, the waterfall is a tourists’ delight. It has a cascade of 30ft during the monsoons. The water from the Fall flows through the Bhagsunath Temple and is collected into two holy pools. Devotees believe that a dip in the cold water of the pool can relieve them of their miseries.
Triund Hill – The hill is located 9kms from the town. There are chances that you get to catch a glimpse of some snow birds or a musk dear. A clear day is bound to leave you spellbound with the picturesque views of Kangra. If you wish to a wide-angle view of the Triund, you have to visit the Shri Kunal Pathri Devi temple. That’s the highest point of Triund. The entire trek from McLeod Ganj to Triund is covered with oak and deodar trees.
Food stuffs are slightly expensive in Triund due to the cost of transportation. Soft drinks and bottled water can cost you anything between 45 – 55 INR. And a cup of tea is for 20 INR. A plate of rice, pulses or noodles might come up to more than 100 INR.
For all the Himachal lovers, if you have not yet visited McLeod Ganj, mistaking it for a small, inconsequential town, think again! Small it is! But, inconsequential, NO way!
- The Golden Temple and Dharmsala (wendyandpatricktravels.wordpress.com)
- Dharamsala (deanhenderson.wordpress.com)
- Dalai Lama: I would love to see Mandela once more (dailymaverick.co.za)
- His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama Donates $1,000,000 to Mind & Life Institute (prweb.com)
- On Travel: The Dalai Lama in more detail. (oliverdench.wordpress.com)