McLeod Ganj Diaries
McLeod Ganj is a hill station located near Dharamshala. It is a unique amalgamation of British and Tibetan influence. It is very well known town all around the world. Surrounded with hills, valleys, lush green landscapes and streams, it is a perfect place to hide out from that city noise. There are lots of trekking spots in and around Mcleod Ganj. Local places you can see when you are in McLeod Ganj:
- Galu temple
Galu temple is located at the altitude of 2100 metres above the sea level. This temple is of goddess Durga. It is one of the many famous temples in Dharamshala, which is surrounded by nice deodar trees and forest. It is also the highest point in McLeod Ganj with eye catching view of kangra valley. This temple very common with the trekkers as it is starting point to go towards Triund trek. It is also common amongst the locals, it is a pilgrim center. This temple is about 2 kilometer walk from Dharamkot quite easy to get to. If you want a quiet and peaceful place for yourself in between the hills, it is a perfect place to enjoy the lush green valleys around.
- Bhagsu waterfall
It is very well known and a common tourist attraction in McLeod Ganj. This refreshing waterfall is near bhagsu village. Bhagsu village is 7000 feet above sea level. And the 30 feet waterfall is surrounded by beautiful kangra valley. The path towards the waterfall is very beautiful and really serene. You can enjoy the lovely background along with the view from the top. The water is freezing cold which is why it’s a perfect for a summer getaway from the city heat. You can sip some nice hot drink from the cafes close by while you are enjoying the beauty of the waterfall. There are number of these small cafes to eat from. The Bhagsunag temple which is devoted to lord Shiva is also some 300 steps away, it also common amongst the travelers. This lovely location that is full blast of nature should be in your list of places to visit in these mountains. A must see for sure!
- Tibetan temple
McLeod Ganj is known for its beautiful monasteries, temples art and culture. This town is also very famous as it is a place of Dalai Lama. Here lies this huge Tibetan temple, with serene calm, ornamental façade, vibrant praying halls. This temple complex is huge with very culturally rich aesthetics, from prayer wheels to burning candles to wonderful hymns. The chanting leaves very powerful vibrations and energies within and around, it definitely is worth experiencing.
Lots of people go there to visit this temple, from across the world. It offers teaching of Buddhism. One can also see larger than life statues of Lord Buddha, Padmasambhara and Avaloktarshwara. It is a popular site amongst locals and tourists. There is a Buddhist hospital next to this temple where it is believed the monks can cure a disease like cancer let alone rest of the diseases. A must visit to witness the gush of vibrant energy and rich culture.
You must be wondering what could be special about a stadium. However it is very different and popular tourist site. This stadium lies right in between the Himalayan ranges, from here you can even see these snow capped mountains. It is a home ground for Ranji matches and other domestic matches. With lovely views and cold breeze, Dharamshala cricket stadium is located at 1457 meters above sea level. It happens to be one of the highest sports grounds in the world. The stadium has hosted a couple of IPL matches as home stadium for Kings XI Punjab. Since it one of the highest ground it is unique and picturesque.
- Tea estate Dharamshala –
It is possibly the smallest tea region in India. Even though it’s small it doesn’t disappoint the travelers. It is very nicely organized gardens, with narrow lanes you can walk around. The gardens are spread across Kangra valley, offering amazing view. It is spread around beautifully fused with nature and fragrance of fresh tea leaves only adds to its scenic site. You can spend hours here just strolling around the peaceful estate and even pick few fresh mountain tea leaves from here. It’s a perfect place for a nice picnic. There is also a lake that flows through, close by.
- Kangra fort –
This famous fort attracts lots of travelers. It was built by royal Rajput family of Kangra state in Katoch dynasty. It is the largest fort in the Himalayas and probably the oldest dated fort in India built 3500 years ago. This fort is in the outskirts of Dharamshala, somewhere around 20 kilometers from town. The fort has an amazing architecture with its big courtyards, doors, vintage gateways and lovely temples. Even the statues from that era add to the beauty and take us to this era. The view from the top of the fort, overlooking the two rivers that merge is breathtaking. You can enjoy the lovely sunset from the fort. You must also go to Maharaja Sansar Chand Katoch Museum that is located close by. There are plenty of eateries around to enjoy the local regional food.
If you enjoy old ruins, history and architecture, then this fort should definitely be in your list.
- Kangra temple –
It is also known as Shree Vajreshwari Mata mandir. It is a Hindu temple known for its legendary wealth. Legend has it that it was raided by various invaders. It was destroyed in 1905 earthquake and built again in 1920. It continues to serve pilgrims and other travelers. One of the pillars at the entrance still has some inscriptions which gives the idea of that period. The temple pillars are carved in wonderfully that depict various Hindu gods and goddesses. According to legends this temple was built on charred breast of Sati. It is considered to be a sacred Hindu pilgrim center. It is one of the busiest centers in the hills, over a thousand years old, this spot is a must visit spot that shouldn’t be missed.
- Local market –
To experience the local art, culture, crafts and food, local market is a definite visit. McLeod Ganj is famous for its local items like colorful Tibetan mats, carpets, jewellery, healing stones, pendants, mandala paintings, idols etc. There are lots of things to explore in the market even if you aren’t a shopping fanatic.
There are different markets like Kotwali Bazaar a street market bustling with locals, there are small shops around the entire market. You will get exotic sculpture and everyday items here. Apart from this there is Jogibara road with lots of stalls with unique gifts and items. A few steps away from Jogibara road is McLeod Ganj Central square where you find lovely wooden carvings and Thangka tapestry paintings.
McLeod is a shopper’s delight. You would still be amazed by the unique and different variety that the market offers.
- Dal lake –
This beautiful lake has been named after the famous Dal lake in Kashmir. This serene lake is near Tota rani village in Kangra district. This lake also has a Shiv temple on its bank which is why it also considered sacred spot. Flanked by lush greenery it is a favorite spot amongst the travelers. The entire lake is surrounded by beautiful deodar trees which add to the scenic beauty of this lake.
It is common spot for locals as well as tourists. Lake has lots of fishes as well as snakes. So swimming is not really a very good idea.
McLeod is a paradise for the travelers and is amongst the most beautiful and serene places in India. With a good blend of Indian and Tibetan culture this place is remarkably beautiful.