Dharamshala is a city located in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh and Mcleodganj is just 5 km from Dharamshala and is known as upper Dharamshala. Well, Mcleodganj is one of my favorite places to visit in Himachal Pradesh. Travelers from all over the world visit this place for various reasons. Some for vibrant monasteries, stunning scenic views, quaint cafes, thrilling adventure activities, and some come here to experience the spiritual aura, to learn Buddhism, and hear the Dalai Lama's teachings on life. From treks to strolls, hot beverages to delicious foods, spiritual places to boat rides, the place has it all. All these combinations of things this place has to offer have made this place a popular holiday destination for every age group.
I am going to write about my 1 Day and 1 night spent in this beautiful place. So Let's begin, I was traveling solo, and reached Dharamshala around 5:00 pm, got into a local bus and there I was in Mcleodganj in another 20 mins, all smiling, cheerful and excited to start my trip. It is not difficult to find hotels there so after reaching I checked few hotel rooms and finalized one which was offering me the mountain views. So, I guess it was a good start for me, kept my luggage, got ready, and immediately left to explore the place and the market in the city. I visited one of the cafés nearby, a band was performing there, good music, good food, no phone calls, no chaos, no city hustles and a very simple and pleasant evening all for myself.
Overall, the day was amazing, I went back to my room after visiting the local market as the next day was big, I had plans to visit a couple of places which I will be discussed below in this post.
I started my day by opening the window of my room, gazing at the beautiful mountains, and feeling the chilled weather. Thanks to Almighty for giving me a chance to follow my passion. I was all decked up to explore the city, ate the amazing aloo parathas, and had a nice cup of tea which is a must when you are in mountains.
I decided to take a walk to Namgyal Monastery which was not far from my hotel, I bought some souvenirs and Tibetan prayer flags for myself and friends from street shops there. On the way, you will find a couple of places offering beautiful scenic views where you should take a picture if you are a photo freak. And in no time, I realized I am at Namgyal Monastery, a prominent place for monks all over the world. The Dalai Lama resides here when he is in the town. The monastery looks vibrant, the prayer wheels, the décor, the Tibetan style architecture, the meditation halls, the color scheme is visually appealing and mesmerizing.
Do not forget to take around in the monastery, as from there you can see Dhauladhar ranges very closely. This magical experience will be a natural therapy to soothe all your senses. Those snow-clad mountains have immense things to say. Pay attention to it.
After seeing the monastery, I returned to the place from where I started and decide to hike up to Bhagsu Waterfalls. There is one place from where you can see the entire Mcleodganj while do not forget to capture this city eye view. It is so colorful, awesome and a visual treat to the eyes.I could not see the waterfalls as my cab came to pick me up and we headed to Dharamshala.
This Cricket stadium is undoubtedly one of the prettiest cricket stadiums in India surrounded by the snow-capped peaks of the Dhauladhar mountains that create a majestic backdrop up close. The colors, the background, the serene environment everything is so perfect here.
After spending half an hour in the stadium, I headed to Gyuto Tantric Monastery where many Bollywood movie songs have been shot. Gyuto Monastery, with its yellow exteriors, and the backdrop of snow-covered mountains look stunning. I was awestruck at the first sight and was secretly admiring it for hours. This monastery imparts education in tantric rituals and Buddhist philosophy. A peaceful place, monks in their maroon robes, prayers, monks discussing the philosophy, imparting education to young kid monks, worth a visit.
After the monastery visit, I went to Chinmaya Tapovan which place offers tranquillity to its seekers. A huge statue of Lord Hanuman, a meditation complex along with a recreation center, and a school are the attraction here.
There are a couple of other places to visit if you have time like Norbulingka Institute, War Memorial, Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, Nechung Monastery, St. John In the Wilderness Church, Agjankar Mahadev Temple, Kalachakra Temple, and Dharamkot Village. You can also trek if you want to Triund Trek or Hanuman ka Tibba.
And after seeing all these places, it was already evening, I stopped by one of the cafés nearby river, the views were fantastic and amazing. I chose to sit at a table near the river so that I can hear the music of flowing water and can admire the mountains closely while having a cup of tea, samosa and momos. By far, this was one of my most favorite places to be around in Dharamshala.
As my bus was late in the night, so I decided to go to Kharota valley, which is a small village in Kangra district, located 17 km towards the south of Dharamshala. It was a good drive to that place though roads were not built, construction was still going on. We hopped on one of the resorts that are Dharamshala Village Resort before catching my bus to head towards Manali.
By Air: Gaggal Airport (13 km from Dharamshala) is the nearest airport.
By Rail: Pathankot Junction (90 km from Dharamshala) is the nearest railway station.
By Road: Mcleodganj Bus Terminal is very well connected by buses from all the major cities like Amritsar and Delhi.
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