Residence to his holiness Dalai Lama and several/numerous Tibetan people. For me, Mcleodganj has a special memory because of its tranquillity, cultural background and amazing sightings all compiled into one recollection of the amazing experience.
A summer holiday and it was time to backpack into the midst of Himachal Pradesh so I chose Mcleodganj for my summer trip and in easy words, I will say that it did not disappoint me. (click here if you want to know about me)
Right after you put your feet in the land of Mcleodganj you will get a sense of its holiness and peace. From your first breath of its raw natural breeze, you exhale all of your stress and tension and relieve yourself to the legendary holy spirit of Mcleodganj.
It is situated at an elevation of about 2080 metres in the lap of legendary Dhauladhar Ranges within Kangra District known as “Little Lhasa” or “Dhasa” is a residence to his holiness Dalai Lama. It is populated mostly by the inhabitants from Tibet and the local Himachalies searching for a place to work.
First of all, this is not a guide for Mcleodganj it is more of personal experience.
I reached Mcleodganj around 9 o’ clock in the morning and right after I came outside of the bus I was served with an amazing sight from the bus stand itself. While strolling through the city early morning it was definitely evitable that people here are early morning riser.
The first thing you can do in Mcleodganj is to grab a plate of momos which is the most famous thing to eat in Mcleodganj and there are many available right on the main chowk, so I quickly had a plate of Momos and started searching for cheap hotels and accommodation available in Mcleodganj.
TIP:- Don’t Book hotels online you will get a cheap hotel in Mcleodganj just ask shopkeepers for a cheap hotel or accommodation.
Places to See in Mcleodganj:
Namgyal Monastery also referred as “Dalai Lama’s Temple” is situated in Mcleodganj consisting of up to 200 monks to the present day.
With a beautiful entrance, you enter into this holy temple of Dalai Lama with calmness and monks surrounding you. One can stroll around the residence area for monks to the beautiful Buddhist sculpture all around the monastery.
In early mornings you can come here to do meditation with many others. While at night around 8 o’ clock you can be allured by the presence of Dalai Lama with his fellow monks, doing their routine prayers and discussion. Both are must-do activities in Namgyal Monastery.
If interested definitely give a visit to the Tibet Museum which is at the entrance of Monastery.
St. John’s Church in the Wilderness
With its neo-gothic architecture and the location between the forests of Mcleodganj, you can definitely see the stroll of time it has survived. Built-in 1852 and again refurbished in 1913 this church is also a memorial ground for James Bruce(Viceroy of India).
This church is beautiful in its own sense unlike other churches with it’s the rustic black colour to the colourful windows inside the church and the presence of Deodar forest around it which hosts you, unlike any other church.
It is very close to Mcleodganj, so close that it is at a comfortable walking distance from Mcleodganj.
Dal Lake Mcleodganj
You can directly skip this place (advisable) as this place as it will not serve you with divine memory.
The most overrated place in Mcleodganj, Dal Lake. Coming here with a lot of expectation just like you will, I was sufficiently disappointed, there is no life of beauty surrounding it so much, and the mismanagement is making it worse with plastic surrounding the water with the combination of unimpressed beauty gives this a place, a must avoid place in Mcleodganj. Don’t get fooled by the pictures present on the internet like me.
Naddi View Point
Approximately an hour walking distance or 20-30 min drive will get you to the Naddi Village. As soon as you set your foot here you will be served by the grand and magnetic view of the peaks of legendary Dhauladhar Ranges. There are several chai points and eating stations here with variation from momos to a plate of cheese omelette.
As the sun was setting, we were served by the biggest attraction of this place which is watching a sunset from the viewpoint where sun started shying away from all the people beneath the ranges of Dauladhar.
If you reach here early you can visit one more attraction which is Naddi river about 5 km. away.
A lush green valley situated in the foot of Dauladhar Ranges – Triund is beautifully carved by the gods of Himalaya to feel the cosiness of Dauladhar.
The most beautiful experience of my journey was trek to Triund which is just a 10 km hike from Dharamkot, cutting through the beautiful oak forest and the enchanting view of the valley you reach Triund in 3-4 hours.
Watching the sunset, Stargazing, Clicking pictures or just absorbing its tranquillity make Triund a must go place while on your trip to Mcleodganj.
Want to know more about Triund? Read about it here Triund | A beginner’s Delight.
Though I will not recommend it strongly because I myself could not visit it.
Situated close to another major attraction knowns as Bhagsunath Temple. It is a waterfall situated in the midst of Mcleodganj.
Here you can take a dip inside the water as it is considered holy.
Depends on your timings you visit here as this fall is really thin during winters and most at its peak during monsoon weather.
Must go Places in Mcleodganj :
Triund, Namgyal Monastery and Naddi View Point
Reasons To Visit Mcleodganj
- Beautiful Dhauladhar and Monasteries: If you are reading this then you already know which is one of the main reasons to visit Mcleodganj which is its surreal Dhauladhar ranges and monasteries which you can delve into.
- Tibet culture: Mcleodganj is a great place to get a peek into the culture and lifestyle of Tibetan people.
- Flexibility: Mcleodganj is a destination which is perfectly carved by the gods for any type of person you are. A great destination for all kinds of travellers around the world from solo to group traveller; family to couple traveller; old to young; fun to peace-seeking traveller.
- Affability: Apart from amazing peaks and beautiful monasteries the biggest reason to visit Mcleodganj is that of its people. The folks of Mcleodganj the most lovely and friendly people which will help you with anything.
- Affordability: Mcleodganj is one of those places which can be explored by anyone with a cheap budget. Like I did it under Rs 3100.
- Safety for female travellers: Mcleodganj is perfectly safe for every person coming here especially the female and their fellow travellers. The biggest example of this was when I was coming back from Naddi viewpoint by foot and it was around 7:30 PM the sky was pitch black and I started getting worried as living in a city like Delhi gives you. When the next car came I just casually put up my hand up in the air and the car stopped inviting to hitchhike with them till Mcleodganj and guess who those people were from…Delhi.
- Adventure activities: Mcleodganj is a base for many amazing treks like Triund trek and Kareri Lake trek.
Reasons not to visit Mcleodganj
You must also be thinking like me after listening and reading about all these amazing attractions and experience in Mcledganj that there are no reasons not to visit Mcleodganj?
But guess what Mcleodganj is also caught up in the tourist overflow as it was evitable when I was coming to the bus stop to catch my returning bus and the day was Friday we were invited with long and tedious traffic coming into Mcleodganj.
So if You are a person who loves tranquillity and peace Don’t Visit Mcleodganj at Weekends.
In the End, my Trip to Mcleodganj was beautiful and served me with amazing and alluring memory.
“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.”
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Just like Mcleodganj, I really loved Jibhi which is essentially quite little town tucked away in the mountains of Jibhi, do check out my Jibhi travel blog before travelling there.