McLeod Ganj

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McLeod Ganj is the most popular place among trekkers, housed in the Kangra district and in the suburbs of the town of Dharamshala, McLeod Ganj, Himachal Pradesh. It is one of the most favorite tourist destinations of recent times. Because of being occupied by a lot many Tibetans who moved here after China’s invasion of their homeland, McLeod Ganj is also sometimes referred to as the Little Lhasa. It is also well liked for being the home to the famous Tibetan spiritual leader the 14th Dalai Lama. McLeod Ganj is eponymous by Sir Donald Friell McLeod, who was the Lieutenant Governor of Punjab and under whom the area of McLeod Ganj was developed. The place has emerged as a major Buddhist center as it clasps great and impressive monasteries with larger-than-life images of Buddha, Padmasambhava, and Avaloktwshwara. It represents the Tibetan community, who makes its existence felt in the city through traditional architectural designs, Tibetan handicrafts, culture, temples, and garments.

McLeod Ganj has one of the most mesmerizing landscapes in the whole state of Himachal Pradesh and attracts a lot of tourists throughout the year. The borough of McLeod Ganj, Dharamsala, Kangra, and Bhagsu Nag are situated very close to each other and tourists must cover all these places while traveling to India. Few of the well-known and religiously notable monasteries in India are located there, including the Tsuglagkhang and Namgyal Monastery, where the spiritual leader Dalai Lama resides. Tourists must also look in on the scenic Dal Lake and Triund, which are suitable for a clambake.

As mentioned before, there are a lot of astounding places you can visit in McLeod Ganj like Tibetan Museum, Triund, Dhauladhar Ranges, Bhagsunath Temple & Waterfall, Namgyal Monastery, Dharamkot, Minkiani Pass, Naddi View Point, Indrahar Pass, Dal Lake, Kangra Fort, The Dalai Lama’s Temple and many more.

Best Time to Visit

McLeod Ganj can be visited throughout the year and roads are within reach during all seasons. However, March-May is considered the best and safest months to travel, if you want to avoid the heat or travel here during October-December if you want to avoid chilly winters. Winter months get snowfall and you can love playing with snow in this part of Himachal.

Top Places to visit in McLeaod Ganj

Tsuglagkhang Temple

The Tsuglagkhang Temple is located at the southwest corner of McLeod Ganj. The temple is track down at the bottom of the hill with a iron gate and signs that read "Entrance to Temple." Tsuglagkhang Monastery is the most important Buddhist Monastery at a distance of two kilometers from McLeod Ganj Bus Stand and 4 km from Dharamshala. The Tsuglagkhang complex, home of the 14th Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of the exiled Tibetans, is considered a sacred haven for Tibetans. Tsuglagkhang is more than the official residence of the Dalai Lama, also called the Photang. It also has a Tibetan Museum, Namgyal Gompa, and the Tsuglagkhang temple.

Namgyal Monastery

Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual leader, is believed to have his abode at Namgyal Monastery in McLeod Ganj which is also the largest Tibetan temple outside Tibet. The 3rd Dalai Lama has established the Namgyal Monastery in 1575 in Tibet and was relocated to Dharamshala following the Tibetan uprising in 1959. Initially, this place was a monastery from the palace of Lhasa, which establish its new incarnation in Dharamshala.

Bhagsunath Temple

A medieval shrine, Bhagsunath temple is a Shiva Temple situated about 3kms from McLeod Ganj. The temple has been highly admired by the Hindus and the Gorkha Community. The sacred shrine is known for its two pools that are believed to have healing properties. The best time to travel and visit Bhagsunath Temple is in September during the annual fair. The Kotwali Bazaar, Dal Lake, and Bhagsu Fall are the main attractions around this holy shrine. Bhagsu Nag Mandir is an ancient temple that have been built by King Bhagsu from Rajasthan.

Triund Hill

Triund Hill is a wonderful and ideal trekking destination for those seeking a hassle-free taste of trekking in the lap of the Dhauladhar Mountains in the Himalayas. The place is cited as the crown jewel of Dharamshala, and offers a view of the picturesque mountain peaks on one side and the beautiful Kangra Valley on the other. Triund trek is a comparatively easy tranquil trek, which can be done by people of all ages The trek can easily be done over a weekend and the trail to Triund is short but steep. The steep climb in trek is well-compensated by reviving walks amongst rhododendron and oak trees. There are also various songbirds like Green-Backed tit and Gray Bushchat in the forests along the trail which make it a birdwatcher’s delight. The sunset is possibly the main highlight of the Triund Trek and what makes all trekkers stay overnight, camp at the ridge.

Dharamkot: A Spiritual village in the Indian Himalayas

India has long been luring spiritual seekers for decades since the days of the hippie trail. Dharamkot is a bohemian destination near McLeod Ganj area, absolute for a few days’ time off from real-world or months away if you’re fortunate enough to take time off work for that long. The aura of Dharamkot grows on you moderately and one can get totally hooked on to this place only in a couple of days. The tiny village of Dharamkot is marked with yoga and meditation centres, characterful cafés, and restful homestays. Despite an upward swing in commercial activity over the recent years, the small village retains much of its picturesque charm, with neatly terraced fields set against the majestic Dhauladhar Range, and walking trails through pine and cedar forests.

Kareri River Trek

Kareri Lake is a freshwater lake rugged amidst mountains with greenery all around, south of the Dhauladhar range approximately 10 km northwest of Dharamsala in Kangra district, Himachal Pradesh. Kareri village and lake are best known for being a trekking destination to most locals in Dharamshala. The Kareri village trail experience starts through pine forests. The Kareri lake (also known as Kumarwah Lake) rests frozen from early December to mid-April. This glacial Kareri lake trek will take you through a voyage of the most scenic views as it is home to dense conifers, exotic perennial flowers, and lush pasturelands. Birds such as the red-billed blue magpie and the black drongo are commonly seen.

Tibetan Museum

The Tibetan Museum is located in the suburban district of McLeod Ganj in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh. It is a fine snippet of Tibetan architecture and was primarily built to preserve the history and culture of Tibet. It is very close to the popular temple of Dalai Lama, popularly known as Tsuglagkhang, where his holiness resides. The museum has also been a major tourist attraction for visitors all across the globe and is regarded as the official museum of the Central Tibetan Administration Department of Information and International Relations. The Tibet Museum is purely a work of Tibetan workmanship that incorporates history reports, handiworks, earthenware, and various canvases There have been lectures and exhibitions that were conducted on the premises. The stories of the lives of people have been exhibited beautifully in the form of paintings and snaps.

Indrahar Pass Trek

Wonderful landscapes, glittering streams, Deodar Forest, magnificent peaks, steep ascent, and a view to die for, sums up the Indrahar Pass trek. On the support of the Dhauladhar range and traversing over diverse heights Indrahar pass has a floral diversity to compete with almost any other place in the entire world. The trail is fairly easy to follow and safe and a perfect combination of indulged nature and different colors of the Himalayas, it climbs from an elevation of 6,381 ft (McLeod Ganj) to 14,245 ft (Indrahar pass). The Indrahar pass breaks up the Chamba and the Kangra valley and gives out a view of the Dhauladhar range with tiny villages sitting under it. The trekking trail is having few boulder-prone regions which are a little perilous and must be trodden on with utmost caution.

How to Reach McLeaod Ganj

The nearest airport from McLeod Ganj is the Gaggal airport, located at a distance of only 10 km from nearby Dharamshala. This airport is linked to Delhi through frequent flights.

The nearest broad gauge railway station is Pathankot Cantt.(Chakki) at a distance of 91 km from McLeod Ganj and 88 km from Dharamshala and the nearest narrow gauge railway station is Kangra mandir railway station. Further, you can hire a taxi or direct bus.

McLeod Ganj are often reached from Dharamshala (10 km from Mcleodganj) also. Every means of transport well connects both the cities. From New Delhi, the distance is just about 500 km to Mcleodganj. You’ll take overnight Volvo buses or can hire a taxi direct to the destination.

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