This week, The Musafir Stories speaks to Antarik Anwesan, a vlogger and Youtuber as we take you to India’s Little Lhasa - McLeod Ganj!
Today's destination: McLeod Ganj, Himachal Pradesh!
Nearest Airport: DharamShala Airport, (DHM)
Nearest Railway Station: Pathankot (PTK)
Prerequisites -: N/A
Packing : Pack warm clothes as well as rain gear!
Time of the year : March to June, Oct to December
Length of the itinerary: 3-5 days
- Antarik starts off by talking about the historic connection of McLeod Ganj to Tibet and why it is also known as Little Lhasa or mini Tibet. We speak of the Tibetan government in exile and the time when HH Dalai Lama escaped Chinese rule in Tibet to set up home in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh.
- We begin talking about the places to cover in McLeod Ganj starting with the Tibetan quarters - Dalai Lama temple complex and his home. The Kalachakra temple and prayer hall is another prominent monument in town.
- Another scenic spot near the market area is the St. John in the Wilderness church that is a popular haunt of the tourists and locals and is renowned for its beautiful setting and neo-gothic architecture.
- We discuss the nearby villages of Dharamkot and Bhagsu Nag that form a great option for short trips from McLeod Ganj. Dharamkot is popular as the starting point for the Triund trek that gives you wonderful views of the Dhauladhar ranges.
- Bhagsu Nag is a beautiful village popular for the Bhagsu temple and waterfall. The other popular spot in the village is the Shiva cafe and the wonderful sights it offers. Naddi village is another closeby hamlet that is popular for its sunset views and the Dal lake. Another popular spot in the area is the Dharamshala cricket stadium that has stunning views of the Dhauladhar ranges.
- Gallu waterfall is another less explored gem that offers wonderful views and a quick dip.
- Going back to the Tibetan quarters, make sure to check out the Norbulingka Institute to explore Tibetan culture, tradition and art forms.
- The region also has some very interesting monasteries - Gyuto Monastery that offers an opportunity to meet and interact with the monks and observe the prayer sessions.
- Tsuglagkhang monastery complex and monastery is another prominent spot for checking out Tibetan art forms and ways of life of the Tibetan community in McLeod Ganj. There is a short hiking circuit called Kora circuit that has some great views of both the mountains and the monasteries. Tibetan institute of performing arts and Library of Tibetan archives are a couple other places that offer unique experiences for visitors.
- Wrapping up with the local eateries and cuisines, don’t forget to check out the popular places like Cafe Kalimpong for momos, Common Ground, Shiva cafe, Dudu falafel for middle eastern food. Cafes like moonshine, Raku’s place, Tibet kitchen, Norling, Chocolate log to name a few.
- Momos, thukpa, tibetan brown breads like tingmo, chole samosa, Bhagsu cake are some specialities of the region you should not miss out on.
- For shopping, there are several markets offering curios and trinkets from prayer flags to prayer wheels, souvenirs, thangka paintings, wooden carvings and carpets. Main market, Kotwali bazaar, jogibara road are some popular shopping haunts.
Antarik’s youtube:: https://www.youtube.com/c/AntarikAnwesan
Antarik on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/iamantarik/?hl=en
Antarik on Twitter: https://twitter.com/antarik
Cover Photo by Clasiqh - https://unsplash.com/@clasiqh
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