Mcleodganj is a quaint town in the suburbs of Dharamshala located in Kangra district. It is one of the best places to visit in Himachal Pradesh. Named after Lord David McLeod, an English Lieutenant governor of Punjab in 1848, this hill station enjoys a huge footfall of tourists in the months of June and September. Known for its ethereal beauty, this place is extremely popular among both Indian and foreign tourists. Nestled amidst majestic hills and lush greenery, this town is culturally blessed by a prominent Tibetan influence owing to the major settlement of Tibetans here. It is also home to the Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama. With an interesting mix of travellers, volunteers, maroon-robed monks and nuns, the international dharma crowd and an increasing flow of Indian tourists, you’re never far from an interesting conversation here. You can take courses in Buddhism, meditation or yoga, trek in the Dhauladhar mountains, shop for Tibetan crafts, or just hang out and enjoy the low-budget spiritual/alternative vibe and the many good cafes and restaurants dishing up Indo-Italo-Israeli-Tibetan food. Here we have put together some of the best places to visit in Mcleodganj and the best way to reach this beautiful hilly town is by hiring a car rental in Delhi and drive yourself to this place.
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Far off from the hustle and bustle of cities, a trek to Triund in Mcleodganj offers you an escape into the majestic Himalayas. Situated a few kilometers from Dharamshala, it is a place perfect for trekking with amazing trails offering scenic views of the entire Kangra Valley. The Mcleodganj to Triund trek distance is 9 km and it is absolutely worth given the refreshing walks. The Triund trek comprises of undulating and steep but well-defined trails through the lush forests of green rhododendron and oak trees. So, there need not be any hassle about how to reach Triund or getting lost on the way.
Best time to visit: September-October and May-June
Whether you sleep on one of its wonderful time-warp houseboats or just stroll along the Boulevard savoring the sunset, beautifully serene Dal Lake, Mcleodganj, is likely to be your main memory of Srinagar. Mirror-flat waters reflect the Pir Panjal mountains, while Shikaras– gondola-like boats that are hand-powered with heart-shaped paddles – glide by. Canal-like passages run all the way to Nagin Lake, passing gardens that supply much of the city’s fresh produce; you’ll see it sold at a floating vegetable market or unloaded for onward transportation at little jetties like Mirzabagh.
This enchanting waterfall located about 11 km is one of the best places to visit in Mcleodganj, from Dharamshala and is easily approachable by road. It is one of the best tourist attractions in Dharamshala and is known for its old temple and freshwater springs. The height of this waterfall is approximately 20 meters and it is an absolute marvel to look at, especially during the monsoon. Through pine trees, north and east of McLeod lie the villages of Bhagsu (officially Bhagsunag), which is a more rural and laid-back alternative than McLeod itself. These are the abodes of choice for many budget travellers and long-stayers, and especially popular among Israelis. Here you can take classes in tarot, Reiki, numerology, crystal healing and varieties of yoga you’ve never heard of, do sitar, tabla or flute lessons, get or learn to give a dozen types of massage, have your hair dreadlocked, dyed or extended, or just lounge in cafes and practise your juggling. Some of the area’s best and most serious yoga and meditation schools are here too.
Namgyal Monastery is also the home of the Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama and the largest Tibetan temple outside Tibet. This beautiful monastery founded in the 16th century by the second Dalai Lama is the best place to visit in Mcleodganj if you want to enjoy some peace and tranquillity. The monastery currently houses around 200 Tibetan monks, who help preserve the monastery’s ancient rituals, artistic skills and traditions. The beauty of this monastery is so evident that even those who are not particularly inclined towards this religion will be fascinated by the serene ambience all around and by the imposing figures of the Buddha. If you are a self-drive enthusiast, then you will surely want to book a car rental in Delhi and enjoy the ride all the way through this town.
Tsuglagkhang is the place where the Dalai Lama resides. It is one of the most significant places of worship which attracts devotees from all over the world and serves tourists as well. This complex includes a monastery, various stupas and temples, a museum, a library, a bookstore and a cafe. Except for the Dalai Lama’s residence, every other part of the complex is open for tourists. If lucky, one can even get to meet His Holiness. The complex houses a beautiful statue of Lord Buddha as well as statues of Chenrezig and Guru Rinpoche.
Situated on the outskirts of the town of Kangra, in the state of Himachal Pradesh, the Kangra Fort is witness to thousands of years of grandeur, invasion, war, wealth and evolution. This mighty fort traces its origins to the ancient Trigarta Kingdom, which is mentioned in the Mahabharata epic. Almost every ruler in history, be it an invader or a native ruler have tried to lay control over the Kangra fort. Kangra fort is located atop a hill on the base of which the river Banganga and Patal Ganga embrace each other. There are plenty of doors in this fort which are made by the rulers of several dynasties. The fort houses 3 temples- Ambika Devi Temple, the Shitlamata Temple, and Lakshmi Narayan Temple.
This cozy little cafe is popular with Tibetans, including monks and nuns, as well as travelers, for dining on tasty momos, thukpa and thenthuk (soup of short flat noodles with veggies/cheese/egg/tofu).
Where: Main Mall, McLeod Ganj, Dharamsala 176219, India
The daily set menus are the best choice at this popular, vegetarian Japanese restaurant. On Tuesdays and Fridays when they include delectable sushi rolls and miso soup. The food and ambiance are authentic enough to attract Japanese travelers looking for a taste of home. This is one of the best places to eat in Mcleodganj in you want to enjoy authentic Japanese cuisine.
Where: Jogibara Rd, McLeod Ganj, Dharamsala, India
Nestled in the scenic Strawberry Hills with beautiful views of the snow-capped Dhauladhar mountain range and the pristine Dharamshala valley, Fortune Park Moksha is located just 6 km from the main square. This leisure hotel in McLeod Ganj provides guests easy access to all the main tourist attractions in and around the town. Located at a driving distance from Delhi NCR, this is a hotel for recreation, family and corporate bonding, and a select venue for conferences.
Where: Strawberry Hills, Near Dal Lake, Satobari, McLeod Ganj, Dharamshala 176216