Mcleodganj (Upper Dharamsala), 6 km from Dharamsala (also known as Lower Dharamsala), is in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh. I came here as I was told that it was a good place to do meditation in the mountains and also because I wanted to tick mark the Triund trek from my to-do list. The flying prayer flags on every corner, mountain tops surrounded by white clouds, the saffron-clad monks with Prayer beads and spinning prayer wheels justified my hopes. I felt like I was in some other dimension.
Everything was so beautiful and so picturesque. I got what I wanted. A clear blue sky, scenic landscapes, cold winds, beautiful valleys and temples. I was in love with the place and I decided to explore Mcleodganj.
Pro Tip: Mcleodganj is best explored on foot.
I booked my stay in Hill Town, which was on Jogiwara road, around 1 km from the Mcleodganj bus stand. If you are planning to visit Mcleodganj, I would recommend you to book any hotel on the Jogiwara road because from here you get a perfect view of the snow-capped peaks of the Dhauladhars. Some of the best cafes of Mcleodganj are on this road. I had 4 days to explore this wonderful place and so I created my itinerary.
Day 1: Bhagsu & Shiva Cafe.
Day 2: Dharamsala and to explore the best cafes [Read my blog on the best cafes of Mcleodganj here]
Day 3: To explore Mcleodganj & leave for Triund
Day 4: Back from Triund & back to Delhi
Here is a link to download the map of Mcleodganj. [Download here]
Day 1: After a sound sleep I started around 10 AM. I had my breakfast in McLlo Restaurant, which is at the heart of this small town. If you don’t have cash these days due to demonetization, try McLlo Restaurant or Black Magic, they accept cards. After breakfast I started for Bhagsu, which was 2 km from Mcleodganj. It took me nearly 45 mins to reach Bhagsu Waterfall. One has to undertake a little hike to reach the fall.
The waterfall was beautiful and the water was clear and icy cold. For someone like me who loves peaceful silence mixed the sound of the fall, this place filled me with all goodness. After spending around an hour here, I went to the Shiva Cafe, which was 10 mins further uphill from the fall. Shiva Cafe has beautiful art on display, pleasant flowers and offers food and beverages at a price that doesn’t hit your pocket. After spending couple of hours at the cafe, I went to Bhagsunath temple. The temple is surrounded by lush greenery and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It had an air of spirituality. I closed my eyes and for a moment it took me away! By evening I was back in Mcleodganj.
Day 2: I was excited today. You can’t afford to miss the eateries in Mcleodganj. I started with Cafe Illiterati, a cafe on the Jogiwara road towards Lower Dharamsala. The food was delicious. Sitting in the balcony with the Dhauladhars in front and an Italian breakfast menu along with freshly brewed coffee, and books all around you, what else you live for? Not sure how, but I spent around 4 hours in the cafe gazing the beautiful Dhauladhar range. Dharamsala was 2 km from here and I took me 20 minutes to reach. At the Dharamsala taxi stand, I booked a taxi for complete Dharamsala tour. The driver charged me Rs. 500 and it was pretty much worth it. I came back to Mcleodganj by evening and spent rest of my evening in Seed Cafe.
Day 3: After having breakfast at the Bogdo Cafe, I went to the Dalai Lama temple and spent sometime talking to the monks. If you are in Mcleodganj looking for peace and meditation, this is the place. Talk to Monks, sit in the temple and meditate. Nobody will disturb you. After spending some quite time at the temple, I started for the triund trek. Triund is 9 km from Mcleodganj. The trail is very beautiful with magnificent view of Dharamsala and other nearby villages. There are small shops en-route to refill you. With small pit-stops, it took me nearly 4 hours to reach the top. Triund probably deserves a night stay, to gaze the milky way and I did justice to the place. I pitched my tent on the top and spent a night in Triund. There are couple of shops and guest houses too.
Day 4: I started from Triund around 7 AM and was back in Mcleodganj by 11 AM. Since I had 5 hours still left in my hand, I again went back to the Dalai Lama temple to sit quietly and talk to the localities. People here are honest, helping, simple and they welcome and talk to you with great warmth. At 4 PM, I boarded by bus for Delhi.
Mcleodganj is a place that absorbs all negativity and bring out the positives of your life. It is truly an amazing place and a must see place. For me, an experience of a lifetime.