Of all the places I have visited, Mcleodganj is the closest to my heart. The panoramic view of Dhauladhars, Tibetan monks wearing saffron and maroon robes, prayer flags and the deep green valleys, leaves me tingling with excitement. I literally get goosebumps whenever I rewind my Mcleodganj memories. Mcleodganj pumps in positivity and rekindles life into me. From a tourist’s eye, its one of the best places in Himachal to visit. Kangra, Dharamshala, Dharamkot, Naddi, Triund and Bhagsu, all lie in same vicinity. Starting with Mcleodganj, here are the top 10 places to visit in Mcleodganj –
1) Triund Hill
9 km from Mcleodganj and an easy trekking trail in Mcleodganj, Triund is a popular place among trekkers. The starting point of this trail is Dharamkot. From their it is 6 km trek to reach its top. Enroute you see can see the complete Dharamshala city and other nearby villages. You can do camping at the top. There are couple of shops on the top to refill your tummy. The evening sky looks beautiful from triund and you can see the milky way at night. Triund trek is a must do thing in Mcleodganj.
2) Bhagsu Waterfall
Located in Bhagsu which is 2km from Mcleodganj, Bhagsu Waterfall is an amazing place to visit in Mcleodganj. It takes around 45 min if you are planning to go on foot from Mcleodganj as one has to undertake a little hike to reach the fall. The waterfall is beautiful and the water was clear and icy cold. Shiva Cafe is just 10 mins further uphill from the fall.
Situated at one end of the road to McLeodGanj, Tsuglagkhang Monastery is the home of his holiness Dalai Lama. It is a temple cum resedential complex open to all. It is the primary temple of Buddhist complex, where Lama provides audiences to his followers and the Buddhist monks also live in the quarters especially built for them. One should visit this monastery to see the monks wearing maroon robes with prayer beads in hand and debating with other monks. Also from the temple complex, one can see the beautiful Kangra valleys.
4) St. John’s Church
St. John in the Wilderness Church, an Anglican church dedicated to John the Baptist built in 1852. This magnificent church is built amid the picturesque valley of Mcleodganj and is located about 8 kms away from Dharamshala. It is ideally situated in the majestic ‘Deodar’ forest in the wilderness. The church is at walkable distance from the Mcleodganj bus stand.This classic church, which has a Christian cemetery surrounding it, has lovely glass windows and boost amazing architectural design.
5) Bhagsunath Temple
A temple surrounded by lush greenery and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple has been highly revered by the Hindus and the Gorkha Community. The sacred shrine is famed for its two pools that are believed to have healing properties. The best time to visit Bhagsunath Temple is during the annual fair that takes place here in the month of September. The Dal Lake, Kotwali Bazaar and Bhagsu Fall are the main attractions around this holy shrine.
Dharamkot is a small hill station in Kangra district in the state of Himachal Pradesh, India. On the crest of a hill above McLeodGanj, Dharamkot is an attractive spot that presents a wide view of the Kangra Valley and the Dhauladhar ranges. There are a couple of small (and interesting) eateries around. It is also the start point for triund trek.
7) Norbulingka Institute
Norbulingka Institute is dedicated to the preservation of the Tibetan culture in its literary and artistic forms. It is a 28 year old Institute that reconciles the traditional creatively and respectfully with the modern, and seeks to create an international awareness of Tibetan values and their expression in art and literature. Norbulingka produces high quality, traditionally crafted art objects, as well as clothing and home furnishings. Free guided tours of the institute are available to visitors every day except Sunday. Workshop are also offered for those wishing to study Tibetan arts.
One of the most beautiful place to be near McLeodganj, located in the upper reaches of the Kangra Valley. The view from Naddi is just breathtaking. Naddi is in the shadow of the Dhauladhar mountains and is surrounded by pine, Himalayan oak, and rhododendron.
9) Tibetan Museum
The Tibet Museum is located near the main temple of the 14th Dalai Lama, Tsuglagkhang, in the Dharamsala suburb of McLeod Ganj. The Tibet Museum aims to disseminate knowledge of Tibetan history and culture while raising awareness of the occupation of Tibet and the ongoing human rights abuses committed by China. Established in 1998, the Tibet Museum now has a collection comprising over 30,000 photographs, a traveling exhibition, and a permanent exhibition that documents the Tibetan journey into exile across the Himalayan ranges. The Tibet Museum’s mission is to document, preserve, research, exhibit and educate the public on all matters related to the Tibetan history and culture.
10) Namgyal Monastery
Namgyal Gompa is a place where the Tibetan monks indulge in debate inside the Tsuglagkhang complex, which is an important observation as monks form groups and debate over various topics, with participation by each and every of the monks. Namgyal Monastery is also known as Dalai Lama’s Temple. Watching the monks debate in the monastery is a must do thing in Mcleodganj.
Mcleodganj is also very popular for its cafes. It has some of the best cafes which are entirely different than those urban cafes. No hustle and quite like the mountains. Some of these cafes are so good, coming here for a moment makes you think, this is what we live for. Checkout the top 5 cafes in Mcleodganj by clicking here.