“The traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see.”Gilbert K. Chesterton
“McLeod ganj- the trip that brought me a step closer to myself”
The beautiful suburb of McLeod Ganj is approximately 470 kms (292 miles) away from Delhi. We decided to drive to the location and as part of the journey, enjoy the scenery and the “right out of the kitchen” dhaba food. Mr Husband and I were also accompanied by another couple. We took Laika (our tiny lovely dog) along too, for her much needed break. It took us around 9 hours to reach the destination and we received a chilly welcome. Driving through the foggy lanes and walking between raindrops, we reached our hotel. We had to settle with a budget hotel, as all other hotels we checked, did not allow pets.
McLeod Ganj is a suburb of Dharamshala in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh, India. It has an average elevation of 2,082 metres (6,831 feet).
welcome to the lovely suburb
I did many things for the first time while in McLeod Ganj. One of them that left a scar in my heart was my participation in the candle light march for the self-immolations in Tibet. The march was held to express solidarity with Tibetans, who self immolated protesting repressive Chinese rule in Tibet. I was a part of the 200-250 people including foreigners who participated in the march. Being a human, it is painful to know what humans do to humans.
We roamed around, ate in the most beautiful of cafes serving the best of Tibetan and Italian food, clicked lots of pictures and most importantly, walked around the street with no fear and regret in our hearts.
These were the places we visited during our short trip to the beautiful hill station-
Bhagsu Waterfall: This one is a beautiful waterfall at Bhagsu, around 2 kms away from McLeod Ganj. It is right behind the BhagsuNag Temple.A narrow lane leads towards the waterfall. We came across a hut that displayed many paintings and writings on stones. One of them, that I still remember anonymously wrote “And she was lost…only to find herself here again”. Certain sentences touch your heart, don’t they? Below are some of the views of the magnificent waterfall which is probably one of the best waterfalls I have ever seen. In one of them, you will see Mr Husband happily posing with an important message “Keep the river clean”.
Church of St. John in the Wilderness: It is an Anglican church located approximately 10 kms away from the McLeod Ganj bus stand. The neo-Gothic stone building of the church was constructed in 1852. The site also has a memorial of the British Viceroy- Lord Elgin, and an old graveyard. The church building is also noted for its Belgian stained-glass windows donated by Lady Elgin. Mr Husband and I decided to walk hand in hand along the main road downhill from the Bus Stand. The road is carved in between the magnificent pine trees and it took us around 10 mins to the reach the quiet of the church.
Market – Stupa and red and golden-colored prayer wheels: Besides the amazing bakeries and the handicraft market, there is a beautiful Stupa and prayer wheels located in the heart of the market. No wonder, the air in Mcleodgang makes way for peace. When the mind is at peace, you have the chance to meet your inner self.
Tsuglagkhang Complex, the palace of the Dalai Lama This complex is the official residence of the 14th Dalai Lama. We also visited Tsuglagkhang Temple which is also located in the same complex. You will see several people reciting hymns and indulging in physical exercise within the complex. The atmosphere is simply magical.
To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one’s family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one’s own mind. If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him.-Buddha
Naddi Sunset Point: Naddi is situated far away from the hustle and bustle of the McLeod Ganj market and provides complete peace of mind. Located in the heart of the mountains, it is definitely a treat for the eyes!! The area is well connected by a small drivable road.
Below are some pictures of ours –
All are random clicks. The first was clicked on the way to the Tsuglagkhang Complex, second-In Naddi Sunset point annd I am wearing a traditioonal Tibetan Chupa and the last one was clicked on the road to Bhagsu.
Laika loved McLeod Ganj too 🙂
Something that we missed
Trekking to Triund remained a dream during the trip as it was rainy season when we visited, and I had no regrets. Triund is undoubtedly on my Travel Dreamlist.
Definitely, the trip brought me closer to myself. Every day was a different experience altogether. The rain couldn’t be a constraint to the amazing experience we had during the days stayed in the hills. Not to mention, Laika (our pet) had a lovely time out there.
Please note: Though I clicked a hell lot of pictures during the trip, I am now left with just a few due to an unfortunate event that I now do not even want to recall
Travel Time: August, 2012
Hope you liked reading it as much as I loved visiting it 🙂