Travel Diaries: Mcleodganj

They say what you do on the first day of the year, you do for the rest….well I am hoping that this particular superstition is true because I started 2017 with a vacation. But it’s not just 2017 that started on a good note, even 2016 ended with a little getaway on the Christmas weekend to the little getaway so I thought what could be better than a little travel post on the blog as the first post for 2017. So read on travel diary and  let me take you around the beautiful hill station of Mcleodganj

Fondly called ‘Little Lhasa’, Dharmashala is quaint little town in Himachal Pradesh and the home to His Holiness The Dalai Lama. Surrounded by the Dhauladhar Range, Mcleodganj is essentially a nature lovers paradise.

Mcleodganj is well-connected by road to most major cities of north India and you can opt for a number of state and private buses or take your own car. Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi, serves as the nearest and major airport to Mcleodganj and from Delhi you can travel to Mcleodganj by bus or car. If you are planning to take a train, Pathankot Railway Station is the nearest station and located around 90 km away.

While Mcleodganj is all about soaking in the beauty around you while reading a book sitting in a cafe drinking tea, there are a few places you can visit to satisfy the tourist itch.

The Dalai Lama Temple: The Dalai Lama Temple is one of the most popular tourist spots in Mcleodganj as it is where His Holiness The Dalai Lama stays when he visits. The temple is situated in against the beautiful hills and provides such a nice contrast to all the hustle bustle of all the shops lined just outside the temple.

Bhagsu Nag Waterfall: Another very popular tourist attraction in Mcleodganj, Bhagsu Nag Waterfall doesn’t really look all that spectacular when you reach but the hike surrounded by mountains is definitely worth a visit. The whole hike has these small vendors selling snacks giving you a nice break from the steep climb. It is advisable to have the right kind of shoes as certain parts of the climb are pretty steep and slippery.

Shiva Cafe: Shiva Cafe is one of the most popular joints with youngsters and foreigners in the hilly paradise. Situated on the edge of the hill-top, another 10 minutes trek from the Bhagsu Nag waterfall. They have a decent menu but more than the food, it is the view that makes this place worth a visit.

St John Church: If you are someone who is into old buildings and their architecture than make sure visiting this little church is in your itinerary. The church was built in the year 1852, in the memory of British Viceroy, Lord Elgin. The beautiful colors of the stained glasses against all the greenery makes the church a breathtaking site.

Himachal Pradesh Cricket Academy Stadium ( HPCA): A 20 minutes drive from the Mcleodganj main market, the stadium is definitely a sure visit for someone who is into cricket. A colorful stadium against the hills definitely makes this stadium worth a visit even if you are not a cricket buff.

Naddi Point: Situated 2 kms away from the McLeod Ganj, Naddi Point gives you the serene view of Dhauladhar range while gorging on parathas, maggi and tea. There is also a small trek that begins from Naddi point in the mornings but you need to get in touch with travel agents and hotels in the area to do the same.

Dal Lake: A small lake located about 3 km from McLeod Ganj, what makes the lake special apart from its name is the beautiful backdrop of tall deodar tree against the green water. The lake is good spot for picnics and also has a famous annual fair to celebrate Lord Shiva in the month of September.

Each one of my vacations is incomplete without exploring some good food joints in the area and Mcleodganj was no exception. The main square of the hill station is lined with cafes but one of my favorite places to visit was the The Tibetian Cafe to have the Ginger Lemon Honey Tea and Chicken Thupka. Apart from Thupka, most street stalls offer amazing momos which are not to be missed. You can also visit Jimmy’s Italian for some yummy pizzas, Indique for a quick bite and some drinks, Woeser Bakery for desserts and you cannot miss the desi burger stall outside HPCA.

Weather wise, Mcleodganj is pretty pleasant during summers with the temperatures hovering around 25 degrees but the best time to visit Mcleodganj is during the months of September to June to enjoy the greenery after rain or December and January to enjoy a little bit of snowfall.