Every human feels another kind of peace and tranquillity when we travel to a hill station. When travelling in India, the Himalayan range is indeed the best among others. Near the famous city of Dharamshala, lies a cosy little town of Mcleodgunj which boasts of beauty that baffles the human mind. Located in Kangra district, Mcleodganj’s culture is a beautiful blend of Tibetan with some British influence. When it comes to tourism in Himachal Pradesh, Mcleodganj is a place popular among trekkers. Mcleodganj is dotted with many places to visit for each traveller ever coming here.
Mentioned below are some of the places that you visit in the Land of His Holiness the Dalai Lama – Little Lhasa.
1. Tulglagkhang Complex
Just above the town of Dharamshala, in Mcleodganj, is Tsuglagkhang, the place where the Dalai Lama stays. This holy complex has continued to draw in many devotees all over the years. It houses Dalai Lama’s residence, Tsuglagkhang Temple, Namgyal Monastery and Tibet Museum. Except for Dalai Lama’s residence, every other part of the complex is open for tourists. If you are at the right place at right time, you might even get the chance to see His Holiness himself!
The Tsuglagkhang Complex is home to an awe-inspiring statue of Lord Buddha as well as statues of Chenrezig and Guru Rinpoche. The Tsuglagkhang museum continues to attract tourists. It houses many imprints of Tibetan art and culture. These include historical documents, pottery, handicrafts, paintings, etc. The museum gives tourists an insight into Tibetan culture and at the same time, the various struggles faced by them lately.
The structure of the Tibet Museum is influenced by Tibetan architecture which is unique and innovative.
2. Trek to Triund
One of the most underrated and beautiful treks of the whole country, Triund heartedly calls out to the trekkers, beginners especially. The 9000-foot ridge behind the Dhauladhar range is Triund. Popularly known as the crown jewel of Dharamshala, the trek from Mcleodganj to Triund takes you through scenic landscapes and rocky terrains.
The trail offers a panoramic view of of the Moon Peak-Indrahar Pass and it opens up to the snow-dusted peaks of Dhauladhar Mountains on one side, and the Kangra valley on the other. Bird-watching of rare species is the cherry on top of this already breathtaking trip. Catching the sunset while night camping on this trek is almost too good an opportunity to pass on. Under the starlit sky with the serene atmosphere of the hills around, I cannot imagine a more romantic getaway.
3. Masroor Temple
Build in the 8th century, this exemplary Hindu temple boasts of North Indian Nagra architectural style. The complex is a combination of 15 rock-cut temples designed in the Indo- Aryan style of architecture. This monolithic ornately decorated stand as one of the most hidden gems of Himachal. Partially in ruin, it sees less number of people every year.
Dedicated to the Hindu gods Shiva, Vishnu, Devi and Saura, the complex faces northeast, towards the Dhauladhar range. The beauty of the mountain range will leave you breathless. The reflection of the temple as seen in the pond truly mesmerizes anyone. Definitely one of the best places to visit in Mcleodganj.
4. Namgyal Monastery
This mindblowing monastery is the abode of the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual leader in Mcleodganj. The foundation of Namgyal Monastery was laid down in the 16th century by the second Dalai Lama and was set up for the monks to help Dalai Lama in religious affairs.
The serenity and ambience of this place give utter peace and a sense of calm to its visitors, even those who are not exactly inclined towards any religion. A monastery continues to be a great place for meditation and all tourists are welcomed to join the meditation sessions. It is also the largest Tibetan monastery outside of Tibet. All these reasons definitely make it one of the best places to visit in Mcleodganj.
5. Illiterati Books & Cafe
Illiterati Books & Cafe is one of the most popular and sought after cafes of Mcleodganj. A perfect blend of books, coffee and amazing food, the cafe remains crowded with guests and tourists all day long. Visiting this place is one of the prime things in Mcleodganj. The bookstore cum cafe is ornate with wooden stoves, a vast genre of books and an out of the world view capturing the mountains.
Distant from the noise city, Illiterati cafe stands on the Jogiwara road, a calm and peaceful place to relish time in solace. Apart from the books, there are several board games that travellers can enjoy at the cafe. Sometimes they also hold live music gigs and along with the perfect ambience, the place looks just divine.
6. St. John’s Church
Depicting authentic neo-Gothic architecture, St. John’s church stays among the top places to visit in Mcleodganj. Constructed in 1852, the church is dedicated to John, the baptist. Around 50 years after being built, the Kangra earthquake destroyed the church’s bell tower leaving the rest of the church undamaged. This church is embedded in the forest area of Forsyth Ganj and remains known for its rock-solid architecture, wild surroundings, and calming vibes.
Lord Elgin, once the Governor-General and Viceroy of India are known to have been mesmerized by McLeod Ganj so much, that he wished for it to be the summer capital of India. His final resting place lies very near to the church.
Also read: The Hidden Paradise of Arunachal – Ziro.