McLeod Ganj, also known as Little Lhasa, is a suburb of Dharamshala in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh, India. This beautiful hill station is famous across the globe for being the headquarters of the Tibetan government-in-exile and home to the Tibetan spiritual leader, Dalai Lama. Nestled amidst mesmerizing landscapes, majestic hills and lush greenery, McLeod Ganj has Tibetan influence owing to the major settlement of Tibetans here. Quite popular among trekkers, it is close to the towns of Dharamsala, Kangra and Bhagsu Nag and tourists can cover all these destinations while traveling here. Some of the most prominent monasteries in India are located here, including the Namgyal Monastery and Tsuglagkhang, where the spiritual leader Dalai Lama resides. The natural beauty, Tibetan culture, monasteries, and scenic beauty attracts a lot of tourists throughout the year. If you are planning to visit McLeod Ganj, don’t forget this list with the best things to do there.
I was lucky enough to be in McLeod Ganj when the Dalai Lama was giving one of his approximately twice-yearly public teachings in the main Buddhist temple there (which was inspirational). Photos were not allowed during the teaching, but they were permitted in the temple beforehand and afterwards #dalailama #mcleodganj #tibetanbuddhism #tsuglagkhang #avalokitesvara #padamasambhava #starvingbuddha #prayerwheels #himachal #himachalpictures #lonelyplanetindia #lonelyplanet #lpinindia @lonelyplanet
A significant place of worship is the home of Dalai Lama. Buddhist pilgrims from all over the world and tourists throng to this place to have a glimpse of Namgyal and Nechung Monastery, the various stupas and temples, the museum and the library, situated in the complex. The beautiful statue of Lord Buddha and statues of Chenrezig and Guru Rinpoche, along with imprints of Tibetan art and culture are the major attractions of the center. The innovative structure of the Tibet Museum built in the Tibetan style throws light onto the Tibetan culture and the struggles faced by them. Except for Dalai Lama’s residence, tourists can visit other parts of the complex. One can even get a chance to meet Dalai Lama, if you are lucky.
Address: 2 km (1.2 miles) from McLeod Ganj
Opening times: Monday - Friday: 10 am - 6 pm, Saturday: 10 am - 6 pm, Sunday: 10 am - 6 pm, Public Holidays: 10 am - 6 pm
2. Namgyal Monastery
The best day of my life ... 6 March 2017 - the day I was blessed to receive ordination from HH Dalai Lama in...Posted by Gwen McIlroy on Monday, 27 March 2017
The Namgyal Monastery is a religious centre, situated next to the residence of Dalai Lama within the Tsuglagkhang complex. Overlooking the mountain ranges of Dhauladhar, the monastery is in the midst of lush forests of pines, oaks and cedars. Buddhist shrines and beautifully decorated prayer wheels are the attractions of the monastery. The monastery is a pleasant change from the usual tourist attractions. A peaceful environment with a scenic view pervades the monastery, where you can sit and meditate amidst all the right vibes. You might see Buddhists debating there.
Address: 2 km (1.2 miles) from McLeod Ganj
Website: Namgyal Monastery
3. Church of St. Johns in the wilderness
One of the prominent churches in Himachal Pradesh, the neo-gothic architecture built in 1852 offers you a chance to experience the remnants of the days of the British hill station. Dedicated to John the Baptist, the church is located near Dharamshala on the way to Mcleod Ganj. It is also the final resting place of Lord Ergin, governor general and viceroy of India during the British Raj. Although the Kangra earthquake destroyed the church’s bell tower, the rest of the church stands undamaged. The church is surrounded by Deodar plantations, with a picturesque graveyard lying in the same grounds. The enchanting glass windows painted by a Belgian artist were reportedly gifted by Lady Elgin, the wife of Lord Elgin.
Church of St. Johns in the wilderness
Address: Road to Naddi Village from McLeod Ganj, Dharamshala
Website: Church of St. Johns
4. Triund Hill
It is an ideal destination for trekking with breathtaking views of the entire Kangra Valley all the way to the top. The top - about 2,800 meters (9,186 feet) above sea level - is just the icing on the cake. Stay overnight for a great view of the night sky, then wake up in the morning with the snowy peaks of the Himalayas staring you in the face. If you don’t have a clear day you may not be able to see the Snow Mountains, but the mesmerizing view of the valley will leave you stunned. The trek is easy but takes 7 hours with kids. You can stay up there in tents.
Address: Situated a few kilometers from Dharamshala, the trek can be done from either McLeod Ganj or Dharamkot, which is 2 km (1.2 miles) ahead of McLeod Ganj. The first half of the trek is a gradually inclined walk, with the last 2 km (1.2 miles) involving a vertical climb all the way till Triund.
Website: Triund Hill
5. Bhagsunath Temple
Built by King Bhagsu, the ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and the Snake God is located at a height of 1,770 m (5,807 ft) above sea level amidst beautiful pools and lush greenery. This religious center is a significant place of worship and has an air of spirituality about it. According to folklore, King Bhagsu from Rajasthan came to the glaciers in search of water for his parched state. He was challenged by the ‘Nagdevta,’ the residents of this region. In the ensuing battle, the King was defeated; however, his plea for water to his fraternity was granted and the place came to be known as Bhagsunath. The temple attracts a huge number of devotees and tourists throughout the year.
Address: 3 km (1.86 mi) from McLeod Ganj
Opening time: All days of the week 5 am - 12 pm, 4 pm - 9 pm
Website: Bhagsunath Temple
6. Bhagsu Falls
The Bhagsu Waterfall is very near the Bhagsunath Temple in Mcleodganj, Dharamshala. The drop of the waterfall is about...Posted by MountainBytes on Sunday, 12 February 2017
Set amidst lush greenery and fascinating sceneries, the amazing waterfall is a simple 30 minute trek from Bhagsunath Temple. The early morning sun rays and chilly air make the trek fascinating. After reaching there, you can enjoy the waterfall and forget about tiredness. It is a place where one can soak in the beautiful views of the Himalayas. Don’t miss out on Shivas cafe. The cafe is very artistically designed and has stunning views. There is another trek from there onwards, leading to Triund, but it is difficult and requires a guide.
Address: The Bhagsu Falls are situated 2 km (1.2 miles) away from McLeod Ganj
Website: Bhagsu Falls
Dharamkot || Kangra || Himachal PradeshPosted by Himachali kudiya kimmat Naal Nhi Kismat Naal Mildiyan Ne on Friday, 6 May 2016
Dharamkot presents a beautiful view of the Kangra Valley and the Dhauladhar range of mountains. Dharamkot is also popular for the meditation centers; the famous Tushita Meditation Centre, which is a centre for the study and practice of Buddhism in the Tibetan Mahayana tradition, the Vipassana Meditation Centre, and the Dhamma Shikara. A complete contrast to the Tibetan world that one experiences in McLeod Ganj, the festival-fair organized every year further adds to the vividness of Dharamkot. The village offers trekking, and one can trek to the villages of Naddi and Triundi, which are 3 km (1.8 mi) and 7 km (4.3 mi) away from Dharamkot, respectively.
Address: Just 3 km (1.8 miles) to the north of McLeod Ganj
8. Dal Lake
This beautiful lake next to the Tibetan Children’s Village just 3 km (1.8 mi) from the Mcleod Ganj town is a nice stopover. Named after the Dal Lake of Srinagar, this lake is surrounded by deodar trees and the temple dedicated to Lord Shiva makes it sacred. The lake has varieties of fish and boating in the lake is an amazing experience.
Address: Just 3 km (1.8 mi) from the Mcleod Ganj town
Website: Dal Lake
9. Kangra Fort
Located at a distance of 20 km ( 12.4 mi) from Dharamsala, the 4th-century B.C fort depicts Kangra’s rich cultural heritage and its glorious past. It is one of the oldest forts in the country and is mentioned in the war records of Alexander. Despite numerous invasions by the Mughal rulers, it still stands tall after centuries.
Opening times: All days of the week 9 am - 6 pm
Price: INR 300 (USD 4.65) per person with audio guide
10. Divine Buddha Handicrafts and city shopping
Divine Buddha Handicrafts is a perfect place for shopaholics. The things found in this shop are mind blowing and you can purchase splendid things from here. You can also shop for Thangka paintings, Tibetan carpets, jewelry, artifacts, handicrafts, books on Tibet and more in Mcleod Ganj.
Divine Buddha Handicrafts
Address: Temple Road, Mcleod Ganj
Beauty and peace
Mcleod Ganj is just a paradise on earth. The mesmerizing landscapes, majestic hills, lush greenery, monasteries, temples, meditation centers, and Tibetans art and culture will coax you to come here again and again. Words are not sufficient to express the beauty of this place, you have to visit to realize its intrinsic charm.
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