McleodGanj ‘The home of the Dalai Lama’
McLeodGanj, known as Upper Dharamshala, is a part of Kangra valley and is a best place of Himachal Pradesh. It is easily accessible by air and bus from New Delhi. But the most affordable way to reach McLeodGanj is by bus from Delhi which is a 12 hours journey and the nearest airport is Gaggal airport which is about 15 km south of Dharamshala or 10 km through the main road of Dharamshala. This town looks less Indian and more Tibetan from the point of view by its culture, dressings and food. This town of Himachal Pradesh is a deserted place and very lonely in the morning before sunrise with everything shut including most of the hotels. But, after 9am it burst into a totally opposite place, full of life with people either wandering and selling things around the tiny lanes of the town.
McLeodGanj is also known as “Little Lhasa” because of large population comprising of Tibetan refugees which have taken shelter in India along with the Tibetan govt. in exile. Now, McLeodGanj is a part of Dharamshala, and not the other way around. McLeodGanj is also a place of 14th Dalai Lama calls his home and he is living here since 1959 after the Chinese invaded Tibet. If you are lucky then you can get to see him during a public greeting which is very rare.
Buddhism is a very vibrant religion in McLeodGanj and you will find lots of monks and nuns wandering on the streets. You can see a large pink monastery right in the center of the town with wheels all around the walls. During the day, people of McLeodGanj are seen using their prayer beads many times a day while they walk in the morning and even while they are sitting free.
The people mostly earn their living by running street food stalls which serve really good food like the Tibetan momos with potato and spinach, brown bread, laphing (a type of noodle soup) which is a must have with fried chicken. There are loads of cafes and restaurants with an open-air serve and section some really good food catering to both Indian and Foreign travellers and nearly all of them have WiFi.
Some of the foreign travellers come to McLeodGanj for spiritual healing to learn more about Buddhism and find inner peace. So, one should not be surprised if they are visiting to McLeodGanj. There are lots of accommodation in the town to suit all kind of visitors from to travellers to backpackers who like to stay there for months. But it is difficult to get accommodation for a group of male travellers since many hotels prefer taking families only.
McLeodGanj has lots to offer to everyone who visits this town. One can take stroll in the town or in the open areas which are lots if anyone is in need of some soul searching. McLeodganj is the ideal place if one wants to get away from bustle and hustle of city life. McLeodGanj is a live up to its tag of small little Lhasa and small Tibet. Thanks to people who live and visit there.
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