McLeodganj in Himachal Pradesh is know for its scenic beauty. Also being the residence of Dalai Lama, McLeodganj is a popular destination among the followers of Buddhism.
Mcleod Ganj is a well known learning centre of Tibetan culture, rituals and Buddhism. It is also called Little Lhasa. Tibetans started settling in Dharamsala in 1959, when the Dalai Lama fled Tibet. Prime Minister of India Jawharlal Nehru allowed the Dalai Lama and his followers to settle in McLeodGanj.
McLeod Ganj is also an ideal destination for trekking. The trek to Bharmour which crosses the 4300m Indrahar Pass is the most popular in addition to trails to Lahaul-Spiti Valleys, Kullu and Chamba.
Best time to visit Mcleodganj
The climate of McLeodganj remains salubrious all year round but the best months for travelling are from mid-September to June.
- Winters (December to February) is very cold and the months of December and January, snowfall and sleet are common and most of the regions are covered with snow. Good time for honeymooning.
- Summer (March to June) have a temperature range of 22°C to 38°C and is good time for sightseeing, trekking and paragliding. Snow can be enjoyed on very high altitudes.
- Monsoons (July to mid-September) offer heavy rainfalls during July and August and is not a good time for sightseeing as land slides are common. From the mid of September, rainfall stops.
- Autumn (mid-September to November) is beautiful and is ideal for sightseeing and adventure activities.
How to reach Mcleodganj
McLeodganj by Air:
McLeodganj can be Approached by air from Delhi and the Nearest Airport is at Gaggla, just 13-km away from the Town.
McLeodganj by Rail:
Pathankot is 85-km and is the Nearest Railhead for McLeodganj. Trains from all over the Country make a Stop Over at Pathankot and from here it is a Three – Hour Journey to McLeodganj.
McLeodganj by Road:
Bus Services are Available to this place from Manali. One can Drive from Delhi via Chandigarh , Kiratpur, Bilaspur and it’s an 8-hours Journey. From Delhi and Shimla , luxury buses ply to McLeodganj.
Tourist Attractions in McLeodganj
Tsuglag Khang is the Dalai Lama’s temple complex and the life-blood of the village. It is located a short walk away from the bus station at the center of town, the complex houses the Namgyal Monastery (which trains monks for rituals associated with the temple), the main temple and a smaller shrine that houses a huge gilded statue of the Buddha, along with two smaller, but no less impressive statues of Chenresig and Guru Rinpoche. In addition, the Dalai Lama’s residence and administrative offices are in the complex.
There is also a small cafe on the temple grounds and a guesthouse, which is convenient if you plan to spend a lot of time there.
Namgyalma Stupa is located in the center of the village and surrounded by prayer wheels, this Buddhist stupa, is a memorial to those Tibetans who lost their lives fighting for a free Tibet. A statue of the Sakyamuni Buddha is enshrined in a small chamber, and all day and night, you will see devotees turn the prayer wheels as they circumambulate the stupa, reciting mantras.
Triund is a popular picnic and trekking spot, that lies at the foot of the snow clad Dhauladhar at a height of 2,827m. Dharamkot, another 2 kms from Bhagsu, is the starting point for the short walks to the high plateau at Triund (2,975m), or further over the high passes to the Chamba valley.
a village on the banks of a mountain stream. A route promenades up rock-strewn slopes from here, through a slate quarry, to the waterfall that feeds the stream. Each September pilgrms come to bathe in the waters of the tank of Bhagsu’s Shiva temple.
The Tibetan Institute for the Performing Arts (TIPA):
TIPA is located a short walk from the center of town. Another impressive complex built around an open courtyard, the Institute trains Tibetans (and occasionally foreigners) in the traditional Tibetan forms of opera, theatre and dance. Performances are held in the courtyard and an opera festival takes place each spring. Check the bulletin boards for announcements. But even when there is a hiatus in performances, you can watch the students rehearsing.
Dip Tse-Chok Ling Gompa:
Down a steep path from the bus station, the Dip Tse-Chok Ling Gompa is a jewel. Perched on a steep hillside overlooking the valley, the main temple is small and intimate, but houses an impressive statue. Many of the young monks in residence here are intrigued by their visitors and, in halting English, will answer your polite questions.
Stitches of Tibet:
The Tibetan Women’s Association has developed a number of vocational training programs to assist Tibetan refugees in developing employment skills. One such program is Stitches of Tibet, where newly arrived Tibetan women and girls are taught sewing and weaving skills. Visitors are welcome to tour the carpet weaving workshop on Jogibara Road and the tailor shop across the street. The Stitches of Tibet showroom sells traditional Tibetan clothing and rugs, and the proceeds support the Tibetan Women’s Association’s programs.
The Norbulingka Institute is located about 15 km from McLeod Ganj and is well worth the effort to get there by taxi or local bus. Developed by the Dalai Lama as a center for the continuation and training of traditional Tibetan arts and crafts, the ground alone are testament to the Tibetan’s architectural and artistic skill. A number of buildings, all ornately decorated cover several acres complete with a koi pond, bridges and gardens.