McLeod Ganj is a village in the suburbs of Dharamshala, in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh, India.Its was named after Governer of Punjab,Lord Donald McLeod.
It is situated at the height of 2082m above see level.
Its home of the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, where he established the Central Tibetan Administration.
How to Reach Mcleodganj-
Mcleaodganj is well connected via Road to many parts of the India. Form Delhi to Mcleadganj there are plenty of buses. Popular busstops are Majnu ka Tila, ISBT Delhi.
Journey Time- 10-12 hours.
There is no direct train to Mcleodganj, nearest station is Pathankot. Pathankot is well connected to rest part of country via rail. Around 10 trains are running daily b/w Delhi to Pathankot.
Once you reach Pathankot, there are following options available-
1. Taxi- Easiest and Quickest way to travel.
2. Bus- easiest but usually crowded.
3. Toy Train- Very slow but views are breath taking and spectacular.
Flight option is available from Delhi to Gaggal, a town near to McLeodGanj. There are two daily flights from Delhi.
Gaggal Airport is about 20 kilometres to McLeod Ganj, and takes about 45 minutes by taxi.
Cost- 4500-8000 Rs depends when you booked.
Recommended– Go by Bus, its comfortable, Safe & affordable.
Places to Visit in McleodGanj
Day 1– Bus will drop you to Bus-Stop at around 4 or 5 am in the morning, you will have to take Prepaid Taxi to reach McleodGanj Market. Taxi charges around 120-140 per taxi for max 4 people. After you reach Mcleodganj market, check in to hotel and take some rest. After taking refreshment in hotel or in near-by restaurant you can start your trip by visiting famous Tibetan monasteries in McleodGanj- Namgyal and Tsuglagkhang monastery.
Monasteries are integral part of Tibet culture, if you spend time in one of the monasteries you will get to know the real life of monks and other worshiper of the religion.All the work from decorating to cleaning was done my monks & they love the things they do. You can see the charm and happiness on their faces.
There is a Museum inside Monastery which shows struggle and movement led by ancient Tibetan leaders for freedom of their people & religion.
After visiting Monastery you head towards Dal Lake, Dal Lake is a small mid-altitude lake (1,775 m) . The lake is surrounded by deodar trees. There is small Shiva temple near the lake and is considered as sacred place. Dal lake is having beautiful greenish colour water which is unique in its own way.
Start your day with authentic breakfast from nearby bakeries in McleodGanj market and head towards Bhagsunath Temple which is about 3Km from Mcleodganj. This temple was built by King Bhagsu in dedication of Lord Shiva, it is situated at the 1770m above sea level. Bhagsunath Temple is considered as one of the ancient temple found in India. It is surrounded by pools and greenery.
After visiting the Temple you can head towards Bhagsunag Waterfall. It is situated around 600m behind the Bhagsunath temple. Waterfall starts at the Dhauladhar valley & falls from the height of 30 foot. Bhagsu Waterfall is one of the beautiful spot where one can spend some time in nature. We spend lot of time here as this is most quiet and green place where you can feel the chumming . Head back towards the Mcleodganj and try to visit some famous Cafe in the market as they provide authentic and delicious Coffee.
We started early as our next destination was Triund . Truind trekking is one of the thrilling trek I came accross. Triund Trek provides you amazing views which are unique and one of its kind because you can view same point in different time during the trek & you will be amazed to see those jaw breaking views. If you don’t want to stay at top of Triund then you need to leave early for trekking in the morning as it will take your whole day as trek is rugged and rough.
Trek is around 7 km in length which starts from Galu and it will take around 3-4 hours to reach Triund peak. First 5 km is straight down trek & last 2 km is steep slope heading towards Triund peak.
Trekking is difficult if you are doing it for the first time but for others it is normal trekking which can be completed in 3-4 hrs. Start slowly & don’t try to rush as trek is very rugged and rough so proper care should be taken if you are travelling for the first time. During the last 2 Km you will find lot of slippery slopes due to snowfall so take your steps carefully.
After you reach peak of the mountain you will find something like this, beauty at the top of the mountain is really jaw-breaking. You can easily see the snow covered mountains and the cold winds blowing on your face which you will not find anywhere. There is a small temple located at the top of the peak. Those who wants to stay in night on peak can ask for tents which are easily available on Shops at the Top of peak but it is always better to book you tent before you start your Trek.
Few shops are there on the top which can provide you food and water, you can eat there and then start for return journey. Return journey will not take much time and you can reach Galu valley at the bottom in about 2-3 hrs.
Views while returning from Triund are totally different from what you saw during the upward journey.
Mcleodganj offers you beauty of its own at different time of the day, you will be amazed to see same pic clicked at 2 different time. Sunset is always worth to watch at Hill stations & Mcleodganj is not an exception to this.