12 August, 2017
Of all of the posts that I have written as a content writer for other websites and mine too, this post is freaking special to me. Have never written a travel blog but hey, we have to start from some point, from somewhere, no? See, how the confused cells inside of me is seeking your approval? Hah.
To start this section, I have chosen to take you through my travel to Mcleodganj. It was a 3 day weekend getaway and if you’re planning to do some soul searching during the long weekend (12th-15th Aug) then this is the place where you have to be.
I had heard a lot about the beauty and magnificent nature of Himachal and honestly the blue skies, heavenly breeze and blissful vibe of Mcleodganj makes me wish that I could be immediately transported there. Can you hear me, universe?
Mcleodganj is preferably called “Little Lhasa” or “Dhasa” due to its dominant Tibetan population, and I can’t agree more on this. As I unfold the chapters of my journey, I would suggest you to sit back, get your favourite coffee and relax because this is going to be a long one. Believe me the tranquil landscapes, the lofty mountains with flowing water, the lush green valleys will be a treat to your eyes and will calm your anxious brain. Let’s meditate together.
Considering my excitement to be amidst high mountains, I chose an overnight bus journey. *Also because I am not a morning person at all :P*. It was a 12 hour long journey but definitely not a weary one. I can never get tired of watching the morning sunrise, the views of the valleys, the railway track in between the mountains, the peacocks and the serene atmosphere. Not a wrong judgement at all. We reached McLeodganj at 8 AM. On our way to our hotel “Rosewood Inn”, we stopped by a tiny café named “Vrindavan Café”. So, the café was hanging and we were literally having our morning breakfast over a valley. Next we stopped by a small shack named “Eggiterian” and I had a sugary Oreo milkshake there.
After stomach full breakfast, we headed to our hotel. As I was stepping inside my room, my heart was pumping a bazillion times faster wishing the view to be stupendous. To my surprise, it was more than that. I could see the Bhagsu Waterfall from my balcony, a have not seen before view. Amazing! The view convinced me to put Bhagsu Waterfall first on my travel list.
We started walking to the waterfalls through the vibrant local Bhagsu market. As we moved further through the narrow mountain roads, our excitement kept on increasing. In between, we stopped by little snack shops. We ate the yummiest Chicken Keema Masala and don’t forget to drink the super special mountain tea, if you visit there. Good news - the walk was not too taxing, so it does not matter if you ain’t super fit. It is pretty awesome to dive into the plunge pool after that walk and relax a bit there. Till we got down, it had already started raining and we had ice creams on our way to hotel.
Started my morning with my bed tea, I made up my mind to explore my hotel a bit more. The hotel was cosy with mirrors and stairs being its most creative corners. Honestly, I loved the hotel and their hospitality. We decided to visit Dharamshala and I had four spots in my bucket.
This museum is one of the quietest spot amidst the bustling Dharamshala market. With miniatures and painting vividly depicting the Himalayan culture and history, it is a good place for artists to spend some time around. My personal favourite was the picture perfect view of the surrounding mountains. Consequently, a dozen pictures were shot here which is completely justified.
Next on my list was the picturesque view of organic tea gardens of Dharamshala. Tea lovers get ready to taste the very famous Kangra tea. Additionally, you can shop for some unique tea blends here. Not a tea lover, no problem. You can still have an unforgettable view of snow clad mountains, stroll around the tea gardens. *Too much greenery gives me eye sores, said no one ever*.
HPCA stadium is a must visit spot. My journey would have been incomplete without visiting this place. You can get a bird’s eye view of the entire Dharamshala town from this stadium. It stays open for visitors even when there is no match scheduled. Stands tall at around 1500m from sea level, you never want to miss such a beautiful experience.
4. Dharamshala War Memorial
Beautiful garden with tall trees made in honour of the martyrs will definitely send chills down your spine. What can be better than remembering our Real Heroes on Independence Day at this very apt place? My day ended with strolling around the streets of Mcleodganj market and enjoying the very infamous momos. One can definitely die eating them.
My journey was coming to its end and I had so many places left on my list. Being a shopaholic I cannot leave Mcleodganj with less than hundred shopping bags. I ran straight to Mcleodganj market and you can buy stuff for even the very distant relatives of yours from here.*Yes latest fashion at very affordable prices*. From high fashion clothes, to metallic jewellery, to meditation bowls, to handmade musical instruments this mini Tibetan market has so much to offer to every individual.
While shopping you may bump yourself into the very colourful Kalachakra Temple. Local people keep on rolling the prayer wheels every time. The best thing about this temple is ease of access. Inside the temple you will be amazed to see zillion colours blended up together, something your brain could never imagine unless you see it. From the top of the temple, you can have a panoramic view of the city. Visit this temple to calm your senses and get away from the hustle and bustle of the main street.
Next stop was the Dalai Lama Temple. This is the most significant place of Mcleodganj as it is home to His Holiness Dalai Lama. You can see monks chanting prayers and train. This temple is very different from other monasteries and a must visit.
After rambling and loitering so much, I was pretty much empty. Finally we stopped by Clay Oven Restaurant. Clay Oven serves Continental, Tibetan and Nepalese food. The restaurant is not just named Clay Oven, they actually have a clay oven and most of the baking is done there only.
I had a sumptuous four course meal. It was time to try out the dish I have had heard during my whole travel, the very famous Tibetan dish, Chicken Thukpa. Its aroma was itself very appetizing. Full of healthy veggies, it was a complete treat to me. Thereafter we had Mutton Hakka Noodles and undoubtedly it was one of the best noodles that I have ever had in my life. We closed our meal with a dessert - a fruit waffle with ice cream and chocolate syrup. And mind it, the waffle was something to kill for.
All of these were served with a smile and lots of love.
This was the end of our 3 day long weekend getaway. With a happy heart and lots of ineradicable memories, we left Mcleodganj. On the way back I promised myself to visit this place again, as I have missed some of the symbolic places like St. John’s Church, Shiva Café, Dal Lake and Norbulingka Institute (Nice excuse to revisit this place again, no?). If you plan to visit Mcleodganj, don’t forget to add this to your travel bucket.
BoB Tip: Carry a jacket with you. Rains are quite unpredictable and it gets super chilly at night.