McLeodganj, Dharamshala (Kangra-Himachal)
McLeodganj, named after David McLeod, teh governor general of Punjab (British-India), is house of the exiled Tibetan Government and is blessed by the presence of H.H. Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama (See my post on Dalai Lama’s Residence). This place is also sometimes called Little Lhasa.
This place is so peaceful and energizing, that you will never feel like leaving it. There are lot of Tibetans and Europeans (mostly Israelis) in here. Nearby Villages are populated with Europeans. I have heard that there are villages nearby McLeodganj, where lot of Drugs and illegal stuff is available. I don’t know if it is true or a rumor.
I like this place so much that I have been there so many times. Luckily, my father designed couple of shops and restaurants at this place. This helped me make dozens of trips to McLeodganj in past 5-6 years.
It is situated near Dharamshala. Infact, sometimes, it is also called Upper Dharamshala. There is a small road, from where, McLeodganj is only 2 Km from main Dharamshala market. This road is very steep and reaches the Dalai Lama Temple. The other way is lot longer, but safer. This road reaches the other end of McLeodganj.
But this route, the longer one, is much better as you get a chance to see more scenic views. A very nice place on way is the St. John’s Church. This church, located in Forsythganj, popularly called Church of St. John in the Wilderness, is the final resting place of Lord Elgin, a British viceroy of India (19th Century).
This church is in a really peaceful place hidden under trees. Its view from road is so magical that you can’t resist visiting it.
The main street of McLeodganj is crowded and loaded with Tibetan shops. You will find almost every Tibetan handicraft item and Tibetan/Buddhist souvenirs. Besides, everywhere you will see people in traditional maroon dress of Buddhists everywhere.
Do check out…