Due to the presence of Tibetans, Mcleodganj is fondly known as ‘Little Lhasa’. A suburb in the region of Dharamsala of Himachal, Mcleodganj is situated at a height of 2,082 meters amid the Dhauladhar Range of mountains. The quaint little town is known for its extensive British History, since it was the summer retreat during that era. The beautiful surroundings of this town were enough to make Lord Elgin, the then British viceroy, to feel like declaring it the summer capital of India. The Tea House that he built is still just as popular as it was all those years ago. If you’re planning to take a hike to the next hill town of India, here are a few spots you can visit in Mcleodganj – the official exile place of the Dalai Lama.
Trek up to the ridges of Triund and enjoy the cool atmosphere with some food and drinks to top your day. The tiny tea shops will give you enough joy anyway, and once you’ve reached the peak, the view that will greet you is quite possibly going to be absolutely astounding. Do carry your own food and water for a small picnic atop the hill, and lounge in the Forest Rest House for a while before you return.
Visit the Gallu Devi Temple.
Stop at Magic View or Snowline.
2. St. John’s Church
Famous for: History, Religion, Nature, Architecture.
Situated in the wilderness, St. John’s Church is set in the neo-Gothic style. This Anglican Church was erected in 1852 for John the Baptist. The famous Belgian stained glass windows were designed by an artist of Italian descent. After the earthquake in 1905, the destroyed church was rebuilt along with a brand new bell installed in 1915. Amid the Deodar grove, this church overlooks a graveyard, where the gravestone of Lord Elgin is present. You will find this church on the route to Forsythe Ganj.
The 500 metre long cascading waterfalls are a beauty you’d admire for hours to end. Hiking trips are a delight in these rocky enclosures, and the view that you will get upon spotting the beautiful falls is something you wouldn’t want to miss. Settle down for a picnic with your friends or family, and enjoy the wilderness amid the gushing sounds of water and lush green surrounding. Located ahead of the Bhagsu Waterfalls is the Bhagsunath Temple, which is amid a quaint surrounding, and you’d love to visit it and see the pretty carvings and medieval sculptures on the walls.
Orphans and Refugees of Tibet are found in this community where they are given Tibetan education. Near the Dal Lake are the dormitories and residential areas for children as well as teachers. As a tourist, the Tibetan way of schooling will be quite intriguing to one. You can even volunteer along with the teachers at Tibetan Children’s Village if you wish!
Located at the vicinity of Mcleodganj, Dharamshala is a must visit site for everyone due to its rich Tibetan culture. This quaint town has been providing refuge to Tibetans who fled to India after the invasion of Chinese in Tibet. Apart from getting a glimpse into Tibet, visitors can also learn about the history of Kangra valley and its people here.
The Dalai Lama’s temple, as it is more commonly known as, Tsug La Khang is the home of the famous monastery known as Namgyal monastery, along with many other shrines. One of the shrines houses the golden statue of Buddha, and to the adjacent of the monastery are the Dalai Lama’s residential quarters. You will find monks, nuns, lamas, and tourists flocking about in a large number. The temple is almost always occupied with a crowd. Take a walk in and around the monastery and the temple, and peace will follow you even after you’ve left.
Just close to the Dalai Lama’s temple is situated the pretty little Tibet Museum. Your inquisitive nature might carry you to this enclosed space for some Tibetan knowledge that you’ve been craving for a while. Read and view the history of Tibet and its people, along with finding out a chunk of things about the monks of Tibet and how things have been through the years. Since it is situated right in the temple region, you won’t have much of a trouble in adding the Tibet Museum to your itinerary.
This small, sleepy village situated at a place from where the view of the Dhauladhar Range is prominently stunning. This village houses the Tushita Retreat Centre where you can practice meditation and yoga for some peace of mind. You can travel aside the Mountaineering Institute and onto the route of Dharamkot. The picturesque village is perfect for some well-needed retreat from the busy city life that we live in.
Tse Chokling Gompa is a monastery hidden away in Mcleodganj and not many people know about it. It was built in the year 1987 to replace the original Tse Chokling Gompa in Tibet that was destroyed by Chinese as a part of their cultural revolution in Tibet. It has stunning shrines of Buddha in Sakyamuni form and is an important monastery for Tibetans who can be found praying here.
Proceed to Bhagsu waterfalls.
Eat at the nearby restaurants.
Visit Chorten, a newly built temple.
10. Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts
Famous for: Tibetan culture, Performing Arts, History.
Tickets: No entry fee.
Opening Timings: Open from Monday to Sat (9am-5pm). Closed on 2nd & 4th Sat.
A perfect place for Art lovers, Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts is a perfect way for a glimpse into Tibetan art and culture. The performing troupe here gives regular performances showcasing Tibetan Operas, Dances, Arts and Music. The museum here would provide a glimpse of the folk heritage of Tibets and is also a must visit. Visit TIPA's facebook page to know about their upcoming productions before visiting.
Catch the colourful folk opera (lhamo).
Shop for traditional souvenirs.
Visit the folk museum.
Eat at the cafes.
Other major attractions around the city are Nechung Monastery, The Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, Sunset Point, Clean Upper Dharamsala Programme, Gu-Chu-Sum Movement Gallery, Men-Tsee-Khang and Central Tibetan Secretariat.
If you are one of those curious people who love to explore the culture of Tibetans, Mcleodganj is the place for you. It will satisfy your inquisitiveness, and also provide you with a great experience as a visitor. Other Major Tourist Destinations In Himachal Pradesh: