McLeodganj Dharamshala is one of the most popular places for sightseeing for backpackers and hippies. Both the beautiful cities Dharamshala & McLeodganj are located in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh. Both the places are well known for its large Tibetan population.
Well, the hill town Dharamshala is also the summer capital of Himachal Pradesh. The hillside city Dharamshala is home to the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan government. Due to the large population of Tibetans, McLeodganj is also known as “Dhasa” or “Little Lhasa”. After the lieutenant of the governor of Punjab Sir Donald Friell McLeod, it was named McLeodganj.
The beautiful cities are famous for its kind destination, lush green mountains, vibrant monasteries, stunning backdrop, quaint cafes, thrilling adventure activities, treks, strolls, hot beverages, delicious food, boat rides and spiritual places.
If you’re a food lover then you’ll fall in love with these places. You can also find Lebanese, Japanese, Indian, Chinese, Tibetan and continental cuisines. I won’t be overemphasizing if I say I could go back to Dharamshala & Mcleodganj just for the cafes and food.
Best time to visit this place:
Usually, we see most of the tourists visit there between March to June because of its perfect time for trekking. From July to August this place receives the heaviest rainfall in Himachal Pradesh according to the past records. During winters i.e. November to February this place is extremely cold and Snowclad Mountains make a perfect destination for couples.
How to Reach Dharamshala & McLeodganj
Tourists can take a direct bus from Chandigarh, Pathankot, Shimla, Kullu and also from the Capital City Delhi. Moreover, Dharamshala is well connected to all the major cities.
The nearest airport is Gaggal Airport which is 14 km from the Dharamshala and 19 km from the McLeodganj.
Well if I talk about my initial journey, I started my unplanned journey from Noida. After completing my working hours from 9 am to 3 pm, I came back to my flat where I took half an hour to get ready and after that, I packed my backpacks. And then I reached Delhi around 5 PM by Metro. Then I took a bus from Delhi to Chandigarh around 5:15 pm and my first solo trip had started towards the sacred mountain region Dharamshala.
After completing the 6 hours of bus journey, finally, I reached Chandigarh around 11:15 pm at night. Usually, it takes around 5 hours, but it took so long due to having faced heavy rain. Unfortunately, my bad I could not find a direct bus for Dharamshala.
Well, as I mentioned that I was travelling solo so I didn’t plan my transportation prior. Then I boarded a bus from Chandigarh around 12:15 am for Kangra. After completing my whole night journey, finally, I reached Kangra at 5:35 am in the morning. Usually, you can find so many buses for Dharamshala from Kangra. Around 6 am, I took another bus from Kangra to Dharamshala. Finally, I reached a beautiful town at 7 am in the morning, which is named Dharamshala. I booked a hotel there. After the refreshment, I travelled 7 km from the place and reached 8:30 am in the morning, which is named McLeodganj. Once done with the breakfast, I started off to explore the stunning places of McLeodganj by Triund Trek.
Top Enchanting places to visit in Dharamshala McLeodganj:
1. Triund Trek:
Triund Trek is the perfect gateway for the heights and the most popular trek for tourists to enjoy the majestic views of the Dhauladhar range of the Himalayas, with mountains covered with pine trees on one side and the gorgeous Kangra valley on the other. It gives you the jaw-dropping views, thrills & also the lifelong camping experience. If you’re the one who is looking for peace and relaxation of the soul then this place is best suited for you. Triund Trek is well known for its 22 curves because one has to walk through 22 curves to reach Triund.
For Triund Trek, I had to hire a cab or auto from McLeodganj bus stand. After travelling 5 km I reached a Triund Trek checkpoint. Then the most awaited trek of 9 km had begun. The Triund trek route gets steep and requires a strong walk. It usually takes 4-5 hours to complete but I finished my trek in just 3:30 hours. It’s the moment when I couldn’t believe my eyes because what I always dreamed of had come alive. There were beautiful clouds above me and there were snow-clad mountain peaks emerging from those clouds. The white peaks shining in the sky among clouds look like glittering diamonds.
I personally say if you have courage & will to finish the trek, definitely, you will. It is better to carry a jacket, water bottle, raincoat and you can also book a tent either once you reach on top or from the checkpoint to see the glimmering rays of the moon.
Location: McLeodganj, Kangra, Himachal Pradesh
2. The Dalai Lama Temple:
The Dalai Lama Temple is also known as suglakhang Temple and the best place to visit on your two days budget trip. This place is located at a walking distance from McLeodganj bus stand. You can see the mesmerizing street shops of Kotwali Bazaar while going from the McLeodganj bus stand to the Dalai Lama temple which is most popular for Tibetan carpets, rugs, & exotic sculptures. The whole market is famous for its handicrafts, wooden carvings etc. It’s a good place to salvage your inner peace. It offers picturesque views to the visitors and most important pilgrim place for Tibetan Buddhists.
Location: Temple Rd (Near Bus Stand), McLeod Ganj, Himachal Pradesh
3. Bhagsu Falls:
Bhagsunath Waterfall is also one of the most popular and attractive tourist spots in McLeodganj. If you’re a hiking lover and a beginner then you can go for Bhagsu trek. Bhagsu trek isn’t much back-breaking than Triund trek. The gentle nature and lovely view of this place attract the tourists here. On the way to the beautiful fall, you can also visit the Bhagsu temple. From Bhagsunath temple you have to travel just 2 km to reach the Bhagsu fall. Well, if you wanna skip this crowded and noisy place you can and go head towards the delightful fall.
I recommend you to visit this place during the monsoon season. I’m pretty lucky I visited this place during the rainy season because the rest of the days are dry.
Location: Near Bhagsunag Temple, Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh
4. Dal Lake:
If you wanna spend some quality time with friends and family then this glorious place is perfect for you. Well, you can also enjoy the mesmerizing view of lush green Deodar forests lined with tall trees surrounded by Dal lake. While having a boat ride, tourist can also see the Lord Shiva temple on the bank of Dal Lake. Don’t forget to take a boat ride in the Dal lake and enjoys the serene view of rugged mountains and luscious forest of deodar trees.
Location: Kangra District, McLeod Ganj, Himachal Pradesh
5. War Memorial:
This place was built in the memory of martyrs who fought for the honour of their motherland and for their bravery. This place is surrounded by a pine forest of Dharamshala and offers a very pleasant walk. The British Era beautiful GPG college of Dharamshala, café serving fast food and a big lush green park of pine trees attracts the tourists here.
Location: Kachehri Road, Jawahar Nagar, Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh
6. HPCA Stadium:
The Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) stadium is one of the most beautiful and eye-catching stadium surrounded by the snow-capped peaks of Dhauladhar mountains that create a majestic panoramic view of mesmerizing mountains.
The best part of watching a match at the majestic Dharamshala Cricket Stadium would be that there is no fence in front of the seating area. It serves as the practice ground for the Indian Cricket Team, Himachal Pradesh state-level cricket team, as well as Indian Premier League (IPL) team Kings XI Punjab. It also hosts national and international level cricket matches, with the capacity to seat a crowd of approximately 23,000.
Well, if you’re on a budget trip then you can just take a bus from Dharamshala bus stand to Education Board which costs 5 Rs just. From there to HPCA is just 600m and if you’re a hiking lover then I can expect you can walk that much.
Location: HPCA Cricket Stadium, Distt, Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh
7. Mouth-Watering Foods:
Dharamshala McLeodganj is also well known for its mouth-watering dishes. While at these places, try out the steamed momos, Thukpa, Siddu, chocolate ball ice cream, Bhagsu cake, avocado toast, choco-chip pancake, Bhutanese cuisine and Israeli cuisine. Never forget to eat the most loved Himachali dishes whenever you visit these places.
I’m just on a 2 days trip. So didn’t have much time to explore remaining one i.e. paragliding in Bir Billing. Triund Trek is one of the best experience I ever had because I have never seen such a wonderful place in my life ever. Don’t skip ever if you make sure to plan a trip to Himachal. If you have any more suggestions or questions, feel free to ask me.