Sitting idle on a Wednesday morning I was going through my Instagram and well it was quite fascinating. I was hating it. All my friends were either chilling in Goa or trekking in Kasol. Or some planning fancy dates with their loved ones. And I had finished my leftover pizza from the other night.
But it’s not long that you go through some post and decide to think about it. The same happened to me while I planned a 2-day Mcleodganj trip.
I searched for the place and the food joints to visit and after 2 hours of exploring and watching videos from youtube, I decided that I’ll go to this place as there are lots of things to do in Mcleodganj. And you know what, the very next weekend I was off to Mcleodganj. Took my car out, and left for the road trip of Delhi to Mcleodganj.
Crossing Chandigarh, then short mountains in Una and the Anandpur Sahib Gurudwara was quite a scenery and the roads were lovely.
It was in the morning around 8 am that I reached Mcleodganj, crossing Kangra and Dharamshala.
So I’ll share some of the important places to visit in Mcleodganj:
The 30ft long waterfall and the lush green environment is all you need to forget the tiring long drive you had. Set in the midst of the mountains with beautiful vegetation, this place is about 2 km away from Mcleod ganj but a must visit.
Water flowing from the mountains at a much greater height and you can grab a cup of tea or light a cigarette and just look at it calmly and the chirping of the birds make it quite peaceful to look at. Yes, it’s a quiet place.
And do not worry if you are hungry because there are lot’s of cafes around this place which offer food and refreshments. So you’ll never stay out of food.
And situated in Mcleodganj it gives a treat to visitors.
Yes, at first even I wasn’t able to pronounce the name correctly but remember it by the ‘The Dalai Lama Temple’.
And Mcleodganj is famous for monasteries and this one is quite a visit.
You can see many monks, from a very young age to old, they all are very friendly.
This monastery gives you a good overview of the Tibetan culture overall. The preachings, the paintings, the history of the origin of Buddhism, pottery and even handicrafts, you can all find it here.
It gives you a sense of peace and harmony and it’s not late that you realize that the people living in mountains are very calm and laid back. They enjoy their sense of pace rather than rushing things.
It is one of the few places to visit in Mcleodganj if you ever decide to stay here.
Surrounded by deodar trees and mesmerizing mountains it gives time to stop for a while and the view is breathtaking. The pictures come out even beautiful than ever and the sunset is quite a watch. Taking a walk by the village tells you how the life here is so peaceful and you get to enjoy every bit of it. And walking about just 600 m from Dal lake, you will see Naddi, a point where you can see Kangra valley and majestic Dhauladhar ranges.
And if you are lucky you might get to sit on a boat and explore the lake more.
This lake has added a charm to itself in the city of Mcleodganj.
Have some more time to explore Mcleodganj? Then just about 6 km away is Dharamkot, a small village just a hill above Mcleodganj which gives you a scenic view of the mountains. Less crowded than Mcleodganj and quieter too, this place offers a harmony and connection with your soul. In winters this place receives snowfall, not always but at higher altitude it does.
And playing in the snow just reminds me of the kid in me which is still alive by the way.
Trek to the village of naddi and you could see many cafes selling peace at a throwaway price. You connect with yourself and the people around stay happy.
5.Saint John’s Church in the wilderness
Stories go way back to 1852 when it was built, located in Dharamshala on the way to Mcleodganj this church is dedicated to John the Baptist. Lord Elgin, one the governor general and viceroy of India has its final resting place here. It has a neo-gothic architecture.
6.Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium
Hosting about 23000 people and a stadium 1457 meters above sea level, it is one of the highest altitude cricket ground in the world. Since this stadium is close to Mcleodganj it is gaining popularity and hosts Ranji Trophy matches too for the Himachal Pradesh cricket team.
Here in 2005, India played a warm-up match against the first international team Pakistan.
It is also the home ground for the IPL Team, Kings XI Punjab and has hosted some matches too.
The cold breeze and the natural beauty is all you see while standing in the stand and all you can get is really good mesmerizing views.
Actually located in Dharamshala but it’s few kilometers from Mcleodganj.
Treks in Mcleodganj:
One of the most amazing treks I’ve been on which requires attention and cautiousness, this was one of the highlighting points to my trip to Mcleodganj.
Situated in the laps of the Dhauladhar ranges, Triund is one of the most beautiful treks. Starting from the Mcleodganj, this is about 9km and from Dharamkot, a steep 2km vertical trekking starts.
This trek can either be started from Mcleodganj or even Dharamkot.
You will see various sightseeing like Kangra valley on one side and then Bhagsu waterfalls on the other. The view is great as it involves the majestic Dhauladhar ranges from one side and beautiful waterfall on the other.
Camping at night, and sleeping under the stars is quite interesting. If your guide and company are amazing then you could have a bonfire. Staying in the night just costs Rs 500 for two people sharing a tent.
This trek is suited for all people, right from amateurs to professionals. Some people even complete the trek before time.
The cafe’s in Mcleodganj to enjoy your evening:
The name sounds cliche a bit but one visit to this cafe and you would want to come more often.
Yes, the food is awesome and utterly delicious, the chicken momos or the thukpa is heaven, For all those people loving spices, this is the place for sure.
Famous for its Tibetan food, it has gained a lot of popularity among youngsters.
Located just a few meters above Bhagsu Falls, Shiva Cafe plays some trance songs and even Bob Marley.
Yes coming to the point now that I have mentioned Bob Marley, this place apart from good and warm environment offers a place to smoke up. And Mcleodganj is a hidden gem in terms of hash. I would not say the best quality hash but yes the stuff was good enough to let me sit back and listen to the trance and sit back.
The price is quite reasonable and nobody will bother you.
Shiva Cafe is the one if you want to smoke up in the open and just enjoy the scenic view of the mountains.
Cafes in the mountains are the reason why people often lose track of the time and with just the local food they tend to enjoy the environment.
Away from the city’s hustle and fast moving life, I found this old cafe in Mcleod ganj. Much to my surprise, this place is quite tempting to visit. The open windows and seating, balconies facing the mountains are what every person dreams off.
One more important highlight of this cafe is how this little cafe is turned into a mini library with books ranging from Indian culture to foreign languages, Harry Potter series to Mythological books.
After a quite long day, one should come here to relax a bit and will find wooden furniture, great music to enlighten your soul and enjoy the simpler things in life.
You can also find a guitar and a piano at one corner.
Their waffle and ginger honey lemon drink is quite a try.
How to reach Mcleodganj:
By air – You can fly from Delhi to Gaggal Airport. Upon reaching there you can hire a taxi which will take about 40 minutes to cover the 20km distance to Mcleodganj.
By train – There is no direct train from Delhi to Pathankot. There are many trains which will go to Pathankot and from there you have various options of reaching Mcleodganj. Either by taxi, a bus from toy train from Pathankot to Kangra railway station.
By road – Either you can choose to take your own car, a taxi or Delhi to mcleodganj bus. And overnight Volvo journey will ease your comfort and you will reach in the morning.