A trek to Indrahar Pass


All through my Mcleodganj days, it hasn’t been uncommon if I halt while walking down the Jogibara road, and stare at the eternally snowcapped Dhauladhar range standing in middle of the road. And in November 2014, I decided to finally trek till the top of the range that shadows Mcleodganj, and Dharamshala.

My first stop was Triund top; an easy to moderate 9 km hike from the town took me there, and in the process bringing up the grand view of Dhauladhar range with Mun Peak dominating the scenery. After having my lunch at one of the shacks in Triund, I left for snowline cafe, which was going to be my halt for the night.


Situated midst rolling meadows in the grazing grounds of Ilaka, Snowline cafe is the last shack where you can get some food and have a cozy night stay, before continuing your trek to top of the range. A sumptuous dinner comprising of Dal, Subzi and Chawal is followed by a conversation about my destination with the shack’s elderly owner, as we sat down under a starry sky. He told me about the religious importance of those mountain peaks within shepherd community, and how one should ask for the permission of mountain gods before embarking on a trek in that region.

Next morning I woke up early, mumbling a silent prayer and request to the mountain Gods, before I saw my water bottle freezing within minutes after being exposed to the cold winds. The sky was clear, an indication from the mountain Gods that they had granted me their permission to trek further.


The final stretch of my trek to Indrahar pass was a steep affair, requiring the complete concentration while climbing up the mountain. And since there was no trail to follow, one had to keep looking for piles of stones that were kept by shepherds who frequent that route.


Indrahar pass was a 4 hour, moderate to difficult, trek from Snowline cafe, and luckily I found two other trekkers, who were carrying some extra water.

The trek requires a strong grip, as you climb over the slippery stones, and a good amount of stamina to ensure that you climb up and down before sunset. As there’s no place to camp at night around Indrahar pass.


The trek in parts is quite tricky, and one misplaced step can be fatal. But what you get after wading through all the difficulty is a welcoming view of greater Himalayas that lie beyond Dhauladhar mountain range. Pir Panjal range dominates the horizon, with Manimahesh Kailash too making an appearance. While behind you, you’ll be able to see a wide expanse of Kangra valley and plains beyond them on a clear day.


As me, and my new found friends sat down at Indrahar pass, looking at the higher Himalayas in distance, I felt a complete sense of peace. And I realized that even though nature paves our ways with numerous difficulties, it’s only to ensure that we realize our strengths and leave in search of the moments that make us come alive.


To plan a vacation with Blossoms, click on the link below and book your stay with us.http://www.blossomsvillage.com/resort-hotel-in-dharamshala-contactus.html

This post has been written by Abhinav Chandel, a travel blogger who’s been calling Dharamshala his home since April 2014. You can contact him on twitter at ‘ @abhiandnow‘ 


Culinary Experiences of Mcleodganj

All through these years, during all my visits to Mcleodganj, one thing that always stood out for me was the many culinary experiences one can have here.

Mcleodganj has always been a cultural melting pot for years, and therefore, with people from all around the world coming and settling here, it’s only natural that they brought their cuisines along as well. And therefore, here are the five culinary experiences you mustn’t miss during your next trip to Mcleodganj:


Israeli Food and Wood oven pizzas of Dharamkot: 2 kms from Mcleodganj, lies Dharamkot. It’s one of the places where you won’t hear much of those touristy noises, won’t find shopkeeper and agents hassling you, and no vehicles as well. Dharamkot is also the place where everyone goes to chill, and thanks to the significant Israeli population here, you’ll find some really nice joints with Israeli dishes on their menu. Friendly Planet for one, is one of the places where you can spend one of the evenings on your Mcleodganj trip. It’s a backpacker’s heaven, where you can enjoy jamming sessions in the evenings along with nicely prepared Hummus and Pita, or you can just go and sit in one of the Pizza places across the street, and enjoy a delicious thin crust pizza with a nice ambiance. And don’t forget to mingle with other travelers here, as Prem Joshua’s music tries to loosen up the environment in the background.


Eclectic Bhagsu: Bhagsu is a mash up of every cuisine you’ll find in the region. From wonderfully prepared continental food to some great Punjabi preparations to vegan delights to some great bakery items, in Bhagsu you can find anything. In fact, they’ve their own indigenous preparation, called Bhagsu Cake. It’s a dessert with layers of chocolate and caramel, and something you must definitely try. While Bhagsu also boasts of some nice cafes by the waterfall, like Shiva cafe, it also has a place named Music cafe. Here along with some nice preparations, you can jam with other travelling musicians, or just sit and enjoy the show.


Tibetan Food of Mcleodganj: Mcleodganj is primarily a Tibetan settlement, and therefore, you can expect some really nice Tibetan cuisines to be enjoyed in cozy restaurants all around the town. There’re places selling delicious thukpas, thenthuks, tingmos, momos etc. You can try the Four Seasons restaurant and Tibet Kitchen on Jogibara road, JJI Exile Kitchen on Bhagsu road, Palsang on Temple road for some of the best Tibetan preparations in the town. Other than that, there are various small Tibetan eateries, which take you right into the setting of some Jackie Chan movie from early 90s, but what you get in return is some authentic Tibetan food.


European offerings of Mcleodganj: Mcleodganj isn’t only about Tibetan food, but you can also find some of the best French, Italian, Spanish etc. cuisines all around the town. To start your day, you can try any of the major cafes in Mcleodganj for farmer’s breakfast, namely Green, Snow lion, Nick’s Kitchen etc. Then there’s Lhamo’s, serving some amazing French food, and moving on you can try Illiterati and Jimmy’s, if you are in the mood to have some Italian food.


Cafes and Bakeries: Mcleodganj boast of some of the most amazing desserts you’ll ever have, from Woeser Bakery’s Tarts to Kunga’s mousse and Banoffie Pie to streetside goodness of Tibetan quality bakery, there’s something for all kinds of desserts lovers in the town. Then there are cozy cafes, where you can sit and read for hours or make some interesting conversations with fellow travellers. Mcleodganj is a perfect place to learn about different cultures, and Carpe Diem, Common Ground, Moonpeak, Coffeetalk etc. are some of the best places to make those conversations over wonderful coffee and teas.

Treks around Dharamsala: Trekking to Triund

Lying on the southern edge of Dhauladhar range, Dharamsala becomes a starting point for many a treks into the higher parts of this mountain range. While most of those treks are usually for the regular trekkers, there are few which are perfect if you want your first trekking experience.

A trek to Triund is a wonderful way to cut yourself from the rest of the world, and enjoy the goodness of trekking in the lower Himalayas. Triund is used as a base camp for many of the high altitude trekking in Dhauladhar range, and therefore, there are quite few small shacks and a forest guest house to stay at, if you’re planning to spend a night up in the mountains.



The trek to Triund starts from Dharamkot, a small hamlet just 2 kms from Mcleodganj. As you start from Dharamkot, the metaled road suddenly gives way to a dusty pathway, which leads you higher into the mountains through a jungle; where surrounded by the pine trees, you can observe the sounds from town slowly fading away. Except for the occasional greetings from a passing monk, and chirping birds, you’re all on your own. This pathway continues to slowly rise in altitude, giving you some fine glimpses of the Kangra valley beyond, and takes you to Galu temple.

Galu temple is the first check point, around 1.5 Kms from Dharamkot, it’s the place where you can refill your water and eatables. Moreover, the moment you reach Galu temple, you can see the southern end of the Dhauladhar range, which usually isn’t possible from Mcleodganj.


A cup of tea and wonderful views of Bal and Kareri village far away is a perfect way to spend sometime resting at this first checkpoint.

After Galu, the trail gradually becomes steeper, as the view of the valley beyond Mcleodganj opens up on your right hand side while you continue with your climb towards Triund. The trail isn’t that hard in this part of the trek, and you can take some stops on the way, soaking in all the beauty stretching till far beyond in Kangra valley.

On a clear day, if you observe closely, you can spot the wide expanse of Pong Dam Reservoir adorning the horizon.

Your next checkpoint will be Magic View cafe, which was apparently set up in 1984. One of the best things to do here is to sit on the platform in front of the shop, enjoy the cool breeze, a nice sunshine and have a bowl of steaming hot maggi. During spring season, you can also find a huge number of fiery red Rhododendron flowers in this part, decorating the lush green slopes.

magic view

The part after Magic view cafe, 2nd checkpoint, is the most beautiful part of the trek. As you cross a few seasonal waterfalls, and take sharp turns where you change face of the mountains and encounter new views. During this part, if you look upwards, you’ll be able to spot the flat region of Triund. This portion of the trek is where it gets a bit tricky, there are a few slippery stones and it is steep in parts. And at the end of it lies another shop, your 3rd checkpoint, where you can rest a bit and take some refreshments, before taking on the last stretch of the trek.

triund again

The last stretch to Triund after the third checkpoint, is also the steepest part of the whole trek. Here you cross another seasonal waterfall, where you can spot some snow till the month May and after crossing it, there’s a steep climb till you reach Triund. The trail immediately gains altitude, as it passes through a dense stretch of forest. However, since it’ll be the last stretch till Triund, you can take as many breaks as you want, and then continue with your journey.

This last arduous part ends at once, as you take a turn and the whole expanse of Triund along with the mighty Dhauladhar peaks opens up in front of you. Here Mun Peak welcoming you with its intimidating structure, which rises sharply towards the sky, along with its adjoining peaks.

triund reaching

The most magical part of Triund is that while you’ll have the whole range in front of you, if you turn around, you’ll see Kangra valley stretching until horizon.

Once you’re at Triund, you can opt for spending a night there midst the snowy peaks and great views. You can get tents and sleeping bags from one of the three shacks there, or can also stay in the forest rest house. However, we’d recommend you to try camping under the starry sky. Plus, the shop owners have bonfires at night, where you can sit and take part in revelries along with the fellow trekkers. But don’t stay up till late, watching the stars or singing/dancing around the bonfire, because the next morning, you’ll have to be up for a majestic sunrise.

triund caming

Here’s a tip, try going to the downward edge of Triund, from where you can spot the sun rising from behind the peaks, while on the other side you can watch the whole Kangra valley coming to life with the sunrise.

And once, you’re done watching the sunrise, it’ll be the time to leave for the trek down to Mcleodganj, unless you opt for another day in Triund, because according to us, there’s no such thing as ‘Too much of Triund’.

Alternatively, you can also opt for a trek to the higher parts of the range. Yes, as we told you earlier, Triund is just the base camp, and there’s a whole lot more lying further ahead from it, and we’ll be discussing it in the coming blogs.

So till then, plan a trip to Triund and enjoy your first trekking experience in the beautiful and dramatic Dhauladhar mountain range.


Winter attractions around Dharamsala

Winter season comes with its own colours in the region around Dharamshala, and what it does is open up many more attractions. While due to excessive snow, it becomes difficult to trek and at times to Paraglide as well, but this is the time, when few of the attractions that remain dormant during the summer months, become a must visit.

And in this blog post, I’ll be talking about three things you must do on your trip to Dharamshala/Mcleodganj during winter months:


Bird Watching in Pong Lake: Pong Lake is not only India’s biggest earthfill dam, but is also one of the most underrated bird sanctuaries in India. Due to its location in the northern part of country, it attracts various birds species from central Asia and Siberia. Therefore, if you’re coming to Mcleodganj/Dharamshala, you must plan a trip to Pong Lake that is about 55 kms from Blossoms Village Resort. While indulging in the bird watching at Pong Lake, don’t forget to visit Rancer island, take a boat ride in the lake, indulge in conversations with local fishermen and visit the half submerged Bathu temples.


Pong lake attracts various bird species during winters such as Egrets, Bar Headed Geese, Kingfishers etc. and if you listen properly, you might hear the sounds of a toy train chugging through the forests nearby.


A ride in Kangra Valley Toy Train: Back in 1926, British government planned narrow gauge track from Pathankot till Joginder Nagar, connecting the inner reaches of Kangra Valley. For years, this rail route has been used by people of villages to traverse across the region. However, that’s not where it ends, the Kangra Valley toy train snakes through the rolling lush green hills, crossing meandering rivers fed by the glaciers, passing beautiful gorges and then running parallel to the snow covered peaks of Dhauladhar range.train

No other train in India comes as close to eternally snow capped mountains as Kangra valley toy train does, specially during the route between Kangra and Palampur.


Discover the heritage of Garli: There’s a village hidden in the lower reaches of Kangra valley. Carefully placed between the surrounding hills, village of Garli was once a hub of some of the richest Sood merchants. While the merchants are all gone, what is left is their legacy, and many old havelis, turning into ruins. Visit Garli for these beautiful havelis, to spend time with villagers listening to the stories of time when Garli used to be the most prosperous town of this region, with an excellent education system.


Moreover, near Garli lies the famous Kaleshwar Mahadev temples at the banks of Beas river, flowing just 3 Kms away from the village.


To plan a vacation with Blossoms, click on the link below and book your stay with us. http://www.blossomsvillage.com/resort-hotel-in-dharamshala-contactus.html

This post has been written by Abhinav Chandel, a travel blogger who’s been calling Dharamshala his home since April 2014. You can contact him on twitter at ‘ @abhiandnow‘ 

Adventure activities around Dharamshala

In this post of Life around Blossoms Village Resort, we’ll be talking about the adventure activities you can indulge in during your stay in Dharamshala.

When I first came to Mcleodganj, I never expected this place to be full of so much potential, while most of us know this region for its spiritual essence, there’s something for everyone here and that includes the adventure lovers too.

The diverse terrain of this region provides a lot of opportunities for us to explore, and tread the roads untravelled by many. So, here’s my list of adventure activities you can indulge in during your next trip to Mcleodganj/Dharamshala:


1. Paragliding: 2-3 hrs away from Dharamshala, lies Bir-Billing, it is one of the best places in the world to paraglide at. If you’ve already paraglided in Manali, let me tell you that this one is much better than that. As you glide across the sky, you won’t only get a panoramic view of the Kangra valley in front of you, but you also won’t be far away from the snowcapped peaks of Dhauladhar mountains.bir1

Except during Monsoons, Paragliding is open throughout the year. The beautiful Tibetan village of Bir is set in the Dhauladhar range, surrounded by monasteries, and the importance of this paragliding site can only be seen in the fact that many paragliders learn their trade to Paraglide here. Plus, it’ll also be hosting the Paragliding World Cup next year.


2. Trekking: Set at the spur of majestic Dhauladhar range, Dharamshala is also the start of many great treks through the lower Himalayas, which also involves crossing some of the most challenging passes. If you just want to get a taste of trekking, I’d recommend you a hike till Triund hill. The hike starts from Mcleodganj. While the more experienced trekkers can try crossing the Indrahar Pass and reaching Nag Dal lake, one of 20+ lakes situated in the Dhauladhar mountains, you can also cross into Chamba side, and continue with your trek.trekking2Then there’s Hampta pass to be crossed, before you venture into Bada Bhangal, one of the remotest regions of Himachal. Another of the offbeat trekking routes features a trek to Kareri Dal-Minkiani pass-Lam dal.


3. Water Sports: The region around Dharamshala also boasts of water related adventure activities, and yes, that’s a surprise for many. While on your Paragliding trip to Bir-Billing, you can couple your flight with a round of angling. In addition, there’s the magnificent Pong lake, one of the most underrated reservoirs across the country, which is full of water sports opportunities to indulge in.7

This 42 kms long and 2 kms wide reservoir located on Beas River in Kangra Valley features various options, including canoeing, swimming, sailing, water skiing etc. There’s a water sports institute here, which also conducts courses at beginner, intermediate and advanced levels, where you can enroll yourself. This water-sports institute is only one of its kinds in India, and therefore, you must take full advantage of it on your next trip to Dharamshala/Mcleodganj.


To plan a vacation with Blossoms, click on the link below and book your stay with us. http://www.blossomsvillage.com/resort-hotel-in-dharamshala-contactus.html

This post has been written by Abhinav Chandel, a travel blogger who’s been calling Dharamshala his home since April 2014. You can contact him on twitter at ‘ @abhiandnow‘ 

Planning your next trip: Five reasons to visit Mcleodganj

Mountains have always drawn my attention, since I started travelling few years back. Though back then, most of my trips had been to the usual hill stations with their mall roads, rolling hills being encroached by concrete, and slightly cool breezes.

However, it wasn’t until I discovered Mcleodganj that my perception about the Indian hill stations changed.


Mcleodganj isn’t your usual hill station; it’s like a whiff of fresh air waiting to be inhaled, if you’re willing to. Lying midst the towering Dhauladhar range, that rises swiftly from the lower hills of Kangra valley, Mcleodganj has its many facets.

The best part about this gorgeous hill station is that it has something for everyone, and here are my five reasons why you must visit Mcleodganj:



  • Tibetan culture & Spirituality: If it’s spirituality that attracts you or if you just want to experience a Tibetan way of life, which actually doesn’t involve eating momos all the time, then Mcleodganj is the place for you. While there are various spiritual courses that you can enroll yourself in, simultaneously you can also go on spiritual retreats for a few days in Mcleodganj. Moreover, it’s a completely different world here in Mcleodganj, with Tibetan culture dominating the landscape. You can attend various movie screenings, talks to know more about Tibet, plus you can also engage in conversations with friendly locals to know more about their culture. And then all those beautiful decorative items, which draw their inspiration from Tibetan culture and a Buddhist way of life. Also, once you’re in the town, you must ask around about Dalai Lama, he keeps visiting Mcleodganj, and if he’s around, you can attend one of his public meetings.


  • Landscape: Mcleodganj is nestled in Dhauladhar mountain range, which is considered to be the most majestic range in lower Himalayas. While on one side you can have panoramic views of Kangra valley, watching the sun set behind the lower hills, on the other hand, this hill town is over shadowed by the snowy peaks. If you’re an early rise, you can watch the sun rise from behind them. It is one of the very few places in India that provide such kind of diversity in the landscape.


  • Range of activities: One of the biggest reasons to book your tickets to Mcleodganj is the range of activities all around the region. If you’re an avid trekker, there are a few passes, which you must visit including Indrahar pass. Another treat for trekkers are the high altitude lakes in the region, like Kareri and Lam Dal lake, which not only challenge a trekker but also provide some of the most wonderful sights in Himalayas. Moving on, one of the best paragliding spots in the world, Bir-Billing, is not too far away from Mcleodganj. While Pong lake provides a great opportunity for bird watchers, as it is full with migratory birds during winters months, and during summers it becomes a great option to indulge in water sports. Meanwhile, if you want a closer look to the laid back hills of Kangra valley, I’d ask you to take a ride in the historic Kangra Valley toy train.


  • Food: Mcleodganj is truly a melting pot of various cultures around the world, and what it does is not only bring the best of people from various parts of the world, but also their cuisines. While you can start with trying various Tibetan dishes in Mcleodganj, you can subsequently move on to even more varieties which include Israeli food in Dharamkot, Himachali cuisine in lower Dharamshala, try Spanish breakfast spread at various cafes in Mcleodganj, French cuisines at Lhamo’s, some great Italian options at Illiterati and so on. Therefore, if you’re a foodie, Mcleodganj should be on the top of your list.


  • Chill in the hill: While it sounds a bit cheesy, but Mcleodganj is the perfect destination if you want to spend sometime away from the daily hassles of city life. There are beautiful trails to go on morning and evening walks, spending time midst the nature and giving your body a much deserved break from all kinds of pollution. Then the laid back cafes of Mcleodganj are a great way to make new friends and meet people from around the world. So, if you love meeting new people, then you’re going to have some great conversations on any topic you can think about, in Mcleodganj. Moreover, Mcleodganj is also a book lover’s paradise, where you’ll find 7 bookstores catering to all kinds of reading enthusiasts, and every cafe in the town has a small library, thus ensuring you can enjoy your time in company of a great book and steaming cup of hot chocolate.

And here’s a list of my five reasons why you must plan your first trip to Mcleodganj as soon as possible.

In the coming days, I’ll be telling you more about the ‘Life Around Blossoms Village Resort’, where we’ll be discovering the unexplored secrets of this region, which make it one of the most majestic parts of India.



Blossoms village resort: A photo tour

Located at the spur of Dhauladhar mountain range, Blossoms village resort can be your next holiday destination. Here at resort we strive towards providing you with the best experience, and make your holiday not only enjoyable, but also peaceful.

At Blossoms, you’ll leave behind the hectic city life, and enter into the lap of nature.

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We have spacious rooms, and cottages, designed to not only give your a relaxing experience, but also ensure that you’ve the best view of the Dhauladhar mountain range.

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Away from the need of running around all the time, you can just sit in the balcony and stare at the snow covered peaks, shining under a blue sky.

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And if you’re an early riser, the sun will rise for you from behind these peaks.

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Not only we have cozy rooms to enhance your vacation experience, we also have four cottages overlooking the mountain range. These cottages are designed keeping in mind the ultimate need of relaxation.

4 cottages

And the evening tea in the cottage’s verandah will also give you a chance to catch a glimpse of mountains glowing at the sunset.


At Blossoms, keeping in my mind our guest’s need for a picture perfect holiday, our in house roof-top restaurant and bar gives you an opportunity to enjoy your meals in the company of a panoramic view of the surrounding area.


But it’s not just the views or the relaxation part, we also take pride in providing you with the recreation space, where you and your kids can indulge in various activities; thus being one of the very few resorts in the area, which take care of all your needs. And you can also take advantage of our in-house spa treatment facility.

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At Blossoms, we try to keep you close to the nature, with trees laden with flowers and birds providing a perfect background score, while you sit and do nothing.

Because isn’t that what vacations about, to unwind yourself…


However, with this blog, we will take a step forward and introduce you to the many facets of the region around Blossoms. Introducing you to various scenic spots, unexplored routes and hidden stories.

For we believe that alongwith the life at Blossom, what truly makes up for an amazing trip is also ‘The life around Blossoms Village Resort.