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.