Have you ever wanted to visit a place away from the city crowd and noise? Have you ever wished to visit a place where you don't need to travel miles to see a beautiful site, all you need to do is peep out of your window? A place that leaves you in awe, a place that makes you revisit it again? Well, Mcleodganj is surely one among them! It's located in the state of Himachal Pradesh of India. It was named after Sir Donald Friell McLeod, a Lieutenant Governor of Punjab; the suffix 'ganj' is a common Hindi word for "neighborhood". Located amidst snowy mountain ranges, it's attracts tourists throughout the year. Few years back, I had visited the place and was left completely awestruck by it's beauty.
Listing down some of the most famous tourist spots below :
* Tsuglagkhang :
This is the place where the Dalai Lhama resides. This complex has a monastery, various stupas and temples, a museum, a library, a bookstore and a cafe. It attracts worshippers and tourists from all across the globe. Every place inside the complex is open for visitors except for the Dalai Lhama's residence.
* Church Of St. Johns In The Wilderness :
The name itself is enough to define the place. This neo-gothic architecture was built in 1852 and still stands strong amidst the forest. Behind the church is a graveyard which is also the final resting place of Lord Ergin, governor general and viceroy of India during the British rule.
* Dhauladhar Ranges :
The name itself means 'white ranges' and it really does justice to it's name. The ranges surrounds the small town and is covered with snow throughout the year. If you plan to get a closer look, try trekking to Triund and literally be above the clouds and admire this beauty.
* Bhagsunath Temple And Waterfall :
Located right next to each other, the temple and the waterfall share the same name. To see the waterfall, you need to trek a little (with little I mean a hell lot of stairs and uneven ground!). The temple lies right below the waterfall.
* Triund :
This is considered to be amongst the most difficult trekking trails in India. During the winters it's restricted and in the other seasons also, it totally depends on the weather. Although the total distance to the top is merely 7-8km, the way is so steep and dangerous that you'll need around 4-5hrs just to climb on top. The view from there is absolutely worth the pain though. If your luck is with you, the weather just might be in your favor and you can go camping as well.
* Dharamshala Cricket Stadium : You might be wondering why should a cricket stadium be named under tourist spots. The answer to it is that this picturesque venue is unique as it is situated at an altitude of 1,457 m above the sea level and has the snow-capped Himalayan mountains in the background. It's situated in Dharamshala which is around half an hour from Mcleodganj.
* City Shopping :
Don't forget to buy some souvenirs from this beautiful place. The city market is flocked with vendors on either side of the road selling all sorts of jewelry, shawls, home-decor items, antiques and the most colorful collection of rings and stones. I bought this for my home :
The ideal time to visit Mcleodganj is between feb-oct as the winter there can become unbearable. It's also one of the cheapest place when it comes to lodging and food. Make sure to take a stroll through the town and enjoy being so close to nature. The localites are such friendly and helpful people. The food here is just delicious with a number of amazing cafes spread all across the town. Come and visit the place if you're looking to reinstate your peace of mind and forget all about your worries :)
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