Mcleod Ganj- Unplanned trek in the Himalayas

We TRAVEL not to escape LIFE, But for LIFE not to escape US!!

I was little apprehensive travelling to Dharamshala in mid January due to sub zero temperatures. Late in the evening after some consultations with some close  friends and little motivation from them I decided to pack my bags

Booked a bus from Chandigarh Sector 43 ISBT.
IMG_20160122_223928_HDR The bus reached Dharamshala at an uneartlhy hour of 4:30, instantly freezing me. The air was chilly, streets of Dharamshala empty, and I was clueless, hungry and sleep deprived . The bus driver suggested me a tea shop nearby and I went there to find some warmth, meanwhile sipping a warm tea at -3 degrees temperature.  Reliance Jio is offering free wireless internet throughout the town for free ( probably testing phase). I passed time browsing through various travel blogs to make my itenary. At 6:30 I heard the announcement of bus to McLeod Ganj and immediately found a seat. It took around 20 mins to reach McLeod Ganj. The first views of the valley were mesmerizing
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Dharamshala to Mcleodganj Road

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McLeod (popularly known as Little Lhasa) is still pretty chilled out, before commercialization ruins the place. Lot of cafes and a lot of tourists/travelers.  Monks in red robes wandered about giving McLeodganj an otherworldly feel.

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I quickly found a place to stay on the main street near Dalma Chowk and headed out for some breakfast. The only place open was a punjabi dhaba, serving delicious parathas.

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View of the valley and the Dhauladhars from the Hotel Balcony
Predominantly Tibetan, the Free Tibet movement and the monasteries will leave a long lasting impression.

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Mcleodganj is a place you need to go alone, or maximum one companion. Mcleodganj is NOT a place for families, it is NOT a place for a group of friends to hang out, it is NOT a place for sightseeing. It is a place to be felt
The main square is pretty crowded, though has some great places to eat and things to do
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Mcllo Restaurant

Right from the Mcleodganj main square there are 4 roads outbound (not including the one from Dharamshala). Two of them comprise the main market. The third is the one that says “Bhagsunaag temple” and the 4th one “Dharamkot”

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Way to Temple Street

 

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Way to Bhagsunaag Temple and Falls

In Mcleodganj, Dalai Lama Temple and Tibetan market are must visit places that easily consume half-a-day, if one has enough time to roam around in market area for shopping and trying Tibetan cuisine.
Note: Cameras and other electronic items are not allowed inside Dalai Lama Temple

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Tsuglagkhang Complex ( Dalai Lama Temple)

Its the major attraction of Mcleod Ganj

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Memorial

Market area is full of sellers selling handicraft , winter wear, artificial jewellery  etc. Market closes by 7pm in winters

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Market Street

 Bhagsunaag Temple and Waterfalls :

About a 20 minute hike from Main Square took me to Bhagsunaag Temple. Take some chocolates and a water bottle before you go there if you plan to walk. Local shared taxis are other option to reach the temple Bhagsunaag cake is a must try snack here.
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Entrance
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Bhagsunaag Temple

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Bhasnugaag Falls

Its a 20 min hike from the Temple. (This can be skipped)

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St. John in the Wilderness

Located in the Dharamshala- Mcleod Ganj Road. Its churchyard is the final resting place of Lord Elgin, who served as Governor General of the Province of Canada, who oversaw the Creation of Responsible Government in Canada, He became Governor-General & Viceroy of India in 1861 during the British Raj, though he soon died at Dharamshala on November 20, 1863, and was buried there.

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More images from my trip can be found here

Part 2 : Triund 

I read it somewhere that “At least go on one trek in your life”, if you still have not then pack your bags and catch the next bus to Triund. Life will find ways to occupy you every day, just give your life a break. Give yourself a break…
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