Travel is the only answer to a curious mind and a lost soul.
Last month, I made a visit to the Land of Monks in India; that’s right, Mcleodganj! Tibetan vibes are all over this place, from its people to food, religion and more. There’s an uncanny glee about Mcleodganj which lingers upon your soul, the moment you enter the place and stays with you even after you have left! Apart from the Dalai Lama temple & monastery, it is the beautiful nature which beckons you to visit this place again & again; I’m more than sure to make subsequent visits to Dharamshala soon.
We arrived in Dharamshala early morning, taking a quite comfortable Volvo bus from Delhi, and hired a taxi to reach our hotel. Our hotel, called the Gandhi’s Paradise, was located 1 km uphill from the main Mcleoadganj market and was quite approachable by foot. Before I tell you about my amazing two-day stay at Mcleodganj, let me also talk about how crowded the roads usually are here. We even got stuck in a one hour traffic jam while returning back to Delhi. So, if you’re planning to drive down to Dharamshala, make note of this and at least stay away from driving around the town.
What I saw:
Our first day of the trip was all about knowing and exploring the new place. We pretty much chose to walk the town down, trying to discover every beautiful nook and cranny of the quaint town. Mcleodganj is an amazing place to shop too and I would be sharing all my shopping details in part two of the post. Also, there are numerous places to eat and we were spoilt for choices literally.
We visited both the Dalai Lama temple and monastery on the first day. They both are approximately half a kilometer apart and are located in the main market itself. The Dalai Lama temple is a three-storey building and is quite unavoidable by the naked eye with the colourful prayer bells shining in the midst of the market. The statue of Lord Buddha has been placed on the top-most floor and photography is not allowed there. However, you can take pictures in other parts of the religious place. After spending few minutes on the top of the temple, we decided to walk towards the monastery. The monastery is huge and I found out that Dalai Lama often pays a visit to the place. Probably that explains the high security checks inside the monastery. I entered the monastery with numerous shrieking and squealing voices and there they were – little carefree souls making the most of a vast open area and fresh air. We caught up with a couple of them (as you can see in the pictures below), and loved every bit of it. The monastery hosts a school for these kids and a huge praying place on the second floor. You can spend a good couple of hours at this place, doing nothing but relaxing and catching up with these awesome and amiable kids.
What I ate:
When you’re in Mcleodganj, you just CAN NOT miss out on the finger-licking Tibetan food. My recommendation would be Tibet Kitchen which is located in the heart of the market and is always crowded. I had one of the best Thukpas and momos of my life here. In fact, there are these small vendors selling momos on the streets as well and are almost as good as them! (much-much better than what I have had in Delhi). We went to McLLo restaurant for dinner which is equally good and has all the cuisines to offer on its menu. It’s open till late night as compared to other places but is slightly more expensive than the rest of them.
What I wore:
Now, about something I love talking about! We visited Mcleod in April and unlike expected, it was pretty warm in there. Nights were comfortable and pleasant though but noon had hot sun just above our heads. However, I did carry light sweaters as I always feel comfortable with a little warmth around my body. I wore this over-sized black and white sweater from Koovs on my distressed denims with a pair of black sneakers to keep my feet from tiring away. My orange-gold reflectors from Rayban and Fossil watch were the only accessories I added. Also, I usually carry a big bag (tote on most occasions) when I’m traveling, which has all my travel essentials inside it. However, when I’m out and about in the town, it becomes tedious to carry such big bags all over. To avoid this, I always pack a small sling in my suitcase which I used while roaming around the town. I’m a minimalist while I’m on a travel mode and my sunglasses and watch are enough to accessorize my holiday looks. Travel smart is the new trend now, you see.
That’s all about Day 1 from my Mcleodganj vacay-diary but there’re lots of exciting things from Day 2 as well. So, stay tuned for the next part in the series, and comment below if you want to know anything else about the place. I would be more than glad to help. 🙂
Pullover: Koovs, Shoes: Miss Benett London, Denims: Zara