DAY 1, APRIL 1, 2018
After breakfast we started our journey to Dharamshala from Dalhousie, on april 1, 2018. We booked a private car. Dalhousie to Dharamsala distance is 121 km. Best time to visit Dharamshala is march to june. Nearest railway station of Dharamshala is Pathankot. You may go to Dharamshala from Pathankot by taxi or bus. Gaggal Airport is the nearest airport. Dharamshala was formerly known as ‘Bhagsu’. It is a municipal corporation city of kangra district. McLeod Ganj is a suburb of Dharamshala in kangra district of Himachal Pradesh.
We reached Dharamshala around 12:30 pm. We stayed at a Homestay in McLeod Ganj near Heeru village. McLeod Ganj and Dharamsala have lots of options for accommodation.
McLeod Ganj is a holy city in Dharamshala. It is famous for many attraction including Dalai Lama Temple.
McLeod Ganj has a Tibetan feel as the Dalai Lama resides here. After lunch at our homestay, we went to visit Dalai Lama temple. We went there by foot.
DALAI LAMA TEMPLE
This temple is a must visit place at McLeod Ganj. This temple is also called ‘Tsuglakhang Temple’. The temple is open from 8 am to 8 pm. People of all religion can visit this temple. We saw that inside the temple people(even foreigners) were meditating with prayer beads. Mobile phones and Cameras are allowed inside the temple. The ambiance around the temple was quiet and peaceful. We stayed there 40 minutes.
Within the temple complex, there is a museum. It holds rare photos of Dalai Lama, Tibetan culture etc. This museum is found near the entry gate.
ST. JOHN’S CHURCH IN THE WILDERNESS
Then we went to visit ‘St. John’s Church in the wilderness’. It is within walking distance of the main market and Dalai Lama Temple.The church is known for its Belgian stained-glass windows donated by Lady Elgin, wife of Lord Elgin.
We stayed there 30 minutes and then came to the main market by a auto rickshaw. We had some snacks and coffee. Then came back to our homestay.
McLeod Ganj offers a variety of food like the Tibetan bread and noodles, thukpa, fresh cakes, Italian food etc. Some good restaurants at McLeod Ganj are Tibet Kitchen( Jogiwara road), Khana Nirvana(Temple road), Carpe Diem(Jogiwara road), Nick’s Italian Kitchen( Bhagsu road) etc.