Housed in the Kangra district and at the suburbs of the town of Dharamshala, Mcleodganj, Himachal Pradesh is one of the most favorite tourist destinations of recent times. Because of being occupied by a lot many of Tibetans who moved here after China’s invasion of their homeland, Mcleodganj is also sometimes referred to as the Little Lhasa. It is also noteworthy the exiled government of Tibet is also based in Mcleodganj only.
Speaking of Mcleodganj tourism, this quaint little town some 3 km away from Dharamshala is visited by thousands of tourists every year. People come here for various reasons like spirituality, volunteer programs, Himalayan experiences and adventures, and for much other sightseeing, photo and excursion opportunities in this religious small town cum hill station in the Himalayas.
The town of Mcleodganj, Himachal Pradesh is famous especially and foremostly for being a spiritual getaway and pilgrimage for the Buddhists. The reason behind that is it is home to the 14th Dalai Lama of the Buddhists, Lama Tenzin Gyatso, who came here in the year of 1960 after his exile from Tibet. Dalai Lama established Tibet Government in exile here at Dharamshala and made the quaint little town of Mcleodganj as his permanent residence.
The presence of His Holiness in town attracts a lot of tourists and pilgrims to the town. Mcleodganj is also one of the best places to see the real lifestyle of Tibetan Buddhists and monks from up close. One of the reasons this place is called Little Lhasa is because the people have built this place in the image of their previous abode. And it is possible to get a glimpse of the Dalai Lama on the occasions that he is in town and one of the many Buddhist festivals celebrated in the town.
Apart from this, Mcleodganj is considered by many to be an adventurous hub, especially in terms of trekking in Mcleodganj. Home to one of the most beautiful, scenic and exciting treks of the country, the Triund Trek, Mcleodganj is the base camp for reaching the summit of the famous hill. Starting from Dharamkot in Mcleodganj, the 9 km trek leads the trekker through forests of Oak, Deodar, and Rhododendron before opening up to one of the best sceneries that you will find in the Himalayas.
And as the elevation rises, the picturesque hills and valleys become clearer, giving it all a serene touch. Upon reaching the top of Triund, one can see far off hills of the Dhauladhar mountain range that look to be so close that you could touch them if you only extended your hand. The exciting trek has become such a favorite of the community that one can even call it the poster boy of Mcleodganj tourism. And speaking of mountain ranges, Mcleodganj lies in the Dhauladhar range, with the highest peak of the range Hanuman ka Tibba lying just behind the town. The 5,639m giant stands tall and like a guard in the backdrop which is a sight to behold from everywhere in the hill station.
And with such beauty and spirituality, sightseeing in Mcleodganj is something that will never bore a person visiting here. Apart from Triund, some of the places to visit in Mcleodganj include the name of the famous Bhagsunath temple. Attached to a wonderful legend, the medieval era temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is famous for a waterfall that flows right through the temple. The majestic cascading waterfall, called the Bhagsunag falls, forms a pool at the base which is considered to be sacred amongst the devotees and dip in the cold water brings about a different feeling of spiritual in the people.
Another famous tourist spot in Mcleodganj, Himachal Pradesh is Kareri Lake. Filled with the melting snow of the Dhauladhar ranges, this lake at the base of the Minkiani Pass is the perfect combination of offbeat trekking and scenic beauty in the middle of snow-capped peaks. Alongside the experience of trekking to this calm and serene lake is the added experience of camping by its side and in a scenic meadow right under the Minkiani Pass.
Speaking of which, the Minkiani Pass is another great place to see when in Mcleodganj. You can simply extend your trek to Kareri Lake to conquer the summit of this serene pass lying at an amazing height of 14,000ft above sea level. The view that one gets of the nearby ranges makes you feel like you are walking on the clouds. A great place to take pictures, Minkiani Pass trek is considered to be somewhere in between easy and moderate in difficulty and makes it worth facing the trek at the end.
And one of the most important places in Mcleodganj is the Namgyal Monastery. The place is actually a personal monastery for the 14th Dalai Lama and relates to the very second Religious teacher of the Buddhist belief, dating back to the mid 16th century. Originally in Lhasa, the monastery was entirely relocated to Mcleodganj in the uprising of 1959 and is now the home to the Dalai Lama. It is also the largest Tibetan Temple outside of Tibet. Apart from being a beautiful monastery, Namgyal is also center for education, called the Namgyal Tantric College, where the arts of Kalachakra, Vajrakilaya and many other such Tantric practices are taught to the future Namgyal Monks.
With such beauty, spirituality, adventure, and serenity, Mcleodganj is truly one of the best places to visit in the Himalayas. In fact, Mcleodganj, Himachal Pradesh, and many areas around it are experiences that should be visited at least once in a lifetime. So let the adventure unfurl as you take on the spellbinding journey through this amazing hill station of the Kangra District and in the lap of the Dhauladhar mountains.