As we know, Passion matters a lot. My passion is Travelling and bike riding. On 21st May 2016. It was starting a new chapter of my life. I started and decided to follow my passion. So I discussed with my college friends to plan a trip. We are a group of ten people. Before this, we always planned a trip and every time we failed. But this time we planned for next day departure to trip to Mcleodganj, Dharamshala, and Triund. There were Kushank, Ayush, Akash, Mohnish Dibya who agreed to go for the trip with me.
Mcleodganj is hill station which is the suburb of Dharamshala in Kangra District of Himachal. It has very rich history and culture from British’s Summer capital to a settlement of Tibetan refugees. Mcleodganj is in the foothills of the Dhauladar range of Himalayas.
When China captured Tibet in 1959. Dalai Lama of Tibet came to India with his associates and set up the headquarters for Govt. of Tibet in Dharamshala. Mcleodganj became home to thousands of Tibetan refugees. Mcleodganj is known as Lhasa. Several Buddhist Monasteries were set up there and Mcleodganj becomes important tourist spot over the span of years. You can see the Buddhist monks who are traveling and meditating in dense forests of Mcleodganj. You can feel the essence of Spirituality. Mcleodganj has very beautiful and dense forests of oak and Deodar, landscapes, views and mountains with an aroma of Tibetan Culture. Triund trek is a famous trek toTriund hill and snowline from Mcleodganj. Triund is at the foot of the Dhauladar range. Snowline is at high attitude than Triund hill and you have to trek to reach Snowline where u can see snow in summers.
BEST MONTH TO VISIT MCLEODGANJ
You can visit Mcleodganj and Triund in 12 months a year.But you should avoid this place during Rainy season. Best span to visit these places is from September to June. You can experience Snowfall in winter. But after winter It is very rare to see snow in Triund and Mcleodganj but You can get snow at Snowline point.
Dharamshala is 80 km far from Pathankot which is the nearest railway station. You can easily reach there by car or bus from Delhi and Chandigarh.The nearest airport is Kangra Airport which is 18 km Far from Dharamshala.
We decided that we would depart next day on 22nd May. Due to lack of Budget bus tickets. We decided that we should travel by rail to Pathankot from Delhi then by bus. We booked the railway Tatkal tickets to Pathankot. It cost 350 bucks per head. We took the train from New Delhi railway station to Pathankot at 10 pm.
First Day in Mcleodganj
We Reached Pathankot on next Morning where we caught a bus to Dharamshala which cost us 100 Rs per person. It took about three hours to reach Dharamshala. In Dharamshala, we decided we would stay in Mcleodganj. Instead of rent a taxi we rent three motorcycles .on which we could explore all the places easily.We all were Motor Riding lovers .these Circumstances led to rent Royal Enfield Bullet, Avenger and Bajaj pulsar which cost us 1000 Bucks per day per motorcycle with petrol. After half hour bike riding through Dense forests of oak and Deodar trees, we reached Mcleodganj in mid-noon. Our first challenge was to find a good hotel to stay. After Search of 1 hour, we got the budget hotel near Jogibara marg which costs us 600 bucks per room.We took two rooms. Rooms are neat and clean with all basic facilities.
We got ready for the expedition. We had skipped the Breakfast so we were hungry. There were many reputed cafes in the Mcleodganj main square. we went to Tibetan Kitchen For Lunch which was famous for authentic Tibetan, Chinese and Thai food. We ordered thupka , noodles, salad and momos for lunch. Dalai Lama’s quotes were on every wall. The food was tasty. we paid 800 Rupees for the lunch. I rode Bullet in the whole trip. You Cannot imagine the feeling when the wind from oak and Deodar trees was blowing though body while you rode a motorcycle there. This was one of the best experiences which I got during this trip. now we have to visit one of the iconic places.
Best places to visit in Mcleodganj
1) HPCA Stadium, Dharamshala
HPCA stadium is the stadium located at the highest altitude in the world. It is one of the most beautiful stadiums in the world. HPCA cricket stadium is surrounded by huge mountains and hilly terrain.In winter HPCA stadium covers with snow. The road from Mcleodganj to Dharamshala was steep descent so. we turn off the engines of motorcycle and moved towards Dharamshala for 5kms. The experience of Biking without Start engine is awesome.You can also try this trick for motorcycle-only in Mcleodganj. We reached the HPCA cricket stadium in Dharamshala .we entered in the stadium from gate no. 5 .
It had the tremendous view and stadium was built in Tibetan architecture. In future, if I will get chance to spectate a match at this stadium. I will come to surely Dharamshala. After visiting HPCA stadium.On returning from Dharamshala to Mcleodganj, we found a hidden gem – St. John in the Wilderness Church.
2) St. John in the Wilderness church of British Era , Mcleodganj
St. John Church In the Wilderness built in 1852 by Britishers. The Viceroy of India Lord Elgin loved Mcleodganj so much and He spent his last days in Mcleodganj. He was buried in the graveyard of St. Jones church. As we reached there, the church was situated in the dense forest of deodar trees on the way from Dharamshala to Mcleodganj. the environment was beautiful and calm. we had to walk for 100 meters to reach St. John Church. We stayed there for half an hour . we visited the church premises. Then we were wandering on the roads for two hours. our next place to visit was Dal Lake
3) Dal Lake ,Mcleodganj
Dal lake was the lake near village Tota rani in Mcleodganj. It took around 10 minutes bike ride to reach there.The Dal lake was green in color. It was surrounded by Deodar Trees. Then I saw a Small temple on the banks of Dal Lake The Temple was dedicated to My Lord Shiva. There was Dal Lake Café near Dal Lake where we enjoyed masala Maggi with hot coffee.A hot strong Coffee made me fully refreshed. Maggi was amazing. One Maggi and a cup of coffee cost around 60 Bucks and Coffee.
Maggi is the best food to eat during mountain trips. I am vegetarian and I also resides in Delhi which proves a dangerous combination. I cannot get the good and tasty food easily in trips. A True Delhite loves the authentic,tasty and spicy food. You can enjoy tasty food on every street of Delhi. Delhi is famous for its authentic tasty food. In Delhi, you can enjoy Food from every region of India. There is lack of tasty food in the hilly region. So I prefer paranthas and Maggi in trips. we should eat as less as possible which makes you hydrated and fit. But in Mcleodganj and Dharamshala there are many good restaurants where you can enjoy authentic Indian, Tibetan, Italian and Chinese food. The Dal lake café owner suggested us to visit Bhagsu Nag.We went out for Bhagsu Nag.
4) Bhagsu Nag Temple
We reached Mcleodganj Main square and we have to ride motorbikes for another two kilometers. We were at Bhagsu Nag.There was an Ancient Shiva Temple which was situated in Bhagsu Nag. While I went to the temple, my friends went out to meet some Monks. I took pooja thali from one of the shops outside the temple. I saw ancient black Shivlinga in the temple . and I mediated for 10 Minutes by chanting Mahamritunjaya Mantra.
It was around 6 PM and the Sun going behind the mountains. We wanted to go Bhagsu nag waterfall. To reach Bhagsu Nag waterfalls there is a 1km trek. So we postponed the plan until next morning. we could feel chilliness in the environment. It was 8 pm and we went back to Mcleodganj. We felt hungry and tired.I suggested going for Italian cuisine. we turned towards Nick’s Italian kitchen. White cheese pasta, Pizza, and ice cream shakes were our dinner . after taking dinner we went back to the hotel. It is a story of the 1st day of my trip to Mcleodganj, we enjoyed a lot. you should come and explore the Mini Tibet.
We woke up early . we had to visit Bhagsu nag waterfall as soon as possible then we would depart for the Triund. We Reached Bhagsu Nag temple from Mcleodganj around 7 pm and started trekking to waterfall. As we reached one of the most beautiful waterfalls of India in 20 minutes. The height of waterfall should be around 300mtrs There were many cafes and guesthouses. In my opinion, you should visit Shiva café ..you can spend a day or two at Bhagsu Nag. We had to depart for the Triund trek. So we reached back to Mcleodganj and had to prepare for the Triund trek.
For Triund Trek, There is another blog This is the link for Triund Trip.