Top 5 Places in Mcleodganj, Temperature, Best Time to Visit, Hotels etc. – A Complete Guide
Housed in the Kangra district and at the suburbs of the town of Dharamshala, Mcleodganj has emerged as one of the most favorite tourist destinations of recent times. It is also known as the Little Lhasa for being occupied by many Tibetans, who moved here after China’s invasion of their homeland. It is also noteworthy the exiled government of Tibet is also based in Mcleodganj only.
This quaint little town just a few kilometers away from Dharamshala is visited by thousands of tourists every year. Tourists flock to the picturesque town for spiritual, meditational, and Himalayan experiences and adventures. This small town cum hill station is an exemplary location for sightseeing and soul-seeing.
With the beauty of the hills, unbelievably fresh air, and an unusual calm to keep you company- Mcleodganj will make sure you go home with a happy, contented soul. Standing miles away from the hustle-bustle and fast pace of the city life, McLeod Ganj lays down the perfect platform to connect with the enchanting beauty of silence.
McLeodganj is named after David McLeod, who was Lieutenant Governor of Punjab when the British discovered the little hill station in the early 1850s. It was a suitable place to shift their civil administration and cantonment from Kangra Fort.
In 1960, persuaded the exiled Dalai Lama to settle down here. Fleeing from the Chinese, his people dying in the heat and dust of the Indian plains, the 14th Dalai Lama found refuge in this little pine-covered spur of the mountains, with snow peaks around the corner.
How to Reach?
McLeodganj is an absolute delight for wanderlust millennials and spiritual enthusiasts. This hill station easily accessible by road, air or rail, kudos to decent connectivity via all modes of transport.
The nearest airport is the Kangra (Gaggal) Airport, which is approximately 17 kilometers. Airlines such as Jagson Airlines, Air India Regional and SpiceJet offer regular flight services from places like Delhi and Chandigarh. Rely on local cabs and buses for the next part of your journey.
The nearest railway station is the Pathankot Junction Railway Station, about 89 kilometers away from McLeod Ganj. Travelers can easily hop on a cab or taxi or bus for the rest of the way.
The other best way to get to McLeodganj is via Delhi. Reach the national capital and take a cab or a Volvo bus to McLeodganj, 480, which can be covered within 9-10 hours. Numerous Volvo buses operate between Delhi and McLeodganj from different points in Delhi.
Places to visit
The picturesque landscape, spirituality, and serenity of McLeodganj form a beautiful collage that attracts tourists from across the world. Here are some of the filtered options, that make the town a ‘must see’ delight.
1. Bhagsu Waterfall
At a distance of 3 km from McLeodganj Bhagsunag Falls, also known as Bhagsu Falls, is a beautiful waterfall situated at Bhagsu village behind Bhagsunath Temple near McLeod Ganj in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh. The Bhagsunag waterfall is visited by several tourists for its beautiful view and the adjoining Shiva café. It falls on the route to the Bhagsunag temple.
2. St. John’s Church
The St. John Church is an Anglican church dedicated to John the Baptist and is built in neo-Gothic architecture. Its main attraction, the Belgian stained-glass windows were donated by Lady Elgin, wife of Lord Elgin. One memorial speaks of death due to a bear attack, while the most impressive one is just behind the church.
It is the largest fort in the Himalayas and probably the oldest dated fort in India. This fort is known to have existed during the 4th century B.C. and is mentioned in the war records of Alexander. It has witnessed invasion multiple times by the Mughal rulers but still stands tall after centuries.
4. Dal Lake
Flanked by lush greenery and blooming trees, the placid Dal Lake is counted amongst the major tourist attractions of McLeod Ganj. Named after the more-celebrated Dal Lake in Srinagar, this small lake is close to a beautiful village called Tota Rani.
The mist in the mornings and evenings make Dal Lake the perfect place for an introspective walk alone, or with the beloved. Quaint and calm, the lake invites nature-lovers to watch different kinds of fishes in their natural habitat.
5. Kora Circuit
It’s a prayer-flags draped circuit around the Tsuglagkhang complex that has an array of prayer wheels, Buddhist shrines, and collections of pictures of the Tibetans from 2009 who self-immolated to protest against the Chinese rule of Tibet. Visitors spin the wheels, while circumambulating the Chorten (Buddhist shrines).
Things to do
Vacay mood is always like sleep, eat, enjoy, shop repeat. McLeodganj is a blend for the same, posing splendid experiences. McLeod Ganj has its fair share of shopping spots. McLeodganj is home to numerous yoga, Ayurvedic, and spa centers, where you can relax and find peace.
From traditional food to religious monasteries, you can learn a lot and get a real closer view of the Tibetans and their lifestyle while spending a lovely time in McLeod Ganj.
The residents of McLeod Ganj are exceptionally skilled and proficient in making appealing handicraft items that tourists like to purchase and take back home as a lifetime memory of this place.
If you are on hills, you can not skip trekking. But if you’re in McLeodganj, trekking must be on the top of your ‘to-do list. Adventure seekers can go trekking or camping to the nearby trails. Moderately challenging trek with cold breezes, steep slopes, and undulating terrain will refresh the souls.
Where to Stay?
There are umpteen hotels, guest houses, hostels, and homestay options in McLeod Ganj, from budget to high-end. With serene beauty, spirituality, adventure, and serenity, Mcleodganj is truly one of the best places to visit in the Himalayas.
When to Visit?
The best time to visit McLeodganj is March to June when the weather is pleasant but crowded. The high season is post-March till the town gets dampened by heavy monsoon showers. Summers are also the best time for trekking.
The rainy season here gets very wet, so it is better not to plan your trip during the months of July-August.
Winter in Dharamsala is from November to March and temperatures drop below freezing. November to February is a very optimal duration to explore. Though it is cold during these months, the numerous sightseeing options and the spectacular view of the snow-capped mountains in the backdrop make up for it.
Things to Remember
Keep light jackets, even if you are visiting in the summer months. Heavy woolens and jackets are to be worn in the winter months. Keep comfortable shoes and footwear for you. Sunscreen is not to be forgotten. Do Carry with you a necessary first aid kit. Always carry with you a copy of your necessary documents like ID, passport, or license.
Avoid visiting the place during long weekends to escape the crowd. You can venture out to McLeodganj and Dharamshala to savor the rest of this hilly town.