Travel

Landour: Concoction of Simple Pleasures and Picturesque Views

On the brink of the mountain, ahead of the famous Mall Road in Mussoorie, lie an exceptionally beauteous and magical small hill station, Landour

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Landour, a quaint hill station is situated on the tip of the crown of Queen of Hills, Mussoorie

Landour by now might be known to many. It was my first visit and I was spellbound to see the beauty of this quaint town in the cantonment area adjacent to Mussoorie in Uttarakhand. In a short trip of four days to Mussoorie, I visited Landour twice. Rather trekked to Landour from the bright and colourful Doma’s Inn. What looked like a walkable distance of just 3 km left me panting for almost 15-20 minutes, when I reached the famous Char Dukan in Landour. Hold on, if you are not aware of these names. In this blog, I’ll take you one by one to all the significant places In Landour.

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Doma’s Inn, a vibrant Bed and Breakfast option in Landour

Mussoorie and Landour, the twin towns, are popular hill stations from the times of the British era. Collectively these two were called “Queen of Hills”, however, the former gained more popularity among tourists and later remained calm and quiet nestled silently among the hilltop. Landour is around 984 ft above Mussoorie, located in the Western Himalaya, in the Mussoorie Range and is partly Tibet-facing. Known for its colonial architecture and picturesque sights, Landour for me is a dreamy and magical destination having abundant peace and lush views. You can bucket list this place if you love mountains and enjoy offbeat places, far from the hustle and bustle of commercial and touristy destinations. You are sure to fall in love with this place. No wonder, it’s a home to many creative minds like the authors Ruskin Bond, Allan Sealy and film personalities Tom Alter, Vishal Bharadwaj to name a few. 

This was my second visit to Mussoorie after a gap of almost a decade. My first visit to Mussoorie was 2 days and 1 night stay with colleagues over a weekend as an escape from the monotonous work. Ever since I never thought of visiting Mussoorie as I always felt it is overly crowded and commercialized. Of course, all beautiful tourist destinations deserve attention. I am however more of an offbeat traveller who loves untouched quaint places. So, this time, while I stayed in Mussoorie, I gave a piece of my heart to this beautiful town, Landour. 

Of the four days I stayed in Mussoorie, my good two days were spent in Landour. And, next time onwards I am only going to stay in Landour. A word of caution: In this blog, I am going to share every bit of my experience to make you fall in love with this place. 

Travelling from Delhi to Landour

Approximately 290 km from Delhi, Landour is well-connected by rails and roads and can be reached by train, bus or private car. If you are travelling by public transport, you will have to hire another taxi from Dehradun. A private taxi would cost you around INR 1500. Shared Taxis are also available. You also have an option of hiring a bike on rent in Mussoorie, which costs you anywhere between INR 800-1500 for nine hours depending on your preference of bike. 

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Hire a bike on rent from Mussoorie Mall Road

I travelled from Delhi to Mussoorie via Dehradun by bus. Booked my onward UPSRTC bus ticket through Red Bus App and return through UTC (Uttarakhand Transport Corporation). On each side, the ticket cost me approx. INR 700. 

If you wish to travel by air, the nearest airport to Landour is Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun.

Into the Calm in Landour

I become a happy kid when I find places that have got plenty of natural beauty, silence the heart desires and air as light as feather. Little did I know Landour is such a majestic escapade. Almost 5-6 km of steep hike or drive from the Mall Road in Mussoorie, Landour offers an exquisite charm. It’s almost an hour walk but a tough one. You can also hire a cab from Mall Road and they charge you INR 200-300. 

Carpeted by all sorts of forests and plantation like the deodars, cedars, Himalayan oak, Pine, Firs, Maples and alike, Landour offers captivating views of the Garhwal Himalaya. This silent abode rests right in the lap of nature and gives an attractive view of Mussoorie and Doon valley. You can easily drive through the top of Landour and park your car at the parking lot in Chaar Dukan. Hardly at a distance of 900 meters you have the Lal Tibba and Landour Bakehouse. However, the real thrill of this place is in exploring by foot. I would only recommend this if you are a habitual walker and trekker. These views come at a steep hike and you must be fit enough to walk and explore around else you still have the option of driving through or hiring a taxi. I visited this place in April and wonder how exotic the place would be around winters, with those misty deodars and pearl-like dews resting on the needle-like leaves of the pine trees; must be a miracle to witness. 

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Landour is about long walks, picturesque views and endless peace

What to Explore in Landour?

Other than the scenic beauty which is plentiful, there are some well-known places, you can spot and would not be disappointed. Here’s a list of places from my two-day visit to Landour:

Ivy Cottage—Mr. Bond’s Favourite Spot: No, not James Bond, our very own and favourite author whom we all have grown-up reading and some of us like me still do, Ruskin Bond. He is an Indian author of British origin. He wrote many stories here and the place gives the perfect essence of the description in his books—the deodars, the window. A perfect place for an author to reside. He is one of the oldest residents of Landour. You can imagine how exceptionally peaceful this town must be back then. His choice to spend his life in a place like this is a perfect example of his love and passion for writing.

Chaar Dukan: You read this name before at the beginning of this blog. This place is considered to be the coolest hangout place in the whole of twin towns; Mussoorie and Landour. These are the four oldest shops adjacent to each other known for their Nutella Pancakes, Cinnamon Waffles and Banana Shakes. The shops here have books by Ruskin Bond, who’s a frequent visitor to this place. I had read so much about this place that I wanted to visit and have a picture here. Although the trekking up to this place was killing my excitement on few occasions it was worth all the effort. You would always find these shops full of tourists and locals who wish to hang out. There are now six shops, however, the first shop i.e., Anil’s Café is the oldest and most in-demand.

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The Famous and Historic Chaar Dukan in Landour

Sisters Bazaar: An area close to Chaar Dukan has some known shops and cafes like: 

  • Landour Bakehouse—a bakery cum café that gives the essence of colonial times and carries old charm, blends with the conspicuous theme of the town. To maintain the 1980s appeal, they have kept away from Wi-Fi.
  • Anil Prakash Store—I am extremely fond of fresh fruit jams and syrups straight from the hills and never miss a chance to grab some whenever I visit mountains. This time I had to visit Prakash Store, known for its delicious jams and jellies, right next to Landour Bakehouse. This is again one of the oldest shops in and around Landour, established in 1928. Apart from jams and jellies, they have a variety of stuff like mint dips, peanut butter, etc. and they prepare it from fresh locally grown produce. Also, they let you taste the variety of stuff they have to make your selection mindful and easy.
  • Prakash Handicraft Shop—If you are fond of everything local then you must visit this shop for Garhwali handicrafts and other locally made artefacts. 

St. Paul’s Church: Right next to Chaar Dukan, aesthetically sits this colonial-era church. It is believed to be one of the most historic churches in Mussoorie. It stands beautifully at the centre of a large area surrounded by Deodars. The church is beautifully painted in cream yellow and contrasts perfectly with the green surroundings. Its simple yet magnificent architecture draws the eyeballs of every single person who’s visiting for the first time. 

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St. Paul’s Church, Landour

Kellogg’s Church: This church displays Gothic architecture and is magnificently done. It has beautiful stained-glass windows which add to its beauty. Hardly half a kilometre away from Char Dukan, this church calls for a visit for its appealing beauty. 

Landour Language School: Behind the Kellogg’s Church is the historic Language School from the time of Britishers. During their ruling period in India, Britishers used to learn Hindi in this school. The Landour Language School is still functional and teaches Indian languages like Hindi, Sanskrit, Urdu, Punjabi and Garhwali. Students from across the world come to learn here. 

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Enjoying the breathtaking views

Rokeby Manor: An upbeat restaurant serving gourmet Indian and Continental food. This establishment was built in 1840. The Rokeby Manor also has a cluster of cottages beautifully done. With red brick walls and wooden flooring, the cottages give an earthy yet classy appeal. It stands to be the most expensive and exclusive stay in Landour. 

Laal Tibba: Laal Tibba or the Red Hill as the name suggests is a reddish-brown hill mainly due to the soil. It is the highest point of Landour town giving the view of various Himalayan peaks. You will find a couple of spots with telescopes to give you a clear view of snow-clad peaks and far off villages for just INR 50 per person. You can also see all the Char Dhams from these spots and the view is best enjoyed during the sunrise or sunset.

Ruskin Bond’s House: Next to the vibrant BnB-Doma’s Inn at a steep descent from the Upper Chakkar is the house of Ruskin Bond. People who know he stays here, do not fail to enquire about his house with the hope, they might get a chance to see him or meet him. 

Why is Landour Still an Offbeat Destination?

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View from Landour

Landour being close to Mussoorie (approx. 7 km.) is still an offbeat destination. Landour falls under the cantonment area and as per the Cantonment Act of 1924 the plantation lies with the military. Thus, there cannot be any deforestation or new permanent construction. There has been no tree cutting for over a century and no permanent construction since 1924. Only the construction of temporary structures and repairs of the old structure is permitted due to which the town remains untouched from tourism or civilization. 

Best Time to Visit Landour

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Picture taken in the month of April

April to June is considered to be the best months to visit Landour as the weather is pleasant and makes it easy to walk around and explore the place. If you are a traveller who prefers visiting places in the offseason then you can visit all the year round as rains add a different charm to any hill station but avoid travelling by car because the roads get slippery. Landour does not witness snow. 

Fun Facts about Landour:

  • Landour was built by and for the British Indian Army
  • The first permanent building in all of Mussoorie-Landour was also built in Landour in 1825
  • Landour is named after a village called Llanddowror in south-west Wales

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Sunsets That Made Me Sway

Sunset brings with itself melting emotions of bygone days;

Golden days that make you sway to an unheard tune;

Tunes those were once the songs we hummed;

With our fingers intertwined only to watch it give way to night;

Those sunsets were different than the sunsets of today;

Sunset was an emotion then, it is just another evening today;

Each sunset was then captured in the eyes and saved in our souls;

Today I capture it with my camera to praise it as nature’s galore;

Sunset is an emotion, I remind myself again;

Lost in its beauty, I go down the memory lane.

Pinewood Cottages Kasauli: A Jungle Retreat


Top post on IndiBlogger.in, the community of Indian Bloggers

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Photo Credit: Ashish Verma

Pristine, serene and majestic! These are the adjectives that completely define this place.

Pinewood Cottages Kasauli is a place to be. Located in the outskirts, these cottages are situated with village on one side and jungle on the other. The deep valley, the curvacious narrow lanes, the abundant greenery makes for the picturesque beauty.

Weekend Getaway

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Photo Credit: Ashish Verma

We planned to visit this place over a weekend. Provided, the stay was short, we had an amazing time. With me was my spouse, his friends and my pet. Yes, this place is pet-friendly and to my relief there were no other visitors than us, and my dear Labrador, named Dollar, had the best time of his life. We were not untouched with all the magnificent beauty of this place. The silence was overwhelming. Our senses could now unwind to a completely non-polluted hill station.

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Photo Credit: Ashish Verma

The Journey Began

We left at 5 in the morning from Delhi on a Saturday and reached the destination around 2 PM. We booked a tempo traveler that cost us around 14 grands, but gave us ample space to even lie down and keep our bags. It was a smooth journey throughout. With a halt at Sukhdev Dhaba, Moorthal in Haryana where we had rich and most famous parathas served with excessive white butter. They were even more delicious when followed by tea. Without any other major stop, we finally reached Pinewood Cottages in Kasauli. The last 4 km stretch was a bumpy ride, as there was no pakka road.

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Photo Credit: Ashish Verma

Beauty of the Cottages

On the right hand, I saw some varnished cottages. These cottages were looking all the more beautiful because of the sun rays, which made them look golden in color. There was abundant greenery and huge pine trees, the spiky needle like leaves shined splendidly. On these trees were found cones scattered here and there. These brown cones added to the beauty and I badly wanted one of them to take back with me as a memory. Unfortunately, these pine cones were too high from our reach and I could only bring back the ones I found lying underneath.

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Photo Credit: Ashish Verma

There were around six cottages including the tree house. Each one of us picked the cottage and dumped the luggage. The rooms were neat, made of wooden logs, including the furniture. There were lights and a fan, but no electricity. The washrooms were clean and spacious, but the water was freezing cold. Since, there was no electricity, no point of expecting a hot water bath.

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Photo Credit: Ashish Verma

The Stay

It was sunny at the time we reached this place, but with the setting sun the temperature fell down considerably and we had to put on our woolens. We sat on the front lawn where there were chairs for us and demanded for a bonfire arrangement. The two caretakers Inder and Ganesh arranged it for us and we were highly pleased with Inder; he was spontaneous. However, later to our surprise we were told that there was no milk for tea and no food. Each time we would ask for something, they would go to the market in main Kasauli and get it for us. And, it took them almost one to one and a half hours each time they went uphill to the market. There was always a probability that we would have had to stay without food. We were lucky enough to have stayed only without tea. Of course, we drank tea; without the milk.

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Photo Credit: Ashish Verma

As it went dark and cold, we were at our best. The bonfire kept us alive under the open sky. Oh! That reminds me of millions of stars I saw after ages. The last I saw them was on one of the camps I stayed in Rishikesh, some two years back. It was marvelous. Imagine the soft cushion like grass under your feet, cold breeze caressing your cheeks, fire to warm the place and snacks and beverages to accompany you in your chit chat session with friends. Right in front of us was a valley and little farther, a mountain with trees symmetrically arranged that looked pitch black in the night.

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Photo Credit: Ashish Verma

Finally, we had dinner, which the poor chaps had arranged from the market. The food wasn’t excellent, but good to satiate your stomach pangs and taste buds.

The only drawback was that we could not charge our mobile phones, which were completely dead by then.

The Caretaker

Inder was an extremely benevolent  and humble being, who had been on his toes throughout. He made the best arrangements to his capacity and told us stories about leopards that visited the cottages late in the night. He added to the thrill as the place was pitch dark, the only light we had was of the bonfire which was sure to die. He also promised to take us to the waterfall early morning. With this, we left for our cottages to wake up early morning.

We all managed to sleep soundly.

We woke up in the middle of the night to look out for leopards without stepping out of the cottages as instructed by Inder, till we saw the morning light.

The Dawn

The sun rise was splendid. The beauty of the sun cannot be ignored at the time of dawn. The sun rose beautifully behind the mountains and spread its redness, near and far to its circumference just like a deep red dye spreads across a white fabric–deeper towards the center and lighter towards the periphery. The pine trees in the front, still looked black, but distinct.

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Photo Credit: Ashish Verma

We planned to go to the waterfall, but it was nothing but a stream of water and we came back a little disappointed. On our way back we met the villagers and local people.  They were quite welcoming and had a warm smile on their faces.

We then decided to go down the valley, which were the farms of the villagers, their bread and butter. We must have touched almost the end of the valley and found a variety of plantation. Some of them were the citrus fruits, red hot chillies, ripe tomatoes, radish, bamboo shoots, cucumber and lots more.  After the trekking to the valley plantation, we decided to rest a while and eat breakfast.

 

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Photo Credit: Ashish Verma

We also went to the market in main Kasauli to curb our tea cravings.  Tea was exceptionally sweet for people like me who do not have a sweet tooth.

There is nothing much to see in Kasauli. Despite the drawbacks like lack of basic amenities and poor service, we enjoyed our stay because we were on our own. It was an overall thrilling experience to stay in the wooden cottages amidst forest.

Far from the maddening crowd

Pinewood cottages are worth a shot if you are in a large group of friends and family. The best you can do is to keep a backup for everything, be it torch, lighter, extra water bottles and food or snacks to munch. You’ll enjoy this place completely if you wish to while away with the traffic, honks and fast life. The beauty of vicinity, the silence of the mountains,  cottages amidst deep dense forests would make up for all the shortcomings. Try it out!

Tariffs:

One Night Room Tariff Only

Deluxe Cottage : Rs.3600

Super Deluxe Cottage :  Rs.4200

Duplex Cottage : Rs.5400

Tree House Cottage : Rs.6000

Child 5-10 years : Nil

Child (10+) / Adult : 500

without extra bedding

except in Deluxe and Tree-House

 

Website: http://www.pinewoodcottageskasauli.com/

 

Surajkund sans Mela

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Surajkund Reservoir

Usually when your travel plans don’t work and you have no good reason to stay back at home, the best idea is to go exploring your city. I did the same this weekend when my plans turned out to be sour and the place I chose was Surajkund in Faridabad, Haryana–an ancient reservoir of the 10th Century as it is known to be.

Surajkund is known for its traditional crafts Mela, held every year.  The fair attracts people from across the world and is popular for handicrafts. You get to see a blend of various regions across India with the displayed artifacts, people draped in traditional clothes, traditional dances and songs that keep you mesmerized and a whole lot of fun.

The place is fun to be at this peak time. However, I decided to visit it now, i.e. in August, when I wasn’t really sure how the place would look like without the crowd, colorful shops and painted faces charming you in their unique way.

Surajkund at its Best

On arriving the place I realized that I never noticed the beauty and tranquility of this place. The place was so sumptuously crowded at the time of its famous handicrafts mela that you’d tend to miss on the intrinsic beauty and detailing of the place.

The Surajkund Village Entrance

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Danteshwari Devi Gate, Madhya Pradesh, 1992

On reaching the destination I realized there were two entrances to it. One on the right hand side and the other on the left hand side. Without realizing the difference, I chose the right entrance over the counterpart and this turned out to be the Surajkund Village. The main gate with unique artwork from Madhya Pradesh since 1992 is named Danteshwari Devi Gate. These were some eclectic pieces welcoming you at the entrance and leaving you in awe to explore further. There’s a huge main gate in the form of a lion that would endure you to take you in.

Vishnupur Gate

Vishnupur Gate, West Bengal, 1990

A little beyond these oeuvres was another huge gate named as Vishnupur Gate dedicated to West Bengal since 1990. This particularly has fine carvings representing traditional dance forms and structures. Beautiful in red, the entrance welcomes you in full grace.

The Enchanting Beauty

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Captivating Beauty of Surajkund Village

The captivating beauty of this place is worth seeing. And, this cannot be done at the time of Crafts Mela. The lush green trees, hatched huts giving the amazing sense of a village that holds beauty of its own. The craftsmanship encapsulating the uniqueness of different states, be it Badrinath Temple of Uttarakhand, colorful house from Goa, Replica of Shah Hamdan Dargah (J&K Gate, 2000), Gujarat Gali (Gujarat 1997) and more. The place is well kept and have farmers and villagers taking care of it.

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The Smiling Faces

The villagers welcome you with a warm smile if you get a chance to speak with them. Their sweet and welcoming conversation would make you feel like spending more time and being around.

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Villagers at Surajkund Village

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Monkey’s Paradise

The place is absolutely a paradise for monkeys. You’ll see plenty of them in every nook and corner. They look healthy, happy and completely in love with the place. Jumping here and there carelessly from one tree to the other, I was bewildered to see how none of them were creating chaos or disturbing the visitors. They were happily engrossed in their various activities and one of them was actively swinging to and fro, holding a straw from the roof of a hatched hut. It was a delightful view indeed and I tried to capture it somehow.

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Marching together

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At a swing of straw

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Posing

 

After spending some good time in the village, I decided to move to the next entrance that was on the left of the parking area. Now, this was actually the Surajkund reservoir. I was quite excited to see this as I’d never seen or much heard about it before.

Entry Ticket

The entry ticket of Rs. 10/- is applicable only for this part of Surajkund i.e. Surajkund reservoir and not for the village entry. In fact, there were no additional parking charges.

Surajkund Reservoir

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On entering the main gate of the reservoir you will have an impression that it’s just a well kept park that you are going to visit. However, after a few steps up the slope you’ll see a marvelous sight of the steps around the huge circumference made of rocks. The steps are interestingly laid down that adds beauty to the entire site. You can step down, walk along the circumference or even run on some of these steps as they give you ample space and are broad enough. The view is completely breathtaking, especially at the first sight as it comes as a surprise to you. You can also sit on the stairs and spend some wee hours with your friends and family. Truly an amalgamation of beauty and serenity.

All in all, it’s been a great experience. If you’ve to experience the quintessential  charm of this place, you must visit it on any day but on the days of Surajkund Mela. Surajkund Mela has a fascination of its own that’s undeniable. But, the true beauty lies in the first time experiences of the things that are untouched and unexplored. So, plan your visit soon over a weekend and would like to hear your views as well. Hope you have a great weekend. To find more images of Surajkund visit: http://tinyurl.com/pwnd4y8

 

 

 

 

McLeod-Ganj-City-Market-Travel-Anupriya Mishra

McLeod Ganj: Heaven on Earth

This divine hill station is sure to enchant you and gift you ample of refreshing memories that will make you come back for more. 

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An eagle’s eye view of McLeod Ganj

Far from the maddening crowd, midst the lush greenery lies the abundant serenity. Have you ever thought of being in a place where you find silence in culture, unbound beauty in surroundings like gushing water, chirping birds, misty weather, clouds beneath and a mystique aura? If yes, this is the place for you.

McLeod Ganj, a community of Dharamshala in Kangra District of Himachal Pradesh, India is a wow place to visit. It’s a hill station that can be well described as a poet’s best poetry, a sculptor’s favorite piece of work or for a traveloholic (travel enthusiasts) like me; it’s simply the heaven on earth. There’s something about this place which urges you to stay. Some strange divinity with enchanting beauty, blended with surreal silence makes you nostalgic. You must break free and let the splendor engulf you.

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Beautiful sunrise

The mornings of this place are magnificent and the evenings give them a tough competition by being equally captivating. The sky seems to have draped an opaque sheet, partially made of fog and partially of clouds. At some places you would be bluffed to believe that you are on top of the clouds. The abundant greenery will be a soothing balm to your tired nerves.

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Morning glory

Though McLeod Ganj may outshine the city life that’s more contemporary, the sobriety of this place has enough to offer. The petite colorful handicraft shops and stalls along each step will raise an urge to shop till you drop just like you would do in any city mall. There’s lot of stuff for girls who have fascination for jewelry, handbags, shawls or stoles made of pure sheep wool and lots more–so much so that you’ll be scandalized to see. For guys too there’s plenty! If you are fond of fragrances, McLeod Ganj is the place. You get variety of aromatic candles, oils, and incense sticks. Silver and gemstones or semi-precious stones seem to be the USP for the villagers. And the best part is that they are crafted beautifully and each piece you hold is different from the rest.  Then you can also look for prayer flags, Tibetan artifacts, bronze statues, thangkas, small prayer wheels, cham-dance–masks which look quite interesting.

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Mcleod-Ganj - Travel - Anupriya Mishra

Mcleod-Ganj - Travel - Anupriya Mishra

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McLeod-Ganj-City-Market-Travel-Anupriya Mishra

McLeod-Ganj-City-Market-Travel-Anupriya Mishra

The amazing food joints and coffee shops will make you forget the Mocha of the world. Imagine yourself sitting in a coffee shop that offers the Tibetan delicacies ranging from the popular Thupka to Momos for those who would want to try some local food, while all sorts of Italian, Chinese, Japanese and mouth smacking Indian dishes too. The restaurant has an antique touch with hanging lamp shades throwing some dim yellow light, and the restaurant is constructed out of wood. The big windows on all the sides give you a sneak peek of the mountains and pitter-patter of rain drops; a perfect backdrop for romancing. How do you feel? If just a shot of imagination can make you glee, think of having a real life experience.

McLeod Ganj - Travel - Anupriya Mishra

Apart from this, McLeod Ganj offers some must see destinations for tourists like us. Bhagsunag temple and the waterfall is one of the mesmerizing spots. To ascend to the waterfall you pass through the temple. Known to be the first Himalayan trek, Bhagsunag waterfall is exceptionally superb if you are visiting at the right time. Try to carry as less belongings as possible because the route to the waterfall is somewhat unruly. If you get a chance to dip in deep waters then you will feel the chills and shivers in your body as the water is freezing cold. The gigantic grey rocks add to the beauty of this place and leave you in awe for a while. The place also offers some strategically placed cafes and the popular one seemed to be the ‘Shiva Café’, the last stop. For the liquor lovers, this place is truly a heaven as alcohol is available under these hatched roof shops.

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Bhagsunag waterfalls

McLeod Ganj - Travel - Anupriya Mishra

McLeod Ganj - Travel - Anupriya Mishra

Prayer Flags

The Dalai Lama Temple is aesthetically constructed. The architecture is in such a manner that just the right amount of sunlight is permitted to enter the temple. The place is glorified with chants and sermons recited by Lamas as part of rituals.

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Prayer Bells at Dalai Lama Temple

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While tourists hire a taxi to visit Naddi, one of the highest points of Dharamshala, we chose to trek all the way. You can try it out as it wasn’t exhaustive at all. We enjoyed the path with each footstep and clicked some amazing flicks to cherish for the lifetime. The scenic beauty along the way was magnanimous. From the main McLeod Ganj town to Dal Lake, a beautiful artificially constructed one, we covered a distance of 4 km, wasn’t cumbersome at all. We were not the odd ones out; there were other foreigners too who preferred trekking over taxi. Dal Lake is surrounded by humongous conifers and one side of it has good arrangement of benches at some intervals. You can sit for hours and let the beauty of silence seep within.

McLeod Ganj - Travel - Anupriya Mishra

Dal Lake

Then there’s Triund known best for trekking, is one of the finest spots to capture the panoramic beauty. It is suggested to hire a guide for this place as way to Triund is midst forests and there’s always a risk of wild animals especially bears. These guides take with them their faithful dogs, which help keeping away these animals. Not too sure, if that’s true as we were not lucky enough to visit this place because of the rains.

McLeod Ganj - Travel - Anupriya Mishra

If you are looking for some more peace and somberness, you must make a visit to Norbulingka Institue, further down the McLeod Ganj towards main Dharmshala. This institute primarily depicts the Tibetan culture through excellent works of art. The greenery, the pond, the flowers; colorful flags and the dazzling prayer bells in bronze, seem to have a story to tell you. The gentle breeze would kiss your cheeks silently, whispering something harmoniously.   

McLeod Ganj - Travel - Anupriya Mishra

Further down the McLeod Ganj towards main Dharmshala, lies the Dharmshala cricket stadium, one of the highest cricket stadiums and main tourist attraction. Watching sportsmen play with Himalayan ranges at the backdrop was an overwhelming experience and an experience for the lifetime.

Dharamshala Stadium-Travel-Anupriya Mishra

Dharmshala Stadium

So, do not waste time and plan your next trip to the holy land of McLeod Ganj. Capture the breathtaking views and enjoy to the fullest. Take a break and leave behind the chaotic city life to revive yourself.

Quick Facts:

Distance from New Delhi: 480 km (Approx.)

Travel Time: 10-12 hrs (Approx.)

Best time to visit: Anytime between April to December. Spring and autumn are the best seasons to visit.

Hotels and stay: The hotels in McLeod Ganj are dearth cheap if you are not visiting during the peak season. The good reasonable ones would range somewhere between 800 INR – 1000 INR while they can go up to 8000 INR per night.

Suggestions: Carry some woolens, an umbrella or a raincoat depending on the season of visit. If travelling by road, be prepared for the bumpy ride as there are horrific patches of road with endless potholes.

 

Photo Credit: Google