Mcleod Ganj became renowned spot when Tenzin Gyatso, the 14 th Dalai Lama fled to India after the failed uprising in 1959 in Tibet. Mcleodganj is also written as Mac Leodganj and McLeod Gang. This holy site became holier with the presence of Dalai Lama, when Indian Government offered him refuge in Dharamshala. Mcleodgang is often called as little Lhasa and Dhasa. Situated at an elevation of 1775mts above sea level, Mcleodganj is an important learning centre for Tibeten Buddhism. McLeodganj is located just 10kms from the famous tourist destination of Himachal Pradesh, Dharamshala.
A number of schools, monasteries and Tibetan establishments are present here. Mcleodganj has successfully preserved the Tibetan culture the many disenchanted people from different regions come here seeking solace and meditation. Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts is situated just a km away from Mcleodganj and it preserves a number of musical, dance and theatrical traditions of Tibet.
Location of McLeod Ganj
Mcleodganj is situated in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh at an elevation of 1775mts above sea level. Situated 10kms above Dharamshala Mcleodganj offers panoramic beauty and scenic vistas of nature. Mcleodganj is the end point of the road of the Dharamshala region with numerous monasteries. Mcleodganj is well connected with motorable roads but the railway station and Airports are at a distance. Mcleodganj is situated 30kms from Kangra, 10kms from Dharamshala, 94kms from Pathankot and 496kms from Delhi.
Places to see in McLeod Ganj
Dal Lake: It is a beautiful lake located amidst the beautiful hills and fir trees, next to Tibetan Children’s Village. An annual fair is held here in August-September, and is attended mainly by the Girths and the Gurkhas. Dal Lake is situated at an elevation of 1700mts above sea level. Dal Lake is surrounded by pine and deodar trees offering captivating views.
Dharamkot: Dharamkot is situated on the top of a hill near Mcleodganj. It is a popular picnic spot and it offers magnificent views of the Kangra Valley and the Dhauladhar Ranges.
Triund: Triund is a fascinatingly mysterious spot perched at an elevation of 2,827mts above sea level at a distance of 17kms from Dharamshala. The trek of 12kms commencing from Mcleodganj is an immortal experience where you get to explore scenic vistas of nature. Triund is situated at the foot of the Dhauladhar Ranges and it is a popular spot for camping and picnicking. The snowline starts just 5km from Triund offering spectacular view of the splendors of nature. Forest Rest House is situated at Triund.
Tsuglagkhang (Dalai Lama's Temple) - Tsuglagkhang is the residence of Dalai Lama. It is the most important Buddhist monument in McLeodganj. Dalai Lama's monastery, museum, library etc is also situated here. It is the largest Tibetan temple outside Tibet where you’ll always find people busy with their daily prayers.
Dharamshala: Dharamshala is one of the prime tourist spots of the state of Himachal Pradesh. It is set amidst the lofty snow-capped peaks of Dhauladhar Range, deodar and pine forests, tea gardens, beautiful hills, ancient temples and pagoda shaped monasteries. Today it is best known as the residence of his holiness, the Dalai Lama.
Kotwali Bazaar: The Kangra Art Museum in Kotwali Bazaar displays arts, crafts, pottery and anthropological items. Another section houses contemporary art and Kangra Miniature paintings and costumes.
Bhagsunag Fall: The centermost attraction of this place is Bhadsunag waterfall. This place is also an ideal spot for picnicking and camping. Some ancient temples are also located here.
War Memorial: This memorial is situated with beautiful surroundings at the entry point of Dharamshala. This memorial was built to commemorate the soldiers who died valiantly for their motherland.
What to do in McLeod Ganj
Mcleodganj offers numerous trek options with different difficulty levels. Dhauladhar ranges offers number of trekking, mountaineering and rock climbing options. Fishing enthusiasts can go to the river Beas between Nadaun and Pong Dam to explore fishing options. Visit several short excursions of Mcleodganj as they shower us with natural beauteousness. Visit the monasteries of Mcleodganj and enjoy the tasty Tibetan dishes like momos, thukpa, thenthuk and pocha.
Excursions from McLeod Ganj
Kangra Devi Temple: Kangra Devi Temple is a holy site located 32km south of Mcleodganj. It is believed that the left breast of Goddess Sati has fallen here while some believe that her ears fell here. A visit to Brajeshwari Devi temple is must while a visit to Kangra Devi Temple. The temple was devastated by an earthquake in 1905 but came up the very year.
Kangra Fort: This fort is famous for its exquisite architecture. The fort also known as Nagar Kot was invaded by Mahmud Ghazni but was ultimately annexed by the British. A small museum has been set up here where stone carvings and miniature paintings are displayed.
Jwalamukhi Temple: Located 64km south of Mcleodganj, Jwalamukhi Temple is the place where Goddess Sati’s tongue is said to have fallen when Lord Shiva was carrying her corpse. It is one of the popular temples of North India. Though there is no idol in this temple, a flame keeps burning which is considered as a manifestation of Goddess Sati. Navratra in early April and Mid October are held with zest and devotion. Akbar donated a canopy over the flame as a sign of reverence.
Trilokpur: Trilokpur is 41kms from Dharamshala and is easily approached by the road. The temple which is dedicated to Lord Shiva is famous for its natural cave which contains stalactites and stalagmites.
Accomodations Hotels in McLeod Ganj
Accommodation facility is not an issue in Mcleodganj as there are numerous hotels at this place with varied rated hotels.
Luxury Hotels: Some luxury hotels in Mcleodganj are Hotel Him Queen, Hotel Spring Valley (Rs. 1320-2750), Meghavan Holiday Resort (Rs. 1393), Royal Palace Resort (Rs. 1385), Chonor House (Rs. 1900 +), Asia Health Resorts, Surya Mc Leod (Rs. 1800-3400) and Glenmoor Cottages. These hotels provide facilities and luxury at its best.
Standard Hotels: There are many standard and regular hotels at Mcleodganj. Some of them are Auspicious Him View Hotel, Annex Hotel, Jagatram Niwas (Rs. 800), Hotel Tibet, Snow Crest Inn Dharamshala (Rs. 600-1400). The price may vary in standard hotels according to season.
Affordable Hotels: Hotels in Mcleodganj also have reasonable prices. Pink House, Rainbow House, Snow Lion Guest House, Tibetan Ashoka Guest House, Green Hotel and Kalsang Guest House are some budget hotels in Mcleodganj.
Best time to visit McLeod Ganj
The best time to visit Mcleodganj is from Mid April to Mid October. The summer months are pleasant in Mcleodganj and the climate is salubrious. Mcleodganj is prone to heavy snowfall during winter months. The monsoon months offers vivid green colors.
How to reach McLeod Ganj
By Air: The nearest airport to Mcleodganj is Gaggal Airport. Taxis are available from Gaggal Airport and Dharamshala to Mcleodganj. Gaggal Airport is situated 23kms from Mcleodganj.
By Rail: The nearest narrow gauge railway station to Mcleodganj is located in Kangra and the nearest broad gauge railway station is positioned at Pathankot. Regular buses and taxis are available from Kangra and Panthankot to Dharamshala and Mcleodganj. Pathankot railway station is situated 94kms from Mcleodganj and Kangra Railway station is located 30kms from Mcleodganj.
By Road: Mcleodganj is located 496kms from Delhi which can be covered in a 14-15hr drive. Mcleodganj is well connected by motorable roads with major cities of Himachal Pradesh and Delhi. Deluxe, Semi Deluxe Buses and taxis are available from Delhi, Kangra, Manali, Mandi, Pathankot to Mcleodganj. Mcleodganj is situated 30kms from Kangra, 10kms from Dharamshala and 94kms from Pathankot.