Visiting the Kangra district in Himachal Pradesh is like entering a painting of snow clad Dhauladhar ranges surrounded with lush greenery, beautiful crafts, Tibetans in exile and tons of tourists. India has always attracted people with its colorful traditions and cultures. Especially Dharamshala and McLeod Ganj which are considered Dalai Lama’s home. Dharamshala is a city in the Kangra district and McLeod Ganj is its suburb; which is at a distance of 3 kilometers. With constant bus services and an airport in Gaggal, it is quite easy to reach McLeod Ganj. A few places to visit once you reach McLeod Ganj are:
Central Tibetan Secretariat:
Inside the government-in-exile compound, nearly 2km downhill from the Tsuglagkhang Complex, the Library of Tibetan Works & Archives began life as a collection of sacred manuscripts saved from the Cultural Revolution. Today it has over 120,000 manuscripts and books in Tibetan, and over 15,000 books on Tibet, Buddhism and the Himalayan region in English and other languages.
Bhagsunath Temple and Bhagsu Falls:
This temple has a very famous waterfall nearby namely Bhagsu Falls as well as a number of eating spots with hoards of tourists and Tibetans. This religious center has an air of spirituality about it and so it tends to be both a significant place of worship and spirituality and at the same time, one of the most popular and visited spots in the area. The pools around this temple are believed to be sacred and contain miraculous powers of healing. The temple is believed to have been built by King Bhagsu and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The Bhagsu Falls are situated 2 kms away from McLeod Ganj and require climbing long sets of stairs. But the view is worth it.
Triund Glacier Trek:
A trek to Triund is short and compared to other bigger treks but for all those who are new to trekking, this can seem like a challenge. The weather changes on a whim and the steepness of the climb make your leg shake but nothing can compare to the view when one reaches the destination. There is a small shop on the way of the trek and on the peak as well, but it is better to take your food with yourself for prices are considerably high.
Church of St. Johns in the wilderness
Built in 1852 and one of the most important churches in Himachal Pradesh this is located on the road from Dharamshala to McLeod Ganj and was built in dedication to John the Baptist. The whole compound of the church gives a mystical feeling with a large symmetry nearby.
Located just above Mcleod ganj, Dharamkot is a beautiful place to stay as it has hotels and nice cafes and can be used a resting place before starting the Triund trek.
Having come all this way it would be only natural to visit a few places in Kangra as well as so here are a few tourist attractions in Kangra:
This is one of the oldest forts in the country and even though restorations are still ongoing in some spots, the grandeur in its structure speaks of Kangra’s rich cultural heritage and its glorious past. This fort is known to have existed during the 4th century B.C. and is also mentioned in the war records of Alexander. It has witnessed invasion multiple times by the Mughal rulers, but still stands tall after centuries.
Bajreshwari Temple, Kangra
This temple is one among the 51 Shaktipeeths and is dedicated to Bajreshwari Mata. All year round, hoards of Bhakts come to visit the temple. The road to temple is filled with little shops on both sides and is called the Mandir market. Locals sometimes just visit the Mandir market to buy things.