Prayer Wheels, Prayer Flags, a church in the wilderness, trekking up to a village and many snug li’l cafes. All these and a lot more make McLeod Ganj an experience, not a destination.
Day 2 for us was going to be experiencing all this. On foot.
The first stop for us in the morning was the Namgyal Monastery or the 14th Dalai Lama’s personal Temple, which is everything you want a worship place to be. Quiet, peaceful vibes, meditative, and people selflessly helping you without even asking. It’s steeped in history and spirituality.
Outside the Monastery is the Tibetan Museum where you can learn all about their history and struggle. The store outside the museum stocks a range of things to buy for yourself or as souvenir for someone.
You may not be able to snap out of the bloody history of the Tibetans soon. But, ironic as it may be, the valleys and mountains may make you divert your mind, if not forget.
A nice thing to do would be to lose yourself in the world of books at Cafe Illiterati a few paces away. Find a quiet corner with your bestie, the book, and a cup of coffee or hot chocolate, and food.
Not just a big one like Illiterati, there a number of quaint ones that will delight you even if you decide not to step in. Who wouldn’t find “No Name Cafe” or “Cafe By Mistake” adorable just for the name?
Cafes apart, there’s no forgiveness if you miss visiting St. John Baptist Church in the Wilderness in Forsyth Ganj.
Why do we travel? To be away from the noise. The chaos. The crowd. The mundane. This is the final destination. The eternal silence. And to be silenced forever amidst nature. One would like that.
Like Lord Elgin buried here. There’s got to be something special about a place that withstood an earthquake that claimed 19,800 lives in 1905.
The Church has neo-gothic architecture and stained glass windows donated by Lady Elgin.
You can lose yourself in the wilderness of the deodar forest surrounding the church.
From the serenity of the wilderness to the vibrant life of the City Square, you will glide smoothly. There are in-betweens for this transition.
The Square is a sight to behold. Other than the food you can enjoy at the bakeries. The fresh breads are to die(t) for.
There is no way you cannot buy something at the incredibly gorgeous and cheap Tibetan Market. Trinkets, woolens, curios, you name it and they have it.
Another experience is the many treks that McLeod has. The 7km Triund begins with the 2 km trek to Dharamkot, a sweet li’l village.
Even if you don’t want to make it all the way to the Triund trek, you can have yourself a nice time here. Sit and gaze at the valleys or chill at Morgan’s Cafe.
The haven for peaceful time, McLeod Ganj is not a place you will get out of your mind in a hurry! Just like a gratifying experience.