What can I say about this beautiful place ! It is like a dream or may be its how heaven looks like. Ya it must be. Because once you rest your foot in McLeod Ganj the first thing flashing in your mind is – Am canceling my return tickets. Am not going anywhere. This is where I belong. Honestly, that’s what I felt.
McLeod Ganj is a nature’s gift. The fresh air, water and the mixed culture , it’s all adding its share to this beautiful piece of earth in the lap of Himalayas. I was literally shivering when we got down at McLeod Ganj. It was in April you guys…still it was so cold for me. My friend could manage even without a jacket. (hmm. I wonder what he is made of !!) Anyway, it was our first unplanned trip and we had no idea about the place. Well, it is not that we had no idea… we knew this place is going to steal our hearts at the moment we heard the name ‘McLeod Ganj’ from a fellow passenger. Did I tell you that’s when we decided to get down there ?? Ya…it’s so not me, but I thought let’s do it. It was 4 o clock in morning and I was sure it can’t be unsafe at that time.
So we got down at McLeod Ganj without a hotel booking or a taxi number. We went in the first decent hotel we saw but they said no rooms where available. That was sort of weird because it was a huge place and it was not even peak season. Then we realized that out foots are still in the conservative soil of India and it was 4 in the morning and we were a couple with light luggage. Phew. These are the moments I kick my partner for this instant decisions and crazy butts. Seriously. I don’t like mess or confusions. I like everything planned and straight and unaltered. I know how boring I sound. L But I really get out of control if step out of my comfort zone. Silly me!!!
But thank god for smart phones and internet and travel sites. We could find a hotel online and called them up and even got a taxi to reach there. This place we found was just a few steps away from the Tibetan market of McLeod, which means we never had to hire a taxi again. Haha. We saved some bucks there. The best part was that I could see the pine trees and snow capped mountains from my balcony. Who thought one day I will wake up to such an amazing view.
After a quick nap we headed to a local restaurant for breakfast and had yummy homely Tibetan breakfast. I was a bit surprised to see all the Tibetan people and Tibetan markets and food and Buddhist monks but a little light to history was a great help. Here we go – When China took power of Tibet a lot of people including Dalai Lama was exiled from Tibet. The 14ThDalai Lama established the Tibetan Government in Exile for rehabilitating Tibetan refugees and to restore freedom and happiness. While this mission is still on, a large number of Tibetan refuges are now part of Himachal Pradesh.
Tibetan market is a beautiful view and a great shopping zone. I found the Tibetan art, culture and heritage very fascinating. The first thing you notice in every single Buddhist is their compassion. From there on I started learning more about Buddha and his preaching. My partner was so happy that I got interested in Buddhism, considering he is a Jain and Buddhism and Jainism go hand in hand. Hahaha…Really, he just need a nice cool breeze to be happy J.
We headed to the Tsuglag Khang, the Dalai Lama‘s temple and on the way we found a small temple and checked it out too. The prayer wheels in these temples were a gorgeous sight. I didn’t know how to use/turn it and I definitely didn’t know it was that heavy. I didn’t had to pick it up but I had to push hard each one to make it move. So I decided not to put pressure but relax and enjoy the peaceful terrain. We spent almost one hour, simply sitting on the lawn and it was the best time I have had in the whole trip. Obviously cameras were not allowed inside the shrine. So no pics to prove the beauty of this place. But we also got to see a small temple on the way. It was under renovation but still we managed to get in and see.
In the afternoon we hiked to the Bhagsu waterfall. It was an amazing walk. There is a small Hindu Shrine up there were we also have a pool, an area to fetch fresh/holy water and to dress up and click pics like a Tibetan couple. We had to go a little more ahead to reach the waterfall. There is a paved way towards the fall, but my friend saw a café just down the fall, so we took a non-paved rocky way towards the café first. (Told you, He eats eats and eats. I am a bit worried about the little quantity of flesh on my body whenever he is hungry but thank god he is pure veggie. Lol) Our out of the way ride was a thrilling one. We could sat down on a big rock, soaking our legs in the most clean water and look up to the water falling like its straight from heaven. I will never forget that moment and that sight.