Pristine, charming and surreal - that is Mcleod Ganj for you. A small hill station, also known as mini Tibet in India, is home to Tibetans and also the seat of exiled Tibetan government. Mcleod Ganj, located around 477 km from Delhi, is easily accessible via private cabs, public/ private tour buses, flights, and trains. The small town is unlike any other Indian city or hill station: monks in red robes, elderly with their prayer beads, inquisitive tourists roaming the streets, and the aroma of the Tibetan food in the background. To a first-timer, life in Mcleod Ganj and its treasures might seem straight out of a storybook.
One of the popular attractions near Mcleod Ganj and Dharamshala is the stunning Bhagsunag Waterfall, near the Bhagsunag village, located some 7000 feet above sea level. Nearby, there is Bhagsunag Temple, devoted to Lord Shiva, which is situated at a walkable distance from the waterfall. Visitors come here to enjoy nature in its full blooming glory. The sound of water gushing down, making its way through the rocky terrain, is a sight in itself. Revel in the splendour of surroundings and cool off in the icy cold water of the waterfall.
One can engage in a wide range of activities in this area. Trekking and organizing photoshoots are very common. It is very blissful to walk around nature and completely immerse yourself in the surroundings. Also, the views from the top are equally terrific. One can enjoy the Kangra Valley's enchanting views from the top - something which nature lovers must not miss.
We suggest wearing comfortable shoes if you are planning to visit the waterfall. Just a word of caution: the rocky area around is quite slippery and must be treaded carefully to avoid any mishaps. Further, it is a good idea to carry some warm clothing as the temperature varies on different days. Moreover, if you feel hungry, there are many options to keep your hunger pangs away. Several small food outlets and restaurants are around, serving different cuisines all day long.
Namgyal Monastery, also known as Dalai Lama Temple, serves as the personal monastery for Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama. The monastery is a sought-after tourist spot. Those keen to understand the Tibetan culture, meditation practices and Buddhist culture are often attracted to the monastery. The monastery is also home to many monks, who are tasked with preserving Tibetan rituals, scriptures, tantric practices & much more intrinsic to their culture. The peaceful ambience of the monastery keeps visitors coming back in large numbers and seeking blessings.
The non-sectarian monastery has its doors open to everyone. The interiors give an immediate sense of tranquillity with wooden-floored rooms and Buddha statues. Few seconds in front of the Buddha statue and you are immediately transported to an island of abundant tranquil light. A surreal feeling! Here, the prayer halls are huge, where one can see many pilgrims meditating or praying together. Additionally, all around the monastery are shiny prayer wheels, which jingle pleasantly upon being touched. A unique experience indeed! Besides, due to the rising influence of Tibetan culture in the region, many more Tibetan sites have opened up in the vicinity. Some of them are the Tibetan Museum, Shanti Stupa of McLeod Ganj, Norbulingka Institute, and Tsuglagkhang complex. Every place is offering a vivid glimpse of the Tibetan culture and ethos.
Travelling adds years to life. It is one of those unique activities that enriches one's mind and one's soul. India is one such beautiful place, where you will never find any dearth of breathtaking experiences. Its mini Tibet is well worth visiting to explore the treasures of Mcleod Ganj's - Namgyal Monastery & Bhagsunag Waterfall.
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