With nice cafes around, hospitable people to interact with and prayer flags waiving all around the city, we didn’t feel like leaving at all. All through our lives, atleast in the last 15 years, we had never travelled to a destination without reserving a hotel in advance. This was our first try at it. We reached the city without any hotel reservations and came across a lodge which was located right where you could see the sunrise unobstructed – The Kareri Lodge.
Our host at the Kareri Lodge was one of the most hospitable person we have met in our journey. In his late 50s, he told us stories about how he went to Delhi to work for a couple of years and could not understand why people are running all the time with no time for themselves. He could not live there and got back to McLeodGanj only to find peace in what he does best – host guests and help them explore the town ensuring they take back fond memories.
We explored around in Dharamshala and visited the Naddi Sunset Point in the evening. The sun sets a bit early in the hills but it is just stunning to view the sun hide from you within a matter of few minutes. Relishing Maggi with a cup of Chai while the sun sets, well, you can have that luxury only while you are travelling within India.
Norbulingka Institute is one of the most serene places around. You enter the premises and you feel you are in a different world all together. The serenity of the place is unmatched. You can learn about the Tibetan culture and art here.
Our first short trek was up to the Bhagsunag Falls. It is a 20-25 mins trek up on paved path and you are sure to get a great view to the falls. Another 10 minutes up from there was the Shiva Cafe. One of the best cafes which boasts to host a fresh flowing water pool.
1. Be ready to drive up some of the steepest roads from Dharamshala to McLeodganj if you plan to take a shorter route. The roads are steep but really fun to drive on.
2. You will find monks all around, considering H.H. The Dalai Lama’s Temple is also in McLeodGanj. After doing the Vipassana course, we could relate to this place so much more.
3. If you feel like catching a movie while on a vacation, you would be surprised with the quality of Movie Theatre in Dharamshala. Good comfortable seats with popcorn that costs only INR 40 ;)