Dharamshala & McLeod Ganj
|I saw this colourful building while taking a stroll in the market @ McLeodganj|
After hiring a taxi from Delhi for our destination, we followed the curvy roads amongst the greenery of tall trees, crossing the hills and finally reached Dharamshala in the evening. High & snow clad mighty Dhauladhar Ranges form a beautiful backdrop to the hill resort of Dharamshala. It is also known as the 'Little Lhasa in India' after it became the temporary headquarter of his holiness The Dalai Lama.
It was a day's ride on road but was worth taking as you discover & observe much more when you are on road. After reaching Dharamshala we decided to rest for the day in the guest-house. Next day, we visited the main market, Bhagsunath temple & the waterfall. In the evening I took a stroll to the nearby local market.When you visit a hill station, you find your self mesmerized with the beauty of nature around you. (this happens especially with us 'the city people') Smelling & feeling the pure and cool breeze, looking at the sunrise & the sunset behind the mountain ranges, doing a l'll bit of hill climbing or taking a simple walk around the area is something that fills your heart with contentment.
Oh yes! I did all this while I was in the hills. A small walk around, walking up or down the roads,stopping by local tea stalls, enjoying the flavourful tea with a bun or a biscuit. Enjoying a 'll chat with the locals, knowing more about their lifestyles. Not to forget that the weather was also awesome and it complemented on my zest to explore more.
With an umbrella in my hand, prepared I was to explore things on foot:)Yes, rain played hide and seek that day:) It would come & go, it would pour for 5 mins and then next 10-15 mins it would disappear. This game of Rain Gods was new to me but to the locals there it was part of daily routine this time of the year. Thanks to the 'Khansama' from the rest house ...it was he who suggested that I carry an umbrella with me.
The people here are very helpful & jovial.They are all ears to give you directions and talk stories about their life on hills :)I had some fun time yapping at a small local tea stall.
Bhagsunath temple is a medieval Shiva temple situated 3 km from McLeodganj. Built in a huge compound with pools that are considered sacred among Hindu devotees. After doing my puja & a l'll chat with lord Shiva I looked around for the famous Bhagsu waterfall. It was at a walking distance from the temple. After a short walk I heard the sound of it and I saw it at a further more distance. The approach to the waterfall was interesting. It has fresh water springs, slate quarries and a beautiful waterfall.
That evening I came back to the rest house and decided to leave for Mcleodganj next morning. I could not sleep that night much because of the constant jumping and walking sounds of monkeys on the roof. Yes, they were plenty there. Most of the houses are wooden and roofs are slanting so the top structure of the house is such that monkeys find a place to sleep during nights.
McLeodganj is 9 km from Dharamshala and is a well known centre for Buddhist community.The Tibetan government-in-exile is headquartered here.The 14th Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso was given refuge at Dharamshala in 1959.Since then McLeodganj is his official residence and has many Buddhist monasteries and tibetan refugees.
|View of McLeodganj & one side of Dhauladhar range in the background|
While we were at McLeodganj we paid a visit to the Dalai Lama temple as well. Apart from the tourism purpose many people come here to learn & study Tibetan Buddhism, culture and art. Looking at lots of Thangka paintings, handcrafted bags, lamp shades, wooden & buddha statues, trinklets & jewellery, one gets tempted to buy them as souvenir. So, after buying a small sling bag with 'Om' written on it I walked slowly towards the parking area admiring every bit of visual my eyes could enjoy & take in...
|View of Dalai Lama's residence & administrative area inside the Temple|
|View of beautiful Dhauladhar Range|
*a piece of heaven*