Are you ready for Himalayan retreat and want to lose yourself in the culture of Tibetan? If your reply is a Big Yes, then you are in the right place. In this blog we will explore the sightseeing places of Dharmshala and Mcleodganj that can be covered in 3 days and 2 nights. Dharmshala is only 5.3kms away from Mcleodganj and it took around half an hour to reach. We can cover Dharmashala in 1 day and to explore Mcleodganj 2 days are enough. 

Let’s begin the journey….. 

We booked our hotel in Mcleodganj for a more beautiful view, and we wanted to enjoy the shopping experience of both Bhagsu Market and Mcleodganj Market. Our hotel was near Bhagsunath Temple, so we thought of starting our journey from the nearest point. 

Places to Visit in Mcleodganj

Bhagsunath Temple

This place was heaven; we crossed a small market area and reached the temple which is surrounded with serene view. At the temple area, there is “Gaumukh” from where the waterfalls to a pond and beside the pond, Panchmukhi Shivlinga (Five Faces) was situated. There is a swimming pool also which is opposite to the Pond and in between the pool and pond, a narrow lane is built for walking.

So, you can enjoy swimming and in the same place you can click pics in Himachali Dress. They provide hardcopy of the pic in few minutes, but I feel the price was quite high.

Bhagsu Waterfall & Shiva Café

After crossing the temple area, there are narrow lanes having shops on both sides which is a valuable and quality market for shopping. When you cross this area, you feel like you are in heaven, mountains, waterfalls, and a long stair. Go hiking, enjoy the surreal view, and on the other side, lots of cafés which offer tasty food and soothing views.

We ate food at Lockdown Café and after hiking reached Shiva Café, the popular café of Bhagsu and it’s worth it. 

Namgyal Monastery

The Monastery is spread in a vast area, where apart from Monastery the houses are built for the Buddhist children and teachers. All of them wore red dresses and when we reached there, they were going for lunch. The Namgyal Monastery has a huge idol of Lord Buddha where you can sit in silence and rejuvenate your soul. If you are willing to learn Buddhist culture, then Namgyal Monastery is the best place to explore. There is no entry fee.

Norbulingka Institute

The Norbulingka Institute showcased the culture of Tibet through a Museum where you can explore the art, culture, and literature. The Institute has gardens, a unique small fountain, and a small bridge to reach the hall. You can see the water and fish under the bridge, which is also a perfect place to click photographs. This place is perfect to click photographs and make reels which we did here.

In front of the Institute, stalls are placed from where you can buy fancy stuff. We bought a Hat on rent. The Institute is open from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm and the entry charges are only Rs. 50/-. 

Dal Lake

The lake is named after the famous Dal Lake in Kashmir, and you can enjoy the serene beauty in Mcleodganj Lake too. The lake is located near Naddi Village and surrounded with long pine trees and rugged mountains.

You can also do boating in Dal Lake, but when we reached there boating was not prohibited for the tourist. In front of the Lake, two temples were situated facing each other. The view of Dal Lake from the temple mesmerizes you.

Dalai Lama Temple Complex

When we began our Mcleodganj Trip, the first Buddha Temple we went to be was Dalai Lama Temple Complex which is situated at the Temple Road. The temple is situated in the serene atmosphere and silence prevails in the complexi.

We sat at the temple, did prayer, read all the spiritual things, and rolled the drum like a spiritual structure. Diya lit up at a particular place, if you want to lit-up diya, you can visit the temple in morning. We clicked so many photographs that the view was serene.

Naddi Viewpoint

The most beautiful gem of Mcleodganj, Naddi Viewpoint. When we planned to go to Naddi Viewpoint, the weather was pleasant, and the sky was clear. The enroute to the viewpoint was surreal and beautiful. When we reached the viewpoint, we clicked photographs, and went for a short trek to see the unimaginable beauty.

The trek was worthy enough, although we were not aware of the trek and wore fancy stuff, but we managed very well. After coming down, we had tea, except for me, because I am not a tea lover. Strange but it’s true. 

Triund Trek

I went on the trip along-with my mom and sister, and trekking was not in our to do list. At the hotel where we stayed, a traveler reached full who were planning to go for triund trek. Fortunately, not planning a trek was a good decision, due to heavy rain, the trekkers canceled their trip. But yes, Triund is my most favourite trek among adventurous people, and the 9kms trek offers a stunning view. The trek starts from Dharamkota Village and if you are not planning to come down the same day, you can do camping there.

Aghanjar Mahadev Mandir

The temple of Lord Shiva is surrounded by lush green forest and the river which flows behind the temple. In the temple, there are several idols of other deities for worship. The ash kept beside the main temple of Lord Shiva is still burning. In the temple, several saints reside and have their “satwik” meal which is open for devotees too. At the back side of the temple, the gush of water flows, and the stairs are built to reach there.

You can sit there and dip your feet in the cold water. We too had the meal of daal, rice and salad which was served in the leaf. I feel like going to this place again and again.

Places to Visit in Dharamshala

Dharamshala Cricket Stadium

The Cricket Stadium of Dharamshala is situated amidst the Dhauladhar Range and offers scenic views. When we visited the stadium, it was sunny weather and construction work was on the verge, but still the beauty at its height.

This was the first time I visited a Cricket Stadium, which is a popular tourist place in Dharamshala. The ticket price to explore the stadium is only Rs. 20/- per person. It would take around half an hour to explore the stadium. 

War Memorial

The War Memorial is situated in a vast place, where you can observe the weapons in a museum. At the centre of the war memorial, names of our brave soldiers who died for our country in the war are imprinted. In respect to the martyrs, people are not allowed to step up the stairs.

The whole War Memorial is surrounded with the lush green forest, and to explore the place, you need to pay Rs.20/-. The War Memorial is open from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm. Well, I must say the weather of Dharamshala is hard to guess at the Dharamshala Cricket Stadium, weather was damn hot and when we reached the War Memorial, suddenly it started raining. 

Tea Garden

When we reached the Tea Garden, the rain was at its peak. I can say the lush tea garden in the rain looked much prettier than other days. The tea which they sold in the garden is so yummy that a non-tea lover can’t avoid it.

Tea Garden is a major attraction point for tourists where you can explore the garden, collect tea leaves, and click iconic pics. 

Kangra Devi Temple

Dharamshala’s Kangra Devi Temple is one of the famous Shaktipeeth in Himanchal Pradesh. The entrance of the temple looks like a fort and the temple is painted in white color.

The queue was not that long, when we reached near to the main temple, we saw the beautiful idols of 4 tigers, “Sawari of Devi Maa”.  We took the blessings of devi maa and went to other small temples built in the temple premises and took blessings. At the front of the temple, there is a pool of water and while crossing the bridge we saw the place where body’s were burnt daily. After burning, people take a dip in the holy river. There were other temples also which we witnessed after crossing the bridge and reading the ancient stories. Maa Baglamuki is the ancient temple and one of the Shaktipeeth, the other two temples of Jwala Mukhi and Chintpuri are close to this temple.

Gyuto Monastery Tour

The institute is painted with mustard yellow, and silence prevails in the institute. At the temple a huge statue of Lord Buddha is placed and sacred mantras are scripted all over the temple in their own language.

In the temple so many students and teachers reside there and after discussion, we got to know they follow strict timings. Apart from this, they learned everything which keeps them fit and sharper. The sun was its peak but still we try to capture this moment.

Kunal Pathari

A beautiful Devi Temple, surrounded by lush green valleys, is situated in a large area. The temple is very famous and on the 1st floor of the temple, they serve food daily. After taking the blessings of Devi Kunal Pathari, we had our lunch in the temple itself. The Himachali Style Bhandara is very different, even their serving style is amazing. They served a variety of vegetables (sabzi), sweets, and drinks. Don’t miss this place to visit, especially the food. 

St. John in the Wilderness Church

The oldest church of Mcleodganj which was built in the 18th century by the Britishers. The church was built around the lush green dense deodar forest which increases the beauty of the church. The architecture of the church is immensely beautiful, so we click photographs around the church. As I was not aware about the prayer methods, I prayed to Lord Shiva.

How to Reach Dharamshala/Mcleodganj 

Guys, first of all I will make it clear for you that Mcleodganj is only 5kms away from Dharamshal. All the buses arrived at Dharamshala, so plan accordingly. 

  • Nearest Airport: Gaggal Airport is nearest airport located in Kangra. The distance from the airport to Dharamshala is only 15kms. Taxis are available. 
  • Nearest Railway Station: Punjab’s Pathankot Railway Station is the nearest railway station to Dharamshala. The distance is only 85-90 kms away from the destination. 
  • By Bus: The luxury buses are available from Delhi – NCR. We chose the Zing bus which offers really good service. The bus dropped us at Dharamshala and our taxi driver which we had booked was already there. 

Final Thought

I can’t explain the beauty of Dharamshala and Mcleodganj in words, and I believe no cameras can capture the surreal beauty of the valley. In this blog, I had mentioned those places where we went, except Triund Trek which is on our bucket list. 

Pack your bag and explore the unexplored places with Hema…