Mcleodganj is a major hill station located near Dharamshala in the state of Himachal Pradesh, which is quite popular among trekkers. The culture here is a beautiful mix of Tibetan culture with some British influence.
Mcleodganj is also known as Little Lhasa. It is a beautiful town famous all over the world for being the home of the Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama, which is located near Upper Dharamshala.
Nestled amidst majestic hills and lush greenery, Mcleodganj is culturally blessed with a prominent Tibetan influence, largely due to the Tibetan settlements here.
Some of the most famous and religiously important monasteries in India are located in Mcleodganj, including Namgyal Monastery and Tsuglakhang.
History of Mcleodganj
In 1885, when India was ruled by the British Empire, various settlements were established in the Dhauladhars near the western range of the Himalayas. In 1849, during the Second Anglo-Sikh War, the British established their position in Kangra.
Dharamshala got its name from the small rest houses in the cantonment where the British used to stay, known as ‘Dharamshalas’.
Later this place became the administrative head office of Kangra district, after which the establishment of civil settlements started here.
Mcleodganj is named after David Mcleod who was the then Lieutenant Governor of Punjab. Lord Elgin who was the British Viceroy of India from 1862 to 1863 fell in love with this place.
Lord Elgin died in 1863 on his way to Dharamshala and was buried at St John’s Church-in-the-Wilderness in Forsythganj. Forsythganj was named after a Divisional Commissioner.
The city was destroyed during an earthquake in 1905, but was later revived once again by the Dalai Lama.
Rendezvous with Tibetan Culture
Mcleodganj, with its Tibetan monasteries and prayer wheels, is the uppermost part of the Dharamshala area, which exhibits a mix of Tibetan and Buddhist culture.
Here you can calm your mind in a peaceful Tibetan monastery and meditate to know your inner self.
During your visit, you can taste many Tibetan delicacies and buy authentic Tibetan souvenirs from Mcleodganj market.
5 best places to visit in Mcleodganj
Mcleodganj is the upper part of Dharamshala area which is famous for its many pilgrimage centers and temples. In this article, we are telling you about 5 such places to visit near Mcleodganj where you must visit once.
Bhagsunag Falls is the most famous tourist place near Mcleodganj which is located in Dharamshala. This tourist spot attracts tourists from all over the country who are a nature lover every year.
Namgyal Monastery is a major tourist attraction in Mcleodganj, which is the abode of the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.
Namgyal Monastery is also the largest Tibetan temple whose foundation was laid by the 2nd Dalai Lama in the 16th century and it was established by monks to help the Dalai Lama in religious matters.
At present there are around 200 monks in the Math (मठ) who are working towards protecting the practices, skills, and traditions of the Math. Namgyal Monastery is a very special place for tourists who are looking for a place of peace.
Bhagsunath Temple is a major tourist attraction of Mcleodganj which is surrounded by beautiful pools and greenery. This temple is situated at a distance of about 3 kilometers from Mcleodganj.
Bhagsunag Temple is an ancient temple that you can visit during your trip to Mcleodganj. This temple was built by King Bhagsu in dedication to Lord Shiva and the local deity Bhagsu Nag.
Bhagsunath Temple is situated at an altitude of 1770 meters above sea level and is visited by a large number of devotees and tourists throughout the year.
Triund is a popular trek about 9 kms from Mcleodganj. The place is situated at a high altitude which gives you the experience of trekking in the Himalayas.
Triund is a great place for trekking with amazing trails offering beautiful views of the Kangra Valley.
Dal Lake is one of the major tourist places of Mcleodganj, situated at an altitude of 1,775 meters above sea level near the village of Tota Rani in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh.
Dal Lake has derived its name from the famous and attractive Dal Lake of Srinagar. The lake is surrounded by rugged mountains and towering deodar trees, which is a major tourist attraction.
The water of this calm lake is green, which is the abode of many types of fish. Many people call this lake cursed and some consider it holy, as there is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva on the banks of the lake.
Kangra Fort is one of the oldest forts in the country which is situated at a distance of 20 km from Dharamshala. The grand structure of this fort tells about the rich cultural heritage of Kangra and its glorious past.
This fort is the main attraction for tourists coming from all over the world. Kangra Fort is mentioned in the war records of Alexander and this fort has been attacked by the Mughals many times.
If you are going to visit Mcleodganj, then definitely include Kangra Fort in your list.
Read also:- Kangra Fort: Largest fort in the Himalayas
What is the best time to visit Mcleodganj
If you are planning to visit Mcleodganj then the best time to visit is between October and February, which is the winter season.
The summer season is between March and June during which the temperature in this area is around 25 degree Celsius. The temperature here during winter ranges between -1 °C and 9 °C.
You can visit Mcleodganj in winter as well as summer season, but it would not be advisable for you to visit the place during monsoon. It is better to avoid visiting here in the months of July and August due to heavy rainfall.
How to Reach Mcleodganj
How to reach by air
The nearest airport to Mcleodganj is Gaggal Airport, which is connected by very limited flights of some airlines. Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport is the major airport near Mcleodganj.
You can first take a flight from any major city in India to Delhi and then take a bus or car to Mcleodganj to reach your destination.
How to reach by road
Mcleodganj is well connected to various major cities of India like Dharamshala, Delhi, Chandigarh, etc. with the help of state government and private buses.
Travelers can easily reach the Mcleodganj bus stand with the help of these buses and then hire taxis to go anywhere in the town.
How to reach by Rail
Pathankot Railway Station, located about 90 km from Mcleodganj, is well connected to many major cities of India.
Travelers traveling up to Mcleodganj can avail trains that run between Delhi and Jammu. Many express and superfast trains run on this route, which any passenger can choose according to their budget and convenience.
With the help of taxis and buses available outside the station, you can easily reach Mcleodganj.