Summer vacations have begun in and around Delhi. Scorching heat of 45 degrees Celsius is pushing everyone to head towards the hills.
Delhi is a base to visit hills and valleys whether the Himachal (Shimla, Dharamshala, or Manali etc.) or the Uttarakhand (Nainital, Kausani, Chardhams, Hemkund Sahib and more). There are a whole lot of options from Delhi.
The popular destinations include Shimla and Manali in Himachal Pradesh and Nainital in Uttarakhand. However, places like Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh are although not so popular but are beautiful and less crowded.
Dharamshala has recently been selected as one of the 100 cities to be developed as Smart Cities under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flagship Smart Cities Mission.
Dharamshala is a peaceful hillstation and was once in the minds of the then Britishers as summer capital. Today it is home to Dalai Lama and his follower Tibetans. Local people who are originally from Tibet are now staying in Macloed Gunj a few kms uphill Dharamshala. The Stupas and the Monasteries built by them are major tourist attraction here in Mcloed Gunj.
On entering Macloed Gunj, there is a small Anglican Church St. John in the Wilderness where Lord Elgin, Viceroy of India was buried after his dealth in 1863.
It is recommended to see Mcloed Gunj by walking since it is a small place. Bhagsunag temple with natural spring water swimming pond, the Monasteries and The Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, considered as most important library for Tibetology are all within walking distance from main bus stand.
Macloed Gunj is a base for tracking tours to Triund above which is the highest point to have a view of the snowcapped Himalayas.
A short visit to the local village named Naddi gives you an opportunity to feel the peace and beauty of village life of Himachal very much frequented by foreigners throughout the year.
A visit to Kangra Fort is another option to have a look into the history of this region. Although the fort was devastated badly in a massive earthquake, but still the remains are worth visiting.
For a more spiritual experience one can head for Jwalaji Temple, a very ancient temple which is at a distance of about 55 kms. from Dharamshala. Interestingly there is a natural flame burning all the time.
There are a whole lot of options for staying there in Mcloed Gunj including the Himachal Tourism Development Board guest house at the end of the market road.
Thanks to the presence of tourists from all part of the world, Mcleod Gunj has many types of small restaurants catering to the needs of varied tourists’ demands. Lot of eating options in the market and most importantly, the original Tibetan cuisine is available here.
For reaching Dharamshala, you can either drive from Delhi or Chandigarh or you can opt to book tickets in Volvo luxury buses of Himachal Tourism from Himachal Bhawan, Mandi House, Delhi or from Chandigarh.
By Train, Dharamshala is accessible from Delhi upto Pathankot from where you can taxi or local bus to reach Dharamshala which is at a distance of 94 kms from Pathankot.
Direct flights are also there from Delhi to Gaggal airport which is at a distance of 10-12 kms from Dharamshala.
Best season to visit is March to June and September to December.