is a small hill station in Kangra district
in the state of Himachal Pradesh
On the crest of a hill above McLeodGanj
, Dharamkot is an attractive spot that presents a wide view of the Kangra Valley
and the Dhauladhar
ranges. There are a couple of small (and interesting) eateries around. Several foreigners have taken residence in the area; all live in village homes and tiny guest houses. Dharamkot also has the Vipassana meditation center, Dhamma Shikara, as well as the Tushita Meditation Centre
which is a center for the study and practice of Buddhism in the Tibetan Mahayana tradition.
Past Dharamkot, at a distance of 9 km from McLeodGanj, much of which is a steady climb, Triund is at the foot of the Dhauladhar ranges and is at a height of 2,827 m. The snow line, which is considered to be the most easily accessible in the entire Himalayan range starts from Ilaqua, 4 km from Triund. A good walker will take around four hours to reach Triund from McLeodganj and another one and a half to two hours to reach Ilaqua. After Dharamkot, one passes by the Galu Devi Temple when the climb and the trail become demanding.
Dharamkot is situated at a distance of 1 km from Mcleodganj. It is a beautiful and scenic beauty which is frequently visited by tourists from all over the world. It is located in the district of Kangra in Himachal Pradesh. Since the place is surrounded by deodar trees and landscapes, it adds to the beauty of the site. It is a frequently visited picnic spot due to its natural beauty. One can see the view of Kangra valley and Dhauladhar range from here.
The village of Dharamkot is said to be a complete contrast to the Tibetan world that one experiences in McLeod Ganj, the former being quite Punjabi in manner. Trekking is one of the most popular activity this village offers, and one can trek to the villages of Naddi and Triund, which are 3 km and 7 km away from Dharamkot respectively. The place is said to be a haven and a must-visit for backpackers and travelers.
Mcleodganj Tourism At A Glance
Mcleodganj is a hill station near Dharamshala, popular among trekkers. Its culture is a beautiful blend of Tibetan with some British influence.
Also known as Little Lhasa and famous around the world for being home to the Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama, Mcleodganj is a beautiful town situated near upper Dharamsala. Nestled amidst majestic hills and lush greenery, this town is culturally blessed by a prominent Tibetan influence owing to the major settlement of Tibetans here. Mcleodganj has one of the most mesmerizing landscapes in the entire state of Himachal Pradesh and attracts a lot of tourists throughout the year. The towns of Dharamsala, Mcleodganj, Bhagsu Nag and Kangra are situated very close to each other and tourists must cover all these destinations while traveling here. Few of the most eminent and religiously significant monasteries in India are located here, including the Namgyal Monastery and Tsuglagkhang, where the spiritual leader Dalai Lama resides. Tourists must also visit the scenic Dal Lake and Triund, which are apt for quiet picnics.
The trek to Triund starts from Gallu Devi temple, where people going for this trek are first asked to register their names. From Mcleodganj, a person first must reach Dharamkot via auto or you can simply get a cab straight to Gallu Devi temple. There is a small route via Dharamkot which leads straight to Gallu Devi temple in case a person wants to save up on the cab charges.
The trek mostly is a straight route up to Triund. The distance is 11 kilometers and usually takes about 4–5 hours. On the way there are only 3-4 small cafe shops that serve usual things that a trekker might need like eatables, water etc. but that too at rates more than Mcleodganj. The scenic beauty on the way is quite absorbing, provided it does not get cloudy. Tents are usually available up there at Triund at nominal rates.
The reason it called Triund is that of the 3 mountains that a person can see from that point. These 3 snow-covered mountains are usually snow-capped throughout the year, so Tri means three and Und means mountains. There is no provision for electricity and toilets up there and the mobile signals are hard to find. After it gets dark, the torches come handy. The stars present a magnificent view at night. There is a guest house of Himachal Tourism and a person also has an option to stay there, provided the booking is done prior to the trip.
Top places to visit in Mcleodganj
Overlooking the mountain ranges of Dhauladhar, the Namgyal Monastery is situated within the Tsuglagkhang complex. This complex also is the proud home to the residence of Dalai Lama, among various other shrines, temples, bookstores, souvenir shops etc.
The residence of the spiritual leader is out of bounds for tourists but the other parts of the complex are wonderful and must be visited by all tourists.
Tsuglagkhang is the place where the Dalai Lama resides. It is one of the most significant places of worship which attracts devotees from all over the world and serves tourists as well.
This complex has a monastery, various stupas and temples, a museum, a library, a bookstore and a cafe. Except for Dalai Lama's residence, every other part of the complex is open for tourists. If lucky, one can even get to meet His Holiness. The complex houses a beautiful statue of Lord Buddha as well as statues of Chenrezig and Guru Rinpoche.
The museum inside the complex tends to be a popular choice amongst the tourists and houses many imprints of Tibetan art and culture. These include historical documents, pottery, handicrafts, paintings etc. The museum gives tourists an insight into Tibetan culture and at the same time, the various struggles faced by them lately. The structure of the Tibet Museum is influenced by Tibetan architecture which is unique and innovative.
This museum is located inside the Tsuglagkhang complex and has a collection of brilliant forms of Tibetan art, which includes historical documents, pottery, handicrafts, paintings etc.
It provides an insight into Tibetan culture and also the various struggles faced by them lately. The structure of the Tibet Museum is influenced by Tibetan architecture which is unique and innovative.
Surrounded by beautiful pools and lush greenery, this temple is located at a height of 1770m above sea level and attracts a huge number of devotees and tourists throughout the year.
With a legend, it owes its existence to, a waterfall nearby and a number of shacks and cafes around, this religious center has an air of spirituality about it, flattering sceneries around and much of vibrancy and color surrounding it. Thus it tends to be both a significant place of worship and spirituality and at the same time, one of the most popular and visited spots in the area. The pools around this temple are believed to be sacred and contain miraculous powers of healing. The temple was built by King Bhagsu and is dedicated to Lord Shiva.
Bhagsu Falls Overview
Set amidst lush greenery and dreamy sceneries in a pristine atmosphere, these falls have much grandeur and breathtaking beauty. While in McLeod Ganj, they should not be missed.
The Bhagsu Falls have situated 2 km's away from McLeod Ganj. The place is spread over a vast expanse of land and one should take their time to explore the area and take in its majestic beauty. Trekking is also an enjoyable option here. There are also a few cafes near this region where tourists can find light refreshments
Far off from the hustle and bustle of cities, a trek to Triund offers you an escape into the the_majestic Himalayas. Situated a few kilometers from Dharamshala, it is a place perfect for trekking with amazing trails offering scenic views of the entire Kangra_valley. A trek to Triund is short and simple. It can be done from either McLeodganj or_Dharamkot, which is 2km ahead of McLeodganj. The first half of the trek is an a_gradually inclined walk with the last 2km from Snowline Caf_ which involves a vertical climb all the way till Triund. The evening sky from Triund is a sight in itself and is a good excuse for camping here at night.
The trek from Mcleodganj to Triund is a sharp one of over 1100 meters and it is absolutely worth it because of the refreshing walks amongst the Rhododendron and Oak forest. Town of Mcleodganj invites you to experience the vibrant Tibetan culture which is enjoyed by tourists from all over the world.
Named after the Dal Lake of Srinagar, this beautiful small lake is just 3 km from the Mcleodganj town. This lake is surrounded by deodar trees and also has a temple here dedicated to Lord Shiva.
Church of St. Johns in the wilderness
This neo-gothic architecture was built in 1852 and is one of the most important churches in Himachal Pradesh. Located near Dharamshala and on the way to Mcleodganj, this church was built in dedication to John the Baptist.
It is also the final resting place of Lord Ergin, governor general and viceroy of India during the British Raj. This church should not be confused with the church of the same name located in Nainital, Uttarakhand.
The name literally translates into 'White Range' and the panoramic views and snow clad ranges here do all the justification to the name. The mountains provide a flattering view of the Kullu Valley is thickly laid with Pine and Deodar trees covered with snow.
The highest peak of the ranges is called Hanuman ji ka Tibba.
A number of treks are available in and around Mcleodganj, ranging from simple to difficult terrains. There are also a number of institutes that provide training as well as tools and facilities for trekking.
Trekking is a hobby for most of us. Himachal Pradesh is a famous and a favorite spot for many trekkers. One can trek to Triund, which is a very short and modest trek. Triund also has a number of trekking options with a backdrop of some breathtaking sceneries. Camping in the mountains has the power to break the monotony of daily routine boring lives. The experience of hiking in the natural, pollution-free air and open green landscapes is truly exhilarating. McLeodganj (also known as Little Lhasa) is a suburb of Dharamshala in Kangra District of Himachal Pradesh, India. There are many heavenly places or sites to visit and experience around McLeodganj that will leave you speechless.
Following are the treks near Mcleodganj that definitely must be taken by all lovers of nature -
1. Triund Trek
Situated in the laps of Dhauladhar mountains, Triund is a base camp with a perfect view of Dhauladhar mountains on one side and Kangra valley on the other.
How to get there?
From Dharamshala bus stand, you can take a bus to McLeodganj (Bus fare is INR 12) or shared taxi (fare is INR 15) or book a taxi (Might cost INR 450) to reach McLeodganj.The Trek
Start your trek from the Main Square in McLeodganj and take a steep and rigid upward walk to your left-hand side and walk for about 45 minutes via the Office of Regional Mountaineering Centre, Dharamshala. Turn towards your left side from a three-way intersection to reach Dharamkot. You may also take a rickshaw or a cab here (INR 60 and INR 300) to be dropped off at Dharamkot primary school. From the left side of the school, there is a trail of that will take about an hour through the forests to reach the Gallu Devi Temple.
There are cafeterias and guest houses here. Rest for a while as the trek from here to Triund is a bit tough with some steep curves. It takes about three to four hours to reach the top of Triund Hill.
The trail goes through a beautiful mixed forest of oak, deodar, and rhododendron. The trek is easy and can be done by all age groups especially for the first five kilometers. The last one kilometer is however tiring. There are many shops that offer refreshments along the way.
Carry your own tent and set up a camp in Triund. There are small shops from where you can get to Tea and Maggi refreshment.
There is a Guesthouse by forest department of Dharamshala, however, make sure to book it in advance.
Best time to go
Any time of the year except January- February due to heavy snowfall
Easy to moderate
2. Kareri River Trek
Situated in the south of the Dhauladhar range, around 9 kilometers away from the Dharamshala city, is one expansive and beautiful Kareri Lake. Kareri Lake is named after the village Kareri that is located approximately 9 kilometers to the south of the lake. Kareri Lake is a popular trekking destination. The lake is at a high altitude of 9629 ft from the sea level and is frozen from the end of November, early December up to April or start of May.
How to get there?
Regular buses are ply from Dharamshala to Ghera village, starting from 8 am
in the morning. The distance between the two is around 20 km. You can also take a taxi from Dharamshala to Ghera. The trekkers begin their trekking from the market in Ghera village.The Trek
The village has a navigable road. Walk along this path, cross a bridge that comes along the way and trek on the route that goes along the Khauli River. You will pass Sari village on your way, after around 30 minutes into the trek. From here, the Kareri village is 2 kilometers away. The trail leading there is through the dense rhododendron forests. Observe a wooden bridge over the Kareri stream, from there; the trail is off another 30 minutes to reach the Kareri village. The camping grounds and Forest Guest House are another 10 minutes away.
From the back of the forest guest house, there is a trail on the left side that leads to the entrance to a narrow valley. Cross the wooden bridge and then after a steep climb of 200 meters and crossing another temporary bridge, you will reach a camping spot called Harote. From there, on your right, there will be a narrow funnel-like valley that leads to Kareri Lake.Accommodation Campers usually set up their camp on the meadow near the stream, 10 minutes away from Kareri village. There is also a Forest Guest House. However, it is advisable to speak with the forest ranger in advance if one wishes to occupy the guest house. Home-Stay at the village is also possible.
Best time to go
The best time to go on a trek to Kareri Lake is anytime from May to June and September to October. This is because from December to April end the lake is frozen, and one must exercise extra caution while trekking over a frozen lake.
3. Guna Devi Temple Trek
Guna Devi has located 13 kilometers away from Dharamshala bus stand and 8 kilometers from McLeodganj bus stand. It is one of the major religious centers in the area. It is a pilgrim center for the locals and the Gaddi shepherds. Enjoy your trek here through the beautiful trail through Deodar Forest.
How to get there?
The campers can take a cab from either McLeodganj or Dharamshala to Naddi Village.
The trek starts from Naddi village above Dal Lake, 4 km from McLeodganj. From Naddi there is a moderate trail leading to Baal village. 2 kilometers away from Baal village is the Guna Devi temple.
There is no need for an accommodation as it is a one day hike. You can crash in any of the hotels and home-stays in McLeodganj.
Best time to go
Throughout the year
4. Bhagsu Trek
The trek to Bhagsu is short but a refreshing one! There are two places to be visited in Bhagsu. One being the Bhagsu temple, which is also a pilgrim center for Hindus. It is also referred as the Bhagsunag temple, a temple of Lord Shiva. It is very historic and has its own significance. The other place to be visited is the Bhagsu / Bhagsunag waterfalls. They are 20 minutes away from the temple. The waterfall is mid-sized, cascading from the height of 20 meters. The waterfall is truly a phenomenal site during monsoons.
How to get there?
Bhagsu Waterfall is 3 km away from McLeodganj and one kilometer from the Bhagsu temple.
The trek from McLeodganj to Bhagsu is relatively easy. You can also take a cab to reach Bhagsu temple and start hiking from there. The temple and the waterfall are only twenty minutes from each other. For the waterfall, the trekkers need to climb half a hill, which may be difficult for some. Bhagsu has many refreshment centers as well and also houses the popular Shiva Cafe.
The Bhagsu village has some homestays and hotel options. However, since the trek is short, people prefer going back to McLeodganj or further trek up to Triund.
Best time to go
Throughout the year. Waterfall becomes grand during monsoons.
5. Indrahar Pass Trek
Situated on the top of the Dhauladhar range is the Indrahar pass at the peak of 14160 ft. The trek to this pass is a mesmerizing experience as you feel like you are on the top of the world.
How to get there?
The base camp set up for Indrahar pass is Lahesh Cave. Lahesh Cave is further uphill from Triund. Trekkers usually camp till Triund for a day and then on the next day proceed to shift to Lahesh Cave.
Lahesh cave is 9 km away from Triund. It is located at 11646 ft while Triund is at 9760 ft. From the Triund ridge, the trail goes up north past the guest house and a small Devi shrine. The trail keeps on rising throughout. You will find stone trails that are maintained by the Gaddis due to the location of various shrines in the area. The trail goes towards the east to a steep traverse to get to Laka ridge. Past this, the trail goes through many pastures to camping grounds of Laka. There will be some boulder fields that descend the face of Laka, from here, take the trail up the north most area. The trail will pass two boulder fields. Stick close to the right of the stream and after an hour of walking, you will reach the Lahesh cave. Camp overnight. Next morning begin the trek from Lahesh cave (at 11646 ft) to Indrahar pass (at 14160 ft). Continue to follow the trail that goes over the rocks straight up North East Ridge of the cave. At some places, it will be easy to walk due to the paths created by the Gaddi shepherds. However, there are steep rises at many points so continue to trek at your pace. There may be few streams that you will cross along the way. You will know when you are getting closer and the trail becomes steeper. You will reach the pass quite suddenly. There is a shrine in the center of the pass as well. The trek is of 6 to 7 hours from Lahesh to Indrahar pass to Chhata camp.
From the Indrahar pass, trekkers proceed to Chhata camp, which is downhill from the pass. (From 14160 ft. to 12729 ft)
Best time to go
The best time to go is from September to October
Moderate to difficult.
Dharamshala and McLeodanj have become hotspots for trekking base camps as one can feel a close association with nature. It is a perfect way to detox from the life in the cities and from our constantly busy minds.
Travel into the woods and between the mountains to feel content again. Use this information to plan your next trek!