Mac leodganj and Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh (day 1)

The dates were decided and the location was to be decided for my first independent (with friends) trip. While searching for the location we got to know that Dalai Lama was to be present in Dharamshala co- incidentally on our travel dates.

We took overnight journey to Dharamshala.

I met my friends Jagpravesh at Vidhan sabha metro station. From there we sat in e-rickshaw for Majnu ka Tila and on the way picked a bottle of red wine and a wiskey. The bus left around 8pm. The bus was almost full except the last row. A single person was there on the last seat. He was a south Korean. We had a long conversation with him. He was travelling India second time and his purpose was to get motivation for his life.

As I woke up in the morning, I felt a little cold and searched for the blanket. As I slided the curtains, it was mesmerizing view – bus running between the trees on the road and little fog on the windows. I looked out for my earphones to enjoy this view with some good music.

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Early morning we reached Dharamshala. The bus stop was the petrol pump next to a mall. As we got down, we were surrounded by agents asking for our requirements and quoting price for the same. Here we got to know that here we can do Asia’s second highest paragliding as well .

We booked room at Surbhi guest house here. We had to walk for around 25mins for our hotel. Fortunately they allow check-in only after 12noon. So we decided to explore the place instead of waiting at hotel for the check in time.

So we decided to attend the event of Dalai Lama at Dalai Lama main temple which was approximately 45mins of walking. We walked at a good speed for the first 10 mins as we were filled with enthusiasm, after that our speed slowed down as we started to sweat and lose our stamina followed by slow walk to the temple.

We met some school students on the way and interacted with them.

Before entering into the temple everyone is required to submit mobile phone. The temple was full of monks who were sitting everywhere inside the temple listening to Dalai Lama. Somehow we managed to find a place to sit. They were serving tea and kulcha. It was very hard to eat that kulcha(it was cold,thick and tasteless), so we decided to take one and divide it into three parts and still we were not able to complete our part.

Dalai Lama was sitting on a very high pedestal and delivering his teachings in their own language. People were provided with translators to understand it in their own language.

After struggling to find a place to sit, we met a very old lady. She smiled at us as we folded hand in front of and said Ram Ram. She brought us some bread to eat and asked us to wait for the tea.

We had chicken momos just outside this place. Then we continued to walk towards kalachakra temple.
This is a small structure all surrounded with the Tibetan Prayer Wheels. Since the structure is all surrounded by the hustle and bustle of the Main Square of McLeod Ganj, It’s never peaceful.
It’s still a nice treat to the senses to go in and have a moment of rejoice in the Temple.

Then we had some desserts from a shop at McLeod Ganj square.

The next stop was St. John in the Wilderness Church. It is a small church situated some 20 minutes walk about the town. Very picturesque inside and there is a large Christian cemetery next door, although too waterlogged to explore. Very peaceful.

There are few stalls outside the church which offers momos, tea, aloo tikki burger, etc. Though the food is good and feels fresh maybe because of mountains and fresh water.

There’s a dal lake around 40mins of walking distance from church. The route to dal Lake is very beautiful and serene. It goes through the woods. This route ends at a tibetian school and then we have to cross playground of the school. If one is lucky, you can see students playing soccer or practising music. The lake have nothing to offer except excellent view and cool breeze.

Here we encountered a group of engineering students, they were exploring the area on bikes. We were lucky to get clicked with their bikes.

It was getting late and it was about to sunset, so we decided to head back to our hotel in Dharamshala. It was a long walk ahead.

On our way back we decided to stop at cafe called illiterati. There we ordered espresso and white sauce pasta for me and my friends. I seriously had no idea what espresso means at that time and when it arrived it was dark coffee in very small cup that to half filled with a cookie and we all bursted into laughter seeing why are they charging this much for this such quantity of coffee.

After enjoying the luxury we walked to our hotel Surbhi. Our legs were shivering due to tiredness of whole day of walking.

In evening we ordered some pizza for our hunger cravings and then left out to have some boiled milk. While returning our hotel manager laughed and said that sir tourist to daaru Peete hai aur aap doodh peene gaye the.

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