McLeod Ganj, as it is commonly known, is a small town tucked away in the mountains of Himachal Pradesh. It is a haven to get away from life with its small streets, cozy restaurants and quaint lodges. This town is also known as a Little Tibet since it is home to the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government in Exile.
Of Simple Little Joys
The beauty of McLeod Ganj lies in its simplicity. Jogiwara Road and Temple Road are the two main streets with restaurants, lodges and lots of small street vendors. You can find Tibetan crafts and souvenirs like prayer flags, little trinkets, Thangka paintings and Buddhist prayer wheels at the little street side shops. These are made mainly by Tibetan refugees, giving them a means of living. Most of these shops are run by Kashmiris, but there are several state-run shops which offer these at good rates.The Buddhist Temple, home to His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, is the biggest tourist attraction.
Restaurants and stores here have a very Western feel about, them since the town is frequented mainly by foreigners. They cater to various cuisines, from Japanese to Tibetan, from Indian to Italian, and are suited to fit every pocket. The most popular restaurant, where it is almost impossible to get a table after 7:30 p.m., is Carpe Diem with its terrace, bonfire and comfortable cushion seating. It is probably the best place if you want to get acquainted with other foreigners from town.
Reverence Spread Across the Town
The Buddhist Temple, home to His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, is the biggest tourist attraction here as a lot of people visit only to see His Holiness and hear His teachings. There are a lot of donations from foreigners because of the increasing popularity of the Buddhist culture. The monks at the temple readily answer questions, explain Buddhism and conduct teachings in Buddhism.