Here is The Land Of Wanderlust’s list of 15 offbeat things to do while in the town of Dharamshala, the home of the Dalai Lama and his people in exile from Tibet.
1. Walk to Dharamkot village:
A walk to the Dharamkot village from Mcleodganj is a perfect place to unwind amongst the colourful houses, surrounded with pine and deodar trees and a backdrop of the beautiful Himalayas. Along the walk, one can stop at shops selling ancient artifacts and hippie jewellery.
2. Night stay at Triund:
The walk to the basecamp and a night stay at triund is a must-do for anyone who is a nature enthusiast. A pleasant hike through the jungle trail and the night sky at Tirund makes the 3-hour long hike a must-do while in Dharamshala.
Shopping in Mcleodganj matches to none other in the country where ancient Tibetian items are sold at a very nominal price. One can also find unique artifacts in each of these stalls all across the streets. From unique lock and keys to handmade books, Mcleodganj has something to offer for everyones taste. Considering the huge variety one must also be good at bargaining while shopping at Mcleodganj.
A local Tibetian dish found only in Mcleodganj. Local Tibetian women dressed in their traditional attire sell luffings on the streets in their small stalls. Luffing is generally spicy in taste with a lot of local spices added to the dish. This dish is a must-try when in this area.
5. Street play:
Street plays are a part of Dharamshala where it is very common to find groups of people enacting lessons from daily life or from the different religious scriptures. The plays are generally held early evenings and one can find posters of the same in and around the streets of Mcleodganj.
6. Dalai Lama temple:
The most revered place in Dharamshala and the place where the 14th Dalai Lama has been residing is one of the holiest monasteries in Himachal. The temple is located down the road on a far end in Mcleodganj. The monastery also houses a small museum and can be visited anytime between 8 am to 6 pm in the evening.
7. Movie at the theatre:
A small theatre in the main bazaar area of Mcleodganj is a blink and miss spot which showcases old movies in a small set up with a moderate-sized screen every evening. The movie schedule is generally written outside the theatre on a small board where tickets can be purchased on the spot.
8. Sunset at Naddi:
Naddi is a small quiet village 3km from Mcleodganj. The sunset point is the most popular attraction here frequented mostly by families. The sunset view from Naddi is a must-visit spot with the view of the Dhauladhar mountains as a backdrop.
9. Visit the Gothic church:
St. John in the Wilderness is located just as one enters Mcleodganj on the right side. The church has a very Gothic feel to it with an old cemetery just adjacent to the church. The church was built in 1852 but is currently shut. One can walk around the church compound which still has a sense of calm surrounding it.
10. Taste Tibetian Bread:
Tibetian bread is a famous breakfast snack mostly served with butter and jam. Eateries also have special filling inside the bread which is available in almost all the eateries in Dharamshala.
11. Maggi at Bhagsunag:
At Bhagsunag, one can find a couple of small roadside stalls selling Maggi with their local spices adding to the taste of the noodles. A perfect place to have hot Maggi in the mostly cool weather with the view of the waterfall and mountains.
12. Dinner at Tibetian kitchen:
Tibetian kitchen is one of the most famous eateries in Dharamshala known for their authentic Tibetian food with great ambience. One can choose to sit on one of the three floors of this restaurant that also has a rooftop setup overlooking the main bazaar area of Mcleodganj. Pick from their Tibetian menu to get the real feel of the place.
13. Free yoga:
While in Dharamshala one can enrol for a free yoga session mostly conducted in the mornings amidst the beautiful natural surroundings. For those who have more time in hand can also join the paid courses which are held over a few days. One can find posters of these yoga sessions all around Dharamshala and enrol anytime they wish.
14. Picture with a Lama:
Known to be the house of Buddhism, it is very common in Dharamshala to see monks roaming in their religious attire. These lamas are housed in Dharamshala where they are taught the Buddhist scriptures from a very young age. These lamas mostly keep to themselves but happily oblige for pictures.
15. Visit Dal Lake:
The lesser-known Dal Lake in Dharamshala is just a ride away from Mcleodganj. The lake is a quiet place with clear green water and a variety of fishes in the lake. The lake is surrounded by deodar trees and a Lord Shiva temple on its banks which is frequented by many who visit Dharamshala.
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