Weekend getaway to Dharamshala, McLeod Ganj and Dharamkot

Himachal Pradesh, India, Travel

Just got back from Dharamshala – McLeodganj – Dharamkot trip. It was OH! SOME, a must-see for travellers (not tourists). Dharamshala has become more or less a tourist spot and I have a feeling that McLeodganj too, will soon lose its traveller’s charm.

Here is my 20 must-do list for McLeodganj Dharamshala Dharamkot extended weekend trip from Delhi:

1. Research well. Check out various hotels and accommodation options in and around Dharamshala. Choose a lesser known but classy hotel. It’s best to stay a little away from the main spots.

  1. Trek in Mcleodganj – Trek up to wherever you can. You’ll be reducing your carbon foot prints and enjoying the beautiful view you would otherwise miss out on.

3. Get a Tibetan / Ayurvedic massage. You can find many shops in the main market. Price ranges around Rs. 300 for a foot or back massage and Rs. 600 for a full body massage in Mcleodganj or Dharamshala.

4. Try some Local wine at the wine shop in McLeodganj. I tried the ‘Waterfall’ Rhododendron wine at the Wine shop next to the Police Station.

5. Invest in a good singing bowl. It can put you in a trance each time you play it and constantly remind you of the zen feeling, after you’re back.

6. Invest in a Thangka painting. Thangka Paintings have a silk base with paint or embroidery on it depicting Buddhist deities or scenes from Buddhism. Look for the one that calls out to you.

7. Have a plate of momos everyday. The ones I loved, were spinach momos and the outer covering was nice and bread like. You can find these on the streets of Mcleodganj, not in the restaurants.

8. Stay in Dharamkot, at least for a day.

  1. While you’re at Dharamkot. Try out the wooden oven baked Pizza and a dessert called ‘Say Hello to the Queen’. They also have a ‘Hello to the King’ if you’re not a fan of bananas.

say hello to the queen dessert at dharamkot

  1. Visit the ‘Art Museum’ at Dharamshala.

  2. Invest is a couple of Tibetan artefacts and antiques. One of my favourite were the antique silver seals.

cafe end of the world at bhagsunag waterfalls in mcleodganj dharamshala

  1. Sit and enjoy a hot bowl of Maggi at ‘End of the World Cafe’, after you’ve taken a dip in the Bhagsunag waterfall. {UPDATE 2015: Maggi has been banned in India but I’m still a die hard fan. You won’t be able to find maggi now but try something else that you fancy and sit around for a while and enjoy the view.}

  2. Save up some energy to trek some more to Shiva cafe, after enjoying the Bhagsunag waterfall in Mcleodganj.


shiva cage stone art in mcleodganj himachal pradesh

  1. Visit the Dalai Lama Temple and request a public audience from the Liaison Officer, if DalaiLama happens to be in town. I luckily visited the temple on his 75th birthday and was able to it in all its festive glory.

15. Follow @DalaiLama if you are not following him on twitter already.

  1. Have a chocolate cookie and hot ginger lemon tea at the Moonpeak Espresso. Other things on the Menu are also a must try. They have free wifi, so surf the net or update your facebook status and twitter timeline while you’re there.

  2. Sit around, walk, jump – just to breathe in, the fresh mountain air at mcleodganj and dharamkot.


man jumping while taking a walk in dharamkot

  1. Take up a Yoga session in Dharamkot.

  2. Trek up to Triund.

20. Click, Click, click. Take lots of photographs of your travel to India.

All images © Shivani Garg 2010. All Rights Reserved.


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