Mcleodganj has a wide variety of places to visit. Nature lovers will find everything they can imagine here. If you’re interested in history and architecture, there are numerous buildings in which you can get a feel for McLeod Ganj history, which is reflected in these old constructions.
Furthermore, there’s also an interesting offer in regards to trekking and reaching amazing spots where you can get the best views. Furthermore, there’s also a considerable offer regarding gastronomy and nightlife. Let’s take a look at the many amazing things McLeod Ganj has to offer.
There are numerous yoga schools and retreats in McLeod Ganj. It’s up to you to see which one better suits your needs as well, your philosophy of life, and your way to do things.
This area is famous for this and people from all over the world come here to grow their knowledge of this discipline who many turn into their lifestyle.
Of course, there’s the option of doing yoga outdoors. Why not make the most of the beautiful scenery and the nearness of nature in McLeod Ganj? Everyone is welcome, regardless of their level of knowledge. You’ll find a very accepting community here.
2. Bhagsu Falls
This is one of the most visited places in the area and for good reason. It’s a spectacular sight where we can be amazed by the beauty of our world. Furthermore, it’s a place that invites reflection, as there’s a peacefulness like no other.
This can be one of the first places you visit when you get to Mcleodganj as it is located between Dharamshala and Mcleodganj.
The monsoon season is when the fall is at its most beautiful. However, this is also the season in which it’s less advisable to go to Mcleodganj. However, during the rest of the year, Bhagsu Falls continue to be quite majestic. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to dive in, not because it isn’t allowed but because the waters are way too cold.
3. Bhagsunag Temple
It’d be absurd to reach Bhagsu falls and not visit the Bhagsunag temple. This is a lovely place, ensconced by pools and green nature everywhere.
It’s a religious place of great significance so it’s important to be very respectful when we visit. The residents of the area consider the pools as sacred places with healing properties.
On your way to Bhagsu Falls or as you’re coming back from visiting the falls, you should make a stop here. This is a spot from where you can go to other places that we also find very interesting and worth visiting.
4. Dal Lake
Not far away from the Bhagnusag Temple, the Dal Lake awaits. One of the things to admire about this place is how high it is, as it stands over 1,700 meters above sea level. Despite it not being too large, it makes for a beautiful view.
Breathtaking mountains surround the lake where numerous fish can be seen. Interestingly, there are numerous legends about this lake, as it’s considered both a sacred place and a cursed place.
The last one would be the reason why fish are never caught here. If you happen to visit during September, you might be witness to a grand fair, which is celebrated in honor of Lord Shiva.
5. Namgyal Monastery
This monastery is the largest Tibetan temple located outside of Tibet. You don’t have to be a religious person to feel the calm and peacefulness this place emanates.
If you happen to be an admirer of the Dalai Lama and his teachings, this is a place you can’t miss. Namgyal Monastery is the Dalai Lama’s monastery.
However, the actual building predates us all, as it was founded in the 16th century. This place offers education as well as a place for meditation.
The base of it all, of course, is Buddhism. However, there are also other subjects taught. These include the study of Sutra and Tantra texts, ritual chanting, Tibetan and English, and more.
6. Tsuglagkhang Complex
Tsuglagkhang is the residence of the Dalai Lama. This is why it has become a place of pilgrimage, with people coming to visit from all over the world.
However, you don’t have to be a follower of the Dalai Lama to be able to visit. Everything except for the Dalai Lama’s private quarters is open to visitors.
This is a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in Tibetan culture. From the first moment, you get to do this just by looking at the buildings, which are built with Tibetan architecture in mind. Furthermore, the Tibetan Museum is located here, which will allow you to learn much more.
7. Tibetan Museum
If you’re interested in history, art, or general culture, then this place is a must. It’s located in Tsuglagkhang, as we mentioned before, and it’s the place to visit if you want to learn more about Tibetan culture.
You’ll get to see much of the artwork style favored by Tibetans. From paintings to handiworks. The building itself is a testament to Tibetan architecture. Furthermore, it allows a deeper look into the recent history of Tibet and the suffering of its people.
The many exhibitions allow you to get information in different formats. From photographs to documentaries. Children are also welcome to come to visit, so this is a perfect spot if you’re traveling solo or with your family.
8. Triund trek
This is one of the most visited treks in the area. For those of you who love to get a little bit of exercise, this is one of the places to go. It’s not a strenuous hike though, so everyone is encouraged to do it. It’s just a few kilometers from Dharamshala.
The views you’ll get during the trek to Triund are some that you will never forget in your life. You can perfectly see the entire Kangra Valley. The hike does get a bit harder as you go, but making it to Triund will be worth it.
Nowadays, camping is closed. Furthermore, it’s best to come prepared with food and water, as the shops that used to be on the road are now closed as well. In total, the Triund trek encompasses around 8km.
9. Trekking schools
Trekking on the Himalayan mountains is a very popular activity. However, there are different levels of difficulty. Therefore, some institutes can train you on the things you should always keep in mind to do your trek in the safest way possible.
You don’t have to bring all of your trekking paraphernalia –if you have any- as these institutes can also provide you with the tools you need. Some of the most popular treks, aside from the one to Triund, are the Kareri River trek and the Guna Devi temple trek.
10. Church of St. Johns in the Wilderness
If when you’re getting to McLeod Ganj you’re feeling refreshed and energetic, you can visit this church before you find your accommodation. This is because it’s located on the way to McLeod Ganj.
It was built in 1852 and it has a gothic-style architecture. One of the things to see is the stained-glass windows, which make this church unique. Another thing that makes it stand out, of course, is the fact that it’s in the middle of the wilderness.
This small village is kind of a hidden gem. Tourists don’t usually make a point of visiting, but it’s renowned as a great place for meditation. Furthermore, it’s known as the hippie village or Yoga Village. There are two important meditation centers here.
This is also a great place for starting your trekking adventure. Be it to Triund on Indraprahar, you can start from here. This has made it popular with some well-informed travelers. It makes for a nice mix of adventure and peacefulness all in one.
12. Kareri Lake
Another beautiful lake can be found a bit further away from Dharamshala. This one is located 9km away, but it’s a trip worth making. The view is outstanding, and you’ll be able to see many locals as it’s surrounded by pasturelands.
Furthermore, you’ll get to see beautiful plants and flowers, which only adds to the magic of the place. The lake also outflows, forming Niyund, a stream. Due to its shallowness, you’ll be able to see the bottom of the lake, making for an unforgettable experience.
13. Minkiani Pass
As we’ve said, there are numerous hikes and treks in the area. You don’t need to be an advanced hiker for some of them, while there’s a certain difficulty to many of them. One that’s friendly enough for non-experts is the trek towards Minkiani Pass.
You’ll find yourself surrounded by nature, with incredible flora but also little animals. This makes for quite an enjoyable walk. You’ll have wonderful views of the majestic peaks of the area. Keep in mind that it’s a long walk so you might want to camp and go back to Dharamshala the next day.
14. Norbulingka Institute
This learning place is an extremely beautiful location filled with ponds, small waterfalls, and clear streams. It makes for a beautiful environment in which learning more about Tibetan culture is possible.
With this purpose in mind, the institute displays sculptures, paintings, and even statues that allow you to learn more about the culture of Tibet.
Furthermore, numerous refugees work here, maintaining the institute in top shape. Both the cultural content and beautiful space attract thousands of people every year.
15. Baglamukhi Temple
This temple is a bit further away than the majority of places we’ve mentioned so far. However, if you’re going to be spending some time in Mcleodganj, then you should undoubtedly make time for this visit. Numerous devotees visit the temple every year praying for a successful life.
The deity worshiped here is one of the ten Mahavidyas of the Supreme Goddess as per Shaktism. The yellow color of the temple is to honor her, as her favorite color is said to be yellow. Throughout the year, many festivals take place at this temple.
You should enquire if there will be a festival taking place during your visit as they are a remarkable sight.
16. Kangra Fort
This is the largest fort in the Himalayas. Kangra Fort is situated in Kangra and it has been an unmovable force that has been witness to the historical events that have taken place in the area. It is believed that it was first built around the era of the Trigarta Kingdom.
It’s difficult to imagine that at one point, this fort was the place were unmeasurable treasure was held. Therefore, there were strict security measures in place at all times. Nowadays, we get to see a ruined structure that somehow continues to stand.
17. Naam Art Gallery
After visiting the Tibetan Museum and the Norbulingka Institute, art lovers might want to visit the Naam Art Gallery. Here, there are numerous works, which very often contain some sort of spiritual content.
This is not surprising considering the spiritual characteristics of McLeod Ganj. However, this gallery usually has more Europen art instead of Tibetan. It’s a good opportunity to appreciate the contrast between cultures.
18. Brajeshwari Temple
People simply love this temple. The beauty of it is a wonder and the spiritual connection many people feel when they arrive is undeniable. The architecture of the temple alone is downright inspiring and breathtaking.
Many people visit Kangra just for this temple. We advise doing a full-day at Kangra, which will allow you to visit the Brajeshwari temple, the Kangra Fort, and more.
19. Tibet Kitchen
If you’re looking for the real flavors of Tibet, then you should visit Tibet Kitchen. This is one of the best places that serve authentic Tibetan food. With an ample menu that offers everything from momos to thukpas, it’s an entirely new world to discover.
Many other places offer Tibetan food. However, Tibet Kitchen also has a great view and good vibe, with many people coming and going.
20. Illiterati Books & Café
This is another hidden corner in which anyone looking to relax and rest after a day of activities can do so. There’s great food served at this café, and they have a wide variety of books.
Furthermore, at night, there’s usually live music, which provides the perfect vibe for a very relaxed night out. This is the general ambiance at McLeod Ganj. We’re not surprised by this considering most people come here in search of peace and spiritual growth.
21. Black Magic
This is one of the most popular places for people who love night adventures. It’s one of the most sophisticated offers in McLeod Ganj, with great décor, amazing food, and an open bar. They adapt to everyone’s tastes with their offer of both vegan and meat dishes.
There’s an entire fusion of different Asian flavors here. Furthermore, there’s also an open bar and the music is great. This is a great place to visit with a group.
22. MCLO Rest & Bar
This is a much more laid-back option than Black Magic. With wooden decoration and great offer in beers, the food is also delicious here. Furthermore, they have everything from breakfast to dinner.
There’s great music played here which will provide an even better ambiance to your night out. Furthermore, this place has a great view, which will make your meal and drinks even more enjoyable.
23. B 6 Lounge and Bar
Another place where you can have a great time with your friends. The service is said to be great and the food even better. They have a wide variety of dishes, which range from Italian flavors to Chinese options.
There are usually singers on the small stage and you can also get a few drinks while you’re here. It’s also a great place to make new friends. Who knows, you might get to know your trekking buddy for the next day!
Moonpeak is both a café and a restaurant. Furthermore, there’s also art displayed here. It has become a staple of McLeod Ganj, and many people come here at any time of day to get a delicious meal.
They offer a variety of flavors, from curry mutton to open-faced sandwiches. Besides, the coffee is excellent, so for all of you coffee lovers, this might be just the place.
There are numerous things you can buy to bring back a memento from McLeod Ganj or even something you want to use to decorate your home. You might have to do some bargaining, as it tends to happen in most bazaars.
There’s a wide offer of things to take home, from singing bowls to jewelry, Buddha statues, and much more. Near the Dalai Lama temple, there’s usually a wide variety of sellers, but you might have to do some strong bargaining here as it’s known as a tourist area.