For the people in Delhi, hills are the favourite place to be, and what better than a long weekend trip to Dharamshala? Taking the advantage of the same thing, I decided to pack my bags and go to Dharamshala with a couple of friends.
Dharamshala is all about colourful Tibetan flags, rolling prayer wheels and the collective sound of the ringing bells and chirping birds.
The majority of my first day was followed by an overnight travelling journey to Mcleodganj starting from Delhi. I went to Bhagusnag, a pleasant 2 Km walk from Mcleodganj. We started by visiting Tsug Lhakhang, a place which is Dalai Lama’s residence with his private office and temple. Our hotel, North Horizon Villa, was located just at the backside of the Monastary. The evening was dedicated to trying a couple of cafés there like German Bakery, Indique & Buddha Delight Café. From pancakes to Israeli food, from momos to Maggi, from Thupkas to Pizzas, every café has a variety of dishes to offer, each in their own signature style. You name it, McLeo has it! Its no wonder people spend all day sitting on the floor, eating and relaxing!
The next day started at The Jimmy’s Italian Kitchen with some really sumptuous pizzas and I cant stop raving about the pastas and the chicken in red wine sauce. How about if I offer you something like Big Chill at half the price? At this point, we noticed one bizarre thing- There’s a habit of writing down the menu order that you place at almost every restaurant or cafe at Dharamsala (Probably because our appetite tends to double when we are in hills, and the cafes are always running full).
Dharamsala is also a shopper’s paradise which is why the rest of the day rolled out in walking uphill from the hotel, shopping from the Tibetan markets at the Temple Road and the Kotwali Bazaar, where I shopped a variety of jewellery for myself and my mum and we tried the authentic Himalayan moms filled with Pak Choi (Chinese cabbage) and Potato. Further, we continued trekking to Bhagsu Waterfall and the notoriously infamous, Shiva Café where you can find some quality questionable stuff and also momos for when the munchies strike. Hippies mill around through the day but we insist that you go for the view and not the crowd. The breathtaking view is worth the hike. The evening was spent at Dharamkot, a small village next to Mcleodganj. This is for those who have stayed away from the bustle of the city and are enjoying the the wood-fired Pizzas along with some freshly made fruit juices and late night soirees of Dharamkot. We tried their Pita and Hummus and we must accept that an entire plateful of hummus is not for the weak.
Day three saw the adventurer in me setting off on a trek to Triund, the nine kilometre trek from Mcleodganj to Triund provides a breath taking view of snow-capped mountains and the Kangra Valley. The trek gradually steepens and the roads narrow as you move up. The trek to the peak is certainly worth all the huffing and puffing. To my respite, a small snack shop midway, provided refreshments. A soothing cup of the most delicious adrakki chai and a few biscuits later, I headed further up, making my way through a narrow, stony route that led me up to the highest point of the hill. The view from the top was better than I expected. Locals told me that it’s also called ‘Magic View Mountain’ because of the panoramic vista it offered. It took us for about 13 hours for a roundtrip trek. I spent the evening relaxing at a hidden gem at the Temple Road, The Khana Nirvana Café, an infamous place great for late night chills and excellent homely service.
The last day was kept for some more excitement and thrill. We checkout out and moved to Bir Billing Palampur, where I planned to jump off a mountain cliff, which is at an elevation of about 2600M. A span of 20 minutes in the sky, flying down to Bir, harnessed to a paragliding chute, & you wish to be transformed into a bird. And while enjoying the exquisite view of the tea gardens in Palampur in the afternoon, we headed back to our starting point.
If you have any queries make sure to connect with me by either commenting/email or any of my social media’s.
Hope you enjoyed this post. Meanwhile, comment below your experience of your last getaway?