6. Serene, soothing face of Gautam Buddha at the Dalai Lama Temple. People practice yoga in the temple premises and meditate for hours.You just have to go straight on the street passing all the local market you will reach here. Caution if you have girls in your gang you might not reach your destination soon ;) The blissful showers made us all nostalgic of us as kids getting drenched in rains.We almost went mad, it's raining we got split into groups finding each other in different shops. one got stuck in one shop other got in some other. We were totally enervated! Rains were like cheery on the cake. The weather was awesome.
Tibetan Library of Works and Archives
When you are hungry after a lot of trekking and exploring the beautiful Triund, this is a place to relax and satiate your hunger pangs. There is also the Shiva Falls nearby and thus the name of the café. The place is oerfect for all types such as breakfast, lunch and dinner. The best part about this place is however the peaceful ambience and great views.
Tsuglagkhang is the place where the Dalai Lama resides. It is one of the most significant places of worship which attracts devotees from all over the world and serves tourists as well.This complex has a monastery, various stupas and temples, a museum, a library, a bookstore and a cafe. Except for Dalai Lama's residence, every other part of the complex is open for tourists. If lucky, one can even get to meet his Holiness. The complex houses a beautiful statue of Lord Buddha as well as statues of Chenrezig and Guru Rinpoche.The museum inside the complex tends to be a popular choice amongst the tourists and houses many imprints of Tibetan art and culture. These include history documents, pottery, handicrafts, paintings etc. The museum gives tourists an insight into Tibetan culture and at the same time, the various struggles faced by them lately. The structure of the Tibet Museum is influenced by Tibetan architecture which is unique and innovative.
Tsuglagkhang Complex ("DalaiLama Temple"
Little Lhasa or Dhasa are other names for McLeod Ganj, because of its large population of Tibetans. The abode of His Holiness Dalai Lama, this place also houses Namgyal Monastery and Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts. The Tsuglangkhang Temple or the Dalai Lama's Temple is the most important Buddhist place in town. Rolling the prayer wheels in clockwise direction is believed to be equivalent to saying thousands of prayers, and I found it rather calming.Tibetan culture has a major influence on art, craft and food of the place. Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts, based in Dharamshala, aims to preserve and promote Tibetan musical heritage and associated arts.
Nestled atop the Dhauladhar Range is the hill town of Dharamashala that happens o be yet another one of the constructions of the British. The place is famous as it happens to be the temporary residence of the leader of Buddhism, the Dalai Lama himself. Dharamshala is resplendent with tall oak trees reminds one of the colonoial era. The town has made it to the top with its local handicraft items and garments that are a winner with tourists. The most famous festival celebrated here is Buddha Purnima which is held either in March or April. So if you are planning a vacation, either make it for the festival and be a part of the crowds or skip it and come when the place is less crowded.
One of the most picturesque places in Himachal, this place dates back to centuries ago. The Main influence here is of the Buddhist and this is evident from the style of buildings and the monasteries around. The Dhauladhar Range adds to the greenery and natural beauty quotient of this place. The major attractions here are temples like Bajreshwari Devi, Chamunda Devi, Baijnath Shiv temple and Jwala Devi ji. You can also shop for handicrafts here which found prominence during the rule of the British Empire. The handicrafts include wood carved items and shawls mostly.
Dharamsala War Memorial
Another name for this museum is the Garhwal Rifles War Museum and it was established in the year 1923 by Lord Rawlinson of Trent. He was the then governer chief of India. The museum is in the famous Rifle Ground and is one of the most popular attractions here. You can visit this place to get detailed information about pre- independence history and the achievments of the army men here. The museum was built in the honor of the valour of the officers of the Garhwal Regiment. It remains closed on the day of Oath taking of new recruits of the Garhwal Regiment.
Next we headed to "The Tibet Museum" and "Namgyal Monastery" which are adjacent buildings located on Temple road. The Museum was established in 1998, and has a collection of 30,000 photographs, a travelling exhibition and a permanent exhibition that documents the Tibetan journey into exile across the Himalayan ranges. The Namgyal Monastery which is a place of worship is also the personal monastery of the present Dalai Lama, and was founded in the year 1565. We were asked to remain silent throughout our tour of the Monastery, so as to not disturb the others who had come to meditate & pray. It was an amazing experience for me personally as I have always been fascinated by Buddhism.
Uncertainty sat like a weight in my stomach during the rather comfortable twelve-hour journey. But once I reached McLeod Ganj, the endearing warmth of the locals and the tranquil beauty of the place calmed my nerves in no time. I checked into one of those budget hotels that line the length of Jogiwara Road. Decent stays are available within a range of Rs 1600 to Rs 2000; however, some of them would include climbing down a flight of hill-cut stairs to reach the hotel. But, what is guaranteed is the beautiful view outside—the fluffy clouds rolling over the majestic mountains against the pristine blue sky!