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Overview of McLeod Ganj
McLeod Ganj is situated in the lovely Kangra district at the backdrop of Dharamshala suburb. With the backdrop of the mighty Himalayas covering this place, McLeod Ganj contains the highest peak of the Dhauladhar Mountain Range known as Hanuman Ka Tibba, which stands tall at 5639ft above sea level. The area of McLeod Ganj is dominated by a huge number of Tibetan population, which is why locals of Dharamshala call this place as Little Lhasa, where Lhasa means Tibet, in their dialect. This place is replete with many Tibetan monasteries, visited by many Buddhists.
The former Lieutenant Governor of Punjab, Sir Donald Friell McLeod is the person after whom this place is named. During 1850, the British rulers gained control over this place and the Dharamshala suburban was fast became a hot tourist spot and summer retreat of the British rulers. When the main district of Kangra started getting more number of tourists every year, McLeod Ganj and Forsyth Ganj of Dharamshala became the often visited relaxing places by the British. During 1959, 14th Dalai Lame sought refuge in Dharamshala and McLeod Ganj started became the place where he officially started to operate during the 1960s.
McLeod Ganj is located in Kangra district in the suburban area of Dharamashala just behind theDhauladhar Mountain Range. This place is found at a height of 2004m or 6575 feet above sea level and proves to be an absolute visual treat for the travellers. It is located at 32.23 degrees towards the North and 76.32 degrees towards the East.
How to reach and local transport
Air – Gaggal Airport, at 15km from Dharamshala, is the nearest to McLeod Ganj.
Rail – Kangra Valley Railway line, at a distance of 20km from Dharamshala, is the closest to McLeod Ganj.
Road- Many buses operate between Delhi and other important parts in India and Himachal Pradesh to McLeod Ganj on a daily basis. Taxis and jeeps are available from the airport and railway station to this place quite frequently.
Local transport – Jeeps, local buses and trekking are the local modes of transport available for commuting within McLeod Ganj.
Tourist Attractions and Things to do
McLeod Ganj is literally the brand ambassador of Tibetan culture and tradition. This is the best place for travellers who come here to known more the Tibetan way of life. The temple of Dalai Lama, Tsuglag Khang is a major tourist attraction here. This temple has big sculptures of Guru Padmasambhava, Avalokiteshwara and Shakyamuni which are worshipped by hundreds of devotees here. Tibetan institute of Performing Arts, Monastery at Namgyal, library housing huge collections of books that reflect about the history and culture of Tibet, Monastery at Nechung and the Norbulingka Institute are the major tourist attractions here. Trekking and shopping for various antique Tibetan artefacts in the bazaars of McLeod Ganj are some of the major activities here
Places to eat and local cuisine
Gakyi restaurant, Lobsang’s Four Seasons’ Café, Taste of India and Nick’s Italian Kitchen are some of the nice places to dine out in McLeod Ganj. Apart from north Indian food, these places are also great for authentic Tibetan fare like momos, soup with noodles and breads stuffed with beef curry.
Places to stay
Pink House, Annexe Hotel, Bella Heights, Hotel Bhagsu (operated by HPTDC) and Hotel Akash are the top 5 budget accommodations in McLeod Ganj.
STD, PIN code and Emergency Contact Numbers
The STD and PIN codes of McLeod Ganj are 01892 and 176219 respectively. Apart from the usual helpline numbers of 100 (Police), 101 (Fire) and 102( Ambulance), tourists can dial 01892 222189 for ambulance and 01892 224883 to reach McLeod Ganj Police Station.
Banks, Hospitals and Tourist Office
State Bank of India
Kangra district, McLeod Ganj, Ph: 01892 220612
Kangra – Dharamshala Road, Kangra Head Office, Kangra – 176001, Ph: 01892 242555
Himachal Pradesh Tourism Directorate
SDA Complex, Block No. 28,
Kasumpti, Shimla – 171009,Ph: 0177 2625924