Cerebral Shangrila

Monday, May 24, 2004


The Summer heat of Delhi drove us this weekend to the Hills.I had wanted to visit Dharamsala for a long time(attracted by its Buddhist influence).Six of us set off in a Scorpio.

DHARAMSALA : Dharamsala is around 500 kms from Delhi and is situated in Himachal Pradesh.Dharamsala is around 1800m above sea level and gained prominence during the late 50's when Dalai Lama made it his place of Stay.Its a quaint little town with a few Tea Gardens and an art museum.

MCLEODGANJ : We headed directly to Mcleodganj.Mcleodganj is named after David Mcleod,the Lt.Governer of Punjab.Its located 10 kms above Dharamsala.Mcleodganj houses the Residence of Dalai Lama & the Buddhist monastery. My first impression of the place was " This is not India " . Almost 60% of people we met were foreigners and the place is like a mini Tibet with most of Dalai Lama's followers settling down there.It has a rather crowded market place and finding accommodation during summers was a little tough.We Stayed farther up (almost 2 kms away) at Hotel Triund. The monastery is a modest complex consisting of the Karmachakra Temple,Buddha Statue,Residence of Dalai Lama & a Tibetian Museum.The Tibetiam Museum depicts the horror of Chinese invasion on Tibet and the massacre of millions of innocent Tibetians.We tried to seek an audience with the Dalai Lama but were politely turned down.The Karmachakra temple is a testimony to the evolution of Buddhism from Hinduism bearing close resemblance to the ancient hindu temples. We then drove down to Dal Lake ( which resembled more like a muddy swimming pool in the summer) and to Nandoo a point from where we had terrific views of the Dhauladhar Mountain range.We retired back to the Hotel in anticipation of the 13km Trek to Triund-Ilaqa which we had planned for the next day.

DALHOUSIE : However the sunday morning turned out to be rainy at Mcleoganj and hence we dropped our trek plans and instead headed to Dalhousie.Dalhousie is located 120 kms to the North west of Dharamsala.We reached there by afternoon.It was a beautiful Hill station with fewer crowd and tall pine trees and cool weather. We had lunch at Dalhousie Market and started for Khajjiar.

KHAJJIAR : Khajjiar is located 22 Kms from Dalhousie.Its not for nothing they call it the "Switzerland of India".We were welcomed by a lush 1km by 1km meadow with a pond in the middle and pine trees all around.It was a marvelous sight and was worth the long travel we had undertaken.We trekked through the pine trees and wandered through the woods and spent a couple of hours there. It suddenly started raining and the place seemed absolutely romantic with raindrops falling on the green meadow.We started back to Delhi and after an exhausting 14 hours drive finally reached Delhi by Monday afternoon.

TRAVEL TIPS : The Summer is perhaps when most people travel to the Hills.I would say Dalhousie is a better choice than Dharamsala.If you are religious or are fascinated by Buddhism (Like I was), then Dharamsala would be a great place to visit .Travel by Train till Pathankot and grab a bus/taxi from there to Dalhousie (80 kms).

AFTERTHOUGHTS : Though the trip was hectic (we traveled around 2000 kms in 3 days!) , we enjoyed it thoroughly.Great gang of friends made the Trip memorable (Most of the friends this time were from IIM-L,S.P.Jain , so it was great leg-pulling and Gyaans & Fundas all the way !).


  • are you gonna post pictures in your webshots gallary?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:36 AM  

  • Sounds like an interesting trip, esp Khajjiar.
    Yeah, do u plan to post any pics of the breathtaking scenery?

    By Blogger Pooja, at 11:56 AM  

  • Yeah . Will definitely update my Webshots Gallery.It does need a lot of update.

    By Blogger Cogito, at 8:13 PM  

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