Sunday, July 10, 2016

The treasures in McLeodganj


Second half of Day 2 McLeodganj trip




As we left from St John's Church, it poured heavily for a good forty minutes. We were stuck in a massive traffic jam for more than an hour on the two kilometer road. Yet, we enjoyed that traffic snarl because of the pleasant weather and lush greenery around. Such amazing weather is so rare in the city.

We reached McLeodganj by half past one. The slippery wet roads and traffic in the narrow lanes of the market welcomed us. Post a hearty lunch we headed to Dalai Lama Temple.

On your visit to McLeodganj, Dalai Lama temple is a must visit. You never know you might get lucky to meet his highness, the holy Lama.
The temple premises has basic infrastructure with beautiful view of the mountains around.




As we entered the security check zone, to my surprise mobile phones and cameras were allowed as against my last visit in 2014 when they were not. People were free to take pictures even inside the premises this time!



The temple complex attracts tourists globally who come in search of answers to questions of life and death. His highness Dalai Lama's temple houses a hostel complex for monks and students. Many have converted into Buddhists who spend their lives serving mankind or mediating there. The first floor with prayer bells and mediation hall gets the maximum footfall. 

Deep dive into the beautiful spiritual sojourn as you witness the large holy sculptures of Buddha, Avalokiteshwara and Gilded Chenrezig

Buddha
Avalokiteshvara
                Chenrezig
We had looked forward to spend some quiet peaceful moments in the temple, but it just did not happen. The place became noisy and a ground for selfie obsessed crowd. It surprised me to see the priests totally cool about it. We settled with some pictures of the deities and moved towards the prayer bells. It was not a pleasant experience unlike my last visit. Teens and young people obstructed the way of the prayer bell direction, posing for pictures and refusing to budge. Whatever happened to the peace of mind and maintaining the sanctity of a holy place?

The view from the first floor overlooking the green mountains is a visual treat. Infact the balcony view is more soothing than the statue premises. 


The whole premises takes less than an hour to see and soak in the positive vibes. We sat across the front gate of the ground floor trying to calm our minds and heal our hurt soles. By 3 pm, we departed from Dalai Lama temple, ticking it on our travel bucket list. :-) 

Our cab driver, suggested us to either go for para gliding or visit Khanyara. For the former we were not prepared nor had planned anything. So choosing the latter sounded a better option to us. Curious to explore, we covered a distance of around twelve kilometers to this lesser known place.

With very less footfall and serene beauty around, the isolated place boasts of a very old Aghanjar Mahadev Temple and a little river flowing in the backyard. Of-late this has emerged as a fun picnic spot.


Walk through this main entrance and see the open temple under the sky. The simplicity of the temple and the people is worth noting. No show of money, no royal ancient carvings on walls, no customary 'chadhawa', no loud bhakti sangeet would make you feel so free and at peace. I pondered over the show offs God is disturbed with. Isn't it? Why not just thank God for his blessings and give him a break? That's my idea of praying to the almighty.


History of the temple- During Mahabharat era, once when Arjun, was on his way to the Kailash Mountains. Lord Shiva appeared in front of him and blessed him with the Boon of Victory over the Kauravas. At this place Baba Ganga Bharati has fired "Akhand Dhuni" (Sacred Fire). 

Descend from a flight of stairs at the backyard, cross a little bridge and treat yourself to a splash of cold water from the Himalayan river.  
  
Slippery in many places, its good to seat yourself on the big stones. Dip your feet in water and relax. The backdrop is perfect for few selfies too! hehe

                                  


Though the place is extremely relaxing and worth travelling a long distance, Indian tourists always disappoint big time! Needless to mention how they litter all places and prove their cheap traits. To add to all this, there were beer bottles  at a holy place! Only God knows why does the temple authority ignore this. Atleast  people should respect the place! 

Anyway, we left the place heading to The Kashmir House crossing the Kotwali bazaar where we shopped for local specialties. We filled our shopping bag with lemon and honey flavor green tea, coconut cookies and tangy apple jam, of which the latter is my favorite. 

We retired to our lovely hotel and unwind-ed before packing and leaving from Dharamsala the same night after an eventful weekend. Dharamsala and McLeodganj happily ticked on our travel list in two days :-)


6 comments:

  1. McLeodgunj is so beautiful... We could easily spend a month there...

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  2. Replies
    1. Totally :-) Himachal has so much to offer ! I never grow bored of Himachal.

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  3. McLeodgunj is one of my favorite hill stations in India. I love taking walks through the market to the Dalai Lama temple. It is a charming place with beautiful surroundings.

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    1. McLeodganj has become a lil crowded. Naddi is one place I fell in love with! Dalai Lama Temple is yes a beautiful and serene place.

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