Tourists follow Spring to McLeod Ganj

Triund seen on 3 April 2019.

Triund seen on 3 April 2019. Photo courtesy of Frank Roussin

By Lobsang Wangyal

MCLEOD GANJ, India, 8 April 2019

Birds are chirping and rhododendron flowers are in full bloom. McLeod Ganj is beginning to experience the warmth and freshness of Spring weather, though nights are still a bit chilly. Tourists are trickling in after this year’s long and harsh cold Winter.

One of McLeod’s favourite attractions — the trek to Triund — is now open. But the local administration is allowing only guided tours due to the rocky and slippery trail up to the top of the mountain.

Triund is a flat piece of land at the top of a ridge in the Dualadhar range, at an elevation of more than 2,800 metres.

The ten-kilometre trail starts in McLeod Ganj, and has two main stops — Galu Temple above Dharamkot, and Magic View for tea and snacks about halfway up. The trek to the top takes about four hours.

Authorities say that due to the terrain, guides are suggested for people’s own safety. There have been multiple cases of tourists falling down the slopes, with some being fatal.

The Dalai Lama’s temple and his occasional public audiences have been the main attraction of McLeod Ganj. He also gives teachings from time to time. More about the Dalai Lama and his schedule could be found on his website.

Tibetan medicine has also drawn a large number of people from various parts of the world, and there are yoga and meditation centres as well.

Other attractions include the Bhagsu Temple and Waterfall, St John’s Church, the Norbulingka Institute for Tibetan arts and handicrafts, and Naddi Village for some quiet times.

As an international tourist destination, McLeod Ganj offers a range of delicious cuisines, from Japanese, Korean, and Italian, to the usual Indian, Chinese, and Tibetan food.

Shopping would be another way to enjoy McLeod Ganj. It would be fun to check out the unique Tibetan arts and handicrafts, Kashimiri goods, as well as shoes and clothing.

Hot summer weather starts around mid-May, and monsoon arrives in July.

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