Tsug la Khang (Dalai Lama’s Temple)
Tsug la Khang, The Dalai Lama’s temple, is the life-blood of the village. It houses the Namgyal Monastery and shrine rooms.
The temple is always busy. Services are held daily and are attended by lamas, monks, nuns and lay people. In the shrine, you might come across a group of monks building an intricate sand mandala, and outside in the courtyard on Thursdays, monks debate Buddhist philosophy.
Around the temple hill there is a long meditation trail — LingKhor — with small shrines, stupas, and a massive chorten. The shrines near the chorten are always covered in thousands of prayer flags placed by devotees.
The temple is located a short walk down the hill from the main square at the centre of town.
Masroor Temple in Kangra is believed to have been built by the Pandava brothers, of the Hindu epic the Mahabharata. It is a group of 15 monolithic rock-cut temples.
The temple is located on a hill, and has a pond within its grounds. A view of the snow-clad Dhauladhars is seen from the temple during the winter season.
Masroor is about 50 km from McLeod Ganj. Driving will take about one-and-a-half hour.
Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium
HPCA Stadium in Dharamshala was opened in 2003. It has a capacity of about 25,000 seats. The venue holds Ranji Trophy and IPL matches.
Beside Tsug la Khang is the small but interesting Tibet Museum, telling the history of Tibet and its people.
The Norbulingka Institute is located about 15 km from McLeod Ganj and is well worth the effort to get there by taxi or local bus.
Plan to spend a whole day here, watching the craftsmen at work in the thangka studios, and the woodworking and sewing workshops. The temple complex is stunning, with portraits of all the Dalai Lamas lining the upper story. One building also has a photographic exhibition on the creation of the Institute and talks about how it was built using traditional techniques. There are also dioramas of religious events, festivals and daily life. Replicas of the dolls from the Losel Doll Museum are for sale, along with crafts produced at the Institute.
Norbulingka also has a restaurant and a guesthouse on the grounds, and, if you happen to find someone who will show you, an apartment that is one of the Dalai Lama’s residences.
Dal Lake is a small mid-altitude lake (1,775 m above sea level) near a very beautiful village “Tota Rani”. The lake is surrounded by deodar trees. .
Triund is a 9,000-foot ridge behind the Dhauladhar range, and is the goal of a popular nine-kilometre trek for a day or overnight stay. Food is available at tea shops on the way and at the top.
The trail begins from Tushita Road above the main square.
Library of Tibetan Works and Archives
LTWA is located within Gangchen Kyishong, the administrative centre of the Central Tibetan Administration, along with temporary refugee housing, political and social work offices.
LTWA is about 20 minutes walk downhill from the Dalai Lama’s temple.
Tushita Meditation Centre
Tushita Meditation Centre provides for the study and practice of the Tibetan Mahayana tradition of Buddhism.
The meditation centre provides a friendly and conducive environment for the people of all nationalities and backgrounds to learn about the teachings of the Buddha. Tushita organizes regular introductory courses on Buddhist philosophy and meditation. There are various intermediate level courses, as well as group and personal retreats which are available for experienced students.
The centre is located in the forested hills about two km above McLeod Ganj.
Tibetan Institute for the Performing Arts (TIPA)
TIPA trains Tibetans in Tibetan opera, folk dance, and music.
TIPA is one of the oldest Tibetan institutions, founded by the Dalai Lama in August 1959, and started in Conium Cottage in 1960.
TIPA is about two km up TIPA road (once known as Conium Road).
Bhagsunath Temple is a tranquil medieval temple, with plentiful pools around, considered sacred by Hindu devotees.
During monsoon the Bhagsu Waterfall turns into a 30-foot cascade. It is a good spot for picnics and recreation.
The waterfall is about 500 metres behind Bhagsunath Temple.
The village of Dharamkot is set amidst tall pines and rhododendron forests, with good views of the Dhauladhar range.
Dharamkot is three kilometres north of McLeod Ganj, past the Mountaineering Institute.
Dip Tse Chok Ling Monastery
The Dip Tse Chok Ling Monastery sits on a steep hillside overlooking the valley. It has a small main temple housing an impressive statue.
Dip Tse Chok Ling is down a steep path from the main square.
St John’s Church in the Wilderness
This small, neo-Gothic style Anglican church, dedicated to John the Baptist, was built in 1852. The church is known for its Belgian stained-glass windows painted by an Italian artist.
The church is situated in a deodar grove, and there is a small graveyard on the grounds. Behind the church is the final resting place of Lord Elgin, who was Governor-General & Viceroy of India in 1861 during the British Raj, and died in McLeod Ganj on 20 November 1863.
The church is about 2 km from McLeod Ganj, towards Forsythe Ganj.
Tibetan Children’s Village (TCV)
TCV is an entire community as well as school for the care and education of orphans and refugee children from Tibet. Many refugee children arrive in McLeod Ganj without their parents.
The children, over 3,000 of them, are housed in numerous dormitories and small apartment complexes near Dal Lake. They attend classes in Tibetan language, literature, history, science, math, English, and the performing and visual arts. Visitors are welcome to observe classes, and long-term volunteers are sometimes accepted to help with the many needs of the children.
Kangra Art Museum
The Kangra Art Museum is a treasure trove of the arts, crafts, and rich past of the Kangra valley. It displays artifacts that date back to the 5th Century CE.
One section houses the works of contemporary artists, sculptors, and photographers.
The museum is in Dharamshala, and is open from Tuesday to Sunday during working hours.
Nowrojee and Sons General Store
This is one of the original businesses of McLeod Ganj. It was set up in 1860 by a Parsi business family, the Nowrojees, and run since then for five generations.
The Nowrojee building was one of the few in McLeod to withstand the Kangra earthquake of 1905. It retains the original wooden structure characteristic of all buildings of its time, but now rare to see in the area. The shop was a major supplier for the British occupiers in the area, and now sells only newspapers, magazines and candies. There are many old curios such as glass jars and advertisements from the British Raj times inside the shop.
The shop is in the main square (old bus stand) in McLeod Ganj.
This Buddhist stupa is a memorial to those Tibetans who lost their lives fighting for a free Tibet.
The stupa is located in the heart of McLeod and surrounded by prayer wheels.
Tibetan Medical and Astro Institute (TMAI)
“Men-Tsee-Khang in Tibetan, provides traditional Tibetan medicine and medical treatments.
Men-Tsee-Khang is just down the road from Gangchen Kyishong.