- Saturday, 24 September 2011

McLeod Ganj (Himachal Pradesh), India: Mountains of cafés & mist

At about 30 minute shared auto drive from Dharamshala, Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh, lies McLeod Ganj. Its kind of a tricky place. And if you know your ways, then you can beat the weekend crowd of neighboring states and be in one of the few secluded, non-commercial and absolutely beautiful place in Himalayas. Otherwise you could land up sipping tea in any one of the cafés in the frenzied main market or if you are feeling too hip then rolling one of those papers.

These are mountains of cafés, nature, rains, music, chai, laid-back environs, full moon raves, monks and hashish. Its a very very pocket friendly town for backpackers. You could get home stays for like Rs. 250/ night with a nice view. Local families are quite warm and friendly. But then as I mentioned, you have to find your ways through the thick forests and hills for these small colonies of local home stays, otherwise mainly inhabited by Israelis. So much so that some cafés keep Israeli menus and not just dishes. Cafés invariably come with dogs who can be as lazy as you. 

While winters can be really extreme, its best to go in Monsoons. Yes you could end up getting caught in rains every now and then, but what-the-heck ! Nature is at it best during rains in such forest and hilly places.

I really don't know what else to write about this place. Just see some pictures, may be they are better able :)


  1. Hey I read the blog . Seems very interesting as Im too planing a trip to the place this june end . So can you please drop some advice or guidence . And most importantly where to find that reely amszing place to stay ? The one whos pics you've shared .
    Thanx !!

    1. Hi, You could look for options to stay in Bhagsunag or Dharamkot. Dharamkot will be a better bet. They are both a couple of kms away from main mcleodganj. Its best to just walk around and look for accomodation as many of them do not have formal booking system etc. The pictures I have put up are mostly of several cafe etc that I visited. You will know when you're there..which ones to visit. The hike to shiva cafe and waterfall cafe is lovely, so you can definitely try them. And rest some pictures are from little settlements on your way up to Bhagsu..you need to hike up a bit to get away from commercial markets etc. I stayed somewhere here with a family and and no name to call the guesthouse. So I can not give you any specific reference. But just look around- Bhagsunag or dharamkot. Just stay away from main mcleodganj market area.