McLeod Ganj, the tranquil abode of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, is a suburb of Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh. The mountain-top neighbourhood also serves as the headquarters of the Tibetan government-in-exile and is home to a large Tibetan community, which is why it is sometimes called Little Lhasa. To the thousands of domestic and international visitors each year, McLeod Ganj is a place of revered Buddhist temples and monasteries, meditation and yoga centres, great cultural diversity and exchange, adventurous treks through pine forests, Indo-Tibetan cuisine and Tibetan handicrafts; and for some, it is just the pocket-friendly serene retreat the doctor ordered. Understand Tibetan Culture at the Tsuglagkhang Complex,

The Tsuglagkhang Complex, home to the Dalai Lama, is generally on everyone’s to-do list for McLeod Ganj, and rightly so for those interested in Tibetan art, culture, creed and history. The complex houses the residence of the Dalai Lama, the Namgyal Gompa (monastery), the Tibet Museum, and the Tsuglagkhang temple, which contains relics that were rescued and smuggled from Lhasa during the Cultural Revolution of 1966. Parts of the complex include places of reverence and worship. Visit A Neo-Gothic Church Complex, Built in 1852, the Church of Saint John in the Wilderness boasts neo-gothic architecture set against an alpine forest backdrop Standing amidst a grove of old Deodars not far from the hustle and bustle of McLeod Ganj’s Main Square, the stone structure offers visitors a tranquil glimpse at neo-gothic architecture from the mid-nineteenth century.

The quaint grounds of the British built Anglican Church are open to all visitors and provide a picturesque spot for a packed lunch (of course, though, you would have to keep the volume low so it’s not exactly a picnic spot). Take Cooking Classes in Lhamo’s Kitchen, Holidays should be more than just crossing off items on busy travel itinerary; getaways should enrich our lives through good food, company and experiences. For those who live to eat, Lhamo’s Kitchen offers very reasonable cooking classes in authentic Tibetan (vegetarian) cuisine including momos, soups and breads. It’s only a few minutes away from the Main Square. Watch Tibetan Dance at Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts, A short 20-minute walk down the road to Dharamkot will get you to the TIPA.

If you are a traveller looking to experience and learn about exotic cultures, art, song and dance then a visit to the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts is a must. The flourishing performing arts school keeps traditional Tibetan music, dance and opera alive and ever vibrant. Calling all Trekkers to Triund Summit, A truly rewarding panoramic view awaits those who brave the Triund Trek. The more adventurous traveller will definitely want to have a crack at trekking to Triund, a 2850-metre ridge at the foot of the snow-capped Dhauladhar range. The steeper second leg of the trek takes you to Snow Point, and beyond if you are equipped for a multi-day hike. Camping and hiking along the surrounding trails won’t disappoint serious trekkers.

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