The first Travel tale on Thursday is here :) There will be two travel tales each month. Memories, accidents, hilarious episodes, reviews of a place, wish list – it all will be part of these Thursday tales. Excited? Read on.
My parents are pretty cool people. I found my freedom at quite an early age and have been living independently for a long time now. If ever one thing that freaks them out, it is my travel plans with friends. My permission fiasco was daringly shared as a guest post on Richa’s profile a while ago. (Read it here at http://subzeroricha.blogspot.in/2013/11/mom-actually-there-is-trip.html)
Okay, not to exaggerate it. All that freaking out is thing of past and my parents now happily accept my travel plan announcements.
So it was my Birthday in 2012 and it fell on a Saturday. Adding cherry to the cake, Friday was a holiday. Thus, there I was with a long Birthday weekend and a near perfect weather of August.
It was an impromptu plan and before we knew it we were on our way to Mcloedgunj. Mcloedgunj is a small town in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh. It is approx. 500 kms from Delhi and it is a near smooth 8 hour journey. Mcloedgunj is famous for Dalai Lama’s residence in exile, due to which the city has a lot of Buddhist and Tibetan influences.
We chose to drive down to Dharamshala via Chandigarh. We started early morning and stopped on a highway dhaba (dhaba is a hindi word for roadside restaurant) for Breakfast. Another stop to have some tea and enjoy monsoon rains, and we were in Kangra valley without any hitch.
Only when we reached Mcloedgunj, we realized how big a tourist attraction the place was. Being a small town, we expected the place to be a quiet one but the town was bustling with activities.
The town has several small hotels and inns and in summers, all are full almost every weekend. (Lesson – if it is a long weekend, make sure you have booked a room for yourself in advance). However, after two hours of inquiring in some 20 different hotels, we found two rooms and thus, began our time in McLoedgunj.
Being a tourist attraction, town boasts of several eateries serving global cuisine. Although not close in authenticity, one can enjoy an Indianised global food in the town.
McLoedgunj has several Buddhist monasteries and a very famous Dalai Lama office. While the office is not accessible, monasteries are must visit. We began the next day with visiting a couple of monasteries.
A small water fall which then runs as a stream for few kilometers before it meets Beas in Kangra valley is one of the popular tourist attractions. Crystal clear, rapid flowing water is ultimate solace when a Delhite travels to beat scorching Delhi summers. As a result, small tea shops, serving Maggie and tea open up during peak season along the stream. We spent quite some time hopping on rocks and playing with water in the stream.
For shopaholics like us, there are many shops selling keep-sakes and souvenirs. There are also specialties of Tibet to shop like shawl and bone jewellery.
Since, I am a foodie, I come back to food. One can find some authentic tibetian food in this town (remember momos and thukpa?) We relished these for dinner at a popular restaurant.
Weekend that it was, it had to end in just two days. The next day, Sunday began our long journey back home, which we completed with more than five stops on the way including Bhakra Nangal Dam.
A birthday that wasn’t like every other year was certainly one of the best Birthday celebrations I ever had.
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