How do you break from the routine, the mundaneness, the fast pace of life? Do you just take a leave from work? Do you visit family or friends? How do you break free?
I think travelling is the best way to do that! Travel liberates and enlightens you! You realize that there is a whole different world of people, cultures and cuisines out there!
I haven’t been fortunate to travel much, so far. But really wish to do so :). Not many of you know, that I am a practicing Dental surgeon. And traveling is not part of the job :(.
This post is about my recent vacation to a quaint hilly town- McleodGanj. This is where the great Dalai Lama resides. And hence the place is completely influenced by Buddhism. Although overcrowded, there is a unique charm about this town. The tall mountains, the cool crisp fresh air and the huge deodar trees all add to the enchantedness of McleodGanj.
A lot of people from various parts of the world come here to visit the holy temple of Dalai Lama. The huge Buddha statue inside the temple is beautiful!
The peace, calm and beauty of this place captivates you. I really wanted to extend my vacation for a few more days. The magnetic vibe of this town is so addicting! McleodGanj is flocked by a lot of foreigners. Most of them come here looking for some solitude and mindfulness. But end up staying here for months.
When China captured Tibet, the great Dalai Lama and lot of other Tibetans took refuge here in McleodGanj. These people ended up staying here and making a living by opening shops and cafes here. McleodGanj has numerous small enticing cafes. Most of them are run by small Tibetan families and they ensure that the food is fresh, wholesome and delicious. Even a simple cup of coffee with a slice of cake tastes amazing here. In our stay of three days, we managed to visit most of these amazing cafes!
On our first day, we visited the amazing ”Crepe, Pancake Hut” for breakfast. The waffles, crepes and coffee were so good. But the best part about the cafe was it’s ambience. They even had a small library of books! I just fell in love with this cafe.
After breakfast, we set out to see the main Temple. The huge Buddha statue , the prayer wheels and the young monks playing in the backyard of the temple, everything was so mesmerizing!
Later in the day, we trekked along the mountains to see the beautiful Church-St. John in the Wilderness, the Dal Lake and the Sunset point at Naddi. The view from the top was beautiful!
We had a quick bite at the “Lhamo’s Croissant”. Another hidden gem in McleodGanj. The cafe had amazing guilt free oatmeal shakes on there menu. We also devoured a fat slice of chocolate brownie! Everything was delicious!
We had an early dinner at a restaurant near our hotel- “Paprika”. We were craving for North Indian food and Paprika didn’t disappoint!
Our breakfast next day was at “Moonpeak Espresso”. This place serves the best coffee. The best! Period :D. The sandwiches were also fresh and delicious. But there coffee beats everything else.
We started our trek uphill to another beautiful spot-Dharamkot. The view was magnificent! After picking a few home-made jams from a local here, we headed back to the main square of McleodGanj.
We toured the markets and brought quite a few things. Apart from the beautiful Tibetan crafts, you get amazing jewellery here. I brought a lot of stuff for myself :).
This short, sweet trip to McleodGanj was a great respite from the hustle bustle of my everyday routine.
Where did you go for your last vacation? And what did you love the most there? Would love to hear :).