McLeodganj Tourism
Hill

McLeodganj Tourism

McLeodganj Info

  • State: Himachal Pradesh
  • Famous for/as: Hill
McLeodganj (McLeod Ganj or McLeodGanj) is a town situated in the Upper Dharamshala region of Kangra District of Himachal Pradesh. Surrounded by the Dhauladhar ranges, McLeodganj lies at an average altitude of 1800 meters above sea level.

McLeodganj is famous for its Tibetan institutions and Buddhist monasteries. McLeodganj was the home of the Gaddi tribe in its initial days. It was an integral territory of Katoch Dynasty, which is considered among the world’s oldest royal families.

McLeodganj later came under the rule of the British and was named so, after Sir Donald Friell McLeod, who was the Lieutenant Governor of Punjab of British India (1865 – 1870). McLeodganj, though a summer resort of the British during the 1840s became a garrison town in the 1850s. It was transformed to a prominent commercial and political centre, by the 1900s.  

Post Indian Independence, McLeodganj served as a flourishing health resort till the 1950s. In the early 1960s, it became the official residence of the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso. It also became the headquarters to 'Central Tibetan Administration of His Holiness the Dalai Lama' (CTA), which is commonly referred to as the 'Tibetan Government in Exile'. Today, McLeodganj, has transpired to become ‘Little Lhasa’ or ‘Dhasa’, as it houses several Buddhist monasteries and a large population of Tibetan refugees.

The town of McLeodganj, surrounded by thick vegetation of oak, pine, deodar and rhododendron, is located nearby the perennial snowline of the snowy Dhauladhar mountain ranges. Due to its elevation and thick forest cover, McLeodganj and its surrounding areas (Upper Dharamshala) are much cooler than its counterpart, Lower Dharamshala.

McLeodganj, which still retains the old colonial charm, is a popular destination in Himachal Pradesh as the town is famous for Tibetan Buddhism, culture, art and crafts. McLeodganj is also a major shopping centre famous for souvenirs like Tibetan handicrafts, thangkas, Tibetan carpets, garments, wooden masks, metal votive objects, paper drawings, beads, baubles, etc.

The vicinity of places like New Delhi and Chandigarh attract hordes of nature lovers and trekkers to McLeodganj. McLeodganj of Upper Dharamshala can be accessed by road and by rail. The nearest airport to McLeodganj is at Gaggla, which is about 13 km away from the town.

McLeodganj offers sightseeing attractions like Dharamkot, Bhagsu, Triund, Dal Lake, Gaggal, Lower Dharamshala, etc. along with Buddhist monasteries like Namgyal Monastery, Tsuglagkhang, Gompa Dip Tse-Chok Ling, etc.

McLeodganj offers excursions to destinations like Kullu, Shimla, Manali, etc. McLeodganj also serves as a base camp for various trekking expeditions that cover Kangra and Chamba Valleys and the Dhauladhar ranges.

More »

Most preferred by...

Travellers from Delhi, New Delhi
Couple
Group

Best time to visit McLeodganj in the next six months

  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July

McLeodganj Traveller Reviews

WRITE A REVIEW
Read 100 destination reviews
with average rating of 5.7/7, 1
out of 1533 McLeodganj reviews 100
Sort by:
Urvesh Bhatt

  • Connoisseur
  • Urvesh Bhatt
  • Group tripper
  • Lives in Mumbai
  • 47 photos
  • 29 Reviews
  •  58 helpful votes
  •  21423 readers

"An affair with McLeodganj!" new review

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted 5 days ago
I have recently visited McLeod Ganj & had an awesome experience. McLeod Ganj is a suburb area of Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh. McLeod Ganj is a very wonderful place which is quite under rated. The place is clean &the air is fresh like hill station. It is a small township of small houses and many hotels. This place is a place for wanderers, for serenity admirers & for calm souls. This is not a place for bunch of goons making noise. Its also a shopping delight. McLeod Ganj has a very colourful shop selling local creation & antiques which are not found in metros or small towns or any other place in India. Its must walk through lane of market. It was one the awesome experience ever. Must visit place of India. Its truly heaven on earth. This is a place to calm your soul & enjoy the peace.
More »
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • Be the first to vote.

Suhas

  • Tourist
  • Suhas
  • Lives in Bangalore
  • 11 photos
  • 1 Review
  •  57 readers

"Visit this place to experience the sheer joy of life, happiness" new review

  • 6.0/7
  • Posted 1 week ago
Driving down on a peaceful road away from the hustle bustle of the traffic is peace in 21st century. Well, journey by car from Patankot to McLeod Ganj was no less either.

At the end of the journey was a beautiful HPTDC hotel, The Bhagsu Hotel. Contrary to the popular belief that Govt. Run hotel are not that a class. This one is class apart.

After enjoying the scenic surroundings with a distant view of Dhauladhar range, we got ready to being our journey but not before we hogged on 2 full plates of delicious Poori Sabji. With mini monasteries on the narrow road that houses the famous DalaiLama temple, we decided to keep the best for the last. Auto's & Taxis are a common means to reach Bhagsunag Temple, but we took a walk down the road just to enjoy the localite feeling.

Bhagsunath Temple is a small temple dedicated to Lord Shiva with a water spring located below... Take a swim in the pool just to feel the running water. Further down the narrow lane leads to the small yet beautiful Bhagsu water falls. Buddhist lamas having a cup of chai or drying up their robes are a common sight.

Careful while having chai biscuit here as many mountain goats are after you for those cookies at cafe with crazy names. 'No Name Cafe' was the one we found. Not to mention the 'Heart Rock Cafe' en route to Bhagsunag temple. We then took an auto to Dharamkot. A 15 min drive will lead you to this place that houses many cafes catering to continental tastes. Isareal cafe is one such place to enjoy a wood fire pizza n hot chocolate drink. Mustard fields on the path uphill is a soothing feeling. One can even trek to Triund for a wonderful trek experience.

After a day's trip we just returned back to the hotel to the much need rest not before we finished our 1st set of shopping for wall hangings and shawls. Next day awaited us for a visit to the spiritual temple of Dalai lama. Tibetan culture at its best is at display here along with a museum dedicated to the struggle of Tibetans over the years.

Driving in the opposite direction one can visit the calm atmosphere of the church 'St John in the wilderness' and McLeodGanj's own Dal lake. McLeodGanj on the whole is a place to unwind, be with nature and witness the simple life of people around.
More »
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • Be the first to vote.

Manish Niranjan

  • Tourist
  • Manish Niranjan
  • Lives in Jhansi
  • 1 Review
  •  69 readers

"Must visit place!" new review

  • 6.0/7
  • Posted 2 weeks ago
Astonishing landscape with nature's beauty at its best. The waterfalls are good and you'll greatly enjoy presence of shiva cafe while tracking. Some religious places are also to visit if interested. Really enjoyed the trip. Ideal time to visit this place would be around mid Feb & march.
More »
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • Be the first to vote.

Lovekesh Phutela

  • Tourist
  • Lovekesh Phutela
  • Lives in Fatehabad
  • 1 Review
  •  75 readers

"Peaceful place & food was awesome" new review

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted 2 weeks ago
Nice place to visit during the early winters of India. I and two of my friends took cab from Dharamshala in just 100 rupees. One can also go in taxi which charges 20 per person. Just when you reach there the whole view and atmosphere is excellent. The smell of memos can be feel at every chowk, in the middle of the city you will find hotel maclo and opposite that pizza lover gets Pizza hut. At last my favourite part Bhagusu waterfall. For a nature lover the sounds of water hitting the rocks is worth die for.
More »
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • Be the first to vote.

Onkar Sharma

  • Tourist
  • Onkar Sharma
  • Lives in Delhi
  • 1 Review
  •  28 readers

"McLeod little Lhasa!" new review

  • 6.0/7
  • Posted 2 weeks ago
The Indian land of his holiness Dalai Lama, McLeod Ganj is a beautiful small town set up in the upper part of Dharamshala (Himachal Pradesh). McLeod Ganj also known as Little Lahsa resides under the foothills of great Dhauladhar range. This snow covered enormous range rise high and adds glory to McLeod's scenic beauty.

Here you'll find travellers from almost every part of the world and they are so awesome to chill out with. They are so open to your friendship that you will end up sharing beer and playing chess somewhere in no time. Most of the local residents are Tibetan. The streets of McLeod are full of Tibetan monks, in traditional dress, chanting their religious verse and Tibetan goodwill flags.

Being a foodie, I personally loved McLeod Ganj because it serves you with some international cuisine onto your platter. But the cuisine which dominates others is Tibetan because of some obvious reasons. Try out some Tibetan delicacies at Kunga restaurant. Apart from this town has Korean, Thai, Japanese, English, Chinese, Italian and off course Indian (Punjabi and south Indian) food to serve you. Try Japanese food at lungta restaurant and Italian at jimmy's kitchen and carpedium. Some amazing coffee and tea at vagabond cafe. McLeod serve best breakfast, who won't love chocolate pancakes and waffles with bananas, ice cream and maple syrup and amazing coffee to go along or if you love pizza how about fresh thin crust pizza baked in food fired oven.

O Local sightseeing includes Bhagsu Falls, St. John's Church, Dharamkot, Dalai Lama temple, Norbulinga Monastery,, Dharamshala. Triund is hard trek but it is the most magical and magnificent place. Paragliding is a call to your adventure here.

The market is full of colours, from Buddha structures to Tibetan flags, from stone jewellery to different flavoured Kangra tee bags everything has its own charm. I was there for Dharamshala International Film Festival which happens every year in month of November. I felt Mountains Food Films and Peace nothing can be best than this combination. Reach out to McLoedganj it has a lot many things to offer, even more than my review.
More »
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • Be the first to vote.

Mohan K

  • Tourist
  • Mohan K
  • Lives in Delhi
  • 1 Review
  •  95 readers

"A lovely town amidst Himalayas" new review

  • 6.0/7
  • Posted 2 weeks ago
McLeodganj was on my to visit places list from long. Visited in April, the weather was very pleasant, required to wear woollens in the evenings, other than that day times were pleasant. A very intriguing destination with mix of cultures and traditions. I loved the tiny little cafes and restaurants scattered in the city, which serve better food and drinks than any other branded food chains. The Buddhist monastery, Shiva cafe, water fall and bhagsunath temple are must visit. I stayed with my friends in the Himachal tourism hotel- The Bhasgu. The stay was good. On the third day of the trip we went on a trek to Triund, totally worth 8km trek. Authentic Tibetan food in the streets is worth trying, and you can also buy some interesting artefacts, incense, drapes, stones from the Tibetan sellers. There are a few restaurants that have live performances which can lit up your evenings along with the great food. Its an amazing experience to be in such calm and silence of you hail from any of the cities in the Indian plains. A worth visiting place with really good food, picturesque views and lots of calmness and serenity. Bookings should be done in advance if you are visiting in peak seasons, rest prefer taking up a hotel closer to the main Chowk.
More »
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • Be the first to vote.

Subhash Dutta

  • Tourist
  • Subhash Dutta
  • Lives in Gurgaon
  • 2 Reviews
  •  23 readers

"Mcloedganj, not worth for sightseeing"

  • 2.0/7
  • Posted 1 month ago
So far as sight seeing is concerned, nothing as such. Good to have a relaxed stay and some nice pastries. Bhagsu falls, now just a crap, not even a proper water flow seen. Bhagsunag Temple, just as usual of temples in hilly regions. Tibetian Monastery, worth a see for once. Overall, if you're looking for some good sightseeing or activities, Mcleodganj is not your cup of tea.
More »
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • Be the first to vote.

Rahul Dev

  • Tourist
  • Rahul Dev
  • Lives in Varanasi
  • 1 Review
  •  4 readers

"Awesome place"

  • 5.0/7
  • Posted 1 month ago
It is a very nice place to chill out with friends. Church, Lake, waterfall, Tibetan temple, local market, HPCA cricket stadium are main attractions of this lovely place. Mcleodganj is at a distance of 15 km from Dharamsala, one can reach there by local bus or can hire a taxi.
More »
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • Be the first to vote.

Prachi Sahni

  • Scout
  • Prachi Sahni
  • Lives in New Delhi
  • 9 photos
  • 6 Reviews
  •  1 helpful vote
  •  2176 readers

"McLeod Ganj - Mini-Tibet of India!"

  • 7.0/7
  • Posted 1 month ago
McLeod Ganj, most famously known as the Seat of Dalai Lama or also mini-Tibet, is peacefully located in the shadow of the mighty Dhauladhars. India is pretty full-on most of the times and the small condensed town of McLeod Ganj is one of the perfect destinations where backpackers from all parts of the world come to find entertainment and enlightenment.

I am never the kind of that travel in taxis & cabs. I love to smell & take in the true flavour of the place I am visiting, love being as close to it as possible. My travel to McLeod Ganj was as 'local & authentic as possible. Post de-boarding the train at Pathankot, which is the nearest railway junction, I hopped on a local bus to Dharamsala. It took me 4 hours & 78 bucks to reach Dharamsala & only 20 minutes & 8 bucks to reach McLeod Ganj. I had never imagined travelling could be so cheap!! While the bus journey from Pathankot to Dharamsala is not one to be boasted about, the journey uphill from Dharamsala would instantly refresh any traveller. Pristine natural beauty, lush green Dhauladhar mountain range, balmy weather enough to get anyone feeling a lot better!

Of course the journey uphill to McLeod Ganj is not as smooth. The only thing remarkable about the ride is that once you come to terms with the potholes on the road, which the driver loves speeding into, and remove the curtains that haven't been washed since like we got independent, and see the mighty Himalayas with snow clad peaks It's like 'love at first sight'.

As I stepped down at the McLeod Ganj bus stand, I was greeted by thick clouds playing hide & seek with the Himalayas. For a few minutes it was difficult to see anything beyond a few steps. In those few minutes when my eyes failed me my nose came to my rescue. As I breathed in the coolness of the surrounding, magnifying the sense of harmony associated with the place, I opened my heart to an experience as profound as this one.

As my vision cleared, I noticed how the town was so unlike India! McLeod Ganj is a remarkable vibrant center of Tibetan culture and Buddhism & all the roads seem to lead to Dalai Lama's temple, 'Tsuglag Khang' & 'Namgyal Monastery' is another important Tibetan site in McLeod Ganj.

Cafe culture has so patently housed itself in McLeod Ganj. Visit 'Mandela Cafe' for the best espresso ever & the fastest Wi-Fi in the town! & Nicks/Kunga for great Americano, cheap cookies and 5 rupee water refills! Rogpa Cafe is another cool little shop with great decor & serving amazing Vegan chocolate cake, awesome flapjacks & Korean style drip-coffee!

Food lovers will love the ever-so-famous 'momos' (dumplings) available at every corner in the town. Chocolate peanut butter momo must be tried for a western twist! The salty, buttery Tibetan Tea must also not be missed. The quaint streets of the town, that become much quainter as the sun sets, are full of handsome looking dogs.

September is the most appropriate month to visit McLeod Ganj. The town is green & glowing during this time of the year & is covered with multi-colored umbrellas. No blog about McLeod Ganj can ever be complete without the mention of these super cute multi-coloured jumbo size umbrellas! The entire town is covered with these in case of occasional little downpour, which is common in September. This is a must buy prices range between Rs. 60 to Rs. 250.

No trip to McLeod Ganj can be complete without ascending the Bhagsu waterfalls, next to the Bhagsu temple. The water seems to be coming out of nowhere, when viewed from the base of the fall. Covered with green on both the sides & colourful flags from one end to another, the waterfall is considered to have cleansing properties. Mid way there is a small cute cafe called 'No Name Cafe serving amazing hot tea & delicious Maggie.

McLeod Ganj is house to several travellers & tourists all year round, yet the town has magically retained a sense of rustic authenticity. It is a place that is waiting to be discovered & can be discovered in multiple unique ways. Every traveller can have his or her own story of the town & there lies its beauty!
More »
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • Be the first to vote.

Jayesh Dugar

  • Scout
  • Jayesh Dugar
  • Lives in Bhiwandi
  • 2 photos
  • 3 Reviews
  •  2 helpful votes
  •  2707 readers

"Another world to go McLeodganj"

  • 6.0/7
  • Posted 1 month ago
A lot is already told about McLeodganj. Experience the beautiful Tibetan culture here. This place is a must for every traveller in his lifetime. The scenic beauty is incredible. One must go to Bhagsu Watergalls & Bhagsunath temple. There's lots of sightseeing here. Shiva Cafe is well known too.
More »
  • Was this review useful?
  • YES
  • Be the first to vote.

Kapil Agral Rakesh Jagdip Kapil, Agral, Rakesh and 2485 other people have been to McLeodganj.
View their ratings...

McLeodganj Sightseeing

View all 36 Sightseeing options in McLeodganj »

McLeodganj Blogs


Best time to visit McLeodganj with family

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec

McLeodganj Packages

Click to send the package enquiries

Indrahar Pass Trekking 22276 Per Person 10 days & 9 nights VIEW DETAILS
Kareri Lake Trek 53652 Per Person 12 days & 11 nights VIEW DETAILS


McLeodganj Information