Taking A Weekend Long Vacation in Mcleodganj Near Delhi
It’s a weekend again but time is limited. Today is Friday and you just have three days with you Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. On Monday, you need to be in the office because if you will not do that, boss will get mad on you, so you can plan a trip of 2 nights and three days only. You have visited various places near Delhi on weekends and covered most parts of Uttarakhand, Uttaranchal, and Himachal Pradesh in India including Shimla, Mussourie, Dehradun, Nainital, Manali, Lansdowne, and many others and you do not want to go there again. If this is the case with you which I know has always been with several delhites during weekend holiday planning, then I would recommend you to not be confused anymore and discover Mcleodganj which is the best weekend getaway near Delhi that is not polluted because it is not overcrowded. Mcleodganj is a little known destination in Himachal Pradesh which is really worth your visit, time, and money. Mcleodganj is also for those who love the Chinese, Japanese, Tibetan authentic food and want to taste all this sitting in the lap of Himalayas along with sipping the best cappuccino coffee which is thicker and tastier than what you get at a Café Coffee Day or Barista in Delhi. Mcleoadganj is a beautiful place of tourist attraction located in Kangra District of Himachal Pradesh at an altitude of 2082 meters which comes to approximately 6831 feet above mean sea level. Now, I will share with you some pictures of Mcleodganj, the location and history of this place, how to reach Mcleodganj, things you can do there like which nearby attractions can be visited, accommodation and hotel deals in Mcleodganj, and total cost of visit to this beautiful place near Delhi. I will also provide an interactive step by step map marking the route from Delhi and other stops to be made around Mcleodganj.
Location and History of Mcleodganj
Mcleodganj is a suburban part of Dharamshala in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh. Mcleodganj has been named after Sir David McLeod who was a Lieutenant Governor of Punjab in the times of British Raj over India. After the second Anglo-Sikh war, Britishers sent two regiments of British army to Dharmshala and named this place after Hindu Rest House System as “Dharamshala”. Another infantry (battalion) reached the upper regions and two little towns were established, one called Mcleodganj and other Forsyth Ganj.
Until year 1904, Mclodganj was the largest center of trade in Kangra district, but in 1905, a strong earthquake destroyed the entire Mclodganj and Dharamshala area. Many people were killed and rest of them left this area to relocate in lower parts of Himachal Pradesh. McLeodganj remained in this condition until 1959. After 1959, McLeod Ganj became home to thousands of Tibetan refugees who revolted against the forceful ownership of China and built their temple, museum, and monasteries at this place. After this, due to its pleasant weather and regional importance, tourists from nearby cities started discovering this place and slowly and slowly it became one of the best weekend getaways near Delhi.
Things to do in Mcleodganj
Mcleodganj is not a geographically big or a very popular hill station like other heavily commercialized hill stations in India, so it can be easily discovered on feet as the geographical area is not too much. Mcleodganj is the place for authentic Chinese, Japanese, and Tibetan food lovers. It has many restaurants offering lip-smacking cuisines, but as I mentioned above, don’t forget to try their cappuccino coffee and various brownies in restaurants on the road while going towards Dalai Lama Temple.
Places of Interest in Mcleoganj
The moment you will enter Mcleodganj, you will find three roads in front of you. The one on extreme left will go towards Dal Lake and is a two way road, the center left and the right most roads are one way roads. Right one goes to the Dalai Lama temple and to the town center and left is the way to come back.
Dalai Lama's Temple: The place of interest to be visited is Tsuglag Khang, the Dalai Lama's temple. It has statues of Avalokites'vara, Padmasambhava, and Shakyamuni.
Tibet Museum: This place is another center of importance where you will find thousand of pictures and movies telling the entire story of Tibetan revolution against the forceful ownership of China. You can see the old blood soaked clothes of the fighters kept here.
Bhagsu Waterfall and Bhagsu Nag Temple: Both these are just 2 kilometers from Mcleodganj. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and was established in 18th century by first Gorkha rifles.
Dal Lake: It is also a 2 kilometers walk from Mcleodganj and is surrounded by deodars, rhododendrons, and junipers forest.
Dharamshala: It is around 18 kilometers from Mcleodganj and is situated at an altitude of 4780 feet above sea level. Apart from various trekking options in Dharamshala, you can visit the famous cricket stadium (where IPL match was organized) and Naam Art Gallery.
Palampur: It is another place nearby at a distance of 35 kilometers from Dharamshala. It has a panoramic view of the Dhauladhar range of mountains and is in the middle of development to become another tourist destination.
How to Reach Mcleodganj?
Mcleodganj has good connectivity by all means whether it is air, rail, or road but the best part of enjoying the journey is traveling via road on car.
If you are going via air, the nearest airport is Gaggal at a distance of 15 kilometers from Dharamshala. From there, you can hire a taxi.
If you are going via train, the nearest narrow gauge line is located at Kangra and Nagrota which is about 20 kilometers form Dharamsala.
By Road: Mcleodganj is at a distance of around 510 kilometers from Delhi. You can drive down to Jalandhar from Delhi on the famous and safest National Highway 1 via Panipat, Karnal (do stop at Jhilmil Dhaba just after Karnal on your left for some authentic Punjabi paranthas with real white butter, you can see from Maruti 800 to Mercedes stopping there for food. Pay rupees 30 INR to the attendant and he will clean your car while you enjoy the food there).
Now you will go via Kurukshetra, Ambala, Rajpura, Ludhiana, and Phillaur (Phillaur has Mrs. Bector's plant which manufactures the sauce exclusively for McDonalds, it also has a Cadbury plant). As you approach Jalandhar just after crossing McDonalds on your left, you will come across a roundabout. On the left, you can see an army cantonment and on the right you will see a flyover. Take right from here towards Hoshiarpur (left goes to Jalandhar city and Amritsar in Punjab). Hoshiarpur is just 45 kilometers from here and as you approach Hoshiarpur, you will reach a big intersection which is called as Fawara Chowk. take left (straight goes in the city), you will reach another roundabout, take left and continue until T point. From T point, take left again towards Chintpurni Ji, Jwala Ji and Mcleodganj. Now, this road goes straight to Mcleodganj without any major left or right direction change. If you get confused in Hoshiarpur city about the directions, ask anyone the route to Mcleodganj and you will get correct directions. As the people are Punjabi, they are very friendly here.
Just after you cross Hoshiarpur, the hilly region will start. Now you must be cautious until the diversion for Chintpurni ji, as this road is full of crowd of devotees from various places going and coming from this holy place. After that, it is a scenic drive all the way to Mcleodganj.
Location A: Delhi is starting point and Location G: Mcleodganj is ending point
Cost of Fuel for Traveling to Mcleodganj in a Private Car from Delhi
As the distance is around 510 kilometers plus you will do the local drive to Dharamshala and Palampur, let us add another 80 kilometers to the journey. So both way total distance comes out to be 1100 kilometers. As always, our petrol and diesel price will be there. Fuel efficiency will be calculated as 15 kilometers per liter for petrol and 18 kilometers for diesel. (I am just taking an approximate average for fuel because if you are driving in a Maruti Alto, average can be somewhere around 18 to 20 kilometers per liter on petrol).
Now assuming my previous values, cost of fuel will be calculated as 51 rupees per liter for petrol and 40 rupees per liter for diesel and all the costs will be shared by four people.
Petrol - 1100/15=73.3 liters x 51 = 3738 total fuel cost/ 4 = 935 INR per person
Diesel - 1100/18= 61.1 liters x 40 = 2444 total fuel cost/4 = 611 INR per person
A diesel car is always cheaper than a petrol one. Isn’t it?
There are toll booths at Panipat (20 rupees), Karnal (50 rupees) Rajpura (30 rupees) Ludhiana (45 rupees) and Ghaggar (10 rupees) so total toll one side is 155 but prices may have been revised as it has been more than a year since I visited this route.
Accommodation and Hotels in Mcleodganj
There are various hotels in Mcleodganj but the majority of hotels have tariff in the range of 1500 to 2500 for double occupancy so let us take average rate of 2000 per night for double so for 2 nights, it will be (2 rooms) 4000 x 2=8000/4=2000 per person.
Food at Mcleodganj
Average price of food for four people on a daily basis comes out to be 2000 per day so for a weekend tour of 2 nights and 3 days, it comes out to be 2000 x 3 = 6000/4 = 1500 per person.
So total cost of this tour (except liquor and shopping) comes out to be:
Petrol: 3738 + 155 + 8000 + 6000 =17893/4 = 4473 INR per person
Diesel: 2444 + 155 + 8000 + 6000 =16599/4 = 4150 INR per person
Enjoy your weekend tour to Mcleodganj and don't forget to buy the famous Kangra Tea when you visit the little but scenic places of Mcleodganj, Dharamshala, and Palampur. On the way back, you can also take the diversion to Mata Chintpurni ji or Jwala ji or both temples and offer your prayers to the holy goddess.