Little Lhasa in India
Travel has always surprised me. To an extent where I have always seen myself left in awe. That expression where your brain concentrates on just syncing the view, your mouth speaks no word, and your eyes are twinkling with the sweet rush of emotions. One such beautiful destination was Mcleodganj. I had heard innumerable stories around this place via my childhood friends. Most of their first travel destination was Mcleodganj and Dharmashala. Whereas mine began with discovering South India - and that's a different story after all.
But when you constantly hear stories from people about a prominent destination, it itches you to visit it as soon as possible. Oh, God! What is it with the place? Why have I yet not discovered it? Yet you keep traveling and unraveling destinations left, right, and center. But that place, but Mcleodganj. And the itch always lives in your unconscious mind. I had completely forgotten about this, but when I did reach the place, every story I heard, every sigh accompanied with Mcleodganj made sense to me. This Little Tibet in India is a completely different hill station. Clean, peaceful, calm, and serene - are the few adjectives you can make peace with when it comes to defining Mcleodganj.
The serendipity found in Mcleodganj takes me back to 1959, said to the year when His Holiness, Dalai Laba escaped China and found shelter in Dharamshala. I read about it way back and the itch always got severe. To see the world so different than the rest of India. One of the major differences that I felt was that the vendors in both the Mcleodganj and Dharamshala markets did not yell out loud to attract customers. I am not sure if it was due to the lesser number of tourists due to the pandemic or was it in general how it went.
I was not able to visit the Dalai Lama monastery since it was shut for tourists because of the pandemic. My heart was slightly distressed. However, I have a reason - a valid one to re-visit Dharamshala, so Yay!
You can also check out my Mcleodganj Travel Vlog!
Well, the term Lhasa, means Place of Gods. I first came across this term in the book "Oath of Vayuputras - the Third book of the Shiva Trilogy by Amish Tripathi. And now you see why I say Travel and Books have taught me so much.
There were several times my friends during their engineering days visiting Mcleodganji, many of their first trips were to Dharamshala. And now I completely realize the feeling. Mcleodganj is definitely a small yet different world of its own.
I have always "fantasized" maybe "over-hyped" my emotions using flowery words. But that's how my travel stories are - I always have beautiful stories in the shortest journeys.
To read more of the travel stories, click here.