Hill stations have a sense of calmness in them, at least according to me they do. And that is what made my friends and I plan a trip to a hill station. There are many famous hill stations in India. But we choose to visit McLeod Ganj in Himachal Pradesh, as it could satisfy our need for peace and adventure simultaneously.
It is not easy, you know, in India, for a teenager, to convince their parents to let them go on a trip with their friends but I did not give up on dropping not- so- subtle hints about I am going to go on this trip. At last, I was given permission and we drove off to our adventurously calm trip in the evening. We went through the car which we had booked earlier through a travel consultant. We knew it would take around 12 hours to reach McLeod Ganj so we asked for the driver accordingly.
There are three more ways to reach there, By bus, by train, by plane. It depends on one’s convenience.
We reached Dharamshala, the next morning. We were 8 in numbers and we could have easily managed in 2 hotel rooms as Dharmshala has efficiently big guest houses with beautiful views around them, but we stayed in our friend’s relative’s house as it was already planned. And to be honest it made our trip less costly.
We then rested, not much, because we had only 2 days left and we did not want to waste them sleeping. We had breakfast in the house only and then we finally started our trip.
We started by visiting St. John’s church. It is known for rock-solid architecture. It is considered among the top tourist attraction. We enjoyed the greenery and authentically designed with a theme of neo-gothic, architecture there. We didn’t stay there much as we had to leave for the highlight place of the day which was Bhagsu Fall. The whole scenario of climbing approximately 2 km to reach the waterfall was really enjoyable and definitely worth it. We made a dip into cold water, clicked pictures, ate some tasty local food at a nearby café. All these made us too tired to climb back down to our home (for the trip) but somehow, we managed. And while we were coming back we decided to visit Nechung Monastery which is famous for its warm-hearted hospitality and providing an experience of Tibetan culture. But we were late as it was past 6 and it was already closed. So we decided to explore the market known as “mall road” instead.
Our adventure finally started the next day when we started our trek. This is the highlight of our trip. The trekking was 9 km. And we were very excited and a little afraid to start the trek. But as brave as we were, we started the trek. Initially, it was very enjoyable and was normal walking through narrow lanes that one side has big rocks and another side, a cliff. But as the distance grows the lane becomes steeper. It became hard so we started taking small rests in between and somehow reached the top known as “Triund” in the evening.
We did not have camps so we rented it through vendors there and set up one under the clean sky. It was such a beautiful view, maybe that is what it looks like when someone stands on the cloud. The only eating items available on the top were either Maggi or packed chips or snacks and believe me, costlier than normal.
We enjoyed under the twinkling sky the whole night but it was shivering cold so we all were covered under the blankets. It was a genuine calm feeling and our souls were satisfied and happy.
The next day, we had to leave for our home town, so we climbed down to our car. On the way, we had our brunch for the first time in a restaurant there. Till now we were either making it by ourselves at home or eating at local eateries.
We then departed for our homes and on the way back home we visited Dal lake, our last place to visit. It was a beautiful lake with a scope of boating in it but we decided not to, as we were too tired to do anything. We just decided to admire the beauty of it.
And on the way back home we were mostly sleeping because of the tiredness of climbing down the trek which was totally worth trekking.
What I miss about McLeod Ganj the most is that we do not get to see the sky here, with twinkling and shooting stars; which was quite beautifully evident there.
It was a beautiful experience for us as we experienced a mixture of Indian- Tibetan culture existing simultaneously in harmony. If you get a chance ever, do visit this place. You won’t regret it!
–Authored by Dimpy M. Photos by the Author.