The Unplanned Trip – McLeod Ganj III

Due to the hike/ trail in the strong sun and extreme change in weather, I got a sun stroke and had a little temperature. Ideally, we were supposed to leave super early in the morning  but we made changes in the plan and left after a relaxed breakfast at our hotel.

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Plan of the day was McLeod Ganj – Dalhousie – Khajjiar – McLeod Ganj.

Not a good idea to cover it all in a day. We should have thought twice before taking up this journey that covers almost 9 hours though the winding roads of Himalayas. Ideally you need an overnight stay at one of the above places to enjoy it to the fullest. But I guess this is what happens in spontaneous plans. You learn from your mistakes and it makes you wiser for your future travel. Travel to me is therapy. A kind of rejuvenation hence it must be savored like a nice hot cup of freshly brewed coffee. Each and every sip of coffee that lingers in your mouth while you enjoy reading your book. That’s the kind of travel that feeds my soul !

Coming back to the journey. After about 4 hours ( maybe more than that) we reached Dalhousie. It’s higher in altitude than Dharamshala. Well we had this delicious Maggie en-route.

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We visited Saint John Church and Panchpula Waterfall. The latter was extremely touristy and we just wanted to get out of there.

 

 

 

En-route we saw another war memorial. But what was next absolutely blew our mind !

Thanks to Kamlesh who took us to Dainkund Peak.

Dainkund is the highest peak in Dalhousie at about 2700 m height. You can reach the hill by car only uptil the foothill but you must trek up. I know, its too much for people like us who are not used to trekking but its so so beautiful up there. Its not really a full fledged trek. Its about 5 kms up .

 

 

 

From top you get a  360 degrees view of the entire valley. Tall Deodar trees everywhere you lay your eyes on and the Himalayas in the background. Super breezy on top. Its also called a singing hill.

BUT ! the best part was the further trek to Phaloni Devi temple. You will relate to this if you have watched this movie – Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani. Where Ranbeer Kapoor and Deepika Padukone go for a trek on a mountain which is said to have kal bhirav / kali maata temple that is supposed to be haunted. Pahloni Devi temple too, had a similar story with the temple which had nothing else but a trident in it and somewhere far off from where you can only see this lonely black idol of a goddess ( goddess of demons) its surreal ! Trust me.

( you can spot that idol in one of the pictures )

 

 

 

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Decision of going on this mountain top was the best thing. We spent about 3 hours I guess climbing and getting off from that top. And also spent quality time enjoying the wind the peace and beauty !

 

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From here we went to Khajjiar. Called as Mini Switzerland of India ( honestly, I don’t like comparing our Indian places to the international destinations ) It was about 45 minutes drive from Dalhousie. It is a vast expanse of Meadows surrounded by tall lush green Deodar trees. I think a stay here is necessary too. There are a couple of lakes around . Khajjiar Lake and Chamera Lake respectively. There is also a wild life sanctuary around called as Kalatop Wild Life Sanctuary. And a 12th century temple called Khajji Nag Temple.

It’s not such a big place, so very limited accommodation options and eateries around.

However, with limited time we did manage to walk around , clicking pictures donning the traditional attire and giggling away.

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We watched the sun go down while relishing hot pakodas and garam chai. ( the temperature dropped tremendously. We were literally shivering when holding our cup of chai.

We started our journey back home by 7ish. Kamlesh was a great company. He told us a lot of local stories.

These stories made us realize how our lives are so different from theirs. It made me wish I could settle in the mountains ( which happens every time I visit the Himalayas ) they are such simple people. They don’t want too much from their lives and are content with whatever god has given. What matters to them is their family and friends. They respect the nature. Rather worship it. 

We were amazed as he kept telling more. It was close to full moon and hence the moonlight was so strong ! Even without streetlights we could see the valley very clearly. In cities we don’t get to experience it ever.

We got back to McLeodganj at around 1130ish in the night. We had dinner at a restaurant close to our hotel. ( can’t recollect the name)  We had veg chowmein and some gravy with a corn and potato gravy.

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Next day we had an early morning flight from Dharamshala to Delhi. We were excited to board the ATR. With smiling faces our trip to McLeodganj ended.

Note : Dharamshala airport doesn’t open before 7 am. So along with a lot of other travelers we were stranded outside till they opened the gate.

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Throughout our trip we kept comparing each place ( Dharamshala and Dalhouise to be specific ) to McLeod Ganj and unfortunately none matched it. Most of the other places were very commercial and that’s what set Mcloedganj apart from it. There was something so heart touching about McLeod Ganj that only one visit is just not enough. I could go there again and again just to feel the vibe of the mountains. Especially , when we couldn’t even cover Triund and many surrounding places. There is so much to see and so much to learn from the mountains. They say Nature is the best teacher. You realize it when you are so close to nature and especially in the lap of Himalayas. Hoping to travel soon, till then dreaming of the Himalayas 😊

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