Hi guys, this is Chetan, I have recently been to Mcleodganj, Dharamshala and to the snowy Triund trek. So if you are planning to visit Mcleodganj this article is a must-read for you. A kind of in-depth guide for your next mcleodganj trip.
The Ultimate Guide to Mcleodganj and Triund Trek.
Mcleodganj is a small town along the dauladar ranges in Uttaranchal and is also the place of Dalai Lama. Dharamshala is famous for the stadium and Dalai Lama. For seeing the Himalaya the small peaceful town is the place to be to rejuvenate your soul.
But the Dharamshala stadium and Dalai Lama are not the only famous things. The Triund trek has also got some attention from the adventure seekers.
Below is the complete video guide for mcleodganj. Make sure you watch the video as well. Well for the visuals at least. 😉
Planning an itinerary for Mcleodganj
Planning an itinerary is the most important part of any trip. For your next mcleodganj trip, you can choose from either of the two options. You can either go to Dalhousie relax and chill there for 2 days and then head towards Mcleodganj and explore mcleodganj, Dharam Kot and Bir billing. This is the first feasible option.
The second option is you directly head to McLeod ganj. Explore Bir, Dharam Kot in 2 to 3 days and then head towards Amritsar in Punjab.
And definitely you can add Delhi in both the options.
Now the third which was our itinerary. Since we were located in Mumbai we first took a train and went to Delhi. ANd from Delhi went to Mcleodganj and then returned back to Delhi. But after the trip, I can tell you this is not the best option. You should go from either of the ones above.
Traveling to Mcleodganj
There are many ways in which you can reach mcleodganj. You can directly take a flight to Dharamshala and take a 40 to 45 min taxi to mcleodganj. Or if you are traveling from Delhi which most travelers do. You can either take an overnight bus from Delhi which costs around 1000 bucks and will drop you in mcleodganj. Or if you are a group of people you can get a car rental from Delhi. The Car is more of a costlier option.
Accommodation in Mcleodganj
We are in love with hostels. So whenever we travel these days, our first preference is hostels.
And what comes to your mind when you hear hostel. Zostel! So we booked Zostel Dharam Kot.
Before you book your accommodation you need to understand this, Bir billing, mcleodganj, Dharmkot these all are different places. Dharamkot is more at a higher altitude. Then below Dharam Kot is mcleodganj and below is Bir Billing and Dharamshala. Dharamkot is where we stayed. There are many awesome hostels in Dharamkot, we stayed in two hostels during our visit. The first is definitely the Zostel. The second was shalom which we liked a lot. They have amazing rooms and ambiance.
People also stay at mcleodganj and Dharamshala. But I would suggest Dharam Kot since its more peaceful and less crowded. The place is more quitter and less happening. You will need to take a taxi to mcleodganj from Dharamkot. The taxi charges are 200 bucks. If you love to walk you can also walk this stretch. We walked our way down to mcleodganj once its almost 40 to 45 min walk.
Triund trek Guide
The Triund trek is the main attraction about visiting mcleodganj and this trek is a must. We did this trek in December 2019 and the thing is, during the winter season this trek becomes a snow trek. In normal days the trek is from easy to moderate but if it snows then it becomes moderate and higher. For a person with an average speed of trekking, it should take around 5 hours to ascend this is when there is no snow. If the trek is snowy then it might take 6 hours. So it becomes a total 12 hours trek.
It is recommended and take this seriously, you need to have proper warm clothes and shoes for this trek. Make sure the shoes are snowshoes. At the check post, you will get people selling sticks this stick really helps when there is snow. And I recommend you to get a stick. It costs only 100 bucks and the 50 bucks advance which you get back when you return the stick.
The first point is the Gallu Devi temple check post. If you are staying at Zostel or in Dharam Kot then there is a trail from the Zostel to the Gallu Devi temple.
If it is snowing it is mandatory to have a guide with you to accompany you to summit. At the check post, you have to register all the plastic items and you need to show them while returning. The guard at the check-post comes in around 8:30 am so if you pass the check post before that then there is no checking.
The trek has two stages. The first one is from the Gallu Devi check-post to a magic viewpoint and the second is from a magic view to the summit.
The first stage is quite easy, it’s around 3 to 4 km and can be done in 2 and a half hours.
At the magic viewpoint, you will find shops where you can rest and have some Maggi and even buy water. The cost of all the items is quite high than the usual cost. The bottle of water costs 60 bucks at this point
The main challenge starts from the magic viewpoint. It takes around 2 hours to 3 hours if it’s snowed.
The terrain becomes difficult during winter because of snow. You are at a much higher altitude which makes it even more dangerous.
It is recommended that you start your descent at 2 pm even if you have not reached the summit.
Triund summit was completely covered with snow. There is a shop at the summit which sells Maggi for 80 bucks and bread omelet for 100 and water is 60 bucks. The high cost is due to the transport of these items at this altitude.
Places to Visit in Mcleodganj
The first is obviously the Triund trek. You can’t miss out on that, Triund is the first place that people strike out from the list.
Now the below are some of the places that we suggest you definitely visit while in mcleodganj. I suggest that you tie-up with a local taxi walla and bargain with him to under 1k to cover all the below places. We had our taxi so it was a cakewalk.
- Dharamshala stadium
- Bhagsunag Temple
- Bhagsu waterfall
- St John Church
- And end it at Namgyal Monastery (This is the famous Dalai Lama temple).
The above are the places that you can visit from the taxi.
After your visit of the Dalai Lama temple. Take a walk back to the Mcleodganj chowk. This road is the famous mcleodganj market and filled with many Tibetan artifacts vendors. The place closes at around 7 so make sure you are here before that.
Food to eat in Mcleodganj
There are many places to eat in Mcleodganj. The mcleodganj market place is filled with eateries. And the most famous among them is the Tibet kitchen. You should definitely try some Tibetian cuisine here. Then Next you can try the street momos and the Thukpa. The momos here were extremely tasty. These momo vendors have their stall set up in a cycle and cook the momos right in front of you. You can also get chicken tikka, paneer tikka here but these foods might be risky sometimes.
But we do suggest you gorge on these street momos. They are really good.
The other place that I loved here is Jimmy’s. The pizza and pasta here are really awesome and so is the hot chocolate. If you are here in mcleodganj you do need to visit Jimmys. Well need to say not all street food places are same around the world
Adventure sport in Mcleodganj
We didn’t really do any adventure sports. But that’s what Bir is famous for, Paragliding. The cost is around 2k to 2.5k. If you are 4 or more people you can bargain your way to 1.8k per person.
Some adventure sports are also done in Khajjiar near Dalhousie. Many people first visit Dalhousie and then come to mcleodganj. But I suggest the adventure sport is better at Bir Billing.
Mcleodganj is a must-visit place to visit. Some of the notable mentions are, Shalom the hostel of our choice. If you are a single traveler or a girl traveler. Fugluers is also an amazing place. Both of these places are in Dharamkot.
Do visit Jimmys at mcleodganj and definitely try those street momos.
That’s it with the mcleodganj adventure. Do send me more recommendations and suggestions if you have a better one.