Travelogue | Day 19: Dharamshala (McLeodGanj)

September 10, 2012

The bus was supposed to reach Dharamshala or McLeodGanj at around 5:00 AM, but it ended up reaching way before time. I didn’t realize the difference between Dharamshala and McLeodGanj until I reached; Dharamshala is the town and McLeodGanj is the suburb hillock on which His Holiness the Dalai Lama resides. Anyway, Andreas decided to part ways here and went along with the girl he had met in the bus, and the task for me now was to find a room for myself.

I roamed around the empty streets in search of a room, and a few guys offered me one for around 300 bucks. I thought it was too expensive for a day’s stay, for I was travelling to Shimla the same night. After walking through the by-lanes, I found a small hotel which offered me a room for 150 bucks. The room was pretty neat, and after check in, I dozed off till about 8:00 AM.

I had a quick shower and decided to go visit the monastery near Dalai Lama’s residence. I had to walk quite a bit before I finally reached the place. Having visited so many monasteries, this one was quite ordinary. But having nothing else to do (His Holiness wasn’t in town), I sat in there for a long time. I then headed back towards the room and stopped by at a small cafe called Mom’s Kitchen for lunch.

After hogging on some good food, I took a bus to the nearby Bhagsu Waterfalls. It was about a 30 minute ride, and this place looked very different from rest of McLeodGanj. There was a long steep walk to reach the falls from where the bus had stopped. I was pretty tired but somehow managed to reach the top. The Waterfall wasn’t big or anything, and again, having witnessed amazing landscapes through my journey thus far, it felt quite ordinary. I sat there on a rock in the water for a long time before heading back down to take the bus back to McLeodGanj.

I was unsure whether to head back to the room to take a nap or roam about a bit more. But my legs gave up pretty soon and I chose the nap. I woke up at around 7:00, roamed through the streets and had a quick bite before walking to the bus stop at around 9:00, for my bus was at 9:30 PM.

And this is when I realized that my bus wasn’t from McLeodGanj but from Dharamshala. I had to rush down to the other bus-stop, and luckily a found an auto on time. He charged me a bomb (100 bucks), but I had no alternative. I reached the Dharamshala bus-stop to realize that the bus was running late. It left for Shimla at around 10:00 PM, and I think I fell asleep as soon as I got in to the bus.

Day 18: Manali (Paragliding)
Day 20: Shimla – Kalka – Delhi 

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I am Sasikanth Paturi, a big time foodie and movie freak, and a pretty good critique.

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