Idea of this Journey came with some friends,nature lovers in Delhi who knew that they need a rejuvenating break, and who want to go on a road-trip to Mcleodganj and other places around. During the discussion it came that they have approximately 4 days in hand and want to make best of their time. This Photo Journey will help you in planning such Road Trip around Dharamshala region of Himachal Pradesh. So if you are a nature lover, you surely fall in love with these beautiful dhauladhar foothill towns.
So what we planned is to hit Mcledoganj in morning or by noon. Have some rest at your Hotel/Resort (The best is the Hotel Asian Plaza, main square mcleodganj,where we stayed) and have your breakfast/lunch. And move out to see the place and its varied echo and colorfullness, as per your preference. Main places you may want to do around Mcledoganj Streets – a Visit to Temple near residence of His Holiness Dalai Lama, a small walk till St. John Church (This is a wonderful walk through high cedar trees around the road), Dharamkot, Bhagsu Waterfalls & a temple near it and don’t miss interesting eating options in Mcledoganj streets. Shopping is something you will figure out yourself, but spend your money wisely on things you won’t find anywhere else, because some shops sell products you can buy at a much cheaper rate in Delhi.
Next Day again can be spent around Mcleodganj for trekking around Triund or general walks around the place to better feel it and enjoy the nature around Dharmshala/Mcledoganj. If you are nature lover and trekker, you must go for trekking to the Truind, its an awesome hill top. You’ll find ultimate peace, purity and unmatched serenity. Truind is one place which will take you into a totally different pre historic time, deep into the stillness and continuity of the nature.
Next day, we planned to move towards Barot. We left Mcleodganj by 8am in the morning and reached Barot by 1:00 noon. Barot is least known place and less visited too but its a wonderful place for nature lovers. No commercialization, peaceful and isolated from tourist movements. The only challenge is place to stay. There are very simple Guest-Houses to stay, but not bad at all unless you are looking for good service with luxury arrangements in your room. Simple & clean rooms with basic stuff can be found across the river at Barot. While going to Barot, lot many things may compel you to stop and spend some time, but ignore while going to Barot and enjoy them during back journey. Don’t think twice before stopping if you find something very interesting, which may not be possible to experience during back journey.
We Spent one night at Barot and started our journey back to Palampur in the morning. Now, it’s time to chill on the way and take your time wherever you feel like. There is a cut on the way which takes us to Bir Billing. Distance-wise it’s just 14 kilometers from main road but takes around 1-1.5 hr because of steep hill and narrow road. Bir-Billing is one of the worlds popular place for Paragliding and World Cup happens at this place. From top, whole valley can be seen where everything looks very tiny. This is one of the best place to experience Paragliding and it can’t be compared with paragliding options at Solang Valley or other hill stations. It takes 45 minimum to land in the valley if wind favors you, otherwise 1 hr to 1.5 hrs is average time to land after you fly from top. But please note that Bir Billing is at least one day affair, so need to be planned accordingly. So here I have put it as an optional place because you may not find anybody on top who can provide paragliding services to you.
There is an interesting and huge Monastery on the way. It’s just 2 kilometers away from main road which connects Barot with Palampur. There is a cut near Chuantra town which takes to us to Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche Institute. You can choose to visit this Tibetan colony and Monastery. After spending some time here, we can move towards Baijnath, which is our next destination.
Baijnath is one of the main important town with a popular Shiva Temple made up of rocks. This temple is on right side of the road and comes just in the beginning of Baijnath Market. Nice place to spend some time and go to it’s back side which has well maintained garden with an amazing view to river flowing in the valley with snow capped hills in background.
Drive from Baijnath to Palampur is simply amazing with wonderful road, scenic beauty and tea gardens on both sides of the road. If you haven’t stopped your car for lunch, take a break at Taragarh Palace, which is a Welcome Heritage Hotel on the way to Palampur. This can also be a decent place to stay.
As you come near to Palampur, don’t miss to stop and see Kayakalp Health Resort. This area is really very beautiful. A round inside Agricultural university can be a good idea, if you want to see how hybrid seeds are produced in their local fields and how they actually maintain all these things.
As you enter into Palampur Town, just move up towards Chuapati and Neugal Cafe which is one of the beautiful place in Palampur. Huge Tea Gardens surrounded by beautiful cottages and colorful houses. Have a cup of tea at Neagul Cafe and enjoy wonderful view of Dhauladhar Mountain Ranges, which can be best seen form this place. If still you have time in hand, take a small detour to go near to Neugal River which flows just below the hill where Cafe is located.
I know this day can be very tiring but rewarding as well. Now it’s upto you where you want to stay. Going to Dharmshala/Mcledoganj will be refreshing as you can visit tea gardens in Dharamshala and spend time hearing the music of amazing birds which this place has in its abode or you can go to the Shiva cafe bhagsunag to enjoy the calm muzic, amazing food and drinks. In case interested in staying at Dharamshala, there is a nice hotel by Asian Plaza- Mcleodganj.