Snuggled in the Shivaliks, Mcleodganj is a one of its kind destination. Vibrant monasteries, stunning backdrop, quaint cafes, and thrilling adventure activities have made it one of the favourite summer holiday destinations in India. There are a lot of super fun things to do in Mcleodganj. From treks to strolls, hot beverages to delicious food, spiritual places to boat rides – the list has it all.
But before we go ahead with the list of the best things to do in Mcleodganj, let us quickly scan through some essentials that will help you plan your trip to Mcleodganj.
Best Time To Visit Mcleodganj
Mcleodganj is a year-round destination. The summers, i.e March to June, are pleasant and perfect for trekking and sightseeing tours.
Mcleodganj receives heavy rainfall from mid-July to August, at times accompanied by landslides. So, people tend to avoid visiting Mcleodganj during these months. However, the post-monsoon lush green surroundings make September and October in Mcleodganj very beautiful.
Winters, i.e November to February, are cold in Mcleodganj. The snowclad mountains make this destination perfect for a honeymoon trip to Mcleodganj during winters.
How To Reach Mcleodganj
Suggested Read: Why Should You Visit Mcleodganj
By Air: Gaggal Airport (18 km from Mcleodganj) is the nearest airport.
By Rail: Pathankot Junction (90 km from Mcleodganj) is the nearest railway head.
By Road: Mcleodganj Bus Terminal is well connected by buses from all major cities.
What To Do In Mcleodganj
Now that we have information on how to go and when to go to Mcleodganj, let us check out the things to do in Mcleodganj and around.
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1. Mcleodganj sightseeing: Around the city in half a day
Mcleodganj is known for its monasteries, museums, temples, waterfalls, lakes, and Tibetan settlements. Taking a half day city tour is one of the many interesting things to do in Mcleodganj.
Mcleodganj sightseeing tours include Namgyal Monastery, Tsuglagkhang (the residence of Dalai Lama), Bhagsu Falls & Bhagsunath Temple, and Tibetan Museum.
2. Take a boat ride in the Dal Lake: For a family outing
Set amidst the lush green Deodar forests, the beautiful Dal Lake of Mcleodganj offers boating options to tourists. The peaceful & beautiful setting of the lake makes boating in Dal Lake one of the most popular fun things to do in Mcleodganj with kids.
Opening Hours: 7 am – 8 pm
3. Shop at the local markets: Exotic sculptures, souvenirs, & Thangka paintings
Like any other destination, shopping in Mcleodganj has its own charm. Kotwali Bazaar, Jogiwara Road, & Mcleodganj Central Square are well-known shopping areas in the district. While the street shops of Kotwali Bazaar are most popular for Tibetan carpets, rugs, & exotic sculptures, the Jogiwara Road holds a reputation of the go-to place for souvenir shopping.
The Mcleodganj Central Square is known to have the city’s oldest shop – Nowrojee and Son – that opened in 1860. The entire market area is famous for its wooden carvings, Thangka tapestry paintings, and handicrafts.
4. Trek,hike, & camp: Things to do in Mcleodganj for the adventure junkies
For those who don’t want to go for typical sightseeing, there are other offbeat things to do in Mcleodganj. The adventure junkies can go trekking, camping, and hiking on the surrounding trails. Of these, the Triund trek via Indrahar Pass is the most famous. Except the cold and freezing breeze, nothing is going to disappoint you.
5. Discover serenity at Kora Circuit: For the religious souls
Pilgrims and enthusiastic tourists often explore the Kora Circuit, one of the major Mcleodganj tourist attractions. The downslope road around the Tsuglagkhang Complex is a prayer-flag-draped path. At approximately 1.5 km from the begin of the prayer-draped path, one can see the collections of prayer wheels, chortens, and photos of Tibetans who had self-immolated from 2009. The circuit is serene with stunning views, but the track is steep and sometimes quite bumpy.
6. Indulge in star gazing: For the viewer’s delight
The clear sky over the snowcapped peaks makes star gazing one of the most interesting things to do in Mcleodganj. The activity is delightful for travelers of all kinds – solo travelers, couples, & families – and must not be missed.
7. Take Yoga sessions and Spa therapies: For peace and soul relaxation
There are many yoga learning centers that offer meditation and yoga sessions for travelers. These kind of activities are popular among spiritual tourists and solo travelers. Om Yoga Centre, Himalayan Iyengar Yoga Centre, Universal Yoga Centre, and Tushita Meditation Centre are popular Mcleodganj tourist attractions for those who seek peace and relaxation of the soul.
Mcleodganj is also known for the myriad Ayurvedic healing therapies and spa treatments for the complete rejuvenation of body and mind. One such famous place is the Ayurvedic Rejuvenation Centre. Located near Bhagsu Nag, this Ayurveda center has professional experts and doctors who offer the best-in-class spa treatments. Relaxing spa therapies is one of the refreshing things to do around Mcleodganj.
8. Take cooking lessons: Master authentic Tibetan recipes
Lhamo’s Kitchen and Sangey’s Kitchen offer cooking sessions of authentic Tibetan cuisine for travelers. And believe me, this is one of the most interesting things to do in Mcleodganj. Both the places focus on various types of momos, soups, noodles, and breads.
Opening Hours: 7 am – 9 pm
9. Enjoy cultural shows at Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts: Music is in the air
Once in Mcleodganj, don’t miss the cultural shows on Tibetan culture – folk dance and music – in Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts. This cultural center showcases occasional Tibetan cultural stage performances including traditional Lhamo – the local folk opera. One such performance continues for 6 hours. Of these shows, the annual Shoton Opera Festival – a 9-day long celebration of Traditional Tibetan Opera – is the most popular one.
Entry Charges: INR 50 per person
10. Sip and dine at colorful cafés and restaurants: Sumptuous food and refreshing drinks
The cool and funky cafes and eating joints in Mcleodganj are really cozy and happening. They serve unworldly coffee, steaming hot momos, and thukpa. Relaxing in one of such charming cafes is one of the most preferred things to do in Mcleodganj, especially for the solo travelers.
Some of the popular names are:
- Jimmy’s Italian Kitchen
- Shiva Café
- Peace Café
- Lung Ta
- Common Ground Café
- Café Budan
- Hummingbird Café
- Seed Café
- Namgyal Café
- Tibet Quality Bakery
- Lobsang Four Season Cafe
With so many fun and exciting things to do in Mcleodganj, make sure you plan a trip to Himachal, soon.
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