A much awaited trip for three girlfriends.

I have no idea how it happened. All of a sudden, in a moment of utter boredom, I heard myself utter “Let’s go to McL eodganj”. Priyanka was game for it, but it was a bit difficult convincing Reby. But after a week of planning, booking, arguing and bickering, we finally caught the train from Delhi to Path ankot. It was an overnight journey and three of us had a cabin to ourselves. We spent the night chatting, munching and laughing. After 3-4 hours of sleep, we woke up and got off at Pathankot station.

Welcome to HP

Ah, Saturday morning. We took a cab from Pathankot to McLeodganj. The cab journey took only 2 hours. The scenery was beautiful and the cab driver told us about the landslide that recently happened in Himachal. As we entered McLeodganj, a typical Himachal traffic jam welcomed us. We got off the cab and after an hour of search, checked into Surya McLeod. We chose Surya because it was slightly far from the crowded hub. We didn’t have to worry about transportation as McLeodganj is a very small place and everything is just 5 minutes walk away.

After nice hot showers, and a big lunch, the three of us ventured out with our backpacks. We walked to a small village above McLeodganj called Dharamkot. It was just twenty minutes walk away but walking on the hills can be quite an exercise. The streets of Dharamkot reminded me of Goa. Narrow, with colorful open restaurants, and Israeli hippies walking around. It was on that very street, me and Priyanka spotted a sign that we had been looking for – “spike’s tattooing studio”. We had been eagerly waiting for this moment. We entered the studio, Priyanka chose her tattoo design, and when my turn came, I chickened out. It just didn’t feel right. Maybe it wasn’t the right moment…


There’s something about the hills that makes you super hungry and God, McLeodganj is full of awesome restaurants and cafes with colorful walls and German / Israeli / Italian menu. We ordered pancakes, which were actually crepes, but amazing nonetheless.

We were too full to walk back to McLeodganj so we took an auto rickshaw back. We shopped on our way back to the Hotel. Where we changed for dinner. We wanted to dine at a rooftop restaurant but unfortunately all of them were overstuffed, so we couldn’t find a table, except at Asian Plaza where we had our worst meal of the trip. We ate dinner again back at our hotel cause a) it was complimentary, b) we were still hungry!

En Route to Bhagsu - LOL

En Route to Bhagsu

Next morning, we woke up early and walked to Bhaksunath temple. We wanted to go to this place that we had heard ab out “Shiva Café”. A stoner’s delight. All we knew was that there was a narrow path near Bhaksunath waterfall that led to Shiva café. After reaching the waterfall, it took us good 10-15 minutes to figure out the trail to Shiva café. It looked very narrow and we weren’t sure if it was the right way or not. I led the way, thinking that I was taking the biggest risk of my life, stepping on the slippery rocks on a very narrow trail, next to a very small sign that said “Shiva café up ahead”. One wrong step would have made me fall crashing down to the valley. At that moment, I could feel fear pump up the adrenaline rush. I felt fear because there were no professionals helping us unlike in the case of para sailing or bungee jumping, still I felt a mad rush of excitement as I had never done anything so scary without anyone’s help. After 20 minutes, we were finally there.

Shiva Cafe

Colourful Shiva Cafe

There it was, up on the hill, surrounded by colorful hand painted rocks and flowers – the Shiva café. Surprisingly, the only way to reach it was the one we took, so reaching that place on a car is out of question. We woke up the caretaker and asked him to fix us some breakfast, while we enjoyed the natural beauty that surrounded us. After having three pancakes ,we decided it was time to head back.

The walk down from Shiva café was surprisingly very easy. We saw goats, horses and a psychedelic bug. I fell in love with the latter. If you don’t believe how a bug could be psychedelic, check out the pictures.

The psychedelic bug

Aliens Infestation

We got back to Bhaksunath and ate lunch at the German Bakery; apparently, Himachal is full of these German Bakeries. We had humus with pita bread, potato wedges, lasagna and a pancake (but of course).

Back at the hotel room, we took long hot showers and hit Dharamkot again as we wanted to check out this place we saw yesterday “Trek and dine” but were too full to try food there. We sat there and chilled for hours. Ate, read, chatted and what not.

On returning to McLeodganj, we hit the main street and shopped our hearts out. Sigh, it was our last day there. Me and Reby checked out the monastery where we met two girls from Tibet, who had WALKED all the way to McLeodganj from Tibet. It took them one full month to do so and it’s not an unusual thing for them to do we spent ages talking to them, and realized how those girls were so much like us, when in fact they appeared to be so different. They told us about their life in Tibet. We didn’t have to tell them about life in Delhi as they already knew so much! It made me realize how Indian culture is so exposed to the Asian countries, just like how American culture is exposed to the entire world.

With the Tibetan girls..

Back at the hotel, out dinner buffet was waiting for us. And we ate again. Our fourth lavish meal of the day. No one looking at us can believe we can eat so much!

Next morning, we caught a cab to Chakki Bank (its closer to McLeodganj than Pathankot) and took the train back to Delhi. There’s something about the journey back home after a fun trip. It always seems endless and super annoying. Whatever, it was one of the best trips, because it was with my girlfriends.


  • ???? ?? ???? ??? ??? ?? ?? ???? ???? ?? ???? ?? ?? ??? ??? ?? ?? ?? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ???? ??? ……………..???? ?? ?? ???? ?? ???? ???? ???? ?? ??? ?? ……….?? ?????????? , ????? , ???? ???? ,?????????? ??? ?? ???? ?? ???? ????? ?? ??? ?? ??? ??………..??? ???? ??? ?? ??? ?? ????? ???? ???? ?? ?? ???? ???? ??? ???? ?? ????? ?? ?????? ?? ???? ?? ………..?? ???? ?? ???? ?? ??? ?? ??? ??? ?? ?????? ???? ????

  • Harish Bhatt says:

    Hi Sonal,

    Welcome to Ghumakkar. Nice post and great pictures. Other then the monetary there are a lot of other places that you can visit in Mcleod ganj…There is place called Trihund which is about an hours walk from McLeodganj. From there you have a stunning view of the Dhauldhar mountain ranges which are covered in snow all around the year… Its worth visiting at least one…

    Where is the picture of psychedelic bugs? I could not figure that out….

    Keep traveling and keep writing….

  • JATDEVTA says:

    Welcome here. ???????, ????? ???, ????? ???,

  • Neeraj Jat says:

    ????? ??? ?? ???? ?? ?? ??? ?? ??? ??? ???? ?????? ?? ?? ???????? ????? ???????? (Triund) ?? ???? ?? ???? ??? ???? ??? ??? ?????????? ???? ?? ?? ???????? ???? ????? ??? ?? ???????? ?? ???????? ??, ?? ????????


    Hello there,
    Sonal,Loved your piece ,and admire adventure-spirit in you people.I am sure you must have walked through the clouds while walking down from Bhagusnag to Mcload.There are so many cafes,bakeries(German) serving excellent food that one can eat like a hog.Didn’t you people buy the “Free Tibet” Ts from the two shops?Your opening shot of the truck with “Tu roya karegee sannu yaad ker kay


    I have gone here last year.

  • Onil Gandhi says:

    welcome …….. Keep traveling and keep writing.

  • Really good post , thanks a lot for journey share with us. Slogan on truck is very popular . Your happy faces bring a smile on my face . Pray to God whole life you all always smile like that. Tatoo is very popular in Canada , here everyone has. So many time you describe pancakes, I am feeling I have to taste it today. But my Doctor has restriction for calories and suger, First I will check label and let you know how its taste in North America.


    Surinder Sharma,
    Edmonton Canada.

  • ????? ????? ??. ????? ?????? ???. ???? ????? ?? ????????? ?????.

  • Vipin says:

    Hi Sonal ji, welcome to Ghumakkar family and congratulations for your first post. Nice job with the first post. The narrative is good and the photos are pretty colourful…..though a bit more details/info and some more photos could have added up value to the story. Didn’t you see Dal Lake in McLeodganj? You know whenever I hear about McLeodganj, it reminds me of a bone chilling experience of getting lost in the dense forests between Naddi and Dharamkot during my solo trip to this land of eternal purity and beauty………thanks for taking us back……..

    Keep travelling and keep sharing…………..

  • Welcome to Ghumakkar Sonaljee ……………with a such a lovely post.

    The tag which I would like to give you is ” BINDAAS “.

    “??? ????? ?? ?? ?? ???? ????? ???. ??? ???? ?? ???. ” is the motto which is shown . Thanks …………….

    I think I have heard this place for the first time. So thanks for showing McLeodganj……………….

  • Pushpinder Singh says:

    Hi! There I suggest that the next time you go there take a long break so that you may be able to visit the surrounding places like Triund, Dharamshala, Kangra, Chamunda devi and Jwalaji

  • venkatt says:

    Nice narration, Sonal. Looks like all the girls had a rollicking time at Mcleodganj. Keep travelling.

  • Ritesh Gupta says:

    Hello Sonali ji….
    Welcome to Ghumakkar World……
    Your post is very interesting with full of enjoy..
    I have been Dharmshala, McLeodganj & Bhagsunath Seven year ago…. Very nice and Peaceful palce.
    Mcleaodganj just as a Mini Lahsa.
    So many times you have described about Pancake . will you tell me which type food ?
    Picture are very nice but you have not put the picture of Bhagsunath waterfall.
    Thanks for good post…… Keep Travelling Keep Writting….

  • Nandan Jha says:

    Welcome aboard Sonal.

    Been to Mcleod a few times and have liked it always. I am also looking for the psychedelic bug ? :-)

    Since you liked Mcleod, I would recommend you to visit ‘Kasol’ sometime. If you are keen on Tatto then a very good artiste is in Delhi (Lokesh of Devil’s Tattoos). I have couple of them and both are brilliantly done.

  • drifter says:

    Hi everyone,
    Thanks for reading my first ghumakkar post. This trip actually happened in 2008 but I did not decide to publish my weblog until recently. I will try to share as many travel experiences as possible.

  • Archana says:

    Dear Sonal and dearest readers,

    This post is updated with the much discussed “psychedelic bug” ‘s pictures. It was somehow missed during post preparation. Or maybe the bug went out on a tour then! Just kidding!

    Just FYI.


  • Good post…well written. Like the way you guys traveled like travelers and not tourists…

  • D.L.Narayan says:

    Sonali, great debut post on ghumakkar. Your writing is like a breath of fresh air. Looking forward to more from you.

  • drifter says:

    Hi everyone! I just woke up after posting this (haha)

    I had posted this way back in 2012 and now i’m a full time blogger with Drifter Planet (www.drifterplanet.com)

    It’s amazing to see so many lovely comments to my post from my early blogging days.

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