Naam Art Gallery is a reputed spot in Mcleodganj that is frequented by tourists. This art gallery is a permanent exhibition gallery which has put up the paintings of A.W Hallet and German articles of Elizabeth Buschmann in the display. This art gallery is situated in the Sidhbari village on the path that goes to Dalhousie. The gallery also does business by selling the paintings of renowned artists.
The works of Elsbeth Buschmann include acrylics and watercolors whereas the paintings of famous artists Alfred W. Hallet, Elizabeth are oil paintings. Hallet was one of the most reputed artists of the region and is believed to have resided in Dharamshala for a period of 40 plus years. Although this artist passed away in 1986, he is still remembered through his artworks in the gallery. The art gallery can be visited throughout the year. You need to add this gallery to your list of things to do in Mcleodganj if you enjoy admiring art.
This majestic historical fort was built by the royal family of Kangra. The magnificent structure is said to be belonging to 4th Century B.C. It is one of the most ancient forts in India and the biggest fort in the Himalayan terrain. Kangra fort is situated at a distance of around 20 kilometers Dharamshala. The temple comprises of a few shrines that one can visit once he passes through the seven gates of the fort. A popular attraction of this fort is the spectacular view of the Banganga and Manjhi that can be seen from here. Adjacent to the Kangra Fort is the Maharaja Sansar Chand Katoch Museum which is managed by the royal family. Steeped in history, Kangra fort makes a good entry in your things to do in Mcleodganj list.
Visit Kangra Baglamuki Temple
This is one of the oldest Balgamukhi temples and is located in Bankhandi. This ancient temple is said to be from the Mahabharata period. It is situated at the entrance of the Kotla Fort that is near to Kangra. The goddess is worshiped mainly to demolish the enemies and ward off Yakshini, evil persons and evil spirits as well as pacify quarrels for the devotee’s advantage. This shrine is said to be a powerful Shakti Peeth which is also thronged by many politicians and ministers. Many of them pay respect to the goddess to win court cases and get good election results. Add this temple to your list of things to do in Mcleodganj and experience the prowess of the Almighty.
Indulge in City Shopping
Mcleodganj is a heaven for shopaholics. Mcleodganj Central Square, Jogiwara Road, and Kotwali Bazaar are well-known shopping areas in the district. The shops that are situated at the Kotwali Bazaar are renowned for housing a collection of exotic sculptures, rugs and Tibetan carpets whereas the Jogiwara Road has earned the reputation of the most visited place, especially for souvenir shopping. You can also get traditional items such as handicrafts, bags, trousers, Tibetan hats, Chubas and slippers at Kotwali Bazaar. The markets are also famous for exotic jewelry pieces, mandala paintings, and traditional dresses. You can purchase souvenirs from this place for your relatives and friends that will surely be appreciated by them. Shopping is a must add to things to do in Mcleodganj.
Visit Norbulingka Institute
This institute was established in 1988 and is situated near Dharamshala. The aim of this institute was to preserve the Tibetan literature, art, and culture. The institute derived its name from the summer residence of Dalai Lama that is situated in Lhasa, Tibet. The institute primarily aims at protecting the rich traditional and cultural heritage of Tibet. It aims at imparting training, education, employment to the Tibetan population that have become the inhabitants of that region. The institute also houses a Seat of Happiness Temple which is particularly famous for 1713 murals of Buddha, drawings that depict the life of 14th Dalai Lama and paintings of all the Dalai Lamas. The institute offers various courses such as wood painting, Thangka painting, applique and tailoring, Tibetan statue making, screen-printing, woodcarving, papermaking etc. This institude holds a lot of importance for Tibetians in Mcleodganj. You should definitely add this to the things to do in Mcleodganj for yourself.
Trek to Minkiani Pass
The Minkiani pass is situated in the western part of the Dhauladhar ranges and is at an altitude of around 4300 m. It is a very popular place for trekking and used by the local people mainly to visit the holy Lam Dal. Lam Dal is the second biggest lake in Himachal Pradesh. The Minkiani Pass is also used to reach Chamba by the locals. It also offers stunning views of the peaks situated at the northern site of the pass such as Brammah (6515 m) and Sickle Moon (6574 m) which are located in the Kishtwar region in Kashmir. The pass is prone to sudden climatic changes, blizzards, and white outs. While you trek this beautiful pass, you will be able to witness many flowing rivulets and streams, dense and lush green forests that are abundant with flora and fauna. There are many villages situated on the slopes of this pass. The pass offers outstanding visuals for the nature lovers and photo enthusiasts.
This structure is one of the holiest places for the Tibetan population in India. It is the official home of the 14th Dalai Lama and is situated in the southwest corner of Mcleodganj. It is believed that Dalai Lama is the current emanation of Buddha. No other electronic device except the radio is permitted inside the premises of the shrine. The temple also houses NamgyalGompa and a Tibet Museum. The Mangyal Gompa is a place where the monks engage in some debates.
The debate provides extensive knowledge and is always carried out in a good and respectful way. In the temple, there are 3 main idols – a 3-meter high statue of Sakyamuni Buddha, a bronze image of Padmasambhava and the Buddha of Compassion that faces Tibet Avalokitesvara. The Tibet Museum includes various photos and videos of the Tibetan struggles. It also depicts the Chinese invasions in their territory.
Volunteer and teach English to monks
The monks at Mcleodganj do receive a lot of education. But, they need help with English. While in Mcleodganj, one of the noblest things to do in Mcleodganj would be volunteering. You can teach English to a monk and help him in fulfilling his dreams. I engaged in one such volunteering program and was glad to do it. To know more about my volunteering experience, you can read my blog: Small Joys of Travel | Volunteering in Mcleodganj
With my student, Tenzin