After Delhi, we decided to go north and see some parts of Himachal Pradesch state.
The night bus we took to Mc Leod Ganj was a “Volvo” bus, which had air conditioning and it was kind of comfortable to spend the night.
We arrived very early in the morning in Dharamshala and from there we took a taxi to Mc Leod Ganj. The city is located up on a mountain and it’s a suburb of Dharamshala. The city has a large population of Tibetan refugees and there is a temple of Dalai Lama you can visit. There os also many yoga courses, massage, reiki and volunteer work you can do.
The atmosphere of the place was totally different from New Delhi! It’s so quiet, the weather is a little bit chilly, there are many monks walking around and the people are smiling all the time.
We spend 3 relaxing days there… walking around the city, visited Dalai Lama’s temple at lunch time and actually got to eat with the monks. At the small city center, there are many nice restaurants and lots of Tibetan handicrafts.
We were told by some locals that Dalai Lama visits his temple once a year… and it’s such a pity that missed the chance to see him because of only 3 days!! 😦
After that we took another bus to Manali. This time it was a Deluxe bus, it wasn’t deluxe at all! There was no air conditioning, it was dirty and the road was terrible and full of curves up and down which made many people get sick along the way! It was an awful night!
As we arrived in Manali everything got better… specially when finally arrived at the guesthouse in Old Manali, thanks to the taxi driver and his flash light that walked all the way to the hotel with us at 5am in the morning.
Manali is located on the mountains of Himachal Pradesch state and is considered by travellers as a mystic place and have a hippie kind of atmosphere. It’s one of top indian skiing places, it’s full of nature such as waterfalls where you can do many trekings, some monasteries, hindi temples, restaurants and hotels.
Smoking marijuana in India is illegal, but it grows wildly everywhere in the city! wierd!
We chilled out at the city, bought some souvenirs and ate good food at cozy restaurants. Our favorite food was at Drifter’s Cafe and Lazy Dog.
We met a british girl and a israeli guy who we did some trekking to a waterfall and enjoyed some meals together. It was very nice!
Both cities, Manali and McLeod Ganj were relatively clean, there were still some trash on the streets but not so bad. They’re both humid and chilly places with great atmosphere… For sure they’re perfect places to enjoy nature and get away of noisy and crazy cities. We really wished we could stay longer in Manali…but we have to move on now ’cause we have a yoga retreat booked!
And to get to our next destination, we’re going down on he bus category, the only option we had to get in Rishikesh was by taking an Ordinary bus to Derahdoon and from there take a taxi to the Ashram for our week of Yoga and Meditation Retreat! 🙂