MCLEODGANJ – The Home of HH Dalai Lama, Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh

History of Dharamshala and sightseeing places for tourist in and around Mecleodganhj: McLeod Ganj – named after the Sir Donald Friell McLeod – a philanthropist  – was a Lieutenant Governor...

History of Dharamshala and sightseeing places for tourist in and around Mecleodganhj:

McLeod Ganj – named after the Sir Donald Friell McLeod – a philanthropist  – was a Lieutenant Governor of British Punjab between 1865 – 1870.  In March 1850, the area was annexed by the British after the Second Anglo-Sikh War, and soon a subsidiary cantonment for the troops stationed at Kangra was established on the slopes of Dhauladhar, on empty land, with a Hindu rest house or dharamshala;  hence the name for the new cantonment,  Dharamshala.   By 1855, it had two important places of civilian settlement, McLeod Ganj and Forsyth Ganj, named after a Divisional Commissioner.  In 1860, the 66th Gurkha Light Infantry, later renamed the historic 1st Gurkha Rifles, was moved to Dharamshala. Soon, 14 Gurkha paltan villages were established nearby and the Gurkhas patronised the ancient Shiva temple of Bhagsunath.

Lord Elgin, the British Viceroy of India (1862–63), liked the area so much that at one point he suggested it be made the summer capital of India. He died at Dharamshala while on a tour there, on 20 November 1863, and lies buried at the St. John in the Wilderness at Forsyth Ganj,  just below McLeod Ganj. His summer residence, Mortimer House, became part of the private estate of Lala Basheshar Nath of Lahore and was acquired after independence  by the Government of India to house the official residence of the Dalai Lama.

In the year 1905 (April 04 – 6-19 AM ) the earthquake destroyed most buildings in Kangra, Dharamshala, and McLeod Ganj,  including the Bhagsunath Temple.  Thereafter, district headquarters were shifted to a lower spot, and the town waited another half century  to regain its significance as well as popularity by the coming of Dalai Lama.

Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, fled to India after the failed uprising in 1959 in Tibet. The Indian Government offered him refuge in Dharamshala, where he set up his official residence and also home to several Buddhist monasteries and thousands of Tibetan refugees.  Over the years, McLeod Ganj evolved into an important tourist and pilgrimage destination, and has since grown substantially in population.
McLeod Ganj – situated on the Dhouladhar Range, has an average elevation of 2,082 metres (6,831feet).  It is also now known as “Little Lhasa” or “Dhasa” (a short form of Dharamshala used mainly by Tibetans) because of its large population of Tibetans. The Tibetan government-in-exile is headquartered in McLeod Ganj.

How to reach Dharamshala , District Kangra, Himachal Pradesh :

view of Lower Dharamshala

By Air The nearest airport is Kangra Airport, 15 km from Dharamshala.
By Rail — The nearest railway stations on the narrow-gauge Kangra Valley Railway line are at Kangra and Nagrota (about 20 km south of Dharamshala). The nearest railhead (broad gauge) is at Pathankot (85 km).
The major towns near McLeod Ganj include Dharamshala, Palampur, Kangra, Sidhbari, and also the  birds paradise -  Pong Dam.  Other nearby spiritual attractions include Chinmaya Tapovan , Chamunda temple, Baijnath temple, Kangra temple and fort, and Jwalaji temple. The route to Triund is a popular trek starting from McLeod Ganj.   FOR CAMPING TREKKING AND PARAGLIDING PLEASE EMAIL US AT:

view from Dhouladhar top

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