Monday, October 12, 2009

Mcleod Ganj

Our second leg of the jounrey origionally was going to be taken by train to Shimla, then Manali and then finally Mcleod Ganj, home of the Dali Lama and the beautiful Himalayas. In Delhi we caught the horrible "Delhi Belly" and were bed wridden for 4 days. We missed our train which would have taken 24 hours and caught a King Fisher airplane to Mcleod Ganj which took 1 hour and 30 minutes. On our arrival we met two backpackers; one from Canada and one from Australia. Josh, the Australian already had a cab waiting for him so we shared a small cab with Sahir, the other Canadian. The drive from Dharmsala to Mcleod Ganj was one of the scariest drives we have ever taken. The taxi was practically off the cliff several times, being hundreds of meters above the valley floor. We were secretly praying for our lives, closing our eyes and hoping for the best.
Mcleod Ganj became popular in the mid 1900's for tourists because of the Dalai Lama. Richard Gere supposedly used to travel frequently here because of the tranquliety and beauty of the area. The little city is nestled on the foothills of the Himilayas, the largest mountain range in the world.
Monks line the streets wearing their red robes, buying local produce and talking on their cell phones. Free Tibet stickers and clothing are littered everywhere, and the Tibetan people are peaceful and extremely friendly, the complete opposite of New Delhi.
We visited the temple of the Dalai Lama, our Australian friend accompanied us as well. The temple was beautiful and full of monks walking peacefully around. We were told their was a mile walk around the temple called the CORA. The CORA is used for monks to prey and worship in the nature. It is truly a world apart from anything we have experienced.
Mcleod Ganj and its surrounding areas are breath taking. Words cannot describe the Himlayas with their snow covered peaks at 4000 meters or the peaceful culture of the Tibetian people, you must visit to fully comprehend the serenity and vibe of Mcleod Ganj.

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