McLeod Ganj

Situated on the Dhauladhar Range, at an elevation of 2,082m (6,831 ft) McLeod Ganj is also known as "Little Lhasa" or "Dhasa" (a short form of Dharamsala used mainly by Tibetans) because of its large population of Tibetan refugees. McLeod Ganj offers a perfect fusion of the East with the West in terms of the tourist population, local foods, culture and activities.

McLeod Ganj was named after Sir Donald Friell McLeod, a Lieutenant Governor of Punjab; the suffix ganj is a common Hindi word for "neighbourhood". Tourism is an important industry in McLeod Ganj, but many people come here to study Tibetan Buddhism, culture, crafts, etc. The town is also known for Tibetan handicrafts, thangkas, carpets, garments and other souvenirs. The most important Buddhist site in the town is Tsuglagkhang or Tsuglag Khang, the Dalai Lama's temple.

Tsuglagkhang Complex: The Tsuglagkhang Complex is the largest Tibetan temple outside Tibet and is the official home of the 14th Dalai Lama. The complex houses the Photang (Dalai Lama's residence), Tibet Museum, Namgyal Gompa and the Tsuglagkhang temple, which has statues of Shakyamuni, Avalokiteśvara, and Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche).

Bhagsu Falls: Just two km from McLeod Ganj central market lies Bhagsu in the small village of Bhagsu, behind the Bhagsunath Temple.

Dharamkot & Triund: Dharamkot is an attractive spot that presents a wide view of the Kangra valley and the Dhauladhar ranges. It is 2 km from the McLeod Ganj central market. The area is inhabited primarily by foreigners, and houses popular meditation centres, such as the Vipassana meditation centre, Dhamma Shikara, as well as the Tushita Meditation Centre which is a centre for the study and practice of Buddhism in the Tibetan Mahayana tradition.

Gyuto Monastery: 6km from Dharamsala, Gyuto Monastery is a popular pilgrim site and the abode of Karmapa (the head of the Karma Kagyu, a major school of Tibetan Buddhism). Often called as TCV School, the monastery houses the majestic image of Sakyamuni Buddha enshrined in a small chamber.