Saturday, April 15, 2017

Dharamshala...Temples, Dalai Lama & More!

I am writing about Dharamshala again here! But about other things, not cricket!  As I told you in my previous post, we had stayed in a hotel in the market place and visited other sights.  2 mts. walk and taxi stand was there.  They take us to the destination for a fixed price.  All drivers, whoever took us, were good, soft spoken and friendly.  Walk the other side and the Buddhist temple/monastery  is there where Dalai Lama stays and he was there when we went there! Though he doesn't give 'darshan' everyday (our friend at the hotel told us so!), I think I was lucky to see him interacting with press persons and others inside the temple/monastery.  The temple looks very simple.  We were not allowed to take cameras/even mobile phones inside the temple.  I have seen Buddhist temples in Singapore, Malaysia also and they were beautiful, colourful.  This was very simple.  But the Buddha statue which was inside was huge in gold colour with lots of intricate designs. 

Got this image from here, thank you!
I have heard that the Dalai Lama is a practical person, very well educated too.  I was not able to hear his speech properly.  The crowd was laughing and he too was in a happy mood.  Know more about him here! 
The temple/monastery

This place looks simple from the outside and it is simple inside also, except for the Buddha statue.  Dalai Lama also was speaking like an ordinary person.  No air at all.  Nice.
A colourful Buddhist temple near our hotel at McLeod Ganj! It was on the busy market road.

The lower part of the temple.  The street was too narrow to take a full picture! You can see many drums with designs and people walk around the temple, just touching and rolling/turning them.  Whatever we want we can ask for while rolling them, it seems.  People keep on rolling while going across to the parallel road through this temple!
This was the bus we went to the cricket stadium.  Medium sized only for them to drive through the narrow curves/bends. It is always crowded, esp. more during matches, it seems! Share jeeps are also available. 
This was our favourite hotel.  We had our breakfast and sometimes dinner too, here.  Vegetarian restaurant. The owner is a Tibetan lady. Good food. Had momos too! You can see a Tibetan lady with her display.  These are Tibetan refugees and we can see them in all the narrow market roads, selling clothes, trinkets, brass sculptures of gods, Tibetan things etc.
We kept on coming across many Buddhist monks and some were having breakfast when we were having it in this restaurant.  Noticed an American Monk too! The roads were full of monks...saw many child monks inside the monastery.  All of them looked happy.  Giggling among themselves!

A restaurant named 'Bodhi Tree' also was good.  And another, Nick's Italian restaurant was good.  Had ravioli there! All these restaurants were in walking distances from our hotel. 

A view of Dharamshala among the trees!
You can go on a trek too, here!
Looks so beautiful!
My son went on a 22 Km. trek, one early morning.  He enjoyed.  The above 3 pictures were taken by him during the trek. The next one too!

A road at Dharamshala!
Well, we enjoyed our visit to this place.  We will remember the scenery while watching cricket match always.  Visited Kangra Fort,
which was just OK.  Sunset was beautiful.  I have posted it here!
Nothing else is there for us to stay for more than 3-4 days.  Cricket match is the catchy event here, I think.  The market area is stinking with dirty water on both sides of the road.  Still we see many foreigners on the road.  They can be seen even during 'no cricket match' days too, it seems.  Noticed many furry dogs and lots of sparrows and small birds which was good.  A taxi driver was saying that Modi's Swachh Bharath mission is quite active there.  So the place will improve and attract more visitors, in the future, he said. They speak Hindi with some accent! Slight Punjabi?!

Farming is done in the surrounding villages.  Otherwise only tourists' income is the main income for the place, it seems.  Well, still, this trip is a memorable trip.  One more beautiful picture of the place taken while watching the cricket match, for concluding this post!



SG said...

Thanks for the wonderful travelogue. Enjoyed reading.

Sandhya said...

SG: Thank you, SG for the first comment!

Rama Ananth said...

Wow!,Beautiful places in India still to be explored. Trekking sounds good, and the pictures are really beautiful

Onkar said...

Very nice post and excellent pictures.

Sandhya said...

RAMA ANANTH: Thank you, Rama!

ONKAR: Thank you, Onkar!

ashok said...

Nice reading your lovely travelogue...enjoy!

sharu said...

Enjoyed reading your post , mami
Great pictures. The road looks spic n span. Feel like going there.

Loco mente said...

Looks so serene and beautiful!

Rahul Bhatia said...

A lovely description and the pictures, Sandhya! Am yet to visit Dharamsala!

Ankita said...

Indian hills are amazingly beautiful! I really wish to visit all these places too :)

KParthasarathi said...

A very comprehensive write up with adorable pictures making me desirous of visiting the place.Come to think of it,you have left nothing of interest. Some idea of tariff would be useful for readers.Thank you for the excellent post.

Renu said...

Dharamshala has been in my list to see places for a long time, but for some reason I am not able to..your pics and description is making me feel like going there.

Jeevan said...

Breathtaking mountains with snow covers… seeing that cricket stadium and snow mountains in television I wonder how do they play in such cold weather. Is it really very cold there? You got nice photos on the Buddhist temple. I think the Tibetan refugees have settled at many places esp. in mountain regions, because I have seen a line of Tibetan shops in Kodaikanal where they do business by settled there.

Sandhya said...

ASHOK: Thank you, Ashok!

SHARU: You will love the place! Thanks for the comment!

LOCO MENTE: Yes, thank you!

RAHUL BHATIA: It is a beautiful place, esp. during the match!

ANKITA: please do!You will love the place!

K.PARTHASARATHY: Tariff? For cricket match? Rs.200 per day. Thank you, for the comment, KP!

RENU: I never expected to see this place! It happened suddenly..well, thanks to the cricket crazy husband and son!

JEEVAN: The stadium was beautiful...more beautiful than we see in the pictures! It was cold early in the morning and in the evening. Otherwise bearable sunlight. Pleasant weather.

Thank you, Jeevan!

Zephyr said...

We lived in Chandigarh for four years but didn't visit either Kulu-Manali or Dharamsala! The pictures are lovely. I guess I might never see it. But one can't say for sure. Who knows?

I have only visited Buddhist temples in Gaya and they are very different from your description of the temples. Very grand and full of rich decorations.

Sandhya said...

ZEPHYR: Even I never dreamed of watching the cricket match in Dharamshala! This was a sudden programme.

I was thinking that Buddhist temples are simple...mildly decorated. This one is a simple temple but the Buddha is in gold and the peetha is full of gems.

We had been to Kulu Manali on our way back from Vaishno Devi.

Thanks for the comment, Zephyr!

sm said...

a road to dharamshala
beautiful photos and quotes

Sandhya said...

sm: Thank you, sm! Comments marathon?:)

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