McLeod Ganj: The heart of art in the Himalayas

As the morning sets in, cottony white clouds arrange themselves against blue skies, forming shapes and faces. The wind carries the sound of gongs from a distance, as the Lung tas strung up high on hills flutter in glory. The chants of ‘Om Mani Padme Hum’ take over the monastery road. The downhill road to Jogiwara greets you with a whiff of Tibetan incenses and smiling locals. The tiny lanes transform into the bazaars of Tibet, while the smiling faces urge you to stop by for a hot cup of tea, momos, thupka or laphing right on the streets. The walls become a canvas for the artists to express their love for Tibet. This tiny hamlet of McLeod Ganj awakens in full glory like a moving colour wheel. In all, McLeod Ganj breathes art in every form and becomes this dream for all.
There is something very special about this place. It’s one of those places you would return to, not just to meet his holiness Dalai Lama. From travellers volunteering for a cause to different nationalities putting up a skit for a local play to musicians entertaining you with didgeridoos and djembes, this five-lane town has something for everyone.
What you will find here in abundance are dreamers. Dreamers of every kind. The ones who passionately make your day with treats, baked with love. The ones who macramé their love into a beautiful piece of art. A Tibetan grandmother weaving into a purse, a piece of her heart. A Nepali flutist mesmerizing you with tunes that pulls on your heartstrings. The baker who came here twenty years ago and never left. The lady who has been serving heart-warming momos since we weren’t even born. Where a ginger lemon tea can hold you back some place for an entire day. Where handmade paper diaries make you ink your heart out. Cafes swapping books for conversations. These are the things one can’t fail to notice here. From the Kora road to the temple road, the Lung tas flutter in glimpses of reds, blues, greens, whites and yellows, spreading its positive vibes to every corner of McLeod Ganj; awakening within each, a dreamer.

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