Eagles Nest: Breathe, Behold, Belong

The Hills

Dharamshala

The colossal snow dressed peaks of Dhauladhar Range overlook Dharamsala at all times. The much talked about Tibetan Buddhist culture can be seen at Dharamshala, which is dominated largely by the Tibetan community. There are two parts of the city – one is known as Lower Dharamshala is its commercial center and dotted with markets, courts and the famous Kotwali Bazaar, where you come across items of everyday use; Upper Dharamshala is home to many structures which remind you of its colonial past. The two different parts of the city have something different to offer. It offers the opportunity to unwind and take in the beauty of the surroundings. Here, the main street is dotted with shops selling Tibetan arts & crafts, along with eateries that serve a variety of Tibetan dishes, from Thenthu to momos. Most of the market centers around the Tsuglagkhang Complex, which is the official home of the 14th Dalai Lama. Naturally, it is a pilgrimage site for Tibetan exiles. Tourists visit it to see the Dalai Lama, explore the museum, watch the monks debate and just revel in the positive vibes exuded by the place. The Thekchen Chöling Temple Complex is a spiritual center for Tibetan Buddhism, while the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives houses thousands of precious manuscripts. There are tourist spots in plenty, but mostly, Dharamsala is about unwinding and enjoying the serenity that is found here in abundance.

Mcleodganj

McLeod Ganj (4.6 Kms/ 25 minutes) is a suburb and Tibetan market place of Dharamshala in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh, India. It is 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.

Bir

Bir (72.5 Kms/ 2 Hour 40 minutes) is a village located in the west of Joginder Nagar Valley in the state of Himachal Pradesh. Bir is a noted centre for ecotourism, spiritual studies, and meditation. Bir is also home to a Tibetan refugee settlement with several Buddhist monasteries and a large stupa. Bir Billing does not invoke any second thoughts when it comes to paragliding. Being the best place to enjoy this aero sport, Bir Billing is on top of every adventure seeker’s wish list. March-May and October – November are considered the ideal months for this sport.

Naddi Village And Dal Lake

Naddi Village and Dal Lake (5.5 Kms/ 35 minutes) is located at an altitude of 2000 meters above sea level, in the upper reaches of the Kangra valley. The village is situated about 3 kilometers from McLeodGanj and Dal Lake is a small mid-altitude lake (1,775 m above sea level) near the village of Tota Rani. The name ‘Dal Lake’ is taken from Kashmir’s Dal Lake. The lake is surrounded by deodar trees and is considered to be a sacred spot as there is small Shiva mandir (shrine) on its bank. There are different kinds of fish that live in this lake. The lake has greenish water.

Triund

Triund is the crown jewel of Dharamshala, situated in the laps of Dhauladhar mountains; it has the perfect view of the Dhauladhar mountains on one side and Kangra valley on the other. Trek is fairly easy for the first five kilometers but the last one kilometer may require a bit of toil, the last one kilometer is popularly known as the “22 curves” as it has 22 tiring curves before you finally reach Triund. Elevation: 2,828 m

Bhagsu

Bhagsu/Bhaksu (6.4 Kms/ 28 minutes) (also known as Bhagsunag or Bhagsunath) is a village near McLeodGanj in the Dharamshala district. Popular for Bhagsunag waterfall and an ancient temple, named Bhagsunag temple tourists need to trek to reach the waterfall. In early 18th century the Gorkhas came here with British to settle, later they formed the historic the 1st Gorkha Rifles in 1815 (The Malaun Regiment). Bhagsu is also the home of 1st Gorkha Rifles (The Malaun Regiment). As per the Indian mythology, the snake god got into a battle with King Bhagsu. The reason of the battle was that King Bhagsu had stolen water from the sacred lake called the Nag Dal Lake. King Bhagsu was defeated and eventually forgiven, and the site was consecrated as Bhagsu Nag. Because of the waterfall and close proximity to McLeodGanj, Dharamkot and the Triund Trek -Bhagsu has become popular for tourists to stay. A number of hotels have now come up in Bhagsu for the increasing number of tourists.