While there are more hotels in McLeodganj than things to do, I’d recommend Chonor House (book in advance – two months atleast) or look up a hotel at Naddi Point. The other options you may want to consider are available on the the Himachal Pradesh Tourism website.
There are several cafes and little eating places in McLeodganj and before you sit down to eat you could start your day with a visit to The Dalai Lama Temple, followed by The Bhagsu Nag Temple and Church of St. John post your meal.
You could spend the rest of the day walking around the market, exploring cafes and just relaxing. If you like adventure, this is the place – from trekking to paragliding, they’ve got it all – the tourism office is on the road to The Bhagsu and you could get all the information you need.
As luck would have it in the short trip, the second day was a rainy one. I had planned to go to Palampur, an hour’s drive from McLeodganj. It’s a must-do drive and extremely picturesque. I began by going to Norbulingka Institute and absolutely loved it. It’s a little bit of Tibet in Himachal.
You might want to stop at the Chamunda Devi Temple on the way or even say hello to the animals at Gopalpur Zoo if you can squeeze it into your itinerary. The cricket stadium – HPCA should definitely be on it.
Palampur is really as green as it gets and I quite enjoyed the landscape of the mountains and the tea gardens. The masala chai at Neugal Café was heavenly, I think more so because of the rain outside it’s glass walls. You would also want to stop by the Church of St. John in Palampur. The drive back was beautiful, with the sun setting and the sky changing colour, there are few other things that make the soul smile.
An essential place to visit is Naddi Point with it breathtaking views and beautiful surroundings. On the way up to Naddi Point you would see the Dal Lake, which to my mind is best seen from a distance.
Naddi Point, however with it’s snow clad mountains hiding behind the greenery and the sunshine adding to the hues of the landscape –is surreal.
The next day was spent lazing in the sun, reading a book and going to Tibet Kitchen, Jimmy’s Italian and McLlo, while there are several other places and I’m a foodie, maybe exploring them could be a part of my next trip to the Unforgettable Himachal.