A two kilometre walk from the centre of the town on the narrow winding road to Dharamkot takes you to this wonderfully serence place where the Tushita Meditation Center and Himachal Vipassana Centre are located side by side. These centres offer residential courses in Tibetan Buddhism and Vipassana Meditation techniques.
Getting to these centres is easy, just keeping walking on the road to Dharamkot, well past TIPA (Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts), the first signs of civilisation and you are there.
Warning : Watch out for monkeys on this road, there is huge colony of these wild burly himalyan beasts on this route. If you are lucky, you may get to see some ferocious monkey fights on the way :-) Its perhaps easier to just hire a cab or an auto-rickshaw to take you there.
About 2km east of McLeod Ganj is an ancient Hindu temple dedicated to Bhagsu Nag, the snake god, and to Lord Shiva. The temple dates back to the 16th century but legend states that the site dates back some 5,100 years. Beside the temple is a spring pool which has been turned into a sacred swimming pool and was being used by local Tibetan monks when I was there.
Hello fellow travellers!
I am a bit of a McLeod Ganj junkie so have picked up some nice things to do over there. I would like to share one of my ideas that I feel will help you enhance your stay there by providing you with the opportunity to get to know some of the local Tibetan monks and support their monastery. There is a hotel called Gyumed Shangri-La Hotel & Restaurant which is right next door to hotel Tibet. You will find Hotel Tibet in all the guides but you won't find Shangri-La. Shangri-La is run by the Gyumed Tantric monks who are usually quite elusive in the world of Tibetan Buddhism but here you will find them smiling and welcoming. They serve delicious food especially their momo soup. But the real secret is when you go in, on the top floor is a mini monastery where the monks bless statues for you at minimal cost. So if you buy a Buddha statue locally (always buy the ones from Nepal to do this) the will place mantras inside and seal it for you! You even get a lovely certificate from them (this is also quite handy for getting sealed statues through customs ;-)
The picture I have attached is the view from the balcony at the back of the restaurant.
So my dear friends enjoy you time with the Gyumed family in McLeod and tell them I send my love!