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Although Dharamshala is the better known of these two neighbouring towns, McLeod Ganj is the base for the Tibetan government in exile and their community.

Tibetan life

As you stop at the street stalls laden with artefacts from Tibet, crimson-robed monks meander through the lanes on their way to the monasteries and markets overlooked by pine covered mountains and hills.


The forests remain a wild place with a local population of leopard and an abundance of birdlife. This is one of the few places in the Himalaya where eagles and lamagier (bone crusher) soar the skies.

Preservation of Tibetan culture

Some of the best views are from the golden-roofed Norbulingka Institute. Established to preserve Tibetan culture, skills and crafts such as thangka painting, metal and silk work, a visit here provides a fascinating insight into the world on the other side of the Himalaya.

The Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama is often in residence in May and July and may lead prayers at these times. We can check his schedule in advance of your visit.

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