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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh, India

Mar 10, 2007 - Dust bunnies and shoving monks.

Today is the 28th anniversary of the Tibetan Uprising and as such there is a day off from HH's teachings. This is the day in 1959 when Tibetans surrounded the Norbulingka (summer) palace in Lhasa to protect the Dalai Lama, who they though was in immediate danger of being imprisoned by the Chinese, to protest against the occupation. These events precipitated the fleeing of HH across Tibet in secret to seek exile in India where he has been ever since. There are a number of events planned in commemoration of this day but unfortunately there...

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If not now, when?

Mar 1, 2007 - Free Tibet! Some Rainy Days in McLeod Ganj

Laura: We pass many fields of blooming yellow canola on the bus trip out of Amritsar and the long straight road is only broken up by short stops at railway crossings. We arrive in Pathankot much quicker than I expect and I have hopes for this 7-hour long bus ride. Those hopes are dashed during the second half of our trip as we stop and start much more frequently to pick up passengers who squeeze into seats that don't fit more people and aisles already filled with luggage. The ticket checker screeches his whistle in my ear each time we stop...

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Mar 1, 2007 - Special times in McLeod Gange

There have been a few complaints that I have been remiss in my blog postings of late. In truth for the past ten days or so I was killing time in Katmandu with nothing of very much interest to report. Much as it irritated me to waste precious days when I could have be traveling my options were few. Due to the actions of the Maoist in Nepal travel around the country was problematic and plans to visit Tibet were (thankfully) thwarted by the Chinese embassy being closed for two weeks. I could have returned to India early but was loathed to do...

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If not now, when?

Nov 28, 2006 - Thanksgiving in McLeod Ganj

Terri and I took the night train on Tuesday evening to Pathankot and slept well in our first class sleeper (the car even had a door and a lock). It's nice to wake up and be in a different place. We had a two hour car ride to Dharamsala and McLeod Ganj and as we ascended, I felt my lungs expand. McLeod Ganj is in the Kangra Valley in Himachal Pradesh. Dharamsala was a British garrison from the 1850's until an earthquake forced them to leave in 1905. Half the town fell during the earthquake and created the 4 km distance between the two towns....

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Nov 28, 2006 - Craig and Julie and the Dalai Lama

So we're currently in McleodGanj, just north of Dharamasala which is the exiled Dalai Lama's home since the 60s. Randomly, he's in town, so yesterday, we had the unexpected priveledge of joining the masses to watch him walk through the courtyard from his home to the temple and then we got to hear him teaching in the temple (though we weren't in the area where you get to see him... you have to be extra special and probably Buddhist to go there). To overcome the language barrier, they broadcast translations into tons of languages on FM radio,...

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Begbies on Tour

Nov 15, 2006 - The Journey North

Well, I've not showered for 3 days now and I am not in the cleanest of places! My feet are BLACK and the rest of me isn't much cleaner. I left Agra by train and arrived in Delhi. Only problem was I was at the wrong station for my train north. I negotiated puddles of pee, sleeping bodies and drunken men to a rickshaw driver who looked half sober. He raced me across the city stopping only for cows and got me to where I needed to be in what I felt to be record time. I met Lili and Nora on our platform only to be told that our train to...

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The final chapter?

Nov 8, 2006 - Yoga Man in the Mountain

(MK) I have my first Indian groping experience on the overnight train to Mcleod Ganj (apparently a rite of passage for all western women traveling here). A large beer-bellied man stops in front of me, then stands and stares for ten minutes. He then points at my necklace and suggests how beautiful it is. Of course, this involves touching it and my lovely shirt. Mike asks if I need help at this point, and the man recoils defensively like a small boy caught with his hand in the cookie jar. I wrestle with the mixed emotions of Canadian...

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Slowly Slowly

Oct 27, 2006 - McLeod Ganj

Today we just walked around this small little town. It's like we've crossed a border but not gotten a stamp on our passport. The Tibetan people are so calm, relaxed, quiet, no men touch us, we don't get followed out of a shop if we decide not to buy something, the scenery is pituresque and not I want to go to Tibet.

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My World Odyssey

Jul 17, 2006 - Mcleodyrainyganj

I will never forget seeing my first bald-headed, maroon-robed Buddhist monks. It was after 5 hours on the hot bumpy bus when, nearing McLeod Ganj, we stopped in a bustling town called Gaggal, It was so exciting!!! I tried not to stare but couldn't help myself, trying to work out what they were doing. They were in fact doing their Saturday shop, just like everyone else. It took quite a while to no longer get excited at seeing monks. The lonely planet recommended McCleod Ganj for 'chocolate cake and the Dalai Lama' and this was indeed an...

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May 13, 2006 - Dharmshala - a world apart

In the heart of the foothills of the Indian Himalayas is a community quite different from the rest of the country. Instead of practicing Hinduism, the people of Dharamshala are devout Buddhists. Instead of wearing traditional Indian dress, they are garbed in maroon robes. Instead of chaos, there is calmness and a way of living that is beyond any materialistic society. We arrived in Dharamshala after an exhausting night of traveling on a bus for 12 hours from Dehli with Bollywood movies blaring in Hindu the entire way. As the fog was...

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Apr 22, 2006 - Mcleod Ganj - Day 2

Day 2 was a day for the mountains. It started with a meal at the Chocolate Log, which somewhat failed to live up to its Lonely Planet reputation. We then walked up to Dal Lake, a Tibetian place of worship, and onward to Naddi, a small village in the mountains. Along the way, we encountered some pretty headstrong cows, very comfortable looking goats and a pretty Tibetian. All along, surrounded by breathtaking panorama. We swore that a longer trip, trekking through these mountains, had to be made soon. The Annapurna's next year anyone?? Navin...

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Apr 21, 2006 - Mcleod Ganj - Day 1

After the long journey from Amritsar... and the heat so far, Mcleod Ganj was a piece of a heaven. Astounding views, unlimited bargains and mountains begging to be scaled, it simply had everything. Day 1 here was one of relaxation. A late morning, breakfast on our wonderful rooftop restaurant, and a short walk to visit the Gangchen Kyishong, the home-in-exile of the Tibetian Government. The will, and dignity-in-defiance, of the Tibetians is truly admirable. We then visited the Tsuglagkhang Complex, Central Tibetian Temple in Mcleod Ganj,...

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