« « Varanasi, Why?!
A Stressful Afternoon » »

So yesterday worked out better than I thought.

Leh and Dharamsala are very very far from each other. It usually should take 1-2 days to get there, even with flight since Dharamsala has no nearby airport. But we managed to reach Dharamsala from Leh in a little over 7 hours.

  1. 11am Flight from Leh to Jammu
  2. 12:30pm Taxi from Jammu Airport to the Jammu General Bus Station (150 rupees, 20 min)
  3. 1pm Bus from Jammu to Pathankot (85 rupees, 2.5 hours)
  4. 4pm Bus from Pathankot to Lower Dharamsala (97 rupees, 3.5 hours)
  5. 7:30pm Taxi from Lower Dharamsala to Upper Dharamsala/McLeod Ganj (170 rupees, 30 minutes)

CDS_9846

The view from our 1 hr. flight from Leh to Jammu

CDS_9852

While in the taxi to the bus station, this parking attendant tried to make us pay. However, the driver slapped his hand and accelerated off like a maniac into a crowded market. Luckily, nobody was hurt except for this attendant’s ego.

CDS_9853

Our "semideluxe" buses to Pathankot and Dharamsala

CDS_9864

A river red with…?

CDS_9871

Making it to Dharamsala by sundown.

Mission accomplished!

CDS_9878

McLeod Ganj’s Main Chowk (square)

At Dharamsala, we met up with Shyam Singh, who was born and raised in McCleod Ganj, India. I met Shyam a year ago on the rooftop of Nukkad Guesthouse in Udaipur. And now almost exactly a year later, I would keep my promises by meeting him in his hometown.

CDS_9942

Of course we went out and got caught in a dance battle. I didn’t start it, I swear. But I would for sure be the one to end it (hah!).

CDS_9934
CDS_9932

But really, this firedancer came up and smoked all of us (no pun intended).

CDS_9950

What a great way to celebrate the belated birthday of the Dalai Lama.

The next morning we walked over to Tsuglagkhang Complex in the surreal fog of McLeod Ganj. The Tsuglugkhang Complex is the current residence of the Dalai Lama. Unfortunately he happens to be in Washington DC at the moment, so we couldn’t stop by and wish him a happy belated. But we did tour around his complex nonetheless, observing the community of Tibetans and Tibetan monks eating and debating together.

CDS_9956
CDS_9961

CDS_9971
CDS_9979

CDS_9980

CDS_9982

Afterwards, we shopped a little for some handicrafts and went out for dinner. Not a stressful day at all.

Tonight we leave on an 12hr. overnight bus (HRCTC State bus, A/C Deluxe Sleeper Class for 1023 rupees) to Delhi to catch a morning flight to Jodhpur. Fingers crossed that Stephanie will be there to meet us at the airport. Please wish her stomach well!

– At time of posting in McLeod Ganj, it was 82.4 °F
Humidity: 69% | Wind Speed: 14km/hr | Cloud Cover: Foggy