McLeod Ganj: Getting there
Remember Ms. Anonymous? Well, she went on a trip with all her friends, and now she’s back, and she can’t wait to tell you all about it. Oh, and yes, she is still stuck on choosing a pen name. Any suggestions?
At some point in college, you get this urge to go on a trip with your friends, the almost unanimous destination being Goa! But after like, a thousand cancellations and disagreements, you finally get to go on a journey (with a quite different destination) which you look back with wistfulness for life!
So came my chance.
In the last year of engineering, I and my friends, after a million discussions (and fights and disagreements), decided to go to McLeod Ganj.
Being an engineering student, it is our duty to always be short on cash. November being an off-season to visit the chilly mountains, we strategically planned our trip around the most pocket-friendly locations and eating joints.
How to travel to McLeod Ganj?
From Delhi, McLeod Ganj is about 500km away. You can travel there by bus or train, but we chose to travel by road. Being an all-girls trip (with 5 of us), safety was a major concern, hence we decided to book our own cab for travel purposes. It cost us around 14K, return trip included.
One can also travel by bus, costing about Rs. 950- Rs. 1200, which drops you at McLeod Ganj bus stand. All buses leave Kashmere Gate ISBT at 7 pm; the journey is overnight, with a travel time of 12 hours.
Where to stay?
Comparing online prices for hotels, keeping in mind the location and price, we shortlisted a few hotels. However, during the off season, it is better to bargain at the hotel reception for the best prices. We were able to reduce the price by almost half, courtesy not paying online. For the first night, we tried staying together in one room.
Being a 4 day trip, we stayed in hotels for 3 nights. On the first day, we managed to get a hotel for just Rs. 800 in the main square market. We stayed at Hotel Mount View. Although the room was not upto the mark, we got a real deal for 2 double bedded rooms, easy enough to accommodate 5 people.
On the next day, we travelled to Naadi, 4km from McLeod to stay at Hotel Vakratunda. Compared to our earlier room, this was paradise. We got a room for Rs. 2000 and complementary bedding. This was the best hotel we could find in Naadi and were lucky enough to grab the last room!
On the third day, we stayed at Hotel Natraj, again in McLeod Ganj main square market. We managed to grab 2 rooms for Rs. 1000 each. Although the rooms weren’t as good as the ones in our last hotel, they were good enough for an overnight stay.
If budget is not a concern, one could check out Hotel Pride Surya, Shivalik, and Hotel Sapphire.