McLeodGanj is a patchworked cultural fabric. home to people from various cultures, devout Buddhists, Tibetans, tourist and anthropologists. It is home away from home, there is something for everyone in here. The winding alleyways, the markets - blindingly colorful, filled with funky stuff- trinkets, knick knacks, bags, shoes, adornments abound.
Norbulingka institute located about 15 km from Mcleodganj. It is the hub of culture and art where ancient Tibetan arts and crafts are protected and put into practice. It is an initiative to preserve the lost culture of Tibet & also to create a livelihood for the exiled population.
The art gallery inside the Norbulingka institute ensures you get everything 100% authentic and hand made. There is also a Thangka painting workshop were the artists sit and work. This is a beautiful sight in itself apart from the intricate paintings they make.
The place also has a very pleasant hang out place, amidst shades of green leaves with cute, naughty, small & big - dogs. In the Norling café you can spend hours watching these dogs fight & play with each other, it is their own unique way to entertain the guests.
You can reach Norbulingka institute by a car directly from Mcleodganj or a public bus from Dharamshala to Sidhpur. People in Mcleodganj are very friendly and helpful, always ready to greet with a warm smile, so even if you are lost you can find your way just by asking a few locals.
By the time I came back from the Norbulinka institute I was lucky to witness the sunset at Mcleodganj right at the Bus stand over the hill... a concoction of violet, orange & blue caressing the sky and speaking for the ‘One people One world’ struggle that surrounds the place - Mcllo as it is affectionately called by its people.
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