Jagatram Nivas Guest House
www.jaga am.com
click to visit www.jagatram.com
click to know more about Jagatram Nivas Guest House
click here to see accommodation and meals details
click to know about bhagsu,Mcleodganj and Dharamsala
click to read about day excursion programs
click here to see trekking program details
click here to see Himachal Cric Stadium
click here to see how to get here
click here for Tariff and Booking information
click here to see useful links
Welcome To Our Home Stay Guest House
Jagatram Niwas was founded in 2003 by the brothers Bavinder and Mohinder Singh, together with their wives Rekha and Santosh Devi. In 2007, they were joined by Matthew Singh Toor, who is helping to develop and market the guesthouse
www.jagatram.com
Jagatram Nivas
www.jagatram.com
Bhagsu, McLeodganj and Dharamsala

The McLeodganj area is a global, cultural and religious meeting point, where local Hindu Gaddi villagers mix with first- and second-generation Tibetan monks and refugees, Kashmiri businesspeople and travellers from all over the world. It offers a huge diversity of sights, activities and attractions; far more than we can hope to describe here. On this page, we give a brief tour of the locality, including principal landmarks and practical information.

Courses Practicalities

Bhagsunag

Named after the mythical Rajasthani King Bhagsu, and the snake god Nag with whom he did battle, Bhagsunag is a ten to 20-minute walk down from Jagatram Niwas. The path leads past village houses, herds of goat and cattle and the only horse-chestnut tree in the area. Approaching the village, shops, hotels and cafes line a steep, narrow road.

Bhagsunag
Bhagsunag

Bhagsu is notable for its temple, which is administered by the Indian Army’s Gorkha Rifles. Adjacent is a clean outdoor swimming pool, fed by a mountainside spring. The village has many shops, hotels and roadside stalls, selling jewellery and crafts from the area, as well as from Nepal and Rajasthan. Stall-holders also sell traditional Ayurvedic herbs and medicines, and roadside henna artists ply their trade of temporary tattooing.

Bhagsunag
Bhagsunag
Bhagsunag
15 to 25 minutes’ walk up from the village is Bhagsu Waterfall, visited throughout the year by pilgrims and holiday-makers. Another five to ten minutes’ walk is the pretty Shiva Café.
Bhagsunag
Bhagsunag

Back to top of page

McLeodganj

15 to 20 minutes’ walk from Bhagsu, or five minutes by taxi/autorickshaw, is McLeodganj, the home of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government in Exile. During high season, the town throngs with tourists and spiritual pilgrims. The town was named after David McLeod, the British Empire’s Lieutenant Governor of Punjab.

Emanating from the Main Square, McLeodganj’s major streets are Bhagsu Road, Jogiwara/Potala Road and Temple Road, all of which are lined with hotels, internet cafes, shops and stalls, selling everything from Kashmiri shawls to goat-blood sausages, turquoise and coral jewellery, musical instruments and hand-made paper. Many shops also sell Western foodstuffs and toiletries. The town’s restaurants include Tibetan, Punjabi, Italian, French, Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Israeli.

McLeodganj
McLeodganj
McLeodganj

Notable landmarks include Mr Nowrojee’s shop and the Namgyal Stupa. The shop was founded in around 1860 by a Parsee businessman from Lahore, and provided for the British colonial community until their withdrawal in 1947. It is crammed with relics of the era, including candy jars, advertising placards and original fixutures and fittings. Nearby, on Temple Road, stands the Tibetan Namgyal Stupa (temple), which is circumambulated each day by Buddhists who spin the surrounding prayer wheels whilst reciting their mantras.

McLeodganj
McLeodganj
McLeodganj
McLeodganj and the Tibetan Community

In 1960, His Holiness the Dalai Lama founded a temporary settlement in Dharamsala, following his escape from Chinese-occupied Tibet. Since then, with little change in China’s thinking, the Tibetan refugee community has grown exponentially and, under the auspices of its secretariat, developed myriad religious, educational, cultural and healthcare institutions.

Thekchen Choling

Located by Temple Road, Thekchen Choling is home to the Dalai Lama’s palace and the Tsuglagkang (main temple). The Dalai Lama relocated here in 1968, from Dharamkot. Of simple design, and built from concrete, the complex provides Tibetan refugees with a gathering place for prayer (sessions are open to all). Its plainness reflects the Dalai Lama’s decision not to build in lavish Tibetan style, but rather to respect the refugee community’s limited means.

The temple houses a large statue of Buddha Shakyamumi. On either side, the walls are lined by cupboards containing the two major collections of Tibetan Buddhist scriptures: Kangyur and Tengyur. Thangkas also hang from the walls ‒ elaborate hand-painted scrolls depicting scenes from the Buddha’s life, mounted on silk brocade.

McLeodganj
McLeodganj
McLeodganj
Around Thekchen Choling

Adjacent to the main temple are the Institute of Buddhist Dialectics and the Namgyal Monastery, from amongst whose monks the Dalai Lama’s personal attendants are chosen. The Mani Path, behind the palace, leads to an old people’s home for retired members of the Tibetan administration.

A five-minute taxi ride down the steep jeep road towards Dharamsala lies Gangchen Kyishong, the seat of the Tibetan Government in Exile. Here, the Assembly of Tibetan People’s Deputies oversees the running of all government departments, including religion, culture, education, health and finance, as well as contributing to the struggle for a free Tibet.

The government complex also houses the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives which, built in 1971, contains statues, paintings and books, many of which were salvaged from destroyed Tibetan monasteries and temples by escaping refugees.

Two minutes’ further walk takes you to the Tibetan Medical and Astrological Centre. The medical centre contains the largest Tibetan pharmacy outside of Tibet, to which staff bring medicinal plants gathered from around Himachal Pradesh for processing.

McLeodganj
McLeodganj
McLeodganj
Dharamsala

A 15-minute taxi ride down from McLeodganj, Dharamsala was founded as a military cantonment by the British in 1846, when they annexed the kingdom of Kangra. Today it is a small, thriving Indian town, whose streets are lined with shops selling textiles, clothing and household goods. The surrounding agricultural land offers some of the best views up to the Dhauladhars in the region.

McLeodganj
McLeodganj
Kangra Museum of Art

Situated above Dharamsala’s main road, Kangra Museum of Art houses a well-presented collection of Hindu arts and crafts from the district, including temple sculpture, miniature paintings, illustrated manuscripts, jewellery, coins and clothing. Amongst the most interesting are a collection of Chamba rumals; double-satin-stitched muslin embroideries, produced between the 16th and 19th Centuries. The museum also has a small exhibition of vintage photographs from the district.

McLeodganj
McLeodganj
McLeodganj

Next door to the museum is a miniature-painting school, where students and experienced artists are happy to show you their work.

McLeodganj
McLeodganj
Naddi

The village of Naddi is a 15-minute taxi ride or one-hour walk from McLeodganj. Viewpoint Naddi offers stunning views of the Dhauladhars to the north, and the sunset to the west.

McLeodganj
The route is punctuated by three major landmarks:
St John’s Church

The Church of St John in the Wilderness was built in 1852 to meet the needs of British soldiers posted in Dharamsala. Constructed from local granite, it withstood the massive 1905 earthquake, but lost its steeple and bell. A new bell was cast in London in 1915, but never raised. It now rests beside the church in a wooden support. St John’s has a small graveyard which contains a memorial to Lord Elgin, Viceroy of India, who died in 1863.

McLeodganj
McLeodganj
McLeodganj
The Tibetan Children’s Village (TCV)

Established in 1960 by the Dalai Lama’s elder sister, the Tibetan Children’s Village first served as an orphanage for the children of refugees who died either during their escape from Tibet or subsequently in India. Now, some of the children are brought by their parents from Tibet to receive a Tibetan as opposed to Chinese education, whilst others are second, third and fourth generation exiles, born in India. TCV offers both academic and vocational training. It has an on-site shop, with two more in McLeodganj, which sell clothes and crafts produced by the students.

Dal Lake

Predominantly visited by Hindu holiday-makers and pilgrims, the banks of the sacred Dal Lake are dotted with Shiva temples. The lake itself is populated by large carp.

McLeodganj
Dharamkot

From McLeodganj, the village of Dharamkot is a 40-minute walk, or ten minutes by taxi or autorickshaw. En route lies the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA), home of the Lhamo opera, originating from 14th Century Tibet. The institute trains students in traditional folk song and dance, and houses a rich collection of theatrical costumes and musical instruments.

McLeodganj
McLeodganj

Dharamkot is home to the Tushita and Vipasana meditation centres. Occupying a former British colonial house, Tushita offers individual or group meditation sessions, and a ten-day Introduction to Buddhism course. ‘Vipasana’ is Sanskrit for ‘to see things as they really are’. Throughout the year, the centre holds ten-day silent meditation retreats, using a technique dating back 2,500 years.

The trail from Dharamkot back to Jagarat Niwas takes around 20 minutes by foot ‒ starting along the jeep road and finishing with a short walk through Heini.

McLeodganj
McLeodganj
McLeodganj
Courses

Bhagsu, McLeodganj and Dharamkot host numerous courses, including:

  • Indian and Tibetan cookery
  • Tibetan, Ayurvedic and Thai massage
  • Yoga
  • Buddhist meditation
  • Hindu miniature painting and Tibetan thangka painting
  • Silversmithing
  • Indian performance arts

If you have a specific interest, we will be happy to put you in touch with the relevant organisations.

There are also many opportunities for voluntary work in McLeodganj and Dharamsala; particularly teaching English to Tibetan refugees, and working with Indian non-government organisations.

Practicalities

Banks and Exchange: There are several ATMs, in McLeodganj, Bhagsu and Dharamsala, most of which take international cards. Western Union has an office in McLeodganj, as does Thomas Cook, and there are several bureaux de change in the area.

Internet and Telephone: Bhagsu, McLeodganj and Dharamsala each have many cybercafés and public phone shops, some of which also offer fax and photocopying services.

Photography: McLeodganj and Dharamsala both have several photo studios, with digital and film processing facilities.

Medical Help: McLeodganj has several pharmacies and walk-in clinics. Down the jeep road towards Dharamsala is the Tibetan Delek Hospital (often staffed by volunteer doctors from the West). The Indian Zonal Hospital has a dispensary, and there is a larger government hospital in Kangra (one hour’s drive away). The private Fortis and Shri Balaji hospitals can also be found in Kangra.

Post: McLeodganj and Dharamsala both have post offices, which offer post restante and registered post services.

Cinema: There is a video-projection cinema on Jogiwara Road, Mcleodganj, which shows a selection of Hollywood and Tibetan-themed films.

 
 
© Jagatram Guest House                                                                                Booking

 
Bhagsunag Mcleod Ganj Dharamsala Naddi Dharamkot