Welcome to Mcleod Ganj
When travellers talk of heading up to Dharamsala (to see the Dalai Lama…), this is where they mean. Three kilometres north of Dharamsala town (or 10km via the looping bus route), McLeod Ganj is the residence of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and home to a large Tibetan population, including many monks and nuns. The Tibetan government-in-exile is based just downhill at Gangchen Kyishong. McLeod attracts thousands of international visitors each year to volunteer with the Tibetan community, take courses in Buddhism, meditation or yoga, trek in the Dhauladhar mountains, shop for Tibetan crafts, or just hang out and enjoy the low-budget spiritual/alternative vibe and the many good cafes and restaurants dishing up Indo-Italo-Israeli-Tibetan food.
With an interesting mix of travellers, volunteers, maroon-robed monks and nuns, the international dharma crowd and an increasing flow of Indian tourists, you're never far from an interesting conversation here.