Tsuglagkhang Complex

Top choice buddhist temple in Mcleod Ganj
Image by Education Images / UIG via Getty Images

McLeod's main focus for visiting pilgrims, monks and most tourists is the Tsuglagkhang complex, a custard-coloured concrete monastic village that's home to the Dalai Lama (behind a guarded gateway) along with two colourful temple rooms and the excellent Tibet Museum, whose entrance you'll pass en route.

Don't expect the visual drama of a Ladakhi gompa. The architecture is outwardly functional but there's much inside to intrigue. At 1.30pm (except Sundays) you can watch monks in lively debate in the central courtyard beneath high, expo-style canvas shades. Processing clockwise you'll pass a pilgrims' prostrating area then the door to the right in the westernmost building leads into the Kalachakra 'Wheel of Life' Temple (no photography) with its mesmerising mandalas and statues. Coming back around past the monastery kitchens, the last stop is the main temple room featuring fine statuary and the throne on which the Dalai Lama sits when delivering teachings.