For a lot of travelers this little hill town overlooking Dharamsala feels like coming home. Loads of travelers call McLeod-Gansj their home for a couple months per year. It is not only the vibe that makes people visit this picturesque town. The historical background is also why a lot people make their way up here. It was the Dalai Lama that found refuge here after he was named persona non grata in China.
In his trace loads of monks followed him and everywhere in town you can find them. May be that’s one of the reasons this village radiates such a peaceful vibe. The monks are happy to take a picture with you or teach you about Buddhism if you are interested. Nowadays you can even find iMonks: the ones making pictures of the sunset with their iPads!
Life after Kashmir changed rapidly as we crossed the border into the next state. The Muslim culture changed into a Hindi culture, the military left the scene and best of all I was again connected to the outside world. Since it is impossible in Kashmir to connect to the local network with a prepaid Indian sim card and Wi-Fi is fairly impossible to find, I was cut off from the world for 6 consecutive days.
Is it safe to travel to Kashmir? Where exactly am I going and is it safe enough to go there? These kind of questions I asked myself only at the airport while waiting to board my flight to Srinagar, the capital of this disputable region. Not that I was really looking for an answer to those questions to be honest, but it did cross my mind while roaming Instagram for the best things to do in Kashmir.
When visiting a new country I don’t really research what to do, where to go and neither do I use a Lonely Planet anymore. The best thing is to keep your ears open and listen to what travellers around you have been doing. Though India is so freaking big, I at least had to have some kind of plan. Where to start? I had to fly to somewhere from Colombo! I chose New Delhi, cause if India was not my cup of tea the Taj Mahal would only be 3 hours away, I'd make a picture and fly out again! During my research though I stumbled upon many cool places to visit, all located in Rajasthan, the province southwest of Delhi. The more I found out about this region, the more excited I got about travelling in India. Finally!