If you are visiting Mcleodganj for a long weekend this season, expect to come back with a bag of goodies, because shopping for local curious at this hill station has never been more satisfying. By Syeda Farida
The market lining the narrow streets that lead to the Dalai Lama Temple Complex is crackalaking. The bustling market packs in a world of things – delectable persimmons, miniature auto rickshaws for your child’s automobile collection, audio CDs of the ‘Om Mani Padme Hum’ chant, stoles, and more that you will find after an arduous uphill walk from the parking lot.
THINGS TO BUY IN MCLEODGANJ
- Buy Chinese porcelain and tea mugs with strainers and lids: These are ideal for straining infusion teas such as the Kangra herbal tea, a blend of rhododendron flowers, mint, and basil leaves. There are also tea sets, kettles and small bowls to pour out jasmine tea to choose from. Mandala Treasure Art on the Temple Road has a good collection and is a must-visit.
- The mildly fragrant Tibetan Potala incense: These non-toxic incense sticks are handcrafted with select medicinal herbs and used during prayers. They have a calming effect on the mind. Also, along the street are stores selling meditation mats and rosaries.
- A must-buy product is the singing bowl that comes with a wooden striker: Colourful inexpensive singing bowls in different sizes are available everywhere but opt for the handmade variants that are slightly expensive. Some stores also sell prayer wheel models, including the solar-powered prayer wheel.
- Tibet Kitchen offers delectable momos, thukpa, and recipes with seasonal greens and shredded chicken; Literati is known for the view it offers; an alpine version of Palolem beach, Bhagsu, has shacks offering Italian, Mexican, and Lebanese cuisine, including the famous ‘Hello to the Queen’ dessert. Bhagsu also has shops selling flutes, tablas, and other Indian music instruments, and offers music classes for those interested in learning Indian music and or learning to make handmade jewellery.
Getting There: The nearest airport is Gaggal, 15 kms from Dharamshala
Stay: The Pavilion by HPCA at Kanhiyara Fortune Park Moksha near Dal Lake, Mcleodganj
Weather: Is erratic. Thunder and heavy rainfall after a very sunny morning is common. So be prepared.
When to Go: Most of the shops are closed on Mondays and even on regular days, the market closes early.