May 18 - June 13, 2018
Peoplescape of Dharamshala
Location: Dharamshala (city), Himachal Pradesh (state), India
I heard about Marleen in Rishikesh when good buddy Greg talked about her in glowing light. Finally, in Dharamshala, I got a brief introduction. There was something in Marleen that begged continuation. I passed by her thangka boutique store a few days later just to say Hi, but that started an engaging conversation that extended an hour after her shop closing time. Time simply stopped as we both got engaged in many topics ranging from Bodhisatvas, geo-politics, the Dalai Lama, Buddha, siddhis and self-realization. She was very knowledgeable about Mahayana Buddhism and would quote or cite several hard-to-pronounce Lama names about certain events or sayings to illustrate her point. I was impressed at her dedicated commitment in blueprinting the path. I got curious and asked what her goal in all of this was about. Without missing a beat, her uncompromising reply was, "Enlightenment". I also try to walk the path, but not with a single-minded focus I sensed in her. And it's not just intellectual talk - she was in serious pursuit of the path in her daily life.
Getting a good sense and comfort level with each other, we both agreed to base our friendship on radical honesty. If memory serves me right, she is the third person I have this arrangement with - it's not for everyone as it demands a lot of non-reaction, dissolution of ego and 'rising above'.
YOGA by Gigit | Learn English | Travel like a Nomad | Donation Bank
(Jul 7, 2018) She's an amazing lady with a very positive vibe! And where are you headed up next?
(Jul 7, 2018) ...not surprised you guys know each other. Like minds find common ground 🙂 Heading to Thailand in 2 days
Dharamshala (city), India
- Pema Thang Guest House & Restaurant - central McLeod Ganj location, quiet area, Kangra Valley view, near Tsuklakhang (main temple) and market
Dharamshala, HP 176057 INDIA
Travel Tips for Dharamshala
- the Dalai Lama's scheduled public teachings in Dharamshala are as follows: September 4-7, 2018 | October 3 - 6, 2018 | February 19, 2019. To register, visit this page: https://www.dalailama.com/office/contact
- in June, the average temperature high is 31° and average low is 21°. It rains usually in the afternoon/evening beginning mid-June
- July and August see the most rainfall, up to 22 inches
- Dharamshala International Film Festival (DIFF) happens 30 October to 2 November in McLeod Ganj
- at the Tibetan Museum in McLeod Ganj, there is a daily 11am and 3pm movie screening of Tibet-related issues at INR 10
- trekking is one of the highlights in Dharamshala - to Dharamkot, Bhagsu, cutting through Dhauladhar to the upper Ravi Valley and Chamba district, or the 8km trek to Triund
- Wednesday is vegetarian day - other days, meat dishes are served by cafes and restaurants
- Bhagsu and Dharamkot are a quiet alternative to McLeod Ganj. They are also cheaper in accommodation when the Dalai Lama is in town and McLeod Ganj hostels are fully booked (with inflated prices)
- If you wish to stay in McLeod Ganj but want quiet, stay along Jogiwara Road where balconies will offer scenic views
- short power outages frequently happen during the day
- for quiet stays and scenic views, stay in Upper Dharamkot or Upper Bhagsu. The "upper" you go, the cheaper the accommodation prices go.
- in Upper Dharamkot is a cluster of cafes and lodging (Salvation Cafe area)where the community is chill
How to get to Dharamshala from Rishikesh by bus
- Bus - Rishikesh to Dharamshala is 449 kms. The usual route is to go to Haridwar and take the State transport buses to Lower Dharamshala, but it's less hassle to get a bus from Rishikesh that go all the way up to McLeod Ganj - a little more money (INR 1150) but worth it specially if you a carry bulky pack. You will leave Rishikesh 4pm and arrive in Dharamshala the following day (you save one night lodging) at 7am.
How to get to New Delhi Airport from McLeod Ganj, Dharamshala by bus
- Bus From McLeod Ganj bus station, take a semi-sleeper a/c overnight bus, INR 1000, 11.5 hours (7pm to 6:30am) straight to Kashmiri Gate Train Station in New Delhi.
- walk to Kashmiri Gate (no need to ride a tuktuk)
- take the Yellow Line towards Huda City but get off at New Delhi Station (INR 16)
- From New Delhi Station, take the Airport Metro Train (INR 60) and get off at the airport
Travel Tips for India
- e-VISA - visa on arrival is no longer done. Tourists should apply online for an e-VISA. Tourist e-VISA for 60 days = US$51.25 (including surcharges, non-refundable). NOTE: e-VISA is only honored in 25 designated airports and 5 designated seaports (Cochin, Goa, Mangalore,Mumbai,Chennai). You CANNOT do a land crossing using an e-VISA.
- US$1 = Indian Rupee (INR) 67.18
- nearly every food served is spicy...there is no escaping it
- other travel destinations in India
- always good to have an Indian SIM. It's handy to get wifi in some cafes
General Travel Tips
- arrive early - in case there is a snag (visa snag, documentation snag, transport ticket snag, etc.), you will have ample time to troubleshoot the problem if you arrive early (to the airport, to the bus terminal, etc.)
- put detailed itinerary on the Calendar apps of your smart-phone according to timelines - this is where you do all your thinking and planning. Once written down, you don't have to think anymore while you are on the journey...you just follow the steps. This frees your mind for something else that might happen while you are already en route
- avoiding scams - as a general rule, I ignore the touts or anyone I don't know who call out to me. The calling comes in many forms - "Hi! Where are you from?", "Excuse me! Excuse me!", "Where are you going?". I don't look them in the eye and I remain non-verbal with them. If you reply to them, you just gave them an 'in' to hound you. In order not to look rude, I smile and wave the 'not interested' hand to them, without looking at them.
- power bank - hand-carry your power bank. Do not check it in. You can be called in when you are already inside the plane to go all the way to the loading dock so you can personally remove the power bank...and chances are, you'll have to surrender it to them. And you might delay the plane departure!
India Blogs by TheLoneRider
- 16 Days in McLeod Ganj, Dharamshala: Goodbye India June 23-July 8, 2018
- Peoplescape of Dharamshala, India June 14 - July 8, 2018
- Visiting the Tibet Museum June 27, 2018
- In Search of a Tibetan Yantra Yoga Teacher June 25, 2018
- Conducting Yoga Classes at Pema Thang Guest House, Dharamshala, India June 24 - July 8, 2018
- Life in Upper Bhagsu, Dharamshala June 16-23, 2018
- Trekking to Naddi from Upper Bhagsu, Dharamshala June 19, 2018
- Matters of the Heart Jun 17, 2018
- A First Timer in Dharamshala Jun 14, 2018
- 29 Hours in New Delhi Airport July 9-10, 2018
- Meditation with Shirly Pnina at Lodi Garden, New Delhi May 15, 2018
- A First-Timer in New Delhi, India May 12-17, 2018
- A 26-Day Mini-Life in Rishikesh May 18 - June 13, 2018
- Peoplescape of Rishikesh May 18 - June 13, 2018
- Rafting the Ganga River with Greg Goldstein June 1, 2018
- White Water Rafting on Ganga River, Rishikesh May 25, 2018
- Satsang (spiritual discourse) by Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati May 21, 2018
- Ganga Aarti (devotional fire ritual) at Parmarth Niketan Ashram May 21, 2018
- Bouncing Back into Yoga in Rishikesh May 21, 2018
- Exploring Rishikesh, India May 18, 2018
- India e-VISA snag May 9, 2018
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