According to the legend, during the rule of Raja Bhagsu there was once a severe drought in his capital. The local chiefs requested the king to do something or else the people would leave his kingdom. The king promised to do something this and set out himself in search of water. After about 3 days of searching, he reached the Sacred Nag Dal (Lake) at a height of 18000 ft.
This lake was very big and had a lot of water. Raja Bhagsu used trickery to fill the water of the lake into a small vessel. He decided to spend the night there, as it had grown dark. Later in the evening, Nag, the Lord of Snakes happened to pass by the lake and was shocked to find the lake empty.
Following the footmarks he reached the place where Raja Bhagsu was resting. He challenged Bhagsu for a duel and defeated him in the ensuing fight. The moment the vessel containing the sacred water fell on the ground, water started flowing from there.
Baldy injured Raja Bhagsu prayed to Nag and moved by his prayers, Nag granted him a boon that this place shall henceforth be referred firstly by the king’s name and then by the Lord’s name and he shall become popular.
Henceforth this place came to be known as “BhagsuNag”. In the Beginning of the Kalyug, Raja Dharamchand dreamt that lord Shiva asked him to build a temple here to bring prosperity to the area.
Located about 20 minutes away from Pink House, Mcleodganj, today, the Bhagsunag temple is 5100 years old and is on the must-see list when one visits Mcleodganj.
From the Bhagsunag temple, the Bhagsu waterfall is about one kilometer away and the only option one has to get there is to walk. The walk is very easy and all along the way there is a proper walking trail that leads to the waterfall.
There are plenty of small make shift eating joints that serve some tea, cold drinks besides eatables like noodles, omelets, sandwiches, etc. The cafes have very unique sitting arrangements that are made of flat rocks piled on top of each other to make them like a chair.
A stream flows throughout the year here and the waterfall is a splendid sight during the monsoon when the water is in full flow.
Naddi Sunset Point
Seven kilometers away from Pink House, Mcleodganj, a high point beyond the Dal Lake, the Naddi village affords a magnificent views of the majestic Dhauladhar mountain range to the north and the vast expanse of lush valley of Kangra to the south.
Situated far away from the cacophony of the crowded market, Naddi offers a stunning sunset every clear evening and is a must-visit when in Mcleodganj.
St. John Church in the Wilderness
Immerse in the composure of nature and a church amidst its greenest foliage! St. John’s Church is the most ancient structure of the town and it is a gothic stone shrine amidst the forest in between Mcleodganj and Forsyth Ganj. It is an Anglican structure that is a tribute to John the Baptist.
The neo-Gothic church dates back to 1852 when this was the only structure in Dharamshala town. It is made out of grey stone completely. Because it is built inside the dense woods it is also famous as ‘St. John in the Wilderness’. It looks like a hidden treasure and it has that element to turn the tourist in you into tireless traveler.
Think of a structure that was born a hundred and sixty one years ago. 161 years of rain has created moss on its walls. It also has a memorial constructed as a dedication to Lord Elgin who was the Viceroy of the erstwhile India under imperial British rule.
The Belgium tinted glass of the windows was donated to the church by Lady Elgin. Lord Elgin was so attached with the Deodar grove that surrounded the church that he wished he would rest in peace if he was buried here in the church premises. The place reminded him of Scotland.
According to his wish he was buried in the premises of the St. John’s Church in Dharamshala. In the same premises is also the grave of the Lieutenant General of Punjab David Mcleod after whom the place Mcleodganj is named.
Lord James Bruce who was the Governor of Jamaica, the Governor General of Canada and also the Ambassador to China became the Viceroy and the Governor General of India. When he died in the year 1863, his body was buried near the St. John’s Church in Dharamshala. His widowed wife Mary Lousia built a memorial in reminiscence to his departed soul which is also a famous tourist attraction at the church. There is a graveyard in the premises where many eminent officers of the British Empire were buried.
Nestled amidst hills and deodar tress, 11 kms away from Lower Dhramshala is the beautiful Dal Lake. Sharing the name of the more popular Dal Lake in Kashmir, this is not as big or popular as the aforementioned lake, but still manages to be a treat to the eyes and offers a serene setting for a peaceful walk. It is the starting point for many excursions and treks and is located next to Tibetan children’s village.
The banks of the lake are enlivened every September by a fair attended – amongst others- by a large number of migrant Gaddi folk.