I just went to McLeodganj for the weekend. I skipped the trekking trip I was supposed to be going on for the weekend because frankly, I didn’t have any desire to be wet and cold all weekend. It has been insane with the monsoon rains and dealing with that while hiking and going to spend the night in a cabin with no electricity, toilets or running water after the hike and possibility of being soaked – well not really on my to do list at the moment.


So I skipped it and went for a night to the home of the Dalai Lama. What’s that you say? You didn’t know the Dalai Lama lived in India? Well breaking news from Katie’s Travels – He does! He lives in McLeodganj, which is also known as Upper Dharmsala. These towns and the one I’m volunteering in, are in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh which is in Northern Indian and borders Tibet. He fled Tibet and made the journey through the Himalayan Mountains to McLeodganj.


There are monks in deep red robes wandering everywhere you look in this town, they have all fled Tibet. There are Tibetans everywhere you look here too. They all made the extremely life-threatening journey through the mountains to Indian to escape the Chinese rule. Now I for one really didn’t have a clue what happened between China and Tibet, I really didn’t know a thing about Tibet at all. But after going to the Tibet Museum – a must if you happen to be in McLeodganj – I’ve learned and decided a few things.


  • I don’t really like the Chinese government – at all.
  • Tibet is nearly as big as India.
  • Nearly all of Tibet’s temples and places of religious history and sacrifice have been grounded by the Chinese.
  • Tibetans who are still in Tibet – which is being ruled by China – are being treated like slaves and are not allowed follow any of their beliefs.
  • How is it that the rest of the world is sitting around letting China do this? We have armies going off to countries who don’t want to share oil – but when one country has just taken another country over, killed it’s people, put it’s people in jail and made it’s people slaves, while destroying everything precious about that country we sit back and do nothing. Where are our government’s heads? Or right – up their asses because god forbid we harm our trade with China.


Okay, bitching is done.


I went with Heidi, Evy and Kathleen, we shopped lots, ate everything and anything but Indian food and watching monks debating at their temple after walking the kora to show respect to the monks and their work. There were more backpackers in McLeodganj than I’ve seen the whole time I’ve been in India combined – it was crazy! A refreshingly easy going weekend – just what I needed – along with a little Black Magic….





Debating monks at the Dalai Lama’s temple in McLeodganj.



One of the many Tibetan ladies I shopped from and I. We had such amazing weather!