Backpacking Himachal Pradesh India Weekend Getaways

Weekend trip to Mcleodganj in under 4000

weekend trip to Mcleodganj - JustWravel
weekend trip to Mcleodganj
Written by Just Wravel

Mcleodganj is a very popular travel destination in Himachal Pradesh. Being just 250 km (5 hours) journey from Chandigarh and around 475 km (9-10 hours) journey from Delhi, Mcleodganj has become a hotspot for weekend trips and is usually jam-packed with tourists on long weekends.

Mcleodganj has a lot to offer to all kinds of travelers alike. There’s Bir Billing – The paragliding capital of India; roughly 70 km away, Triund trek – a 9 km trek from Bhagsu; and it is a foodies haven with all kinds of foods and cuisines available in the many cafes spread all over the town.

Mcleodganj is best explored on foot and to enjoy the city it is recommended to park your vehicle in the parking lot near the bus stop for the duration of the stay. This does two things – Less traffic on the narrow roads and making your effort to keep the town pollution-free.


Being a traveller’s paradise the town has a lot of budget hotels and homestays ranging from INR 500 – 2000 per room if booked in advance. Dharamkot is a better location as it is a bit away (1-1.5km) from Mall Square and the view of the mountains can be enjoyed from nearly all the rooms in Dharamkot.

The plus point of the town is a traveler’s paradise is that there is WiFi in almost all the cafes and none of the café owners force you or pester you to leave the café or vacate your table because you have paid the bill.

For all the bibliophiles, order a cup of hot chocolate or some Peach Tea and read a book all day long without being bothered by anyone. That my friend is true relaxation and rejuvenation.

The specialty is the Tibetan cuisine and one can find some good Tibetan food in The Clay Oven and Tibet Kitchen. A good big bowl of Thukpa or Thentuk will cost you only INR 100-120 which is very economical compared to the surplus quantity served.

There are some good Italian joints like Jimmy’s Italian Kitchen and Carpediem which serve good pastas and Pizzas. One should definitely try the pastries and cakes from the roadside bakery’s as the taste is yummy and it is definitely something you will regret if not tried.


I had a blast in Mcleodganj for 3 days in as less than INR 4000 per head.

Here’s how I did a weekend trip to Mcleodganj under 4000 INR:
  • A comfortable Volvo bus journey to and fro from Delhi to Mcleodganj for INR 1500 per head.
  • A 2 night stay in Hotel HillTown for approx. INR 1400 at INR 700 per night (Cost was around INR 950 but applied the discount code on GOIBIBO and paid part by GoCash).
  • 3 meals a day for 2 days and 2 for the third day in approx. INR 100-150 per meal per head.
  • Total Cost = 1500+1400+1000=INR 3900.

Now this cost can be easily reduced if:

  • A night’s stay cost can be reduced by 40% by staying in a backpackers hostel for anywhere between INR 250-450 per night.
  • Instead of going out for a breakfast, look out for hotels offering complimentary breakfast (OYO provides complimentary breakfast).
  • Try the local cuisine instead of traditional Indian meal as the local meals are cheaper and plenty in quantity, and trust me the taste will not disappoint you.

Now that you have saved some money and can spare some cash, do pick up some souvenirs such as Dalai Lama saying Scrolls, bookmarks, a variety of tees and not to forget the local handicrafts. The best place to buy the souvenirs is on Bhagsu Nag road near the Mall Square.

Ditch the 2nd Saturday and holiday weekends as it will be too crowded, rather take a day or two’s leave and go on a normal weekend to enjoy the weekend trip to Mcleodganj as it is without the constant honking of horns and overfilled streets with tourists. Be a Wraveler and take the road less traveled to have an experience like no other.

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Contributed by: Arnav Mathur

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Leave a Comment


  • I have been to Dharamshala so many times, even watched a cricket match there. This place is extremely beautiful. No doubt about it.

    • Food – Definitely Yes, for Photography, you’ll have to trek 9 km to Triund to capture the perfect sunrise and sunset.

  • It sounds like there is a lot to do around Mcleodganj. I’ve never heard of the place myself, but I’m curious to learn more. I’d love to try the Tibetan food!

    • To be frank, even I had’nt heard much about the place when I was studying in Pune, only when I moved to Delhi for my Job did I read about it and explored.And now I cant wait to travel again to this amazing foodie haven.

  • I love India and am sad I never to got to Mcleodganj considering it is the paragliding capital! The food looks incredible, the activities plentiful, and it’s amazing that you went on such a generous budget 🙂

    • Correction, McLoedganj is known as Little Tibet and Bir Biling is the paragliding capital.

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  • Wow!! That food looks so delicious! I’ve never been to India and hope to at some point. Will definitely need to add this destination to the list!

  • Great tips on best times to avoid and how save cashola! I can imagine the Tibetan food being divine! Was drooling over the pizza 🙂 I’d love to go there and speaking of Delia Lama do they have places of worship that can be visited? I’ve often daydreamed about being around the peacefulness of the monks and how uplifting the experience would be!

  • Hi Arnav,

    That top shot is beautiful! And the pizza looks awesome too. Sometimes you need to worry about pizza quality if you’re not eating at an Italian restaurant. I think this place has it covered though 😉 I imagine Mcleodganj gets freaking swamped during weekends. So much beauty and fun to be enjoyed at super reasonable prices. I still stand in awe at the lost cost of living when we traveled through Southern India versus the good quality of life. Beautiful place. Thanks for sharing!


  • You had me convinced that I need to go here after saying paragliding and food 🙂 what a wonderful spot! And adventurous too 🙂

  • Not familiar with this place, but it looks beautiful 🙂 If it has such wonderful cuisine – which is probably my favourite thing of all about India – then that alone will convince me to go. But the general chilled out vibe that surrounds it makes it all the better! Thanks for sharing.

  • Wow paragliding capital of India! Now that I MUST visit one day. Great guide! Looks like there’s some tasty food places too!

  • I’ve never been to Dharamshala, but I’ve heard about it! Great tips to avoid too many costs, and since you’re mentioned the coffee and the wifi tip, I’m already hooked on scheduling one! I love this kind of guide, the food sounds delicious!

  • McLeodgang has definitely become a hotspot and I am sure the weekends are too crowded. I would prefer to explore this beautiful place when it is less crowded, maybe off season and on a weekday.

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  • Wow I would love to go paragliding in India! I did it in the Swiss Alps and then will be doing it again in the French Alps but India would be amazing! Especially after being able to eat some of this delicious food! Great post!

  • McCleodganj is amazing . It has been on my list for long and I almost managed to get there last year but welll, the trip did not work out. Someday for sure..

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