Dharamshala Part 2 - Food, walks, history and some Himachali food!
Dharamshala really is a beautiful place. As the rain began to subside and the clouds started lifting, we were able to see more of the mountain scenery. The air was nice and crisp but it was quite cold, especially for weather wimps from Queensland!
We started the days with some delicious local millet pancakes served with tomato chutney. I asked the chef what made them so delicious and he said that they were made with a local variety of millet that was freshly ground into flour before making the pancakes. Yummy!
Our plan was to take a walk up the mountain to the Tibetan Children’s Village where one of Tsetan’s relatives was a teacher and he had invited us to visit the school. Along the way, I decided to stop to buy a few of the beautiful Himachali shawls and pashminas.
It was a beautiful and peaceful walk, even as we were walking through the town the spirituality and peaceful nature of the people and place was palpable. There were several large prayer wheels to visit as well.
As we approached the top part of town, the smell of freshly fried samosas started calling my name and I wasn’t able to resist stopping at one of the roadside cafés for a samosa with channa dal curry. It was delicious and of course, service was with a smile.
Continuing our walk, there were stunning Himalayan views and street vendors selling walnuts and dried apricots.
I especially enjoyed walking under the Tibetan prayer flags.
We received a warm welcome at the Tibetan Children’s Village and greatly enjoyed learning about the school and interacting with the children. It was a lot of fun to see them building a snowman!
We then slowly made our way back to the main town with a stop at The Church of St John in the Wilderness. Built in 1852 it was dedicated to John the Baptist. The attached graveyard had interesting gravestones saying how people had died, including being killed by bears!
Dinner that evening was a very interesting Himachali Thali, consisting of Madhra - Chickpeas in a yoghurt sauce, Karhi - gram flour and vegetables cooked in yoghurt, cumin potatoes, carrot salad, yoghurt, makandwari - semolina cubes in spinach sauce and green beans with mustard seeds and peanuts. Perfect end to a great day!