Breakfast at German Bakery

McLeod Ganj. A small town, more Tibetan than Indian, near Dharamshala (HP) is a pretty hill station. It is famous for its monastery that is His Holiness Dalai Lama's second home. The road leading to the monastery is flanked by tiny Tibetan shops and cafes and is a pleasure to walk down. However, the place you want to be in is not McLeod Ganj! You want to visit this little place, explore the market, the monastery, the church, and the eerie cemetery but you want to stay in Bhagshu.

Bhagshu is a hamlet around two kilometers upwards from McLeod Ganj. The walk up in fairly easy and very picturesque. You see the valley covered with chir and oak trees and if it is rainy weather, you only see mist. It is super fantastic. But it is not just the beauty of the mother nature that makes one love the little hamlet; once there, you see that it is full of people from all over Europe and maybe some Americans too. So there are some locals who usually speak Punjabi and English, and there are many foreigners, mostly Germans and Israelis (where else will you find them so happy and peaceful together?). You will see Indian tourists during afternoon; they come to visit the Bhagshu temple and see the Bhagshu waterfall and then they leave. Most of them are honeymooners from Manali who come to spend a day here. However, if you are an Indian and are roaming the streets early in the morning or late in the evening, you are the odd one out. Another noticeable thing is the use of Hebrew in Bhagshu. The language is commonly used to display menus at eating places and signs in the market. It was all strange markings to me that reminded me of school and history lessons but interesting nevertheless.

The hamlet (I love the word!) has a buzz of lazy activity. Let me elucidate. The place is as laid back as one can get but on the other hand, it has numerous activities to offer. So if you decide to stay there for two weeks, you can stay connected to the rest of the world thanks to cyber cafes at every nook and corner. If you are the kind who only travel with their laptops, they have wifi enabled hotels for you. Besides being technology savvy, Bhagshu offers you art, music, cooking, meditation, and language classes. You could also relax at a spa or a massage center. Fun loving ones could get tattoos and body art done. Or you could just lie back and smoke weed.

I, however, decided to eat.

All eating places in this lovely hamlet are called German Bakery. They all are decorated alike and serve similar food but they are all so fantastic that none of them have anything to worry about. Cobbled floor, colorful paper lamps hanging on top of tables, large display boards with bills and ads from all over the hamlet, bright paintings or wall hangings, bright tablecloths, and delicious food. The bakeries offer scrumptious wheat breads, croissants, pastries, and roles and they offer massive helpings of German breakfasts and Israeli dishes in lunch and dinner. You also get your regular Chinese and continental food. And for lover of all things Indian, there is a Punjabi dhaba too. However, if you are in Bhagshu, you must eat at German Bakery.




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