2552Dharamkot Tel Aviv of India
- May 7, 2007Dharamkot Tel Aviv of India
Tribune News Service
Dharamkot, May 6
In the rough terrain of Dharamkot village near McLeodganj, one can
see hordes of Israeli holiday-seekers.
Surprisingly, their presence is so strong that Israelis almost
throughout the year constitute more than half of the 1200-strong
population of the village. The villagers rent out accommodation to
Israelisa on a monthly basis.
There is a popular joke among Israeli tourists living here. If an
Indian asks an Israeli tourist "How many Israelis are here?" The
"Five million" and the local then asks "And how many are in Israel?"
In fact, western tourists have named this village as Tel Aviv of
India. The total number of Israelis presently staying in and around
McLeodganj is approximately more than 2000.
In the past few years, they've turned this village into an Israeli
enclave thousands of Israeli tourists flood it during the peak
season. Some of them stay for long periods, even years. Most of them
stay a few weeks or months but when they leave, other Israelis take
They regard Israeli enclaves as playgrounds where they can do almost
anything. Uninhibited drug use is common in this village.
But for the Indian backdrop, everything here is Israeli. The menu
cards are in Hebrew in restaurants that serve Israeli food. Many
Indians who work with Israeli tourists can now speak Hebrew, some of
them quite fluently.
Drugs and loud music mark parties that go on till the early hours of
The low cost of living is the major reason that beckons most of the
long-term Israeli traveller. Cheap drugs is another major attraction.
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