I had been thinking of running away from the scorching summer heat of Delhi. I like discovering new routes and paths less travelled. My passionate trekking feet and soul thought of going on a trek. But where to? With so many weekend trekking options in mind, it was difficult to choose one. After discussing with a few friends, Triund got my attention. I have heard so good things about this trek and being close to one of my favourite hill station Mcleadganj, I thought of pinning it this one for now. And so it was decided that we will be going for Triund Trek.
It was an instant plan and we left overnight by car from Delhi at around 10 PM. The stretch from Delhi to Mcleadganj is 478 kms. The four wheels of the car ran continuously through the night to make us reach on time to our destination.
We stopped an hour before reaching Mcleodganj at have an early breakfast at this little cafe called Wonder Zone Food Stop. We had some stuffed paranthas (Indian bread) to eat and sandwiches too. As soon as we continued it started to rain, indicating of the weather above their on the mountains. We reached Mcleodganj at 9ish. Our stay was at a hotel in Dharamkot which is 2 km’s from Mcleodganj. A couple of hours were still left to check in, so I decided to roam around the market as my friends stayed back in the car taking a nap.
Mcleodganj market is quite famous and has so much to offer for the shopaholics. I have been to Mcleodganj earlier so decided to not spend much time here. While wandering around the market I found a place to sit down at a Tibetan cafe and filled my tummy with 2 slices of homemade Tibetan bread with peanut butter and banana shake. It’s a good protein rich diet for breakfast and better than any other unhygienic food served outdoors that I always try to avoid while travelling.
And so the watch showed that the time had come to check in at the hotel and I went back to the to the car where it was parked. Just 2 km’s of the ride and we reached our hotel in Dharamkot. Dharamkot is much more peaceful than Mcleodganj and not crowded either. There was a different aura of this tiny village and I thought this place will surely have some cool things to do and see. We were supposed to go for Triund trek the next day and hence we had almost half a day at Dharamkot to explore it.
Chilling in Dharamkot
It’s a quaint little village nestled in the Upper Bhagsu region of the Kangra District. I saw more foreigners here and the reason to it was obvious that they come for a quite long durations and like to live in a peaceful surrounding. There are many Yoga centres and music institutes that foreigners like to join and learn. There were so many cafes catering different international cuisines and dishes which is just perfect for backpackers who come to this place from all over the world. The streets of this tiny town are quite narrow or I should say are just pathways to surf around the area. Dharamkot serves as the base for the treks to Triund and Indrahar pass. All this made it look like an actual mountain village which is worth spending not just days but weeks.
In evening we walked for around this village and found out a cool cafe named ‘once in nature’. Isn’t the name so natural and cool for a cafe in mountains? And trust me, it certainly lives up to the expectation. The ambience of this place is so friendly and chilled out. You will find mostly foreigners in this cafe as they sit around and enjoy their meals, chit chatting and playing music.
There is a small stage for singers and bands who can book it and perform here to showcase their talent. The cafe has regular musical nights almost every day and people turn up in huge numbers. We ordered for some proper Indian food which was not on the menu and after an hours wait, the owner of the cafe (a locale) got made for us some rice, chapati (Indian wheat bread) mixed fried vegetables and cooked lentils from his home nearby. It tasted so homely and was simple yet delicious. It was really appreciable and kind for him to do that.
After chilling out at the cafe and listening to the songs from an Israeli band we went back to the hotel and slept. We all were tired since we didn’t take any proper rest in the last 24 hours. It was absolutely necessary as the next day we had to go for the all important Triund trek for which we had come.
Kicking off the Triund Trek
Waking up in the morning is something I cannot miss when in the mountains. It feels so fresh to be with nature and the best time to experience it is morning. I had a morning walk around the market and had looked for some bananas to eat as I am trying hard enough to put on some weight. So we got ready by 10 and walked to 3 km’s on the road which led us to Galu Temple from where the actual trek begins. One needs to register here before starting the trek. It’s important to take your id cards along. I thought that there would be only a few people we will get to see during the trek, but to my surprise, there were way more than that. Since it was a weekend, there were between 30 to 40 people waiting at the registration desk to begin their trek. So even if you are travelling solo, you wont feel alone as there are a lot of trekkers you can meet on the way and be friends with.
The trek to the Triund hilltop is 6 kms. I was so much excited while starting this trek, thinking as to what all we will see and experience ahead.
Our start was steady and smooth. The sun was shining bright and the views from first few km’s of the trek were amazing. One could see the plains of Kangra, Shivalik hills and Dharamsala valley.
The path of the trek was quite easy for the hikers. There are a few cafes and some tea stalls where one can rest and having something light to eat and these points actually give an astonishing view of the landscapes all around as far as when can see.
After covering half the trek, we reached the ‘magic view cafe’ which is one of the oldest tea shops here. It a small cafe where you can get have a cup of chai and eat maggie and few other snacks and buy other packed eatable items like biscuits, chips, soft drinks, etc. We had a halt here for 10 mins before moving further.
As we walked through the rhododendrons and oaks trees a few hundred metres ahead and the weather changed suddenly. The clouds started to trek with us and within minutes they covered the entire hilly area. It was a stunning sight to see them coming down from below heading towards the top. They wrapped everything on their way like a big blanket.
Soon it started drizzling as was expected. Some people stopped as to where they were or took shelter under the big trees and big rocks. But I didn’t wanted to stop. Doing a trek while water drizzling and everything covered around you with fog like clouds was an awesome experience to have. It all looked so misty and magical like a walk in a dream.
Soon the weather became cold with no chances of the sun coming out of the clouds and the last hard km of the trek still to be covered. The last bit of the stretch was hard and tiring as there were no fixed paths or ways to walk, it was all rough with rocks, steep uneven path and big mountain boulders. The steep ascent really tested my strength to walk on such terrain. But I was so mesmerised by the cool weather and scenery all around that it hardly made any difference. The last hour of the trek was the best time of all.
The Splendid View
The weather cleared and after 3.5 hours of the hike, we reached the Triund Hill (height of 9324 feet) and my eyes popped out and mouth shut open wide. Want to know why, because of the below pic.
I stood still gazing at the snow capped peaks of the Dhaladhars. Every sight looked so stunningly beautiful. Look in any direction and it will be a pleasure for your eyes. As much as write about the feeling of being at this place is less.
It looked like the clouds had sprayed some vanilla ice cream over the top the mountains and its melting and slowly making its way downwards. I wish it was actually.
Everything felt so dwarf in front of these snowy peaks. All the humans, animals, trees, hills around, everything looked so tiny and as if had no value. This goes to show the power and value of Mother Nature. My eyes captured the whole scene in my heart I can’t forget. I looked at it continuously standing still without blinking my eyes and it seemed these mountains seemed to be like a mage and huge painting drawn by a great artist ‘God’ which is So Still, So Tall, So Silent and So Gorgeous.
I couldn’t stop my camera from clicking the landscape all around me. So bowled out by the views and the environment I forgot I have to put my stuff in the tents as well. Hahaha..!
Many backpackers carried their own tents to pitch. We got it rented for a night from the vendors here. We got a blue Quechua Tent. There is are few temporary food stalls on the Triund Hill from where you can buy eatables. Though the prices are almost double. Also, we saw some makeup kitchens which cater food to the people staying here. One can get breakfast, lunch and dinner with a basic Indian dishes to eat. Expecting something mouth watering or luxurious here is a folly. The food tasted simple and was good too. Well, for a hungry stomach any kind of food tastes yum.. isn’t it?
There were like 30-35 tents already pitched all spread over the vast ridge area. It was a happy feeling to see so many colourful tents and fellow travellers from all parts of the country and abroad hanging together at this beautiful place.
The evening went in leisure and just relaxing on the lush green grass, clicking the mighty mountains and embracing the nature. By the evening time, more travel buffs reached here and the count of tents around ours and across the ridge line increased suddenly and there were so many human voices buzzing around as if there would be some concert going to happen. As soon as the sun went down past those mountains, the sky started to darken up and stars glittered out.
The make out kitchen tent was like 50 metres from our tent. These people had put up mats in front of the kitchen in open so that we can sit there and have our food. It was like eating langar on the top of the hill. They had also placed some battery operated lanterns so that we could at least see what we are eating. It was all dark since there is no electricity here. The few guest houses here get light from the solar panels installed. After some chit chat sessions for a couple of hours, we went to our tents to sleep.
The Chanting Voices
I wanted to sleep under the stars out in open but it was really cold and windy outside. The temperature must have been around 6 or 7 degree celsius. As a packed myself in the sleeping bag in the tent I could feel so much tiredness. The body warmed a bit and in all that calmness my mind could hear the whispers of other people in the nearby tents. I could hear so many conversations and what all people were doing and talking in other tents.
I could hear a group singing songs out loud far away that the voice reached out to me, few guys in the adjacent tent planning for the next day and worrying about to reach their hometown on time, some cousins playing dumb charades and they got so excited will guessing the movie names that their loud voice created sleeping worries for a family in other tent.
And there was a genius in some other tent who without seeing the actions was able to guess the movie name on the basis of what they were saying. Every time a word of thanks was uttered from the team who was being helped. It was so funny. There were voices of a group of friends drinking alcohol in their tents and talking all the weird stuff. For an hour I just listened to all these voices and conversations and smiled as if nature was sharing it all with me.
Blown away tent
As the night went deep, the breeze started to blew much harder. It was hitting the tents so badly that one side of our tent bent over us. It seemed that the wind wanted to rip off of some tents in anger. I knew that the effect of this breezy night would only be seen in the morning. And yes, I got to knew from someone in the morning that one of the tents was partially blown off as two off the nails unearthed from which it was tied by rope.
You will think I am crazy saying this but I wish my tent would have blown away while i was sleeping. It would have been such a good experience. I would have been laughing my heart out. yes, what’s the fun if something adventurous and surprising doesn’t happen on a trip.
Graceful Morning of Triund
I woke up at 5:30 the next morning thinking I would see a sunrise, but as was expected it was all cloudy which remained the same till 9 am. I put on my shoes and went for a walk around. Waking up in the morning in the mountains is always a fresh feel for the soul. The View of the mountains looked so surreal. It was a heavenly morning and one of the best place to have been awakened to. The views were even more charming than the last evening when we had arrived.
The morning cool breeze…
was gushing through my hairs as if untangling all my problems,
with its purity washing off my face that I didn’t feel to use water,
whispering to me in my ears that you are lucky and honoured to have come here
and as I inhaled the purest of the purest air it made my soul divine and my heart pumped joy into my body rather than blood.
After having some conversation with the guide, we decided to go on a 3 km trek to the snowline cafe (height of 10330 feet) post breakfast. We had some aloo paranthas (indian bread stuffed with potato) to stuff inside us and we were good to go.
Trek to the Snowline Cafe
Like us, a few other adventure souls too joined in for the short trek of around 1 hour. The difficulty level of this trek is moderate. It was a bit harder than the trek to Triund, as we had to make way through the rocky paths and it was way steeper than we thought. But we could figure out the way easily as there were arrow marks that everyone followed. Without them, it would have taken more time to figure out the way to the snowline point. Finally, we reached the place after 1.5 hours of uphill rugged walk. This point has a small tea shop and a small pond. We chilled out here for a good hour and running around after the sheep.
Seeing so many sheep together reminded me of the cartoon character Heidi who used to play with her sheep on the slopes of Swiss Alps.
One can also put up their tents at the snowline point and camp for a night. Very few trekkers put up a camp here to stay who wish to go further to trek to Laka Glacier and Indrahar Pass.
Now it was time to start our journey in reverse gear and that too a long and a continuous one. 3 kms back to Triund Hill, 6 km’s back to Galu temple, 3 km’s car ride back to Dharamkot and from Dharamkot 479 km’s back to Delhi.
The descent was easy. It was more like stumbling down from the top. I walked back with all the precious and lovely memories of the last few days in mind. Though my heart was stuck up there. Triund is certainly a place which is worth coming back to spend more time in the laps of beautiful nature.
Tips to keep in mind for the Triund Trek
- Carry a power bank charger as there is no electricity. I am sure you would want your cell phones and cameras to keep running.
- Water is not easily available here. There is no source of water for washing off your shit. So better carry a toilet paper or you have to purchase water bottles at double the rate to clean off. We bought a dozen of them.
- Do not go to this place without wearing proper trekking shoes/ or at least sports shoes. I saw some girls wearing slippers and doing the trek thinking it must be easy and a leaisurly walk from mcleadganj. donot commit this mistake, you will end up hurting your feet and ankle.
- Be it summers or winters carry some woolen clothes. The weather of this place is unstable and can change anytime. Also, at this height, the nights are always cold. Better take care of your selves.
A heartily request to my fellow travelers and backpackers. Don’t throw your food waste or polybags and bottles along the trekking route or anywhere on the hills. I saw so much garbage lying all through the way. Keep the trek route and the place you are going to always clean. Its your own world and donot atleast dirty the mountains. Carry a polybag or paper bag in your backpack so that you can put the waste in it and dump it in the dustbin where they are available. Show some responsibility towards nature wherever you go.
Best time to visit Triund
The best time to visit triund is from may to june when you can escape the summers. Monsoon months should be avoided. Winters are really cold and the trek becomes difficult. Going during the snowfall can be risky and should not be done without an expert guide. However, if you really want to see the snow in Triund, then jan to march months are the best. Going alone can be risky, so book an expert guide to lead you.
Hope you have loved this virtual experience of Triund Trek. Share it with your friends and let them know too.
If there are any questions or information you want on Triund, drop some words in the comments box below. And if you need a trekking partner, buzz me and my feet will join you on any trek.
Keep Trekking.. to feed your feet!