A trek to Triund

A trek to Triund

Travel tales

A trek to Triund

What should an overworked person in her mid-20s do to escape the madness of the city, especially when she has to always be the mature teacher that her profession demands her to be?

The options were plenty — a movie marathon, a night-out with friends or an escape into the wilderness. While the first two seemed quite tempting, they were only temporary solutions that would increase the ‘Monday morning blues’.

The third option was most attractive. So when my friends and I learnt that we were going to have an extended weekend, we wasted no time in thinking about running away. By luck, I had come across an article about McLeod Ganj. All we saw was a picture of a few tents on a mountain and thick fog circling them but that was enough to kickstart our trip last October.

We left for New Delhi and from there, headed straight to the G T Karnal Road in my friend’s old and loyal car. The twisted roads and villages made for a refreshing ride and we were quite energised by the time we reached at 4 pm. We passed through Dharamsala on the way but as we had limited time and I wanted to go trekking, we directly went to McLeod Ganj and checked into our hotel. McLeod Ganj was bustling. Full of foreigners, trekkers, tourists and hippies, the air was abuzz with stories and excitement. That evening, we walked around the main street market which was inhabited by Tibetans. The menu seemed alien to us but we feasted on Italian and Tibetan cuisines in some well-lit cafes. After a heavy dinner, we went back to the hotel to await the next day’s adventures.

The next morning, I woke up with butterflies in my stomach. I had never been on a trek before and I didn’t know if I would survive one but I was lucky that my friends were with me. So Triund it was! Often considered the crowning jewel of Dharamsala, Triund quietly nestles in the lap of Dhauladhar mountains. It has the perfect view of the mountain range on one side and Kangra valley on the other. I had heard from people that the trek has overpriced eateries along the way so we set off with ‘Snicker’ bars and energy drinks.

We started walking from our hotel. It was a 13 km trek. We refused to ask anyone the way and eventually got lost but we finally reached Dharamkot, a small hill station in Kangra district. The path was designed for a beginner but the trail was rocky and slippery. We were tempted to stay back and continue clicking pictures as the view was very scenic. We walked continuously for hours but finally, resting on a rock, sipping tea, staring at the sky and letting my vision pass through layers and layers of magnificent mountains made it all worth it. Everything seemed perfect when we reached the top. Throughout, I wondered if the view from the top deserved my hardwork. Upon reaching, I did not have even a moment’s regret. The hill was surrounded by vast mountains and the other side had a breathtaking view of the valley. The colours of the sky seemed to have come from God’s own palette. We could pitch a tent for four people for Rs 1,500. There were many trekkers around us who did the same and it was a new experience to see many people collect wood for a bonfire. The most fascinating thing was that the hill was devoid of the chaos of everyday life as there was hardly any reception. It was a new experience to rely on torches. The serenity rejuvenated us and the conversations with fellow tourists over bonfires were an eye-opening experience. The moonlight, which made the mountains visible, added to Triund’s grandeur. When I went out of the tent at night, the mountain seemed almost like a supernatural element that scared me because of its sheer magnitude.

 The next day, the majestic sunrise made us want to stay another night but we didn’t have that liberty. We started back after a tasty breakfast and made it to Dharamkot in just three-and-a-half hours. From there, we took a taxi back to our hotel. After some rest, we spent the evening in Dharamkot and also visited a Tibetan monastery. It was nice to see that the place offered several courses such as mountaineering, art and craft and other activities. The tea and spices sold there were magnificent. We were upset that we had to leave the next day even though there were several other places to visit. As our feet left the mountains, our hearts stayed up there. I would highly recommend this trip as the trek is not a very ambitious one but the very act of embarking on the journey will give one a perspective. The mountains are therapeutic for one’s tired urban eyes.

How to get there

We flew from Bengaluru to New Delhi and back by IndiGo Airlines. The round trip cost Rs 6,600 per person. From there, we drove to McLeod Ganj. From Dharamkot, we drove back to New Delhi. 

Where to stay

We stayed at Hotel Baghsunath. The room rent was Rs 1,200 for two people, per night.

(The author can be contacted at sonal.singh0793@gmail.com)