Thursday, June 11, 2015

Triund Dhar(Ridge)

Hi,

After a successful day at Palampur, where I saw tea gardens, visited the Sardar Sobha singh art gallery and Neuggal Cafe, very next morning, I started for Macleodganj. Before I put up my story, let me first brief about it.

Triund Dhar(Ridge) - Famous among all Trekkers

As one passes through the Kangra Valley, be it via NH-20 (Mandi - Pathankot) or via the narrow gauge railway track, the wondrous size and colors of Dhauladhar running parallel to the road, mesmerizes the nature lover. ‘There are no homes, no buses and no offices up on the mountains, then what is there?’ one might wonder.

Dhauladhar, being glorious to rise above the planes below and standing against the time and weathers, with many of its white snow covered peaks throughout the year, in its pristine state it attracts all commuters and tourists. But reaching those peaks is not a piece of cake; you have to learn the discipline and a healthy mind state. One can start, by climbing up the short and easy treks first and then plan for the snow covered peaks.
When you do the short ones or two day treks, you gain experience to expedite on the longer and multi day treks. Triund trek is one of the most famous treks of Dhauladhar range.
Night stay at Triund would be a lovely experience, all you need is a tent and the food.

Tents are available for rent for INR 400, not a high price. 

How to reach?

Easy accessibility is among the major reasons of Triund being famous and first pick of many. Along with the national highway, Dharmsala is only few kilometers from the Gaggal airport and also the Kangra railway station is quite near. Pathankot railway station is the nearest broad gauge railway link.

About Macleodganj to Triund trek:

Triund Dhar is a ridge that branches off almost southwards from the main Dhauladhar range, meandering sideways, and up and down it provides one with the moderate elevation to reach upon, and a magnificent view of the Dhauladhar mountain peaks.
Avg. Elevation:  2900m
Time required from Macleodganj to Triund: 2-4 hours.

After running for few hundred meters with the gentle up and down gradient, it splits into number of steep downwards falling terrains. They descend steeply to meet the streams and Kangra valley below. The top gentler portion of the ridge is known as the Triund dhar.
There are three famous places to choose among as the places of start of your trek, else it is being said ‘start climbing from anywhere and you would read the Triund Dhar’. One trek that starts from the Dharmkot is the easiest one, because it’s quite gentle and short.
 Trek from Bhagsu Nag is steeper and almost 2 km lengthier than the former. ‘Shi,’ the pile of stones, put up by the shepherds and locals is the guiding mark found at every few metres distance on the trek. One can easily reach the top even when alone.

It passes through the oak and rhododendron trees, and then reaches the meadows surrounded with the alpine trees and covered with open sky. Other treks are, from Dal Lake and Rava. One can also opt to first visit the Bhagsunag temple and then climb up a steep ascent to reach the Galu Devi, to meet with the trek from the Dharamkot.
The animals that one may encounter are the black bear, leopard, pigs, rabbits, monal and wild goats. If possible meet with the Himachal Tourism officials before starting you trek, and get the maps and other instructions.

Why is Triund famous?

It has so many options to reach Triund, there are easier one and the tougher ones too. It has an unique location from where, one can get a magnificent view of the Mun(Manu), Rifelhorn and other peaks of Dhauladhar as well as the town of Mcleodganj and Kangra valley below. Triund trek is very much famous among all.
Also, one can easily reach the snow line by climbing further for few more hours. If one is interested to reach the Chamba valley, climb further via Lahesh caves to reach the Indrahar pass, it takes you to the Chhata parao on other side, and then to the highway that connects with the Chamba. Indrahar pass was very important for mountain peoples in past, many crossed it as a link between the Chamba and Kangra. It has moderate to easy difficulty level, so it’s a trekkers’ delight.
Triund was quite important spot in this trek, because it provided a very good halting spot to complete the multi-days trek. Now, it is also famous for skiing, Britishers started it in 1930s. For being so much famous, it has become a little bit crowded in the peak seasons and that take away the solitude of the mountains.
No doubt, it’s a good thing for the local businesses; but not for the ones who come here to find a secret moment with nature.

 My Story:

I reached Macleodganj at 10 AM, took the path to Bhagsunag, and planned to take the bath in the bhagsunag water swimming pool at my return from the trekking. I put my bike with helmet on a narrow steep street, which runs upwards from Bhagsunag to Galu Devi.

I was not sure if my helmet and bike was safe, but I had no other option. I reached Bhagsunag water fall, which is at about one kilometer distance from the Bhagsunag. I inquired one of the local shopkeepers; he told me that it was about 13-15 km distance to reach up the Triund.

I hardly believed him, because it was known to me that it was only about 9 km, but I wanted the confirmation. I wondered, how a local shopkeeper wouldn’t know, or tell it differently. Anyway, I started to climb at around 10:30 AM.
The initial part up to 5 kms was a steep climb. Initially it went through a shrubby, rhododendron and oak forest, but later trees ceased to be around. I spot 5-6 Gaddi huts at two different locations, also known as the Thatchs. At one place a dog was guarding that stone and slate roofed shelter, but it didn’t do anything, except staring at me for not more than 10-20 seconds.

For some reason, to me these dogs appear to be well behaved, royal and courageous. Same incident, happened to me while, climbing up the Dyara-Bugyal trek. At about two more kilometers up, there was another thatch, where a herd of the goats and sheep was grazing.

Even they acted in a royal way, none of them were worried about my presence, so I clicked few poses with them, and of them. As now, I was walking on a steep ridge. The plantation was on the siding terrains. 

Ridge had either grassy surface or moderate size stone or moraines stuck up to certain depths. Another two valleys, one on the right was separated by the Baner khad, and on the left was separated by the Bhagsunag water fall stream.

"When you are alone on the mountains, no other noise, other than the your own feet and breathe, it is more than just a meditation." 
You observe the life growing on its own, in its pristine and most natural way. No one to tell you anything, except the divine nature.
While the conscience rises from the mundane mood, it grows in its size, and you start to observe the miniature details, mostly the beauties of the life. I reached the top within 2 hours, the reason for traveling so fast was that I was alone, and had a good stamina for walking.

You don't have to do the same, just enjoy the trek and keep the memory. When I reached top, I was myself surprised to reach so fast, contrary to the 4 hours time they suggest. Anyway, I walked sideways, up and down the ridge and clicked it from few angles. I gave the glance to the nearby peaks and valleys and wondered, what time it would take to cross them. My water bottle was almost empty, and the new one was being offered for INR 40.

I bought the same from market down below for 20, but the rates are justified at such an elevation, because they are brought here on the shoulders not on the motors. The other source of the water is a water stream, which they told to be at another one hour distance. I climbed further up few metres and found a solitary spot surrounded by big stones.

I ate the two paranthas, with most delight and it felt very much tasty, quite the same they tasted while we were on the Trek to Adi Himani Chamunda. It is good if you can carry a two litres bottle for a single person, but I had to manage with the one litre, which got finished here. Keeping your body hydrated is utmost important while you are at height with sun on your head.

My underwears were totally soaked with the sweat, and still I felt no heat. The ridge was crowded with the blue and brown tents, and people, most of them couples, were busy talking to each other. I had few words with two of the couples, and then with the guard of the forest rest house. He told me that the rooms are always busy, and the booking has to be done at the forest office Dharmsala.
If you come directly at the rest house, the chances are that the rooms would not be available. My downward descend was easy, but my knees were aching a little, so it took me one and half hour to reach at the Bhagsu Nag water fall.

First thing I did was to drink the enough water to save myself from dehydrating. In the evening I swam on the swimming pool, visited Galu Devi temple, and then Dal lake. It was a day well spent.

Thank You.

References:

  1. Guide toTrekking in Himachal Pradesh by Minakshi Chaudhary.