Month : Travelled in April
My trek to Triund and further to Snowline caves was nothing as I had planned. Yet, it was one of the most rewarding trek and travel experiences of my life. It was my first longish solo solo trip within India and I was excited and a little scared( safety related scepticism) at the same time. I saw the Dhauladhar mountain range it its glory from Triund, did an unplanned trek up to Snowline and camped there, watched the moonlight reflected on snow in front of the campsite and made friends with two great guys on the trek due to whom the trek up to Snowline and then Lahesh caves ( the next day) was possible. Here is a teaser photo below.
The morning was bright and sunny. My spirits were high and I was ready for some hiking. My initial plan was to do a day hike to Triund from Dharamkot and come back to my hotel in Bhagsu by evening. After breakfast, I took an auto to Dharamkot( Rs. 100 in 2016), 3 Kms from Bhagsu. I was trying to find my way and saw two guys stuffing their backpacks with trekking gear. I asked them for directions to the trail head and they pointed in one direction. Then they asked me if I wanted a drop till the Galu Devi temple, the trekking starting point, as they were also going for the same trek and continuing up to Indrahar pass. Now, I would never have hitchhiked with unknown guys in the plains but it felt safer over there. I openly took their car’s number plate’s pictures 😀 , sent it to my boyfriend ( now husband) over wassup , thanked the two guys and got into the car. Their names were Akshay and Vincy. We became friends later and even to this day I am extremely thankful to them.
We soon reached the Galu temple and started hiking up. The hike from Galu temple is 7 Km out of which the last 2 Kms is steep and strenuous. The hike was beautiful with spring colors all over the place in the form of rhododendron flower and fresh green leaves. The view of Hanuman Tibba peak becomes visible within the first couple of hours of the trek. We three started chit chatting and really hit it off to the point that one of our breaks was 40 mins long where we were chatting about general things.
Vincy, Akshay and me
They asked me to join them till Snow line which is 2 Kms beyond Triund. They even offered me to take their family members’ numbers, photos of their DL and send to my loved ones so that I feel safe to continue with them till Snowline.. I was genuinely touched by the consideration they showed me. I did as they had suggested and continued with them. We reached Triund in 4.5 hours after taking a few long breaks. There are a lot of people who come to Triund every day but very few go and camp at Snowline
On the way- Rhododendrons in Spring with Dhauladhar mountains behind
We had Maggi, tea on the way. There were three major stops with shacks on the way. You can buy biscuits, maggi, chips, water and even plastic raincoat from these shops. However, expect to pay 2-3 times the price for all items. So if you are on a budget, carrying own supplies and water is advisable. There is no water source on the way on this trek. On reaching the Triund meadows after the arduous last stretch of 2 Kms, I was in awe at what I saw. May be some of the pictures can explain better. The clouds added to the drama of the snow clad Dhauladhars. I was so excited to see this view that I instantly decided to go to Snowline. Triund was quite crowded for a campsite which was a turn-off. There are quite a few shacks and one can rent camping gear, tents easily at these shacks.
After spending an hour at Triund and having daal chawal for lunch we proceeded towards Snow line.The stretch from Triund to Snow line is more difficult than reaching Triund. The ascent was steep and oddly shaped rocks on the way made it harder. We were already tired and it took us longer than anticipated. However, the close-up view of the snow covered mountains refreshed our senses and kept us motivated. At 7 PM we were still not at the campsite and were considering camping anywhere as it was getting dark. The idea was scary to me. Finally, in another 10 mins we reached Snowline café much to our joy and relief. It was already dusk , so we quickly set up the tents ( I rented one from the only café at the site). We saw quite some snow on the ground a few scores of meters form our campsite. The moonlight was getting reflected on the mountains and creating a mysterious atmosphere. Vincy invented a game of finding shapes in the silhouettes of the trees around us and we found shapes of camel with a rider, horse and bear. It was fun.
On the way from Triund to Snowline
We soon lit a fire with the help of some camphor and wood that was lying around,to warm ourselves. There were two other guys camping there at the site. Akshay and Vincy had brought cup noodles and we all ate that followed by Nutella with bread as dessert. It was a lot of fun eating that way in this ambience. It was getting very cold ( read near zero) so we got inside a tent and chatted for a while. Afterwards we went to our respective tents and went to sleep early. The night was a bit restless due to cold weather. I woke up several times listening strange noises that seemed to come from some animal. I unzipped my tent to check but it was just the wind. However, we heard the next day that snow leopards and bears are common in this region. Next part of the trek is here –Trek to Lahesh caves/ Triund to Dharamshala
- How to reach- Take overnight train or bus (ordinary/ deluxe/ AC Volvo) from Delhi to Dharamshala. The cost would be between Rs.300 – Rs.1500 depending on the kind or class of travel you take. From Dharamshala take an auto to Galu Devi temple in Dharamkot, will reach n less than 30 mins.
- Logical start point of trek- Galu Devi temple. I suggest taking your vehicle/ auto/ cab to this point. Galu devi temple can be reached from Dharamshala/ Mc.Leodgunj/ Bhagsu by auto rickshaw within 20-30 mins.
- Trek distance for Triund – 7 Kms. The last 2 Kms of the trek to Triund was quite steep, be prepared.
- Supplies – For Triund, it is better to carry 2 litres of water per person, energy bars, dry fruits , nuts. There are 3 stalls / shops en-route that sell water, chips, chips etc. Expect to pay 2-3 times at these shops. You can carry own tent/ rent one at a café at Triund. Please remember that Triund can get crowded, especially on weekends, vacations.
- For Snowline, you can carry your tent/ rent one at the only café that is there, if available. Wear comfortable trekking shoes with good traction
- Tent + mat+ sleeping bag+ blanket costed me Rs.800 for the night. Dinner cost approximately Rs.250
- Triud to Snowline though only 2 Kms is full of loose oddly shaped rocks, so step cautiously.