The trek up to Triund hill was the tail end event of the entire Himachal backpacking trip. An Unknown path, steep and rocky trail, blind trust in google maps, with nothing but an intuitive sense of direction, an impending deadline, and unexplainable love for mountains. It was a perfect recipe for an adventure. And when it comes to adventures, I am game for it, come what may. Looking back at that trek, it reminds of these beautiful yet lasting words by James Baldwin.
And once you realize that you can do something, it would be difficult to live with yourself if you didn’t do it.James Baldwin, The Paris Review.
There is something with climbing mountains that I simply can’t give up on (read the description of the Instagram post below to know what). climbing mountains gave so much satisfaction that it’s very difficult to live with myself if I didn’t. Especially when you can see the peak challenging you from the window of your hostel, I simply can’t tuck myself under the blanket.
So, it was the last circuit of the Himachal Backpacking trip with my friends. After a whirlwind trip from Delhi to Kasol and flying high in Bir Billing, we landed in Mcleodganj after what seemed like a grueling journey. The last few days have been intense, hectic and what not. But the moment I put my foot down at Mcleodganj the snow-capped mountains of Dhauladhar range allured me. My whole purpose of adding Mcleodganj to the itinerary was to get a little closer to those massifs. So, I asked my friends if they were up for the trek. All but Hithesh and Santhosh said no. Understandably so.
The choice for me, however, was obvious. I looked at the massifs and gave a thumbs up, “Challenge Accepted and you shall be scaled”. The others planned to explore the Dharamshala the following day. Read on to know all about my experience of the Triund Trek.
Get Set Go
We knew we were up for a challenge. The trek was 8 KM one way. We were planning to go via the Bhagsunag waterfall. This trail was the only option left other than the one from Gallu Devi which was 10 KM one way. The problem, however, was that the trail through Bhagsunag Waterfalls wasn’t very clear on maps or the ground. On top of that, we had a bus to catch in the evening, to reach Delhi. So, we had to start early, be alert mentally about where we were going and push ourselves to not give up until we boarded the bus 😉
So, we set the alarm, woke up, and started the hike at around 6 AM.
We reached the Mcleodganj taxi stand and took the street towards the Bhagsunag temple. After crossing the temple there was a concrete path made all the way to shiva cafe. You can see the Bhagsu Nag waterfall from here. A beautiful stream of water running down between the hills.
The concrete path had too many stairs in between that slowed us down a little. But within no time we reached the famous Shiva Cafe. Because it was too early in the morning, Shiva cafe was closed but it had all the vibes of a peaceful place.
We crossed over the Bhagsunag Waterfalls to reach the other mountain. The trail started to narrow down from here. It didn’t look difficult but had too many diversions and turns. Maps ceased to work and we were left with our own judgment on which trail to take.
One of the thumb rule you can use is to see if the trail has any footmarks, indicating recent usage. And another is to look at the peak and see if you’re not deviating far from the peak. We crossed that trail and reached a point with some magnificent views of the sleeping Mcleodganj.
The sun just started uncovering the lush greenery from the low-lit early mornings. We continued walking and this particular stretch was a little steep but there was a hut at the end of it. So with pumped-up energy, we reached the hut.
We ordered some Maggi and chai to recoup some energy. There was an elderly man running the store. We also asked him if we were on the right path to reach the peak. He nodded with a smile. Such a lovely smile 😀 We paid for the meals and started the hike again.
The trail just disappeared from here on. We knew we had to reach the ridge in front of us. All we could see were thorny and dense plants in front of us. A muddy path appeared on close inspection. We just assumed it would be the trail and started walking with the sight undeviated from the peak.
Soon it leads to another trail and we hopped onto that and then another one appeared and just like that, we navigated past the thorny patch. It was indeed a real-life example of “Set your eyes on the destination and you’ll always figure a way to reach there.” Because sometimes that’s life.
You have a sense of where you wanna go and you reach there by trial and error.
Climb Or Walk?
We were now at the start of the ridge. On one side it was the grandiosity of Dharamshala and Mcleodganj. Look at those brick-sized brick walls in front of the mighty mountains. It felt as if, if not for their mercy, those brick walls would’ve crumbled a long time ago. And on the other side, we had a steep climb ahead of us.
While the ridge was really steep, almost as if it touched the sky but there was another route available by the side. We started hiking on the other route. And boy we were so glad we took this route. Just after a 100m- 200m walk on this route, we found another cafe. It wasn’t open yet but there were a few granite slabs turned into Sofas for customers to sit. I sat on one of the granite sofas. This cafe was almost on the edge of the mountain. So my eyesight slowly went down the valley before taking a steep climb up to a towering snow-capped mountain. What a tiny speck of dust I was in front of the majestic mountain.
As much as we wanted to stay, the thought of getting a better view from the top made us restart the hike again. The hiking route took us up the ridge again and this time we continued on the ridge without any deviations.
The sun was right on our backs. The sweater I got slowly turned from a shield to baggage. The ridge walk became rough after a while. With steep climbs on a rocky path, it just threw one blow after another.
The Magic Unfurls
By then the snow-capped mountains started wrapping clouds around them. As if they’re doing a magic show to entertain us and make us forget and endure the pain of the steep climb. The occasional sight of a Himalayan Griffon made it all worthwhile.
The first steep climb was behind us and the mountain rewarded us with another. We conquered that as well thinking the peak or Triund campsite was just at the top. But I think the ridge fell in love with our determination, So it presented yet another steep climb, we trekked up that too and then another and another and another. And we yelled at the ridge, “Up Up here we go”.
We kept taking small breaks and continued the climb. Occasionally looking back at the downward slope all the way to Mcleodganj. From that point, Mcleodganj was as tiny as an ant. The climb didn’t end there and the steep slopes kept challenging us. Added to that, the sun was merciless too. So we took the meadows to ease the stress on the legs for a while.
After a brief walk on the meadows, the trail flattened out. The meadows were dotted with huge rocks.
Face-Off With Dhauladhar Range
To our utter surprise, We reached the Triund Campsite at around 10:15 AM. And there it was, the magnificent Dhauladhar range of the Himalayas. With nothing but courage and a paraglide away from where we stood. I just stood there, taking in everything I can.
The slippery glacial slopes, the towering sharpness of the peak, the clouds caressing its crown. I sometimes wonder, how on earth do such meadows even exist. I mean, look around, all you see are nothing but towering and unreachable peaks. Yet, almost magically, you have this Triund hill. A hill with all its meadows makes the perfect ground for you to witness the mighty mountains. I sometimes feel its all part of a clever architect’s design.
I was in love with that place. Just resting there, looking at those mountains made me unreasonably happy. With enough time at hand, we decided to take it slow.
Looking at the cloud patterns it appeared to rain, so at around 12 PM we started the climb down the same way. Considering the trail was completely downhill, it was quick and not as tiring as it was. One last click before the rain kicked in xD
On the way back we saw a few people. They may have climbed up via the trail starting at Gallu Devi Temple, stayed at the Triund campsite overnight (which I believe is now banned), and were climbing down. We climbed down the hill, hiked through the thorny trail, and after the last stretch of those winding narrow trails which were now familiar, we saw the Shiva Cafe. I was proved wrong when I said it had the vibes of a peaceful place. Against all my thoughts, it was surprisingly crowded. So crowded that we had to wait for a while to get a seat to sit and eat.
We reached the La Vaca Hostel at around 3:30 PM. Met the other guys, packed our bags, and left to Dharamshala for the bus back to Delhi. For the first time during that trip, I stood there in silence witnessing the myriad shades of sunset sky. And just like that, we bid goodbye to the sun, Dharamshala and the Dhauladhar range of Himalayas.
As part of my effort to help more and more travelers witness the beauty of this world, I’m adding few FAQs to help you plan a hike up to the Triund Peak.
Why Should You Choose Triund Trek?
How Long Is the Triund Trek?
There are two routes you can choose for the trek. The trek to Triund via Bhagsu nag waterfalls is the shortest but also the toughest. The trail via Bhagsu nag waterfalls is 8KM one way. The other route to Triund via Gallu Devi temple is 10 KM one way but it’s not as tough as the first one.
How to do Triund trek?
If it was earlier, I would’ve advised you to set aside 2 days for the Triund Trek. The sunset and sunrise are supposedly breathtaking. But camping is now banned. So you can plan to do this in one day. I would suggest you start very early
How To Reach Triund Trek?
The basecamp for the Triund Trek is Mcleodganj. McLedoganj is 8 KM from Dharamshala and is frequented by local buses every 20 Mins. Dharamshala, in turn, is connected with all major cities in India via road. There are overnight Volvo buses running to and from Dharamshala to all major cities like Shimla, Manali, Chandigarh, and Delhi. So you can reach Dharamshala by bus from cities like Delhi, Chandigarh, etc.
You can even choose to fly down to Dharamshala. Book a ticket to Kangra Airport from wherever you’re in the world.
While at Mcleodganj, ask for Dharamkot which is another small area near McLeodganj. After reaching Dharamkot, ask for Bhagunaag Temple or look it up on maps. Once at the Bhagsunaag temple, take the concrete path towards Bhagsunag Waterfall. The waterfall is visible clearly once you cross the temple. Follow the trail to reach the Triund Peak via Bhagsunaag waterfalls. If you want to take the less intense Gallu Devi trail, then the Gallu Devi temple is about 1.6 KM from Bhagsunag Temple.
How difficult is Triund Trek?
Although the difficulty is subjective, I can assure you that if you have basic fitness, (If you can clock 5KM sprint in 40-45 Mins) then you will be able to comfortably finish the trek in one day. Even if you take the trial via Bhagsu Nag waterfalls. So, I would classify it as an easy to moderate trek. Triund trek is regarded as one of the best treks for beginners.
How To Plan For Triund Trek?
If you are coming from Delhi or nearby cities, take an overnight bus on one of your leisure weekends. Reach Dharamkot and start the trek using the directions mentioned above. Complete the trek. Stay in one of the hostels (I stayed in La Vaca Hostel, inexpensive for students too and very cozy). Explore Dharamshala the next day and head back to your city via another overnight bus.
In Case you’re planning for Triund Trek from Hyderabad or Bengaluru or Mumbai, then I recommend you to club a few other places in Himachal Pradesh. I personally took a week off and explored Kasol(Check out my blog post here), hiked up the meadows of Kheerganga(Check out the DIY guide here), Manali, did Paragliding Bir Billing, and landed at Mcleodganj for the trek. It was very hectic for me so you may delete or swap a few places. My strong recommendation is don’t come all the way just for Triund Trek.
Essentials For Triund Trek?
If you’re doing a one-day trek to Triund, then below are few items I definitely recommend:
- Sweatshirt (If you’re starting very early)
- Good Hiking Shoes
- Comfortable pair of clothes.
- Another pair if you wish to get into Bhagsunaag waterfalls on your way back.
- 2-3 Liters of Water. It gets really hot at the top during the summer months.
- Shades/sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun.
- Protein bars or Nutri Bikies to energize yourself. Don’t pack the entire supermarket citing the hiking reason. And PLEASE DON’T LITTER.
P.S: For Ladies, please pack essentials as deemed necessary by you beyond the above-mentioned items. Safe trekking.
P.P.S: I’ve mentioned the above essentials keeping summer months in mind. Please plan according the season in which you’re planning to go.
Is Triund Trek Safe?
Whenever you are in the mountains, you are always at the mercy of nature. Please respect the nature and conditions and you will be good. The trail from Bhagsunag waterfalls to Triund is a continuous climb. I am sure of its slippery nature in monsoons. The trail from the Gallu Devi temple is a ridge walk. So, it is quite dangerous in the event of a landslide. Otherwise, the trail is very good for hiking. Just respect the nature and overcast conditions and you will be safe in the lap of nature.
Can Triund trek be done alone?
It is given that Triund Trek is very ideal for beginners and also the trail is clear from the Gallu Devi temple. So, even solo trekkers and travelers can hike up to the Triund campsite without any doubts in mind. Take sufficient snacks and water and precautions about your personal safety while you’re on and off the trail. It’s highly likely that you will find enough people to befriend if you take the Gallu Devi temple. So rest assured and you can do this trek completely on your own without a guide.
Where To Stay In Your Trip To Triund Trek?
Dharamkot is the basecamp for a lot of treks in the Dhauladhar range of the Himalayas. By the virtue of that, there are a number of backpackers hostels in McleodGanj and Dharamkot. You can find branded backpacker hostels like Hosteller, La Vaca Hostel, etc. We stayed in La Vaca hostel and it was really comfortable and affordable. You can check for bookings on booking.com or Airbnb.
Other Treks Near Triund!
So, if you have more time at hand you can go for other trekking destinations around Triund. Treks like Indrahar Pass Trek, Laka Glacier Trekking are all one day trek away from Triund hill. Refer to this article for more details.
Cost of Triund Trek!
Barring the personal expenses, the cost for Triund Trek is INR 0 rupees. You read that right, unsure why, but there is no entry fee for Triund trek. So if you’re doing it on your own it’s completely free of cost.
What’s The Height Of Triund Hill?
The Triund Hill is at a height aka Altitude of 2850m above sea level. It is situated at the foot of the Dhauladhar range of the Himalayas.
Triund Trek Map/Route
Refer to the below-handmarked trek route for reaching Triund Hill from Mcleodganj. I’ve marked the trails for both the trails of Bhagusnag Waterfalls as well as the Gallu Devi Temple trail.
Should You Choose Kheerganga Trek or Triund Trek?
Honestly, there is no right answer. For me, Kheerganga was more exciting simply because it had much more variety. Kheerganga has meadows, forests, steep climbs, waterfalls, and above all hot water springs. You can read about my experience here. But on the other hand, Triund Trek brought me much closer to the snow-capped mountains which were just distant backgrounds in pictures during Kheerganga Trek. However, Kheerganga is a moderate difficulty trek and you need two days to complete the trek. So if you have two days to spare, give Kheerganga a shot. If you’re looking for a quick weekend trek, then go for Triund.
Hope the FAQs help you plan your trip better. Have a good time in the Himalayas and while you’re there, take care of the mountains.
I hope you enjoyed reading my trek experience. Please share your most memorable moments in the Himalayas 😀 in the comments below. For more such stories from my travadventures head over to Trails Of Adventures. Catch me on Instagram @trailsofinju to know all about the adventures while they happen. Share this blog post with your friends and plan a trip right away ;). You can use the icons of the social media channels to share it across your network 😀
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