Triund – A Trekking Paradise

Triund is a beautiful ridge on the mighty Dhauladhar mountain range in district Dharmshala, physician Himachal Pradesh. It is located about 10 km from McLeodganj, the seat of highest Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness Dalai Lama.

Triund – the splendid green meadow at 2842 meters is surrounded by snow laden peaks of the Dhauladhar mountain range. Towering high snow clad peaks seem to be at arm’s length away from Triund ridge!

Triund happens all of a sudden

One moment you are trekking up hill, puffing hard on a rocky path full of boulders with only dense forests on your right, towering mountain on your left and the next, you are in Triund! The route uphill takes a sharp turn at the end and trekkers are pleasantly surprised to have reached the destination all of a sudden after hours’ long tiring journey on foot. When you reach Triund, all you can do is to stop! You’ll probably forget about the fatigue and get lost in the iconic landscape. It’s one of those places where you get that top-of-the-world feeling!

The campsite at Triund, above McLeod-Ganj. Photos by Mridula Dwivedi
The campsite at Triund, above McLeod-Ganj. Photos by Mridula Dwivedi

 

The trek

The 9km trek starts from Bhagsunag, a small village located about 1km from McLeodganj. An average trekker can reach Triund in about 4 hours via this main route.

Another route is via Galu Devi Temple in Dharamkot, a village located about a kilometer away from McLeodganj. You can reach Dharamkot via road and reduce the total trek to 7km (3 hours).

During peak season (March – September), tourists from different countries can be seen descending or ascending on Bhagsunag – Triund route.

The trek winds up slowly and therefore, you don’t need to worry about abrupt fatigue on the way. There is not just one standard route from Bhagsunag to Triund. At many points, tourists, cattle and locals have created new routes that diverge and converge till the end. If you’re trekking on a rainy day, it is advisable not to take any short cuts where dangers of slipping are high. The same precaution should be taken in case you’re trekking uphill on snow.

The Green Triund
Dharamshala View from Triund

From Bhagsunag to Triund, there is indeed an easily identifiable trail that one everyone can follow. The trek winds up from Alpine forest in the beginning to Rhododendron forest and slowly you reach Triund ridge.

Accommodation

Not all trekkers stay overnight in Triund but many do. There is just one 4-room HP Forest Department rest house in Triund. Bookings for this rest-house are done in McLeodganj. However if you wait until the late night, the caretaker may just let you in for a small fee. Many tourists just huddle up in the nearby shacks during the night. The owner of the shack will charge a small fee for that.

You can also pitch in a tent or lay out in open in a sleeping bag after putting on layers there. Or you can also take shelter in some rock caves nearby. Don’t worry about bears, leopards or other wild animals. There aren’t any in this area.

You can sit, read, write and relax in the sun during the day or immerse yourself in an effortless meditative glance upon tall snow clad mountains on the front side of Triund. During the night, you can sit around a bonfire with all your friends, share ideas, crack jokes or sing.

Note

  • The temperature in the area can drop abruptly if there are some clouds overhead. Unless its summers and you’re traveling under a clear sky on a bright sunny day, there is no reason why you shouldn’t carry woolen clothes.
  • Chill-winds at Triund ridge can be quite discomforting at times (Especially on cloudy or rainy days) if you’re not prepared to warm yourself up. If you plan to stay overnight, go prepared!
  • Unless you’re trekking in snow on a chilly winter day, you’ll always find shacks open that serve delicious-hot food. Even if your back-pack is full of clothes and other accessories, it is important to carry some eatables or emergency ration.
  • Carry enough bottles of water with yourself. The nearest water source from Triund is an hour’s walk away!
  • You can reach Triund on horseback but you won’t really want to do that!
  • There are no washrooms. You know the rest!
Beyond Triund, The Mighty Dhauladhars

Beyond Triund

Several trekkers venture beyond Triund to reach the Indrahar Pass on the Dhauladhar mountain range. This extended trek is possible only if the weather and snow levels are kind enough to let you go up there. Trekking beyond Triund without an experienced guide is a bad idea.

Triund is one of those places where you can get closer to the Mother Nature. It is an ideal place to meditate, do yogic practices and sing. The only reminders of the crowded world at Triund ridge are packed snacks and biscuits available at nearby shacks (2-3), few radio channels, branded left-over supplies and mineral water bottles.

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