The mountains have their own rules, you must abide by them. You would never know their strength unless you plan to climb one, unless you seek the summit. Each mountain is unique, each climb is difficult. The Triund trek was no different. The cold air and the falling boulders will test your strength and determination but you will carry on, assured by the silence , with the rhythm of your footsteps.
I decided to take the Triund trek in the month of July last year. Before planning to take any trek you need to be a little physically trained. Trekking puts a lot of stress on the body. Many people are not able to continue due to the build of lactic acid in the muscle and falling Oxygen levels. It maybe potentially hazardous if you don’t train yourself.
You can click on this to link to know how to keep yourself fit while travelling and the physical preparedness required for trekking Tra(WELL) – What not to forget while travelling
Triund is a small hill located in Dharamkot, Himachal Pradesh at an elevation of 2828m. It is 10km from Mcleodganj and 6km from Gallu Devi Temple, Dharamkot. You can start your trek from either location. It is advisable stay overnight in Mcleodganj before attempting the climb during the morning.
You can take taxi to Gallu Devi temple, the starting point of this trek. You have to follow the yellow arrows. This trek does not require any guide and is considered as ‘easy’ or a ‘beginner’s trek’. The initial trek is easy but the last 2-3 kms really test your endurance.
The NEW RULES outlined by the Forest Department
Triund had become a very popular trekking destination. The perennial hordes of visitors had started straining its fragile ecosystem. The mountain was overwhelmed and choked by the plastic waste. In order to reduce the annual influx of visitors, the forest department has imposed certain restrictions.
- Timed entry : Entry is allowed before 11 am only. You have to reach Gallu Devi temple before 11.
- You need your identity card.
- You need to show all the packaged items that you will be carrying. A written record of the same is maintained by the forest department. All the packets are to be returned back and none should be left on the mountain. A fine of Rs 2000 will be imposed even if you leave behind a single packet.
- Cigarette, alcohol and loud music is completely prohibited.
Where do you stay?
Due to the change in rules you won’t find the rented over night tents. You have to complete the trek and return in a day. It is easily possible if you start in the morning and start descending down by late afternoon. If you still wish to stay, then there are two options:
- Forest Department guest house: It can be booked online. There are very limited rooms. Needless to stay but there will be no electricity or washroom.
- Moonlight cafe: It is a small teashop where you can get food, toiletries, medication, phone charging points.There are also two rooms if you wish to stay. I don’t know the exact procedure on how to book them.
Places to eat
Its better you carry some food as there are very limited options. There is a ‘Magic View Cafe’ and the ‘Best View Cafe’ strategically placed in the middle of the trek. You can enjoy hot noodles and tea, a bit overpriced but very comforting.
There is moonlight cafe at the top of the mountain.
The Mistakes I made
- Starting point : You should be clear about your starting point. I started my climb from my airbnb which was located 3km away from Mcleodganj. It’s better to take a taxi till Gallu Devi temple as it will buy you more time and will cause less fatigue.
- Wrong Direction: At the very beginning of the trek there is a bifurcation. You have to follow the yellow arrows towards the right. You have to follow the yellow arrows till the end of the trek. I took the wrong direction and had climbed 2-3km before being whistled down by the forest department officials.
Can you trek in the Monsoons?
The ideal time to trek Triund is from late March till mid May and the autumn months of September- October. If you have to go during the monsoon months of June-August then the climb will be a little tricky . It’s better to carry a raincoat. You will enjoy the lush green meadow. There is a high probability that you can completely miss the snow clad Dhauladhars due to the heavy fog and the restless clouds. The clouds continue to guard and dominate these mountains during these months. You need to stay patient if you want a glimpse of the mountains during these months.
What do you get on reaching the top?
Triund is not the end. It is the base camp and the acclimatisation site for the Indrahar pass trek. You are surrounded by the mighty Dhauladhars.
You don’t really conquer a mountain when you reach the top. You conquer yourself. You conquer your aching muscles and tired footsteps . A new awakening rises within your soul. You develop a more profound connection with nature, a newfound reverence for simplicity, for your breaths, for all the coldness that awaken your warmth. You are grateful to the mountains for having let you come. You are grateful for being alive and all the fears to which you did not succumb.
Thank you Triund. I will miss you till I come back!
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