“I didn’t know where I was going until I got there” – Cheryl Strayed.
Trekking, whenever we hear this word all we imagine is a rough walk with almost none luxuries; we are usually busy walking in our concreted jungle which is not easy at all though. If you do not have any prior experience of trekking, hiking or walking in the mountains then to start here is an option for you, Triund, it is apt for a weekend getaway as it is one of the easiest and beautiful trek in India due to its small length. But the trek from Mecleodganj to Triund is a steep one filled with a beautiful walks in the oak trees and rhododendron. There is also no scarcity of eating options as there are several cafes on the way to Triund Top such as Magic view, scenic view and the last café in trek, Snowline Café. It takes usually 3 hours to reach at Triund from Gaalu Devi Temple which is the starting point of Triund trek.
It was the month of December, I was done with my exams, and I had the entire month free for myself. Himachal Pradesh has always been my favorite place to visit, so this time I wanted to try something refreshing and new. I had heard of Triund but never got the opportunity to try it. So I packed my rucksack bag and kept few essentials such as warm cloths, inner-warmers, torch, whistle, trekking shoes etc. So to reach Triund is not difficult at all. First you can take a bus from ISBT or Majnu ka Tilla(Private bus Stand) till Dharamshala or Mecleodganj. To tell you about the bus route, all the state government owned buses which departure from ISBT are available till Dharmashala bus stand, but if you want to save your time and want to save yourself from taking another bus then always book a private bus through in mobile app such as RedBus, because here you will find buses till Mecleodganj which is 4 K.M. up from the Dharamshala.
The duration of the trek is one night and two days if you going only for the trekking part. So after taking the bus from Majnu ka Tilla till Mecleodganj I reached Mecleodganj at 5:30 am, it was so cold that time that I was heavily shivering, I immediately took my bag sat at the nearby tea-shop and wore a warm cap and gloves. After resting for few minutes I arranged my bag and started walking towards Dharamkot village. By 7 am I was the café and checked in at the hotel where I always stay and rested for few hours so by 12 noon I was all refreshed and ready for the trek. I picked up my bag pack with torch and packed other small and light stuff in it. So to reach at The Gaalu Devi Temple there are two options either you take a taxi and pay 900 INR or you can walk towards it. I walked towards the Gaalu Devi Temple, and also accompanied by a very cute grey colored dog whom I called Hipster, you can ask any one there and they will tell the way towards it. The walk was stunning as all I saw was oak trees and it was ecstatic to feel fresh air all around me.
In an hour or so I was at the temple, here is a one café for a quick bite, now all you have to do is follow the pathway. You will find many people walking in groups towards the Triund top, so you won’t be alone all the time, but after crossing the second café and almost half of the way a the difficult part starts, here the track starts getting narrower and sometimes sharp. You have to be carefully take step and keep walking and don’t forget to enjoy the beautiful sceneries you are going to see. The last two km of the trek are snowline of the valley, here if you are on the right time you can see snow, when I was there it was the mid of December so I was lucky enough to enjoy the snowfall. By 3:30-4:00 I was at the last café before the top of the Triund, it was closed when I was there maybe because of snow. After walking in snow for next 10-15 minutes I was at the top of Triund trek here you can see the entire valley below you. It is highly advisable to always carry the water up here. There is a rest house to spend a night or do optional camping. It needs advanced booking which can be done at Dharamshala. If you are looking for the stay then carry your own tent and sleeping bag which is always and highly advisable. During the peak season you will find many eating joints to get warm and fresh meals. It is also advisable that you should carry as light stuff as you can and if you have breathing problems then carry your oxygen inhaler with you.
Also this trek might be the easiest one but it is not suitable for family especially elders or above 50 if they are not fit. By 5:30 I started walking back to my Hotel, walking down is always faster than the walking up. I reached back at Gaalu Devi Temple by 7 pm and it was dark already because I walked very slowly on my way back. I turned on my torch and followed the same way towards the hotel and by 8 I was at my hotel, I ate at a café and then went for the sleep. Next day I went to Bhagsu Nath Waterfall, The Dalai Lama Temple etc. and then I left for Delhi.
Walking in the Triund trek is an experience which is filled with many surprises when I was going there I was alone but I got a company of a dog who was very friendly and when I asked the café owner about it at the Gaalu Devi Temple, he said that the Dog always follow the lone trekker for their own safety, I was very touched by this. This trek also gave me strength and excitement to try new and more adventures treks. If you are bored with the tiring capitalist life of our metropolitan cities then take a break for a weekend and enjoy this beautiful nature’s gift to us. The trek is pocket friendly especially the area as you can easily find cheap places to eat such as small dhabas at Mecleodganj. It also surprised me with the very friendly nature of dogs and villagers, you rarely find this, as in Manali dogs are far dangerous than the trekking on a steep pathway. Thus the trek was very refreshing for me and it will always be in my memories forever.