When I planned a trip to Mcleodganj, I thought of a “Triund Hike” in a day since I did not want to camp alone overnight as a solo traveler. I was deliberating to go or not to go when I decided to take the plunge after overhearing encouraging conversation about the hike in a coffee shop. I completed the Hike in about 8 hours walking at my own pace and enjoying nature’s beauty.
Starting Point for Triund Hike (2875 metres)
The path to Triund starts at Mcleodganj and passes through Dharamkot gently rising towards Gallu Devi Temple and then winding upwards. The hike can be started anywhere depending on the time on hand and further plans. I would recommend starting from Gallu Devi Temple no later than 9am for a day hike.
- Anywhere in Mcleodganj – Mcleodganj is literally connected like a maze, there are multiple roads and routes to reach the destination. Start walking towards Dharamkot from any location in Mcleodganj and its nearest villages of Bhagsu or Naddi and it will take about 30 mins to reach Dharamkot
- Dharamkot – This is a small village at the edge of a ridge from Mcleodganj located about 2 kms away from the main square. The path upwards from the famous Himalaya Tea Shop winds up through thick pine trees towards Gallu Devi Temple onwards to Triund. The distance to Gallu Devi Temple is about 2 kms and can take about 30 to 45 minutes depending on pace.
- Gallu Devi Temple – Vehicles charge about Rs 300-400 for a one way drop at Gallu Devi Temple from Mcleodganj. I would advise anyone who is planning for a day hike to start the trek here and save up on time and energy for the trek. It is about 5 kms to Triund Top from from this point and takes about 3-4 hours depending on pace.
Triund Hike ~ Some Views
The first 3 kms is a gentle ascent though the path is very rocky. Great valley views of Mcleodganj, Dharamkot and Dharamshala can be seen all along. I noticed the Cricket Stadium at a distance. On a clear day, am sure the view will be breathtaking.
After an hour I reached the mid-point of the trek where Magic View Cafe is located. I parked myself on the stone bench admiring the valley views and sipping on water. A little ahead is Best View Cafe which also has some great views serving tea, Maggi instant noodles and biscuits. Though mid point by distance, in terms of time it is about one-third done. The trek gets slightly steeper from this point onwards with huge rocks jutting out ever so often. It is better to take it slow and steady, being mindful of every step to avoid slipping and spraining. Sometimes, the mountain goats may just decide to relax and block the way.A little while later I reached Snowline Cafe from where the path gets really steep to the top. I tried to resist all kinds of temptations to take a few risky shortcuts to save up on time and feel the adrenaline rush but succumbed on a few occasions. Finally, made it to the top after 3 hours of starting from Gallu Devi Temple.
After walking on rocks of different sizes my feet were weary and pained but the fresh mountain air more than made up for it. The sight of lush green meadows at the top was a soothing sight. I walked over to the far corner negotiating through pitched tents and sleeping bags strewn over rocks. I ordered my bowl of maggi noodles and parked myself on a stone bench hoping that the cloud cover would drift away giving me a glimpse of the Dhauladhar Range. My prayers were answered for a few seconds only. It was windy and cool; the bowl of hot noodles warming my insides and lulled to sleep on the green meadows. I had a blissful one hour of rest lazing on the meadows watching people stretching themselves effortlessly into yoga poses, and others engaged in silent conversation with nature.
Triund has an issue with water since the supply is from a point nearly a kilometer below. It is better to carry drinking water from Mcleodganj. There are no facilities for washroom either except in the rest-house which has limited accommodation. Tents and Sleeping Bags are available with the snack shops and they charge about Rs 300-Rs 400 per person depending on availability. In the event of inclement weather the rest house is the only option to take shelter.
After about 2 hours on the top; I slowly descended walking in measured steps since I tend to slip on stones. It took me about 2 hours to reach Gallu Devi Temple and another 45 minutes to Dharamkot where I stretched my legs in Morgan’s Place over a plate of Suppli.
There are quite a few options beyond Triund. Some hikers prefer to
- Spend the night camping in Triund Top and descend next morning
- Camp in Triund, Walk up to the Snowline the next morning and then descend in the afternoon
- Camp in Triund, Walk to Lahesh Caves the next day and then descend the following day
While Day Hikes to Triund or walking up to snowline can be done as a DIY hike, it is very important to take a trained, registered guide for Lahesh Caves. This is also the route for the Indrahar Pass Trek which is a long trek through tricky routes and is meant for experienced trekkers. There are lot of agencies in Mcleodganj who run guided day hikes and over night treks to Triund.
Tips for Triund Hike
- This is a easy hike but do carry lots of water since there are no streams on the way
- Wear proper shoes preferably trekking footwear. If this is a one time joy hike then wear a pair of shoes with thick cushioning since the path is rocky and not easy
- It is very windy on Triund Top so please carry a jacket
- Hike up early to find a good place to pitch tents
- Carry snacks since food is pretty expensive out there and understandably so
- Do not clutter the hill top and carry all your garbage in a bag and bring it down.
- Please refrain from smoking and consuming alcohol on a hike; throwing bottles and littering the hill side with plastics and butts.