By: Mohammed Amir khan (B&F)
Located 18 km from Dharmshala, Triund makes for an attractive trekking destination, with well-defined forest trails and breath-taking views of the entire Kangra valley. The view of the evening sky from Triund is a good enough reason to pitch a tent here for the night. The length of the trek makes it apt for a weekend.
Although the trek from McLeodganj to Triund is a steep ascent of over 1,100 metres, it is well-compensated by refreshing walks amongst rhododendron and oak trees. There is no dearth of eating options as there are several cafes on the way, like Magic View, Scenic View and Snowline Café.
The town of McLeodganj (also known as little Lhasa) provides for a grand opportunity to experience the vibrant Tibetan culture. The trekking scene here is well-organised and one can embark on multiple treks of longer duration here, namely Indrahar Pass, Minkiani Pass, Kareri Lake and all the way to Kuarsi Pass and Mani-Mahesh. If you have a day to spare, fancy trekking from Triund till Lahesh Cave and explore the meadows below Indrahar Pass.
This is a small and an easy trek, which can be done either from McLeodganj or Dharamkot, which is 2 km ahead of McLeodganj. The trail is 7 km from Dharamkot and passes Galu Devi temple. From this temple, it takes around 3 hours to reach Triund. The initial half of the trek is a gradual incline and the last 2 km from Snowline Café involve a steep climb all the way till Triund (2,975 metres).
How to reach McLeodgang
Reach Dharamshala which is a major town, 9 km before McLeodganj via overnight bus from New Delhi. Himachal Roadways and Himachal Tourism have regular bus services from Kashmiri Gate ISBT Delhi from 5 pm onwards. One can travel in Volvo bus and book tickets online at:
From Dharamshala, there are regular local buses to McLeodganj every half hour, plying from 7 am to 8 pm. You can also take a shared cab to McLeodganj or Dharamkot.
How to do the trek
Bhagsu/Dharamkot to Triund via Galu Devi Temple:
- Altitude: 6,184 ft to 9,760 ft
- Distance: 7 km
- Time taken: 3 hours
Bhagsu and Dharamkot are two villages situated about 2 km up the ridge from McLeodganj. Both of them can be considered road heads. The trail from Dharamkot is arguably the nicer one as it climbs through the thick crown of pine forests above the village. Walk up through the forest for about 15 minutes before you get to the Galu temple clearing.
There’s a small tea shop here, just below the shrine. From here, one trail goes south-west into the forest to the village of Naddi. Another forest trail goes north-west, to the stream that descends from Laka. The main trail to Triund continues straight past the small shrine. The trail is a gently rising one, through oak thickets and traverses the steep side of the Laka ridge, following its contour. Dharamkot and Bhagsu lie directly below this trail.
Approximately halfway up the trail is a deep gully that traverses a steep section and emerges on a rocky spur. The main Dhauladhar range, which passes out of view as you ascend from Dharamkot, swings into view here.
This entire stretch is perfect for birdwatchers, as the forests here are literally swarming with various kinds of songbirds. Past the Magic View Café, the trail gets steeper. At this point, the Dharamkot spur of the Laka ridge meets the Triund ridge at right angles, creating a series of steep gullies that end up in thickly wooded chasms.
The trail continues through a series of steep switchbacks. It climbs the Triund ridge through dense thickets of rhododendron and oak trees. It’s a pleasant, if slightly strenuous climb from here to Triund in good weather. Watch your step when it’s raining, as the path turns into mush.
The last couple of switchbacks bring you out of the rhododendrons and out onto the Triund ridge. It’s an open grassy ridge that stretches a good kilometer to the south, before plunging into the Kangra valley. There are plenty of places to camp. You could even get some provisions at the four tea shops here.
From Triund, marvel the immaculate views of Dhauladhar ranges, namely Mun (4,610 m), Rifle Horn, Arthur’s seat & Slab (4,570 m). Water is scarce and is available some 1 km before Triund.
It is highly advisable to carry your own supply of drinking water up here. Forest rest house is the only option for night stay at Triund. Advance booking is required and can be done at Dharamshala. It is advisable to carry your own tent and sleeping bag here. During trekking season you will have presence of dhabas at Triund where you can get a cooked meal and refreshments.
If you are a photography enthusiast, Triund it the place to capture milky way and star trails.
if you need further information, let me know in comments below.