“From where did you get these beautiful red and pink rhododendron flowers and is there any other use of these flowers apart from making a juice”? I asked a local old man who had hands full of rhododendron flowers and was going back to Mcleodganj from Triund. “We make a chutney or simply eat their petals. These flowers are medicinal and are very good for health.” An old man replied. Although, he had put in efforts and time to collect these flowers from the Rhododendron trees dotted on the last leg of Triund trek, he was kind enough to offer us few flowers to eat. The simplicity and purity of village life was still intact in this world full of selfish people.
Here I was trekking with my friends on a beautiful trail to “Triund” a hidden gem situated at height of 2975 meters above sea level in the lap of majestic Dhauladhar Mountains. It is a very popular trekking spot and attracts a lot of trekkers and tourists from India and all over the world. It is approximately 8-9 km easy trek which can be completed leisurely in maximum of 4 to 5 hours and every inch is worth the scenic beauty it offers.
“It’s better to see something once than to hear about it thousand times”. Quotes like these always inspire me to bring out a gypsy hidden inside me. One must do at least one trek in the Himalayas. If you are on a trek, you are normally away from the usual tourist spots and are on a less traveled path or remote areas thereby getting a glimpse of a life of locals.You will never get a time but you will have to take out a time and give yourself a well-deserved break.
Triund trek can be described as a tranquil trek which can be easily accomplished by almost all age groups. The first 1 hour or so is a steep climb followed by easy to moderate path and then the last one-hour climb again tests your stamina. The last one kilometer may require a bit of effort and it is popularly known as the “22 curves” before you finally reach Triund. The route goes through a forest of oak, deodar and rhododendron. All along the route, you will be greeted by small chai shops serving piping hot Maggie noodles, omelets, tea and coffee. “Magic View” is the oldest chai shop since 1984.
Just before reaching Triund, we took a small break for a refreshing tea in a small hut. The owner prepared a piping hot ginger tea and then showcased his talent by playing a beautiful pahadi song on his flute. He created a magnificent aura and we encouraged him to play more songs. It was a nice little surprise for us before reaching the top.
When we reached Triund,the panorama was awe inspiring. A fresh green meadow with a stunning backdrop of snow laden Dhauladhar range on one side and beautiful Kangra valley on the other side. We soaked the freshness of the place. Even in summer, It was crispy & cool in the evening but we loved it. It refreshed and recharged us.
Overnight stay in tents is highly recommended to witness the phenomenal sunset and sunrise. In the night, the lights of Dharamshala & Kangra Valley will look like “Taare Zameen Par”.
If you stay at Triund, you can witness a beautiful sunrise and the morning glory. Snow peaks bathe in orange and golden colors. It is an ideal time to do a Yoga, Pranayama & Meditation to get the much required peace of mind.
Next morning, we had a tasty breakfast in a local chai shop, and marched ahead for a 4 km hike to snowline. Snowline is situated at height of around 3300 meters (10800 feet) above sea level. The route is fantastic and offers a panoramic view of Triund from the top. After a climb of couple of hours, wereached a snowline. Playing in the snow is a must do activity. Enjoy throwing a snow balls on each other, click a series of snaps, sip an orange ice gola by pouring minute maid orange juice on snow, eat a delicious masala maggi or just chill out in the snow.
We were back to Triund in the afternoon and had a lunch. It was time to say goodbye and trail back to Mcleodganj by evening and take a nice rest. We had a full day in our hand before leaving for Pathankot to board an overnight train to Delhi. We grabbed this opportunity and visited Dalai Lama Temple Complex, Norbulingka Institute, Dal Lake, Bhagsu Nag Temple and Waterfall, Namgyal Monastery, Tea Gardens, Dharamshala Cricket Stadium & few others spots. Norbulingka Institute was serene and peaceful place with a nice coffee shop. Dharamshala Cricket Stadium is such a beautiful place to play or watch cricket with a backdrop of Dhauladhar mountains. Sightseeing was followed by a souvenir and local handicrafts shopping in Tibetan Market.
Next morning, we reached Old Delhi Railway Station and subsequently to Terminal 3 to board a flight back to home. It is hard to say goodbye to Himalaya’s but we have to do it in order to get back to our routine city life and start planning for yet another superb trek or a trip to mountains.
Dharamshala is approx. 475 km from Delhi and there are many buses that ply in evening from Delhi.
The nearest airport to Dharamshala is Gaggal Airport, located about 13 km away.
The nearest major railway station to Dharamshala is at Pathankot, located at a distance of 85 km. Buses and taxis are available from Dharamshala.
Mcleodganj (also known as Upper Dharamshala or Little Lhasa) is famous around the world for being home to the Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama.