Triund is like a Friday night. You can very well see what is ahead and you know what you have just left behind. The tingling of a cool weekend to look forward to and the madding week left behind. We all know what that feels like. And Triund feels just like that.
Triund is that more-than-welcome flat bit of land at 2890 metres, and it sure makes you work hard to get there. You can get there only by walking, and just a few shortcuts are allowed. Let me correct myself there, the shortcuts aren’t allowed, they must be looked for, and must be analysed for their eventual benefits. And then you can decide to take them, if you must.
You would encounter a lot of two-way traffic enroute to Triund. Some would politely overtake you, some making a lot of unnecessary noise but not really making any headway and also those that greet you. As on any other journey, these passersby’s make for good conversation topics with your other co-travellers.
To set your sight on the destination can be a good way to beat any Monday-morning-blues you might be facing. A quick but bone-jangling auto ride from Dharamkot might also lessen the number of kilometres you have to walk by one and a half. This auto journey might just be the scariest one ever (valid till they construct a pakka road).
Since a good way to commence a journey is by getting some blessings on your side, you could go and ring some bells at the Galu temple, beyond which no vehicle will be willing to take you. From here on in, you start, on an uphill journey, on foot.
The path either goes flat or up. The flat parts are pretty hard to come by, and hence a considerable amount of time is spent on them: taking breaks, enjoying the view, discussing how much of the trek is left etc. The HPCA stadium is your constant companion throughout the trek, since its recent addition to the Dharamsala geography.
The views are spectacularly plain, cause all you see are the plains. On a lucky day, as was ours, you can catch a glimpse of the Pong Dam reservoir, in the Kangra valley. It is a huge lake that also doubles up as a well known wildlife sanctuary. A few scattered hazy hills can be seen, but they don’t lend any beauty to the landscape at all. Of course, for those with a love for concrete jungles it might be a wonderful view.
If you walk as fast as we did, then within 90 minutes you should be at the halfway point. There are a couple of dhabas, one of which is very famously knows as the Magic view Cafe. The newer one, with a ‘better’ view that looks directly at Triund is called Best View. I leave it to you to make the painful decision between magic or best. This being my 3rd time at the half way point, and having firsthand experience with both, I chose the latter. Have some drinks at double the cost of MRP and proceed to walk on.
Further the path is a lot of uphill task. It is continuously tilted at an angle ranging between 15 to 45. Never a 0. This is the part where the shortcuts are appealing, and you must keep out a keen eye for them. And some steady feet. Shortcuts have the known ability to cut your distance, but they also add the gift of danger.
The last stretch takes your breath away, and so does the first view of Triund. They somehow compensate for each other and allow you to become a kid wanting to roll down the meadows. The Indrahar peak stands upto you. And in between the snowy ranges and you is that bit of grassy land called Triund, like a carpet of green, interspersed with tarpaulin blue dhabas. But dont be mistaken; there is a well hidden deep gorge that separates the meadows from the mountain up ahead.
Triund is like a Friday night. You can see the snowy peaks at stones throw and if you just spin at 180 degrees, the plains stare back mundanely at you.
How and what?
Triund is roughly 7 kms away from Dharamkot which lies another 2 kms above from Mcleodgunj, and that is 9 kms from Dharamsala. But people dont start their trek from Dharamsala, and it is only prudent to start from the Dharamkot. Those wanting to cut down further can also start from Galu temple.
Mcleodgunj is connected with Delhi through regular buses. The roadways buses are fairly frequent, while there are 2 deluxe options: TATA AC (Rs 735) and VOLVO (Rs 950). Tickets for the latter can be booked either from ISBT Kashmiri Gate or Himachal Bhawan, Mandi House.
If you prefer trains then you can catch an overnight train to Pathankot, from where there are plenty of vehicular options available.
If you prefer airplanes, you should probably go to Goa.
There is plenty to do at Triund and nothing at all, depending on your choice. You can eat, drink, read, walk, trek further, hang out with sheep, click photographs, eat, roll on the grass, ride a unicycle (one of the tourists actually did that), sit by the bonfire and gaze at the numerous stars. Or you could just borrow a blanket from the dhaba and laze around indefinitely.
I highly recommend you spend at least one night up there instead of returning to civilisation the same day. It lets you enjoy both the walks and the stay.
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