In the middle of the Himalayas with Dhauladhar range on one side and the lovely Kangra valley on the other, there lies a hill with a flat top called Triund. Because of it’s shape, Triund has become a popular place for camping after trekking for 3 – 5 hours. Yes, the only way of reaching this place is by trekking from McLeodganj or Bhagsu or Dharamkot or Gallu.
The best part about Triund trek is that it can be done in just a few hours and you have an option of trekking back on the same day or staying back and camping – depending on how much time you have. This can be done as a long weekend trip from New Delhi.
Where is Triund?
Asia > India > Himachal
Reaching our base before trekking to Triund – Dharamkot
Your base for the trek can be McLeodganj or Dharamkot or Bhagsu or Gallu – all these are nearby. McLeodganj was once a super chill Tibetan destination but has now become excessively crowded. You can look for a place to stay in the outskirts of McLeodganj, or look at the other three nearby villages – Bhagsu, Dharamkot or Gallu.
I will give you two alternatives for reaching your base from Delhi – the first is by bus and the second is by train. You can take a bus directly from Delhi to McLeodganj and it is usually an overnight journey. Book an AC Volvo bus and carry a blanket. All the other options suck! These buses depart e very few hours from 4 pm to 7 pm from ISBT that’s near Majnu ka Tila. This journey will cost you around Rs. 1000 to Rs. 1300 per person.
Being train obsessed, I prefer the second alternative. For this, you can take an overnight train from Delhi to Pathankot. From Pathankot, you can take a local bus to MacLeoganj. If you have a little time on your hand, there is a narrow gauge train journey from Pathankot to the lovely Kangra Valley that you can do. I did this as a child with my family and loved it. We called it “toy train” back then. You can read about this Kangra Valley train here.
Anyway, for Triund trek, we arrived in McLeodganj area and headed straight to Dharamkot, which is just 20 minutes away from McLeodgan by hiking. Dharamkot is a quieter part of this area with very basic accommodation.
After arriving in Dharamkot, we decided to prepare for our trek by packing very light day bags with basic stuff. We kept only torch, water bottles, sun block, money, sun glasses in our backpacks for the next day.Our next day was going to start painfully early, so we decided to have an early night.
Trek to Triund
We woke up at early, had a light protein based breakfast and headed to Gallu at 6 am. The walk to Gallu is through a medium dense forest of deodar tree with a path of easy steps made of pebbles that you can walk on. The two times that I visited were in summer and both the times this area was beautifully misty and there wasn’t much sunlight in this section. Alternatively, you can also take a cab or an auto (costs 300-350) to Gallu (from McL) and start your trek from there.
Upon arriving Gallu, we refilled out water bottles to keep ourselves hydrated. If you want, you can catch your breakfast from here. There’s a beautiful small café under Tiger’s Crest hotel which overlooks the valley. They have good pancakes and ginger honey mint tea. More details about Gallu are on my post on it which can be accessed by clicking here. The trek from Gallu faces the sun so I recommend you start your trek early like us, not in the noon.
After Gallu, your next stop will be Magic View café, which can take you 40 – 90 mins from Gallu, depending on your speed. Actually, there’s a shop right behind Magic View that has a better view and you can see Triund from here. Just ask one of the shop owners to show you. Oddly, the chai shops up here had things like Gatorade, toilet paper, rolling paper, energy bars (or energy balls as they call them here) as well as local chai.
From Magic View, we took just a little over one hour to reach Triund because we didn’t stop anywhere on the way, however, there are two more cafes where you can stop. The amount of time it can take depends on a lot of things – your travel partner, hydration levels, if you’ve had a good night’s sleep the night before, if you’ve had light but healthy breakfast, etc. If you take more time than others, it’s OK – we all have our own pace. Do not try to push yourself too much to match your pace to someone else’s. You don’t want to collapse here due to exhaustion, dehydration, muscle pull and worst of all, you really do not want to fall down the hill! 🙂 Slow down, admire the sights, the birds, the flowers, breathe in fresh mountain air and go at your own pace.
The last 30 minutes of the trek is exhausting because it’s uphill and there was a point where had to sit and take a break to catch our breath. However, all of a sudden there was a point where we expected to see more steps and we realized we had unexpectedly reached a flat area – we were finally in Triund!
The flatness of this area in the middle of the hills and the view from all the sides took our breath away and replenished our energy. Somehow, our exhaustion disappeared and we ran all around, looking at small tents, chai shops and finally to the different viewpoints at the edges with views of snow covered Dhauladhar Mountains on one side and beautiful Kangra valley on the other side. I do not own a fancy camera and my pictures do not do justice to the beauty of this place.
Trips for Triund Trek
Ideally you need 4 days for Triund if you’re planning on visiting this on a tight schedule. You can reach McLeod area by a direct over bus from Delhi or you can take a night train from Delhi to Pathankot and take a bus or a taxi from there. Reach McLeod area on day 1, acclimatize, wake up early on day 2, and start your trek early, like 6ish. Early because as I mentioned, the first half of the trek faces the sun and you wouldn’t want to trek when it’s sunny. Walk to your stop Gallu or just take a cab or auto for INR 300 to 400if you’re lazy and start your trek from there. I suggest you stay overnight in Triund. No need to carry a tent because you can rent one from Gallu or Triund for INR 500. In triund, ask any chai shop, they will most likely pitch a tent for you. Day 3: Wake up next morning early and there’s a small trek to snowline (illaqua) which will take you 60-90mins. You can also trek back to Mcleod or Gallu on the same day, trekking down is a breeze if compared to trekking up and can be done in half the time.
The trek till Triund is a very easy trek, hardly any treachery, but can be tiring because it’s uphill. However, from Triund to snowline is treacherous and slippery and you should keep it as optional. Also, do avoid trekking after sunset since there are bears in the area.
Visited Triund already and have a few tips of your own to share? Let me know in the comments!
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