Mcleod Ghanj – A night with the ripping glare of Triund

Written by Sreedev

A morning tea with Himalayas!!

Filled with feeling of disappointment, I was lying on my sofa. Two of four friends who were supposed to join me for Auli,Uttarakhand ditched the plan. It was too hard for me to spend those 3 holidays laming around in room regretting about it. My “Plan B” was to do a solo ride to Mc leod Ghanj and trek to Triund. The third person(Bhupesh) in the group was in a half mind, when I shot him with my “Plan B”,  he told me to pick him up from Ambala which comes on the way to Mc leod Ghanj. Next day morning I started riding from Delhi, reached Ambala within 4 hours which was bit drenching but a good stretch well ridden. I picked him up from Ambala cantonment and resumed our ride towards Dharamshala.

RIding to Dharamshala

We reached Dharamshala around 8 pm at night taking 2 3 breaks in between. I am getting tempted to write more about the route filled with astonishing vistas but I think its better to keep that for my future blog since it is such a worthy content.We checked into a budget hotel, it was around 700/day. Room was well equipped for a smart sleep and the view of stacked up concrete houses on the terrains of Dharamshala was coming in through the windows of our room. It was a dry-day in Dharamshala since election was happening in Himachal, but we managed to get a bottle of Royal Challenge through the back doors of a shop in convincing price. After having 4 shots from it, we settled in for the day rejuvenating ourselves for the trek. Having rambling aimless conversations we slipped in to snoring sleep. 

To Gallu Mata temple in Auto

We woke up next morning around 8 and rode to Mcleod Ghanj where we are supposed to park our Bike and go to Galu Mata temple where the trek starts. After grabbing a Himachali hat and essentials for the trek from the Tibetan market in Mcleod, we took an auto to Gallu Mata temple. But I would strongly suggest to start the trek from Mcleod Ghanj, I was actually regretting when trekkers were derisively laughing at us when we were going in Auto, I was feeling a bit retarded. From Gallu Mata temple we started trekking towards Triund at 1 pm which was too late, at least you are supposed to start the trek at 9 am so that you can visit ILAKA, a summit 1 hour ahead of Triund and you can come back to Triund to stay there. Lack of time forced us to drop the plan for Ilaka. We slowly started trailing through the rocky paths from Gallu Mata temple. As usual after 10 minutes of walking we started feeling breathless reminding me of my fatty metropolitan lifestyle. We stopped and decided to take a sit every 15 minutes to get us physically up for the walk. Since it was Holi holidays the paths were too rushy with lots of collage students and Delhites. Triund is a treacherous 4 hour trek through 8 km. May be because we are not well experienced trekkers, we found it little difficult.

Exotic view from the top

A 10 minutes climb through the cliff will make a good altitude change since the whole path is so steep. While walking we could spot people on the top of the other side of mountain ahead of our path, apparently it was giving us vibes of the hard times waiting for us. On the way we encountered rare spicies of birds and splendid flowers in different colour’s, thats when the feel of “trekking to himalayas” synced in. Due to the steepness, after 3 hours of trek, altitude changed to a great extend and the view of Dharamshala from there was breathtaking. In between we stopped in small shops and had something light, not kill our appetite but to energise our exhausting body. It was very expensive(1 plate Maggi- Rs 60). We made friends on the way and a guide of another team was helping us with the info about the path ahead. There was also a girl with rose pink cheeks and baby cute eyes tailing behind us(actually we were tailing her). These are those little eye rings you get when you travel. A look on her was giving us(me at least) the energy to walk for next 10 minutes. It was like; walk for 10 min, wait for her, when she arrives take a look on her and continue. She deserve a thanks from us for energising us with

Waiting for that eye catching beauty!!

her eye catching beauty. I believe its always fine to enjoy beauty weather its nature or the people. Last one hour trek was refreshing with exotic views of horizons. After 4 hours of trek we reached at the summit of Triund at around 5:30 pm.

“Travelling is not about the destination but about the journey itself” – Unknown

But the magic of the Triund trek was its destination and I will put this bluntly. I was scrawling though the last 5 min climb, Bhupesh started yelling from the top to go fast and witness something mind throbbing. I rushed to the top with all the energy left in me and I don’t know what feeling was syncing in to me, it was like switching on a set of HID lamps right in front of me. It was difficult to take those glare with bare eyes. Giant ice covered Dhauladhar mountains standing tall and erect right in front of me so close, then I realised this was triund all famous for. That glare was repairing the imbalances in my body which the trek had done to us. My eyes got wet when I saw that view for first time, it was that beautiful.

Last stretch!!

I believe these are the moment which makes a travel worth. That night we were planning to stay at the top because it was too late to climb down to Mcleod Ghanj. Most of the people on the top had taken a package of Rs 1800 inclusive of tent and food. We were not having any package so we started enquiring the shops for tent. There were 3 4 shops at the top where you can rent a tent inclusive of sleeping bags and mats. Food is very expensive especially in the time of long holidays, one dhal-chval was costing us around Rs.120 . Also if its not long holidays or the rush is less they will cook us if we gave them Maggi or chicken. But you need to do a bit of talking with the shopkeepers. First shop refused to give us tent leaving us disappointingly desiring but the second shop was kind enough to get us a tent costing us around Rs.900 for a single tent. It will only cost less if its not a holiday season. I would strongly suggest to rent a tent from Mcleod Ghanj and take it all the way up to the Triund along with you.

First view of Dhuladhar

At night the temperature was dropping down making us difficult to go out and take a look at that combination of clear sky, charming starts and bluish white snow covered mountains. But my crave for a look at that vista took me out of the tent. Lack of oxygen molecules in air was making our inhalation difficult and bearable fluctuation in our blood pressure, making us chock. Triund is situatied in an elevation of 2875m. We stayed inside the tent having shots of whisky that we brought from Dharamshala and uncooked Maggi as sidings. Its really tasty, Bhupesh told me to try that and I don’t know is it because I was hungry but

I couldn’t stop having it.  In between I peek out and have a look at those bluish illuminated mountains and the twinkling stars on the sky keeping my remaining body in sleeping bag. We slept that night in the hopes of waking up early and watch the sunrise. Songs, screams, cheers and moans where coming from our near by tents but we forced ourselves to sleep. 

Sleepless inside tent

At morning around 6 o clock I heard someone shouting “Sunrise,Sunrise”. With no second thoughts I jumped up and opened the tent. The whole scene was setting up to welcome the sun out of those snow peaks with the electro colours in the sky. I came out of the tent, went to a rock little away from our tent and sat there to see the whole show. I sat there till those fresh rays of a new day covered my whole body warming me up. Bhupesh was enjoying the same scene sitting inside the tent. For the nature calls, there is no manual set up at the top, you can go out to the open places behind the rock and do a squat. Till 9’o’clock we roamed around the green meadows on the top and then we packed our rack sacks to climb down to Mcleod Ghanj. Trekking back was pretty easy and we had covered the whole distance in two and half, three hours. While coming back we trekked back till Mcleod Ghanj which was around 10km precisely. We ate like horses after reaching Mcleod Ghanj. This visit to triund was by chance, but every detail of the ride and trek worth a lifetime.

Cheat sheet for trekkers going to Triund
1. Its a moderate level trek.
2. Its better if you can carry the tent from Mcleod Ghanj.
3. On the top there is a forest department guest house but most of the time i.
t will be closed
4. Take some fruits and raw food items which can be prepared easily.
5. If you don’t want to carry your baggage, you will get potters from Mcleod Ghanj where they will take to the top over the horse. 



Writer & Blogger

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