Triund: Beyond the Seventh Heaven in the Himalayas

Triund view of the meadows and the Dhauladhar rangeTriund happens suddenly. One moment you are puffing up a steep, rocky path with only a mountain wall to your left and a forested valley to the right to be seen. And then, with one last step where the path takes a sharp turn, you are upon a green meadow at 2842.26 metres (9326 ft) above sea level, surrounded by snow capped peaks of the Dhauladhar range, all seemingly an arm’s length away.

And when you step into Triund, there is no option but to pause. Partly to catch your breath, and mostly to absorb what is clearly a breathtaking sight. If there is a seventh heaven, you can be sure you have left even that behind. The feeling is one of being on top of the world, surrounded by a ranges even higher than where you stand.

Some related posts before you continue:

TriundThe only way to reach Triund is after a 9-kilometer, 4-hour trek from Mcleodganj (home to the Dalai Lama, situated in the north Indian Himalayan state of Himachal Pradesh) or a 7-km one from Galu Devi Temple in Dharamkot (which you can reach by road and save yourself an hour of trekking). There is an option of going on horseback, but I did not see anyone exercising this option while I was there. A plan to connect Triund by cable car was launched with the usual political fanfare a few years ago, but that was the last one heard of it. Locals are only too glad for it; you would not want to go to Triund for reasons mentioned here once the picknickers take over.

Triund - a place to have no agendaWhat do you once you are in Triund? Some, like an American woman named Megan I met, come up to Triund, have a chai, and head back. Most stay over for at least one or more nights. The more hardy venture beyond, weather and snow levels permitting. Triund is a gateway to a much longer trek beyond the Indrahar pass on the Dhauladhar range.

This is an ideal place to be with nature, to come closer to yourself and to seek Shanti like a girl from Switzerland I got to talk to, discovered. Those who come to these parts of the world to be high on charas seem to be getting a different kind of a pleasure too. If you are one of those who can live without a shower for a long time, this is the where you can plan to lose yourself at. The only reminder of the world left below are some branded foods and supplies being sold at the three shacks set up by enterprising locals, and the music and advertisments playing on the Radio Mirchi FM channel humming constantly from a radio set in the biggest of the shacks owned by Sunil Kumar. Apparently, these are the only signals to reach here; mobiles don’t work.

Forest rest house at TriundNo need for an agenda here. Enjoy the warm sun in the day, and sit around a bonfire in the evening. Read a book, or write one – it is an ideal setting too feel inspired. There are enough fellow travellers from all over the world – US, Argentina, Israel, Bulgaria and Italy to name just some I met people from – to make friends with, share stories and having low decibel fun. Meditate, do yoga, practice your music – Triund is the place where man and nature can form a bond often not possible in most parts of the world.

Some tips when at Triund

Enjoying a bonfire at Triund* Accommodation: There are four rooms in a bricks and mortar forest rest house, as well as some in a private guest house. Very basic, with unclean bedding (what do they wash it with?) and no running water. The forest rest house needs to be booked at Mcleodganj itself, and may or may not be available to non government employees. If no one checks in till evening, the caretaker can give you the room for Rs. 80. ($ 2) Lighting is through a CFL bulb powered by a solar panel. Alternately, you can huddle up in one of the shacks (Sunil Kumar’s assistant says they charge Rs. 100 per person), or caves naturally created in the surrounding mountains. (No, you will not be intruding into any house of the three bears, so you can feel safe. This is the testimony of many who go for this temporary housing.) You can pitch a tent too or just put on the layers and sleep in the open in your sleeping bag.
* Clothing:
I went late April 2008, and there was no need for any warm clothing during the day. But a hat can help for protection against the sun. But the moment the sun goes down, it is a different proposition altogether. Depending on your constitution, you will need some serious woolens.
Menu at Sunil Kumar’s Shack in Triund* Food and Beverages: Before reaching Mcleodganj, we were made to believe there would be no food and water at Triund. It was suggested we carry ample volumes of mineral water, as well as raw food which the forest guest house caretaker could cook. But no need. The three shacks will sell you hot food on order, biscuits, chocolates, packaged snacks, water, aerated drinks and even beer. But these come at a premium of 50-100 percent on the marked price. Why? Supplies come up on horseback, who take Rs. 300-350 ($7-9) for each trip up and cannot carry too much anyway. But it still does not work out very expensive, with a healthy portion of rice costing about Rs. 40 and chai Rs. 15, as some examples.
* Water:
Drink mineral water, or go down to a spring (an hour going and coming back) to get some clean water. The forest rest house caretaker provided us with a jug of water for washing up, but that is just about all the water you can get in Triund.
* Washrooms:
When nature calls, no keys to a washroom will be sent. You know what this means.
Two Argentinians at Triund* Supplies: Get your soaps, toilet rolls, cigarettes and even books from the shacks. Carry your own dope though if you need the high.

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15 COMMENTS

  1. Ah, Triund. Forty years ago, four friends and I made the trek up from Macleod Ganj to spend three days out of the heat and dust of Punjab, where we were serving in the Peace Corps as ag extension agents…

  2. Places like Yol……..Dharamshala………Macleod Ganj………
    Blue skies…….white spread out clouds………sun shining somewhere………
    Beautiful snow covered grey mountains…………Like Dhaulagiri’s………Breath taking amazing valleys……..with small channels or canals gliding over their chest………trying to make d portrait as beautiful as it can be……….Irrigating thousands of green grasslands spread all over d valley……….

    As if they have nothing to loose but only to give.
    I grew up in these parts of the world. I still wonder…..
    How can all these be so carefree and beautiful….??…..
    Sometimes words also come short of d real experience.
    But for one should atleast experience dat experience.

    Till then. Thank you all for reading.

  3. One is always short of words when it comes to comment on such a beautiful place like Triund. It is indeed the most beautiful place I have ever seen . The climate is flabbergasting, vegetation is so nice , slopes are beautiful and last but not the least ; people here are wonderful and helping.I am in love with Triund.

  4. Nice article Ajay. While you did forbid seasoned trekkers to keep smart comments to themselves, I could not resist. Triund was lovely when I first went there in 2003. Since then, the crowd and plastic waste has increased. There is news that the government has auctioned the entire camping ground along with the rest house for 5 years to a private operator and we are in for a commercializing drive. To me, Triund is all but over as a destination. However, there are lots of other trekking destinations in the Dhauladhars, not so far away, between 3-8 days treks which still leave you breathless and speechless. Here’s hoping they stay that way.

  5. Hi Shalabh, It is a pity the way the Himalayas are getting more polluted by the day. All because of irresponsible and short-sighted (and often corrupt) practices by the respective Governments.

  6. Hi my self Rahul and I am planning with 2 friends to have trip to Triund. Though all details are there in the blog but still can any one guide me in more detailed manner about the whole trip. I will be starting from delhi precisely from NOIDA. Planning to stay in tents+trekking. I will be thankful if anyone let me know the whole detail. Even you can call me up at 09899000998.

  7. Hi Rahul, rnI and my friends, a group of 7… will be travelling to mcleodganj next weekend… we are planning a trip to triund too. if you get any info on the trek, please do share notes here :)rnthanks :)

  8. Hi Ritika,rnmay i ask about some info,rnActually i decides to see the Dharamashala .I have seen your article in net, and i was wondering to get some info & details about trekking to the Triund and also some other place in mountain which can see there.

  9. http://www.sacredhimalayas.com- Sacred Himalayas is a complete trekking portal on Garhwal Himalayas providing information on Himalayas trekking with popular treks of Himalayas. Sacred Himalayas gives you an Unforgettable life experience of seeing the sights of the Beauty of Himalayan’s snooty mountains covered with snow with Evergreen Pine Forests. These mountains have the potential of Garhwal Himalayas touching the Adventure freak in anyone. Separately from Himalayas Trekking there are bounties of opportunities for adventure seek lovers.

  10. Hi Ajay,

    Few points: I am a new fan of Kunzum world, recently found you on FB and read lot of stuff about and Kunzum, I am not a reading buff but it was interesting and I kept on reading  Secondly, it was a very interesting travelogue. Lastly, I was looking for some information on McleodGanj as I am going thr on 27 oct and now I can’t wait to see ‘Triund’ ……Is it a good idea to stay overnight at Triund during this season.

  11. Planning on a trip to Triund duirng teh last week of June. I know it rains, anyone had tried this Trek (from McLeodgunj)during late June .

  12. is January end good time to visit Triund ?
    please guide me !
    i am planning a trip to triund this month end !
    provide necessary details !
    ..

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