Triund, in spite of its recent commercialization, remains the best vantage point for Dhauladhar gazing and peering over the Kangra Valley, where McLeodganj and Dharamshala are located. The Triund Hill, situated at an elevation of 2827 meters (9275 feet) is a long exposed ridge covered with grass and it is the best known day trek and the easiest in the region. The trek from McLeodganj to Triund is an ideal way for beginners to get familiar with trekking and is often considered more of a hike than a trek considering that the trail is properly marked and even though rocky, is hewn into steps at certain places. The Triund trek in itself can be completed within a day by fit enough travellers or could also be stretched out to last 2-3 days. It basically involves a rocky trail of 9 km to the top. Since the distance and the altitude aren’t too much, anyone in a reasonably fit physical condition can take the journey. You gain around 900 to 1000 meters in altitude during this trek, while not difficult, the trails can whet your stamina in case you are not used to trekking.
Table of Content:
- Trek Overview
- Triund Trivia
- The Triund Trek
- Best Time to Visit
- How to Reach
- Starting points for Triund Trek
- Triund Trek Map
- Triund Trek Itinerary
- Further Treks
- Things to Carry
- Triund Trek Cost Terms
- How to Get Fit for the Triund Trek
- The Triund Trek Highlights
- Summing Up
Triund is one of the most explored yet most beautiful and easy short trek, which attracts a lot of tourists every year from India and all over the world. With Dhauladhar being one of the most unique and beautiful mountain ranges in the world, the rocky terrains with a million boulders jutting out of the mountain, makes it ambient to see and interesting to climb. The length of this trek makes it apt for a weekend.
- Where it is Located: Himachal Pradesh
- Number of Trekking Days: 1-3 Days
- Trekking Grade: Moderate
- Max Altitude: 2827 m (9275 ft)
- Trekking Distance: 9 km
- Livingit Rank: Enthusiast
Triund is known to be the Jewel of Dharamshala, which is a city in the upper reaches of the Kangra Valley and is surrounded by dense coniferous forest consisting mainly of stately Deodar cedar trees. The trek to Triund begins from the village of McLeodganj, which is known worldwide for the presence of the Dalai Lama. McLeodganj is also known as 'Little Lhasa' or 'Dhasa' (a short form of Dharamshala used mainly by Tibetans) because of its large Tibetan population. The Tibetan government in exile is headquartered in McLeodganj.
The Triund Trek
Triund is also known to be a base-camp for trekkers who are climbing to higher points such as the Snowline; it helps them acclimatize. Triund has an unequivocal byway which runs through a beautiful mixed forest of oak, deodar, and rhododendron. The trek is fairly easy for the first five kilometres; however, the last one kilometre might require a certain amount of toiling. The last one kilometre is famously known as the '22 curves' as it has 22 tiring curves till you finally reach Triund. The trudge to the top, however, is worth it, as the panorama is totally awe-inspiring and exhilarating.
The trek involves gradual to steep ascents that even amateurs can cover. However, if you are trekking during winters, the trek becomes slightly difficult due to the presence of snow on the otherwise firm and well-defined path.
Best Time to Visit
Triund can be visited throughout the year. The summer season is most preferred, as the months of March-May extend vibrant colours and a great view of the Dhauladhar Mountains. However, should you want to experience snow, you can also consider the latter part of the year, winter months – September to December. It is wise to note that the byway path to Triund is blocked off due to heavy snowfall during the months of January and February. June-July is when the landscape receives its rainfall, but trekking is still a possibility in the midst of the greenery.
- Summer: 28 to 32 degree Celsius (day); 23 to 28 degree Celsius (night)
- Winter: 17 to 22 degree Celsius (day); 8 to 12 degree Celsius (night)
- Monsoon: 18 to 23 degree Celsius (day); 6 to 11 degree Celsius (night)
How to Reach
- Pathankot/Chakkibank: 100 km
- Chandigarh: 325 km
- Delhi: 558 km
Since the journey between Delhi to Mcleodganj/Dharamshala is a long one, most private buses leave in the evening between 5pm-6pm. Similarly, for the return journey, buses leave from Mcleodganj/Dharamshala between 4pm-5pm. Most private buses can be booked online and the fares range between Rs 1,000 – Rs 1,500 one way. Remember to keep buffer time to account for any bus delays.
- Pathankot or Chakkibank: 100 km
- Chandigarh: 325 km
The nearest railway stations on the Simla-Kangra of narrow gauge lines are at Jassur (Nurpur, Kangra, and Himachal Pradesh) and Paror railway stops near Nagrota which is about 20 km south of Dharamshala.
The nearest railhead of broad gauge is the Pathankot Railway Station, at Pathankot which is about 85 km, then Chandigarh which is about 325 km
Regular buses are available from Pathankot and Chandigarh to Mcleodganj/Dharamshala.
The nearest airport is the Gaggal Airport which is about 13 km from Dharamshala.
With the increased commercialization of the trek, the stay options to have been on the rise. The oldest structure is a Forest Guest House on the top of Triund, which can be booked in Dharamshala. An advance booking is advised, or else you will not get a room. The booking office lies behind Park Restaurant opposite to Dharamsala Police Station and General Post Office. There are also several other privately owned guesthouses where a room would cost somewhere around Rs 500 – Rs 700/night. Several guest houses established at Dharamkot which is at a walking distance from McLeodganj also offer rooms before the start of a trek.
Apart from this, tents are readily available at almost every shack of Triund. There are also planned treks with guides, wherein they provide and set up the tents along with a sleeping bag, refreshments along the trek and even meals at the final point. If the idea of a guided tour doesn’t appeal to you, you can carry your own tent (and sleeping bag) for your own setup. However, remember that you cannot pitch your tent if you do not have permission from the Forest Department. It’s advisable to obtain the permission from the Forest Office in the Dharamshala town, at least a day before the trek. Food and refreshments are available in shops that are located along the way as well as at the final point of the trek where you can also get full meals. Point to note, the prices of food increases with altitude, so you might want to carry some refreshments with you.
Another adventurous option is a couple of caves located on the south end of the ridge which offers free accommodation.
Temperatures drop pretty low at the higher altitudes, especially during the winter months, so it’s good to keep an eye out for the weather conditions and be prepared for the same.
Starting points for Triund Trek
There are several starting points for Triund Trek:
Starting from McLeodGanj
Starting out from McLeodganj will take you the most amount of time. From McLeodganj, you need to head towards Dharamkot first, which via a shortcut is about a 15-minute leisurely walk.
There are also multiple accommodation options to choose from at McLeodganj.
Starting from Dharamkot
The trail starting from Dharamkot to Triund is approximately 7 km and passes via Gallu Temple which is also another starting point for many. To reach the Gallu Temple, the trail passes through a pleasing jungle trail and will consume about an hour of walk time.
What many trekkers do is they rent out rooms at Dharamkot and choose it to be their starting point.
Starting from Gallu Devi Temple
There is the facility of renting a taxi to take you up to Gallu Devi Temple, which is one of the best-known starting points of the trek. At this point, there are a couple of tiny cafes as well from where you can buy refreshments.
Starting from Bhagsu Nag
Should you decide to start your trek from Dharamshala, then Bhagsu Nag will be your starting point. The Triund trek trail is approximately 9 km and there is a shortcut leading to Bhagsu village from Dharamkot. Bhagsu is popular for it a temple, hippies and a massive waterfall.
Triund Trek Map
Triund Trek Itinerary - Day to Day Breakdown
The Triund Trek can very easily be covered in a day, however, if you do wish to spend the night on the summit, and explore the nearby locations having traversed already a distance, your trek could stretch to 2-3 days. The trek distance from McLeod Ganj to Triund is 9 Km, but as the old saying goes - you cannot measure the distance of mountains in kilometres, it is the number of hours you take to reach the top. It all depends on which direction you want to lead the trek.
Jotted below is a rough itinerary for the sake of ease in planning.
Bhagsu/Dharamkot to Triund via Galu Devta
Altitude: 6,184 ft to 9,760 ft
Distance: 7 km
The villages of Bhagsu and Dharamkot are situated about 2 km up the ridge from McLeodganj. As mentioned earlier, they are both considered as road heads.
The trail from Dharamkot is the more pleasant of the two since the trail leads through the thick crown of the pine forests. At the Gallu Temple clearing, there are a couple of cafes catering to refreshments. From here, one trail leads south-west into the forest to the village of Naddi, while another forest trail leads north-west, towards the stream that descends from Laka.
The main trail towards Triund persists in a straight fashion past the shrine. This trail gently rises, moving through the thickets of oak, whilst making its way over the steep side of the Laka ridge. Dharamkot and Bhagsu lie directly below this trail.
Roughly about halfway up the trail, you will find a deep gully that travels across a steep section and emerges on a rocky spur. As you ascend from Dharamkot, the Dhauladhar Range will come into view. This stretch of the forests is literally crawling with various species of songbirds, and is a real paradise for bird fanatics.
Moving past the Magic View Café, the trail starts to get steeper. It is at this very point that the Dharamkot spur of the Laka ridge meets the Triund ridge at right angles, hereby creating a series of steep gullies that end up in ravines of thick woods.
The trail continues to move through a series of steep switchbacks, filled with oak trees, and rhododendron. The end of the switchbacks is the end of the rhododendrons, bringing you to the Triund ridge. This extends as grassy stretch for about a kilometre before hurling into the Kangra Valley.
The slightly strenuous path isn’t too bad during pleasant weather; however the rains do tend to turn the pathway into complete mush. The ridge of Triund is best place to set up camp. During trekking season you will notice the presence of small shacks which will provide you with a full meal. Do remember to carry water as water is a scarcity up here and is available only some 1 km before Triund.
Triund – Bhagsu/ Dharamkot
To return, retrace the route you took to reach Triund Hill all the way back to Dharamkot. An all descending trail allows for quick trekking and you can cover the distance in a lesser time.
There are options to take your further and beyond the Triund Ridge, trek a bit further to reach the Snowline Café, Lahesh cave and Indrahar Pass. If you have the time to spare, it’s also possible to cross the pass and arrive at Chamba on the other side. So, Where can I go from the final point of Triund Trek?
Snow Line (Laka Got)
The Snow line point is approximately 2 km from Triund and it will take you a max of 2 hours to reach there. It will give you a closer view of the Dhauladar range on the east in a series of peaks and a below the grassy ridges of Triund.
The popular snow line cafe is just a small shop which is the last food point on this route.
Laka Glacier and Lahesh Cave
A bit further up from Snow Line, you can trek towards the Laka Glacier. This will take you 2 hours at max to reach this point. You can witness the glacier if you are there between the months of March – May, post which it starts to recede.
The Lahesh cave is a natural long shelter, and if you get up to this point, you can camp at Snow Line on the way back.
Chhatta Parao (over Indrahara Pass-4350M)
This a steep and a taxing climb which will take you about three to four hours. This pass is one of the most frequented, by shepherds and trekkers to make their way to Chamba and Bharmaur. The view from this pass is the most amazing and captivating views of the Himalayas.
You will also be able to get a glimpse of Chamba Kailash from this pass. If you want to camp, then camping is done at Chatta Parao under the rock shelter.
Things to Carry
- Good quality, good grip trekking shoes already worn in before the trek.
- Backpack of 40-60 litres with sturdy straps and a supporting frame. A rain cover for the backpack is a must.
- At higher altitude campsites, the temperatures could drop to 2-6 degrees. Two light layers such as fleece and woollen and one padded jacket as an additional layer is advisable for this trek.
- Two trekking pants, one as regular wear and a spare in case the first one gets wet.
- Two collared t-shirts, full sleeved, of light material to prevent from sunburns on the neck and arms during the day and keep out the cold during the night. One for regular wear and a spare in case the first one gets wet.
- For those who feel the cold more easily, carry thermals to wear at night.
- Sunglasses to prevent from snow blindness, which could be present closer to the lake.
- A Sun cap to cover your head from the direct heat of the sun.
- Synthetic hand gloves, one pair water resistant and windproof in nature, and another of fleece or woollen.
- Balaclava or woollen scarves.
- Two pairs of sports socks and a pair of woollen socks for the night.
- Headlamp or LED torch with extra batteries for backup.
- A walking stick or a trekking pole for additional balance and support.
- A Daypack of 20 litres should you decide to offload your backpack, a daypack will be good to carry water, medical kit and some light snacks.
- Essential toiletries only
- Original ID proof and two photographs.
- Two water bottles: 1 litre each.
- Plastic covers to help compartmentalise smaller things, and a few extra plastic bags for wet items.
- Compulsory Personal Medical Kit
Triund Trek Cost Terms
There are lots of service providers that offer good Triund trek packages, each with varied inclusions and exclusions; it is up to you to choose one that suits your needs. The generic terms of a basic Triund trek package is as follows:
- Sleeping tents
- Sleeping bags/mats
- Toilet tents
- Professional guide
- Transportation from Delhi to McLeodganj and back
- Travel insurance
- Medical Insurance
How to Get Fit for the Triund Trek
In terms of difficulty, the Triund trek is classified as Easy to Moderate, but, it is still essential that you get fit for the trek in order to avoid soreness and injures.
In order to be able to comfortably cover this distance and altitude you need to build up your cardiovascular endurance. Begin by jogging every day and you should be at a point of jogging 4 km in 20 minutes before the start of the trek. Pace yourself and begin slowly, to achieve this checkpoint. Other activities that could help in this are climbing stairs, cycling and swimming without the indulgence of too many breaks in between.
You will be required to build up strength in your core body and muscles. For this, squats are a good form of strengthening leg muscles. Begin by achieving three sets of eight squats each. Adding planks and crunches to your activity could also boost the strengthening process.
A certain amount of flexibility of the body can go a long way in trekking comfortably. Try out some stretching exercises for this focusing on your hamstrings, quadriceps, hip flexors, lower back muscles and shoulders on a regular basis. These exercises will enable you to bear the weight of that backpack (no matter how light) and keep you in shape before the trek.
The Triund Trek Highlights - Other Details about the Triund Trek
Here are all the things you need to know about in case you decide to have an overnight stay there.
Activities in Triund
There aren’t a multitude of activities available around this area, and trekking is the core activity available.
Sightseeing in Triund
The Trekking scene is pretty well organized, with various planned treks to choose from of different durations. Triund is not only known for its spectacular picturesque view of snow clad mountains but is also for the mesmerizing destination, the clouds and the grassy meadows that leave you awestruck. The views include the likes of the Indrahar Pass, the Minkiani Pass, Kareri Lake and all the way to Kuarsi Pass and Mani-Mahesh. Also, if you would like to spend more time on the trek, you could head to the Lahesh Cave and explore the meadows below Indrahar Pass. Go ahead and explore Gallu Devi Temple, Shri Kunal Pathri Devi Temple, and the Bhagsu Waterfalls!
Shopping in Triund
The colourful streets again depict the dominance of Tibetan culture with artefacts, bronze statues, prayer Thangkas and metal prayer wheels can be bought here. Few shopping arcades at McLeodganj are Tibetan Handicraft Centre, Stiches of Tibet, Green Shop, TCV Handicraft centre. Among the interesting things to shop for are Tibetan carpets, waistcoats and dresses.
Triund in itself does not boast of nightlife of any kind, however, you could skip along to McLeodganj or Dharamshala where you could find a few good clubs and pubs for a night of fun and frolic.
The Triund region portrays the dominance of the Tibetan cuisine, which is a reflection of the landscape of mountains and plateaus. Among the most sought after food items are the Momos, Thukpa – kind of noodle soup, Tingmo – steamed bread, and Bakleb - a Tibetan version of 'Samosas'. Tea is something of an elixir, which everyone drinks daily in good quantities, and the honey ginger lemon tea is a must try. Among desserts, Lemon tarts, Cakes, Chocolate Mousse, Pancakes are available.
Best Restaurants Nearby
There is no dearth of eating options as there are several cafes on the way with 'Magic View', 'Scenic View' & 'Snowline Cafe' topping the list of the popular eateries of the region. There are a few restaurants of Mcleodganj such as Tibet Kitchen, Lung Ta, Khana Nirvana, Shiva Café which are also a favourite among trekkers.
This weekend getaway is a short and sweet trek that will transport you from the lower Dhauladhars to climb a hill top just in front of the mighty ranges. This trek is definitely on the must do list for nature lovers, as one hand it offers you the amazing views of the Kangra Valley, and on the other hand, the view of the Dhauladhar Mountains, definitely a sight to behold!