Trek to Triund Hill
I have always been fascinated by trekking and hiking stories but to undertake one- was something I didn’t contemplate. In my college days, we used to drive off to unknown locations and then explore the locality on foot. Back then, I was in good shape, my eating habits were almost inadequate and played a lot of football. But, things changes over time and my half-a-decade stint in Hyderabad made me start to look like a brown snow-man (arghh)!!
No regrets though, If I had a time machine, I would still go back and do the same thing)!! These incessant eating habits had somewhat affected my mobility and it kind of made me feel very lethargic. It was only after I relocated to Bangalore that I started going to the gym regularly, started swimming and play ball every weekend. Yet, I still doubted if this was enough to nullify the half-a-decade of gorging on Kebabs and Biriyanis. One thing was for sure- time would tell!
Triund Hill at 2827 meters (9275 feet) is an elevated ridge from where one can see the mighty Dhauladhar range. From the top of Triund, you can also see the beautiful Kangra valley where McLeod Ganj and Dharamshala are located. Triund is often considered to be more of a hike than a trek since the trail is properly marked. Then again, Triund is also the best option for amateur trekkers since the trail is rocky and cut into steps at certain places.
Triund is also a base-camp for trekkers climbing to higher points like the Snowline; it helps them acclimatize. Now, there are two ways to do this- You can either take a cab to Galu Devi temple which is after Dharamkot and from there the hike should be about 8-9 km or hike all the way from Main Square- distance would be approx. 20 km.
If you decide to play cool and not exert yourself (too much) then you can take the cab ride to Galu Devi temple which will be via the Dharamkot road in front of Clay Oven restaurant (see map). Otherwise, if you think you can take it, then you can follow the same root; only, it will be by foot. There is another trail which begins from the Main Square- just beside Hotel Lhasa and Restaurant- this I don’t know about.
Since we were short of time, we decided to take a cab to Galu Devi temple which is a 45 mins drive and will cost you INR 1000. Upon reaching the temple, the trail is not hard to find- in fact, it is the only way forward. If you’re skeptical, don’t worry, the below video covers the entire hike from the start all the way to the top.
The video is about 6 minutes and covers the trail from the temple, a few vital pit stops and the last stretch to the top of Triund Hill. I found the Triund trek to be less-challenging than the Malana trek because here the ascent is gradual. But, the distance is what makes Triund a hike to not take easily. Otherwise, there is no way you can get lost unless you want to intentionally (ahem ahem). As far as climbing goes, first, get yourself a decent pair of trekking shoes. I would recommend the Adidas Aztor Hiker as it has ankle support and that will prevent you from twisting your ankle when walking on rock-cut slabs. Try not to drink, eat or smoke heavily the previous night- go easy.
The best time to start the trek is in the morning at around 8 am which means you will have to reach the temple at 7.45 ish. You might want to carry or apply sport sunscreen SPF35 to prevent from getting tanned at that height. The climb at a reasonable pace with pit stops in between should take you 3 1/2 hours to reach the top. I wouldn’t recommend eating anything in the morning either- save your appetite for a bowl of Maggi noodles and a cup of Ginger Honey Lemon tea at the top.
The last thing- when to visit Triund? Triund is an all season destination but safe to avoid during the winter which is December to February and during the time of heavy rainfall; which is July and August. We visited during the last week of October when the temperature was favorable. I would like to think that Triund has opened a door of possibilities for me to embark on more treks/hikes. Triund trek is something everyone should do especially if they are skinny dipping into the world of trekking to the Himalayas.