On August 17th 2013 at 10:00 am we (Triund Baba and Gordon Cole) decided to meet up in Sun & Moon Cafe behind Gallu Devi Temple above Bhagsunag and 2km ahead of Dharamkot.
We had planned a Triund hike through possible rain and thick fog, so after having tea and noodles at Sun & Moon Cafe, we started our climb. As usual plenty of tourists were heading to Triund Hill. The views as expected were brilliant with light fog all over. But the rain was still absent.
We were in no hurry and after 1 hour climb we arrived at Magic View Cafe and paused there for a cup of tea and as the name suggest the view of Bhagsunag and Dharamsala from there were magical with Fog and Clouds acting as frames on both sides of Bhagsunag and in the centre Bhagsunag was all clear with green fields, trees, stream that flows out from Bhagsu Waterfall and concrete buildings.
Indrahar Pass a mountain Pass at an altitude of 4,342 metres (14,245 ft) beyond Triund Hill, Snow-Line Cafe and Illaqa, a traditional gateway to Chamba/Bharmour from Dharamsala. When there was no road connectivity the people of Chamba and Kangra used Indrahar Pass to travel both side and it was not only for hikers, whole of the families used to migrate from this route and due to heavy snow in those days they even had to come across causalities and more. Though today with the convenience of roads and public transport all have switched to bus and other means of transport. So now a days during summer and monsoon in search of green pastures for their live-stocks, only Gaddi shepherds use this pass to cross over to Holi, Bharmour and Lahaul Spiti and they are joined by hikers and mountaineers.
Kuwarasi in Chamba district is the first village you will come across if you start your hike from Dharamsala, Triund and Indrahar Pass.
In the heights of Dhauladhars neighboring Triund is the temple of Birni Devi in Palampur.
Temple of Birni Devi is located above Gallu Langha village of Palampur and is accessible from following route Palampur–>Lohna–>upper Bundla–>Gallu Langha.
To Gallu Langha cabs and buses ply from Nehru Chowk and Palampur ISBT, respectively charging 15 INR. Once you are in Gallu, you’ll see a trail opposite to civil dispensary and a shop which leads through pine trees to the temple of Birni Devi. The trail to Birni Devi is of moderate to easy category, but the rigid nature of trail may prove difficult for some. From Gallu if you have good stamina then it’ll take at least 3 hours to reach Birni Devi temple else it will take 5 hours.
From the temple of Birni Devi one can have the broad sight of Palampur town reaching the Kangra valley in distant horizon and with the help of binoculars one can have the view of Baijnath town.
Dhauladhar mountain series is the closest to feel from here. There are no shops or up in Birni Devi Temple, so you should carry food with you and do not litter.
What will be the weather in last of December for camping overnight?
— As of now there is fresh light snow fall in Dhauladhars, so you can expect a cold weather in Triund Hill.
2. Do I need a guide for the mentioned Itinerary?
No if you start early in the morning say around 8AM then you’ll reach Triund by 12 noon and may come across some fellow trekkers plus there are two shops ahead Dharamkot one in Gallu Devi and second one is Magic View Café and here you’ll find people who will be always happy to help. Most people go to Triund on their own without guide….and if you asked anyone in Dharamkot for route they’ll tell you. But then it’s your choice to hire guide.
But up to Triund and Snowline café you don’t need any. Just be careful and try and walk in the inner sides of the trails for own safety and never forget to inform your family and friends about your trekking plans.
3. What kind of gear/equipment I should carry (especially for illaqa)?
All you need is good warm jacket, gloves if you like, cap, woolen socks, and good shoe with grip and sun protection cream for face. As of Ilaka that is the Glacier point most of trekkers avoid it during Dec end to March (except professional trekkers)….because of heavy snow fall in Dhauladhars. It would be good if you restrict your trail up to Triund or still if you like to go further and if there is mild snow in Triund then you can try up to SnowLine café…at a distance of about 3km from Triund (there is no guarantee of café being open in December end due to cold weather). But if you like to stay in Triund for a night or more you better check this link providing info advance booking of Guest House of Forest Department in Triund http://www.triundhill.com/triund-guest-house
You don’t need to carry any sleeping bag if you can get a room in guest house…..in Triund there are two tea shop and they have some tents and charge about 300/- INR for each tent with 3 sleeping Bags and mattresses. But Guest House is good option in December….something better than tents.
4. What is the tourist traffic in that time?
Traffic is LOW due to cold weather but there are some who dare to enjoy cold weathers.
Devi Himani Chamunda: – Situated at an approximate altitude of 10,500 feet above sea level, centuries old Temple of Devi Himani Chamunda (Chamunda Devi) is another interesting point of trekking near Triund hill. Temple of Devi Himanu Chamunda is accessible from Badsar village near village Jiya and Gopalpur Zoo.
For complete detail go to Neighborhood page of Triundhill.com
Kareri Village is another interesting place neighboring Triund Hill. Kareri village is approximately in following co-ordinates 32° 16′ 50.93″ N 76° 16′ 50.77″ E and is just 3km from Ghera village.
From Kareri village, the Kareri Lake (Locals of Kareri call it Dal Lake) is at a distance of 13km and approximately in following co-ordinates 32° 19′ 18.52″ N 76° 16′ 37.06″ E and about 2,934 meters above sea level. Kareri Lake is a high altitude lake with low depth and its primary source of water is snow melting from Mankiani Peak, with Nyund stream as its main outflow in Dhauladhar region.
You can reach Kareri village from Dharamsala via Ghera village. For complete detail go to Neighborhood page of Triundhill.com
Another moderate trek neighboring Triund Hill is the Temple of Shri Guna Devi ( Shri Gunna Devi ) located in following co-ordinates 32° 16′ 21.89″ N 76° 18′ 54.56″ Eand about 2,400 meter above sea level and approximately at a distance of 15km from Dharamsala. Shri Guna Devi mandir is completely surrounded by forests. People from neighboring villages and even from Kangra, Dharamsala annually come here for pilgrimage.
For complete detail check Neighborhood page of Triundhill.com