Triund Hill, Triund is located at a height of about 2,842 meters above sea level and with a distance of about 9 km from McLeodganj and 17 km from Dharamsala town. Bhagsu Naag lies at the foothills of Triund. In the neighborhood, Bhagsunaag is famous for its historic Shiva Temple and Waterfall. McLeodganj or “Little Lhasa” is another attraction and place of interest that lies before Triund and it is the capital of Tibetan Govt in exile since 1960. McLeod Ganj name is driven from, a Lieutenant Governor Sir Donald Friell McLeod,of Punjab of British rule. McLeodganj is located at a height of 2,082 meter above sea level.
Dharamsala or popularly known as Bhagsu among local Gorkha community is the main town located at a height of 1,457 meter above sea level and which can boast to have Triund as its jewel in Himalayan region. Kangra Valley surrounds Triund to a large extent.
Some of most interesting points neighboring Triund Hill are as follows :-
(1) 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 Himani Chamunda is accessible from Badsar village near village Jiya and Gopalpur Zoo. Distance to Badsar village from Dharamsala is about 35Km and further from Badsar trek to temple of Devi Himani Chamunda is about 15km to 18km ith easy to follow trail, but a steep and tough one.
The temple authorities have two sheds for the visitors and devotees and one room with kitchen for the priest and his associate.
Beside the Devi temple, there are two other temples dedicated to Lord Shiva and Shri Hanuman. Best time to go to temple of Devi Himani Chamunda is from March 20th to Nov 10th, as after Nov 15th to March 15th there is no facility of night stay and food due to cold weather, for the temple is very close to snow capped Dhauladhar. There is one shop too that offers refreshments and which is operational only between March 15th to September.
There is a drinking water fountain fed by ground water at a distance of about 350 meters, which facilitates the need of drinking water for the temple and the nearest source of drinkable water up here.
As of now the charge of temple is taken by Govt. of Himachal Pradesh and they have started the work on a link road to the closest point of the temple.
From the heights of Devi Himani Chamunda one can have a wide view of vast horizons displaying Dharamsala, Yol, Gopalpur and Parur village. One can even see Triund hill at a distance.
(2) Shri Guna Devi Mandir :- 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″ E and about 2,400 meter above sea level and approximately 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. The temple complex has Temple of Shri Guna Devi, one stay in room with store, another room behind the store and an under construction hall adjacent to Temple. Electricity and water supply is available so you can stay here for a night.
This small complex of Shri Guna Devi displays wonderful and closer views of Dhauladhar Mountains. The real shrine of Shri Guna Devi is located amidst thick forest at a distant of about 500 meters from the point where temple is built.The regular one day trail to Shri Guna Devi temple starts from Naddi village above Dal Lake of Dharamsala and McLeod Ganj. From Naddi you will follow a moderate trial on right hand side amidst houses of Naddi village and reach Bahl village after crossing a bridge over a small stream and a steep hike. Since the trail is of moderate category and without any diversion, the distance from Bhal village is only of about 1hr and 45 minutes for an average person.
(3) Kareri Village and Dal Lake of Kareri :-
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. Total distance to Kareri village from Dharamsala ISBT is about 22km.
From Kareri village, the Kareri Lake (Locals of Kareri call it Dal Lake) is at a distance of 13km to 15km and approximately in following co-ordinates 32° 19′ 18.52″ N 76° 16′ 37.06″ E and about 2934 meters above sea level. Best time to trek to Kareri Lake is between March to September month as after October ther weather around there gets colder and even mild snow in November and heavy snowfall after December to March. Kareri Lake is a high altitude lake with low depth and its primary source of water is snow melting from Minkiani Peak, with Nyund stream as its main outflow in Dhauladhar region. Since it is a fresh water lake and shallow, transparency of water is very high with visibility of lake bed in most of points. By the side of Kareri Lake, there is a Shiv Mandir and 3 rooms in poor condition but enough to give you shelter for a night, if you have sleeping bags.
You can reach Kareri village from Dharamsala via Ghera village, since at present Ghera is the only nearest village which is connected to Dharamsala with road (poor road condition). For Ghera you can board a direct bus from Dharamsala ISBT leaving at around 10:30AM and fare is 30 INR or alternatively by a shared taxi first reach Chari village (taxi fare up to Chari is 10 INR) and from there another shared taxi to Ghera village (fare is 20 INR).
Or if you love to walk you may like to start your Kareri Trail from Dal Lake to Satowari village and then a forest trail full of leeches first up to Ghera.
From Ghera you need to cross the incomplete road and a concrete bridge and take another forest trek (no leeches) since the road is still in scratch. After a climb of about 20 to 30 minutes, you need to take a left downward turn leaving the half complete road going north-east. You go through the fields and homes and reach a small stream. Either jump over the rocks to reach other side or cross a small concrete bridge a little further to start the steep trail to Karei village. After a walk of about 2 hours or more you reach Kareri village.
There is a Rest House, of Forest Department with 5 rooms and if you like a single room it can be reserved for 500** INR (**rates may change as per DFO) prior to your journey by contacting Divisional Forest Officer in Forest Complex opposite to General Post Office of Dharamsala following is the phone number 01892-224887 and email address firstname.lastname@example.org. From Kareri village the trail to Kareri Lake (or Dal Lake as local mention) is 13km and the trail goes from the side of the Rest House and after crossing the water tank. If you are going alone you need not to worry and follow the simple trail adjacent to water tank and just follow the trail to your left hand side and after a walk of 20 minutes you will come across a two way section one going parallel to left and another going straight and steep on right well just ignore the upward trail on right hand and continue with the trail on left.It will be a comfortable walk. (If you could capitalize this simple and straight trail you can cover 10km out of 13 km within 2 hours and reach Kareri Lake early)
After a walk of 1hour you will come across a weak wooden bridge to the left side ignore that trek and turn to the stairs like trail to your right side
and climb a moderate trek, further ahead you need to cross another stream without any bridge, you need to carefully cross the slippery rocks to reach the other side.
From there just follow the trail and after a walk of 1 hour you’ll come across a weak mettal bridge to cross the wider stream. After crossing the bridge you will get a single trail beside Nyund Stream, that will lead you directly to beautiful Kareri Lake. Note:-There is work in progress of road construction up to Kareri Rest House from Salli village due to this the most of the trail to Kareri Lake is simple. At present Salli village is connected to Kareri village by an old age wooden bridge that comes across the trail to Kareri Lake.
(4) Kangra Fort : – The Fort of Kangra was the symbol of Katoch dynasty’s rule in Kangra. As per historical records the Kangra Fort was constructed during the rule of Raja Susharma Chand Katoch, who was an ally of the Kauravas in the legendary war of Mahabarata. Kangra was the ancient capital of the Katoch kingdom and symbol of power. The Fort is situated on steep cliff in Purana Kangra (translates to Old Kangra) overhanging the two rivers the Ban Ganaga and Manjhi. The remains of the Kangra Fort still overlook the Kangra valley and have a great impression over the visitors around. One can access the fort through a narrow path. In its golden period the Kangra Fort was protected by a number of gates named after its conquerors like Jahangir, Ranjit Singh and the British. The palace of the Katoch kings was situated at the top of the fort. Adjoining the fort is the temple of Jayanti Devi, the main deity (Kul Devi of Katoch dynasty). The fort is on the suburbs of Kangra town located in following coordinates 32.1°N 76.27°Eand around 20km from Dharamsala. The Royal family of Katoch now manages and run a museum named as the Maharaja Sansar Chand Katoch, providing historical details of the glorious Kangra Fort. The Museum also has a cafeteria.
(5) Masroor Rock Cut Temple :- Masroor village ( 32° 4′ 22.87″ N 76° 8′ 14.87″ E ) is another point of interest that houses 15 temples chiseled out of a hill rock-mass made up of Siwalik sedimentary rocks such as Sand stone, Silt stone and Clay stone since 8th century.
These temples are believed to be built during the period of Pandavs in exile and their visit to Himalayan region of Kangra. Monumental temples of Masrur are of Indo-Aryan style with affluent and creative sculptural decoration of that period and are almost similar to the rock cut temples of Ellora and Mahabalipuram. Masrur temples are the only rock cut place of worship in the Northern India. The central temple contains the stone carved idols of Shri Ram, Sita and Lakshman. The earthquake of April 1905 caused an extensive damage to the temple complex and resulted in the collapse of ornamental shikhars, pillars, roof tops and other idols. Since then the sequential earthquakes of Nov 1968, June 1978 and April 1986 affected the Masrur temples.
In front of the Masroor temples lie a water pond hewn from sandstone and as old as temple itself and the pond is filled with temple fish (not for fishing-holy fish) and beside the temple there is Government Senior Secondary School too. Masrur which is 40km from Dharamsala. You can reach via bus from Dharamsala boarding a bus up to Lanj village from there another bus to village Bindli named after Baba Pir Bindli. From Bindli the distance to Masrur is only 3km you can either walk or board another bus up to Masrur. Masrur is at a distance of about 22km from Kangra and the bus route is such as Kangra ISBT to Rassu Chowk, from Rassu Chowk board another bus up to village Bindli and from Bindli another bus up to Masrur. If you would like to reach Masrur hassle free then book a taxi from Dharamsala or Kangra up to Masrur which may cost around 1600/-INR or more. You can visit Masroor Rock Cut Temple in all seasons.
Palampur is another interesting and beautiful place located at a height of 1,219 meter above sea level and at a distance of 35km from Dharamsala, hosting a few of the hiking sites like (A) Vindhyawasini Devi Temple (B) Temple of Birni Devi (C) Temple of Jakhani Mata (D) Temple of Gari Wali Mata (E) Langha Mata these sites are suitable for Day Hike, beside tourist spots like Neugal Cafe, Saurabh Kalia Van Vihar.
Remember Respect Locals and their customs and specially respect Mother Nature…even if you notice trash in places, you can help it keep clean by not throwing Your garbage.