With our habitual traveler’s itch urging us on, we decided to embark on a trip to Triund – a decision, I realized later, would be one of the best I had ever made. Anmol Sir’s dialogue, “Jayegi toh puri team saath jayegi” helped us persuade our parents and overcome the hustle-bustle which some of us had regarding the trip.
The day was 18th April, 2015, a fine, cool and pleasing Saturday morning when team C-SOC, filled with the spirit of youth were all set to conquer the Dhauladhar mountain ranges of Himachal and show the Himalayas the might of their spirit.
As per our plan we started from Hamirpur Bus Stand in the morning towards Dharamshala. As soon as the bus started moving, we started with the chattering, jokes, leg-pulling, and the singing sessions that went on throughout the journey. After a three hour long journey, the team then relished a delicious breakfast (consisting of chole bhature and lassi) at a dhaba in Dharamshala and a quick break to freshen up.
After a quick head count, we started off on our journey towards McLeodganj by a local bus. At McLeodganj we arranged highly experienced and licensed local guides and state-of-the-art camping equipment which included warm and comfortable high altitude sleeping bags, waterproof tents that would keep us warm in the middle of the stunning Himalayan landscape.
We then ventured into the Krishnas, a grocery shop owned by Ravi Aggarwal, a friend of our seniors and grabbed as many paranthe and maggi packets as we could and secured them in our bags! The route to Triund from McLeodganj goes through Dharamkot and Galu Temple. As the road is motorable upto Galu Ka Mandir, we hired taxis till that spot, beyond which the actual trek path to Triund starts. It was about 1 in the afternoon when we started and the air was getting hotter. From Galu there is an unambiguous by-way which goes through a beautiful forest of oak, deodar and rhododendron. The trek route is very rocky and as we climbed up, the valley became very clear and the views were an awesome treat for the eyes. The first few kilometers of the trek were easy and the last stretch was a bit of a push – but for the delicious views that awaited us, it was completely worth it.
Everyone depending upon their physical fitness completed the trek with a lot of huffs and puffs. This was the first time most of us were trekking and among all the sweat and sighs this trek ended on a good note. Though all of us were tired we were happy for our achievement, we enjoyed the beauty of the woods, taking short-cuts, minor bruises, and bishoo kuti.
After a quick photo session, our first outdoor class was on how to pitch the tent while few went in search of water and twigs. Some of our experienced seniors and hired guides donned the role of instructors. So armed with the newly grasped knowledge, we all started to pitch up our tents at strategic positions. Once all the arrangements for camping were done and the bonfire was lit, it was time that we eat and sing and create memories that would last a lifetime. It was time that Jitu Sir took out his guitar. Now, it was the cool breeze, good people and good acoustic music playing on the guitar as we sang through the night. That feeling is one to probably stay with us forever.
The next morning was pristine. The first bright drop of light that glimmered in the morning as described by other team members (I was fast asleep) felt like a piece of gem in a monarch’s crown. Cameras waited to see the miracle of nature – sunrise from the silent bottoms of nowhere. An early morning tea to freshen up and then we ventured deeper into the Dhauladhars to have a closer look of the snow-covered mountain. Soon, we were on the road again making our way to Snowline.
At Snowline, we saw the most talked about “Snowline Cafe” literally deep in the snow. We transformed the beautiful venue into an action loaded snow park, enjoyed sliding down the ends of Snow Mountains. We would do that on our butts or on our boot-covered feet.
After enjoying some breathtaking vistas we trekked back to our campsite to have our brunch. It was about 1 pm when we started to descend after a group photo and then our return journey began. Once my feet touched the grounds of Hamirpur, the painful realization of living in Hamirpur struck me. If only I could change certain things, but I will always continue to find some time for myself and keep running to the Dhauladhars.