Developing McLeodGanj and Dharamsala

Tourists and trekkers have been coming to Dharamsala McLeodGanj, Bhagsunag and Dharamkot and trekking to Triund Hill for to be close with Nature.

To breath fresh air, enjoy the views of Mountains, Deep Horizon and seek Peace are some of the main reasons that made McLeodGanj and Triund Hill a favorite spot in Kangra district in Himachal Pradesh, though Manali and Simla are still pretty popluar. But in both locations like Shimla and Manali, Nature has to pay a very heavy price for helping out stressed tourists.

In the name of comfort and luxury, we have converted Shimla the Queen of Hills to a Queen of Concrete Hills and Manali is also on the same direction to become another concrete jungle.  Beside this the term Development (Negative Development) has also caused more of damage to Nature and with that we are spoiling the beauty of Mother Nature, the same very beauty for which tourists come here to enjoy.

In Kangra district too famous spots like Dharamsala, McLeodGanj, Bhagsunag, Dharamkot, Naddi and Satovari are getting developed with concrete structures. The felling of Green Cover (Pine and Cedar) has been rampant since year 2000 and it has just crossed its limit this time.

Many new hotels and restaurants have come up in places where earlier the spots were covered with thick Deodar, Pine and Rhododendron trees. Now we even want to develop Mountains by constructing Cable Cars and Rope Ways.

With all this unbalanced and negative development we are killing Nature and the things that are the main attractions in Himachal Pradesh.

Back in Simla as you are about to reach Shimla, the view from distant is very disturbing unless you don’t understand what Nature is. Few months back, in TaraDevi region of Simla hundereds of age old Trees were uprooted for some fancy hotel.

In 2000 if you visited Bhagsu Waterfall the Waterfall and the surrounding area used to be more greener and even the Waterfall was huge and alot more beautiful. In Dharamkot, Naddi and Satovari too the green cover has shrunk to a large extent and now you only see hotel rooftops.

We modern humans have no respect for anything and anyone. Technologically we are advancing but when it comes about Humanity, Senstivity and (Etiquettes) Cleanliness of Nature, we are loosing it day by day. It is only for the Photosession and to be in news. We even don’t help out the fellow humans in need than how come we can feel the pain of Mother Nature. We are pretty Modern and over educated!

And most of all with all this kind development, Dharamsala McLeodGanj are certainly losing the International Trousit base!

Lahesh Cave Clean Up

During our first Indrahar Pass trek we noticed badly trashed vicinity and Lahesh Cave so decided to come back and clean up some of bit. Though our First attempt to Clean Up Lahesh Cave was success but still there were plenty of bottles stuffed around and we had planned our 2nd Lahesh Cave Clean Up drive by the end of 2013 but were barred due to sudden change in weather followed by snowstorm and hence 2nd drive was postponed till 2014.

July 15th 2014, we conceptualized our second high mountain clean up drive. On July 20th left for Lahesh Cave after our sponsored (sponsored by Manu in terms of Lunch and Mat) day halt in Triund Hill we continued for SnowLine Café and Lahesh Cave.

Since thick fog was inbound so after 1 hour trek we crossed SnowLine Café without a pause and met few returning villagers who were in Laka it was 04:30 PM and we were getting doubtful of reaching Lahesh Cave as thick fog had covered whole of Laka and the trail.

In Laka we stopped for a few minutes to decide whether to continue or not and halt our event….then in thick fog a glimpse of human presence enticed us to reach and ask for suggestion. It was the seasonal shepherd hut and we talked to the shepherd and he advised “if you can go then go as the weather will be ok and if we don’t feel ok then come back to his hut for the night stay”. Those words were kind of encouraging….so we continued slowly looking out for Red Arrow marks….but they were nowhere to be seen.

We continued and after more of 10 minutes walk we saw one Red Arrow and followed that one (it is very easy to get lost in this little stretch of 100 meters and presence of fog just makes things worse)…to our surprise the Red Arrows suddenly got lost in thick mixed blanket of Glacier and Fog as we were also trying to spot the OM mark but found that the very 7 feet boulder over which OM mark was painted was itself covered by Glacier and only its small tip was visible luckily with a Red Arrow mark on top…..fog was still strong.

So here again we lost the courage…and stopped there for 10 minutes pondering at one point again the thought of cancelling the event loomed over…but then we looked toward foggy Dhauladhar Range and decided to be on the wishes of Dhauladhar Mountain Range…and after 15 minutes we finally stepped on Glacier and trekked up taking note of single visible Red Arrow on the tip of the boulder with OM mark (OM mark was covered in Glacier) and goat droppings…and made our way to the other side, the starting climb for Lahesh Cave and from there we had a sigh of relief and after crossing over the Glacier even fog was dispersing leaving behind the crystal clear views and by 05:30 PM we were in Lahesh Cave.

Lahesh Cave

The Outer View of Lahesh Cave

We looked around and once again crossed slippery Glacier to fetch water for dinner and coffee.

Glacier Waterfall

Glacier Waterfall

Sun set from Lahesh Cave

Sun set from Lahesh Cave

It was really a relief to be in Lahesh Cave all Peaceful with the flow of Glacier Waterfall nearby and play of clouds with Dhauladhar and it was really good choice to carry fuel with us for cooking (Since it had rained few days back and the woods were damp).

Camp fire

Camp fire of Lahesh Cave

Glacier View

Glacier View near Lahesh Cave

Blue and Clean Sky

Blue and Clean Sky

Dinner with Lahesh Cave

Dinner with Lahesh Cave

The clouds and fog were changing the views like some 3D movie with True Colors that was really worth of climb and attempt. Beside the sweet sound of Glacier Waterfall there were Dhauladhar Alpine Accentors tweeting around detailing beautiful views. On the opposite distant ridge there was another seasonal hut with flock of sheep and goat herd. So we were not that alone. Though the inside of the cave was damp and bit of soaked but there was enough dry space for our sleeping bags and the sleep was sort of Cat Nap but was all good with some resident cave owner Pika constantly running around.

The morning arrived and we had once again go out to fetch water and realized the Glacier slippery and hard like stone and it proved really tricky to get to the other side of the Glacier to get water…heart pumping but it was all good.

The morning view were more of surprising like thick blanket of clouds over Triund Hill, Dharamsala and Kangra Valley and at same time Clean Blue Sky over Indrahar Pass, Lahesh Cave and Dhauladhar Mountain Range.

Sun Rise over Mun Peak

Sun Rise over Mun Peak

Blanket of Clouds over Triund Hill and Dharamshala

Blanket of Clouds

After breakfast we decided to do for what we had hiked up there…after some time our rucksack was full with alcohol bottles and other non-biodegradable waste.

 Blanket of Clouds over Triund Hill and Dharamsala


Blanket of Clouds over Triund Hill and Dharamsala

Green View from Lahesh Cave

Green View from Lahesh Cave

Most of us the humans have the tendency to act without considering much for others and this very trait is passed on from generation to generation and this very trait most of time cause hell of trouble and it still is. No matter how Developed or Rich or Poor humans are they (most of) just follow this very trait unconsciously…and teach the same to our own children making things more worst.

If we ourselves can’t understand the importance of keeping our home, surroundings, rivers clean than how come we can do justice to Nature and this is aped by our children.

We take the bite of chocolate or chew in bubble gum and throw the wrapper on road or trail without a second thought…imagine billions of people acting like this around the globe in the same moment!

Our Ngo’s do clean but only in places or points where they get noticed and praised.…and if they really really get in to the real business of making and keeping places clean, we’ll have not to worry for the trash and first most we’ll be disposing off the garbage in proper and useful way. Only in Bhagsu, McLeod Ganj and Dharamsala if we wander off from public we can see plenty of corners all trashed!

Well we had collected much of garbage on our rucksack and were about to get ready for Triund Hill, from nowhere the Gaddi sun of Laesh appeared from Nag Dal…..son of Laesh!! Well here is the clarification…years ago when Chamba was not connected to road, people used to cross over to Chamba and Bharmour Valley via such mountain passes like Indrahar Pass and during such one travels and hikes a baby was born in one of the natural caves behind Lahesh Cave hence the family decided to name the new born Laesh…and we happened to meet the son of Laesh (no joke) and as we introduced ourselves he was surprised to see that we were there to collect garbage and he ended up asking us “Do you get paid for this job”!

We explained why we do that and that we don’t do it for money or anything similar to that! It is just a kind of Responsibility toward Mother Nature, who nurtures us and bestows upon her immaculate and immortal beauty.

We talked and son of Lahesh explained how hard their lifestyle is but it is more rewarding in terms of health and satisfaction as compared to our modern comfortable, egoistic and glamorous city lifestyle.

In Gaddi style he helped us organizing the rucksack on back and climbed down up to Glacier and upon touching Laka he again asked that we must be getting paid for doing that (cleaning up job) and again we explained  we don’t in fact it is more than money and fame that encourages us to do that cleaning job.

In Laka we met the shepherd again…and after some chat we headed to SnowLine Café

SnowLine Cafe

SnowLine Cafe

The Woods and The fog

The Woods and The fog

slowly climbed the ridge and spent a good 2 hours in SnowLine Café enjoying the play of fog and greenery but were surprised to see alcohol bottles and other trash stashed inside boulder gaps….that was disappointing and even in Triund Hill there are plenty of such spots…where people stuff garbage hidden away…..if some-one really cares then they can be removed! We were all over capacity so we just memorised such spots for next time…next time because no one looks there…as there is no one to take note of  😛

Best Views in Triund Hill

One of the Best Views in Triund Hill

We spent one more night in Triund Hill and there we overheard tourists (professional looking well educated guys) discussing about cleanliness and were saying at least “someone” should take the responsibility to Keep Nature Clean!! That was really surprising to hear and then there were some ngo guys too and they were also saying that yes we do trash collection on salaried basis full time. 😀

Intermediate Habenaria

Front Close Up Intermediate Habenaria

Intermediate Habenaria

Next day we carried the rucksack up to McLeodganj trash bins and to the astonishing civic attitude of us the tourists, we collected plenty of trash even from trail to Triund. We were pondering when will we learn to be sensitive toward others and Nature.

 

Triund Hike August

Triund Rainbow

Triund Hike August

We started our Triund Hike on August 17th 2013 at 10:00 am and with brilliant views and company of fellow tourists and hill walkers we reached the top by 12:00 pm. Though monsoon was in full swing we found plenty of tourists in Triund Hill, some were climbing enjoying the drizzle on the trail and some were preparing to head back to hot and humid city plains. The shield of dense fog was preventing the view of Dhauladhar Mountains and it was some movie like scene in Triund with fog all over and visibility up to 10 to 15 meters. Though everything was same still fog effect was making a great moment for the silhouette shots. Rest House of the Himachal Forest Department was reserved up to next three days and we still had not made any arrangement for our one night stay. We headed towards Sunil Tea Shop for lunch and noticed newly set up temple dedicated to Lord SHIVA. After setting up our place for stay we had our lunch and then it was time for more of rain and fog. The play of fog was showcasing amazing views of Triund landscape. After rains we walked to meet Lalu and there we met the youngest and courageous trekkers seen till now.

Father of Sumit DattaGordon got himself engaged playing with little black puppy in the shop of Lalu and I was standing watching Mun Peak of Dhauladhar. The western sky was opening up slowly and we saw two tourists/hikers coming from SnowLine Cafe….as they passed by we asked where to they been and they said the “PASS, Indrahar Pass”. By the time Gordon also joined me. We were discussing about Mountains in England (Gordon is from England). As we were chatting and enjoying ourselves, sun rays pierced through the clouds and lit up  a small part of Triund right in front of the shop of Lalu. Magic Rays in TriundThe mix of Blue tent, Green grass and Sun rays was the best view of the day and in the distant on the Eastern side we noticed a faint Rainbow (I’d been to Triund many times but this was my and Gordon’s first sighting of Rainbow).

Triund RainbowA moment later as the sun was going down in western horizon the rays were doing magic with Dhauladhar Mountain and then came another brilliant view of the day with angular sun rays over the trail of Indrahar Pass over Lahesh Cave and clouds throwing dark shade on the edges of Dhauladhar Mountain and Indrahar Pass (The words can’t do the justice to the moment and view you experience with your own eyes and soul).

Final Steps of Magic Show by Clouds with Sun raysAfter sun set we headed to Sunil Tea Shop and there we met two tourists from Finland and they were planning for another walk up to SnowLine Cafe and also asked if we were interested. Gordon looked at me with questioning eyes and then I put down my words “If I go to Snow Line Cafe, I’ll be tempted for more….!” Sunil served us Dal and Chawal and after dinner we headed to sleep. My mind was playing with decisions whether to go to Snowline Cafe or return and after arriving at the conclusion, I suggested Gordon to set up an Alarm for 05:00 am for the next morning and went to sleep. In the middle of night it started raining and while asleep I wished it should continue to rain till morning. Well it was 04:30 AM and I was up but still in bed….it was not raining and I heard the sounds of birds and raven. I got out of the bed and refreshed myself and asked Gordon to get ready. There were other tourists too from Delhi and they wanted to photograph the sun rise, but seeing the clouds in the East I doubted a clear sunrise. By 06:00 AM we were prepared and ready to leave….for SnowLine Cafe (I’d planned to take Gordon up to Lahesh Cave beyond SnowLine Cafe and Illaqa)……!

Indrahar pass

Indrahar Pass ahead Laka and Triund

Indrahar Pass

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.

Indrahar Pass Triund Baba

Trekking and Hiking

Trekking and Hiking

Weather in the September month was used to be dry with mild rain and without snow, but in year 2012 Dhauladhar and Triund Hill, Himachal Pradesh have witnessed heavy rain fall , landslides and untimely snowfall over higher reaches due to unscrupulous cutting of trees and pollution.

In the name of development the construction of many Micro hydel projects within mountains have also fueled the depletion of environment and the symptoms of its devastating results can be seen right now.

Further the governments and private companies are mulling to construct hotels in mountains. Such development will benefit local public but only for shorter duration and in the future the results will be devastating for public and the world in large.

We the humans love facilities and comfort everywhere even in mountains and forests and for that we just do away with the forests and the wild animals and later blame the Nature for heavy rains and floods. Trekking and hiking in Triund and Indrahar Pass of Dhauladhar was much easier and comfortable during September and October months but now things have turned different.

Triund Hill, Lahesh Cave and Indrahar Pass have proven as best trekking in Himachal Pradesh Dhauladhar range.

Triund Hill and summer of 2012

In this year of 2012 the climate change, green house gas effect and continuous destruction of forests by humans has resulted in hottest summer for India and other parts of Asia and this heat is increasing on fast track with add on things like pollution and now humans are finding it very difficult to cope with.

Though summer is at its hottest point in this year and coincidentally that too during tourist and holiday season, the travel and tourism industry has gained.

Tourists from the rest of India and even from abroad have chosen to visit places like Manali, Rohtang Pass, Dharamsala, Mc Leodganj and have given preference trek to Triund Hill under the foothills of the mighty Dhauladhar.

In this year of 2012 the number of tourists going to Triund India has significantly increased as compared to previous years. There is unbearable heat in the plains and cities but the weather in Triund Trek is like that of heaven with regular rain and cloudy Dhauladhar. Even people who don’t prefer to trek or walk long distances are trekking to Triund Hill and enjoying the pleasant weather of Triund Hill and the presence of Glaciated Ice in Snowline in Illaka also some are going to neighboring trekking points like Guna Devi, Kareri Lake and some daring tourists are going for adventure activities like hang gliding.

The continuous flow of tourists to Triund Hill will last till August to September end. Triund India has turned out to be a pocket friendly hill station in Northern region and since it is also a day hike, so tourists who do not want to stay in Triund for a night can come down on the same day, so such tourists find a day hike to the green landscape of Triund Hill wonderful.

Triund Hill Manali and Shimla

Though Manali and Shimla are considered to be the best hill stations in Himachal Pradesh but then it is like for everyone. Everyone can just drive up to in and around Manali and Simla for summer holidays, but then if you seek solitude, serenity and some fine moments away from regular crowded site seeing and holiday and regular shopping then, the best option is the one to five days trek to Triund, Snowline and Lahesh Caves and Indrahar Pass from McLeodganj in Dharamshala.

Dare to follow a moderate trek up to Triund of 9km at an approximate height of 10,000 feet from sea level and stand face to face with semi-immortal, mighty yet humble Dhauladhar mountain range of Himalayas. Spend one night in Forest Department Rest House in Triund and on next day start another trek to Snowline and Lahesh Caves. Put up tents in cave and eat whatever is available and experience nomadic life for one night.  Get up early in the morning and start your trek to Indrahar Pass of Mighty Dhauladhar after reaching the Pass stay up for a while and have view of amazing horizon and Triund from the heights of Dhauladhar. Start your retreat for Snowline café and then back to Triund Guest House by evening. Spend another night in Triund Hill and in the morning climb down to McLeodganj.

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