Mountains Love

Enjoying Indrahar Pass -

Mountains Love

 

This is not about the height or difficulty level of Mountain Pass….it’s more than that! 

I got up early by 03:30 am to get ready for my third High Mountain but first long duration and length hike with all ration and cooking stuff on backpack. Left home around 5:40 am and was at Dramman around 06:15 am and the good thing was like election campaign days and marriage functions, for all taxis were engaged, so I’d to kill myself at Dramman for almost 2 hours and finally at 8:30 am got the lift up to Kandwari….

I remember my first high mountain hike of Indrahar Pass in Dhauladhar Mountain Range..during my first climb and stay in Indrahar Jot, the feeling I had was just like a child has once he/she sits on the shoulders of parents and seeing the views around that are generally barred owing to once height!

Pir Panjal Range and ManiMahesh Kailash Peak Chamb

Pir Panjal Range and ManiMahesh Kailash Peak Chamba

But before my climb to Indrahar Pass I’d been invited and confined only to Triund and Snowline cafe of Triund Hill for many many times, many times…even Lahesh Cave was far for me…but then on July 19th 2011 with a hint from Dhauladhar, I finally dared to climb up to Lahesh Cave through thick fog humanly alone but accompanied by mystic sounds coming from melting glaciers waterfall and since I had no clue of Lahesh Cave, I just followed the Red Arrows (here Om letter has nothing to do with Religion)

Om Letter with Red Arrow Marks

Om Letter with Red Arrow Marks

but soon they also vanished in thick fog and all I could hear was the mysterious sound of glacier waterfall (just like some women/girl singing with smooth and thin voice)!

Never judge a Mountain and Hill by it’s height!

It was only in August 2013, when I was accompanied by Gordon Cole (his was also first climb for Lahesh Cave) we reached the same spot where I’d lost the Red Arrows in thick fog and had seen only the glacier waterfall, I realized that on July 2011, I was standing right in front of the Lahesh Cave but could not see the cave due to thick fog!

Leftover Glacier Waterfall in front of Lahesh Cave

Left over Glacier Waterfall in front of Lahesh Cave

Mountains O Mountains, mountains love have fascinated my soul ever since I opened my eyes to this amazing planet and was of 2 feet height and during my stay in Dharamsala things just went like crazy, the sight of Dhauladhar and Triund Hill were so tempting I’ve no words to explain but since I’d no company that time so i could not think of climbing up..but the night of December 31st, 2000 and a badly planned group hike to Triund Hill was a nightmare, but even after a cold feet night in the caves of Triund, the first campground of Triund Hill, I enjoyed the morning views of Dhauladhar and TriundHill.

But that joy was short, as after consuming water stored in kerosene can made my tummy go mad and we were forced to climb down early in the morning…and that mismanaged trek to Triund re-ignited my desire of Solo Hill walks and post that year I went hiking to Triund infinite number of times all the way from Chandigarh (I’m not trying to impress and ignore many other hikers and tea stall owners in Triund).

But every time I’d been to Triund, always gazed at the Mun Peak and tried to locate Indrahar Pass. Even from the Temple of Kunal Pathri Devi (located at the real top of Triund Hill), it was only gazing Mun Peak and tracing Indrahar Pass.

Temple of Kunal Pathri Devi at real top of Triund Hill

Temple of Kunal Pathri Devi at real top of Triund Hill

Every time, I only got directional words towards the trail to Indrahar Pass from cafe owners in Triund, the first campground of TriundHill..and finally on August 2013 another unplanned trek to Lahesh Cave with Gordon Cole also with thick fog we managed to reach Lahesh Cave and further were followed and accompanied in by Manu Singh Panwar and his friends in Lahesh Cave (now all were new on this trail).

Manu and I took the lead and followed the Red Arrows and we were tailed by Gordon Cole and friends. On trail we were greeted by another stream of thick fog and mild rain and bit of hail…we took shelter under overhang boulders, wherever we could find and then a blue hole appeared through thick black clouds giving us hope and strength to keep on climbing and trekking.

Here I must thank Rijul SherGill (Dhauladhar Trekker) and other trekkers for sharing photographs of Indrahar Pass and the temple of Jota Wali Mata a top.

Jota Wali Mata at Indrahar Pass

Jota Wali Mata at Indrahar Pass

After trekking through boulders, fallen rocks and crawling through stairs like trail we got the sight of Trishula and that re-energized us.
As a welcome gift Dhauladhar again showered us with thin hail and mild mild rain but with cold winds…and finally we were hugging Indrahar Pass in Dhauladhar Mountain Range and were blessed by Jota Wali Mata.

“Respect Nature, please do not throw your garbage in Nature”

Amazing views, you have to see it to feel it….it was still raining and fog was climbing up from Chamba side thus barring the views of Pir Panjal Range and Triund Hill and after spending about 45 minutes, we decided to climb down and luckily one of our friend slipped over the moving rock on trail but was gifted with life by sacrificing an injury to his finger….and we were back in Snow-Line Cafe for sharing our experiences and some folk song numbers on Guitar by Manu Singh…and my second call to Indrahar Pass was on October 2013 with Raman Sharma of Simla and this time the views were all crystal clear and we spent a good 01:30 hours at Indrahar Pass, enjoying the company of Dhauladhar, Jota Wali Mata and bright Sun shine for the tan…we even got the views of  Pir Panjal Range, the trail to Kuarsi and sight of Holy home of SHIVA and PARVATI the MANIMAHESH KAILASH PEAK and many other peaks.

So back in Kandbari and so much awaited climb for Waru Pass.

We burned most of our energy from a steep trail with a Speedy Race to Satchaali the base camp for Waru Jot. As per standards of Hiking, this was not hiking but a race. By the time we reached the base camp, I was tired to the bones with tummy going nuts. Lessons I learned – (A) “Don’t drink water from every source!” (B) Walk with steady steps and not run.

“Never walk or climb mountains and hills as a race, rather be like a shepherd, who guides his flock of sheep and herd of goat.

Base of Waru Pass ahead Satchali

Base of Waru Pass ahead Satchali

“Never walk or climb mountains and hills as a race, rather be like a shepherd, who guides his flock of sheep and herd of goat. Enjoy the walk and the views, keeping a tab on Sun shine”

The thick snow on trail to Waru Pass from the base was just like, you must not Hurry and have Patience, Observe , Learn and once you are ready then come to me…..that’s what Waru Pass also sounded saying to me…just like Indrahar Pass had taught me, before letting me hug Dhauladhar and this is also what GOD tries to teach us humans to Learn and Purify yourself before Salvation and Moksha from the cycle of Birth and Rebirth ~

Again I don’t want to Prove anything to Anyone and I am not Above Nature also, I have no Grudge to anyone (it’s not easy to overcome this but Work is in Progress)  So I will come again…..

Through Rain and Fog

Magic View of Bhagsunag from Magic View Cafe

On August 17th 2013 at 10:00 am we (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.

Magic View of Bhagsunag from Magic View Cafe

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

Birni Devi

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.

Trekking to Triund Hill in December

Trekking to Triund Hill in December

  1. 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 Mandir

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 and Dal Lake

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