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…..

Lunch in Triund

Lunch in Triund

Tourists going back to McLeod Ganj after Lunch in Triund

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.

 

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.

BhagsuNag Shiv Mandir and Bhagsu Waterfall

History of Bhagsu Nag and Shiva Temple :- [fbliked]Insert Your “LIKED” Content Here[/fbliked]

Dwapara Yuga (द्वापर युग) is the third yuga in Hindu religion and which came to its end, when Lord Krishna returned to Vaikuntha, his eternal abode.

It was this yuga when the King of Demons Raja Bhagsu had his capital in Ajmer and which faced the callous drought of its time.

The Chiefs of villages in Ajmer requested Raja Bhagsu to make an arrangement of water for his people; otherwise they’ll be forced to leave his country. Hearing that, Raja Bhagsu decided to find water himself. Since Raja Bhagsu had magical powers and being a demons king, he travelled alone and after two days reached the Lake Nag Dal, which is still about two miles wide with enormous depth and situated at an approximate height of 18000feet in the mountains of Dhauladhar. Raja Bhagsu was pleased to see the Lake Nag Dal with plenty of water and with his magical powers filled all of the water in a pot. While he was on his way back to kingdom Raja Bhagsu decided to rest at the foothills of Dhauladhar, since it was already dark.
While Raja was in deep sleep, up there in Dhauladhar Mountains, Nag Devta was on his routine visit to Lake Nag Dal. He found the Lake empty. Surprised and furious he noticed the footsteps of Raja Bhagsu, followed them and challenged Raja Bhagsu for a war. In the fight, Raja Bhagsu was severely wounded and dropped his magical pot as a result Lake Nag Dal was again filled with water and in that place the natural fountain of water started to flow. While Raja Bhagsu was on his last breath he sincerely prayed Nag Devta. Seeing his faithful prayers Nag Devta happily granted him a wish. Raja Bhagsu wished that the drought in his kingdom should come to an end and his name is honored by all. Nag Devta fulfilled his wish and now there is enough water in Ajmer also Nag Devta named this place with the name of Raja Bhagsu prefixed with his own name.
Centuries have gone after this incident and this is how this place got the name of Bhagsu Nag. With the beginning of Kali Yuga, Raja Dharamchand ruled this place. Since this place has the holy water of Nag Devta, one day while Raja Dharam Chand was in sleep Lord Shiva appeared in his dream and ordered him to construct a temple for him. Raja Dharam Chand constructed the Shiva temple here and it’s about 5080 years old.

Today people from across the country and even from all over the World come to see this holy place.

Bhagsu Nag is just 2km from McLeodganj, you can either walk up to here or reach by bus/autorikshaw. There is a beautiful waterfall a few meters away from Shiva Temple. Because of climate change the density of waterfall has considerably shrunk and now there is lesser water. Even during monsson, the waterfall rarely reaches its actual height of about 30feet.

Triund and temple of Shri Kunal Pathri

The temple of Shree Kunal Pathri is located at the highest point of Triund Hill.

You can start trekking for the temple by two trails:-

  • Taking a stiff and risky trail from the side of the cave located behind one of the rest house owned by shopkeeper which is located above concrete water storage tank. Here while the risky word may sound tempting to take risk but it will be of no worth if you take this trail, because you’ll get to go through thick woods and you’ll miss the beauty of the trail on the other side.
  • There is another regular and trail which is bit of moderate but long one for Shri Kunal Pathri Devi Mandir, it is after reaching Snow Line cafe then take up side trail to the left of Snow Line cafe follow the trail for about 45 minutes and you will be surprised to see meadow on the trail up in the hill. After a careful walk you’ll reach the temple of Shree Kunal Pathri, from there you will have the complete  180 degree view of Triund and Kangra valley beside Dharamsala and also you will feel Dhauladhar Mountain very close to self without trekking to Dhauladhar heights.

 

Triund Hill and Sheapherds

During monsoon season Sheapherds’ from villages of Dharamsala and Kangra come to Triund with their livestock  and after spending some time in Triund head further to Illaqa and go over Indrahar Pass and Jot of Dhauladhar in search of green pastures for their farm animals. One of the interesting thing is that in monsoon they push more than 200 livestock up in Dhauladhar mountain and sorroundings of Triund but only one or two sheapherds’ manage them as most of  the sheapherd’s leave behind their livestock in the care of the other sheapherds’ and god and return to homes. The remaining all stay up there from May to October.

The Sheapherds start climbing down the Dhauladhar and Triund by the middle of October month to avoid harsh winters.These Shepherds have been on Triund trails for ages and they will continue.

Triund Hill Trekkers Paradise

Triund is a paradise for trekkers. Triund hill is situated in Indian state Himachal Pradesh, district Kangra, town Dharamsala and which lies after McLeod Ganj.
Trek to Triund comes under moderate hiking category with normal gears according to the weather like normal clothing or warm jacket and good pair of sports shoes, sleeping bags with tent if you would prefer to stay up there for more than one day and yes the trek is of worth once you reach the top of the hill and if you would like to go further you must come fully prepared as a pro hiker because after Triund Hill the trail gets a bit of hard as you will face the mighty Dhauladhar and its trail starts from Triund to Snow Line then Dhauladhar Base Camp in Illaqa and Lhasa caves and finally the moon peak of Dhauladhar mountain range which will take at least two days to complete with return to Base Camp in Illaqa.

Triund Hill in February 2011