Why Triund could be the perfect first Himalayan trek?

My sister had been dreaming of going on a ‘Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani’ kind of trek ever since the movie came out. I tried pepping her up for a solo trip to anywhere and gave her the usual tips for solo travel in India. In between someone who came home had this epic statement to make :

Every girl thinks that she will find Ranbir Kapoor on a trek. No, you won’t meet Ranbir Kapoor; but you might definitely meet Shakti Kapoor!’

The toy coloured houses of Dharamsala.

Since she wasn’t going on her own and yet wanted to go and kept talking about a trek all the time, circumstances conspired for one of my shortest trips ever. It was only a three day affair, beginning in Jaipur and we were five of us travelling to McLeodganj. The gentle walk to Triund was on the cards and we had decided to book the Forest Rest House at Triund to spend a night there.

Read : A sunrise in Jaipur on a stormy morning

Red Rhododendrons line up the path in welcome at the start of the trail.

It was mid March and we drove along the highways and reached Dharamsala at 7 in the evening. The weather was surprisingly chilly and next morning we were told, ‘It has been snowing continuously in the higher reaches of the Dhauladhars and also in Triund.’ After collecting the booking papers of the Forest Rest House in Dharamsala, we drove through the narrow streets of McLeodganj first and then the pines and reached the starting point at Galu Temple.

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Sweeping views across the valley are a measure of joy for the trekker’s eyes.

As soon as we put our feet out of the car, it started raining (As if on cue.) Our lady co-travellers, for whom it was a first such experience had already started wondering if we should go to Triund or not. That, in retrospect is a first time traveller’s dilemma. They are always worried about things and that is quite natural. A simple trek helps in gradually getting used to the ways of the mountains.

It was already nearing noon and I sensed the palpable tension in the car as the rainfall was unrelenting; and hauled my backpack and started walking. It ensured nobody else had the chance to say anything and they started walking too.


I filled in everyone’s details in the Register kept at the dhaba just after the start of the trail at Galu Temple. As it was snowing, we men were put in charge of carrying the necessary bags and overseeing the operations of the trek. I distributed some candies among the first time trekkers and started walking. The rain gods were happy and allowed us a moment of breather.

Read : A forgotten valley – Trekking to Milam Glacier

Halfway on the trek, snow appears. It is a freak incidence in March!

I had made sure to tell everyone the basic requirements for the trek to Triund would be: 

  1. Sturdy sports shoes (Running or walking shoes with a good grip).
  2. A hat or cap to cover the ears in case of cold winds.
  3. Water bottles so that we could fill it from the numerous waterfalls en-route.
  4. The ability of walking steadily and taking small breaks if tired.

Read : Top Solo Travel Tips

Stairway to heaven, eh? A beautiful and easy experience to have on your first trek.

We had not envisaged bad weather and had forgotten to take ponchos or raincoats. The path steadily climbed higher affording us misty views of McLeodganj, Dharamsala & Kangra Valley through the red rhododendrons that were lined along the way. Clouds floated around happily, the first time trekkers had already started feeling out of breath and wanted to take long and regular breaks. We were moving at a good pace, yet the fickle weather made us feel insecure. What if these long breaks caused us to be so slow that we were unable to make it to Triund by daylight?

What a breathtaking setting to arrive at; the top of Triund after a three hour climb.

A small hut passed us on our right, the ladies wanted to rest. It started raining again and we hurriedly reach a little ‘café’ that is located in a cave like shelter. Everyone buys costly chocolates and drinks minuscule quantities of costly black tea. I know these are touristy ways, I have never done it. I would carry my chocolates from McLeodganj itself, if I needed to.

The fury of snowfall was unleashed on the far side of the ridge.

The downpour had mellowed down into a drizzle and I pushed everyone to get up and start walking again; we had hardly covered a quarter of the distance. It was a beautiful sight as the incidence of rhododendrons increased, lending the path a poetic feel. The cold air was hurting our nostrils, yet we continued walking. Outside temperature was below the freezing point. The body is warmer when you walk, so that was a better idea than stopping intermittently.

Read : 7 Days in McLeodganj

Our abode for the night; the pretty sight of the Forest Rest House at Triund.

The cutely named Magic View Café & Best View Café were on our left. The views from there were indeed serene. Some people were savouring their maggi moments while clicking selfies and some newbies were struggling even on this beginner’s trek and were already contemplating turning back, because they were supposed to come back to McLeodganj on the same day. The weather scenario turned out to be a proverbial ‘lull before the storm.’

Pong Dam visible in the far distance when visibility improved in the evening.

The moment we left Magic View Café, it started snowing and the white flurries would continue till we reached the top. The wind swept across the valley and carried snowflakes everywhere with it. It was the ladies’s first snowfall and they swooned with delight. They said later that even though they were tired, the views more than made up for the trouble with the cold and slippery hike.


Snow continued unabated, the only difference it made from Galu Devta Temple at 2000m to Triund Top at 2950m was the intensity of flakes and changing landscape that became prettier. Sturdy mountain dogs frolicked and played in the snow. Visibility had reduced drastically and we were grateful that we had reached the top before the worst. In retrospect, the snowfall was a blessing in disguise – it ensured the slightest doubts among the trekkers minds were dispelled because there was no break from half way point till the top.

The path was uneven at some places and a steep winding climb at other moments, a perfect start for someone who is a beginner at trekking in the Himalayas. The group split after reaching the top. Two of us went exploring the dhabas in the white landscape with the adrenaline rush, while the 3 trekkers lagging behind went directly to the Forest Rest House. Our clothes had got drenched in the rain; chattering teeth and wet shoes do not exactly make for a memorable memory.

The caretaker was a cranky old fellow and the rest house was a cold, cold place. Everyone warmed themselves in the small fire that the caretaker had started in the ramshackle kitchen. Socks were put to dry near the fire and everyone had a first hand taste of stories from an old man in the Himalayas. Someone made the flavoured sheesha using ice as base and everyone had a gala time smoking it.

Read : Reminiscences from a two day snowfall

A white morning.

Visibility improved in the evening, making for a good opportunity for photography. Everyone was happy. This was an easy trek with spectacular rewards on offer. We had carried maggi with us and asked the caretaker to melt some ice and cook it. It was lovely to gobble it up with a cup of black tea. Everyone had dinner at 7 and interested people warmed themselves up with vodka later.

Stunning light effect behind the mountain.

Morning rituals were done hiding behind the tin shed in the snow. There was a thin layer of divine light behind the ridge on Triund Top, where the temple was located. It seemed surreal. We left for McLeodganj at 9 in the morning after having some black tea. As a goodbye gesture, it started snowing again when we started our descent. We were happy. The first timers were joyous and felt a huge sense of accomplishment when they slid down the snowed out slopes without falling down even once.

Read : A lesser known ‘Himalayan toy train’


Trekking makes everyone happy, some for the views, some for the physical activity, some for the feeling of being one with the nature, some to get away from city life; and some like to have it all. 

Furry dogs look so pretty in the snow!

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Begin your journey of trekking the Himalaya with Triund. It is a perfect way to start your way up on the wonderful world of trekking in the Himalayas.

It snows till Magic View Cafe on our way back.

“No matter what the question is. Your heart already knows the answer.” You will find them at Triund.

Why Triund?
The altitude at the top of Triund is lesser than 3000m. AMS is usually known to affect people at higher altitudes. The path is well marked and there are little chances of someone losing their way. Anytime is a best time to visit Triund, it is accessible and beautiful throughout the year.
A trek to Triund can easily be done as a day trek. It is roughly 6-7 kms from Galu Temple and takes 3-4 hours to climb up and two hours to descend. There is a lovely ridge on top to walk around and be spellbound by the views.
Basic dhabas and facilities available all along the trail from Galu Temple to Triund Top. There are two lodges for travellers to spend the night at Triund; also trekkers can sleep in dhabas in case of emergencies.
There are trekking agencies & guides available aplenty for organising this trek, you can spend the night in comfortable tents and feel on top of the world with surreal views.






36 thoughts on “Why Triund could be the perfect first Himalayan trek?

  1. certainly, Triund is one of the best trekking experience for a beginner. The best thing about this trail is its accessibility. Great write up Shubham!

  2. It’s really a nice post Shubham. The trek seems so interesting. I also wish to go there after reading your post. The tree with red flowers in the path is adorable. Thanks for sharing your such a wonderful journey… 

  3. Thanks for sharing this. Great pics. I was here last month and missing this place. I had a guide and we went to see the Laka Glacier after staying in a tent overnight at Triund. After reading your other posts, I’m planning to visit Himachal again. Keep on travelling and sharing with us.

  4. Hey awesome post. Now I am more excited to go there. Just wanted to confirm that can we book tent at top or have to take it with us from Mc Leod Ganj? I have not pitched tent on my own so was looking for renting an already pitched tent. Could you please guide me with this? I am not very keen on taking a package, just would like to rent a tent.

    1. Hi, You can rent tents & sleeping bags from the guesthouse/cafes on Triund. And those guys do help setting it up. Also avoid going on a weekend.

  5. I trekked from Mcleado Ganj to Truind, it was such an incredible experience to spend some moments of your life like this. Away from the traffic noise, away from the sound of mouse and keyboard, the cacophony of jungle is really soul – soothing. It was my first solo trekking as well. I returned just last Monday.

  6. I just returned from Triund this Monday. I took a break from this monotonous life of Delhi. I took a break from the traffic noise. I took a break from the boring sound of mouse and keyboard. It was my first solo trekking. It was a lifetime experience.I was a journey which started from the peak, standing at the trekking point…

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