Dharamkot, Himachal Pradesh
A mustard field at Dharamkot near Dharamshala
|Elevation||2,100 m (6,900 ft)|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
On the crest of a hill above McLeodGanj, Dharamkot is an attractive spot that presents a wide view of the Kangra Valley and the Dhauladhar ranges. There are a couple of small (and interesting) eateries around. Several foreigners have taken residence in the area; all live in village homes and tiny guest houses. Dharamkot also has the Vipassana meditation centre, Dhamma Shikara, as well as the Tushita Meditation Centre which is a centre for the study and practice of Buddhism in the Tibetan Mahayana tradition.
Past Dharamkot, at a distance of 9 km from McLeodGanj, much of which is a steady climb, Triund is at the foot of the Dhauladhar ranges and is at a height of 2,827 m. The snow line, which is considered to be the most easily accessible in the entire Himalayan range starts from Ilaqua, 4 km from Triund. A good walker will take around four hours to reach Triund from McLeodganj and another one and a half to two hours to reach Ilaqua. After Dharamkot, one passes by the Galu Devi Temple when the climb and the trail becomes demanding.
The trek to Triund starts from Gallu Devi temple, where people going for this trek are first asked to register their names. From Mcleodganj, a person first must reach Dharamkot via auto or you can simply get a cab straight to Gallu Devi temple. There is a small route via Dharamkot which leads straight to Gallu Devi temple in case a person wants to save up on the cab charges.
The trek mostly is a straight route up to Triund. The distance is 11 kilometers and usually takes about 4–5 hours. On the way there are only 3-4 small cafe shops that serve usual things that a trekker might need like eatables, water etc. but that too at rates more than Mcleodganj. The scenic beauty on the way is quite absorbing, provided it does not get cloudy. Tents are usually available up there at Triund at nominal rates.
The reason it called Triund is because of the 3 mountains that a person can see from that point. These 3 snow-covered mountains are usually snow capped throughout the year, so Tri means three and Und means mountains. There is no provision for electricity and toilets up there and the mobile signals are hard to find. After it gets dark, the torches come handy. The stars present a magnificent view at night. There is a guest house of Himachal Tourism and a person also has an option to stay there, provided the booking is done prior to the trip. More information can be found out on Himachal Tourism's website.
The next stop after Triund is Snowline. It is a 2-3 hour trek from Triund and usually is a stop for those wanting to go further up to Indrahar Pass. Snowline also presents an overwhelming view and the altitude is also higher than Triund. There is only one cafe up there and the owner of that cafe has been there for the last 20 years. The snowline cafe as it is called, also has provisions for sleeping bags and tents.