Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.” – John Muir

This is a quote that I relate with immensely! Most of us, I suppose, at one time or another have had the impulse to leave behind our daily routine and responsibilities and seek out, temporarily, a new life.

Writing this article has meant giving words to one of the most memorable journeys of my life. My friends and I decided to go trekking from Mcleodganj up to Triund. My adventure began right at Dehradun when I had to run to catch a bus from Dehradun ISBT. My friends already seated waiting for me all frowned up, but not for long though. 😉

After a long bus journey full of sharp turns up the mountains we finally reached Mcleodganj. Seeing the golden sunrise through the snow covered peaks was just mesmerizing.  We had booked a cave in Triund and a guide, since we didn’t like the thought of freezing in temperatures that can fall to minus 5 degrees Celsius, we decided to go with the cave instead of tents. Then we headed towards Swami Ram Gurmat Mission, situated at the Chamunda Devi, in between Dharamshala and Palampur was down in the valley. Located in a magical place with snow capped mountains on one side and green forest on the other. Our room there had beautiful paintings hung on every wall . With a number of stairs to climb up, I found myself trekking before the real trek actually began. The moment I opened the balcony door upon reaching my room, I was swept away by the stunning views. There were majestic mountains dotted with tiny houses. Ironically, we were one of the dots on those mountains too.

My friends and I spent the day exploring Mcleodganj. We started from the Dalai Lama Temple, and then visited the monasteries and markets. That night sitting with my friends in the dining hall feasting away the amazing food cooked by Matasharan uncle while admiring the mountain peaks we were about to trek to the following day is an experience I will never forget.

We began our trek at 11 the next morning. It was really cold outside. We began our trek form Mcleodganj with our guide, Kaku Bhai as we liked to call him. I’d like to thank the Himachal Pradesh government for putting up very appropriate direction signs everywhere in the forests. Otherwise crisscross, the path straightened up once we’d crossed the direction boards. After walking for a few metres we met people who were returning from Triund to Mcleodganj. They took one look at me and had a look of accomplishment. Looking up we coud’nt see our destination. It was way up on the other side. Trekking for about an hour with a bag of warm clothings a tent and my camera bad, i had a pretty good idea that this was not going to be easy, for others , i was fine 😉 Half way up the mountain we had reached “Magic View Point” where we stopped for Maggi noodles.

There is a tiny little shop here where you can find nice food to eat. Eating steaming hot Maggi surrounded by mountains on all sides is truly a beautiful experience. Triund Peak was four kilometers from where we were and when I looked back at the distance I’d covered I was delighted that I’d come this far, crossing the rocky terrain. Horses make their way up this narrow steep climb to deliver food and other essentials  making it difficult to stay on the path, had to get a side every time they came down or up from behind. At times the path was so steep and narrow that I was convinced I’ll slip and fall. As we reached higher grounds, the path was covered with snow and it was not fresh which made it slippery. At around 15:00 hours we had reached the top of Triund and the view is so beautiful that I have no words to describe it. The gigantic snow covered mountains, the clear blue sky and the tiny houses dotting the hills- a gorgeous view you can admire for hours. The trek is a bit tough no doubt, but the view at the end of it is totally worth the climb and you’ll forget how tired you are.

There we played with snow for a while until we realized that we couldn’t feel our fingers. It was new years eve and the ambiance up there was just amazing. We danced, We sang, built our camp fire and welcomed new year as we sat and admired the full moon lighting up the snowcapped peaks. Sleeping in ‘sleeping bags’ in a cave was an experience in itself.

The next morning we started our descent back to Mcleodganj. It was not as challenging as the trek up- the same rocky terrain. The only thing we were missing was the excitement we were feeling on our way up. We were going back to the daily grind, where we probably won’t be able to see the moon shine so bright on a clear, starry night. On our way back, we completed the trek in an hour and a half and sat at ‘Gallu Devi Temple’ waiting for our guide to catch up on us, lol. As I headed back to Mcleodganj I had one one less item on my list to do and with numerous more to go.

I would like to thank my friends Ajay, Sourabh, Ankush and Shubham for makeing this trip amazing and memorable. It was alot more fun than I had expected.

#Another_Day #Another_Trip #Another_Indian

For more stories and pictures follow @kartik.sharma96

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