Triund Times

 

Standing at 2850 m, Triund is a small hill station situated in Himachal Pradesh, India. It is a part of the Dhauladhar ranges. While the trek is called Triund Trek the magic of this trek starts from this beautiful place named McLeod Ganj.

A few minutes outside the serene and religious town of Dharamshala lies the mesmerizing McLeod Ganj. It harbours so much within itself that you feel all that you need is right here. I wanted to get lost in the streets of McLeod Ganj.

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So it started in the month of Dec’19 when I called my buddy from college and told him about my past treks. For some reason we both decided that the next time I go for a trek, my friend Nikhil will join (no matter what!).

2 months passed and here he was. All the way from Bombay and ready for his first ever trek. I am glad that I was the one who got to share this experience with him. It was Mar’20 and we were all set to climb and experience the infamous Triund.

Part 1: Mumbai to Delhi via Jaipur 😛

So this story consists of 2 friends. Let’s talk about one of them here. He boarded a flight from Bombay which was scheduled to reach Delhi at 5:30 pm but due to Delhi’s ever persistent air traffic, our friend Nikhil ended up circling the capital for almost 2 hours or so before his flight captain decided to divert to Jaipur.

Result: We missed our bus from Delhi to Dharamshala that day. It was 6-Mar-20. Nikhil reached Delhi late in the night. But… little did life know that we two are perhaps the most stubborn of people when it comes to plans. We booked for the very next day and handled the minor hiccups.

Part 2: Delhi to Dharamshala to McLeod Ganj

So, it was 7-Mar-20 and time was 8:30 am. We reached Kashmere Gate bus stop and started with our trip. It was a slow but a steady start. The journey was of 10 hours but we had so much catching up to do that time flew by and amidst laughter and nostalgia we reached Dharamshala at 8 pm (bus was running late).

Time flies when you are enjoying it, doesn’t it?

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Nikhil & I

Even though the distance between Dharamshala and McLeod Ganj is next to nothing, I really want to share this experience with you all. So we reached Dharamshala and were hungry as ever. Luckily we found this Street food Vendor who was selling some version of Bread and Lentils and Spices and Potato and whatever…  I was hungry. We ate and fixed ourselves a cab. The Cab driver took in two puffs and raced Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 on the drenched & narrow roads running from Dharamshala to McLo (McLo is what they call McLeod Ganj).

Talk about SWAG! 2 Puffs and Vroom!!!!!!!

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What the heck is this?

Part 3: Now the fun begins (8-Mar-20)

After a good night sleep, both Nikhil and I started our TREK. We reached the starting point where we met a couple of interesting people and bonded over our shared love for adventures and nature. It was cold and thanks to our lucky stars, it had snowed the day before. Good things happen to good people. We were all geared up and fired up to climb this mountain. Let’s go now!

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Let’s start

This trek consisted of some beautiful waterfalls and views along the way and we made sure we live each and every part of it. Well at least we tried to. The calming sound of water falling from the top and resonating echoes in the valleys made us forget about music. Here are some pictures for your eyes and soul. (Enjoy the Slideshow)

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After a climb of 4.5 hours we reached the top and it sure was welcoming. We were greeted by Snow and a lovely view of the mountains at the front and a valley at the back. What more could we have asked for?

Oh and yes, we also made a friend over there. Man’s best friend. A mountain dog.

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We stayed there overnight and once again were lucky because it was Full Moon that night. Good things happen to…

We talked for a while, wandered in the mountains for a while, had the most healthy of dinner (so healthy that we took two plates each), drank tea and coffee, heard someone play Guitar which echoed in the valley and just stared at the vastness of the Mountain that was standing right infront of us with all its might. Once again, I am falling short of words here.

Unfortunately both of our phones ran out of battery and we did not have with us a good camera so we couldn’t click those images properly.

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In the morning we met some of the beautiful sun rays and it seemed as if someone refreshed the green paint in the valley at night. It was so lush, so mesmerising, so…

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Part 4: Down Trek and McLo

So on 9-Mar-20 we trekked down from the top of Triund and came back to McLo. Trip is not over yet. We, being the explorers as always, decided to wander into the streets of McLo and understand the place that it was. We went to the famous Monastery which also happens to be the residence of His Holiness The Dalai Lama, explored the narrow market roads of McLo and Nikhil being the food fanatic, found this beautiful authentic Tibetan restaurant. Later we visited a famous Church in McLo which was built in the 1800s.

It’s the simple things in life which should excite us for they are true to the core.

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Food Food Food

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Sheer Happiness

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Lost as always

 

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This Church is beautiful from Inside. More beautiful 😉

So yeah, later we came back to Dharamshala and waited there for a while for our bus to take us back to our lives in the cities. But while going back we both had a big smile on our faces because, we just got to live these beautiful 3 days which gave us the much needed boost and happiness.

What started on 7-Mar-20 ended on 9-Mar-20 and each and every moment in these two days was utter bliss. I don’t know how to convey such a feeling through words. Being a Poet I am falling short right now because this is much bigger than me and I love this feeling. Maybe this image will help.

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In the end all I could say to Nikhil after Triund and the entire experience was,

Hey! What about the next trek dude?

He replied: Anytime you call me.

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My Best Buddy.

Last Part: The Learnings & Experience

On 8-Mar-20 we conquered Triund and stayed there for a whole day. What Triund gave me was

  1. Positive Reinforcement
  2. Fresh Perspective
  3. An old Friend
  4. Lots and lots of Love

Thank you for walking with us. Lots of Love. Take care.

I would love to

A message from one to another. 

 

 

And when this all will be over,

Would you take a walk with me?

We shall revisit our favourite places,

Drink lots and lots of coffee.

Crib about calorie intake

while eating a 3 course meal

and share that pudding cake,

Your presence makes me heal.

Talk about our days

and laugh at our old mistakes.

Convey so much without saying,

Let our eyes do the talking.

You pick me up and I shall drop you later,

Hours pass while we discuss silly matters.

And then when this all will be over,

Would you take a walk with me?

I know I would want to

Because I Love You.

 

 

Underrated Hero

 

It starts from the day we come into this world

and after that it lasts forever.

Father is not just a relation

but a journey full of sacrificing endeavours.

We cannot thank you enough, ever.

 

You never stop watching over us, do you?

My childhood pictures were taken only by you.

In adolescence we walk right next to you, holding your finger

and in teenage, despite wanting to be alone, your watchful eyes linger.

No matter how old we get, you remain our silent singer .

 

Underneath that tough and quiet exterior

we all know that you are soft hearted just like mom.

Yet your wish to make us better

asks you to take tough calls. How do you do it?

That parent who accepts resentment for his child’s betterment.

 

Perfect balance of love and lectures, teacher and friend,

at times harsh but always fair,

Father you are hard to comprehend.

I pretend to be like you when I sit on your chair

and feel that overwhelming pressure that you withstand.

 

No child can ever document their father’s role

because there are some things you just cannot express.

Words too have limitations after all

Unlike my Father’s worry when I am a mess.

Father, the person we fail to call.

 

All we can say is a Thank You

and we will try to be a bit more like you.

It will be tough but it will be worth it.

Even though we don’t say this enough,

Father, we really really Love You.

 

You cannot say anything about this one man because he knows you more than you know yourself. He is your Father.

-Nishant, The Son.

Nag Tibba Trek

Situated in the Garhwal region, Uttarakhand (State in India), Nag Tibba peak is a part of the Himalayan range. Standing at 3000+ meters, it is one of the most beautiful treks which can be covered over a period of 2-3 days.

Coordinates are: 30°35′11″N 78°9′4″E
December 2018

It was during the winter holidays that I along with 5 of my friends from work decided to go for this small adventure called Nag Tibba. We booked out tickets, packed our bags, convinced some of our friends to stop being lazy and rushed towards the bus station at 9:00 pm on 14-Dec-2018. Journey from Gurgaon to Kashmere Gate gave us a preview of the fun that this trip was going to unfold.

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Shrayash, Jashan, Devarsh, Nishant, Neha & Shivangi

In the freezing Uttarakhandi winter we arrived at Mussoorie early in the morning around 5 am on 15-Dec-2018. It was colder than we had expected and the smell of mountain’s freshly brewed coffee attracted us like bees to flowers. All in all, it was super cold and super chilly. Struggle was to wash hands before and after we had food.

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Shrayash serving us coffee

From Mussoorie we took a traveller cab and reached the base location, Pantwari. In my opinion this is where that mountain feeling started to sink in. Through the twisty and bendy roads of the hills of Mussoorie with a little bit of motion sickness due to the sudden sharp turns, all 6 of us kept looking outside the cab window. The mesmerising view was… (I cannot describe it but I can show it to you.)

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Sun Rays hitting the Peak

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Water from the mountain

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Edge of the world

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Might of the Mountain

After a 3.5 hours of journey we reached the base location. From now on the journey was on foot and the trek was about to begin. After fueling ourselves up and getting fresh we took to the mountains. Energy and enthusiasm was high and the feeling of being far away from the hustle and bustle of Delhi was so soothing. Laughter never left our side.

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At Pathwari

The trek was a two day one. On day one we trekked from Panthwari to Base Camp 1. This part of the climb was dusty & full of rocks and pebbles. Scorching heat of the Sun on the dried winter skin did not do justice to us and we did experience some degree of Sunburn. That’s what happens when you leave for a trip at the last minute, you forget to pack Sunscreen. However the view made up for it. Cars and houses kept on getting smaller along with our worldly problems and at 1500 meters all we had was friendship, laughter, stories & people posing for pictures.

So after a 6 hours plus climb we reached our location for Day 1. Even though it was a harsh welcome we enjoyed it thoroughly and those memories are fresh even till this date (evident by my writing I suppose). Our Guide who also happened to be our host was this down to earth humble mountain man. He offered us food, tents and shelter (part of the package) and what we Indians called Mehman-nawazi. We ate a lot because we were hungry from the climb and later set ourselves up a Bonfire and had a few rounds of drink. The cold mountain air at -3 degree Celsius added to the fun. Singing songs till 2 am, dancing to our own tunes, cracking jokes which were not at all age appropriate and most of all looking at the Star studded night sky were the highlights of that night. We all shared a group hug at 3 am before we went to our tents for a few hours of sleep. I still remember that.

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Bonfire preparation

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Sunset from base camp

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Bonfire

Day 2 started off with a beautiful sunrise. We got ready, had some breakfast, took some caffeine and whilst admiring the view, geared up for the second half of the climb. Now this climb was snowy, hard and longer than the one we had done yesterday. We started for the peak at 8:30 am on 16-Dec-2018 and no matter how fast we climbed we were running behind schedule. Gatorade all the way! (or, Gaitonde as my group calls it :P)

We slipped a lot but after a lot of shenanigans we did make it to the Top. It felt like we had achieved something extraordinary. Trust me for some of us who were hung over from the night before, it was. Around 1:30 pm we reached the famous peak of Nag Tibba where situated was this beautiful Temple.

Nag Tibba means Serpent’s Peak and the temple was of Nag Devta where locals come and pray for the protection of their cattle.

We sat there for some time, admired the view and joked around for quite a bit. Talked to some of the locals and got to know their story. Played in the snow and yes, took lots and lots of pictures.

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Morning View

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Day 2 Climb

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Biggest travel freak amongst us

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I have seen him somewhere 😛

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Hard worker of the group

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Laziest one

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Snow starts

On 16th Dec’18 we conquered Nag Tibba and it was my first trek ever. I was proud of myself for doing a 3000+ m high trek being a newbie.

What did I take away from Nag Tibba?

Nag Tibba gave me two things:

  1. Friendship
  2. Memories

It was a very positive experience and till date those views flash back in my head as if it was just yesterday that we were there. I learnt that when you have the right people with you, they help you to rise up no matter how many times you fall.

I hope you enjoyed this journey. Thank you for walking with me. Love you.

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Friends

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Memories

Let’s dance, shall we?

An emotional story which is practical and brave.

Dear, an email just arrived.
I shall have to take your leave,
For I need to help the deprived.
It’s time I Share what I received.

My absence is indefinite as of now,
I know it will be hard for you to bear.
But dear, I am sorry. I made a vow,
And vows are a beautiful love affair.

They seek sacrifice and your man is brave,
Times are tough but I shall face.
Let me play my part and save,
Just like you saved me once with grace.

And even if I don’t return, we shall meet.
There is no way for us to stay apart.
You took care of me amidst that desert’s heat,
And departed while on duty along with my heart.

Let me play my part just like you did.
You took 3 bullets but still didn’t bend your knee.
So now I will close my eyes and extend my arms,
For before I go on war, let’s dance, shall we?

Little Lucy

A Letter to a loved one. To all those who stay away from their loved ones and miss them desperately at times.

 

 

Hey little one, how are you?

Your brother misses you too.

I hope you have learnt to tie your laces,

And did Father take you to the Zoo?

It’s been a while since I saw your face,

As annoying as you can be, I love our chase.

I wonder if my room is still mine?

Nonetheless, in my heart you will always have your space.

 

Dear Lucy, times are tough.

You might not see me anytime soon.

But you have to do something very important,

My dear Brave Captain, Angel of June.

Keep making everyone smile,

You beautiful kid, I am so proud.

You know, when you laugh I can hear in my heart,

Dear Lucy, when you miss me look at the clouds above.

 

I will hug you soon one day,

Take you to the places where you want to stay.

Buy you all the toys and candies,

And sit quietly and do as you say.

When I get tired I think of you,

You are my inspiration, my strength too,

Until the day you see your big brother,

I want you to read this, “I love you too”.