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Kinner Kailash Trek

All you need to know about Kinner Kailash Trek

All you need to know about Kinner Kailash Trek

Kinner Kailash trek distance- Approx 70km
Elevation Gain – 5240 mtrs
Difficulty Level – Extremely Difficult (90% steep slopes, 5% normal and 5% rocky and hard climbing)
Min. days required – 4 days

Best Time to visit Kinner Kailash Trek  – August and September are the best times

How to reach the base – For Peo, we have direct buses
One leaves from Chandigarh around 2:30 AM (Delhi-Peo), 4:50 AM (Chd- Peo – Ordinary), (5:45 AM, Chd – Peo – Semi Deluxe). The journey from CHD to Peo is around 14-15 hours.
Route: Chd>Shimla>Narkanda>Rampur>Jeory>Peo then Peo>Tangling

About Kinner Kailash Trek – Performed by both Buddhists and Hindus, a parikrama second only to that of Mt. Kailash.

Trek starts from Tangling with stairs and then crossing the village. you will find apple trees along the way. After walking around half km trek starts with steep slopes but yeah nature and mountains towards both sides.

You can have your first meal here and head towards Ganesh park. this place is around 6 km from the 1st 2 food points you will find on this trek. you will cross a small stream and then again a steep uphill leading to a mesmerizing view of the peo city and satluj river.

The inclined rocky patches on the trail are very difficult

It will take around 4-5 hours to reach Ganesh park and even more sometimes. At Ganesh park, you can find small food points where you can have tea, Maggi or food. Even you can stay here for the 1st day in tents or you can continue your journey to caves where you can stay by the end of the day.

 

One thing that needs to be kept in mind is that there is no food point after Ganesh park so one can get his/her food packed for the night and the next day as well or if you have your own utensils you can prepare there as well.

After Ganesh park the slope declines a little bit but yeah you have to keep moving uphill till the time you reach a point where you will find a steep downhill of some hundred metres. After covering another 4-5 km you will find the site for camping (in case you have your own tent and sleeping bags) or you can stay in caves as well. Again sleeping bags must be carried.

Staying inside the cave

We reached Ganesh park around 2 Pm and had our lunch done over there and started moving towards the caves. Reached there around 6 pm in the evening and stayed in caves and sleeping bags.
We started our journey the next day in the morning around 2:30 AM and reached Parvati Kund around 6 in the morning this could have been reached earlier if we had not lost our way when we started our journey from the caves.

 

From the caves, the path is well defined for another 1 Km and after that, the rocks start where the path is marked by stones kept on one another (Please do not touch those stones). This way will lead you to the Parvati Kund.

 

Try to carry less luggage on this trek or after caves don’t carry your tents and sleeping bags or anything extra. We hid our backpacks in between the rocks at Parvati Kund. Carrying heavy luggage won’t allow you to climb the rocks after Parvati Kund because the way is like doing rock climbing without any tools. Shoes with good grips will be the best.

From Parvati Kund, it took around 2 more hours to reach Kailash. The way was full of big rocks and to reach the top you had to climb the rocks. there was no other way and one has to complete it and has to be cautious while climbing.

 

Amazing views at Kinner Kailash

While heading back it will take again another 7-8 hours (approx) to complete the journey till Tangling.

 

Alternate Itinerary for Kinner Kailash

Trek begins at Thangi (Thangi is a Village in Pooh Tehsil in Kinnaur District of Himachal Pradesh State, India. It is located 23 KM towards the East of District head quarters Reckong Peo. 18 KM from Pooh. 157 KM from State capital Shimla) on the right bank of the Tedong, about four hours by road from Reckong Peo. It is 10 kms. to Lambar (2950 m.), all along the steep Charang khad. The initial trek is stairs and then after crossing the village, you will find apple trees along the way.

Day 2 takes one 20 km. to the larger village of Charang (3400 m.), situated just above the confluence of the Charang and Shurtingting streams. There is a rest house here and a gompa where pilgrims receive blessings before moving on.

Day 3(13kms.) involves crossing the high pastures of Charang and ascending up a stream to Lalanti (4300 m.), camping on its left bank.

Day 4 (27 km.) is the most difficult, ascending more than a thousand meters, over immense rockfalls, past the snout of a glacier on the right, and then clawing one’s way up a steep, scree slope to the Charang Pass (5240 m). The view from the top is awesome. From the saddle, it is a steep descent of almost 2000 meters to Chitkul (3400 m.), the last village in the Sangla valley and the road-head. Across the Baspa river, one can see the huge, verdant pastures known as “kandas” which offer infinite trekking and camping possibilities themselves. High above is the Rupen Pass, guarding the western flanks to the remote Dodra Kawar valley. Conclude the trek by worshipping at the temple of the Chitkul Devi and offering thanks. Incidentally, beyond Charang one is prohibited from plucking any wildflowers or shrubs by an edict of the Devi! One can stay at the rest houses in either Chitkul or Sangla, 24 km down the valley. From there it is a fantastically beautiful drive down to Karcham, and on to Shimla.

Kinner Kailash | Photo by Pankaj Sharma

Things to keep in mind before attempting Kinner Kailash Trek.

  • there are limited shops on this trek that too till 6-7 km after that you won’t find even a single shop where you can have something to eat. Suggest you to prepare yourself accordingly.
  • Carry all essentials for the trek.
  • People with problems of high altitude sickness and asthma are not suggested to go
  • If you are hiking in rain it’s better to carry a big umbrella or rain poncho.
  • Mobile network is not available on most of the trek.
  • Trek is very challenging and you may need to prepare for this in advance

If you are planning for the trek and want to hire camping/trekking equipment you can rent it out at Chandigarh from Gadget Rental India. Gadget rental india is a rental company in Chandigarh from where you can rent Camping and hiking gears like camping tent, sleeping bag, sleeping mattresses etc.

Author | Pankaj Sharma

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Shiv Dhank Trek - Trekking near Chandigarh - Shepherdtrail3

All you need to know about Shiv Dhank Trek | Day hike near Chandigarh in Solan

If you are around Chandigarh and looking for a quick day hike then Shiv Dhank Trek is one of the best options available near Solan.

Shiv Dhank Trek Information

Shiv Dhank trek distance- Approx 3 km
Difficulty Level – Easy Hike (Suited best for a day hike)
Min. days required – Can be done in a single day

Best Time to visit Shiv Dhank Trek  – Avoid during rains

How to reach the base – The Shiv Dhank trek starts from Patta Ghat in Solan. While coming from Chandigarh at Kumarhatti take the road on left towards Barog. 2-3 KM before Barog you will find a road on left going towards Patta Ghat (best to ask locals). When you reach Patta Ghat you will come across a fresh ground water tank. You can start your journey for the trek from here.

About the hiking experience to Shiv Dhank Trek – We started our trek in the afternoon. The initial trek is inclined though the trail is clearly visible.

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The trail can be divided into three sections. The first section is till “Shree Nagarkoti Shaktipeeth” and then till The Shiva temple and at last at the cliff top.

After hiking for approx half a km you will come across Shree Nagarkoti Shaktipeeth temple from where the peak is clearly visible. The temple is very beautiful and has a campground and Sarai wherein devotees stay during their religious pilgrimage.

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From the temple, you need to exit from the gate on the left on the temple ground. From there you will find 2 ways to go upwards you need to take the way on the left.

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2 trails emerge after Temple right beside this water storage tank. You need to take the trail on left.

 

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Seems like a Samadhi though we could not verify.

Stay on the trail on left and after a few minutes, you will see the temple which is visible. There is a Shivling at the temple cave. Right above the Shivling you will see a white rock and if you tap it will sound like a pellet drum.

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The entry point to the Lord Shiva Temple

Once you reach the temple you can find ground water storage (Bodi) there.

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Water storage tank besides rain shelter right above the temple

From the shelter, you need to follow the path on the right to reach the cliff top which hosts another small Shiva Temple. The path is filled with Pine, Cheed, and Devdar tree. Once you reach at the top you have a 360-degree view of Solan and Shimla valley.

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The view from the top

While we were going towards the peak we lost our way and took a right turn from the water tank and ended up right below the rocky peak.

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Snacks time on the trail

We literally had to make our way to the top and frankly speaking, that experience filled us with an adrenaline rush. At the top, you will find another cave with Shivling inside the cave and also a rain shelter (not manmade), a typical rocky alignment which is being used as a rain shelter and stay place for the night. We could see fire remains below the rocky shelter.

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Our group at the mountain top

Things to keep in mind before attempting Trek.

  • There are no tea stalls on the trek. Carry all essentials for the trek.
  • If you are hiking in rain it’s better to carry a big umbrella or rain poncho.
  • Mobile network is available on most of the trek.
  • There is Sarai at the temple however it was locked when I visited the trek.
  • Trek is a bit challenging at a few points and you may need to prepare for this in advance.
  • If you are doing this trek during winter please carry trekking and snow gear.

If you are planning for the trek and want to hire camping/trekking equipment you can rent it out at Chandigarh from Gadget Rental India.

2 Person Camping Tent MH100

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A quick guide to the Pin Parbat Trek

A quick guide to the Pin Parbat Trek

Pin Parbat trek distance- Approx 175 km. 
Elevation Gain – 2500 mtrs
Difficulty Level – Extremely Difficult
Min. days required – 8 days

A trek takes one from the Parbati valley in Kullu to the Pin valley in Spiti across the 5319-meter Pin Parbat pass, from the lush temperate forests of the former to the barren, cold desert landscapes of latter. One must be extremely fit and really well prepared for this trek as there’s absolutely no habitation along its entire length. Trek commences from Gwacha, a small hamlet high in the Parvati valley, past Manikaran. From there the route follows the Parbati river upstream for 3 days with night halts at Khir Ganga (hot springs), Pandupul (steeped within the Pandava mythology) and Mantalai. One passes through amazing forests of Betula( bhojpatra) and walnut, and makes some risky river crossings on wire-suspended baskets! The only persons you’ll now meet are the migratory Gujjars and Gaddis.

Treeline is crossed just before Pandupul. Mantalai is a huge glacial lake at 4116 meters. It’s the source of the Parbati. It’s an awesome sight with glaciers flowing right down to it from all
sides. From here it’s another two days of hard climbing to the Pin Parbat pass. The saddle of the pass is roofed with a permanent ice field and must be crossed cautiously because it is crisscrossed with crevasses. The fifth day’s campsite is much below the pass, on the banks of the infant Pin river at 4200 meters.
 
It takes two more days to reach the first village on the Pin side-Mudh. The whole stretch from the pass to Mudh is within the Pin Valley park which provides a haven for several rare species- snow leopard, Spiti wolf, ibex and ghural.
 
A road has now reached Mudh, 12 km beyond which are Sagnam/ Mikkim (3600 meters) a twin village located at the confluence of the Pin and also the Paraiho. From here it’s a spectacular drive of 35 km to Kaza, so on to Manali over the Kunzum and Rohtang passes.
 
 
Kheerganga Trek - Vishwa - Shepherdtrail Blog 2

Feeling Low? Go to the mountains! | Kheerganga Trek

Feeling Low? Go to the mountains! | Kheerganga Trek

After a weary workday, I got a call from my friend we were sharing glimpses and he came up with the Kasol tour plan. I wanted to escape from the routine so I didn’t check anything about it and without any hesitation, I said let’s go. And that’s how we ended up on this trek.

It was a companionless journey from Chennai to Delhi to join my friend at Delhi airport we were about to kiss goodbye to the bus that we booked. We could catch the bus at the last minute, met strangers on the bus who were planning to trek Kheerganga. After staying in Kasol for two days, on the pleasant morning of Day 3, we reached Bharshaini Dam to witness the beauty of nature.

 

I think there are certain moments which people will never forget, like All the firsts when the first tide touches your feet, first snowflake, first love, first kiss!! That’s how I felt after seeing the snow-capped mountains.

From there we started the 12Km trek, on the way we met a few students rushing to schools in the mountain terrain and walked through the villages to experience the completely unknown culture of Himachal on the way to reaching  the base camp

After trekking for 7km we reached the base camp of Kheerganga trek called Rudranaag amidst the white-capped hills, where we saw the poster stating reward for finding the person who lost in the trek and realized it’s all fun and games until you lost and cease to exist.

 

We were a team of 7 members and accompanied by a local guide in Rudranaag not to miss the stray dogs, who stayed with us from start to end of the trek. From base camp, we crossed the Parvati valley to climb the mountains covered with slippery snow. Trekked almost 3 hrs to reach the kheerganga camp at 13000 ft above sea level, where one could embrace the mighty Himalayan ranges.

On top, we found one hot spring, At that moment I felt “God is a great artist but we are luckier than him to live on his finest art!!”

Barefoot we walked in the snow to reach the hot spring, the warmth given by the hot water, Oh, God!! That was heaven in real-time.

After a long trek, we camped at Kheerganga that night, amidst the Himalayas and clear night sky showing its beauty, next day we started our return journey. Trekking downhill on a slippery surface is not an easy task. I would personally say the return journey was difficult and one should be mentally ready to face the fear because while trekking uphill we will be facing the mountain but in the case of downhill, it is the valley. With the help of a veteran guide, we made it back to Rudranaag.

The trek hasn’t only given us adventure but shown us the culture of Himachal. You may not remember their names, you may not meet them again but you will always remember their quick laughs, quiet smiles, small chats, and great gestures, you will cherish them forever.

 

Some people say that unplanned trips are the best, I don’t know how far it’s true but the Kheerganga trek was unplanned, which will stay as a core memory in my life.

 

P.S: Find all information about Kheerganga Trek here.

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 Kheerganga- My First Trek – By Bisheshwar Das

 KheerGanga- My First Trek

Whether listed down on a paper or not, everyone has a bucket list- a list of things they want to experience before their soul leaves the body. No matter how beautiful one’s city is or how upgraded and techie one’s room is, the pleasure of enjoying nature is unmatchable.

A frustrated engineering mind from exams wanted some refreshment. The evening after the last exam, our group of Nepali students studying at Thapar University sat down and started thinking of going on a trip. We certainly didn’t want to visit any cities but to go to nature. I have always wanted to go on a trek, so I suggested a place my friends had recently been to, Triund. Later we found out about Kheerganga Trek and decided to go there. We planned on leaving the following evening, and so we did. We left Patiala at around 7, we reached Chandigarh, and as there was no direct bus available for Kasol, we had to go on the bus to Manali and stop at Bhuntar. We arrived at Bhuntar early in the morning and then sat on a bus and we were off to the base of trekking, Barshaini. We then had some lunch and started our trek.

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Trekking to Kheerganga

I was very excited about this trip, my first trek. I can still feel that feeling putting my first foot on the inclined hilly small path with a tripod in one hand and a helping stick in the other. We reached the top around 4 pm. There was no network, just nature; Gosh, that feeling is fantastic. My legs were hurting, but my soul was pleased to reach the camp.

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Our group at Kheerganga

We then had mango juice(maaza), and then we went for a hot spring bath. We then went to the Shiva temple beside the hot spring (Parvati Kund). After that, we returned to camp and had Maggie noodles. Later, we enjoyed dancing to music. After that, we all went for a bit of rest, and then we all gathered for a campfire. We played Etymology (antakshari) in a group of two and danced. Some people from other groups joined us as well. Though from different regions, we were certainly united by the music. After that, we had dinner, and then some stayed by the campfire, and some, including myself, went to sleep.

 The following day, while most of us were asleep. Four of us went up the hill with determination to reach the snow point there. We went through bushes and rugged paths, but eventually, we got to the snow point, enjoyed it for a while, captured some photos, and returned.

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Reached the snow point

After we reached the camp, the rest of the members were awake as well, and thus we had our breakfast, and then we set our backpacks to return. We captured group photos and then got back to our journey. We ended up on a different way around with no intention, which was a little tricky but more fun trekking. This path passed through a beautiful village as well.

 We had planned to spend some time in Kasol, so we didn’t spend much time in Barshaini. We got there fresh, had some chips and cold drinks, and sat on the bus to Kasol. We reached Kasol by around 3 pm. Then we had some evening snacks, momos and chowmein.

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Beautiful Kasol market

We then booked our tickets to Chandigarh. The bus was at 10:00 pm. So we decided to spend time by the riverside, and so we did. We went to the nearby riverside and spent the evening there. We took some photos and piled up rocks as a pagoda.Kheerganga - My first Trek - ShepherdTrail Blog 5 We later brought some cold drinks and snacks and enjoyed singing. After that, it was almost dark around 07:30 pm. We returned to the city and roamed through the local market. We went to the bus stand at the respective time, reached Chandīgarh by morning, wandered a bit there, and returned to the hostel by noon.

 Have you ever been into addiction? The addiction of tick marking the list, the list you make of things that makes your soul relaxed and happy. This trek was on my list, and I walked every step with excitement, like, yay, I am doing this. This trek was a wholesome pack of excitement and happiness to my soul. The more the uneven and uneasy path, the more keen my heart was to cross it.

त्रिउंड की एक अनप्लैंड ट्रिप - ShepherdTrail Blog 7

त्रिउंड की एक अनप्लैंड ट्रिप की कहानी!

आखिर एक अनप्लैंड ट्रिप कितना अनप्लैंड हो सकता है?
मैं बताता हूं कितना 😂
तो मैकलोडगंज की एक सुहानी धूप भरी सुबह में मन हुआ की चलो त्रिउंड के मैजिक व्यू कैफे तक चढ़कर एक चाय मैगी खाकर शाम तक वापस चले आते है, थोड़ी ठंडी हवा का वहम था तो एक लेयर जैकेट अपने डे पैक में डाला। एक पानी की बोतल, अपना कैमरा, 2 फ्रूट केक और छाता ताकि बाय चांस बारिश हो गई तो ठीक रहेगा। मुझे पता है ऑलरेडी काफी प्लांड लग रहा होगा, लेकिन ऐसा नही है। 😂

मैं अपने मित्र (जो की हॉस्टल में ही मिला था) के साथ चल पड़ा। मैजिक व्यू 10 बजे सुबह पहुंच गया तो लगा की Triund अब कोनसा दूर है, चल लेते है, आने में तो वैसे भी आधा टाइम ही लगेगा (ओवरकॉन्फिडेंस सूंघ पा रहे हो? 🤣)

 

चल पड़े भाई, गानों की धुन और वक्त पर लौटने की धनक ने 12 बजे Triund पहुंचा दिया। कसम से क्या मौसम था, सामने मूनपीक की खूबसूरती के तो क्या ही कहने। यहां में सच में पिघल गया था 😍

 

यहां मेने अपने दोस्त से मसखरी में कहा, क्यों अरुण भाई, क्या लगता है और पास से कैसा लगता होगा ? अरुण भाई ठिठके और बोले यहां तो बढ़िया लग रहा है, पास से और बढ़िया लगेगा । मेरे अतिउत्तेजित चहरे को भांप कर मैगी परोसते हुए दुकान वाले चाचा बोले “स्नोलाइन भी 1 घंटा ही है यह से”

मां कसम यही में दूसरी बार ओवरकॉन्फिडेंस में आगया था 😂

 

“अरुण भाई देखो अगर स्नोलाइन जाकर आए तो 2 घंटे और सही, 2:30 बजे उतरना शुरू करेंगे वापस यहीं से और 5 बजे तो हॉस्टल” ये सब में सादे में बोल रहा था 😂😂
विज्ञान के अवकलन समाकलन के जोड़ अपने जीवन में इतनी तेजी से नही किए थे की ये कर रहा था 😂
खैर मैगी सुड्डक के चल दिए, ऊबड़ खाबड़ रास्ते से झूमते झामते कुदरत के नजारे लेते हुए भी मूनपीक के प्यार में पागल होते हुए सोच रहे थे की पास से कितना सुंदर लगेगा 😂
खैर हम 1:15 बजे स्नोलाइन पहुंचे ।

 

आए हाए नजारे आगए, शांति के अलावा स्नोलाइन इसलिए भी पसंद है की शाम में बैठ कर मूनपीक के चहेरे पर वो सुनहरी चुनर देखने को मिलती है, सूरज की किरणे अपने सुनहरे रंग की आखिरी आभा में उस पहाड़ को इस ढकती है जैसे किसी दुल्हन के चहरे का घूंघट 😍|

 

खैर, वहां पहुंचते ही अपने ये विचार दिमाग में दही की तरह फैल चुके थे। चाचा से एक गरम चाय ली। 2 मिनट तक उस पहाड़ को अपने अंदर झांकने दिया ( और क्या, इतना करीब से और भी अद्भुत था की अब मेरी क्या औकात की मैं उसमे झांकू?)
चुस्की लेते हुए चाचा से पूछा “टेंट है?” 🤔
“आखिरी बचा है”
अब अरुण भाई पहले भी ज्यादा शक की नजर से देख रहे थे 🙄
मैं बोलता उससे पहले से ही तपाक से बोले “2:30 बजे नीचे उतरना शुरू करना है?”
मेरे की अब जाने का मन था ही नही 🤭
मेने अरुण भाई के बजाय चाचा को जवाब दिया ” वो ऊपर वाली साइड में सनराइज फेसिंग करके लगा दो 2 लोग के लिए” 😂🤣
में और अरुण भाई जोर से हंसे। 😂
“तू ठंड से मरवाएगा आज” बोलकर अरुण भाई चाय सुडकने लगे।
“अब नया प्लान सुनो” मेने सीरियस होके बोलने की कोशिश की।
अरुण भाई का चेहरा देखने लायक था 😂
“अभी सनसेट देखेंगे, सुबह 6 बजे लाका ग्लेशियर चलेंगे, 11 बजे वहा से निकलेंगे और 3-4 बजे तक नीचे” 🤔
लगा अरुण भाई से उनकी आत्मा मांग ली 😂

मैं चुपचाप चाय सुडकने लगा 🤭

अब लग रहा था कुछ ज्यादा ही अनप्लैन्ड हो रहा है।

वो अलग बात है की कैसे इसी ट्रिप पर पजामा टीशर्ट पहने एक पतले जैकेट के सहारे इंद्रहार तक कर आए 😂🤣
आगे की अनप्लैंड कहानी कभी और 😂

हां ये पीछे लाका ग्लेशियर ही है और वो मूनपीक का साइड पोज ( मेरा भी 😂 😅 🙌)

 

 

Churdhar Trek - shepherdtrail blog

Churdhar Trek – The best trek near to Chandigarh

130 KM from Chandigarh, Churdhar (elevation of 3,647 metres; 11,965 feet) is the highest peak in Sirmour district and is also the highest peak in the outer Himalayas and offers a 360° view of the Himalayas. Once you are at the top you witness one of the best landscapes from the peak. You can find all the essential information about the trek here. I consider this as the best weekend trek from Chandigarh as it’s equally challenging and mesmerising at the same time. Moreover, you can reach the trek base in just 4 hours.

So I was planning Trek to Churdhar peak along with Pankaj and my friends from work. Pankaj also got 2 of his friends to join for the trek. We were short of the camping gear so we got the same from the market outside the Air Force station Chandigarh. Though these days you can easily rent the required gears from Gadget Rental India in Chandigarh. I started my journey from Chandigarh and agreed to meet Pankaj at Solan the next day morning. On trek day Pankaj reached Solan around 6:00 AM. After some time we started our journey towards Noradhar.

Noradhar is one of the bases for Churdhar Trek and is a small village. The main routes for arrival are from Nohradhar to 18 Km, (Sirmour)and Sarahan, Chaupal of 8 km. You can get all the essential items for the trek at Noradhar.

We reached Noradhar at 10:30 am and got a new cooking pot. We also got some food and water as we were told that this was the last point where we would get food.

We started the trek at 10:50 am. There is a big gate of “Shirgul Maharaj” temple at starting of the trek.

Entry gate for Churdhar Trek - ShepherdTrail Blog

The entry gate for Churdhar Trek

Churdhar is a holy place related to Shri Shirgul Maharaj (Chureshwar Maharaj), a deity widely worshipped in Sirmour and Chaupal.

At the very beginning of the trek, we found 2 different trails which meet at Jamnala. We followed the unpaved path which goes straight up and is a bit inclined.

Hiking to Chureshwar Mahadev | Churdhar Trek

Hiking to Chureshwar Mahadev | Churdhar Trek

I recommend taking this path only as it is very scenic however you need to start early in the morning as the sun is directly above your head for an initial 2-3 Km hike and there is no shelter/trees.

Once we entered the forest we were welcomed with the Rhododendron Tree forest. There is a bit flat trail and meadow once you cross the initial 2-3 km.

Meadows on Churdhar Trek

Meadows on Churdhar Trek

You can see the entire Sirmour valley from here. On one side of the trail, you will find a Churdhar wildlife sanctuary which is well protected by wires and on the other side, you keep hiking the trail. The trail further goes deep into the forest which is wide and thick.

Rhodo trees on Churdhar Trek | Shepherdtrail Blog

Rhododendron Tree forest on Churdhar Trek

Around afternoon we reached Jamnala. Before Jamnala there is only one water source which is maintained as this trail is also used by devotees for pilgrimage journeys to Churdhar.

Jam Nallah Campsite | ShepherdTrail Blog


Jam Nallah Campsite | Pic Credit: Campydingle

Jamnala is having a small rain shelter that is used by Shepherds and devotees while on the way to Churdhar. When we reached Jamnala it started training so we waited in the shelter for some time.

Rain Shelter at Jamnala, Churdhar Trek | Shepherdtrail Blog


Rain Shelter at Jamnala, Churdhar Trek

After waiting for some time we started liking again through the mesmerizing forest. Between Jamnala and Tisri you will find another water source. By 4 PM we reached Tisri and started setting up the camp as we wanted to stay at Tisri for the night.

Camping at Tisri - Churdhar Trek


Camping at Tisri – Melting Ice to arrange water for cooking – Churdhar Trek

We didn’t carry enough water when hiking though we had a fair idea that there will be no water source however we drank all the water before we reached Tisri. We had to collect some ice and melt which we used for cooking.

Enjoying food at Tisri | Churdhar Trek

Lunchtime at Tisri | Churdhar Trek

We were ready to sleep inside our tents when we heard a few voices approaching us. It was way too dark and at first, we were a bit afraid as we were the only ones who were camping at Tisri. Then we heard someone calling us. We were afraid and paused for a few minutes as it was way too dark and if you know there are a lot of haunted stories which we hear in mountains. After waiting for a few minutes we asked who it is? We were shocked when we heard a kid’s voice. We came out of our tents to find out what’s the matter. We were shattered to know what happened after that. There were 2 tall men, wearing just normal shirts without any sweater, with a child, totally lost. It was freezing cold outside. They immediately started requesting us to get their kid inside the tent.

Upon enquiring we found out that they were tourists from someplace in Haryana and they were misguided that they can reach the temple in 3-4 hours and everything is sorted there including food and stay. We felt angry and concerned at the same time.

Advice to every parent, please do a proper research of the trail if you are planning to get your childrens on a trek along with you. The treks are not the place for picnic and you definately need to consider all odd options and prepare for it before you get  your kids join it. I suggest consider double the time you were able to do a trek when you are doing the trek with your kids.

We got the kid inside the tents however both the male persons had to spend the night outside besides the campfire. fortunately, we had collected enough firewood to cook in the morning which kept them going throughout the night. I wonder what could have happened if they didn’t find us at night.

The next morning we started the final hike at around 7:00 AM. After Tisri there are two ways to reach the Churdhar peak. One of the ways first go to the temple and Sarai and from there you need to hike to Shiva sculpture. There is a Sarai at the temple where you can stay for the night after paying nominal charges. The second way goes straight up and is very inclined. The trail is also tricky at a few points and you literally need to cross rocks. After hiking for approx. 2 hours we reached above rocks from where the path is not that inclined and is very easy.

Completed the toughest stretch from Churdhar Trek

Completed the toughest stretch from Churdhar Trek

On one side of the way, you will see the entire valley. Also after this point, Shiva sculpture is visible and you feel new energy to keep hiking.

Final Stretch to Churdhar peak

Final Stretch to Churdhar peak

The final stretch was where Prabh found out/fought and conquered his fear of heights. Once we were in the final stretch you can literally feel that you are walking on a mountain top and one step here and there could put your life at risk. This is where Prabh literally panicked and started shivering for a few minutes. He sat on the ground and said that he can’t walk further and he will wait for us here. We waited for a few minutes, rested and motivated him to walk as the peak was very near. After a few minutes, he was able to overcome the fear and after that, he was literally jumping over the rocks. This is where I think he discovered and lost his fear of heights and this was the blessings of Lord Shiva that helped him.

Prabh after winning over the fear of heights! Thanking Lord Shiva!

We reached the peak at 10 am. The views from the peak are just from another world. The peak feels like a place from where you can say Lord Shiva is watching on us 24*7. The peak has 360-degree view and you can see all around.

Nag Pathar in Churdhar | Pic Credit: Campydingle

The peak has a Shiva sculpture and a small temple.

Shiva Sculpture at Churdhar

Shiva Sculpture at Churdhar

I sought the blessings of Lord Shiva and thanked him for being the guiding spirit throughout the journey.

Churdhar Peak | Chureshwar mahadev

Churdhar Peak | Chureshwar mahadev

Views from Churdhar Peak

Views from Churdhar Peak

We started heading back @ 10:30 AM and cooked and had Maggi on our way back to Noradhar.

Heading back from Churdhar Peak

Heading back from Churdhar Peak

From jamnala we took another trail on the left which is well paved. By 4 PM we reached Noradhar.  Till this date the memories of the trail, the lost family and Prabh overcoming his fears is very fresh in my mind.

Mountains are definitely the place where I feel most alive and I am sure the same is the case with every trekking enthusiast.

Trident at Churdhar Peak

Trident at Churdhar Peak

What’s your Churdhar story? Do share with us in the comments section. DM if you wish to share your blog/story on ShepherdTrail.

Har Har Mahadev!

Rajgundha Trek - ShepherdTrail Blog

All you need to know Rajgundha Trek

Rajgundha Trek | Trek from Bir Billing | Detailed Itinerary 

Rajgundha Trek is located in Dhauladhar Range. If you are in Bir Billing and looking for a short adventure you should choose this amazing trek experience.  This is a very remote village and not visited much by travellers. The trek goes through the village paths and Rajgundha is approachable in 2 different ways. Alternatively, you can also start your journey from Barot.

Trek’s total distance is 6 km if started from the Barot side and 14 KM if started from the Billing side. Once you reach Rajgundha you can camp overnight or can also return the same day to your base location if you have started your trek from Barot side (One of the best camping destinations in Himachal).

Billing is also a traveller’s inn and you can find homestays, paragliding and camping options there. Also if you have a few more days you can also visit Barot and enjoy camping. Also, there are a lot of monasteries nearby which you can visit.

Travel to base –Nearest airports are Kullu and Kangra. Travellers can plan travel to any of these airports. Bir Billing is approachable from both these locations and there are local buses operating on this route. If you are coming by train you can take the train to Pathankot from where you can either take a bus or if you have some spare time you can also board a Toy train to Jogindernagar.

Short itinerary for Rajgundha Trek

Day 1: Bir to Rajgundha

Once we reach billing then trek will start from Billing. The total trek distance is 14km.

Day 2: Rajgundha to Billing and back to Bir

After breakfast trek back to billing then drive down to Bir.

Things to keep in mind before attempting Rajgundha Trek.

  • Mobile network is available only of that of Airtel and Jio..
  • There are a couple of stay options that can be booked after paying some amount.  It is recommended to carry your camping gear or hire an agency to manage your stay and food needs.
  • Trek is a bit challenging at a few points and you may need to prepare for this in advance.

If you are planning for the trek and want to hire camping/trekking equipment you can rent it out at Chandigarh, Panchkula, Mohali, Zirakpur or Kharar from Gadget Rental India.

Want to add anything? Comment below and we will add it. Want to read more click here.

Kheerganga Trek - ShepherdTrail Blog 2

Kheerganga Trek | Mountain Kids and unexpected Rainbow Gathering!

As usual “Pankaj” called me again for one another trek, he was planning for the Kheerganga Trek. It was also his birthday which he wanted to celebrate in the mountains. We ended up planning the Kheerganga trek. So the idea was to camp for a day in Kasol and then do the trek.

On day 1 we left Chandigarh and agreed to meet at Bhuntar (Kullu). I took a Volvo at night from Chandigarh and Pankaj after finishing his US shift drove to Bhunter. Bannu one of my friends happened to work in Bhuntar so I called him in advance so that we could meet. I reached Bhunter a bit earlier in the morning and after waiting for a few hrs Pankaj also reached along with Pulkit.

Pulkit was Pankaj’s work colleague who was very excited to go for a trek and joined him for the trek. Vinesh (Bannu) used to live in a beautiful rented home near Bhunter Airport. The setting there was beautiful with a huge mountain facing opposite to his home. He welcomed us with awesome Maggi (pahadon mein maggi nahi khayi to kya khaya).

Maggi at Bhunter - Kheerganga Blog - ShepherdTrail 1

Maggi at Bhunter – From Left Pankaj, Me & Pulkit

Our original plan was to go to Bijli Mahadev if time allows but we skipped the plan as we were late. It was somewhere close to 6:30 PM when we decided to go to Kasol for camping. My friend asked us to stay for the night at his place but we also wanted to spend some time in Kasol. I took his bike and we drove all the way to Kasol which is approx. 30 KM from Bhunter.

If you want to visit Kasol you don’t need to go towards Manali and there is a detour which you need to take from Bhunter. Kasol is a beautiful hamlet and you can simply say it is the hippe capital of India. By 7:30 we reached Kasol. Kasol is a different place when you visit in the evening. It looks like a hippie town and there are a lot of foreigners who you can see there. That’s one of the reasons it is also known as the mini-Israel of India. There are a lot of cafes that are always packed and you have to wait for some time before you get a table (If you have been to Kasol you know it !!).

After a bit of challenge and going through cafes we found a cafe that allowed us to set up our own tent on their property. We sat up our tent in dark, to be honest, it’s not easy to sit up a 4 person tent especially when you are setting it up for the first time and it’s dark 😬. The vibe at the Cafe was really cool and it was only in the morning when we realized that we were so close to river 😃.

Bridge at Kasol - ShepherdTrail Blog 1

Bridge to the cafe where we stayed for the night! These beautiful bridges are common in Kasol.

In the morning we started our journey to Barshini. Barshini is the base for Kheerganga Trek and is around 16 KM from Kasol town.  There are a couple of shops at Barshaini where you can find essential items and there are few dhabas where you can eat simple food. You can find more about Barshini and Kheeranga Trek travel guide here.

On the way to Barshini, we stopped at a cafe and did breakfast where we met this beautiful family who was waiting for the bus as they were going towards Kasol.

Family on the way from Kasol to Barshini - ShepherdTrail Blog 1

On the way to Barshini, we witnessed some of the most beautiful mountain villages. Life in the mountains is a bit tough and while on the way you will see a lot of villages on the opposite side of the road where you will see a lot of trolleys which are used for to get essentials from road-head to the village.

Beautiful village in Parvati valley - Kheerganga Trek

Beautiful village in Parvati valley – Kheerganga Trek

After reaching Barshini we got all the necessary things and food which we would require for the trek as we were planning to cook our own food which we generally do when we do treks.  We spoke to a few shopkeepers in Barshini and found that there are 2 trails which goes to Kheerganga. We took the trail through Pulga village which is on right from the bridge. I personally recommend that you should take this trail while hiking and take another one while returning from Kheerganga. Few minutes into the trail we found ourselves in the forest. The trail is well marked and you can see it is followed by Shepherds. Kheerganga Trek through Pulga

Halfway into the trek, Pulkit got cramps in his legs as it was the first time he was doing any trek and also was not physically active, he could hardly walk. We motivated him to keep walking. He was hardly able to walk so took his bag and carried that. The trail was becoming more beautiful the more we were into the valley. Parvati valley is very beautiful valley and you can literally feel that it is blessed.

Kheerganga Trek - ShepherdTrail Blog 2

Kheerganga Trek

We were just near to the waterfall which is also like the midpoint of the trek when we found this board on the trek. The paths in such trails get tricky at a few points and you need to ensure that you are keeping an eye on your feet.

Kheerganga Trek - Shehpherdtrail log 2

After walking for a few more minutes we reached the waterfall where there is a small shop where you can find food and tea. I observed a few foreigners who were camping here and the shopkeeper told us that they were camping there for good enough days now.

Waterfall on Kheerganga Trek - ShepherdTrail log 1

Waterfall on Kheerganga Trek

The trail after the waterfall meets with another trail that is coming through Kalga village. While returning we can take this trail or vice-versa. There are few cafes at the point where these 2 trails meet and then a single trail goes towards Kheerganga. We were on the way to the final destination when we met Sidhant. Sidhant was travelling solo from all the way from Goa and was going to camp solo in Kheerganga. We became friends while on the trail and he joined our pack. Fortunately enough we are still in touch and keep on talking about travel very often.

We all 4 kept chatting and kept walking. The last stretch to Kheerganga is a bit steep. Finally, we reached Kheerganga and we were very happy when we saw that we reached our destination.

Kheerganga Trek

First look of Kheerganga!

Well, Kheerganga is such a place which you can’t explain in words how hard you try! It’s a place out of the world. The hippie cafes, temporary setups, camps, dome tents, shepherd herds, a cool vibe and on top of that an amazing hot water pond! That’s Kheerganga for you! The trek is a hard one but when you reach Kheerganga and take a dip in a hot water pond you forget everything. It’s the perfect combination of chilled weather and a hot stream, better than any jacuzzi in the world!

Camping in Kheerganga - Kheerganga Trek Blog

Pankaj with our friends from Kheerganga Trails – They can be posy at time !

I was thinking that we won the world and was underestimating what there was in store for tonight! Then happened unexpected thing which I never thought I will witness. This is the night when I got introduced to the Rainbow family and I went to my first ever rainbow gathering. The story goes like it…

When we reached Kheerganga we agreed to pitch our tent a bit far away from the cafe. We pitched our tent and then went for a dip in a hot water spring. There were a lot of foreigners there at the Kheerganga at the moment. We thought it was a normal day as there are a lot of cafes/bakeries that were being operated by foreigners there. Though Pankaj observed that none of the foreigners was camping at Kheerganga and they were going deep into the forest. We thought there is some secret Full Moon party going on which they have kept as a secret (We were not observant enough I think).

Tents at Kheerganga Trek

Camps at Kheerganga

We were about to start cooking our dinner when a group of foreigners passed by us. One of them (Kal) stopped by to take a break and sat with us. After chatting a bit he told us that there is a rainbow gathering happening at the time we were camping there. He invited us to the Rainbow gathering, asked us to follow the rock signs and left. We thought let’s visit there and then we will come back and prepare dinner. First, we got confused as we were not seeing any signs and then we saw there were small rocks placed with their sharp edges pointing towards another set of rocks. It felt like a scene from the Harry Potter movie (seriously) but we kept following and kept moving.

After walking for around 15 minutes we found ourselves deep in the woods and to our surprise after crossing a few trees we found a whole plain ground covered from all sides with dense forest (almost invisible from the outside) and there it was the whole rainbow community. The atmosphere there was totally out of the world. We were welcomed by the rainbow family as their own (actually we became part of the rainbow family the moment we walked in). There were good 200-250 foreigners from around the world bonded by a code and mutual respect.

The way to the Rainbow gathering - Kheerganga Trek Blog - ShepherdTrail

The way to the Rainbow gathering – Sidhant and Pulkit

The campfire was lit and we all sat around the fire. There were a lot of musicians from around the world at the rainbow. Everyone played the instrument they liked, sang songs (even we were given a chance to sing one of the local songs which everyone enjoyed). There were groups who were cooking for the night, some were arranging things, helping everyone to pitch their tent, guiding about the camps, toilets (woods) and other rules for the gathering. I suggest everyone should attend at least one of these events, you got to know a lot of people and understand different cultures. We enjoyed it till late in the night and then returned to our camps.

The next morning we were woken up by the cheering sounds of mountain kids. We came out of the camps and found these three joyful, cheering, cute, little mountain kids. They were from the nearby shelters. We felt really happy with these kids and started playing.

Mountain kid at Kheerganga Trek

You Beauty !! – Mountain kid at Kheerganga

These kids were so fearless and curious that they were running on small mountain trails like a pro. They kept talking to us to understand how we got our beautiful tents, how much they cost, where have we come from, how cities look etc. I usually carry a trail guide by Himachal tourism which I opened to show them. They were very curious to see pictures of different places in that.

Kheerganga Trek - ShepherdTrail Blog 2

Mountain Kids and stories!

We left Kheerganga as we had to join back our offices and I never got the opportunity to visit again though those memories are still fresh. I think to meet these kids again, someday! They would have grown into teenagers by now and I keep on thinking about meeting them again and showing the innocence they had. Have you seen these kids?

 

Himani Chamunda Trek - ShepherdTrail Blog 3

All you need to know about Himani Chamunda trek – Updated 2023

Aadi Himani Chamunda is a Hindu temple dedicated to Shri Chamunda Devi, situated in Chandar Bhan, Jia in Kangra ValleyHimachal PradeshIndia, in the Himalayas.

Aadi Himani Chamunda Temple (3185 meters) is located on a hilltop North East of the existing Shri Chamunda Devi Mandir in Kangra District of Himachal Pradesh. One can reach there after hiking about 13 Kilometers from Dharamshala Palampur state Highway (Jadrangal Village) and 8.5 Kilometers from the last motorable road at Kardiana. The trek to Aadi Himani Chamunda Devi requires about 6–7 hours and moderate expertise is required. Devotees visit the sacred shrine throughout the year except for winters. As per locals goddess, Shri Chamunda Devi killed two demons, Chand and Mund, from the top of the mountain by throwing huge boulders on them, one can still find one of the boulders above the Shiva Temple located near the existing Shri Chamunda Devi Temple on Dharamshala Palampur state highway. The recent temple built in the past decade was destroyed by the fierce fire in 2014 and now it has been under reconstruction again with the help of devotees and Temple Trust. The water is available till halfway and after that pilgrims need to carry their own. One can also find tea shops cum resting locations multiple times till the hilltop temple.

Also known as Aadi Himani Chamunda is a beautiful trek for any traveller and trekking enthusiast. The trek is in Dhauladhar Range and is famous for the goddess Chamunda Temple.The temple environs are of outstanding natural beauty and for that reason a destination for trekkers.

Trek can be commenced from Jia village The trek from Jia village is 7.4 kilometres one way. While the ascent takes 3-4 hours to complete; the descent can be completed in 2-3 hours. The route has many shops, solar lights and shelters.

The entire Kangra valley is visible from the trek.

Travel to base – Jia is 12km away from Chamunda. Chamunda also have a chamunda temple. There are a lot of local buses between Kangra and Chamunda. The nearest railway is Chamunda Devi. Trekkers coming from a different state can take rail till Pathankot and then if have extra time they can board toy train or alternatively take the bus till Kangra. The nearest airport is Kangra.

Short itinerary for Himani Camunda Trek
Day 1 – Kangra to Himani Chamunda

Trekkers need to reach Kangra from where they can take a shared Taxi to Jia village. Trek will start from Jia village. The total trek distance is 7.4km. Trekkers need to ensure that they are carrying enough water as water sources are not available on the trek. Once reaching the top you can camp for the night at the top.

Day 2 – Himani Chamunda to Kangra

Today you can start ascending towards Jia village. From Jia, trekkers will be transferred to Kangra. Trek ends here.

Things to keep in mind before attempting Himani Chamunda Trek.
  • There are 2 ways to go to Himani Chamunda however it is recommended to start the trek from Jia village.
  • Like Triund trek there is no water source available on the trek, so it is advisable to carry your own water.
  • The final destination has the deity Aadi Himani Chamunda temple so please don’t carry any prohibited material.
  • If you are looking for a trek where you can party then avoid this trek.
  • Mobile network is not available on most of the trek.
  • Trek is a bit challenging at a few points and you may need to prepare for this in advance.
  • If you are doing this trek during winters, please carry trekking and snow gear.

If you are planning for the trek and want to hire camping/trekking equipment you can rent it out at Chandigarh Tricity area from Gadget Rental India.

They have some really cool camping gear right for your trek. Do check out the recommendations below

Want to add anything? Comment below and we will add it. Want to read more click here.

 

Kareri Lake Trek - ShepherdTrail Blog 4

Journey to Kareri Lake Trek – Nov 2017

Well, it was late Nov’17 when Pankaj called to go for a hike close to Dharamshala. At the moment I wasn’t aware of Kareri Lake and heard the name for the first time. Kareri lake trek became famous in the 20s and it was a pure offbeat place before that and most people were not aware that we do have such a preserved trail which is less crowded and is a better option than Triund. The year 2016 was the year by when the popularity of the Triund trek already reached its peak and it’s still one of the famous hikes among the trekking community.
So instantly I agreed to join him for the trek. That was also the time we were planning to start our own trekking business though we were unable to execute the same. So Pankaj managed to get 2 of his work colleagues to join for the trek.

I boarded an overnight bus from Chandigarh to Dharamshala and we agreed to meet at Dharamshala as Pankaj would leave for Dharamshala after his work hours in the early morning. So there was I standing at 4:00 AM standing in Dharamshala on a chilled morning.

I waited for about 2 hours when Pankaj reached Dharamshala. We had an awesome tea and then we departed towards Kareri village.

Dharamshala - ShepherdTrail Blog

Sharma g finally arrived!

The road to Kareri village was under construction and was a bit jumpy and completely off-road. The road is inclined and was a narrow road with a very low margin for error and you would end up straight at the bottom of the valley if you slipped. It was a fun journey to Kareri Village. When we entered Kareri village you will see fresh developments and camps being set up. There were also a couple of homestays being set up and fresh structures being built up but majorly it was a small dune over the mountain.

We chit chatted with the locals to ask for the place to park our vehicle and parked the vehicle opposite to tea stall we had our breakfast. There were not many options available for food when we visited Kareri. Only 2 small tea stalls and one under construction café/campsite.

We started our hike to Kareri lake around 10 in the morning. There was a road head from where the trek starts till that point we could drive our car but we thought of leaving vehicle safe at the tea stall and took a walk through the village. There is a path which goes straight through the village and I think that was the best decision. While we were going through the village there were multiple locals who asked us pleasantly where we have come from. One old lady even offered us to rest and have tea as we were going through the village path. Well, that’s the beauty of being in a Himalayan village. The village is majorly occupied by the “Gaddi” tribe of Himachal Pradesh who are mostly shepherds (or used to be) though civilization cached up and people either started doing jobs and came down the hills children’s studies. Though if you will closely observe the guides on trails they are mostly from the same community and are open-hearted people who will show good hospitality and are reliable in mountains.

Kareri lake trail is being followed by Gaddi Shepherds also known as “Paal” from centuries to commute between Kangra and Chamba region. The path goes through Kareri Lake, Minkiani Pass (4250m) and Baleni Pass (3710m) to connect Chamba to KANGRA.

While you go through this ancient village you will find a lot of ancient mud houses, structures, livestock and sheep herds (Also called “Dhan” in the local language ). If you have ample time and want to experience Himalayan village culture you should definitely stay at Kareri village for a few days. There are a couple of homestays now available in the village.

Kareri Village - ShepherdTrail Blog

Taking a break at Kareri Village on the way to Kareri Lake

Just after the village we took a paved path upwards to the road head and reached the road head from where we started our hike to Kareri lake. The initial path is a bit tricky and you may get lost initially. The best bet is to follow the stream which is coming from the lake. The rest of the path goes beside the stream.

A few minutes into the trail we found ourselves in a deep forest and crossed the stream and started hiking on the left side of the steam. The point where we had to cross the stream was very scenic and there was a small pond of freshwater. We refilled our water bottles and clicked a few pics. The atmosphere here was completely silent and rejuvenating. If you may ask me I was ready to camp here for the day though it was just 20 minutes into the trail.Kareri lake trek - ShepherdTrail Blog 1

After a few minutes, we started our hike again. The trail now was well defined and clear. Forest became a bit denser. Few more minutes into the trail and we were joined by a solo foreigner trekker who was hiking solo. He joined our group and we started hiking together. After a few hours of trek, we started feeling exhausted and we took a small break. We literally found animal skulls here, having found skulls we were pretty clear that the area is inhabited by many wild animals.

After a few minutes, we thought of having our lunch. We had a few instant noodle packets and hot water which we carried from the village and we made instant noodles. After lunch, we started walking again and we found a beautiful iron bridge near reoti.

Kareri lake trek - ShepherdTrail Blog 2

Iron Bridge at Reoti

The café here was closed and we moved on. We reached Reoti in a few minutes. We could see a temporary café which was closed for now but there was camping space available at the café just across the small stream. We sat up the camp for the day and rested.Kareri Lake Trek - ShepherdTrail Blog 3
The next morning we left out our gears in the camps and started hiking to the lake. The final stretch is a bit steep but at the same time is equally beautiful. The trail goes along the stream which is coming from the lake and you just need to follow the stream. There are a few shepherd huts on the way which were vacant when we visited. There were few nomads who were camping there and after speaking to them we found that they were from down south and were camping there for almost a week.

We could see the temple on the lake and got a bit excited to hike to the final destination. We literally ran for the last few steps and finally, we were there at the lake beside the lord Shiva temple. The entire lake is a beauty and you get satisfied to witness a lake that is storing water straight from the glaciers. There was no snow at the lake when we visited and it was a bit dried up so we entered the lake and clicked a few pics there.
The feeling of accomplishment fulfils you with new energy when you visit such a place which was a dream at some point. We sat there at the temple, sunbathed for a few minutes and finally headed back home. To this day the memories are so fresh from this trail that I can visualize this at any moment.

On the way back we witnessed one of the best sunsets you could witness. We lost our way while coming back though we could find an alternate path from road head to reach Kareri village. If you may ask me this is one of the good beginner’s trek and is a must-do. Planning for Kareri lake? You can find all the important information here.

 

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My solo trip to Triund and unfinished attempt to Indrahar Pass – Himachal Pradesh

This story is 5 years old, in the month of April 2016, My exams were over for BBA Final Year. I thought of going on a tour on my newly purchased 2nd hand bike, I asked my friends but they had other plans, so I decided to go solo, I checked my bike’s papers and serviced it the day before the long run.

That night I had a fever, but I decided that whatever happens in the morning I’ll go for my adventure on my first solo trip. The next morning I woke up all excited for my adventure. I prepared my breakfast, had it full as I didn’t know where I’d be able to eat next, because it was my first-time solo road trip to Himachal from Jalandhar, Punjab. I still had a fever but as I’ve decided, I went for it.

So I reached Mclodeganj, Himachal Pradesh from Jalandhar on my bike in the Afternoon (165 k.m.). I arranged my food at the Mclodeganj square, took information from locals about the trek distance, camping gear, food etc.

In the evening I left for trekking of 8 km, excluding the Bagshu fall, On the way, I took a break for 3 times as it is a pure mountain trek, On the way, I outpaced some group of trekkers maybe because I was single and didn’t have to wait for my mates or might be I’m a quick trekker :p , Finally, I reached Triund top and sat on a rock to catch my breath, I sat there, enjoyed the view and strong blow of wind which I think was felt by my soul, I saw people walking and sheep herds, which as guided by the shepherd’s dogs and then I went to the shop and rented a camp which cost only Rs 400/night, it was a small tent for a single person, If you’re a group of people you can rent a bigger one which will cost you Rs 800, Rs 1200 and Rs 1600 which can accommodate up to 6 people.

Since I was alone, I didn’t know what to do next so I sat and kept on staring at the mountains, it was magical, it was soul-soothing, I felt so relieved, I can’t explain it in words, since words won’t do justice to what I felt, suddenly I heard dog fight, one of the shepherd’s dog has almost killed the other one, the dog’s bite was so strong that it almost chocked the other dog, I intervened and shouted really loud, after that the fight was over and I started my buffer-free view of the mountains and clouds, I was sitting and I heard a voice, Hey, are you also on a solo trip? I said yes and introduced ourselves, He asked me what’s your plan, I said, I rented a camp so I’ll set my camp and I’ll stargaze at night and I’ll leave in the afternoon, He said why, won’t you go up to the mountains, I said, is there more to go?

He said yes, I’ve been in Himachal for a month and I know there’s more than very few people know, I agreed to stay and to climb the mountain, then we set our camp and stayed for the night with a complete stranger turned friend.

There were a few foreigners too, They also came for trekking with a group of 8-10 people, they played soulful music, set a bone fire, it was magical. We ate Daal Chawal at the shop, it tasted good, don’t know how, then I stayed up to stargaze, It was a little cloudy yet very beautiful night sky.

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Triund

The next morning we left for the mountaineering to the Indrahar peak, without any mountaineering gear, without any guide, with the slippery sole of my shoes. We trek for 6-7 km of normal mountain trek, on the way, there was another shop and we ate Maggi there, then we continued our trek, Indrahar Paas is the top of the mountain visible from Triund top, yes, the highest one is Indrahar Pass.

So, we reached the valley of Indrahar pass and saw a few empty shelters there, don’t know who lived there, then we saw a few locals, we offered them to be our guide but they refused and showed us the way a little, we followed the trail and climbed up after we reached the halfway I saw clouds filling up the valley and slowly coming up, I never saw clouds beneath me, I was astounded by the view. I said to my friend to have look behind, he saw then we decided to climb faster.

We were at 75% of our mountaineering when clouds finally caught us, and it was raining snow, yes It was snowfall on the mountains, it was heavy snowfall so we took shelter under the rocks for around 30 minutes after it stopped we started to climb up again, but it was very slippery, because of the snowfall, so we reached about 90 % of the peak but now there was no way we could have climbed up without the professional gears as it was a straight mountain with snow, so we decided to climb down now, we don’t want to go back but there was just no way for us to climb the remaining 10%.

So we started coming down, it was so slippery that I slipped 1-2 feet thrice, and trust me I felt like I’ll die and prayed to God, Bhagwan bacha le aaj, my friend was ahead of me and he just kept saying just a little bit more we have almost reached don’t worry, thanks to him we finally climbed down to the valleys, stopped for the Maggi again as we were totally exhausted.

Then we came back to the Triund with a bottle filled with mountain’s water which was fresher and healthier than your RO+ UV combined :D. Handed over the camp to the shop and trek down to Mclodeganj. We were so tired that our knee couldn’t take it anymore, my friend was barely able to walk, luckily we found a stick for the support and climbed down at last.

So we trek for 30-35 km from McLeodganj-Triund-Indrahar pass-Triund-McLeodganj, so the people who say it is one day trek they might don’t know about Indrahar Pass trek, which starts from 7 km ahead from where the Triund trek ends.

Oh, the fever faint away, I never felt more alive.

Thank you so much for reading, I truly appreciate it.

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Jalsu Pass ..what happened there ?

It’s been 25 years when I had my first encounter with the Himalayan bear but memories are so fresh in my mind like it happened yesterday only.

Since I belong to a Shepherd family we often use the Jalsu Jot pass to commute between Kangra and Chamba.

In the monsoon of 1997, I was coming back to Kangra from my home in Chamba through Jalsu jot along with my cousin Dinesh (Danna). We were about 10 years old back then. Since my cousin had a long experience following that trail and there are a lot of people on the trail in monsoon we were visiting on our own.

So by afternoon we crossed Yaada and reached Jot. The glacier was still there when we hiked Jot. It was around 3:00 PM and we were at the top when it suddenly started drizzling. Sooner it started raining and we were left with taking a shed under a big rock (Kud). It was raining from 20-25 minutes when thoughts of getting struck there started coming to our minds. Sooner it would be sunset and we would be left with no option. My cousin asked to pray to ” Lord Shiva” and mount Kailash which is clearly visible from there. That was the first time I prayed from the heart. I still don’t know whether Lord Shiva heard our prayers or that was by luck that in the next 5 minutes weather was clear.

We started moving down. We merely moved 100 mtrs when my cousin pushed me behind a big rock. I didn’t understand what was he doing until he pointed me towards the valley. I was shivering after what I witnessed. 50 mtrs ahead were 2 huge bears, their hairs so long that almost touching the ground. He quickly put one hand on my mouth and the other on his and asked me to breathe slowly or rather not to breathe. Warned me that bears have a strong sensing power. Also asked to run downwards if they approach us. I was shivering and could see that even he was not feeling good about it.

We were stuck there thinking about what was wrong we have done, first the long rain, almost killing and now these bears. We had travelled a long distance by then and were exhausted and tired. Suddenly he asked me to run. I could see that bears had started walking upwards. We were very tired but could not remember from where we got the energy to run. I think the only idea of having an encounter with these wild monsters and losing life brought us all the energy. We were running like hell and didn’t have the courage to look back. We didn’t see where we were keeping our feet and which trail we were following and kept running until we reached Kharli. The shopkeeper was surprised to see us running and could figure out the fear in our eyes only after he came to know about the story!

That was an unforgettable experience and even the thought of the same gives me goosebumps today as well !!

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How trekking to “Triund” helped me build a long lasting relationship with treks ?

Starting my own blog was on my bucket list for quite a long time and what’s best than starting with almost every trekking enthusiast’s (at least most I know) first trek “Triund”.

Although Triund is a day hike and most people who are older into the trekking game won’t consider this as a proper trek still it is the best trek to enjoy and build a long-lasting relationship with treks if you are a newbie in Trekking and want to test something easy before bringing your game. Before we go further let me take you through my experience of the Triund trek.

Triund Trek is a beginner trek and one of the famous day hike around Dharamshala. Also it is famous among anyone coming to Mecleodganj or Bhagshu Nag.

Well, it was October 2014 when a friend called for the trek. I was working in Chandigarh and reaching Dharamshala was just a night’s journey. There was not much Volvo/Deluxe service available. I and my friend boarded an overnight Dehradun Depot bus from Chandigarh and reached early in morning at Dharamshala bus stand.

If you have to reach Dharamshala there are multiple options available these days. There are overnight bus service available from Delhi/Chandigarh or you can board a direct flight to Dharamshala. Alternatively you can come by train till Pathankot from where you can board a bus/cab till Dharamshala. It’s 4 hour journey by bus from Pathankot.

So in the morning, we were accompanied by my school friends, Sharad (master g), Gopal and Ranju. We were meeting after a long time (precisely 9 years). There was this excitement of meeting good old friend and also going on the first trek.

We sat together for some time and headed to Mcleodganj from where we collected our camping gears.

If you want to go for Triund trek you can reach Macleodganj from where you can hire a guide/porter or you can also book a complete package from any agency. There are multiple agencies operating at Macleodganj which can help you for this trek.

Finally, we started our hike to Triund. To be honest the moment we started the hike I was filled with a different energy. Also, the idea of going on a hike with my school friends added joy to it. On the way, we talked about our hostel days which we spent together.

On the way to Triund, you will see a lot of porters, mules and group treks being organized by different agencies. One this which is very good about this trek is the landscapes you will see on the trek. You can see the entire Dharamshala (Kangra Valley) from the trek and also from Triund top. If you are someone who loves to trek in peace and don’t enjoy much company this is just not the kind of trek you should take. If you want to hike in peace you may have to stretch a bit beyond Triund to Ilaka cave or Indrahar pass.

So after a walk of 30 mins, we took our first halt. Since most of us were not into treks we got a bit exhausted at the moment. So we thought of taking a quick break. Another 45 minutes onto the trek we took our second halt.

 

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Enjoying the views on Triund Trek | Oct’14

We started hiking again and after hiking for approx 2 hours we finally reached Triund top. The trek is gradually inclined except for the last stretch which is bit steep and a bit challenging. We were a bit exhausted by the time we reached Triund but after reaching there we almost forgot all the tiredness.

If you go to Triund on a weekend you will find it just like another picnic spot. Since it was also Dussehra there were a lot of groups gathered at Triund. After we set up our camp we enjoyed the company of a lot of people. Sunsets at Triund are an absolute delight and something which you should never miss. People were enjoying themselves throughout the night. Entire Kangra valley is visible from Triund at night and it looks like flashing stars on the ground. It’s just like watching the lights from an aeroplane.

As far as I know, camping is not allowed on Triund top when I am writing this blog so do check before you’re planning to hike and camp at Triund. Night at Triund are bit chilly and night temperature falls drastically so don’t forget to carry warm layers.

The other best part which I liked about Triund is the morning at Triund. If you are there don’t miss watching the sunrise. It is just a delight to watch. You can see the sun rising from just another peak and then illuminating the entire valley. Sunrises in hills are a bit early so do set an alarm before you go to sleep.

Just before sunrise, we decided to climb a bit to see the Triund top and below is the picture which we captured.

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Morning view at Triund

After sunrise Triund turned into a happening place. There was a lot happening with people doing yoga, chilling cuddling and a lot. We enjoyed the morning tea and let our camp dry a bit. After that, we clicked a few pictures and headed back to Macleodganj.

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Mornings at Triund

If you may ask me it’s the journey and feeling of being there which filled me with love for trails and after that, I decided to explore different trails. I am still on the quest to visit as many as trails I can visit.

So planning for Triund hike? Do comment/message in case you have any queries. Do let me know your thoughts about this trek.

If you have been there don’t forget to share your own experience.

Campshala Blog - Churdhar Trek Banner

All you need to know about Churdhar Trek

If you are around Chandigarh and want to go for a nearby trek then Churdhar trek is the best trek near Chandigarh. Churdhar is the highest peak in Sirmour district and also the highest peak in the outer Himalayas and offer a 360-degree view of the Himalayas. This trek is surrounded by a wildlife sanctuary. The total covered area of this sanctuary is 56.16 square kilometres as notified on 15 November 1985 (Wikipedia). This is a holy place related to Shri Shirgul Maharaj (Chureshwar Maharaj), a deity widely worshipped in Sirmour and Chaupal. Trek is a bit challenging at a few points and you may need to prepare for this in advance. You may find how to prepare for a Himalayan trek here.

Since you will not find anything on the trek you should carry every essential for this trek. We find many first time trekkers feeling exhausted due to steep hikes but they stay motivated since you can see a peak right in front of your eyes. Once you reach the top you will see a 360-degree view of the Himalayan range. The view is worth hiking and you definitely get relieved and relaxed after reaching the top. It’s a reward for all the hard work.

How to Reach

Churdhar trek starts from Noradhar which is approachable by road. Noradhar is 134 km from ISBT Sector 43, Chandigarh. Alternatively, you can come by Air or by Train till Chandigarh from where you can take go by road till Noradhar.

Things to keep in mind before attempting Churdhar Trek.

  • There are very few water sources on the trek so keep enough water for the trek.
  • There is no tea stall / dhaba on the way so carry enough food.
  • The last stretch is a bit inclined if you take a shorter path.
  • There is a Sarai at the temple where you can stay for the night by paying nominal charges.
  • Mobile network is not available on most of the trek except a few points.

If you are planning for the trek and want to hire camping/trekking equipment you can rent it out at Chandigarh from Gadget Rental India.

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