Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Ilaqa Pass Trekking Experience - Day 5

Day 5: Triund - Mcleodganj - Delhi

Woke up at 8 o'clock, wrapped up all our belongings and got ready to leave for Mcleodganj. In around 2 hours, we reached Galu Devi Temple. The downhill trek was easy and not tiring. While coming down I got slipped twice and my ankle got twisted due to the slippery path, but it didn't cause any trouble because we had brought our first aid kit with us. At Galu Devi Temple, the policeman told us about the Dharamkot Waterfall. To add some extra fun and thrill in our trip, we went to see the waterfall before going to Mcleodganj. The waterfall was situated 3 km away from the Galu Devi Temple. The route to the waterfall was a blend of uphill & downhill and it was quite narrow and tough. The route was marked perfectly so we didn't face any problem in reaching there. It took around one and half hour to reach the waterfall.

Fresh morning at Triund

Mild rain in the morning

Rainbow after a mild rain

A view of Dhauladhar ranges

A view of Triund

Bird's eye view of Mcleodganj from Triund
The waterfall was good, but it was little isolated and wasn't easy to reach. The was one shop located at the waterfall where we had some snacks and tea. While coming from Galu Devi temple to Mcleodganj, it started raining like cats and dogs. Though we had raincoats, but they weren't working due to heavy rain. In just 5 minutes of rain, we got completely drenched. We decided to take a halt in the shelter and wait for the rain to slow down. At around 4 PM, we reached Mcleodganj, changed our clothes and did our lunch at a restaurant. As it was raining, we couldn't explore the markets of Mcleodganj. We booked our bus from the Mcleodganj bus stand and at 6 pm, our bus left from Mcleodganj and arrived Delhi at 5 am. The return journey was good and relaxing. Also made one friend named Liat from the USA, who was also coming from Triund.

Going down from Triund

On the way to Dharamkot waterfalls

Descending the irregular path to reach the waterfall

Path full of stones

Dharamkot Waterfall

Signboard at Galu Devi temple

Woods in the clouds

On the way to Mcleodganj

Reastaurant in Mcleodganj

Bus tickets (Semi Sleeper), Mcleodganj to Delhi- ₹ 700/-

The overall trip was amazing and a memorable one. We had a great fun. Apart from this, there are also some tragic moments that happened with us like the starting trek to Triund that made us drained out, rain in the night, etc, but the good thing was we surpassed all those moments with fun. As it was our first multi-day trekking trip, we learnt so many things from this trip which will definitely help us in our future trips.

Happy Travelling! 

Friday, September 16, 2016

Ilaqa Pass Trekking Experience - Day 4

Triund - Ilaqa Pass - Triund

Triund in morning
Opened our eyes with the fresh and cool morning, unzipped the tent and found what? A mesmerizing view of Dhauladhar ranges. The sky was bit cloudy and slowly the ranges were getting clear. It seemed like a giant object was coming out of the curtains in the spotlight. I quickly took out my camera and started the photo shoot.

After having our breakfast, we decided to leave for Ilaqa Pass at 9 AM. Almost all the trekkers were going back to Mcleodganj excepting us and some other groups. We reached Snowline Cafe in 1 hour. The snowline cafe was situated at an altitude of 3200 meters above the sea level. The route to snowline was mostly uphill. Amidst the trek, we saw several small valleys of flowers. After 15 minutes of rest at Snowline cafe, we continued our trek to Ilaqa Pass. The trail leading towards Ilaqa Pass was slighly uphill and mostly consisted of flat green pastures and big rocks. The view was magnificent from there. We were not able to see the complete ranges due to dense clouds, but still we enjoyed a lot due to awesome weather. It took around 2 hours to reach Ilaqa Pass and then we did our lunch there. The hut was available on Ilaqa Pass too. The rates for food and equipment were higher than at the triund and Snowline Cafe. On the mountains, the price for service increases with the altitude, but we did not need it because we had our food. 

Alluring blossoms

On the way to snowline cafe

After about 45 minutes, we started going downwards to Triund. While coming down, we saw a huge valley with a tiny water stream that was coming down from the glacier in Ilaqa pass. So to recharge our adrenaline and add some extra thrill to our trek, we decided to go into that valley. Now the question was that how we go in to that valley as there was no route which could lead us to that valley. We decided to find and make our own route. The valley was completely downhill with an inclination of about 60-70 degrees. The initial route consisted of trees, so with the help of them we managed to got down. After passing the trees, there were two routes one was full of stones and rocks and other one was the slope full of plants and flowers. We chose the rocky slope to go down and reached the valley after facing many difficulties. 

The valley situated in between Ilaqa Pass and Snowline cafe

From Left to Right: Me, Rishabh, Ashwini

The view from the valley was spectacular and it was giving the true adventure feel. The fresh water flowing in the valley was coming from the Ilaqa glacier. The water was so chilled that when we landed our feet in that water, it was feeling like our feet were getting frozen. The experience we had in the valley was amazing and it was the best part of our whole journey. It was also the toughest part of our trip. After spending some time, we started climbing up the valley. Climbing up was easy as compared to going down. While going upwards, we saw many snakeholes and Rishabh even saw one snake also. We got little scared, so we started moving quickly. 

Climbing up the valley

A view of valley

Triund seen from Snowline cafe
At around 6 PM we reached Triund, pitched the tent and slept after having dinner of Dal Rice. With the night, the climax of our trip arrived. The weather became worse in the night and it started raining like cats and dogs. We were inside the tent that is why we were not worried at all. Suddenly, the water started coming inside the tent and our mattress started getting wet. When we checked, we found that the base of the tent had some pores through which the rain water was coming inside. Till 2 AM, we passed our night by sitting inside and waiting for the rain to stop. Instead of stopping, it was getting bad. With the help of raincoats and polythenes that we borrowed from a hut, we got able to sleep. 

Triund in evening

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Ilaqa Pass Trekking Experience - Day 3

Woke up at 9 AM, got ready and did check out from the hotel. We decided to do our breakfast at Mcleodganj, so we hired a shared taxi and reached there in around 40 minutes. After reaching Mcleodganj, we started exploring the market and found one good restaurant and had our breakfast there. The food was good enough at that cost. Later we inquired about the route to Dharamkot and Triund and purchased required food for our trekking such as Juices, Bread, Chocolates, Jam, Water bottles, fruits, etc. and some essential items. Now it was the time when we had to start our trek from Mcleodganj (1750 metres) to Triund (2875 metres). 

Our hotel in Dharamshala

From left to right: Me, Rishabh, Ashwini

Dharamshala market

Mcleodganj market
We started our trek from Mcleodganj at 3 PM with our much heavy backpacks (mine was the heaviest). After 20 minutes of trekking, we were like "no, we can't do this with these bags". Somehow, we reached Dharamkot in around 30 minutes. We took a short rest, drank some energy drinks and then resumed our journey with a positive attitude. After 20 minutes, we again stopped due to pain in our shoulders. While we were resting, one couple in a car came and asked for the route to Galu Devi Temple. We gave the directions in a hope of getting lift. And his goodness was that he asked to drop us at Galu Devi Temple and we just ran into the car and enjoyed our journey to Galu Devi Temple, but this happiness was just till Galu Devi Temple. The route till Galu Devi Temple was tiring, but after Galu Devi it was slightly uphill. Before resuming our trek, we adjusted the stuff in our bags and made all equal in weight. 

We continued our trek till 7 PM and took many short and long breaks in between the trek. Now we were left with the last stretch to reach Triund hill, which is called "22 Curves" or some call it "The tiring 22 curves" because this was the toughest part of the trek to Triund. The route was much steeper than the previous route, but this was not the problem for us. The main problem was the time. It was 7:30 PM in our watch and the sun was setting down quickly. The good thing is that on mountains complete darkness occurs at 8 PM. So by somehow we climbed that last part. The last 15 minutes trek of the day we did it in complete darkness with the help of mobile flashlights. Only we know that how we did this climb. 

Starting route from Dharamkot

Starting route from Dharamkot

Mountains & Clouds

After this little scary trek, we got amazed when we reached at Triund. The scene at triund was like a fair. There were around 50 tents and everyone was enjoying with their fullest. We were the last group who reached the camp site on that day. We quickly pitched our tent and ordered maggi from a shop/hut. After having our dinner, we slept in our tent. The weather was chilling in the night as we had to wear our sweaters to make our sleep comfortable. During mid-night, I was scared of collapsing the tent due to strong winds. Our tent was alpine one and these tents are less stable than dome tents. At last, we managed to sleep.

Dharamshala to Mcleodganj Taxi Fare: 15/-