This Is Not A Drill! Triund Closes For Overnight Camping Till October

Tripoto

If you're planning to visit Triund, the most famous short hike in north India, then think twice. As a strong measure to restore Triund's ecology, the Himachal government has banned over-night camping till at least October. This action has also been taken to restrict travellers from hiking up during the monsoon which can be risky.

This Was So Needed!

Triund in 2014. This spot was full of tents this year.

Photo of Triund, Himachal Pradesh by Saumiabee

The tent in the background was one of the two tents there were in 2014.

Photo of Triund, Himachal Pradesh by Saumiabee

The first time I went to Triund was back in summer 2014, when it was still not as popular among travellers as it is now. I remember there was only one shop on the way and there were only about four Israelis on the entire hill who were camping. I had no idea that something so pristine could exist just a two hour walk away from a major town like Mcleodganj.

Fast forward to summer 2018 when I hiked up in mild disgust. Although the route and the view were still as beautiful; the added protecting fence throughout the route was a refreshing welcome, something was not quite right. At every 500m, there were tea stalls offering chips, biscuits, cold drinks and Maggi. Even though there were travellers stopping at these stalls, I remember in 2014, we didn’t really need those stalls at all. There were just two stalls and we had a comfortable hike nonetheless!

Triund in 2018. Numerous tents and shops just as you reach.

Photo of This Is Not A Drill! Triund Closes For Overnight Camping Till October by Saumiabee

Triund in 2018. In addition to the Forest Dept. guest house that has been there for a long time, I spotted three full-fledged new buildings. The shop owners told us that this land was given away to a family by the govt. in exchange of the land they gave to the govt. down in Dharamshala.

Photo of This Is Not A Drill! Triund Closes For Overnight Camping Till October by Saumiabee

This summer, the view from Triund was still as fantastic, the Dhauladhar ranges still looked as awe-inspiring as they did before. However, I was left speechless. Speechless, not because of the beauty, but because of the excessive crowd on the hill. Triund was blanketed with tents, with barely any space to accommodate more campers. Not only this, about six new shops had sprouted up on the hill. It was even more heartbreaking to see that a cave where we took shelter back in 2014 had also been converted into a shop. It was utter chaos, and we were told that on New Years Eve, the number of people on the hill had crossed 2000! Triund this time was dirty, over-crowded, and even though I had planned to stay the night, I returned to Mcleodganj just before the sun set.

What's the Status Now?

In order to improve these conditions, it has been reported that there will be no over-night camping at Triund. However, you can take your camping paraphernalia and pitch your own tents up on the hill. Moreover, most shops have been shut down, so do not expect food while you're up there. You can take your own supplies, however please bring back your trash with you, don't leave it up on the hill. You can still visit there for a day hike till it hopefully re-opens in October.

What Do We Learn From This?

In our desperation to experience untouched beauty, we travellers are ready to travel to the most remote places. After all, who doesn't love clear skies, breathtaking views and complete solitude?! However, in our relentless "wanderlust", we don't pay heed to the ways we're travelling. Before you visit any place, please remember to carry your own trash bags, try to minimise the use of plastic as much as you can, say no to food items that are packed in plastic wrappers, refuse bottled water and instead carry your own water bottles wherever you go. We're the only ones responsible for degrading pristine locations like Triund, so it's high time we travel responsibly. If you love a place, treat it as your own and don't destroy it. If we keep up our irresponsible ways of travelling, we'll only see more beautiful locations like Triund being closed for tourists.

The only cool way to travel now is to travel sustainably, so let's spread the need to change our habits.

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