Triund Trek: Two School Best Friends' Adventure

19th May 2017
Photo of Triund Trek: Two School Best Friends' Adventure by Shruti Mishra

Two twelve year old girls once dreamed of being independent enough to travel out of the city where they grew up. So now that T and I are adults with an opportunity, we decide to go on our own little adventure, forming memories of a lifetime.

External factors slightly waver the faith we have in ourselves. We are too determined to pursue this journey though. So on a hot summer Delhi evening, we begin our journey to the cold Triund ridge.

Day 1

The bus drops us off at Dharamsala. We embrace the nippy morning, and walk along the road, hoping to find something interesting. We come across a small park with a Gandhi statue and dogs loitering around. The latter definitely makes us want to make a stop. We take an auto then and go to Mcleodganj.

Photo of Triund Trek: Two School Best Friends' Adventure 1/1 by Shruti Mishra

We are excited to explore the nooks and crannies of this Tibetan settlement. The first place we visit is the well-known Namgyal monastery. We walk around, soaking the spirituality passers-by emitted. I am not a religious person, but there is something peaceful about monasteries that make you stop, reflect, and breathe.

Photo of Namgyal Monastery, McLeod Ganj, Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, India by Shruti Mishra
Photo of Namgyal Monastery, McLeod Ganj, Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, India by Shruti Mishra

One of the top places on our to-visit list was the Illiterati Café. It is somehow not easy for us to find. When we do find it, we agree that all the extra wandering around was worth it. The collection of books, the view, the food, the ambience: it is all lovely. Some lovely conversations with guests from all over the world and singing Coldplay covers with T certainly leaves me feeling fulfilled.

Photo of Illiterati, Jogiwara Road, Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, India by Shruti Mishra

We relive the colonial past of the area as well at the St. John church. The gothic architecture marvel in the wilderness has an eerie feeling about it. We stroll across the graveyard of people from a century ago, reading the inscriptions on their tombstones, feeling heavy with their loss.

Photo of St John Church, Dharamshala - Palampur Road, Shastri Nagar, Berachah, Palampur, Himachal Pradesh, India by Shruti Mishra

The evening has been spent by us hopping around the street markets, before sitting on one of the railings that also serve as chairs in the town square to watch the sun set. The sun leaves behind orange memories of itself in the sky, and we stare at it, trying to remember it until the sky fades to black.

We come back to our hotel finally, falling asleep to our books, and snuggling in our warm blankets.

Day 2

We check out from our hotel around midday after a light breakfast, and head to our destination for the day: Triund!

An auto takes us from the town square to the base where the trek begins. We start making our way up, exchanging smiles with people coming down. Sometimes in silence, sometimes playing music to keep us company: We hike along.

Photo of Triund Trek, Trail to Triund Hill, Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, India by Shruti Mishra

The day was sunny when we started, but two hours in, the landscape is hidden in mist. The terrain has gotten relatively more difficult, and the exhaustion is setting in. Just when it is getting too much for me, the sweet sound of chatter and laughter catches my ear. It is a rest-stop! After buying new bottles and having some snacks, we buckle up to finish what we had started.

The weather is being unpredictable, but it did not bother us much. The rain would be inconvenient if we hadn’t come prepared with our raincoats. It is getting colder and colder though. I am, however, filled with a surprising warmth when we come across a herd of the cutest mountain goats just grazing and chilling.

Photo of Triund Trek: Two School Best Friends' Adventure by Shruti Mishra

The sight rejuvenates us so much I guess that the rest of the trek is over within thirty minutes. We have reached the top in about 3 and a half hours! We hug and celebrate, then quickly rush into a stall with a small bonfire. We get a tent and have some delicious Maggi inside as we attempt to acclimatize to the cold, watching the wonderful view of a snow-capped mountain right in front of us.

Photo of Triund Trek: Two School Best Friends' Adventure by Shruti Mishra

We walk out, appreciating the lilac-orange sky. We secretly can’t wait for the night; wishing the sky to don its star-studded blanket. We sit on a rock and enjoy the crisp wind. I feel right at home in nature’s lap.

Day 3

Waking up without an alarm is a good feeling; doing so and witnessing the sun’s rays scatter about a magnificent view of peaks covered with snow makes you feel ecstatic. We huddle into our jackets and gaze at the beauty around us. There’s not much to do when you’re disconnected from your life but connected to the real world, but that somehow feels right. So that’s what we do for the rest of the morning.

Photo of Triund Trek: Two School Best Friends' Adventure by Shruti Mishra

It is noon when we decide to head back to civilization. The way downhill is easy and fun. It hardly takes us an hour and a half to reach back. We look back at where we were from where we started and the events of the previous day seem surreal.

When back at the town square, we decide to let our hair down the very first place we visited on this trip: the monastery. Sitting on the grass and looking out at the hills, we reminisce about a place we haven’t even left yet.

Soon it is time for us to board our bus to Delhi. I don’t mind going back to the city though. After all, that is where T and I met and dreamed of faraway places to travel. One of them was already checked off of the list. So we excitedly continue to dream on our way back, waiting for the day they would all become a part of reality.

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