Many treks whether easy or tricky are available in and around McLeod Ganj. A lot of institutes in McLeod Ganj offer training for trekking and also give facilities and tools to go on a trek.
Trekking is the kind of a leisure pursuit for adventure lovers and thrill-seekers. Himachal Pradesh is considered to be one of the best places for trekking and that is why it is always crowded with trekkers from various regions. McLeod Ganj to Triund is an extremely modest and short trekking route. One can enjoy a breathtaking scenic view on their way to Triund. To split the boredom of daily life, camping on these snow-clad mountains is a great idea. Trekking in the pollution-free, natural air amidst the lush greenery can be rejuvenating. McLeod Ganj which is also known as Little Lhasa is a built-up area located in the district of Kangra in the name of Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh, India. McLeod Ganj offers many visit-worthy places to tourists which can leave them speechless.
Some famous trekking routes are suggested below which all trek-lovers must try at least once in their life.
This trek is known to be a base camp located in the lap of Dhauladhar ranges. It offers a picturesque view of the Kangra valley and Dhauladhar Mountains.
Reaching Triund? One can take the bus to McLeod Ganj from the bus stand in Dharamshala. The fare of the bus is 12 rupees. Visitors can also hire a shared taxi or look for a private taxi. The fair of a shared taxi will be 15 rupees and booked taxi will cost rupees 450.
About The Hike Trekkers can start their trek from McLeod Ganj and then walk upwards to the left for around 45 minutes. The road goes through the Office of Regional Mountaineering Centre, Dharamshala. Then a there will be a pyramidal intersection from where the trekkers have to turn left to get to Dharamkot. One can also hire a cab or rickshaw from here which can drop them off at the primary school in Dharamkot. The fairs will be 300 rupees and 60 rupees respectively. To the left of the school lies a small trail which will take an hour’s path through the jungle to take you to the Temple of Gallu Devi.
Many guesthouses and cafeterias are available here. One can take a little rest to energize themselves. The hike from here is a little tricky as it has some sharp curves. To reach the peak of Triund hill, people have to trek for three to four hours from here.
The trekking route goes through an enchanting diverse jungle of deodar, oak, and rhododendron. This trekking route is comparatively simple and can be completed by the people falling in any age groups, mainly the first 5 kilometers. But the final one kilometer is quite tiring. On the way, there are various shops that offer refreshments.
Accommodation One should take their tents to form a camp in Triund. One can easily get refreshments like Maggi and tea from the shops nearby.
A Guesthouse is also situated there by Dharamshala’s Forest Department. People must make pre-bookings to stay there.
When to go? During January and February, all routes are usually closed for heavy snowfall. So these months should be avoided. Apart from that, any month is good for a visit.
Complexity level of the trek
Simple to modest
Kareri River Trek
It is located in the south of Dhauladhar ranges and is almost at a distance of 9 kilometers from the city of Dharamshala. Kareri is a very extensive and striking lake and is titled following a village named Kareri. This village is almost 9 kilometers south of this lake. Having a height of 9629 feet from the level of the sea, it is a popular destination for trekking. The lake starts freezing in the closing stages of November or early December and it remains frozen till April or the beginning of the month of May.
Reaching Kareri River Trek?
Buses are available from Dharamshala to Ghera from 8 A.M every day. The places lie at a distance of around 20 kilometers. One also has the option to book a taxi to Ghera from Dharamshala. It is the market in Ghera village from where the trekkers can begin their trekking.
The road in the village is navigable. Trekkers should walk along the path and traverse a bridge that is seen on their way. Then they should start trekking on the way which goes along Khauli River. After 30 minutes of trekking, they will go by Sari village. Kareri village is at a distance of 2 kilometers from this place. The trekking route passes through a dense rhododendron forest. A bridge made of wood is there over the Kareri River. After around half an hour of trekking, they will reach the Kareri village. Trekers would need to walk for another 10 minutes to get to the forest guest house and camping ground.
One can see a narrow path that leads to a valley from the rear of the guest house in the forest. After crossing the bridge made of wood, trekkers have to climb 200 meters. Another impermanent bridge will come on their way and only after crossing it they will reach the camping ground named Harote. A thin valley in the shape of a funnel will lead the trekkers to the Kareri Lake.
Accommodation People usually go camping on the pasture close to the lake which is at a distance of 10 minutes from the Kareri village. Visitors can also book a room in the forest guest house but they have to take permission from the forest ranger if they wish to stay in the guest house. The village also offers home-stays.
The right time to go From December to the end of April, the lake is ice-covered so people have to be extra cautious when they are trekking above the frozen lake. So, the trekkers are advised to go for trekking to Kareri Lake in the months of May to June and September to October.
Complexity level of the trek
Guna Devi Temple Trek
The holy temple is at a distance of 8 kilometers from the bus stand in McLeod Ganj. The holy place further is 13kilometers away from the bus stand in Dharamshala. Guna Devi temple is considered to be the chief sacred temple in the region. This place of worship is a pious pilgrim spot for the Gaddi shepherds and local devotees. The trek route to this temple goes through a dense Deodar forest. The scenic beauty here is worth visiting.
Reaching the place? People can book a taxi from Dharamshala or McLeod Ganj to reach the Naddi village.
The Trek 4 kilometers from McLeod Ganj, the trek starts from Naddi village which is above Dal Lake. A moderate trekking route from Naddi village leads to Baal village. Guna Devi Temple is only 2 kilometers away from Baal village.
Accommodation As it is a one day hike; people do not need any accommodation. Trekkers can book hotels and home-stays in McLeod Ganj.
Best time to go The holy temple can be visited anytime throughout the year.
Difficulty level Easy.
The trek to Bhagsu is quite short but very refreshing. Two places are worth visiting in Bhagsu. The first one is the famous pilgrim center for Hindus, the Bhagsu temple. The temple worships Lord Shiva. It is also known as Bhagsu Nag temple. The second place worth visiting is the Bhagsu/ Bhagsunag waterfalls. The waterfall is only 20 minutes away from the temple. Falling from a height of 20 meters the waterfall looks very mesmerizing. People come here to see and enjoy this phenomenal sight mainly during monsoon.
How to get there? The waterfall is only one kilometer away from Bhagsu Nag temple and three kilometers away from McLeod Ganj.
Trek The trek to Bhagsu from McLeod Ganj is comparatively easy. One can take a cab to reach Bhagsu temple and start their hiking. It will only take 20 minutes to reach the Bhagsu waterfall. The trekkers have to climb half a hill to reach the waterfall. This can be difficult for some people. There are many refreshment centers all around mainly the Shiva café. People love to enjoy the hypnotizing beauty of Bhagsu waterfall while sipping hot coffee.
There are some hotel options and home-stays in the Bhagsu village. Because the trek is short, people either trek further and go to Triund or return to McLeod Ganj.
Best time to go One can visit this waterfall throughout the year but during the monsoon, Bhagsu water looks its best.
Difficulty level Easy.
Indrehar Pass Trek
At a peak of 14160 feet, Indrehar Pass lies on the crown of Dhauladhar Mountain. Trekking here gives the trekkers a memorable and mesmerizing experience. People feel like they have achieved everything.
Reaching the place? Lahesh Cave is the base camp if we talk about the Indrahar pass. On climbing ahead from Triund, the trekkers would find a Lahesh cave. The trekkers generally camp for one day till Triund. The next day, they proceed to the Lahesh cave.
Triund is only 9 kilometers away from Lahesh cave. Triund is located at 9760 feet while Lahesh is at 11646 feet. From Triund, the path goes up north and passes by a guest house and a small Devi shrine. From here the trail keeps on rising high. Then the trekkers will reach the stone trails. Due to the location of various shrines in this area, the path is well maintained by Gaddis. The path goes towards the east and reaches Laka ridge. Then the trail crosses many pastures and leads to the camping ground of Laka. Some boulder fields can be found here that descend the face of Laka. From this place, one should take the north most routes. This path will pass through two boulder fields. One should follow the closest right path of the stream and after an hour of walking, trekkers will reach Lahesh cave. They should camp overnight there. The next morning they should start trekking from Lahesh cave to Indrahar pass which is from 11646 feet to 14160 feet. Trekkers are to follow the trekking route that goes straight up to the North East Ridge of the cave over the rocks. Paths created by the Gaddi shepherds make trekking a bit easy. However, one should be careful of the steep rises at many points and mind their steps. Few streams may come across the trekking path. When the trail becomes steeper, one should understand that they are getting closer. All of a sudden the trekkers will realize that they have reached the pass. A shrine is situated at the center of the pass. The trek from Lahesh to Indrahar pass to Chhata camp may take 6 to 7 hours.
After reaching the Indrahar pass, people down-trek to Chhata camp which is from 14160 feet to 12729 feet.
Best time to go
The months of September to October are the best time to go.
Difficulty Moderate to difficult.
Dharamshala and McLeod Ganj are hotspots for trekking because here one can feel a very close association with nature. It is a great escape from our hectic life schedule.
The paths between the woods and mountains rejuvenate one’s soul and uplift their spirit. So people should use this information and plan their trip to this heavenly place. It is a life-changing experience and people always return richer from here.