Travelling in the mountains is something unusual. People from the plains look at the mountain with eager eyes. However, day to day life in the hills is quite difficult. Native have to walk a lot for food, water, job and essential items. Still, mountains keep tempting tourists who go there for a couple of days only. A few years ago, I had the opportunity to visit Dharamsala. I booked a room in Hotel Dhauladhar of Himachal Tourism Development Corporation. I was thrilled to hear the name Dhauladhar. From Chandigarh to Dharamshala, it takes seven hours by road via Una. The next day, after taking a round of the local market, I reached Mcleodganj by taxi. After having aaloo paratha and curd at a Dhaba, I headed towards Dharamkot village, where foreign tourists were present in large numbers. I visited Vipassana Meditation Centre, Dhamma Shikara and Tushita Buddhist Meditation Center. A little above this point, there was the Golu Devi ka Mandir. As soon as we started trekking, it started to rain.

I had heard a lot about trekking, but this was my first experience of the same. Driver Tinku was also trekking with me. I had cashew nuts, almonds, biscuits, chocolate and a bottle of water in my shoulder bag. I had read experiences of other trekkers on Google before leaving. At first, I thought that the ten-kilometre climb was not for me, but then I dared to walk. The unseasonal rain added to the thrill. The Dalai Lama temple and the Cricket Stadium in Dharamsala looked smaller from the height. After a straight climb of about four kilometres, we found a tea stall. After drinking tea, we moved ahead. On the way, we found a few foreign tourists. I was getting tired, but so was the urge to climb up. I wanted to see how it feels at the top. After a ten kilometres straight and tiring climb on a rough rocky trek, we finally reached the top. Wow, what a sight it was.

The snow-clad Dhauladhar Summit was in front of my eyes. Around ten or more foreign tourists were already there. The height of Triund is ten thousand feet above sea level. Few villagers of Dharamkot had made makeshift tea stalls on Triund top where hot noodles were also available. There is a rest house in the Forest Department. After talking to the caretaker there, it came to know that there was a shortage of power and water. Water had to be brought from a spring two kilometres down. The weather changes quickly on the top. Within half an hour it started drizzling followed by a hailstorm. We had to trek back before it got dark. So, we started walking down in the rain. The rest of the tourists had already left. It was quite slippery on the stones. My shoulder bag and clothes became wet. After three hours of trekking down, we were again in our car. It was getting difficult to lift my legs. I was badly tired and unable to move. My fingers were frozen. But I swear, it was fun. Truly, Triund is a great trek in North India.

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