Day 01:- Una to Bhagsu Nag ( 1790 mts )(Dharamsala)
Come September 2018 and it was the time that we have been waiting for … the saying goes the mountains are calling and we must go. My sister’s friend started from Aligarh she took a train to Delhi and then overnight Volvo to Mcleod ganj. She was picked up by Manu from the bus stop. Me and my sis Shivani started from Una which is nearly 127 km far from Mcleod. We were so excited about the trek that we wished we could just fly to Mcleod instead of drive. The drive from Kangra to Mcleod is beautiful, fresh clean air, lofty mountains the beauty is stunning and leaves you mesmerized.

We reached Bhagsu and were welcomed by Manu and Rubeena, we were hungry so decided to eat breakfast at our special place German Bakery which is all time favorite. We ordered for Falafel, some sandwiches and Indian masala tea something that I cannot live without The food was awesome and costed us INR 250 per person which was not bad as we hogged like pigs.

We also wanted to get hair breading done but couldn’t find anyone who could do it for us in short time so we went in for lulu. It costed us around INR 300 which I felt was little on higher side but we wanted it so price didn’t matter at that time.

                                                                      Lulu at upper bhagsu

 After that Manu took us for a walk to Dharamkot also known as little Israel via Upper Bhagsu. Dharamkot is called a little hippie village of Himalayas, this yoga village is famous and ideal for few days time off from the real world. The best about the place is its vibe which is a mix of some of magic, pure spiritual energy of Himalayas, happiness of people who live there, peace and serenity and the feeling of oneness with the nature. The sound of whistling birds, the whistling of air through deodar tree leaves, the distant smell of farm animals will awaken all your senses. It is a good spot for early morning yoga and meditation. We went across the uneven path, crossed few houses, clicked pictures and the we were hungry again so we stopped at Trek and Dine for some wine and snacks. The cafe is beautifully decorated and has great ambiance.

 After a nice walk we reached our hotel  Trinity at 6 pm …and then Manu had planned a night out for us @ Black Magic the most happening place in Mcleod ganj. We had enuff time on our hands so after a nice warm bath we changed into party dresses and were ready for Black Magic. We decided to take a cab from Bhagsu to Mcleod which costed us Rs 100 and surprisingly we didn’t pay any entry charges ( Normally its Rs 500 stag and Rs 1000 for couple )as they all knew Manu and we were his guest and not only this we also carried our own bottle of wine which was amazing. It was live music and Sanjay Rana was the singer there. He knew Manu well so he sang few songs of our choice and also accompanied us for a while. We had special treatment and we we felt like on seventh heaven.  We danced, had tequila shots and tried on Hookah or Sheesha . 

Rubeena, me and Manu

                     lost                                                                                                                  Tequila Shots
                                                         We were so deeply into the live music and ambiance that we didn’t realize how quickly the time flew and so after a beautiful moments spent in Black Magic it was time to head back to hotel Trinity because we had to start early the next day. We reached hotel and before we could even think of changing we were snoring on our comfy beds…. Day 02:- Bhagsu Nag to Triund (2875 mts ) 9km trek from Bhagsu / Mcleod and 06 km trek from Galu temple. 

                                                                   Early morning view
6th September 2018 Morning @ 6 am we heard a loud bang on our door it was Manu who came to wake us. Half sleep we dragged ourselves out of the bed to have a look out side and for a city person nothing could be more exciting and joyful to see the lush green mountains and fresh air. After shower we were ready with back packs for Triund. We waited for a Taxi outside hotel to take us to Galu temple from where we had to start our trek. While we were waiting we took some selfies and became 

                                                            Waiting for the cab (Bhagsu)
The Taxi took Rs 500 from Bhagsu to Galu temple which was ok and after reaching Galu Temple we had a breakfast eggs, bread tea and Manu had his all time favorite black tea. From Galu temple we started our long awaited trek to Triund.

 On the way we witnessed some of the most beautiful and finest views of lush green mountains, white clouds and dense forest. When we started the trek we hardly saw anyone, but after a while we realized that we were wrong there were tourist from all over mostly Indians in groups singing and dancing and enjoying. The tricky terrains and curves offers a perfect treasure trove to its trekker. It was amazing to see how dogs, goats and ponies balance themselves on the cliff of the mountains. This trek offers panoramic views of Bhagsu Village, Mcleod ganj and Dharamshalla valley. It is supposedly an easy trek but I felt its moderate in nature due to  steep climb and boulders on the path. I enjoyed my walk with Manu and with the other two drama queens with who didn’t leave any chance to show their dramas.

We reached Magic view which is the oldest tea shop and half way to Triund. After trekking for 3 km up hill we were hungry again and we had the most delicious and mouth watering Maggi which took definitely more than 2 minutes and not to miss the chai ..then we did some meditation, took a quick nap and made some poses for the camera. Manu gave us a signal to move on as we were getting closer or rather going higher our breath was becoming heavier and heavier. We took more breaks and we were exhausted but I still managed to have a smile on my face just for Manu. 

The slope is gradual for first few km and last 45 mins of the trek is of considerably steeper and difficult. Manu kept on telling us stories so that we don’t think more about the distance left. Along the way we met people of different nationalities and people who were coming back had content faces but avoid asking them how much more is left ? because u never get the correct answer it varies all the time. After walking for 4 hours we finally reached the top and the view was worth it. It was remarkable feeling we were on top of Triund Hill . Whatever I had heard about Triund was much less, it was a picturesque landscape and beyond imagination and comparison. I stood there for ages just looking at the mountains …. the mountains I was in love were right in front of me I just couldn’t get enuff of it. I wanted to let it sink in …feel it.

We were served with Tea, cake and biscuits on our arrival and we had choice to stay in tents or forest rest house. We wanted to live in tents so I helped Manu to put up our tents little away from the crowded area. By the time our tents were set up the sky started getting clearer and we could see the white thick clouds the blue sky and little sunshine. I relished the peacefulness as I strolled around and explored the place.

@ Triund

As the sun started to set, the sky was filled with tinge of red, orange , grey blue and white. It was like a live painting. It was getting windy and we decided to have some wine with dry chicken.Where every one else were stuck in camps we were sitting out enjoying every bit of it. We were served with soup and pop corns and later we had the most Delicious chicken, rice, veggie and dal. We felt the privileged one because when people up there had choice to eat maggi or bread we had 4 dishes to eat and to top it all we had our personal toilet tents which made us feel so special. We stayed awake till late in night so that we could get most of it ….and middle of the night it poured down like cats and dogs so it became cold we snuggled in our sleeping bags. 

I woke up early by distant calling of horses and cows. The sun was up and its rays felt good in the chilly weather. We had our palatable breakfast and were ready for journey back to Bhagsu, Manu took us from a different route which normally is used by shepherds and is more happening and adventurous with high risk at every step.  We trekked from Triund to Kharthani (dhar) then to Manna ( dhar) and finally we reached Letta where we stopped for tea break.

Finally we could hear the noise of the waterfall and we realized we were close to Bhagsu some where we were happy that we are back and at the same time we had tears in our tears of joy that finally we made it. Once back in Bhagsu we stopped for lunch at New German Bakery and while waiting for lunch we took off the shoes which got wet while crossing the waterfall from end to another.

Later we went back to Manu’s office where we got our first ever certificates for accomplishment of the trek and then we rested for a while in the room next to his office which belongs to him time flew and before I even realised it was time to head back to home so we were ready to catch the bus from Mcleod back to Bhagsu. When on the way to Mcleod I realized how close I came to Manu and felt unhappy that I had to leave this beautiful place once again but more than that I felt gloomy for leaving Manu behind.

I will never ever forget the charm and beauty of Triund and I can second this statement that Triund is truly a travelers delight .Finally we boarded the volvo back to home with teary eyes with a hope and desire to catch up soon.

This trip was all about you Manu thanks for making this trip beautiful and memorable … out this place for our next trek to snow mountain…..shortly