When you talk about Dharamshala, the very first word comes to your mind is ‘Triund’. Triund is a famous(more than famous nowadays) trekking destination falls on Dhauladhar mountain range, situated nearby Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh. But I can literally see the clouds of danger hovering above Triund, just like as Kheerganga, where recently government banned all kind of stays, food accommodation and camping over that peak, concerning of local ecology. The same way Triund is becoming so much overcrowded and more commercialized, and suffice to say that environment of Triund is also getting disturbed very rapidly. So we have found the alternative of Triund- Thatharna, which is more beautiful than it. Believe me, the most amazing thing is almost no one is aware of this trekking destination.
What is Thatharna all about?
Thatharna is a base camp en-route Kundli pass in the Dhauladhar mountain range. It is situated at the altitude of 2600 meters, which is just 150 m less than Triund. The direction of both venues is exactly opposite to Dharamshala hill station. But from here, you could witness the front view of Dhauladhar range very clearly. The trek is easy to moderate, usually takes 4-5 hours, depends on pace you make during trekking.
When we started trekking.
After having amazing breakfast at the bank of one rivulet in Khanyara village, we headed towards Khadota, from where the trek starts. This side of Dharmshala is home of local Gaddi(Shepherd) tribe, who are ingenious in every way of their lifestyle. You could easily witness everything there, once you lose yourself completely. Our guides joined us from Khadota village. Looking towards the contour of homes made up of flat stones and rocks, we finally reached at the point where we left out of vehicles. It was the excitement in veins like never before as looking towards the snowy-peak from that point, we filled the individual consent forms first. After those formalities, the most amazing trek started off with our group.
Few meters from the beginning was a good trail of cobbled mode, but as we went ahead, the dense forest had started to spread magic in our hearts. The clouds were already set to welcome us by their unique style of drenching us with sudden fog. Everyone of us heading with the same speed they started. The more we went ahead, the more excitment we expelled out as the peaks were coming nearer. Our guide were perfect entertainer as well as informantion-feeder. Everyone of us told to keep one bottle of water with us, but when we reached the halfway, the bottles were emptied already.
Our first rendezvous happened in the midway, where we found a source of water from little leakage from the main pipe going downside. We sat there for few minutes, enjoyed the moments with mesmerizing views and sipped the water according the thirst. At the same time, the guide introduced us to the magical flower-Rhododendron, which was the main attraction throughout the way. Everyone of us was keen to know more about it, and as they told about their importance as Heamoglobin enhancer and source of glucose, we started to have it on regular intervals while trekking. The guides told that local even makes pickles and various delicacy out of it.
The Destination like never before!
The weather was so appeasing that we didn’t get idea how we completed the trek. The little sweat of body evaporated with excitement. Needless to say, final destination had literally dropped the jaw of eveeyone. We couldn’t believe the scene, once we reached there. It was like if heaven has a defination, it is that what we are witnessing. The flattened part of peak was completely nestled in the ankle of Dhauladhar. There were few huts made of that same kind of stones. The voice of bells was dancing in the air, which was coming out of the necks of mules. It is suffice to say, that the cold was bone-breaking. It was already 2 pm and all of us were hungry like wolves.
Other guys were busy enjoying the scenery of that venue, but I was worried seeing the worried face of organizers at that time of lunch. When I tried to inspect, the main guide told the entire story. Due to very less temperature, all the sources of water at that height were drastically turned into snow. And without water, how could they make meal for us! If their men go down to village, it also takes minimum of 6 hours to bring the water. I was also clueless as it was unexpected to face this problem, but then suddenly they told to collect the rest water from the bottles. This is how luck helped us, as everyone of us was told to bring one bottle with us and then we somehow collected little amount of water, from which at least the rice could be made. They made rice and then fried it, and this is how we had our lunch at 5 pm of evening.
During the mid time, the weather took U-turn as raining started off suddenly when we went to bring some dry stuff from the forest for fuel. Hopefully we moved our bonfire inside where there was a roof made up of organized stones. It was a day, when everyone had realized the value of water. Also we owned the important of survival as a human being.
The most memorable evening..
Arrival of dusk happened with snow-fall at higher side and fortunately we pitched our tents in mid-time. After that, the wind also became very wild like never before and raining didn’t want to stop spreading it’s flurries. The interactive sessions with some funny games happened in this time, when all those organized and guides joined us in that little hut. They started to tell the stories of their adventures till the date and believe me, it was one of the best moments for us like baking us in the heat like congested rabbit, but stick to someone’s stories and getting reached there indirectly. The night was of fool moon. We didn’t need electricity as well. Rashq-e-Kamar(Crave of moon) got completed for everyone, that too at the venue, where no connection of chaotic life is found. The serenity, the peace and the liveliness of that place and moment were enough to hear the quality of our heart-beats completely.
Everyone took a dinner after that amazing time around bon-fire. We took a dinner, placing ourselves at the point, from where you could witness the lustre of entire Dharmshala’s lighting at night. OMG! Just imagine the scene, and you will be plunged with adrenaline rush for sure. And the time came, when we locked ourselves in the tents as the cold became totally unbearable with predating wind added. Spreading a night in tent was an adventure itself as I was feeling like someone is pushing my tent due to that rapidity of airflow. But belive me, that night was worth it.
No one had thought that scenery of next morning would bring such change as when we woke up, the all surrounded mountains had already wore a sheet of dense snow. This particular thing had made our breakfast more tasty and we started to get down after having group photos. This is how, we made our memorable trip at this quaint and unknown place called-Thatharna.
How to get there?
Nearest railway station- Pathankot, 90 kms from the Dharamshala.
Nearest airport- Gaggal(Kangra) airport, which is 20 kms far from it.
It is well connected by road. You can take a bus from Pathankot as well as from any part of Himachal or hire taxi.