Indrahar Pass, an offbeat trail running through the forests of Dharamshala offers a splendid scenery of the mighty Dhauladhar Range of Himalayas. Located at an altitude of 4,342 m above mean sea level, Indrahar pass forms the border between Kangra and Chamba districts.
Start walking uphill from either Bhagsunag or Dharamkot, and tread through deodar forests up to the temple of Galu Devta. Ahead, the ascent becomes steeper and the vegetation along the way changes to that of rhododendrons and oaks. Keep walking on a ridge to reach a lush meadow, called Triund, which will be your base camp. At dawn, recommence the Indrahar Pass trekking trip by hiking further uphill. Discover the fascinating Lahesh Caves while you trek from Triund to Ilaqa Got. Live like prehistoric humans inside the cave, and in the morning commence the final climb. Get a chance to witness the wild goats, leopard and Monal bird as you trek upwards. Negotiate more rocky terrain to reach the summit of the mountain pass that gives bewitching views of the Kangra Valley and numerous peaks of the Himalayas.
Duration: 4 Days
Trek Type: Moderate – Difficult
Altitude: 4,324mt or 14,245ft
Best Season: May-June & Sept-Nov; For snow lovers March and April are the most suitable months.
Base Camp: Triund
Arrive at McLeodganj a day earlier and give yourself a little rest before you start the trek. You can take the AC Volvo or HRTC buses, it will be an overnight journey from Delhi.
Day 1: McLeodganj – Triund via Galu Devi Temple: 6184ft to 9760ft, 9 kms
You should start the trek by 8:00 or 9:00 in the morning after a good healthy breakfast. If you are willing to shorten the distance on the first day then one can take a taxi to Galu Devi temple. This would cut your trek to approximately 6kms. The total time from McLeodganj to Triund would be about 4-5 hours. But starting from Galu Devi temple would reduce the time to 3-4 hours.
The trail passes through small semi-nomadic hamlet inhabiting Gaddi Shepherds followed by a dense cover of mixed forest of rhododendron, Himalayan Cedar and Oak trees. After trekking for another 2-3 hours, you finally reach Truind, which is a flat meadow on top of a ridge. From here panoramic view of Dhauladhar range on one side and Kangra valley on the other are absolutely stunning. Pitch your tents and spend the night here.
Day 2: Triund – Ilaqa Pass: 9760ft to 11200 ft, 5 kms
Wake up early in the morning and start your day by absorbing the view of mighty Dhauladhar ranges because the morning view from Triund is quite fascinating. After a hearty breakfast, you start trekking away all the way to Ilaqa Pass. The next stop will take 3-4 hours but the trek will be quite similar to Triund till Snowline Cafe followed by a plain meadow of greenery. Laka Got or Snowline Cafe is 2 kms from Triund which is mostly uphill and the next 3 kms to Ilaqa pass is downhill or flat plains. The views from Laka Got are quite magnificent. To the east, the Dhauladhar ridge rises in a series of peaks. Once you reach Ilaqa Pass, unpack the bags and put up the tents here. Spend the rest of the day exploring the area and admiring the view of Indrahar Pass which can be seen from here. You need proper rest here as the trek will get quite difficult from here on as the trail is full of boulders along the way. Trek till Iaqa Pass is considered easy to moderate but things change beyond this point. So get ready from some action tomorrow!
Day 3: Ilaqa Pass – Lahesh Caves – Indrahar Pass – Ilaqa Pass, 11200 ft to 14.245 ft, 12 kms
Today is a long day, so try and start as early as you can. Have an early morning breakfast and depart for your next destination of Indrahar Pass. Starting from Ilaqa pass and coming at the same point, you would cover a distance of about 12 km which means it would take around 8-9 hours that totally depends upon your speed. The trail ascends up the hill in the beginning and then levels out.
The route from Ilaqa Pass to Indrahar Pass is steep and is completely uphill. The difficulty level varies from moderate to strenuous because at some curves you might wanna crawl and climb up because of the angle elevation. The vegetation on this trail is only during monsoon. Otherwise, it is completely dried out and terrains are rocky or boulders during summers. Likewise, the whole trail is covered in white with snow during winters. While climbing you would come across Lahesh Caves which is about an hour away from Ilaqa Pass.
As you keep walking for about two hours or so, you will soon encounter another steep rise of about 300-400 m going towards the crest of the Dhauladhar followed by a trek of 1 km just below the ridge leading directly to Indrahar Pass. The sight that waits at the pass is mesmerizing with Pir Pinjal standing erect in the north while Mani Mahesh Kailash (5656 m) peak in the east. After reaching Indrahar Pass, spend some time there and experience the majestic views and rest for some time. Cherish the beauty of Mother Nature and begin the descent towards Ilaqa Pass.
Day 4: Ilaqa Pass – McLeodganj 11200 ft – 6184 ft, 14 kms
This the last day of a mesmerizing and wonderful experience. Follow the same route on the way back from Triund through the grassy meadows and then gradually desecending down to Bhagsu Nag and then to Mcleodganj. The trek today is all about the downhill experience.
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