Once an epitome of silence now struggling to hear the whisper of winds amidst the coherent music outlouding from speakers playing inside the tents pitched on each side.
Once as serene as Kshir Sagar(Ocean of milk) now dying under the wrappers of chips and biscuits and tins of cold drinks and beers.
Once a meditative place now becoming a themed “Mountain Top” party place.
What’s now a very popular trek to Triund, once used to be known only to the Shepherds. The easy accessibility of this trek and picturesque view from the top has made Triund quite a craze among the people of not only Himachal Pradesh but draws a large crowd from Punjab, Haryana and Delhi to name a few.
Triund is at the height of 2850 m located in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh. It is a one day trek with the OPTION of spending a night at the top.
The craze of visiting the most popular trek in my hometown got into me as well and I booked my tickets from Delhi to Dharamshala. I was excited, I was joyous with the thought of leaving behind the choking pollution of Delhi and sleeping under the stars in tranquility.
The climb to Triund top was fairly easy with a bit steep gradient towards the end and the view I encountered on reaching the summit was breathtaking. A piece of flat grassy table top bordered by trees bearing the brightest red “Rhododendron” flowers and a 360 degree view of Dhauladhar range, fully covered with snow.
I reached there at around 12 O’clock in afternoon and there were quite a few tents but with the passing time and the setting sun behind the mountains, almost every inch of grassy table top got covered with the blue, white and yellow tents!! This was not the case 5 years ago so what really changed?
Yes, people developed the craze of trekking, craze to see the mountains, the hunger to experience the wilderness but what really changed is the commercialization. Triund, nowadays is very commercialized. There are already around 10 well constructed rooms at the top including the Forest Department Rest House, tents are easily available at the starting point of trek and as well as at the top. You get freshly cooked food at the top at any time of the day and night.
It is a business and we can’t stop it but what we can certainly prevent is the deterioration of our mountains. By being responsible as an individual towards our mountains. Enjoy the beauty, rest in the lap of nature but don’t spoil it. If you can carry your beer bottles till the top certainly you can carry the empty ones down with you. Those empty wrappers won’t occupy much space in your bag. Leave the mountains the way you want it to be the next time you return here.
A little thought and action will go a long way in saving our mountains and nature!