As the adventurers that we are, the GoMissing team decided to recce the Nag Tibba which is an easy grade trek in Uttarakhand. So the trip was planned for the weekend and, Monika and I started on the Friday evening. After a 5 hour journey on the Shatabdi, we landed up in Dehradun and after a nothing-out-of-the-ordinary dinner, crashed into our rooms to be well rested for our trek the next day.
The Nag Tibba Trek starts from Pantwari village which is about 90 km from Dehradun. We took a shared jeep from Dehradun at 8 in the morning to get to the start point. Accompanying us was Bachhan Ji, who was our guide for the trek.
Soon we approached Mussoorie, with the Doon valley below us and the town of Mussoorie visible up ahead from the jeep. Being early hours the shops and joints were yet to open and we found little traffic on the roads. Crossing Mussoorie, the roads had some patches of ice on the road from the previous snowfall which hadn’t melted yet.
About half an hour from Mussoorie are the Kempty Falls, which we crossed and had to make a stopover to click a few pictures. The falls, though marred to a certain extent by the commercialization, are still a beautiful sight.
As we continued our journey we descended down the mountain road to the Yamuna Bridge, from which we crossed to the other side of the valley. Seeing Yamuna here and experiencing it in Delhi, it leaves you wondering about what we do to turn these clear sparkling waters into flowing muck.
From Yamuna Bridge, the road started ascending and I couldn’t help appreciate smooth and winding mountain roads, wishing to be traveling them on my bike rather than a four wheeler!
We reached Nainbagh which is just 15 km from the Pantwari village but the roads, or the lack of them, took us a good hour’s bumpy drive to finally reach Pantwari.
Having started early in the morning, we had a simple breakfast of omelette and bread. The people here had the typical relaxed lifestyle of a mountain village with most of them sitting outside and taking in the sun. Few ladies were tending to their fields.
After the breakfast, we loaded up our camping equipment on the mule and started our trek to the Nag Tibba. The trail started from behind the village, up a rocky path to the hill above. We crossed a few kuccha roads which connect to the other villages on the way.
The gradual climb took us through the fields as we left the villages behind. We encountered many villagers going through the route, carrying firewood to their homes.
The peaks of Dhauladhar ranges were visible from the trek route as we stopped for a water break. The route has many water sources and we were well hydrated throughout.
The next halt was near a lone hut midway to the top where a farmer was ploughing his fields. Beyond this point, the trek route split into two – one was a steeper and rockier but shorter path and the other a gradual climb but slightly longer. Not wanting to exert ourselves and we took the gradual climb.
Just a little distance ahead, we encountered mountain goats, who were busy grazing on the shrubs.
The route now looked more beautiful as we walked through forests of oak and giving it a surrealistic feel. We could see patches of snow on the northern face of the mountain which had not melted.
After an hour of climbing, we reached our campsite where we were to set up for the night. There was a small hut at the site which we made our kitchen. The tents were set up with an amazing backdrop of the mountains.
Within minutes, Bachhan ji got the kitchen running and we were served hot tea and maggi. Since we had to catch the evening train back to Delhi the next morning, I decided to go up to the Base today itself.
So Ramesh, who was our ghoda-wala , and I started towards the Nag tibba base which was around 2 km from our campsite. Since the sun was about to set, we made a quick pace for it. There were other trekkers also whom we encountered on our way up.
As we got closer to the Base, it got noticeably colder and I found and crossed many patches of snow. Reaching the base I found it to be covered with snow in patches. I could see the path going up to the Nag Tibba top, which also was covered in snow.
Taking a few pictures, Ramesh and I headed back to our campsite, with the descent being much faster and made it back to the campsite in half an hour.
I could see the sun setting into the mountains and what a sight it made!
At the campsite, the bonfire was already up and I made myself comfortable besides it. Gazing into the mountains and the bonfire, I lost track of time as soon it was time for dinner.
After a simple yet tasty dinner, I sat there listening to Bacchan ji’s stories and looking up the star encrusted sky. Being a clear moonless night, I could see countless stars and even the Milky Way!
I tried taking a few pictures of the sky, but didn’t turn out so well. In zero-degree temperatures, it was hard to leave the bonfire and head to the tents to sleep but the next day being the trek back to Pantwari, I had to pack up and call it a night.
Heading to my tent, I got inside the cozy sleeping bag and drifted off to sleep.
The next day, getting up early, we had a quick breakfast of oats and paranthas and started packing up the tents. The climb down was easier and having to catch our drive back to Dehradun I made a quick descent of it. The trail being well marked out it was a breeze as I took the shorter and rockier path down, soon reaching the midway hut we had crossed yesterday.
As I got nearer to the village I could feel a certain sadness in me for having to leave the mountains, and the stress & worry free life that comes with them, behind. Promising myself to be back again amongst them, I continued on the descent.
Maintaining a steady pace, I reached Pantwari well in time to catch the shared jeep. After everyone made it down, we climbed into the jeep and headed to Dehradun with memories of a truly beautiful trek.
Keen on going for this trek?
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