Snow Covered Landsacpe on the way to Nag Tibba
Wanting to do a solo trip before I turned 20, I decided to pack my bags and head towards Nag Tibba. It was my first time travelling alone, to top that off it was an overnight government bus from Delhi to Dehradun. I took a bus from Kashmere Gate ISBT at around 1145 pm at night and reached Dehradun in the morning at exactly 0530 am. From ISBT Dehradun, I took an auto till the railway station where I was supposed to meet my co-travelers, including the guide.
I was extremely excited for the trek since it was after 3 months that I was going to climb a mountain peak instead of the stairs in my college! From Dehradun, we continued our journey towards Pantwari, which was about 3-4 hours away. On reaching Pantwari, I immediately gathered my bags, applied sunscreen and filled my water bottle, ready for the adventure ahead.
The road journey to Pantwari is ladden with its own magnificence.
The trek started around 1200 hours and we reached the base camp around 1600 hours. The tiring 4-hour journey was full of emotions and picturesque views. In the beginning of the trek, we passed through a small village from where we headed towards the dry and barren landscapes, where it got hot and unbearably humid. However, along the path we encountered beautiful, small yellow and purple flowers here and there, while on the other side of the valley we could see red rhododendrons.
We came across locals engaged in their own work where the women were carrying food and fodder while men were rearing the animals. With this scenic view, I was satisfied with my company- a pen, a diary and my camera. In order to cover the next 6 km, we came across small aesthetically pleasing houses and even saw the goat village! From barren landscape with green lush mountains, I witnessed a kind of beauty and delight that I had not seen before.
I kept stopping along the away, not only because I was incredibly tired and exhausted, but also because I could not get enough of the magnificent view. Whenever, I looked towards anything, it seemed as if I was experiencing the feeling of looking at it for the very first time. The view was just majestic and breathtaking. During the trek, Pahari dogs followed us around and I even shared my dinner with a dog who climbed the summit with me on the next day! On reaching the base camp, the sun started setting and I witnessed one of the prettiest and tangiest sunsets of my life.
Nag Tibba also holds a special place in my life because I met few of the kindest people, while I was travelling alone. They helped me out a lot and we ended up sharing tents. Once we got in our tents, the night got really cold and since I forgot to carry my winter socks (which I especially got for treks from Sikkim!) I had two cups of soups and loads of popcorn. Dinner was served and I remember dozing off after 30 minutes.
The gang at the Campsite
The next day luckily I got up on time and had my breakfast. The trek till the summit was 4 km and the trail included passing through a forest, which magically opened to a stretch of plain land. After that, the trek was pretty steep and covered in snow by the end, which excited me the most! On reaching the summit at around 1000 hours, I took out my priced possession, i.e. my camera and clicked a few photos of the peaks, which I could see from the top, and I even witnessed a Pooja offered to the Nag! One can slide on the snow (which I did!) or just sit on the top to “look and observe the beauty”.
Nothing can disrupt your thoughts while at the top, because you get this rush of a feeling in which you just cannot think of anything negative. Positive vibes only surround you. On reaching the base camp, I ate the yummy Rajma Chawal (not to mention the two servings that I took) and washed my face with fresh water that slides along with sweat and dirt. The feeling I experienced is just so satisfying that I fail to put it to words.
Kathian is known for its beautiful sunset views.
On the whole, Nag Tibba offered me more than I expected it to. I made new friends, met an amazing guide who gave me a new perspective about traveling in particular and life in general and realised that since nature has given me mountains, I should climb them. This trek will forever be close to my heart because I can never forget its beauty, which is incomparable to any other trek. The best part about the trip was the trail from the base camp to Pantwari because I took a shortcut along with my friends, which was headed by our guide, the trail made it seem like I was in the hobbits’ village just like in the Lord of the Rings!