Agra-Amritsar-Dharamshala-Triund

Which Route followed?

Pune->Agra->Amritasar->Dharamshala-> McleodGanj->Triund Trek->Dharamshala.This trip was of 6 days in March month 2018. The main Essence of this Trip is “Triund Trek”.

How TO reach?

Our first destination was Agra, we boarded a 5.15am flight from Pune to Delhi. From there we took a cab to Nizamuddin Train Station to catch the train to Agra at 9:15 AM. on the same day we had Train to Amritsar at 7 PM.

You can take Train from Pune/Mumbai to Delhi/Agra directly.

First Day – 6hrs in Agra

Agra: we reached around ~12:45 PM. It was on Friday, Plan was to visit Only TajMahal but we couldn’t do that Why? here is the story, we supposed to keep our luggage on some place for 6 hrs since we were not having the plan to stay in Agra. So we went to Clock room where we understood we suppose to have our own lock so couldn’t keep there our luggage. While having a conversation with clock room administrator we understood Tajmahal would be closed on Friday but the good news was we could see it from the backside and so we could cover other places around like Itimad-Ud-Daulah , Agra Fort.

Backside of Taj Mahal

In addition, If you want to visit TajMahala with quality time(~4hrs) then one day stay is required, Night viewing on Full Moon date and two days before and after it, excluding Fridays and in the month of Ramzan . More details -https://www.tajmahal.gov.in/ticketing1.html.

since it was off season, We booked a taxi for the whole day from railways station, it cost us 700Rs. Our first stop was Taj Mahal, of course, we must have at least a glance since it’s one of the seven wonders of the world. This is a good option if you want to get a view of Taj across a river bank. There is a Mehtab Bagh directly opposite to Taj Mahal, the Entrance fee was ~25Rs. With hope to see Taj from inside, we headed towards Itimad-Ud-Daulah Tomb.

Itimad-Ud-Daulah Tomb: A Mughal Mausoleum in Agra, surrounded by gardens. It’s also called draft of Taj Mahal. What an Architect and Architecture! A perfect use of red stones and delicate design on Marbles . No wonder, Taj Mahal beauty is appreciated all over the world. Here are few clicks from inside.

It was ~3 PM, we had Lunch in one of near restaurants and bought few must eat Agra’s petha from a local shop. Needless to say, it was delicious.

Next destination was Agra Fort.

Agra Fort: Awesome it was! You will see again unique architecture, built from red sandstone. Here is some glance of it.

It is said that the royal rooms of the fort were built in such a way that they would remain cool even during the summer. BTW it is also said that the entire fort is interconnected through tunnels and other underground pathways.

The fort also has royal baths made out of marbles, which were used by the princesses. The fort has various palaces and halls like  Jahangir Mahal, Khas Mahal, Diwan-i-Khass, Diwan-i-Am,shish Mahal and Moti Masjid. The fort is separated from its sister monument Taj Mahal by just 2.5 kilometers.  You can view of Taj Mahal from burj of this fort.

After a satisfying day, we started our journey towards a very exciting place “The Amritsar“.

2nd Day – Amritsar

In the Morning we reached Amritsar. One of my friend’s HomeTown is in Amritsar and she arranged most of the things. We stayed at my friends Home, had morning breakfast with homemade Paratha’s. Friend’s dad had given us great city information.

We took the manual cycle to reach the golden temple. by then time was ~ `11 am, we caught into the rush. So after 1.5 hr we got entry to actual “Dwar”. In that time one Bhajan sentence stayed with me: ” YOU ARE SO MUCH SLOW TO GAIN PROFITS AND FAST TO GAIN LOSSES”.
After darshan we had lunger ,was amazed by seeing the way it is managed and felt proud to be part of such an amazing country :).

Morning View of Golden Temple

Next destination was jalianwala bagh massacre, where you will have goosebumps by seeing struggle ,sacrifices made by our people .You could see bullet marks on wall.

Bullet marks jalianwala Bagh

Wagah border- It’s a border between India and Pakistan, we reached there by 6 PM. This place is 27Km from Amritsar and 29km from Lahore Pakistan. In the evening flag ceremony gets conducted by the Indian Border Security Force and Pakistan Rangers . I just got amazed by seeing Indian Josh and that energy which shows country Love and pride.

From there we headed towards GG ( Gobindgarh) fort to see laser show ,time was around ~8.30 PM. It’s an Historical Fort in the center of amritsar. Entry fee was Rs180 which includes a laser 7D high tech show based on Maharaja Ranjit singh life story and few museums, you have few Punjabi entertaining cultural activities like bhangra,gidda.

Then how it can happen to say bye without shopping ,at 9 PM. Then we decided to have a night view of Golden temple 🙂

Next day morning we planned for Dharamshala so we wrapped up the day, we had dinner at 12 AM. I am very grateful for my friend’s family to make our stay pleasant in Amritsar :).

3rd Day – Travel To Dharamshala

We rushed into the station to catch Pathankot train but ended in catching the wrong train which was for Delhi. That was fun. When we realized, we get down to the immediate next station and caught a bus to Pathankot from there. and then from Pathankot, we boarded Dharamshala bus, finally reached ~5.15pm to Dharamshala.

Stay was at :Himalayan homestay http://www.booking.com/Share-1eeCCX

It was pleasent stay , with basic amenities, we got picked up from bus stand. We faced issue with finding dinner options but finally, we managed. We received a taxi driver number for next day site seeing from Dhaba’s Owner, The deal closed to 700Rs for site seeing. Then We took rest for the day after long travel.

4th Day -Dharmashala , Mcloadganj

Me and my friend were very excited for this day as we heard much about the beauty of Dharamshala and The time was to experience it.

At 9am, our taxi was ready for site seeing , we covered below places :

  • Dal Lake
  • St. John church in wilderness
  • HPCA stadium
  • Dalai Lama monetary
  • Bhagsunag waterfall and Mahadev temple
  • Dharamshala war memorial
  • Tea Plantation area

Dal Lake is surrounded by deodar trees which adds beauty to this lake. There is a small temple where you can spend little time else nothing much to do.

St. John church: It was very old construction seems like British era . surrounded by forest pine trees. This church is 20 minutes downhill walk from bus stand.

HPCA stadium:- Most popular tourist place, Dharamshala cricket stadium. You will have a beautiful Himalayan mountains view around the stadium.

Dalai Lama main Temple – Most calming place it is, Must visit place for anyone. When we entered, many people were chanting, you can see below pic.

Bhagsunag waterfall and Mahadev Temple : It’s a crystal clear water , It must be more beatiful in rainy season.

After Dharmashala war memorial and tea plantation area we ended our day. Here are a few pics from those places.

Taxi Driver dropped us in McLeodGanj, we booked hotel ‘Ekant Lodge’ on the way. It costs us ~1200Rs for a 1-day stay. In this area there were many hotels and few restaurants .

5th Day -Triund Trek

Triund is one of the most visited and scenic trekking routes in Himachal Pradesh. Path was very much defined you don’t need any guide or something for it. The best time to visit Triund is from March to June because of the cozy and comfortable weather and clear views and That was the reason we planned this trip in March Month.
Difficulty Level: Easy to moderately challenging.

First 5 Km are easy but last 1 km is a little steep and with something 22 curves which makes it little challenging.
I was a bit nervous and excited as I decide to do it alone without any group or something turn to be a great experience. It took me almost 3.5hrs to climb up, it’s almost ~6 Km Climbing.

Here is little about my Trek experience – You need to reach to the trek starting point from McloedGanj Village to Galu Devi temple either by trek /taxi. It was ~8 AM when I reached Galu Devi Temple. For the first 45 mins there was no one, it was just me and beautiful nature.

BTW ,You have there few guesthouses in this Temple area. If you want, you can even take a halt there before going for the climb .

On the next turn, I saw few people and pahadi dogs. I am not that fan of dogs, for me, that was another adventure to trek on that small path with pahadi dogs .. uffff. Suddenly one of the dog started playing with my colorful new scarf which was hanged on my bag. I detached my scarf from the bag as it was getting hitched. The dog played with that scarf and finally thrown it to Ground way ahead to me. One gentleman picked my scarf and hanged on a bush which I picked later .

The end part of the route is getting steep but it’s worth to see unknown beauty after crossing it, What else is required :). You can stay/camp at this Top, most trekkers prefer to stay overnight. Below are a few clicks.

After spending 2 hrs, I decided to climb down. While climbing down the snowy part of the trail got slippery as it was noon. My shoe got slip off too and got little injury :).
Covering the Triund trek distance is tougher during the winter season. Obviously, this makes Triund trek a bit more challenging.

At that time many people were climbing up by cheering each other . Anyways it took me almost 2 hrs to climb down till starting point of the trek. From there you will have two options, either take a taxi for 500/600Rs or walk down 5KM till McLeodganj village. I thought to take a walk. The road was with almost no people, at least first 1 KM so I decided to take a taxi till
McLeodganj village.

In the Evening, we had a small walk to the market then had dinner, Momos, pastry. That’s set then next day we supposed to leave back to Pune so finished with quick packing .finally, we call it Day.

View from my Hotel.

Next Day i.e. 6th Day of Trip – we flew to Delhi from Dharmshala Airport and then to Pune with a lot of memories. One suggestion if you are planning then You can add one more trek to your itinerary if possible that is Kareri Lake trek. Happy Trip/Treks and Enjoy!

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