The beautiful things about the mountains are they immediately established the relationship with you. I’ve never been to Northan part of the India, I did the Hiking in the different part of the India but the meeting with the Himalayas still far away. Finally in November, I decided to setup my first meeting with the Himalayas. For the starter, I chose the Dharamshala which is located in Himachal Prades. Most of the tourist never stay in Dharamshala and head to Mcleod Ganj. But that’s how not traveler like me travels, I know Dharamshala has some hidden secrets, the places still unexplored and far away from tourist. While many adventures companies are setting up the in the Mcleod Ganj, the MadTrek Adventures developed itself in the Lunta Valley. Lunta Valley is 10 KM away from the Dharamshala Bus stand and located right at the bottom of the Dhauladhar Mountain Range. My journey starts from Udaipur, Rajasthan to Delhi. From ISBT Kashmere Gate, Delhi, I took the Bus to Dharamshala. Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) running Volvo buses from Delhi to Dharamshala. The bus was very comfortable and punctual. Bus depart at 9 PM from ISBT and arrived at Dharamshala at 6 AM in the morning. Normally I don’t like the Bus journey but HRTC Volvo Bus was quite comfortable, full marks to them.
I reach Dharamshala early in the morning, the host Abhinav comes to pick me up at the bus stand. We head straight to Lunta Valley where they also have the Resort.
The Resort is still in construction mode, but few rooms were ready. Its still very early, so I took some sleep before I start the hike. After few hours of rest, I ate breakfast and start preparing for the hike.
The Host Abhinav & Kailash preparing their gears for the Hike. The Kailash is the main guide and knows the surrounding very well. He is the Hardcore Hiker who has the many years of Hiking experience (He did the hike in Kanchanjanga Glacier) and also did the work in Declathon. So He is pretty good and if you want to learn some tips, he is always ready for the help. Trek to Dhauladhar Mountains or Oat Trek is challenging task and challenge change from weather to weather. I did the Hike in November end so it was pretty cold. Through the Madtrek Adventures provides all the hiking gears that required but still it’s a good idea to take some basic gears with you. Here are the list of gears I used during my journey:
- WildCraft Hypawarm Hiking Tee (I used this as innerwear)
- Wildcraft Hiking Tee (To Protect it from Direct Sunlight)
- Quechua Forclaz 500 Hiking Trousers (Must recommended for all types of Hiking)
- Wildcraft Hypadura Adri 45 Rucksack (45L)
- Woodland Outdoor Shoes
- Quechua Forclaz 350 Hiking Pole
- On Bright 800 Torch (Much need if you’re staying overnight)
- Wildcraft Bomber Jacket (Water repellant)
- Quechua Rain Jacket (Weather at Mountains are unpredictable)
Around 2 PM, We started the Hike to Bagdad Base Camp which is located at the Height of 1500m. Along with me, there are 3 more people, Kailash (Guide & Owner of Madtrek), Mithu (The shepherd, every energetic & hardworking guy) & Jitendar (The Cook).
When we start from Zero Point, the little drizzle starts. We start our hike in drizzle but after few meters, the drizzle completely stopped. Hike at the Himalayas is never easy and just after the few meters, I realize the Hike would be tough and I miss my proper Hike shoe.
We start walking near Nagooni river, the overall sight was awesome, you’ll find small natural river fountain on the trail. I recommend you to taste the water.
After few meters, the trail got a little bit easier, thanks to Hydro project work going on at Dhauladhar mountain range. First few hours was beautiful and relaxing, you can enjoy the view of Nagooni river, fountains, waterfall & the cable bridge.
Trail near the river are always easy, but the easiness won’t last longer. Soon begin the steep hike and part our way from Nagooni river.
From here, the trek got little tough. You’ve to watch every step. The guys from MadTrek Adventures are very friendly and informative. During the hike, they continuously talk with you and show the flora & fauna. If you’re new to Hiking, try to exact as much as information from Kailash. And, If you want to know more about the mountains, the Little Shephard Mithu will help you in that.
It took us One and a half hour to reach the Base camp, time period depends on how fast you walk. I was busy in capturing the photos of surrounding and enjoying the feel of the Mountains.
After the 90 minutes of the awesome hike, we reached the Bhgada Base camp. This is where we pitched our camp.
We’re running out of time, reaching base camp is one thing, next we’ve to pitch two tents and also need water & wood for the dinner. They immediately went up and start chopping trees to get some wood for the cook & fire camp. I & Kailash start preparing for pitching the tent. Everyone should learn how to pitch the tent, Kailash shows me how to pitch the tent. MadTrek Adventures are using Quechua Tents for the camping. On the campsite, MadTrek adventures built one Mud house to boost eco-tourism, if you’re afraid to spend night outside in the wild. You can sleep in the Mud house. Mountains weather are unpredictable, the weather turns once again, now it’s start drizzling. During that period, Mithu & Jitener done with the water & wood and they’ve prepared tea for us. Tea during that weather is simply bliss. You can just seat outside the camp with the view of snow covered Mountain and hold the cup of tea. The overall aura was outstanding. You can stay here for the month without getting bored.
Our cook Jitendar prepared delicious food, MadTrek Adventures provide both Non-Veg & Veg food at the base camp. You can choose what suit you best. Unfortunately, the rain start again, so we sit inside the Mud House & start sharing our experience. Kailash told us his story about Hiking in Kanchanjanga, light budget travel & hiking gears. Mithu & Jitendar also share some information about the Mountains & Natural herbs.
Around 10 PM, the rain stopped and we finally light up the fire outside the tent. But the good weather lasted only for few minutes. We finally called off our day and went inside the tent.
Had a rough night in the tent, around 4 AM, the snowfall was going on at the top of mountain and temperature suddenly dropped to -8° C.
Day 2 start with a magnificent view of Dhauladhar Mountain View. Because of snowfall, the entire mountain range covered in snow.
The MadTrek guys immediately start preparing for the hike to the oat trek. We had light breakfast and start our hike to oat Trek which is located at the height of 3200 m.
The 2nd part of the trek is quite tough, the trail was steep and slippery because of the rain. And the next trail goes through the territory of panter & bear. The trail went through the forest with long trees, Sunlight hardly reaches on the ground.
After few meters of trek, the tall trees left behind and we entered into plain areas. There are different ecology on mountains and it continuously changed based on height.
During our way, we passed through the shepherd temple. Near the temple, you’ll spot the little hut built from stones. In the night, they put the newly born animals to save them from the leopard.
During the trail, we passed through the MadTrek Adventures second base camp.
At the height of 2800m, we found snow on the trail, through it was very little. The MadTrek guys told us that snowfall starts from December.
At the height of 3200m, we decided to halt our journey.
After a stressful hike, it’s time for the celebration to complete the Oat Trek.
Before leaving, me & Kailash planning the next trip. He said you should come in between Summer-Monsoon when we can see some glacier on top.
After resting at the top, we start our return journey with happy faces.
Host Abhinav is waiting for us near Nagooni River with Thar. We’re very tired, because of rain trail was slippery, down journey was quite tough.
One more photo of Jeep trail while we heading back to Resort.
My overall experience of Trek to Oat Trek at Lunta Valley in Dharamshala was awesome. Most of the tourist left for the McleodGanj without knowing that there are some hidden gems in Dharamshala which is as good as McleodGanj. The Oat Trek height is more than the Truind Trek. So I advise you to visit the Lunta Valley once.
About MadTrek Adventures
MadTrek Adventures offers many activities in Lunta Valley like Family camping, Short Day Hiking, Hardcore High altitude Trekking, Jeep Safaris, Rock Climbing, Rappelling & Horse Riding. It is advisable to book the hiking with MadTrek Adventures, their price is low and has the experienced team. This trek is far away from civilization and is the land of wild animals like Bear & Panther, so Solo Hiking is not recommended on this trek. You should hire a guide.
Contact MadTrek Adventures to book your trek:
Phone: +91 9736068711 / +91 7831004619