A trek to the Snake Mountain

A trek to the Snake Mountain
Highlights

There was something in the air that summer morning. It had rained heavily last night and the air was still cool and fresh.  We could distinctly feel the call of the mountains. So off we set out for Nag Tibba - a trek which had been on our minds for a long time, but just somehow we couldn’t find time to do it. But that morning, we were determined to “GO”. 

Nag Tibba, near Mussoorie, Uttarakhand, is an ideal trek for a weekend getaway

There was something in the air that summer morning. It had rained heavily last night and the air was still cool and fresh. We could distinctly feel the call of the mountains. So off we set out for Nag Tibba - a trek which had been on our minds for a long time, but just somehow we couldn’t find time to do it. But that morning, we were determined to “GO”.

‘Nag Tibba’ (Serpent's Peak), at 10,000 feet, is the highest peak of the lower Himalayas. It is believed to be the abode of 'Nag Devta' or Snake God. Local villagers come here to offer their prayers to Nag Devta for the protection of their cattle and there is also a temple dedicated to the deity on the top of the mountain.

Given its moderate level of challenge, anyone with a normal fitness level can do this trek. One normally comes to Mussoorie and gets wowed, but he/she is unaware what treasure lies less than 100 km away unless, like a true lover of the mountains, he/she chooses to explore. Bill Aitken, a notable travel writer, has mentioned the Nag Tibba trek as “A classic trek” in the vicinity of Mussoorie.


Fact File
Location: Nag Tibba is about 100 kms from Dehradun, the nearest railhead and airport.

Accessibility: Vehicular access is possible up to Pantwari and Devalsari from where one has to trek.

Accommodation: One needs to carry tents as no accommodation is available on the route. Or one can stay in The Goat Village, a rustic mountain retreat near the base camp (Pantwari side) from where the Nag Tibba is just a short hike away. For further details, check www.thegoatvillage.com

Note: The trek can be done in three days from Delhi which makes it an ideal trek for weekends.


The trek can be approached from two villages - Pantwari and Devalsari. Nag Tibba is around 13 km from Devalsari, while from Pantwari the trek is only 7-8 km. As the route from Pantwari is shorter, it is also the more popular amongst the two.

The trek route goes through thick deodar forest. With only a day into the trek, one reaches a very remote region with almost no habitation. The entire trek gets you closer to nature, with the chirping of birds and fragrance of the thick deodar forests, while the terraced fields and slate roofed houses remind one of civilisation.

That early morning of summer, within an hour of starting from our home in Dehradun, we were near the hill station of Mussoorie. Being early hours, the shops and joints were yet to open and we encountered very little traffic on the roads. About half-an-hour from Mussoorie is the famous Kempty Falls.

The falls, though marred to a certain extent by extensive commercialisation and concretization still offers a visual treat. 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 the Yamuna here and again in Delhi leaves one wondering about the extent of damage we have done to turn these clear sparkling waters into a stream of muck.

We finally reached Pantwari village, where the road ends and trek begins. The trail started from behind the village, up to a rocky path to the hill above. The gradual climb took us through the fields as we left the village behind.

We encountered many village women on our way all through the route, carrying firewood to their homes. Our next halt was near a lone hut midway to the top where a farmer was tending to his fields. Beyond this point, the trek route split into two – one was a steeper and rockier but shorter route while the other was a gradual climb but slightly longer. Not wanting to exert ourselves and we opted for the second one.

The route now looked more beautiful and surrealistic as we walked through forests of oak. On the northern face of the mountain, we could see patches of snow which had not melted despite the summer heat. Dense forests, mountain brooks and slate-roofed villages are the highlights of this trek.

As we trekked along the trails of the forest, scenic views of the Gangotri, Banderpoonch, Kalanaag or Black Peak and the Swargarohini massif offered an enchanting experience.

Late in the afternoon, we reached our campsite where we were to halt for the night. The tents were set up with an amazing backdrop of the mountains. I could see the sun setting into the mountains and what a sight it was! As evening fell at the campsite, a bonfire was lit. Gazing into the mountains under a starry sky, I lost track of time and place.

The next morning, all of us woke up while it was still dark. The lemon tea helped us get out of our sleeping bags. The mornings in the mountains are simply exquisite. The cold fresh air, the bluish orange sky and the greenery all around make you fall in love with your surroundings.

We quickly finished our tea and resumed our assault on the final leg of the trek. The final part of any trek is the most difficult. It was no different here; we had to climb a couple of thousand feet within a one-and-a-half kilometre. But rejuvenated after a good night's rest and an energising tea, we made good progress.

The trail, though well laid out, runs over mountain slopes but at times the incline makes for a tedious climb. At times we struggled, with cramps and the chill but, overall we were at ease.

Finally, we could see the flag mounted on the top of Nag Tibba, and what a relief it was. We forgot our aches for a while and rushed to the summit, to see the panoramic view of the Himalayas. The cameras were out and all of us huddled together for that perfect memorable snap.

Show Full Article
Download The Hans India Android App or iOS App for the Latest update on your phone.
More Stories


Top