Beginner's treks are a great way to discover whether this is something that's meant for you or not; to get closer to the Himalayas; and also be in touch with nature, away from the chaos & cacophony of city life! As intimidating as it may sound, there are many treks for beginners who have no experience of trekking, and Nag Tibba in Uttarakhand is surely one of them 🙂
For us, it was yet another weekend’s plan when we wanted to escape to the mountains, breaking free from the hustle and bustle of city life, to unwind, relax and witness some picturesque beauty. We were looking for short hikes and treks that could be covered in 2 days (in a way that we leave Delhi on a Friday night and be back by Monday morning) – and Nag Tibba seemed like the perfect option.
Without thinking much, we booked our train tickets for Dehradun, from where we joined the IndiaHikes Team and embarked on a beautiful journey to Pantwari (located at a distance of 85 KM) – the postcard-perfect village from where the trek starts, taking us through the forested areas and en route, we got to witness the Swarga Rohini, Bandarpoonch, Srikanth, Kala Nag or the Black Peak and many more.
More About Nag Tibba Trek
To put it simply, it’s a short & considerably easy trek with all the ingredients of a major mountain trek and a jungle hike, with rich and vibrant Himalayan ambiance, meandering meadows, beautiful campsites, snowclad peaks, quaint villages, and more. Although an easy trek, the trail takes you to an admirable height of 9,915ft above sea level which involves walking for about 8 to 10 KM. With its name meaning the ‘Serpent’s Peak’, Nag Tibba is definitely more popular than all its surrounding peaks, providing an unhindered 360-degree view of the colossal mountains that are bound to render you speechless.
The peak being in the Uttarakhand Himalayas region of the Tehri Garhwal district, the trek begins from the Pantwari village, which serves as a base camp. (From Dehradun, it is a beautiful 5 to 6 hours drive to the basecamp at the Pantwari village.)
Day 1: As the hike starts from here, we crossed the narrow village trails running alongside the step-farming plots and since it was the onset of Spring (well, we did the trek in March), cherry trees were blooming with gorgeous pink flowers!
Crossing the ‘Bakhri Gaon’ (Goat Village) – which is a budding eco-tourism resort, we finally reached the IndiaHikes’ campsite, with a gentle climb through undulating terrains and occasional inclines. It took us around 3 hours to reach the campsite from Pantwari village, and it was late afternoon by then.
After resting for some time, we soaked in the hues of the setting sun, gazing at the breathtaking shades that painted the sky! The temperature started dropping all of a sudden, post-sunset – and dinner was served around 7 PM. Later, we were given a brief for the next day – and the plan was to start the trek to the summit by 4 AM.
Day 2: It was dark and freezing when the guides woke us up, giving us steaming cups of ‘chai’ to add some warmth! (It didn’t work much though!) Grabbing our day packs and a box that had our breakfast, we embarked on our journey through the darkness. Headlamps & torchlights showed us the trails through a thick forest cover.
Within 20 to 30 minutes from the camp on the forest trail, we reached two open patches of land, clearings by the forest fringes. From this point on, the trek was almost a level walk on very gentle undulations. We paid a quick visit to the Nag Tibba Temple, and our guides told us amazing folklores related to that place. From there, the Garhwal Himalayan peaks met our eyes.
The trek continued from here into the forest on a steep incline, which raised the bar of challenge, making it a swashbuckling summit experience. Close to the top, the trail ran through a ridge and finally took us to the flag marking Nag Tabba Jhandi, or the gorgeous summit.
Needless to say, the views from the summit are too good to be put to words (so we’ll let the photographs talk, instead!). The canvas of the sky was lighted up with snow-capped ranges of Swarga Rohini, Bandarpoonch, Gangotri, Kedarnath, Kala Nag, and more. We sat there for some time, looking at the mountains that felt so close to us – as if we could walk yet another mile to touch them!
(It took us around 5 hours to reach the summit from the campsite, due to our pace and also because we were around 27 people. The time would mostly vary depending on the number of trekkers and their speed. But as the guides always keep saying, the trek is not a race – so you can take as much time as you want, enjoy the way and feel at peace while you’re there amidst nature!)
We took a different route while descending, through a village called Bhatwadi. Still drooling over the glimpses we got from the summit, we walked down the picturesque route and reached a clearing called Moriana where there was a stream on one side and we could see a couple of shepherds’ huts on the other side. Encircled by the forests on all sides, we took a quick break here – and some of us ended up taking a power nap!
Hiking downwards for yet another couple of hours, we finally returned back to Pantwari at around 2 PM in the afternoon. Grabbing a quick lunch at the village, we boarded the bus to head back to Dehradun and finally took the train at night for Delhi.
(In case you wish to extend your trip for a day or 2, you can simply head off to Mussorie – The Queen Of The Hill Stations, and enjoy a vacay after the trekking adventures.)
Reasons Why Nag Tibba Is ‘The Perfect Beginner’s Trek
This relatively easy trail near Dehradun is a good fit for adventure seekers & nature lovers, living in Delhi NCR, who want to have an escapade over the weekend. For beginners, this trek is great for an introductory trek to the world of trekking. As you go up one side of the mountain and come down from another side, you also experience a variety of landscapes. This trek takes you through dense forests, clearings, and ridge walks – all within just 2 days!
Basic fitness – One doesn’t need to go through rigorous fitness regimes for this trek. People with a fit body and an active life as their daily routine can easily opt for the trek. You just need to keep an open mind and be prepared to walk for about 4 to 5 hours for 2 days – and the rewards of that will be priceless!
Gentle terrain – Right from Pantwari till Nag Tibba summit, the terrain is very gentle and there are no steep sections of more than 5 – 10 mins. The absence of these steep climbs allows trekkers to enjoy the beauty strewn all around and it’s more so in the case of beginners, who are comparatively little less patient than experienced trekkers and they want to see the reward of their hard work (read, hiking) quickly and this is what happens on Nag Tibba.
A wholesome trek – This is one trek where you get the flavor of all things that one gets to experience on longer treks – whether it’s the jungle trails, snowy paths, or an amazing view of the highest peaks of the Indian Himalayas (that too, in a short duration). When you reach the summit you can savor the view of Nanda Devi, the highest peak in India along with Bandar Poonch and many more.
We are absolute lovers of the Himalayas and until the pandemic hit the world, we made it a point to travel to the mountains at least once a month – and trekking is something that makes us feel alive, as we get to soak in the silence and serenity, listening to our own breaths, looking at the starlit sky and the majestic mountains.
It’s quite understandable if you want to try out something new and adventurous like trekking, but the massive scale of it scares you – so to begin with, we’d suggest you plan and try out easy treks as Nag Tibba in Uttarakhand, and experience the bliss.