Fact File

Elevation: 3022 m or 9915 ft
Starting Point: Panthwari Village. Uttarakhand
Getting there: From Dehradun Railway station, take a bus to Nainbagh (crossing Mussourie and Yamuna Bridge). From here a 10 kms drive onto the road to Purola will take you to Panthwari village.
Season time: Through out the year.
Level of difficulty: Easy
Total Distance  8 kms

Why Nag Tibba?

There is no one trek that can be defined as a starting point to begin exploring the great Himalayas. After all the mighty mountain range expands across some 2500 kms in length and is spread over 7 Indian States.  I’m sure there are many treks for beginners but I would recommend Nag Tibba for two reasons;

  1. It’s relatively unheard of and won’t be flooded with people.
  2. It’s easily accessible (especially if you live in Delhi)

Nag Tibba is a small trail of approximately 8-10 kms near Mussoorie in Uttarakhand. I went in the month of December after I finished the Chandrashila trek. However when to go is something that will depend on what you want to see. The scenery will change depending on the seasons.

Summit Photo
The view from Surendraji’s Chaani during sunset.

The summer months from June-August will be greener and the trails dry. In the winter the top definitely has snow and the entire experience is more challenging. I managed this trek in a day but it is possible to break journey in between and camp out at Khatian.

One would typically reach this place 4 kms into the trek from the starting point in Panthwari.

Surrendraji’s wife who cooked for us back in the village.

Since my friend knew a local guide we rented out his “Chaani”, which is basically their summer hut for the night. In the mountains when the sun gets too strong the locals move upwards to a cooler altitude. They are small temporary houses made of mud that are used seasonally. The house had rice and rajma which I tried to cook but burnt completely. It was a memorable experience!

The chaani we stayed at.

Note that the entire trail is well laid out. There will be 3 road crossings where the trail meets motorable roads when you start but it is easy to get back to the trail if you keep to the left. I remember crossing a really swanky place they recently built for travellers called The Goat Village.

If you decide to do this trek solo its best to talk to locals beforehand to understand key landmarks to keep you on track. Also if you need help camping there will be locals that may be able to assist with equipment and food. Alternatively you could always join an adventure organisation that takes groups.

This was taken when we were about to reach the Nag Tibba top.

It is a beautiful trail that ascends gradually and towards the last 1 km to the peak the forest becomes so dense that it barely allows any sunlight preventing the snow from melting. There is a temple clearing at the base of Nag Tibba dedicated to the serpent god. From the top you will see the Garhwal range consisting of peaks like Swargrohini, Bandarpoonch, Kala Nag and Gangotri. It is an overwhelming view of smooth layered mountains with one peak merging into the other like a very neat sketch.

Personally I enjoyed this trek very much because if offered a little bit of everything. Great peak views both from the top and en route, the thrill of walking through old slippery snow, a coverable distance that wasn’t gruelling yet adventurous and a satisfying summit. I’d say if you’ve never trekked before start with Nag Tibba and you won’t regret it!