One fine day I got an invite from one of my friends to join in a trek to a place called Nag Tibba. As it was a short 3 day trip, no way I could miss this golden chance. Organized by a well-established company like GIO Adventures, I knew it would turn out well. It was a weekend trek, this was one reason that made me step out of my usual routine and say a yes. That entire week was filled with excitement as I knew I would soon be making my way to the mountains. I had prepared a short list of essentials that I would carry on the trek. Pair of trekking pants, wind cheater, hiking shoes and a novel was few of the things. There was a lot that I had to stuff in, but that was the last minute affair. Thursday night I sat and Googled about Nag Tibba, as I had never heard about it before. All I knew about were few common travel places of Mussoorie like the Mall road, Landour, Camel’s back road, TV Tower and Lal Tibba. I wondered why I was unaware about this place called Nag Tibba.
Nag Tibba also known as serpents peak is the highest peak amongst the three principal ranges of lesser Himalayas. This spot is one of the popular jaunts for countless vagabonds & adventure lovers that visit this place to witness its scenic beauty and elevation. Winters are chilly and summers are pleasant, making it an ideal place for camping.
Night gave way to the morning. Members of the trekking group were asked to assemble at Dehradun Railway Station. From there we boarded a traveller that would drive us up via Mussoorie to Pantwari village, the starting point of our trek. It was great to realize that for few days I would be away from the maddening crowd, also away from the bustling city life.
Our journey began, we took the winding roads to Mussoorie, I had a great time peeping out of the window and watching lush greenery pass by at a fast pace. After a brief period of chit chatting and introducing ourselves to each other we reached a small hamlet. This was Pantwari, a trailhead from where we would start our hike. I could see a small patch of settlement and a couple of fast food shops scattered hither and thither. The urge of munching on something took over me. After taking permission from the tour guide, I sat in a nearby dhaba to have a cup of chai along with chips and biscuits.
Soon we were all set to hit the trekking trail that would lead us to the Nag Tibba base. The gradient was reasonably steep, we moved at a leisurely pace. All I could see was vast expanses of wilderness. Cooking of the birds, sound of the crickets, and thick undergrowth of wild trees and shrubs, the feeling was unexplainable. We clambered rocky tracks and surrendered ourselves to the beauty of the mountains. We halted at a nice shady stop and had packed lunch, after that we advanced towards the Nag Tibba base.
It was evening when we arrived. Unloading our backpacks we lay on the sun kissed grass and relaxed our nerves. The porters unpacked the stuff and soon prepared steaming cups of tea for all of us. My tried bones had relaxed a little. It was time to set up the camp for the night and that was a total teamwork, it felt great to be a part of the group of trekkers. Slowly the evening faded into the night. Under the star spangled sky, we enjoyed sumptuous meal sitting around a bonfire. The most interesting part was reached when one of the porters started telling ghost stories of the mountains. I almost freaked out and that was the time I came to know the legends of Nag Tibba.
Legends of Nag Tibba
It is believed that Nag Tibba is an abode of ‘Nag Devta’ or snake God. It is said that few years ago, this place was drought ridden. There was very less water that existed but the milk was in abundance. A framer belonging to one of the villages had a dream in which the serpent God asked him to build a temple on the top of the hill to solve the shortage of water. On hearing his dream, the villagers built a temple on the hill top. The village people brought milk as an offering for the serpent God. The magic was revealed when that milk turned into a stream of water and since then this area was always blessed with ample of water and rain.
The legends associated with this place evoked a lot of interest in me. That night I kept on recalling the legend behind Nag Tibba. Was that real? Yes, might be, mountains are magical so are their tales. Next morning we woke up to the beauty of unending pastures, a gentle breeze brushed me, being in the mountains was no less than a dream. We enjoyed a cup of tea and sizzling snacks served hot on our plate and got ready to hike again to the top of the Nag Tibba peak.
This trek took us through the dense foliage featuring a mix of Oak and Deodar trees. Bustling with birds and bees, the gradient was easy to moderate. This seemed to be an ideal place for bird watchers and photographers. The views kept on changing as we ascended. The sights were stunning that gave me an adrenalin rush. We followed the zigzag trails and finally reached the top. I was surrounded by the spectacular views of Bandarpoonch and Gangotri group of peaks, Kedarnath peak and the snow peaks of Chanabang. Was I dreaming? Never in my life had I thought that I would get to witness such an incredible view. The mountain of ice in me had begun to melt. I stood on the edge and closed my eyes shedding the endless thoughts that bothered me in life. A gush of wind embraced me as I opened my arms wide. Nothing seemed important than that moment. “It feels good to be lost in the right direction”, were the lines that rung in my head. I fell unconditionally and irrevocably in love with the mountains.