If you were planning a trip to Mcleodganj camping at Triund was on your plans then I have some bad news for you. The overnight camping option at Triund Hill has now been removed as ordered by Himachal government. What this means is that there will not be any more campsites or shops at the top or on the way either. Pitching your own tents will also not be allowed. So if you want to hike to Triund, you will have to make it a day trip; start really early from Mcleodganj and return by evening.
Also Read: How to Plan a Trip to Mcleodganj
Camping at Triund Hill Banned
Why was this done? The flat ground at the top of Triund that started to get used as a camping spot is, in fact, a meadow. As per the authorities, the meadow was being completely destroyed by so many people camping there. Majority of the campsites were, in fact, permanent camps; which means that the grass was completely gone. Considering that it is a meadow and a grazing ground for local livestock, this was not good news at all.
Other than this, too much trash was being generated including plastic packets and bottles. The place was slowly starting to look like a marketplace instead of a peaceful camping spot. There was too much noise coming from people yelling at top of their voices, playing loud music on Bluetooth speakers; all of which was scaring the local wildlife away.
All the structures at Triund were in fact illegal. What was barely 2/3 shops till 5 years ago had now turned into numerous campsites, 25 illegal shops, and 6 guest houses. Now all of these constructions, along with the shops on the way have been removed. The only one left is the one called Magic view.
So now for anyone wanting to trek to Triund, it has to be a one day plan. You can go for a day hike to Triund and Ilaaka but you can no longer camp, either as a group or individual. With all the shops gone, this also means that you will have to carry sufficient snacks and water along.
Triund Camping Banned
Is the move justified? It is hard to take sides really. I first visited Triund in the summer of 2008 and there was nothing up there back then. There was not even a single campsite actually. I only saw a few tea stalls / dhabas. If you wanted to stay overnight, you will either have to pitch your own tent or pay the tea stall owner to let you crawl inside his chadar tent. Now the place is fast transforming into a quite a bit of a town itself.
Also Read: Triund Trek – How to Plan your Adventure
So if you think from the point of saving the meadow and nature, I will say it is justified. But if you talk about the livelihood of the locals, it kind of puts you into a tight spot. The argument about people trashing the place is true though. Loud music, people getting drunk, fights and arguments was becoming a daily thing. People even died up there (do a Google search and you will read the news articles); that is how crowded it was getting. So the whole feeling of camping in a meadow on the top of a hill while enjoying natural beauty and peace was long beat anyway.
I kind of blame people for it though. As Indians, we just do not know how to respect and maintain any place. All that we do is trash it just as fast as we can. Pangong Lake in Ladakh is another shining example.
How this unfolds is something that only time will tell. This rule of banning the campsites at Triund was actually passed in 2018 but no one followed. This year, however, it has been implemented strictly and all the constructions at the top and on the way have been removed. What are your views on it? Do comment and let me know either here or at the post in our Community Forum.