About NagTibba: A beautiful Trek near Mussoorie
Nag Tibba is a trekkers delight. Though it is a relatively unknown trail near Mussoorie it can easily be considered one of the best weekend treks that you can do out of Delhi. For those who want to walk in the forests, climb up to 10,000 feet, see snow clad mountains and camp under starry night skies the Nag Tibba trek is just perfect. It presents stunning views of Bandarpoonch peak, the Gangotri group of peaks, Kedarnath peak in the north, Doon valley and the snow peaks of Chanabang.
Nag Tibba is also known as Serpent’s Peak. It is the highest peak (9915 ft) in the Nagtibba range of the Garhwal Himalayas and is said to be the abode of Nag Devta. The trek takes you through dense forests rich in flora and fauna. The advantage of this trek is that you can reach the base of the Nagtibba range by jeep. This makes it possible to do it over a weekend.
Bill Aitken, a notable travel writer, has mentioned Nag Tibba as ‘A classic trek in the vicinity of Mussoorie’, just short of that magical elevation of 10,000 feet. A beautiful mix of Oak and Deodar forests bustling with birds and wildlife and an opportunity to see the unique way of life of the people in a Garhwali village is, to say the least, inviting. We could not agree more. This trail, about which not much has been written, looked very promising as we embarked upon our search for a true Himalayan trail. This is the trek route that the Indiahikes follows to the Nag Tibba Peak.
There are 4 routes to the Nag Tibba peak. The first route is the one Indiahikes takes from Pantwari and is located on the opposite side of the Nag Tibba ridge of Devalsari. Depending on the route you chose, a guide may be advisable. The other three routes converge at a crossroad near a Gujjar campsite, where they merge into a single trail to the summit.
Day 1: Getting to base camp: Dehradun- Pantwari.
Day 2: Camp 1 to Nag Tibba Summit (9915 ft) via Nag-Tibba Base (8530 ft)
DAY 01: Getting to base camp: Dehradun- Pantwari
Distance: 85 km by road from Dehradun to Pantwari
Altitude: Pantwari (4642 ft) to Camp 1 (7627 ft) – 5 Km
Doing Nag-Tibba in early February has the added advantage of experiencing a snow-laden trail. The weather forecast for the weekend was a high probability of snowfall. The average day temperature at Pantwari is 23º C. Temperatures in the evening can drop to -1. 5º C.
Excited over this prospect team of 25 trekkers assembled outside Dehradun railway station to board a van which would take them 85km to Pantwari village via Mussoorie.
The four hour road journey takes you via Mussoorie, Kempty falls, over Yamuna Bridge and up to Nainbagh on the road to Purola. From Nainbagh main market, take a road going up on the right side (also known as Nag Tibba road). From here after a 12 km drive you reach Pantwari village which was our start point for the trek.
Trek begins : Pantwari to Camp 1
A cemented trail goes up from the heart of the village market. Look for a welcome gate as the trail goes up. A minute into the hike a “Nag Devta” temple will show up on your left. From this point the trail curves towards the left and the cemented trail is now replaced with a rocky shepherd trail.
After walking for ten minutes on this well defined trail you reach a motorable road. Cross this road and locate a trail going up the mountain just straight ahead of you. Hereon, the route involves ascending the steep trail which crosses the motor-able road three more times.
It is a 15 minute walk between the first and the second road crossings. As you walk past the third crossing, you find your first water point. The stream drains into a cemented reservoir. After the fourth and last road crossing you reach a small village. From here take a trail going up towards the left. It is an easy ascent and you can enjoy walking past fields with the vast tracts of farmland and the Pantwari village below.
Face the Pantwari village, and you will find the connecting ridge to Nag-Tibba behind you. After a gradual walk for 20 minutes climb up the hill from the left side. There are several other trails that are semi-defined. You can also climb straight up as a short-cut. After a stiff climb of 20 minutes you reach a T section on the trail. Take a right and walk for another 20 to 30 minutes.
The trail from here is a gradual and pleasant walk till you reach your second water point. Look for another cemented reservoir of drinking water. This point is right below an isolated hut next to a small farm making for a picturesque view. You will now be able to see the left side of the hill for the first time.
In front of you now lies a trail going up through the forest cover. Expect another 20 to 30 minutes of a steep climb over a semi-defined trail which zigzags upwards. 15 minutes into the hike, look out for a small clearing. From here you can locate the camp-site further towards your right.
One can camp on a small clearing, near a small stream. Back-packers normally tend to camp here instead of Nag-Tibba Base which is another 2 km further up the trail. One has a 180º view of the valley from here.
DAY 02: Camp 1 to Nag Tibba Summit (9915 ft) via Nag-Tibba Base (8530 ft)
Distance: 3 Km to summit; 8 km descent
Time: 2 hours to summit , plus 3 hours descent
Rise early morning to get a head start as it is going to be a long day with lot of walking to do. From the Camp 1, locate a trail towards the right going straight into the forest. Most of the trail is in a thickly forested area. The trails from here are well defined. However during the month of January and February snow makes it difficult to identify the trail.
In our case, the team experienced half a foot of snow in the beginning and close to two feet of snow during the last 1 km of trek to the Summit. The landmarks on this 2 km trail to reach Nag-Tibba Base are the two small open patches of land which you pass 20 minutes and 35 minutes from Camp 1. The estimated time it takes to reach Nag Tibba Base is around 45 minutes to 1 hour. The route is mostly a gradual walk with a small section of steep ascent for 10 minutes in between. Nag Tibba Base is a large clearing with a temple dedicated to the Serpent God.
You get a view of the Garhwal peaks through the forest. In winter one will encounter a lot of snow here. The last 1 km is a very steep incline going into a forest with hardly any sunlight. This prevents the snow from melting. An able guide who knows the trail can come in handy in such conditions. There are 4 steep climbs while trekking in the forest.
The snow makes the climb more challenging. It can take anywhere between 1 to 1 hour 15 minutes to reach the summit. The summit is straight up and does not require you to go left or right. As you reach the top, you will see the trail re-appear and curve towards a ridge on the left. Walk for a minute till you see an open patch of land sloping downwards on the other side of the mountain.
Look for a flag on the highest point called Nag Tibba “Jhandi” or summit. Looking down towards the other side of the ridge you will see the route from Deolsari or Devalsari village.
On the left hand slope from the summit one can get a terrific view of the Himalayan ranges of Swargrohini, Bandarpoonch, Kala Nag, Srikanta, and Gangotri. The whole section looks beautifully carpeted in snow making it a true winter weekend trek.
The rest of the 8 km trek is retracing the same route taken to reach the summit. Pace the trek so that you reach Pantwari before sunset. Return to Dehradun with the transport you have arranged and catch the overnight train to Delhi.
Once you reach Nagtibba, you can camp there a little away from the Nagdevta’s shrine. The panoramic view from the summit is breathtaking. From Nag Tibba, the highest point is another 3 kilometres westward. This climb is spine breaking and steep – but well worth it. The majesty of the Himalayan ranges takes your breath away.
The route downhill is pretty straightforward. You follow the same path that was taken to head up. Again the crossroad is your branch off point to reach Devalsari, Aunter or Mangalori.
The best time to trek to Nag Tibba is February to mid-June, and mid-September to end-November. This is is an easy trek and the best weekend break to revitalize you.
The water sources are limited after Chhani. It is advisable that you carry all supplies from Dehradun or from Mussoorie. If you are camping it is best if all camping gears are carried by you. Nagtibba has a Bunglow in a dilapidated condition so book a forest guesthouse at Devalsari in advance. The camping permits can be obtained from the Forest office at Mussoorie.
Inclusive / Exclusion
• Accommodation. (Guest house, Home stay, Camping).
• All Meals while on trek & transits (Veg.) (Egg).
• Trek equipments.
• First aid medical kit.
• Qualified & experienced trek Leader, Guide and Support staff.
• All transportation during the trek program.
• Any kind of personal expenses.
• Mules or porter to carry personal luggage.
• Anything not specifically mentioned under the head “Price Includes”.
Up to 30 Days :- 90% of Trek/adventure program cost will be refund.
Between 21 – 30 Days: – 60% of Trek/Adventure/Tour/Travel/Hotel program cost will be refund.
Between 20 – 11 Days: – 30% of Trek/Adventure/Tour/Travel/Hotel program cost will be refunded.
Less than 10 Days: – No refund. – See more at: http://gohimalayas.com/refund-policy/
Things to carry for Trekking:
1. Backpack of 50 -60 ltrs and Daypack of 20 ltrs.
2. Good Quality Trekking Shoes with extra pair of shoes
3. Sunglasses, Cap/Hat, towel etc.
6. Full sleeve Sweater
7. Track pants
8. Water Bottle
9. Full sleeve warm Jacket
10. Rain coat lightweight
11. Warm Gloves
12. Camera, Memory Card,Batteries, Power bank
13. Head Light or torch
14. Personal toiletries & Sun lotion, vaslene etc.
15. Personal Medication if any
16. Sleek(light-weight) blanket
Nagtibba Trek | Maps