Nag Tibba is a trekkers delight. Though its 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.
Nag Tibba presents stunning views of Bandarpoonch peak, the Gangotri group of peaks, Kedarnath peak in the north, Doonvalley and the snow peaks of Chanabang. 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.
Nag Tibba trek takes you through dense mountainous 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 as a weekend trek.
There are 4 routes to Nag Tibba peak. Details of each are given below. Three of the four routes meet at a crossroad near the Gujjar campsitefrom where the route up to the top is the same while the trail from Pantwari is located on the opposite side of the Nag Tibba ridge ofDevalsari. Some of the routes mentioned require a guide to help you get through the forest grasslands.
Trek Route 1: From Pantwari Village
Vaibhav Chauhan, Indiahikes Explorer and Writer led a team of trekkers to Nag Tibba from Pantwari side in February 2013. The following trail documentation is his account of the route taken to reach Nag Tibba summit from Pantwari side.
Having explored Nag Tibba Summit Trek from three identified trek routes in the previous exploration of the region, it was a matter of time a team was set to attempt a route from the other side of the Nag Tibba ridge. This route is the shortest of the other three routes with a total trail distance of 8 km from Pantwari Village to the Nag Tibba Summit.
Bill Aitken, a notable travel writer, has made mention of Nag Tibba as a classic trek in the vicinity of Mussoorie, just short to that magical elevation of 10,000 feet. A beautiful mix of Oak and Deodar forest bustling with birds and wildlife & an opportunity to see a unique Garhwali village lifestyle. We could not agree more on his thought. This trail, about which not much is written, looked very promising as we embarked upon our search for a true Himalayan trail.
Day 1: Dehradun to Pantwari – 85 km by road & Pantwari (4642 ft) to Camp 1 (7627 ft) 5 Kmtrek.
Day temperature at Pantwari: 23º C
Evening temperature at Camp-1. 5º C
Doing Nag-Tibba in early February had an added bonus of experiencing a true winter snow-ladentrail. The weather forecast for the weekend was a high probability of snowfall. Excited over this prospect a team of 25 trekkers assembled outside Dehradun railway stationto board a van which would take them to Pantwari village, 85 km from Dehradun via Mussoorie.
A four hour road journey takes a route going via Mussoorie, Kempty falls, crossing Yamuna Bridge andtaking the road to Purola till Nainbagh. From Nainbagh main market, take a road going up on the rightside also known as Nag Tibba road by locals. From here after a 12 km drive you reach Pantwarivillage which was our start point of the camp.
Trail description for Day 1
A cemented trail goes up from the heart of the village market. Look for a welcome gate as the trail goesup. 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 shepherd trail made of rocks.
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. The route from now on involves ascending the steep trail which crosses the motor-able road three more times.
The trail from here till the second motorable road section will take another 15 minutes. When you pass the 3rd section of the road, you will find your first water point. The stream empties into a cemented reservoir. After the fourth and last road cross over you reach a small village where you will see houses and cattle. From here take a trail going up towards the left. The trail is an easy ascent from here and you can enjoy walking past fields with the vast farm lands and Pantwari village below.
Look for the connecting ridge ofNag-Tibba at the back under thick forest cover. After a gradual walk for 20 minutes climb up the hill from the left side. There are many trails that are onlysemi-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.
Thetrail from here is a gradual and pleasant walk till you reach your second water point. Look for anothercemented reservoir for drinking water. This point is right below an isolated hut next to a small farm landmaking a picturesque view. You will now be able to see the left side of the hill for the first time.
In frontof you now lies a trail going up through a forest cover. Expect another 20 to 30 minutes of steep incline over a semi-defined trail which zigzags upwards. You can also take a short-cut by moving straight up but in doing sodo not expect a laid out trail and trust your instincts and logic. 15 minutes into the hike, look out for asmall patch of cleared up land. From here you can locate the camp-site ahead towards your right.
Thecamp is on a small patch of cleared land close to small stream. Back-packersnormally tend to camp here instead of Nag-Tibba Base which is another 2 km ahead from this camp. A180º view of the valley can be seen from here.
Day 2: Camp 1 to Nag Tibba “Jhandi” (9915 ft) or Summit via Nag-Tibba Base (8530 ft) 3 Kmtrek, 2 hours & back to Pantwari. Totally 11 Km trek in 5 to 6 hours.
Early morning temperature at Camp 1: 04º C
Day temperature at Nag Tibba Summit: 15º C
Trail Description for Day 2
Rise early morning to have a early head start as it is going to be a long day with a lot of walking to do.From the camp-1, locate a trail towards the right going straight inside the forest cover. Most ofthe trek is in the thick forested area. The trails from here are well defined. Howeverduring the month of January and February snow makes it difficult to identify the trail.
In this case, the team experienced half a foot of snow in the beginning and close totwo feet of snow during the last 1 km of trek to the Nag-Tibba Summit. The landmarks on this 2 km trailto 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 cleared up land with a temple dedicated to the Serpent God.
You get a view of the Garhwal peaks through the forest. The snowfrom here increases in winter. The last 1 km is a very steep incline going insidea forest cover which hardly gets any sunlight. This prevents the snow from melting. The team had to walk through 1-2 feet of snow. An able guide who knows thetrail can come in handy in such conditions. There are 4 sections of steep hills which you need to climbinside the forested area.
The snow makes the climbing more challenging. It can take anything from 1hour to 1 hour 15 minutes to reach the summit. The summit is straight up and does not requireyou to go left or right. As you reach the top, you will see the trail re-appear and curve towards theleft till you get to walk on top of the ridge for a minute till you see an open land sloping downwardson the other side of the mountain top.
Look for a flag which is the highest point called Nag Tibba“Jhandi” or summit. Looking down towards the other side of the ridge you can see the route from Deolsarior Devalsari village.
At the left side slope from the summit one can get a terrific view of the Himalayanranges namely Swargrohini range, Bandarpoonch, Kala Nag, Srikanta, and Gangotri ranges. The wholesection looks beautifully carpeted in snow making it a true winter weekend trek.
The rest of the 8 km trek is coming down through the same route taken to reach the summit. Pacethe trek so that you reach Pantwari before sunset. Return toDehradun with the transport you have arranged and catch the overnight train to Delhi.
Trek Route 2: From Devalsari Village
This trek to Nag Tibba starts from a tiny hamlet of Devalsari nestled in the Nag Tibba range. From Delhi Devalsari can be reached by taking an overnight bus to Mussoorie via Dehradun, Bansil and then to Devalsari. Devalsari is 45 kms from Mussoorie. Devalsari can be reached via Thatyur. A ride along the road lined with Rhodendrons via Bansil along the kutcha road gets you to Devalsari which is the base of the trek. Bansil is the last motorable road to start the Nag Tibba trek. Devalsari is 1.5 kms from Bansil.
From Devalsari the trek to Nag Tibba is 10 kms. The trail winds through the forest grasslands and serpentine tracks that give you the most stunning views of the Pir Panjal range and the Dhouladhar and the valley below the Doon. After an hour’s trek of 2.5 km you reach a place call Oothad. The trek to Nag Tibba technically starts here.
There are few houses here and the last place where you can replenish your water bottles. The shortcut is a steep climb and mostly deserted. From Oothad it's a 2 hour trek of 3.5 kms along the well trodden path leads to Chhanni. This is a small settlement of Gujjars who stay here to tend to their livestock. Chhanni is perched on top of a ridge and the views are mesmerising. After a 30 minute walk you get to crossroads which is the point where the route via Aunter and Magalori meet. The trek to Nag Tibba is the same from this V junction. The route via Devalsari requires a guide to navigate the paths through the dense vegetation. This is the trek route that the Indiahikes team follow to Nag Tibba Peak. The other 2 routes described below are just for factual information.
Trek route 3: From Aunter
The motorable route via Thatyur goes all the way up near bridle path near Aunter. From here you walk up to the ridge top to Aunter. This route does not require crossing the stream. Veering right takes you along the Pali River all the way up to Channi. This a longer route but easier than the Devalsari and passes through the forest at Nag Tibba's base till you reach Aunter. A couple of hours later you get to the cross road from where the shorter route from Oothad joins.
The Aunter route is pretty straightforward with gentle slopes all the way to the top. The dense Oak and Fir forests portray the Himalayan bio diversity. There are tiny streams along the way to your right as you follow the path west wards all the way further up from Chhanni to the crossroad. It is a well trodden path and does not require a guide.
Trek route 4: From Mangalori Village
This route has two ways to reach the village of Mangalori. One of them branches off from Thatyur (non motorable) and goes through the Mangalori village on the south western flank ofNag Tibba. This is a shorter route but very steep. You cross the river Pali and continue on your way up north. This route has a very strenuous climb but takes only about two hours to reach the bridle path. Further on you reach the crossroads.
The other route (Motorable) to Mangalori village can also be reached via the Nainbagh route. From Dehradun we reach Pantwari via Mussorie and Nainbagh. Pantwari to Nagtibba is a trek of 10 kilometres via Mangalori and vehicles ply till the village of Mangalori. Pantwari is on the southern face of the Nag Tibba peak. This route is also clearly marked and there is no need of a guide.
From the crossroad, the path to Nag Tibba is one long stretch. The paths are clearly marked and the dense vegetation of the forest continues till the top. There is nothing to see enroute as you are amidst thick foresst but now and then you can catch a glimpse of the lofty Himalayan ranges through the trees. Dry and dense forests shoals and grasslands increase the charm of the forest.
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 Nag Tibba Top is another 3 kilometres heading 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 between February and 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 its best if all camping gears are carried by you. Nagtibba has a Bunglow in a dilapidated condition so book FRH at Devalsari in advance. The camping permits can be obtained from the Forest office at Mussoorie.
Includes - Road travel, permits, guides, camping, equipment, food on the trek and trek fee.
Excludes - Food on transit.
Note: Service Tax of 3.09 % applicable on Trek Fees
3022 meters (9914 feet approx.) at Nag Tibba Summit.
Easy-Medium gradients. A mixture of Gradual and Steep incline trek going through a thick forest cover and small meadows. High probability of snow on trail from Nag Tibba Base to Nag Tibba Summit in Winter Season, i.e. Jan - Early March.
Dehradun is the nearest rail head to Pantwari - 85 km.
Buses are available from Anand Vihar ISBT. Take a cab/ local bus from Delhi to Dehradun. Delhi to Pantwari is 335 km (approx.) by road.
Reach Patnwari by bus/car from Delhi.
Late April till October & January till Early March for a Winter trek in snow
Day 1: Pantwari to Camp 1 - 05 km - 3 to 4hrs Day 2: Camp 1 to Nag Tibba Summit - 03 km, 2 to 3 hrs & Nag Tibba Summit to Pantwari - 8 km, 3 to 4 hrs
Day 1: Leave from Delhi (Friday night) and reach Dehdradun (Saturday morning) You will need to reach Dehradun on your own.
Indiahikes pickup for this trek will be from Dehradun Railway Station, in front of the SBI ATM.
Day 2: Arrive at Dehdradun by 6.00 am. Depart for Panthwari via Mussoorie--Kempty falls--Nain-Bagh. Expected arrival time at Pantwari 12 noon. Start trek to Nag Tibba. Reach Nag Tibba by 6 pm. Camp overnight.
Day 3: Trek down from Nagtibba top – return back to Panthwari and head to Dehradun. Arrive at 6.00 pm to catch the night train/bus to New Delhi.
Trek route from Panthwari
Trek route from Devalsari, Aunther and Mangalori
How to do this trek
Getting to/from: Nag-Tibba Trek can be
attempted from Panthwari. To reach Pantwari, ittakes 3 - 4 hours from Dehradun. Guides and Porters: Guides and Porters can behired from Panthwari or Dehradoon. Ponies are notallowed.
Total Distance: 16 km (Pantwari to NagTibba Summit and back and back) Maximum Elevation: 3022 meter – Nag-TibbaSummit
The Indiahikes team has explored and led expeditions on this trail. This is a work of collective team documentation.
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