They say he generally travels alone. Little did they know, in a land loaded with full of unfamiliar things, the thirst of wanderlust is familiar!! Why do I prefer to travel solo? Why don’t I opt for packaged tours? A tour package is generally expensive but is this the only reason for not preferring them. Probably not!! A couple of months back, I went to the Nag Tibba Trek on a packaged tour by Bikat Adventures, a registered tour operator. It was my first ever booking of a tour package. Hey Abhi!! Why did you opt for a package tour???
Snow routes on Nag Tibba trek
Last year, Bikat adventures organized a photo contest and my photo was awarded the Viewers ‘choice prize. They gave a voucher worth 5,000 INR which could only be applied to any of their packaged tours. Since I was planning a trip to Uttarakhand; I used that voucher to book a seat for Nag Tibba Trek which costs 5,750 INR. Paying just 750 INR for a 3-day trek was not a bad deal. Also, I wanted to experience a tour package first hand.
In route to Nag Tibba Base camp
Hang on Abhi!! Is this a post on pros and cons of a tour package? Oops sorry!! Let’s talk about the beautiful Nag Tibba Trek. Standing at an astonishing height of around 9915 feet (3022 meters), Nag Tibba Mountain is the highest peak in the Nag Tibba range of the Garhwal Himalayas.
Snow covered Nag Tibba Trek
It is the perfect trek for beginners who are looking to experience trekking on snow (in winters) amidst beautiful surroundings. From lush green valleys to the wide expanse of meadows, from magnificent forest to snow-covered Himalayan peaks, the 2 to 3 days Nag Tibba Trek has everything on offer.
Nag Devi temple Aunter
Himalayan range as seen on Nag Tibba Trek
How to reach Nag Tibba Trek Base Village
Reaching Nag Tibba trek base village is a bit challenging as no direct transport is available from the major towns. The nearest railway station to Pantwari (Base village of Nag Tibba Trek) is Dehradun which is around 90 kms. Dehradun is well connected to other parts of the country via railways. (Delhi to Dehradun is 285 kms – 6 hours train journey)
From Dehradun, you will need to catch a bus/shared taxi for Nainbagh (75 kms- 3 hours) from where shared taxi/ bus to Pantwari are available (15 kms – 30 to 40 minutes). There are also various other routes from where one can reach Nag Tibba summit.
Nag Tibba Trek route
There are various trekking routes from where one can reach the summit of Nag Tibba. One can start the trek from Devalsari from where the summit is around 11 kms. One can also start the trek from Aunter, (a small village) from where the summit is around 6-7 kms. The route is mostly uphill but well-marked.
The third option is to start from Pantwari village, reach the summit and descent either from the same route or to the Aunter side. This route is the busiest one and is generally preferred by most tour operators. There is no public transport from Aunter, but any local going till Thatyur will surely give you a lift. From Thatyur, you will get various transports to reach Dehradun. The trek is easily doable in 2 days.
Note: If you are doing this trek solo, I would highly recommend the third option as you may find fellow trekkers all the way and chances of getting lost will be very less.
Nag Tibba Trek route
Permission needed for the trek
Depending on your starting point, you may need to get permission from the forest department at Pantwari or Aunter. Though no one checks the permit, you may end up paying fine if you are caught without one. I don’t have much idea on this as I was on a packaged tour. You may inquire from the locals once you get there.
Beautiful Aunter Village
The difficulty level of Nag Tibba Trek
This trek is perfect for the beginners with a decent fitness level. The trail from Pantwari to the base camp is mostly uphill and takes around 5-6 hours to reach the same. From base camp, it takes around 1 hour to reach the summit. From the summit, one can descent all the way to Aunter in 4-5 hours, with route almost being downhill.
Just near to Nag Tibba Summit
My Journey to Nag Tibba Base Camp
It all started from Dehradun; everyone who had booked a seat to Nag Tibba Trek was asked to gather outside the Dehradun railway station. Bikat adventures had arranged a tempo traveler to reach the Pantwari village.
After around 4 hours of road journey through some bumpy roads, we reached the base village. At the village, we were divided into groups of 10 and were assigned with a group leader.
Beautiful landscape as seen on Nag Tibba Trek
I can keep on writing and be expounding about this beautiful trek but I know it’s exhausting to read such lengthy posts. Let’s keep it short!!! After flag off from the trek lead, we were good to begin with the daring adventure.
Time for Flag off
The target for Day 1 was to reach the Nag Tibba Base camp. The route is mostly covered with dense forest cover with few patches of snow. After trekking almost all uphill route for around 4-5 hours, we made it to the Nag Tibba Base camp.
Nag Tibba Base Camp
It was freezing cold at Nag Tibba base camp (almost -4 to 6 degree) and everyone was in a rush to get into the tents. I could see millions of stars shining to their brightest, a view which I miss living in a crowded town. I took my camera out and started capturing those views.
Amazing tree structure
Next day was planned for a hike to the Nag Tibba Summit and descending back to the base camp. It generally takes around 1 hour to reach the summit. The route is completely covered with deep snow.
We started around 9 am from base camp and were back by 1:00 am with no more trekking plans for the day. Now comes the point why I don’t like tour packages.
- They are expensive!! That is for sure!!
- The trek is easily doable in 2 days. But the tour package had a planned itinerary for 3 days.
- Both days of trekking we started around 9 am, in my case I would have started way early.
- Every trekker had a different speed of trekking but everyone was asked to walk with the group. There was always a feeling that someone had tied up ropes on my legs. Walking that slow made me felt like I was not trekking at all.
I am not against tour packages!! It’s just that, while I am on a trek or a journey, I don’t like such restrictions.
The plan for day 3 was to descend from the Aunter side of the Nag Tibba forest range. The route is mostly downhill and is covered with Pine and Deodar trees. It took around 3-4 hours to reach the beautiful Auntar village. I fell in love with the beauty of this village and especially the village kids. They were so cute!!!
Yoga sessions on the Nag Tibba Trek
Kids at Aunter village
After few cool down sessions, it was time to put an end to the beautiful Nag Tibba trek. The tempo travelers were already waiting at the village to depart. I would like to thank Bikat Adventures for organizing such an amazing trek. I have no hard feelings for them, it’s just the overall concept of tour package which I don’t like.
Sunrise view on Nag Tibba Trek
Fellow trekkers on Nag Tibba Trek
Best time to visit Nag Tibba Trek
It totally depends on what exactly you want to experience on the trek. For snowfall, plan a trek to Nag Tibba in months of December to March. If you looking to experience the view of lush green surroundings, October to November would be the best time. I would suggest avoiding doing the trek in monsoon months of July to September as chances of landslides are high.
Food and stay options at Nag Tibba Trek
There are few shops at Pantwari and Auntar where you can buy the basic food items to carry along on the trek. On the whole trek, there is absolutely no food and stay option. You need to put in your own tent and prepare food all by yourself.
Are you looking for some essential travel gear? Check out my post on What’s in my Backpack.
Hope you have enjoyed reading the article. To get regular updates on upcoming budget blog posts from On a Cheap Trip, please subscribe by entering your name and E-mail address in the Newsletter below. You can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest as well as on Twitter.