Thatharana is a trek in Himachal Pradesh which most people don’t know of yet. With a brilliant 360 degree view of Kangra valley and thrilling route, it climbs up to be one of the best-unexplored treks. If you are someone who hates crowded treks where there’s more of noise than peace then keep on reading this blog because we’ve got the best trek that you might have been looking for.
It is a 5km trek only but do not take the distance lightly because the trek is a bit tiring so it will take you around 3 to 5 hours to reach depending upon your stamina and capacity. The intensity would be moderate, it’s not very difficult but wouldn’t be justified if said it’s a piece of cake. Well, it is truly said that the best views come after the hardest climb.
The climb starts through the village whereas it soon leads you to the forest. While on the trek, you will be in the forest most of the time. Crawling through the forest eagerly waiting for open space from where you can stare at the beautiful magical view. The mountains will catch your eye in between the climb from peepholes and that will motivate you to reach the top sooner because that is from where the view is visible clearly. It will give you short glimpses in between but it is nothing compared to the view from the top.
How to reach-
Thatharana is located in the Dharamshala region of Himachal Pradesh. If you are willing to do this trek then you might first reach Dharamshala.
Now, you may ask how to reach Dharamshala.
To reach Dharamshala you have three ways-
1. By Air – If you want to come by air then it will be the easiest way as Dharamshala has its airport called Gaggal Airport. So, you can easily reach Dharamshala from any of the major cities of India.
2. By Bus- If you are willing to travel from Delhi or Chandigarh this would be the easiest way, especially if you’re in a tight budget. You can directly take a bus from Delhi to Dharamshala and reach in few hours, approximately 8 to 10 hours. The buses mostly run overnight, so you may take note.
3. By train- If you are looking for a cheap mode of travelling to Dharamshala then the train would be it but it can get a bit complicated as Dharamshala has no railway station. You will have to take a train till Pathankot and further travel on a bus for around 2-3 hours to reach Dharamshala.
Now that you’ve reached Dharamshala, you need to reach the starting point of the trek. The place is called Kharota and you will have to come via Khaniyara. There are very tight options to reach Kharota, you can either take a taxi or rent yourself a bike or car to reach Kharota as buses don’t run to the point. If you are still willing to go by bus then you can take a bus from Dharamshala to Khaniyara and then hike up till Kharota.
When to go-
The best time to go for Thatharna trek would be April to May and from October to November as the possibilities of rain or snow are less and the weather is quite pleasant. Thatharana can be done throughout the year if you are an adventure lover. There’s also an option for snow trek to Thatharna from December to March. So, if you want to do short snow trek them Thatharna is the best option in your hand.
Difficulty level –
Thatharana is not an extremely difficult trek but I’d say that it’s tiring. It has a moderate intensity in steepness but gets a bit tiring while straight climbs. The trek is just a 5 km one so it’s good that you can reach in 3 to 5 hours depending upon your speed and stamina. I would not restrict beginners to do this but I’d also not encourage them to take this as their first trek unless they are very active physically.
Things to carry :
Shoes- If you are visiting it in summers or monsoon, be very careful and wear shoes with a very good grip because that helps a lot to reduce the stress of climbing steep mountains. Preferably, wear trekking shoes in summers, if they are waterproof that’d be the best as shoes tend to get wet in monsoon and that can lead to sore feet which can create problems while climbing.
If you are going for a snow trek, you should be careful with the shoes and wear shoes that support snow trekking as the snow gets quite slippery when it hardens up. To reduce the tension of slipping, you should be careful and invest in a pair of good snow trekking shoes. Your shoes should be waterproof because snow will get onto your shoes while you hike and it will make your feet numb.
These are points that one should keep in mind but if you are someone who’s not looking forward to investing in good pair of shoes, you can just use your sports shoes and get the adrenaline rushing.
Stick- Now this is something that you might have taken for granted but a trekking pole or a simple stick can help you a lot in trekking. It assures your grip while climbing and saves you from slipping while coming down. So, if you are a regular trekker then I’d suggest you to buy a trekking pole but even if you aren’t willing to invest in a trekking pole you can easily carry any strong wooden stick which you can find lying around in the forest while your way up. It will make your climb easier and you experience merrier.
Clothes – Well, this point would be the same as any other Himalayan trek.
Snow trek-You need to be packed in warm thermals, lightweight sweaters, and an extremely warm down jacket. Try wearing warm lightweight layers than wearing a heavy sweater. The more the layers the warmer you’ll be because the heat will get trapped in between the layers. Your pants should be warm too and wear extremely warm and quick-dry socks. Also, carry an extra pair of socks, beanie, scarf, and gloves.
Food and water –
You should carry your own 1-2 litre water bottle because you won’t find many water resources or shops on your way. There’s just one point where you can refill your water bottle. So, be very careful in carrying your water. You might get packed water on the top where there’s one shop that sells basic food items but even that’s not sure if it’s going to be open or not so always be prepared in advance.
In case of food too, you should pack up your lunch if you are going for a day hike and if you’re planning to stay then you shall pack more ready to eat meals and snacks. The shop on the top sells maggie, bread toast, and meals too but don’t take that shop for granted because it can be closed at times for some reason.
Torch, sunglass, sun protection –
Always carry a torch because you won’t get electricity on the top and it might also get dark while returning in case of a day hike. Don’t depend on your phone solely because it might get discharged after taking pictures from your trip.
You will be exposed to the sun most of the time so protect your eyes with good quality sunglasses to fight against the harmful rays and also prepare your skin with sunscreen so that you don’t come back with sunburns.
If you are visiting in summers then you should go for long sleeves and comfortable clothes to protect yourself against insects and to trek in comfort respectively. You can throw a T-shirt and normal pants but always carry a lightweight down jacket in your bag because it will get cold on the top no matter what time of the year it is. Carry an additional pair of socks and scarf to wear around your head and neck at night.