Dehradun : 29 November, 2015
Naag Tibba, about 3,022 metre (9,915 feet) high mountain peak visible from Mussoorie bearing prominent dark green and brown shades provides a contrast to the snow-clad white peaks of the Himalayan ranges. However, it is a relatively unknown trail which can easily be done at weekends.
The beauty of the Naag Tibba trek is that one gets a 180 degree stunning view of the Bandarpoonch, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Chanabang peaks in the north and of the Doon valley on the south. The sight of the mountains mesmerises adventure tourists who make an effort to reach the highest point around Mussoorie. It is a trek that has all the ingredients such as a long walk through dense forest, the view of snow-clad mountains and the Doon valley and camping during star-lit nights that would delight any trekker who is looking for a short weekend getaway from the busy urban life.
Naag Tibba is revered by local villagers as an abode of Nagraja (serpent lord). The deity has a small temple situated at the flat top used for grazing cattle just below the peak called Jhandi (flag hill).
The Naag Tibba trek is popular among the nature’s club of The Doon School, and IAS probationers undergoing training at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of administration in Mussoorie but it is yet to catch the fancy of a large number of adventure enthusiasts due to the lack of promotion by the state Tourism Department.
There are a number of routes from where one can reach the Naag Tibba peak. One is from Pantwari that is located opposite the ridge of Devalsari, near Nainbagh, in Tehri district.
The other route to Naag Tibba is from Devalsari village nestled in the Naag Tibba range. One can reach Devalsari via Suva Kholi on the way coming from Nagsil village where you can buy daily need goods. Devalsari is 45 km from Mussoorie. From Devalsari, the trek to Naag Tibba is 10 km. The actual trek starts from a village called Oonthad and it is the last stopover where you can replenish your food stock.
From Oonthad village, it is a 2-hour trek of 3.5 km along a well-trodden path leading to cowsheds. There is a small settlement of Gujjars, who stay here and tend to their livestock. After a 30-minute walk, you get to a crossroad where the routes via Oonthad and Mangalori meet. The trek to Nag Tibba from this junction is a single trail. After a steep ascent, you reach the Naag Tibba base that is a flat ground with a temple dedicated to Nagraja. You can camp here overnight or try to reach the peak also known as Jhandi (flag).
From here, you get a memorable view of the Himalayan ranges of Swargarohini, Bandarpoonch, Kala Nag, Srikanta, and Gangotri. The snow during the winter can be a bit difficult for trekking but with a good guide and a team you can enjoy this true winter weekend trek to the fullest, believe the adventurist who have travelled on this trek before.
Naag Tibba is also a birdwatcher’s delight with more than 60 species of birds present in the mixed forest laden with oak and rhododendrons all the way to the top. Divisional Forest Officer, Mussoorie, Dhiraj Pandey, says a wide variety of pheasants, partridges, swallows, sparrows etc., are found and wild bears have been sighted in the Naag Tibba range.
He says the range is also a botanist’s delight with a wide variety of vegetation. The Forest Department permits camping and trekking in the area at nominal charges. Trekkers are advised to adhere to environment norms and not burn wood to avoid forest fires and not to dump polythene bags in the forest. The Tribune