Hike, but don’t litter!

This time last year, I was trekking to the Triund hill-top from McLeodganj. ⁣

It starts at the quaint village of Dharamkot that’s nestled amid Deodar trees and broad smiles of locals and tourists alike. You pass through woods laden with mist so refreshing you could sit there all day and not bother to go further up. ⁣

You encounter little temples and tea-points as soon as your feet start to wobble; they offer the perfect antidote to your bated breath and grumbling tummy at periodic intervals. ⁣

No sooner than you start giving up looking at the girth of rocks that lay ahead and the unending view of those that passed by, you come across little waterfalls. If only you allow the water to run over your bare feet, it takes away all the soreness in gratitude. You feel a certain sense of calm. ⁣

And as you muster the courage to cross over those monoliths guarding the top, you are greeted by a sight so captivating, that you barely register the breeze that your feet are struggling to stand up against.⁣

So you sit down, your eyes wide open at the ethereal beauty all around, above and below. You didn’t bargain for this, but you shall not deny yourself the pleasure.⁣

That’s where the story gets a little murkier. So many of us chose to stay back in the umpteen camps on the hill top. We made merry through the night, gawked at the star show, and came back the next morning. But wait, who will bring back the trash we generated? The numerous plastic water bottles we carried and threw around, that wrapper of chocolate? It doesn’t end here, what about the dump we took?⁣

The fragile Himalaya could only watch us pass by, selfish in our attitude and unmindful of the ecological disaster we just brought closer.⁣

PS: To the uninitiated,Triund is a popular trek for beginners and connoisseurs alike in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. 
A couple months back, the government banned cooking food and overnight camping at Triund and a few other popular treks. While regressive for tourism, there was no choice left. It’s high time we devise ecologically responsible forms of tourism. ⁣

Charity begins at Home!⁣

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