Nag Tibba, also called the Mountain of the Serpent, is one of the most beautiful and popular winter treks in Uttarakhand. Its proximity to the famous hill station Mussoorie makes it an excellent choice for a weekend getaway. Though it’s a relatively easy trek, it’s still advised to explain this expedition under the guidance of an experienced Nag Tibba trek guide.
Located in the foothills of the scenic Garhwal Himalayas, Nag Tibba is 9,915 feet above sea level. Considering the height, it’s one of the highest peaks in the lower Garhwal range. From the top of the mountain, you can soak in stunning views of Kedarnath, Gangotri, Srikanth and Bandarpunch peaks.
How to Reach Nag Tibba Trek?
Covering a distance of approximately 10 km, Nag Tibba trek starts from Pantwari, located around 60 km from Mussoorie. Dehradun is the nearest railway station, which connects this quaint village to major north Indian cities. Mussoorie is just 33 km from the railway station in Dehradun. The nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun. From the airport, Mussoorie is about 60 km. From Delhi, you can take a bus to Mussoorie, which is about 285 km. Cabs also ply between the two cities.
How to reach Pantwari
Reaching Pantwari from Dehradun
From Dehradun railway station, you need to reach Mussoorie Hill Depot or Bus Stand. An early morning journey is ideal, and allows you to easily book your preferred mode of transportation. You can even take a cab from the taxi stand in Dehradun. Early morning buses ply between Dehradun and Mussoorie on a regular basis. From the Hill Depot, you need to take a bus to Nainbagh, which is approximately 30 km from Mussoorie. From Nainbagh, a shared Jeep can take you to Pantwari.
A lot of trekkers prefer to take a taxi from the Hill Depot taxi stand. A cab or a taxi can take you directly to Pantwari. Though Pantwari is 96 km from Dehradun, a taxi from either Dehradun or Mussoorie ensures you complete the journey faster. It’s better to leave early morning, around 7 AM, to reach Pantwari around 11 AM.
On the way, you can stop at a few fast food and tea shops, where you can cherish homemade parathas or maggi for breakfast. It makes you feel like an enriching Nag Tibba trekking experience has already started. For a short lunch break in the mountains, you can get some food packed from these shops.
In case you have lots of trekking equipment or backpacks, you can hire a mule. Hiring a professional and an experienced Nag Tibba trek guide is also important. It allows you to explore the region with someone who has good understanding of terrain, weather and culture. If you’ve booked a package with a reputed tour operator, you won’t have to worry about these details.
To start the trek, you need to walk on the village’s main road for about 100 metres. You’ll notice a right turn that takes you to the interiors of the village. After a 50 metre ascend, you’ll reach a cemented gate, which welcomes you to the district of ‘Gramsabha Banasari’. It’s the entry to another small yet scenic village called Banasari.
According to most trekkers, Banasari is the actual starting point of the trek. Once you cross the big cemented gate, you’ll notice two temples. While one is dedicated to Maa Bhavani, the other is devoted to Nag Devta (Serpent God). According to legends, locals worship the Serpent God, as he protects the local cattle against snake bites.
A moderate ascend of 10 minutes takes you to a water tank. A narrow motorable road is clearly visible at the end of this walk. Right in front of this road, you’ll notice a trail going up the mountain. You need to take this trail, which allows you to soak in aerial views of the beautiful Pantwari village. For about 30 minutes, you’ll have to walk on a zig-zag trail with some flat patches.
After some time, the trail divides into two lanes. While one takes you in the northern direction, the other takes you to the south. As per every Nag Tibba trek guide, you need to take the one taking you south. Within 5-10 minutes, you’ll be walking past a fodder house on the left. In some more minutes, you’ll be ascending a zig-zag lane on a lush green mountain.
A 20 minute walk on this path takes you to a platform, where you can rest in shade. You’ll also notice a water tank being fed by a hose or a pipe. This is drinkable water, and you can fill your water bottles from it. After a 10 minute rest, you need to resume the journey. From here, you’ll come across some moderate ascends.
On the left hand side of the shade area, you’ll again notice a zig-zag trail near a cattle shed. It takes you straight up the mountain. After a moderate ascend of 20 minutes, you’ll reach a flat path heading in the southern direction. On the left, you’ll be able to view grassy mountains, and on the right, you’ll get stunning views of Doon valley. Without a doubt, every step on Nag Tibba trek makes you feel closer to nature.
On Nag Tibba trekking trail, there are excellent rest stops, which allow you to relax in the lap of raw nature. On a summer day, you’ll appreciate the cool breeze with some shade under the trees. Even the ringing cowbells provide you with a soothing feeling, and allow you to quench the thirst for solitude and peace.
In fact, the first rest point on the trail has a huge tree shade, and provides you with a clean water source. Buranstikhol, the next resting point on the trail, offers panoramic views of the valley and the mountain ranges. Most water sources in the mountains are underground water channels with openings in mountain rocks.
A Nag Tibba trek guide will be able to guide you about different water sources in the region. Natural water sources are rich in essential minerals. During rainy season, you can find abundant sources, and don’t experience any problems regarding water shortage. However, it’s still better to discuss these things with your guide to avoid any unnecessary problems.
Soak in Valley Views
For about an hour, you need to walk on flat patches with moderate ascends. In a while, you’ll be surrounded by forests, which feel like they’re on top of a plateau. The mesmerizing views will keep you occupied throughout the journey. After walking for some time, you’ll notice a few cattle sheds and village huts. In a few minutes, you’ll be walking past small huts on the left, and reach the starting point of the forest trail.
From here, the dense forests welcome you for an amazing journey ahead. On the right side, you’ll notice a small water reservoir, where you can rest in the shade of trees. Located at an altitude of 1,350 metres, Pantwari is a calm and a peaceful village, marking the beginning of a memorable Nag Tibba trekking experience. For the first 2.5 km, you’ll notice rocky trail, which will take you to 2,000 metres above sea level.
It takes about 90 minutes to cover the stretch. In fact, this is the only tough part of the journey. Beyond this point, you’ll have to follow a rocky trail with minimal ascends. Within the first 2.5 km, you’ll find three different natural water sources. Your Nag Tibba trek guide will keep you updated on all points of interests.
Walk through the Forest
After some time, the trail enters the forest, and you need to hike for approximately 20 minutes. You’ll reach a grassy patch with amazing views of the valley. From here, the trail again enters a forest patch. In a 100 metres hike, the trail will again open up to a grassy patch, which is a good campsite. However, you won’t have a water source nearby.
Without a doubt, Nag Tibba has the most dense forest cover in Uttarakhand. You’ll find abundant Rhododendron, Pine and Oak trees. On higher branches, you’ll notice Vajradanti, Ashwagandha and other such herbs. You may even encounter alpine wildlife, such as Leopard, Himalayan Black Bear and Himalayan Eagle.
The Mesmerizing Kathian Campsite
The grassy patch will provide you with stunning views of the majestic Himalayan peaks and nearby forests. Kathian is considered to be an ideal campsite, especially if you’re planning to stay overnight. After the grassy patch, the trail again enters the dense forest. From here, Nag Tibba trek takes an hour to reach the base.
After walking for about 30 minutes, you’ll come across a third grassy patch, which again enters the forest. On a moderate gradient, another 30 minutes will take you to a huge ground, which will be clearly marked with a cemented hut-like structure. This is the famous Nag Tibba base, and can be your campsite for the first day. Your Nag Tibba trek guide will help you set up the camp.
Setting Up at the Base
With several flat patches in the ground, you can easily pitch tents in the region. However, it’s better to pitch the tents on the left side of the cemented structure. You can visit the water body near Nag Devta temple to fetch drinking water. It’s about 200 metres from the ground. You should carry small buckets to fill water, which can also be used for cooking.
If you’re planning to visit Nag Tibba in the winter season, a bonfire will be must. If you have a Nag Tibba trek guide, proper arrangements will be made. After a freshly-cooked meal, you can rest under the stars, and look forward to another amazing day.
Climb the Peak
It’s advised to wake up early in the morning. Sounds of chirping birds will be music to the ears, and the enchanting views of the Himalayas will be breathtaking. On the eastern side, you’ll be able to see the Nag Tibba mountain, the peak that you’ll be scaling in a few hours. After an early breakfast, you should be on the way around 8 AM.
From the cemented structure, a rocky trail takes you straight to Nag Tibba. Himalayan peaks form the perfect backdrop for your journey. After walking 100 metres on the trail, you’ll enter the forest, completely alive with sounds of birds and animals in the morning. In approximately 30 minutes, you’ll reach a huge clearing, which is often covered in snow (January and February). From here, your Nag Tibba trekking experience will get even more exciting.
As mentioned earlier, Nag Devta (Serpent God) is worshipped by the locals. Therefore, several locals trek on this route quite often. You’ll be able to meet locals, and observe the simplistic mountain lifestyle. After an hour’s hike, you’ll reach the ridge with steep falls on the eastern side. In 10 minutes, you’ll reach a flat path, which takes you to Nag Tibba peak.
After walking for about 50 metres, you’ll notice a flag on top of the mountain. At this point, you’ve reached Nag Tibba peak. From the top of the mountain, you can soak in views of Bandarpunch, Kalanag, Gangotri, Swargarohini, Kedarnath and Chanabang peaks. Do ask your Nag Tibba trek guide to take a few amazing pictures.
After spending some time on Nag Tibba peak, you can start descending towards the base. The journey to the base of the mountain takes about one hour. After having some lunch, you should rest for a while, before starting the trek for Pantwari. You just need to retrace your steps, and walk on the same trail that you took to reach Nag Tibba. On the way back to Mussoorie or Dehradun, you can stop at the snack shops in Pantwari to rest for a while, and bid goodbye to an amazing journey.
Nag Tibba Trek Best Time to Visit
According to every Nag Tibba trek guide, the period between October and March is the best time to visit Nag Tibba. However, from January to March, the region receives heavy snowfall, which needs to be considered while planning the trek. Though Nag Tibba trek is open throughout the year, summer season is an ideal choice to plan a visit. With clear skies, you’re able to soak in mesmerizing views of the Himalayas.
With cool breeze throughout the year, Nag Tibba has become one of the most popular weekend getaways from north Indian cities. However, you should expect sudden showers, and temperature dips quite frequently. Many trekkers prefer to visit Nag Tibba in monsoon season. During this period, rains bring the entire region come to life, and you can absorb the stunning views of lush Doon valley.
If you don’t want to be surrounded by a lot of trekkers and backpackers, you should plan a visit in winter months. In fact, Nag Tibba has become one of the most popular winter treks in Uttarakhand. The snow-clad trail takes you on a completely different journey, allowing you to enjoy the best snow-trekking experiences. If you plan a visit in winter season, it’s important to consult an experienced Nag Tibba trek guide.
Nag Tibba Trek Difficulty
As compared to other trekking options in Uttarakhand, Nag Tibba is relatively easy. With decent level of physical fitness, anyone can plan this trek. In fact, people also plan Nag Tibba trek with families and children. Though it can feel tiring, you’ll just need good stamina, will and endurance. In order to complete the trek, you don’t need any special training or skills. While preparing for the trek, you can start brisk walking on a regular basis. That’s all you’ll need to prepare yourself for the journey.
Over the years, several children and families have participated in Nag Tibba trekking expeditions. In fact, the youngest kid to scale the peak was just 6 years old at the time. If you’re planning a trip with kids, it’s important to modify the itinerary. You’ll have to consider several factors, such as things to carry, weather etc.
On average, it takes about 3 days to complete Nag Tibba trek. While some trekkers prefer to camp overnight, others take their own pace through the dense forest. You can even choose different starting and ending points for the journey. It allows you to cover a lot more points of interest in the region. For the best experience, you should get in touch with a professional and an experienced Nag Tibba trek guide.
If you’re interested in planning a Nag Tibba trek, you should get in touch with our team of seasoned trekkers, backpackers, guides and support staff. We’ve been organising and conducting tours in Uttarakhand and Himalayas for quite some time. This gives us good understanding of weather, terrain and other conditions to ensure your safety, and allow you to have a good time on the trip. To get in touch with us, please click here.