There was a time when Naddi village had no road connection to the world outside. Today is one of the busiest villages around Dharamsala. The village is located 12 kilometres from Macleodganj and is connected through a tarmac road. It bifurcates from Macleodganj bazaar. Village Naddi is generally inhabited by the Gaddi families, a tribal group from Himachal Pradesh. Gaddis are known for keeping sheep and goats and roaming in the hills. During winter they move down to the lower hills and wait for the next summer. In the last few years,  the traditionally built houses have been dominated by the giant structures of hotels that some Punjabis in collaboration with the locals.

View of Dhauladhar ranges from village Naddi

Walk Through the Village Naddi

The road from Dharamshala ends at Naddi. The best way to enjoy the day is to walk through a forest. A three-hour walk introduces you to the Gaddi lifestyle and the flora & fauna of the region. A narrow but permanent path bifurcates to the right, from the middle of the bazaar, and leads to the Village Naddi. It lies across the fields. Here you may see women working in the fields or returning home with a heavy load of wood on their backs. They collect wood from the forest. There is a cowshed outside every house and the cow dung is visibly stuck to the walls. The wooden houses have slate roofs and a courtyard in front where the firewood is stacked in the corner or a string cot has been kept.

The Forest and the Stupa 

The last concrete structure at the other end of village Naddi is a set of public toilets. Beyond this a dense forest welcomes you. Follow the water pipes and reach a point from where you can see Lake Naddi just below you. A stupa in the forest, decorated with holy flags – mantras written on them, attracts your attention. The forest trail loops around the stupa and enters the forest. A gradual hike takes you to a point from where a spectacular view of village Naddi holds you for a while you’re your camera getting to action. The village houses spotted on the Himalayan slopes are under the shade of Dhauladhar ranges. The tranquillity of the forest swells as you ascend further. After some time, a sunny glade welcomes you in the middle of the forest.

Dharamkot – the other end of Naddi Walk

Your walk ends at a temple that is the base of the trek of Triund, a sunny camping site located nearly three thousand feet above sea level. A tea shop here, set up by a resident welcomes you with a steaming hot cup of tea with light snacks. You may ask your driver to meet you here or walk down to your hotel in Dharamkot which is hardly a kilometer away.

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When to Go

March till December except for monsoon months (July – September).
December – March are the snowy months so you may find some ice, obstructing your movement.

By . . . . . . .  . Sumit Raj

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