Thandiani to Nathiagali Trek

Trek from Thandiani to Nathiagali is one of the most popular weekend treks of the Galliyat area. This is the trek on which many people mark the beginning of their camping/trekking life.  Thandiani  is a famous hill station at an altitude of 2700 meters and at an approximate drive of 4 hours from Islamabad via Abbotabad. Thandiani top is generally identified from various towers it has which can be viewed from the a very far. Nathiagali is another famous hill station at an altitude of 2500 meters which has now turned into a very commercialized tourist spot with all sort of hotels and facilities available.

This trek can be done both ways but generally people start from Thandiani and end at Nathiagali. One possible reason for this choice could be the availability of public transport in Nathiagali which is a bit hard to find in Thandiani. For first timers, it is recommended to do this trek  in three days with nights at Birangali and Dagri forest rest houses respectively. However if one is in good stamina, it can easily be managed in two days. As the first day in this case could become a very long walking day, it is advisable to start it very early in the morning with the night stay at Thandiani. A few low standard hotels are available at Thandiani along with a nicely maintained rest house owned by PTCL. Birangali forest rest house is in the Birangali village around 7-8 km from Thandiani. The track that leads to it mainly involves descend and does not take more than 3-4 hrs. There is a fresh water stream at 5 minutes walk down the hill from the rest house. There are also a few shops in Birangali village where basic items are available. Basic structure of the rest house was partially damaged in the 2005 earthquake. Dagri rest house is at an elevation of 2720 meters whose main structure was also damaged in the earthquake. The track from Birangali to Dagri is around  15-16km and involves mainly ascend. On average, it takes 5-6 hours to reach there. The dense Quercus (burongi) forest of this area is the main charm of this whole trek. with some of the trees hundreds of years old. If the weather is clear, Dagri also offers an awesome sunset  view. Fresh water is available at 15 minutes walk from the rest house towards Northwest. Next day, one can reach Nathiagali via Miranjani top (2980m) which is the highest peak in this Galliyat region. Total distance from Dagri bangla to Nathiagali is 19km.

 

Forest rest house at Dagri

 

On a clear day, one can view different peaks of the region from Miranjani top. Mountains of Kashmir are visible at west and northwest including Ganga peak, Pir Hassmir, Qazi Nag and the Pir Panjal range. Towards the North, you can view Makra, Blue Mountain and Malika Parbat. If one is lucky, the massive Nanga Parbat can also sometimes be spotted from behind Makra and Malika Parbat towards North.

If one just has a single day to spend, another option is to do the hike from Nathiagali to Dagri Bangla via Miranjani and coming back via the same path. This part takes 4-5 hours on average. Starting point of the hike from this side is near the governor house.

On the whole, this is a great alpine trek  ideal for spending a nice weekend away from the daily hustle and bustle of our busy lives. For night stay at both the forest rest houses, written permission is required from the District Forest Office in Mansehra or Abbotabad. It is not however mandatory if one intends to do camping instead. Both rest houses have assigned caretakers from the nearby villages who can help out with cooking and other chores. Porters with possibly horses can be arranged from Thandiani generally however there are no pre-defined rates and it has to be negotiated.

Another interesting account of the same hike done by Irfan Ahmed can be read here.

Below is the summary of elevation and distances for different points on the trek…

Elevation (meters)

Thandiani

2700

Birangali

1900

Dagri

2720

Miranjani

2980

Nathiagali

2520

Distance (Kilometers)

Thandiani – Birangali

12

Birangali – Dagri

15

Dagri – Miranjani Top

10

Miranjani Top – Nathiagali

8

Elevation (meters)

Thandiani

2700

Birangali

1900

Dagri

2720

Miranjani

2980

Nathiagali

2520

 

Distance (Kilometers)

Thandiani-Birangali

12

Birangali – Dagri

15

Dagri – Miranjani

11

Miranjani – Nathiagali

8

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30 thoughts on “Thandiani to Nathiagali Trek

  1. Saad, here’s a link to the Dagri rest house’s photo on FlickR. I was on the trek last weekend. Enjoy.
    Dagri Bungalow revisited

  2. hi,

    Good yaara .. really helpful .. can u please tell me if this is possible to do this trek in first or 2nd week of January.

    Regards,

  3. @Najam: It is doable in January if you are prepared for the harsh weather and snow. Not recommended if you don’t have proper gear and trekking background however.

  4. last year I did that track. it was owsum. we lost. spend whole night in the jungle… but recovered other day…. find our track and then continue our hiking toward Dagri….

  5. Today I saw that Murtaza Javed Abbasi planned Thandiani to Nathia Gali Road constructed, if it done early, most of the areas and visitors of all over the country are benefitted of this road. Allah Murtaza Javed Abbasi ko himat day kay wo is ko jald say jald mukimal karway. Ameen.

  6. @Muhammad Altaf: I just hope this doesn’t come through the Dagri forest as any such project would be devastating for the dense and beautiful forest there.

  7. I hope this project shall be completed by Punjab government in the current financial year inshallah.

  8. Is dagri bangla reliable for living for more than 20 people [a company trip]. If no, then how can we mange our stay their at dagri bangla. Actuallywe are planing this trekk in two days with a night stay at dagri bangla.

  9. @Farid: Dagri bangla is certainly not suitable for a company trip. If you can pitch your own tents, you can stay there otherwise rooms are not in good conditions.

  10. Hi. Just came back from the trek yesterday. Birangali rest house is under construction and the work has been stopped for a couple of years. We pitched the tent next to the under construction building as water is available. Dagri guest house is in ruins with fallen walls which makes it look like a bomb hit building of WWll. The water storage is damaged hence no water is available at Dagri rest house. If you plan on trekking from Birangali to Dagri, bring ample water supply. From Dagri we side tracked to fetch water which makes you go an extra 2 hours. Overall the trek is great but with no water available at Dagri, its a drag to trek from Birangali to Dagri. I would recommend to attempt this trek from Nathiagali as the downhill will compensate somewhat for the lack of water between Dagri to Birangali.

  11. I just came back from the trek! we were just two and did it in three days…its exactly 38.616…which i would round of to 40km since you have to walk on foot till natiagali bazar..all together…i would say one day and night should be spent at Dagri Forest house and make the whole trip to 4 days.I did it with great hurry,although i have been to miranjani and mukeshpuri couple of times,pitched tent in their..had one bad experience but this i just could’t complete..even went to fairy meadows in between and came back but this track was pending since it required little more courage than one night stands with the tops.Anyways Its a safe track.. Two people with full sized bags carrying 4 liters of water ,4 liters of kerosene oil,8 packets of noddles,…few chocolates…1.5 liter of coke…small tent,two sleeping bags,torch,steel cups,eating utensils etc…After reaching dagri, next morning i went to the house to get the inside pictures since i read some where that one could find old British books and vintage furniture i only found two tables of that era in bad shape..it was more of a treasure hunt for me…built in 1928 and breathtaking view of a city which i have not be able to confirm which is it…!! i i didn’t see a famous lepoard which i wanted to …! 😦 thats the sad part…no paranormal activity…mujhay kabhi koi churaal pharoonN par nazar nahin atii..! 🙂 My one observation…you see alot of women,children and old folk around…others are sent to work in cities. trek is reasonable safe you just have to be polite.!

    Thank you Dashtnavard for writing this,otherwise i would have never known what dagri looks like ! 🙂

  12. @Saad: This post has your comment as the first one dated May 26, 2009. It was your determination that took you finally to the dense forest of Dagri where this nice rest house is located. Thanks for sharing your experience and the latest updates which would be helpful for others too 🙂

  13. guys i have done this track once in 2009 and i want to do it again this weekend. can anybody tell me how to find the right track and ensure not to get lost specially if youre doing this track from nathiagali side? also i remember theres a water spring close to dagri bangla, how to find that water source if we are on our own?

  14. @Kaiser: Keep asking locals whenever you find them about the path. From Nathiagali, keep the Miranjani tower in focus and from there pick the path going towards dagri and don’t leave that main track. There will be some gatekeeper at Dagri rest house. He will guide you for the water stream.

  15. Hey Umair: Good day. We plan to trek Nathiagali to Miranjani peak & maybe the Dagri Bungalow after Fajr prayers on 15th Sept. 2012. Will be staying the previous nite either in Nathiagali or Khanaspur. Have invited a like minded group of 10 people including myself. Let’s see how many of us coulde make it. Any tips that you may want to give us?

  16. Postal Script: Forgot to inform you that I went all the way up to Babusar Pass with family in my 2003 Santro b/w 31st July – 4th Aug. 2012. Had a swell of a time. Will write a detailed travelogue on this but it will have to wait for a while since I am already in the middle of writing two other articles.

  17. @Shaikh sb: Great to hear about your Babusar adventure. Unfortunately, the latest incident that has happened near Babusar has made the area a bit unsafe and uncertain now.

    Regarding the Dagri trek, go with full preparation of rain with rain covers and other insulation. Best of luck for your trip!

  18. Thanks Umair for your considerate & timely replies, always. Indeed, it is such a shame to hear about the Babusar incident. We are becoming more & more intoleable as a nation. One more thing that I want to know is that can we comfortably scale Miranjani, visit Dagri & return to Nathiagali if we start at 5:00 a.m. from Nathiagali i.e. the start of this trek on 15.08.2012?

  19. @Shaikh sb: Yes, definitely you can. A camp at Dagri would have another experience although but if you are short of time, it is doable in a single day.

  20. I did Thandiani-Nathia Gali trek from July 7 to July 9, (2 weeks back). I thoroughly enjoyed it because I love challenge but for those who lack fighting challenge, should think twice doing it. REASONS: (1) 1st trek of about 10Km from Thandiani to Biran Gali is easy & could be done in 3-4 Hrs. It is descend almost through out. The Forest Rest House here is under construction & you will find no one there from the forest deptt. You can however easily carry food & water etc for this period. (2) 2nd trek of Biran Gali to Dagri Rest House is difficult. distance around 14KM and ascend throughout. On a sunny day it’s sweating , though there are thick trees all the way but between the patches with no trees, even 50 feet, at day time is scortching. You ‘ll find fresh water springs in the 1st may 3 to 4Km and then No Water on this trek. Hardly you ‘ll find people on the way. So enough amount of water , atleast 2 large Nestle (1-1/2Ltr bottles) and energy food, like dates etc must be taken along for each person. Then there is no water at Dagri Bangla. You’ll be very lucky to find the Forest guard/attendant there. I could not find any in 2 hrs that I stayed & took rest there. The rest house was locked. It means you cannot stay night there because if you do, you will consume water & food there over night and then ‘ll face problem on onward trek. This trek could be covered in 6 to 7 hrs. (3) Next trek & the last Dagri Rest House to Nathia Gali via MiranJani top. It is again approx. 20KM and mix of descend & ascend but slight. You could be able to do it in approx. 6-7 hrs provided you have enough water & energy food with you. No water is available in the way. I talked to locals women who were cutting trees there, even they could not help get water. REMEMBER: (1) start 3PM from Thandiani. Reach Biran Gali Rest House at 6-7 . Take night rest (2) Start at 5am next day. Reach Dagri Rest House at 12 noon. Rest for one hr (3) Start at 1 after noon from Dagri Rest House and reach 9 PM at Nathia Gali. Take a porter / guide preferable with horse from Thandiani. It has 2 advantages (a) It can carry whole of your luggage (b)) In case of an injury, one can ride on it,( because (c) I took porter (no horse & did mistake) He charged Rs 4000. Porter with horse was available for Rs 7 to 8000, (d) porter there are not trust worthy as far as agreements are concerned. They do not value their words & promises. So be careful (4) Do not travel at night because trek between Biran Gali to Nathia Gali is mostly narrow, at times 2 to 3 ft wide, with very uneven passage, that is not easily & fully visable with torches at night. Hundreds of feet descend may result in serious injury. Then there are Leopards also there who wake up , especially at night for food. So avoid night trekking on this trek. Avoid trekking in winter because glaciers are also killers there.

  21. Thanks Mansoor for your valuable input. I am sure it will benefit many here. True that there is no water available at Dagri but did you not try to find out the stream that I have mentioned and is 10-15 mins away from the rest house?

  22. I Just came back from thandiani to nathia gali trek(22 July to 24 July 2016). We were 13 people and it was a life time experience. We enjoyed every bit of it. We started our trek from Thandiani at 11am. We were d’etreked initially but recovered it soon so keep asking locals about the trek. We stayed at Beera Gali. Next day we started our trek at 8.30 am and kept following a beautiful trek towards DagrI Bangla. Had an awesome night there under the camps. No water there though, bringing water from a nearby place was also a fun. Next day from Dagri Bangla to Meera JanI top we had to follow a beautiful trek full of fog. We reached Nathia Gali at 3 p.m. It was a memorable trip.

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