Following the trekking trail from Donali, you walk upstream of the Donali stream and cross small hamlets to reach Drakund.
There is a beautiful Forest Rest House in the midst of apple orchards.
You can halt here for the night or pitch your camp nearby.
There is another longer trekking route to reach Drakund that starts from Dharamsala.
For this trek, one can start walking from Dharamsala or Satobari or McLeodganj.
This Trekking Trail leads you through a number of murmuring streams, rivulets, thick forests.
If you are starting from McLeodganj, you cross Satobari, which is more than 2 km away, and then trek almost 11 km to reach Kareri.
After Satobari, a proper trail takes you through forest area up to a wooden bridge over Gaj river.
Moving ahead, you have to tackle a steep climb to reach Kareri village that overlooks the plains of Kangra and Punjab.
There is a rest house in Kareri where you can halt for the night and pitch your camp.
From the forest rest house, an uphill trail leads you to a small hilltop that houses a temple dedicated to goddess Kali.
Descending the hillock, you reach Gaddi Got.
Kareri Lake is the base camp for crossing Minikiani Pass.
You ascend gradually to reach the top of the Pass. Atop, there is a small temple.
The initial descent is on boulders and moraine. It is an 8 km downhill trek to reach Minikiani Got from Minikiani Pass. It is almost 10 km trek from Minikiani to reach Drakund.
From Drakund, a proper trail takes you through small picturesque villages, including Drakund village, to reach Dunali which is the roadhead on Chamba Bharmour road.
Exact Location: Drakund is located in Drakund village, and lies on the Dharamsala-Minkiani Pass trek route. District: Chamba.
Nearest Town: Chamba
How to Reach
Dharamsala is well-connected by road with Delhi, Chandigarh, Shimla and Pathankot.
The nearest railhead to Dharamsala is Kangra Mandir which is at a distance of 22 km.
By Rail: The major railway junction is in Pathankot, which is about 85 km away from Dharamsala. Pathakot is well linked with all the major cities in India.
By Air: The nearest airport to Dharamsala is the Gaggal airport in Kangra valley, located at a distance of 12 km. Reaching here, one can hire a taxi to reach Dharamsala.
If you are attempting the Donali to Drakund trek, Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun is the nearest airport to Chamba, and the nearest railway station is at Pathankot.
By Rail: Rishikesh railway station is also one of the nearest railheads. Chamba is well-linked by public transport system to all nearby cities.
Best Time to Visit: August to September.
Things to Carry
- Walking stick
- Hiking shoes
- Woolen clothes
- Water, juices, snacks
- Electric torch
- Medical kit
- A good compass
- An extra pair of clothes
Brajeshwari Devi Temple: The shrine is dedicated to Brajeshwari Devi. Its is located on the outskirts of Kangra.
Inside the temple, the goddess is seated underneath a silver dome featuring silver umbrellas.
In the past, the temple was destroyed many times but re-built again.
Dharamsala: This is a highly captivating town in the upper reaches of Kangra Valley.
The town is divided into two three parts - upper Dharamsala called Mcleodganj, the middle Kotwali Bazar and the lower Kaccheri area.
Dharamshala is bounded by dense pine and deodar forests, tea gardens and beautiful hills.
The place plays host to the Tibetans population and Tibetan government in exile. Dharamsala is also the starting point to a number of trekking trails that lead trekkers across Dhauladhar into the upper Ravi Valley and Chamba district.
Kareri Lake: This picturesque small lake is located just below Minkiani Pass.
Lam Lake: Lam Lake is the biggest lake of Dhauladhar range.
It is located at an altitude of around 3900 m, and is at a distance of 10 km from Minikiani Got.
There is another lake Kali Dal close to Lam Lake. Its believed that Lam Dal is a dwelling place of Lord Shiva.