The Secret Waterfall Hike in Dharamkot, Dharamshala — GALLU Waterfall Hike

by - August 25, 2023

Nestled amidst the verdant embrace of the Himalayan foothills lies a hidden gem waiting to be discovered – the Gallu Waterfall Hike. This immersive journey into the heart of nature promises not just an escape from the mundane, but an encounter with the sublime. As you embark on this hike, prepare to be captivated by the tranquil forests, the rush of cascading waters, and the melody of birdsong that will awaken your senses and rejuvenate your spirit.

The Gallu Waterfall Hike begins as a humble path, gently winding its way through dense forests. As you take your first steps, you'll find yourself surrounded by towering trees. Shafts of sunlight pierce through the canopy, casting dappled patterns of light and shadow on the forest floor, creating a magical ambience that seems straight out of a fairytale.

Symphony of Nature

One of the most enchanting aspects of the Gallu Waterfall Hike is the symphony of nature that accompanies you every step of the way. The air is alive with the sweet trill of birdsong, as if the feathered inhabitants of the forest have gathered to serenade your journey. As you walk, you might catch glimpses of colourful birds darting among the trees or squirrels playfully chasing one another. The fragrance of wildflowers and earth mingles, creating a scent that is both invigorating and soothing, a reminder of the pure, unadulterated beauty that surrounds you. If you're (un)lucky enough, you may encounter snakes on your way.

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Ascending to the Cascade

The trail gradually ascends, revealing tantalizing glimpses of the glistening cascade that awaits you. The sound of rushing water grows more distinct with every step, serving as a beckoning call that fuels your anticipation. 

As you draw closer to the waterfall, the forest thins, giving way to a rocky landscape adorned with delicate mosses and ferns. The earthy aroma intensifies, and a sense of exhilaration takes hold as you realize the grandeur of the natural wonder you are about to witness. But before that, you come across the only cafe that's near to this point — Ibex cafe.

The Grand Reveal

And then, there it is – the Gallu Waterfall, a cascade of pristine water plunging from a towering rock face with breathtaking force and grace. The sight is nothing short of awe-inspiring. A natural emerald pool lies at the base of the waterfall, which you cannot visit, but can witness from above the cliff. 

The Gallu Waterfall Hike is not just a physical journey through lush landscapes. Every step you take is an ode to the wonders that surround us, a reminder of the intricate harmony that exists between humanity and the environment. So, if you're seeking an escape from the chaos of urban life, a hike to the Gallu Waterfall promises to be a transformative experience that will leave you with lasting memories and a newfound reverence for the world we call home. 


Here are a few details of this offbeat, lesser-explored Gallu waterfall hike in Dharamshala/Dharamkot. 

The Gallu Waterfall Hike is a scenic and relatively lesser-known trail located near the town of Dharamshala in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh, India. It offers nature enthusiasts and trekkers a chance to explore the picturesque beauty of the Himalayan foothills, lush forests, and a stunning waterfall. When you stay in the Upper Dharamkot area, especially for the famous trek Triund, you also have several other things to do such as this secret waterfall hike, Gallu Devi temple, or the Shiva temple, which again requires a short climb on the dedicated cemented steps. 


The Gallu Waterfall Hike is situated near the Dhauladhar mountain range of the Indian Himalayas, close to the popular tourist destination of McLeod Ganj, which is known for its Tibetan culture and the residence of the Dalai Lama.

Trek Highlights

Lush Forests

The trek begins with a walk through dense forests, creating a refreshing and peaceful atmosphere. The trail is often adorned with colourful wildflowers and offers a chance to spot various bird species and small mammals. We even encountered two snakes on our way and a group of furry mountain dogs. 

Scenic Views

As you stride further, the hike provides breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding valleys. The play of light and shadow on the mountains adds to the visual spectacle. When we went however, it was all cloudy due to monsoon. 

Gallu Waterfall

The main attraction of the trek is the Gallu Waterfall itself. This natural waterfall is a sight to behold, with water cascading down from a height and forming a pristine pool at the base. The setting is perfect for relaxation and photography.

Ibex Cafe

One of the appealing aspects of the Gallu Waterfall Hike is the tranquility and serenity it offers. Away from the hustle and bustle of city life, the trek allows you to reconnect with nature and find inner peace. The Ibex cafe is located near the waterfall at a height of 2160 metres. In fact, you can enjoy a bowl of Maggi or a cup of tea as you enjoy the waterfall. 

Trek Details


The hike is relatively short and takes an hour one way. 

Difficulty Level

The trek is considered to be of easy difficulty, making it suitable for beginner trekkers. You don't need a guide as we even saw female solo travellers do the hike without difficulty. Keep in mind the slippery rocks towards the end of the trail. 

Best Time to Visit

The ideal time to go on the Gallu Waterfall Hike is during the months of March to June and September to November, when the weather is pleasant and the landscapes are vibrant. I did it in August, and lucky for me, it didn't rain throughout.

How to Reach

The base point for the Gallu Waterfall Hike is Gallu, which is easily accessible by road from Dharamshala or Dharamkot Chowk. From Gallu, the hike starts near the Gallu Devi Temple, which serves as the starting point for the trail leading to the waterfall. You simply have to follow the pipe that takes you seamlessly towards the waterfall. 

Cafes along the Trail

There are a few cafes along the trail including the Sunset Cafe and the Ibex cafe, where one can enjoy noodles, sandwiches, different varieties of tea, coffee, and other packaged food such as biscuits, juices, chips. 

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