Trekking in India – A World of Diversity
India, the former pearl of the British Empire is nowadays an alluring world of diversity, a collection of heavy contrasts and hides amazing natural treasures. Beyond the world-famous Taj Mahal, the Golden Triangle or Goa, India hosts a part of the majestic Himalayas and offers spectacular experiences for mountain lovers from all over the world.
India is the kingdom of multifarious panoramas, sunning scenery and numerous steep valleys that catch instantly the eye. Blessed by gods with the presence of Himalayas and an extraordinary topography India is a top pretender to the best trekking routes on earth. Trekking in Indian Himalayas grant you a unique experience endowed with ancestral beauty, intriguing fauna and flora, lots of fun and adventure. If you want to escape for a little while from the hustle and bustle of your quotidian life, consider evading in the middle of the nature through a trekking tour in India.
Indeed, Nepal is the uncrowned king of trekking, as it shelters the highest mountains across the globe: Everest, Annapurna, K2. But most of us are just looking to enjoy some adventure in the nature and not hunting for high levels of adrenaline with high risk of death, as offered by Annapurna or for several months long trek as needed for Everest. Indian Himalaya are a softer version, less crowded, cheaper and really superb.
The Himalayan areas of India are under many aspects very different compared to the rest of the country. A totally different world, present itself for the visitor of the Indian subcontinent in the regions of Uttaranchal, Himachal Pradesh, Kashmir or Ladakh. Being highly spiritual regions, you will have the chance to visit the grandiose Golden Temple of Sikhs’ in Amritsar, Dalai Lama’s residence from McLeod Ganj, experience Hindu ceremonies of the Ganges in Rishikesh or Haridwar and attend Buddhist festivals mainly in summer.
Don’t lose the chance to visit Shimla via the famous Toy Train or Darjeeling Mountain Railway passing through 100 tunnels, Ladakh – a high altitude gathering of Buddhist monasteries and remote villages, Almora with its scenic foothills or experience the Manali–Leh Highway in Himachal Pradesh, transporting you from the splendid Kullu Valley to the moonscape of snowed mountains.
Trekking and hiking in such a resplendent environment is an absolute must and may be the adventure of a lifetime. Breathtaking landscape, majestic mountains, exquisite wildlife, sensational heights – India’s trekking destinations have all you may desire.
Tempted to explore and inspect in detail the forbidden peaks of the Indian side of Himalaya? Here are some trails that you should definitely consider:
Roopkund Trek Uttarakhand. A special and mysterious trek in the Indian Himalayas, Roopkund will conduct you via verdant virgin forests, winding rivulets, scattered glaciers, snowy peaks, narrow passes and the enigmatic location of a high-altitude lake. The glacier nestled at 5,029m altitude hides a multitude of human skeletons, which become visible in summer. Well, this is quite an experience! The beauty of sunrises over the Himalayan Hills will provide you with remarkable memories and splendid panoramas.
Valley of Flower and Hemkund Trek, Garhwal. This is a national park, became UNESCO world heritage site in 1982 and it is popular for its meadows of endemic alpine flowers and stunning natural beauty. The valley blooms during July and displays a myriad of over 600 flower species among which Blue Poppy, Brahma Kamal and Cobra Lily. Imagine 87 sq.km of flowered meadows that resembles to the gardens of heaven. Naturally it attracts nature and adventure enthusiasts, botanists, flora lovers, trekkers and avid travelers. While in the area, you have the option to visit the Hemkund lake, a sacred water revered by Sikhs and Hindus people.
Pindari Glacier Trek, Kumaon. This impressive glacier is sheltered among the Nandakot and Nanda Devi peaks, at 3749m altitude above sea level and has remarkable dimensions, 3 km length and about 400m width. The Pindari Glacier is the water resource for the Pindari River and offers magnificent reflections of icy water towards Alaknanda River. The trekking route passes through the peaceful Nanda Devi Sanctuary and offers you the privilege of observing massive peaks like Maiktoli (6803m) and Panwali Dwar (6683m).
Markha Valley Trek, Ladakh. This is a trail that will enchant equally pro trekkers or newbies. It will drive you to isolated spots and make you encounter people pertaining to various cultures, among which nomadic families. The hiking route passes along Markha River, Ganda la La, Kongmaru La and Hemis National Park reaching over 5150m altitude inviting you to visit Indus villages and exhibiting fabulous vistas of Himalaya, Tibet and Karakorum.
The Indian collection of trails is much larger and includes among others: Har Ki Dun Trek, Rupin Pass Trek, Hampta Pass, Pin Parvati Trek, Chadar Trek, Brighu Lake Trek, Trek to Baeaskund, Goecha-La Trek, Bara Bhangal Trek, Chenab Valley Trek, Pin Parvati Valley Trek, Himachal Pradesh, Dodital Trek – Uttarakhand.
If you are a mountain addict or an amateur trekker don’t miss the Indian side of Himalaya, it will be a remarkable experience. Give it a try!