Hiking in India is a world unto itself with the Himalayas playing the chief protagonist. Over the years, the Himalayan terrain has attracted numerous travelers from around the world where they set off on a journey of self-discovery along with cherishing the downtime they get from their busy schedules. Trekking is also a great way to bond with new people and to get to know the old mates better (remember Yeh Jawani Hain Deewani?). Also, treks in Uttarakhand are a class apart and offer a lot of adventure to the masses.
With a myriad of landscapes and terrains to explore, India is the best place to explore all that nature has to offer. Whether you are taking upon the ambitious Roopkund trek or simply hiking along the paths of Mussoorie to reach Pari Tibba where Ruskin Bond had his encounter with fairies, treks in India are joyous affairs.
However, mountains are not the sole attractions for trekkers. The snowcapped peaks, lakes, glaciers, waterfalls, and the occasional green peeping out in the landscape are all natural wonders along with the charming villages along the trek routes.
While The Himalayas are everyone’s favorite for a challenging albeit refreshing trek, there is no shortage of trek destinations in India, especially down south or along the eastern or western coast. From Kashmir to Kanyakumari, there are many places of altitude which serve as trekking or hiking favorites like the Western Ghats, Eastern Ghats, and the Aravallis among others. So it won’t be wrong to say that trekking places in India are spread across various states.
Whenever we say treks in India, our mind draws a blank because of the numerous spots and trails to explore! Fixing on one seems next to impossible. Nonetheless, here are some of the fabulous trekking journeys that you can always undertake.
The Frozen Zanskar River Trek of Leh Ladakh offers moderate difficulty (for the experienced trekker) as you get to witness Zanskar Lake and find yourself immersed by ancient Ladakh culture. This fairly remote trail with its icy winds and pristine landscape is experienced best from January to February.
Gangotri Gomukh trek is another moderate trekking trail through the Garhwal Himalayas of Uttarakhand. This remote area is a delight for every nature lover and solitude seeker where you can look out for the rare blue mountain goats amidst a variety of flora and fauna. Being the originating point for the Ganga you can witness the origins – as they say. This 11-day trek is ideally taken during the months of May to June. Without a doubt, Uttarakhand has some of the best treks in India.
Sandakphu Phalut trek is difficult and arduous but the thrill of seeking four of the tallest peaks of the world! What compares with that? Mt. Everest, Mt. Lhotse, Mt. Makalu and Mt. Kanchenjunga are the highlights of this trek as you can witness all four standing tall like warriors. Another interesting fact is that you can have a semi trip to Nepal as the route lies on the borders of Nepal and India. September to October is the best time to trek if you want a crystal clear view of the four peaks. It is one of the best treks in India.
Narasimha Parvata trek, Karnataka, is a difficult one but it still sees enthusiastic trekkers signing up each year to witness the deep forests that you need to traverse to reach the destination. The best time for trekking is during the months of October when the forests are lush and at their best.
Chembra Peak, Kerala, offers breathtaking landscapes that one should witness in a lifetime. Surrounded by tea estates, the trekking route is amazing to say the least and you will love the heart-shaped lake nestled on the top. Legend has it that this lake never dries up so whether you are visiting in April or October, you will never miss it. It is one of the best treks in India that can be explored by the visitors and adventurers.
Munnar trek in Kerala is basically traversing a world heritage site perched on the Sahyadri range. The trekking levels vary but the beauty remains the same. With some of the most diverse rainforests and biodiversity, this trek is something to cherish without a doubt.
It’s all about getting into the spirit of things and prepping yourself physically and mentally for the trek. Trekking in India for beginners isn’t uncommon. Amidst the tougher trails, you will find a plethora of hidden and easier routes that give newbies the hang of the trekking experience. The easiest treks take about 5 days and the best example is the Nag Tibba trek (again a Ruskin Bond favorite). That said, the Nilgiris too, offer some pleasant getaways for the weekend.
Look up trekking institutes and book your first trip; they will guide you throughout the entire journey. Trekking has always been a favorite amongst nature lovers and adventure seekers. Getting out there with a backpack filled with bare necessities and joining nature with her wilderness and glory is not the only purpose of trekking. More often than not, a trekking expedition is about finding new routes not just literally but also in life. It is also a journey of self-discovery and attaining peace.
Please go back to portrait mode for the best experience