Among our country’s vast, stunning landscapes, it has been extremely hard to limit a list of its best trekking routes to just 10. I based my selection on three criteria to make it easier. First, the views. A trek should have great views every day. Next was the variety. A trek needs spring surprises in scenery and settings every other moment. Finally, the trek must be accessible and not too physically demanding by the average trekker.
1. CHADAR – THE FROZEN ZANSKAR TREK:
An international legend, this trek sees high canyon walls that rarely let the sun come through. But when it does, it explodes into a wondrous, kaleidoscopic canvas of colours. It’s along the Frozen Zanskar River with beautiful winter terrain and a firsthand glimpse of the ancient culture of Ladakh region. It is an excellent trek and an exciting journey for experienced trekkers. Icy routes, bone-chilling winds, pristine nature. It’s located in Leh Ladakh. The duration is 9 days. It is too difficult. The best season for trekking is January to February.
2. GANGOTRI GOMUKH TREK:
This trek takes you to the Gangotri glacier at Gomukh.The source of the Ganges. It is located in the Garhwal Himalayas of Uttarakhand. The total duration is 12 days. The best season to visit this place is May-June and August-October.A true natural delight, the region features a huge diversity of plants and animals including rare blue mountain goats. The glacier is surrounded by beautiful mountains on all sides.
3. ROOPKUND TREK, UTTARAKHAND :
The route climbs out of dark, mysterious forests burting into the lovely Ali and Bedni Bugyal meadows, and take you to terrific alpine stretches. Navigating the snow to Roopkund Lake is heart pounding, with mount-trishul getting closer as you go higher. The journey begins at Lohajung, situated at the level of 8300feets. For photo enthusiatics this the right place to prove their passion as they will get heavenly sceneries and photo opportunities in the journey. Best season to visit this place is August-October.
4. MARKA VALLEY TREK, LADAKH :
Marka valley trek is a very popular trekk in Ladakh region. You will be walking in a variety of terraince including dry mountains, streams and small villages with fields of wheat, barley and mustard . For housing of several old budhhist monasteries, the region is a repository of ancient Tibetian culture. The best season to visit the place is mid of June to mid of October. Hemis National Park and Gandala La and Kongmaru La are the promising attractions one gets while taking Markha Valley trek route. Markha Valley trek takes you to enjoy the unexplored beauty of Hemis National Park as well as the two most important passes named Gandala la and Kongmaru La located at a height of about 15748 feet and 17060 feet respectively.
5. KEDARNATHA TREK, UTTARAKHAND:
Situated in Garhwal Himalays, the Kedarnatha trekk is one of the best things to do in Uttarakhand.For those who love the nature this a great place to enjoy. The trek has some lovely campsites, each unique and nestled in clearings. The area’s natural beauty is complemented with quaint hamlets, unending lush green meadows, and some terrific sights of the towering Himalayan peaks are amazements of this journey. After climbing the summit, with a 3600 view of snowcapped mountains, you will literally be walking in a winter wonderland. The snaking trail to the 3,850m tall summit goes through Govind National Park, which offers an exclusive glance of the Himalayan flora and fauna. With views of peaks like the Swargarohini, Banderpooch, Black, and Ranglana, the highlight of the trail is undoubtedly sunsets against the backdrop of impressive snow-capped mountains.
6. KUARI PASS TREK, UTTARAKHAND:
This is also situated in Garhwal Himalayas. This place is a best place to get a full view of the Himalays, a journey through the enchantingly beautiful Garwal region of India. This trek will have you walking up in the shadows of 7000+ peaks. The imposing and scenic presence can be witnessed from atop Kuari, which literally means “a getaway”. Originating in Joshimath, a meeting point for many a religious pilgrimage, the path gives you a stopover at Devrayag, before it gradually takes you upto the mesmerizing scenic beauty of Nanda-Devi summit. The region houses are Himalayan faunas such as the snow leopard, and the musk deer. The highlight of the journey is the Kuary Pass at an altitude of 4264 meter. With tributaries of the Ganges, dense mountain forests, and a fleeting interaction with local life, Kuari Pass trekking can be best enjoyed during winter months and placed among the best tourist places in Uttarakhand.
7. HAMPTA PASS TREK, HIMACHAL PRADESH:
The Hampta pass trek is another high altitude one in Kullu. The summit of this trek is only 3960 meters. It begins at Jobra and goes through places such as Chika, Balu ka Ghera, Shea Goru crossing, Chatru, Chandratal and then reaches Hampta. This trek’s contrast in the landscapes make this a glorious trek starting with Manali’s pine and maple forests, past the grass lands of Jwara to the top of the pass. Each and every location offers great scenic beauty with grass laden grounds and snow covered tops. The trek usually lasts for four to five days where you get to truly seep in the splendour of the place. The best time to undertake the activity is in mid-May when the climate is just right for a long trek.
8. GOECHALA TREK, SIKKIM:
The trekking experience in Sikkim is one of the best feelings of trekking in India. The landscape and the community of this place is very different from any other places of India, that makes this place a special one for the tourists. Also, this place will give you a best part of your trekking experience. This one is a romantic drama, from the flower-bedecked lower trails to the towering mountains on the upper ones. You will be in a touching distance of Kanchanjangha ; no trail in India takes you so close. The journey begins at Yuksom, which is situated at an elevation of 5,600 feet and will take you through places such as Sachen, Tshoka, Dzongri and Thansing before reaching the icy trail of Goechala. The entire trip makes for a wonderful experience. The best time to visit this place is mid-April to mid-May and September to December.
9. HAR KI DOON TREK, UTTARAKHAND:
The trek in Har Ki Doon Valley is known to be one of the most stunning and picturesque trek and makes the journey in Uttarakhand a delightful one. Full of alpine meadows and greeneries the stunning beauty of this portion of Himalayas is credited by snow clad peaks, panoramic views of the Himalayan Range, gurgling rivulets and much more. This portion is known as the ‘Valley Of Gods’ in the local area. According to the legends, Har Ki Doon valley shares its history with the age of the Mahabharata and holds an important place in the Hindu mythology. The maximum altitude offered by this summit is 4300 meters.
10. NANDA DEVI :
This is a wonderful trek in Kumaon Himalayas which explores the fascinating Nanda Devi east base camp and astounding milang glacier. Kumaon Himalaya is an eye-catching area of the Indian Himalayas which borders Nepal in the western end. This mountain ranges also home to Nanda Devi. This trek leads you to the base camp on the eastern face of the peak, which is also the home to Pachu Glacier. Leading from the ancient trade route that was one of the hometown of a large civilization, the trek take takes you to the base camp. The trek starts and ends at Kathgodam, passing through Munsiyari, Lilam, Bogudiar, Rilkot, Ghanghar, Martoli, and Rargari. The scenic beauty of the snow-clad peaks, the surreal nature that prevails around the peak, the exotic range of flora and fauna in the vicinity has earned it the fame of being one of the most magnificent peaks in the world.
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