From colossal mountains, tough paths, very deep valleys and ice deserts, or a frozen river at a scary height or a valley packed with flowers, trekking in India packs an amazing punch
Imagine a milky white waterfall roaring and gushing down a rocky surface with lush greenery all around. Capturing the moment in its beauty and telling a story of every beautiful moment while your pathway is washed and cleaned continuously by gushing rain water. In a country like India trekking is magical as you can walk through icy deserts and tropical rainforests, climb vast Himalayan peaks or run down expansive meadows, all without crossing a national border.
There is quite nothing like finishing a trek to a peak and staring down into the vast openness. And after the gut-wrenching struggle that involves short bursts of vertigo and paranoia, innumerable scrapes and cuts, buckets of sweat, aches and pains, you’re bound to feel two things. First, how unfit or fit you really are. Second and more importantly, the dawning realisation that life is about much more than existing from one day to the next, trying to beat other rats in the race. From romantic spots to crystal clear lakes and staggering heights, a glance at some of India’s most reputed trekking trails that you should visit at least once in your life. All you’ll need is a healthy pair of lungs, sturdy shoes and light weight bag.
Roopkund Trek, Uttarkhand
This is apt for those who love adventure and challenges. This trek will give an opportunity to see the famous Mystery Lake. Glacial Lake is famously known as Skeleton Lake as it is believed that skeletons reside at the bottom of the lake. Trekking can take approximately a week to nine days, and the best time to visit is between May and October. This challenging trek requires one to be in good health, as it is situated at a high altitude (4,800 mts). There are three trekking routes via Mundoli, Kathgodam or Lohjang.
Chembra Peak Trek, Kerala
Chembra in Wayanad is the tallest peak in Kerala, and 2,100 metres above sea level. It’s an easy climb, though the initial gradient can prove a little steep. Best to visit during September - February, the trek extends across nine kilometres, and can easily be completed within a day. However, visitors can opt to extend their trip by a couple of days. The combination of exploring Wayanad’s grassy meadows and then residing by the heart-shaped lake (Hridaya Saras) at the top is an experience to be cherished.
Araku Valley Trek
If you’re a rookie trekker with a hankering for excellent coffee, Araku Valley situated in scenic Vizag is a must-visit. It is something of a tourist spot - the Borra caves, tribal museum and Katiki waterfalls have made it pretty popular. Serious trekkers can afford to give it a miss.
Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand
This exotic valley is transformed into a colourful kaleidoscope packed with wild flowers such as zinnias, petunias and poppies. It also hosts several species of butterflies and endangered animals such as the mountain leopard and blue sheep. A moderately challenging climb (the entire trek can take a week), the 10-kilometre valley is situated at approximately over 3,600 metres above sea level, and is ideal to visit between June - September.
Rajmachi Trek, Maharashtra
The beauty of this trekking destination is not just its panoramic view of lush rolling hills. It also presents two trekking options, both of which can be completed within one day. There is a plain 15-kilometre walk from Lonavala or a rugged 2,000-foot climb from Kondivade village where one can also view the Kondana caves. The best time to visit is between June and September.
Chadar Trek, Ladakh
The frozen river Zanskar (also called Chadar that literally means sheet) situated in the Zanskar Valley presents an intriguing yet challenging trek, extending across 105 kilometres at extremely low temperatures (-25 degrees at night). The swiftly flowing river freezes only in the months of January to February, and can prove an arduous obstacle to cross: one has to climb over icy rocks, and sleep in caves at night. The view combined with ice sheets that constantly change colour however, makes it an unparalleled experience.
Indrahar Pass trek,
A mountain pass in the Dhauladhar range, this is located close to Dharamsala at approximately 4,300 metres, and attracts a large trekking crowd between April and October.
The trek starts from Bhagsu or Dharamkot, near Mcleod Ganj,
and can take from 4-10 days to complete.
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