Anyone who has tasted the thrill of trekking once will find themselves on unknown, unchartered mountain trails time and again. And when such adrenaline junkies are not traversing through rugged terrains they can be found planning their next big Himalayan adventure or lost in fond memories of treks spent exploring dense jungles, frozen lakesides, imposing mountains, and witnessing stunning golden-hued sunsets.
Those of you who are still to embark on a trekking escapade of your own, you best be prepared to unlock a whole new side of the majestic Earth and even yourself. The desire for adventure trekking in Indian Himalayas has brought you here and it is this desire that will take you to places that will stay with you forever.
Trekking in India
With an area of 3.287 million km² and the Himalayas spanning over the hilly states of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jammu & Kashmir, Sikkim, Meghalaya, and more, India inarguably houses and nurtures some of the best adventure trekking routes known to mankind.
Mountains seem mystifying and intimidating in every corner of the world but what makes Himalayan trekking stand out is that no two mountain scrapes are the same; each has its own unique characteristics and mesmerising beauty.
This is why veteran trekkers grow so adamant to explore both the famed and the anonymous trekking routes in India. However, what makes India’s hill stations so fascinating is not just its raw, untouched beauty but its people.
Each trek whisks you along a journey that introduces you to vibrant hill tribes, their diverse cultures, intricate architecture, and varied & curious traditions.
Trekking in India is also as versatile as it gets – you can either choose to take on a trek that challenges you at every turn much like the Chadar Trek or you can opt for a more plain sailing route that allows you to relish the beauty and bounties of nature.
And don’t worry, every trek in India promises great adventures, so you will have your fair share of thrill and amusement irrespective of which grand Himalayan trek you settle on.
Planning their next big Himalayan adventure? Check it out here.
The Attraction of Indian Himalayas
The Himalayas is India’s national pride. Every year tourists from all over the globe flock to India to experience the vivid beauty of the hills. What makes the Himalayas even more unique is that its appearance is fresh and exotic in every state that it passes through.
Whether it is the barren beauty of Ladakh, the frozen grandeur of Uttarakhand or the combination of greenery and snow of the Himachal Pradesh, the Himalayas have something new in store for you every time.
But visit these hill stations as much as you like, you will only come face to face with the Himalayas unforgettable beauty once you trek the hills.
From Zanskar to Auli, Manali to Haridwar, there are numerous places that remain untapped and hidden. It is here you experience nature at her best and it is here you find solace and adventure both in equal measures.
What is the Best Time For Trekking in India?
Weather and temperature of a place has the ability to make or break your trek. This is why extra care should be taken when deciding where you should go in which season. Fortunately, India has several treks to offer in each of its season – you are always a little spoilt for choice.
So whether you enjoy the comfort of mountains in summer, the romantic monsoons, the bone-chilling winter, or the flourishing natural beauty of spring, you’re sure to come across a trek that will seem tailor-made for you.
Summer (May – June)
There’s nothing like Indian summers on a hill station. Around this time of the year, temperatures range anywhere between 14-18 degrees whilst making sure it never climbs above 25 degrees.
The comforting weather invites you to explore the high altitude and more difficult treks that habitually remain shut during the winter.
From early May to late June, trekkers from all across the globe trek the lesser-known regions of the Himalayas while ensuring the trek remains both relaxing and adventurous.
Some of the most popular summer treks in India include Hampta Pass, Rupin Pass, and more.
Discover Har Ki Dun here.
Monsoon (July – Mid September)
There is a prevalent misconception that trekking during the Indian monsoon season is never a convenient option. This could not be further from the truth.
The thought of trudging through muck and incessant rain, does not rank top on anyone’s ideal trekking trip but we assure you India in monsoon is much more than that. There are numerous routes in Ladakh and other Himalayan states that offer great opportunities for trekking in monsoon.
In fact, there are treks like the Valley of Flower and Beas Kund trek that are at their glorious best only in monsoon.
Winter (December – February)
Winter treks are perfect for those who are a little too in love with the idea of winter wonderland and grand exploits.
The onset of winter in the Himalayas means acres of land covered in snowcapped peaks glistening in the early morning sunlight, bone-chilling frosty weather conditions, and an added sliver of danger to your trek.
If adventure is what you are after, there’s no substitute for winter treks in India. Some of the best Himalayan winter trekking routes are Chopta Chandrashila, Chadar Trek, Kedarkantha Trek, Brahmatal Trek etc.
Spring (March – April)
We don’t believe there’s any other season we Indians enjoy as much as we do spring. The much-awaited months of March and April breathe new life into the Himalayas decorating the hills with vibrant flowers, plump colourful fruits, and moss coloured dense forests.
Spring in India is a nature lover’s paradise thereby it serves as no surprise that trekkers remain especially active here during the season. Some of the best treks in this season in Himalayas are Nag Tibba, Brahmatal Lake, Har Ki Dun etc.
Popular treks of the Himalayas: Valley of Flowers National Park Trek
We refuse to believe that there can be anybody who does not get excited at the prospect of strolling through a flower valley that is quite literally doused in the colors of the rainbow, with streams and rivulets gushing by, cradled by pastoral cliffs and a seemingly never-ending deep blue sky.
Recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Valley of Flowers lies in the Chamoli district of the state of Uttarakhand and is known for its otherworldly beauty.
But don’t mistake the trek to be an easy one just because it is all flowers and butterflies. The 38 km, six-day trek consists of long journeys and steep ascents to the Hemkund Sahib Lake, the Gurudwara, and the sacred town of Joshimath.
A perfect package of both beauty and thrill, the Valley of Flowers National Park Trek is not to be missed.
Chadar Trek, Ladakh
Every winter the famous Zanskar River freezes over to welcome trekkers to explore what lies beyond. The fast-flowing river that meanders through the rust-coloured hills of Ladakh turns into a glossy ice sheet or a “chadar” of snow falls over the river giving it the name Chadar Trek.
And while walking on a frozen river sounds thrilling enough, the trek has so much more to offer you in the form of frozen waterfalls, staggering mountains, tranquil lakes, and busy hamlets
Be aware that the route is filled with challenges galore and will test your physical stamina and willpower at every move. But what is trekking if it does not involve adventure, danger, and a few risks?
Auli discovers it here.
Hampta Pass Trek
There are a rare few treks that show as much diversity as does the Hampta Pass Trek. Located in Himachal Pradesh and perched atop an altitude of near 5,000 metres, the Hampta Pass Trek takes you along a route that journeys through the lush Kullu Valley, the gorgeous Chandra Taal Lake, and the deserted wilderness of the Lahaul &Spiti Valley, dense alpine forests, and verdant valleys to finally reach the famed Rohtang Pass.
The Hampta Pass Trek is a testament to just how variegated India is that it can show you as many divergent scenic as it does in only a matter of five days and 28 km.
To sum it all up, thrill-seekers and adventure enthusiasts in India will simply never run out of places to trek. Whenever they hear the mountains calling, they can pack up a backpack and set out for another epic adventure.
So long as one is in India, they will always find a destination.
Photos: Moxtain, Author of the article Rupsha
From the mountains to home, we always need invaluable items:
All your donations will be used to pay the magazine’s journalists and to support the ongoing costs of maintaining the site.