5 offbeat hiking trails in India.
The north of India is blessed with huge snow covered mountains that are perfect for a thrilling trek. Covering a great number of hiking trails in the Himalayas, India rewards every hiker with glorious views of snow-capped mountain peaks, lush meadows, gushing streams and waterfalls, high altitude glaciers, and an amazing variety of flora and fauna.
1. The Hampta Pass trek, Manali.
The Hampta Pass trek has its starting point as Manali. From Manali, you will be taken to Jobra and then to Chika located at a height of about 10,100 feet. The trek covers a total of 35kms in 5 days. The route will have plenty of greenery, River Rani and the mountainous stretches on one side. When you climb up to reach Balu ka Ghera from Chika, On this impressive journey catch the first glimpses of the mighty towers in Dhauladhar Ranges occupy the entire frame with meadows and flower-filled valleys. What awaits you next are the gradual slopes until you reach the mighty Hampta Pass and on the way, Hampta Village will be your host for some time. Discover the serene calmness that surrounds the valley.
The ultimate destination of the trek is the beautiful Chandratal located amidst the pristine surroundings dominated by the white peaks and clouds above. A confluence of three paths – Hampta Pass, Spiti, and Rohtang Pass and the green paradise will accompany you to achieve the height of about 14,100ft. The whole experience will be beautifully driven by our experienced and well trained guides along with the porters and kitchen staff. The team will also help you in allotting your dome tents for each night to keep you hassle free so that you can just enjoy the beauty of the places without getting into any operational stuff.
Difficulty level : Moderate.
2. The Deoriatal Chandrashila Snow Trek:
To be spellbound by the natural splendour of the Garhwal Himalayas, take a snow trek to Deoriatal Chandrashila Snow Trek along with Chopta trek, that offers you the best of trekking in Uttarakhand. Not only will you get a chance to surpass breathtaking pastures laden with snow, anyone can take this trek due to the easy terrains and comfortable trails. The first bit of the trek comprises a walk up to Deoria Tal Lake at 7999 ft surrounded by dense thickets all around. This trail does not comprise of much snow which explains the easy start to the trek. The sight of the lake reflecting the mighty Chaukhamba Peak, located nearby, is a vision worth marvelling at. The next bit of the trail is the hike up to Chopta peak laden with beautiful blankets of snow in winter. Upon arriving at Chopta peak, marvel at the expanse of snow surrounding the environs.
Due to the snow conditions, either camp will be set up or arrangements will be made in some homestays dotting the area. There is also the trek to Tungnath temple at 12074 ft, known to be the highest Shiva shrine in the world. This trail offers magnificent views of Bandarpoonch, Kedar and Chaukhamba peaks. After a 1km long trek from Tungnath is the top of Chandrashila peak at 13123 ft that gives a panoramic visual on the gorgeous valleys and snow-peaked mountains around. Adding to the serenity of this expedition is the experience of residing in the charming lodges in Kund that overlooks the Mandakini river under the Kedar peak.
Difficulty level : Moderate.
3) Roopkund Trek
It is probably the most popular trek in the Himalayas. Roopkund is a mountain lake lying in the Garhwal Himalayas in the Chamoli District of Uttarakhand. The lake is also nicknamed as ‘The Mystery Lake’ or the ‘Skeletal Lake’, as several human skeletons are found scattered in and around the lake. This high altitude lake remains covered with snow all the year round. The weird lake receives many visitors every year as Roopkund trek is hugely popular with trekkers and adventure lovers, and many people attempt this trek throughout the trekking season. This trek is of moderate difficulty level and it takes around 8 to 9 days to complete the entire route.
This trek provides all that trekkers wish for; from snow-capped peaks to forests, meadows, lakes and folklore, this trek of about 53 kilometres gives you all. With a maximum altitude of 15,696 ft, the best season to attempt Roopkund Trek is from mid-May to mid-June, and September to November and December. The pure air, poignant greens, clear blue sky, pristine and mysterious Roopkund Lake, cheerful and rapid mountain stream, huge green meadows and the golden glow on snow-covered peaks of Trishul, Nandaghungti and Choukhamba, among others, will rejuvenate you!
Difficulty level : moderate to difficult.
4) The Zanskar Frozen River Trek.
The Zanskar frozen river trek is one of the most challenging treks in this region. During summer, Zanskar River is a swift flowing river, but during the winter months, the river freezes down. It serves as the only passage to the main valley, as heavy snowfall cuts off the entire region from the rest of the world. Thousands of trekkers take part in the trekking expedition during this time to experience the beautiful frozen river, whirling through deep passages with snow-clad peaks all around. Popularly known as ‘Chadar Trek’ due to the formation of a thick blanket of ice on the Zanskar River, this trek is very difficult to complete.
It is tricky at times when snow thickets drift away from beneath the feet and the only way to complete the route during such a situation is to climb through the snowy rocks and boulders beside the river. This trek is one of the most challenging treks and takes around 8-9 days to cover a total distance of about 105 kilometres. The temperature during the night reaches at around -25 to -35 degrees, which also makes this trek very inhospitable for humans. Experienced guides and proper trekking kit along with good physical fitness and experience in high altitude trekking, are a must before attempting this trek.
Difficulty level : Difficult.
5)Goechala Trek, Sikkim
Goecha La is a tiny place located in Sikkim, and Goecha La trek is a dream and desire for hundreds of adventure lovers throughout the country. Entangled amidst vibrant and colorful flora and fauna, it is also the way to the astounding Kanchenjunga National Park to dive into the natural beauty. It is not about Kanchenjunga alone but the combination of other big summits around. Tshokha to Phedang will take you to experience the cuddling features of thick rhododendron forests whereas Dzongri will be offering you the best views of Koktang, Rathong, Kabru, Kanchenjunga, and Pandim which are the towering peaks in the Himalayas.
Thangshing would be waiting for you with multiple prayer flags, chortens, and the abnormally beautiful views of the Pandim Peak along with the gushing sounds of Prek Chu River. Climbing uphill through the moraines, to reach the Samiti Lake and the Zemathang Plateau which are the gateways to Goechala. Capture all the possible moments overwhelmingly beautified by the sights of Kanchenjunga and other major peaks touching the white clouds above and complete your trek on the 11th day after returning to Yuksom and from there to Bagdogra.To watch the mountains clearly, you should visit Goechala from October to November since the sky will be completely clear during this time and the sunset, as well as sunrise views, would be perfect.
Difficulty level: Difficult.
Every trek need not be difficult, there are some moderate to easy travelling treks too that are safe for women for their solo treks too!! Here are few trek trails that you must go to have a adventures time:
Which trek got you excited?