There’s a world out there in the Himalayas. Introduce yourself this year!
We’ve picked out a list of 12 of the most beautiful treks in the Himalayas – the best for each month. Choose from trails that pass through frozen rivers and waterfalls; roll over lush green meadows, traverse through dense dark forests, or be blinded by an ocean of flowers. The Himalayas have it all.
Make your resolution – no more virtual travel. This year…get out there!
January : Har Ki Dun
Nestled in the middle of a cradle-shaped vale below the Har Ki Dun peak, it is one of the most beautiful valleys in the Western Himalayas. The trail through alpine meadows, moraine ridges, glacier basins, pine forests and ancient villages, gives you spectacular valley views and a chance to experience the wonderful slow-paced local lifestyle. The best part is, the trail is a trekkers delight in both summer and winter.
February : Sandakphu
Spread over five days the Sandakphu trek climbs over superb oak and rhododendron forests. When the trek finally tops the ridge line your jaws drop. Across the entire periphery of vision are the ranges in between the Kanchenjunga and Everest. If there is a big reason to do the trek it would be for these views.
March: Deoriatal – Chandrashila
If there is a trek tailor made for those itching to try trekking, it has to be this one hidden in the Chopta valley – popularly known as the mini Switzerland of India. Deoriatal to Chandrashila Peak is an all season trek perfectly suited for beginners. Everyday on this trek is a reminder how leisurely and breathtaking a Himalayan trek can be without breaking a sweat.
April : Pangarchula Peak Trek
It’s not often that you come across a well-rounded trail that poses just the right amount of challenge for trekkers. As the trail to Pangarchulla Peak turns from green to a snowy pristine white, trekkers can treat their eyes to few of the highest peaks of the Garhwal region. Added to that, trekking during spring makes the lower trail a colourful one, with rhododendrons in full bloom!
May : Rupin Pass
The Rupin Pass trek is like an edge-of-the-seat Hollywood thriller. So sudden are the changes in scenery that it will make you walk a little further just to see if there is another surprise round the corner. The Rupin Pass trek has got it all – Trails over swaying wooden bridges, deep dark folds in the mountains, trails that cut through millions of white Rhododendrons, over lush expanse of green meadows, trails on glaciers and icy slopes – it just doesn’t stop.
June: Buran Ghati
Rarely do the Himalayas present a trek for first timers that pack in everything – easy access, dark pine forests, open meadows, glacial valleys and an adventurous crossing of a pass that leaves the heart pumping. The Hampta Pass trek in Himachal is tailor made for those looking to experience the high altitude Himalayan adventure for the first time.
7. July : Kashmir Great Lakes Trek
‘If there ever be a paradise, it is here. It is here. It is here.’ Kashmir Great Lakes trek is sure to leave you spellbound. The trail will lead you through 7 pristine alpine fresh water lakes. Traverse through three 3900-4000m passes and walk in high altitude meadows carpeted with wind flowers. This is what we call nature at its boastful best.
8. August: Tarsar Marsar
Tarsar Marsar is said to be even more beautiful than the Kashmir great lakes trek. The trail leads trekkers from one jaw-dropping scene to another. The meadows are filled almost to each inch with multicolour flowers so beautiful, that’ it’ll break your heart to tread on them. Alpine lakes with snow-fed royal blue waters, waterfalls over grassy ledges, and scenery that seem straight out of movie sets. We could go on, but frankly, just pack your rucksack now.
9. September: Roopkund
Roopkund, popularly known as the Mystery lake, is a high altitude glacial lake situated at the base of the Trishul and Nanda Ghunti peaks. Surrounded by rock-strewn glaciers, snow clad mountains, and gurgling rivers. This trek promises to take your breath away. Dense dark forests, gurgling brooks, miles of undulating meadows, snow and ice, and the taste of life’s greatest adventure – Roopkund has it all.
10. October: Deoriatal Chandrashila
Sometimes an easy trek can give incredible rewards. Deoriatal is one of them. There are three things that make Deoriatal special.
First, of course, are the views. On the trek you will see each and every great summit in the Garwhal and Kumaon range of Uttarakhand. Simply put, you’ll see the biggest mountains of Indian Himalayas. Not only will you see them, you will see them right near your nose. The autumn month of October is when you get the best of the views.
Second, are the jungles. On most treks you get great jungles. But on the Deoriatal trek you get variety even in the jungles. It is rare. Deoriatal provides it.
Finally, it is the birds. If there is a trek that is a birders paradise it is Deoriatal. Perhaps it is because of the jungles. Hundreds of birds call out from the trees as trekkers pass below. Keen nature photographers will find Deoriatal a virtual feast.
11. November: Goechala
Goechala is one of the oldest and among the most popular treks in India. Goechala runs away with some of the best mountain views in India.
While trekking in Sikkim is in itself an attraction, nowhere in India can you see Kanchenjunga, the world’s third highest peak as close as on the Goechala trek. When trekkers reach the Goecha Pass, nothing comes in between them and the peak. They are standing at the foot of the great mountain!
Everything is on a big scale on the Goechala trek. The forests are big, the valleys are deep, the mountains are high, the meadows are wide, the rhododendrons are plenty, the altitudes gained are big. Do Goechala just to experience the grandness of the mountains.
12. December: Kedarkantha
In winter the Kedarkantha hills come alive in snow. Of all the winter treks possible, Kedarkantha stands out among the best. With its lovely cover of virgin snow and an exciting summit climb, Kedarkantha has the perfect package for a great trek.
If the winter snow weren’t enough, Kedarkantha has some of the loveliest campsites in Indian Himalayas. Nestled in clearings, all campsites on the Kedarkantha trek are exquisitely beautiful. With snow patches all around they look out of fairy tales.