Trekking In Himalayas: Best Himalayan treks

Trekking In Himalayas: Best Himalayan treks

Written by Shanu on 20-Sep-2019
Everyone wants to conquer the summit but all the happiness occurs while you are trekking to climb it

 

himalayan mountain peaks in monsoon

 

Himalayas

It is rightly said, "If the Ganges is the mother, Himalayas is the father. One nurtures and nourishes, the other provides and protects." The Himalayas, the name that translates to the "Abode of Snow", is the mountain range in Asia which houses many of the world's highest mountains such as the Mount Everest and Kanchenjunga. The Himalayas cover a distance of approximately 2,400 km and are stretched across India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Bhutan, and Nepal. The Himalayas cover approximately 75% of Nepal.

Himalayan weather changes throughout the year in each part of the Himalayas. The temperature ranges from 30 degree Celsius in summers to 18 degree Celsius in winters in the southern foothills of Himalayas whereas the temperature is 25 degree Celsius in summers to really cold winters in the middle Himalayan valleys. The higher ranges of Himalayas record 15 to 18 degree Celsius in summers while winters record temperatures below freezing point.

The Himalayas have a diverse topography which includes jagged terrains, high elevations, steep ascents, gentle slopes, rugged trails, and gradual descents. This demands strong physical fitness and good stamina. One needs to work on building cardiovascular endurance and strength endurance. Undertaking a trekking specific training is also mandatory.

Trekking as a recreational activity/adventure sport has gained immense popularity in India and worldwide. Trekking in India has also grown extensively in recent years. Blessed with unique geography and interesting topography, India boasts of some spectacular trekking routes. If you're looking for gentler and smaller trails with hikes that are less arduous then trekking routes in the Western Ghats or Aravalli ranges can be your best bet. On the other hand, if you are an adventure junkie seeking to explore the unexplored and discover the magic of some mysterious trails then the Himalayas are your true calling. The imposing peaks of Himalayas allure the wanderer in you with a magnetic charm that is hard to resist.

The Himalayas are dotted with imposing peaks, placid lakes, incandescent glaciers, and rich biodiversity. Mount Everest at a staggering elevation of 29,029 feet is the highest peak in the Himalayas as well as on the entire planet. The Himalayas are home to other famous peaks like Mount Kailash, Nanga Parvat, Karakora (K2), Annapurna and, Manasklu.

Three major river systems of Asia, the Indus, the Yangtze, and the Ganga-Brahmaputra find their source in the Himalayas. The famous rivers of Ganges, Indus, Yarlung, Yangtze, Yellow, Mekong and Nujiang originate from the Himalayas.

With around 15,000 glaciers found in the Himalayan range, the Himalayas are the third-largest deposit of ice and snow in the world. Siachen Glacier, Baltoro, Nufra, Biafo, and Hispur are the notable glaciers located in the Himalayas.

The Himalayas are rich in biodiversity, the diverse eco-regions are interconnected, with vegetation ranging from alpine shrubs and meadows at 10,000 to 16,400 feet to coniferous forests of pine, hemlock, spruce and fir at 8,200 to 13,800 feet and temperate forests of oaks and maples at 6,600 to 9,800 feet. Plants like rhododendrons, orchids, lichen, and ferns also thrive in the mixed forests of the Himalayas. Tropical broadleaf forests located at 1,650 to 3,300 feet have deciduous trees.

Animals like snow leopard, Himalayan tahr, musk deer and pikas are found in the higher elevation of the Himalayas. Medium elevation Himalayan ranges are home to red pandas, takins and musk deer. Mixed forests in the lower elevation of Himalayas boast of a wide range of wildlife with over 500 species of birds. Golden langur monkeys have made these forests their primary home.

Tigers and Asian elephants are found in the tropical broadleaf forests.

With such rich topography, diverse offerings, and picturesque beauty, Himalayas have beckoned trekkers from all over the world. Let's take a quick peek at some awesome treks that the Himalayas have to offer-

Here are the list of best Himalayan treks

Best Himalayan Treks in India

Har ki Dun campsite at har ki dun trek

 

  • Region- Uttarakhand Himalayas
  • Trek Level- Moderate to Difficult
  • Altitude- 11,700 feet
  • Distance- 47 km
  • Duration- 7 days
  • Start Point- Dehradun
  • End Point- Dehradun
  • Best Season- April to June; September to December
  • How to reach-
    • By road- Dehradun is well connected with major Indian cities by motorable roads.
    • By train- Dehradun railway station is well connected with major Indian cities.
    • By flight- Dehradun can be reached by air (Jolly Grant Airport)

Har ki Doon or Valley of God offers a divine experience to trekkers with its gorgeous settings of lush green meadows, hamlets, pine forests, rugged terrains, melting glaciers and majestic Swargarohini peak. What makes this legendary trek special is that Pandavas took this trail via Swargarohini peak on their way to heaven.

Kedarkantha view of himalayan massif from kedarkantha trek

 

  • Region- Uttarakhand Himalayas
  • Trek Level- Moderate to Difficult
  • Altitude- 12,500 feet
  • Distance- 20 km
  • Duration- 6 days
  • Start Point- Dehradun
  • End Point- Dehradun
  • Best Season- All season trek except June to September
  • How to reach-
    • By road- Dehradun is well connected with major Indian cities by motorable roads.
    • By train- Dehradun railway station is well connected with major Indian cities.
    • By flight- Dehradun can be reached by air (Jolly Grant Airport)

Picturesque campsites, glacial mountain lakes, 360- degree view of colossal mountain peaks like Bandarpoonch, Swargarohini, Kala Nag, Gangotri, Yamunotri, and Dhauladhar ranges are the ultra selling points of this trek. Mythology has it that Lord Shiva meditated near the mountain lake called Juda ka Talab. It is believed that the water droplets from Lord Shiva's hair (Juda) fell on the ground and formed the lake (Talab).

Brahmatal Trek tricolour at brahmatal lake trek top

 

  • Region- Uttarakhand Himalayas
  • Trek Level- Easy to Moderate
  • Altitude- 12,100 feet
  • Distance- 30 km
  • Duration- 6 days
  • Start Point- Kathgodam
  • End Point- Kathgodam
  • Best Season- Mid-November to March
  • How to reach-
    • Kathgodam can be reached by motorable road or by train

One of the few treks that boast of lakeside camping beside two mountain lakes, Bekal Tal and Brahmatal. The trek is soaked in mythology; it is believed that Lord Brahma meditated on the banks of Brahmatal. Scintillating views of sacred Nanda Devi peak, Mount Trishul and Mount Kamet offer a spiritual bliss to the trekkers. The trek that journeys along the beautiful groves of rhododendrons and thicket of oak trees also offers stargazing opportunities under the moonlit sky.

Bali Pass  snow covered sankri village

 

  • Region- Uttarakhand Himalayas
  • Trek Level- Difficult
  • Altitude- 16,240 feet
  • Distance- 64 km
  • Duration- 10 days
  • Start Point- Sankri
  • End Point- Janki Chatti
  • Best Season- May to June; September to October
  • How to reach-
    • By train- Reach Dehradun by train. Drive to Sankri (210 km)
    • By flight- Reach Dehradun by air (Jolly Grant Airport). Drive to Sankri (210 km)

This high altitude trek enchants you with the effervescence of Tons, Yamuna and Supin rivers. Sacred Ruinsara Lake, Yamunotri Shine, and frozen Saptarishi Kund are other highlights of this trek which is steeped in religious ambience. In addition to this, stunning views of Kala Nag, Bandarpooch, and Swargarohini peaks are added delights of this trek.

Roopkund roopkund the skeleton lake moxtain

 

  • Region- Uttarakhand Himalayas
  • Trek Level- Difficult
  • Altitude- 15,700 feet
  • Distance- 53 km
  • Duration- 8 days
  • Start Point- Kathgodam
  • End Point- Kathgodam
  • Best Season- April, May, June;
  • How to reach-
    • Kathgodam can be reached by motorable road or by train

Roopkund trek features "The Skeleton Lake" which is rooted in mystery. It is believed that around 500 skeletons belonging to the Paleolithic age are found around Roopkund Lake. Meadows of Ali Bughyal and Bendi Bughyal offer a pleasant change from the rugged terrains and dense forests. Scintillating views of Mount Trishul and Mount Nandagunti, Neelkanth, Chaukhamba, Kedarnath and Kedar Dome are worth capturing. Pindar river keeps you captivated with its luxuriant waters during the trek.

Rupin Pass snow fall at rupin pass trek

 

  • Region- Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand Himalayas
  • Trek Level- Difficult
  • Altitude- 15,250 feet
  • Distance- 52 Km
  • Duration- 8 days
  • Start Point- Dehradun
  • End Point- Shimla
  • Best Season- May to June; September to October
  • How to reach-
    • By road- Dehradun is well connected with major Indian cities by motorable roads.
    • By train- Dehradun railway station is well connected with major Indian cities.
    • By flight- Dehradun can be reached by air (Jolly Grant Airport)

Rupin Pass trek floors you with the beauty of two of the most beautiful states of India, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh. Fabulous scenery of the Himalayas, rhododendron forests, conifers, cascading waterfalls wooden bridges, intermingling cultures, and traditions of two states and beautiful temples make this trek uniquely magnificent.

Bedni and Dyara Bugyal campsite at bedni bugyal

 

  • Region- Uttarakhand Himalayas
  • Trek Level- Moderate
  • Altitude- 12,000 feet
  • Duration- 6 days
  • Start Point- Uttarkashi
  • End Point- Uttarkashi
  • Best Season- All seasons except monsoon
  • How to reach-
    • By Road- Uttarkashi is a 6-7 hours drive from Dehradun or Haridwar

The enchanting trek takes you to the most beautiful Bughyals (high altitude meadows), bubbling streams, sprawling grasslands and offers mind-blowing views of the Trishul Parvat, Bandarpooch, Black peak, Gangotri range and the Greater Himalayas. It has been described as the fairy-tale trek which offers some amazing ski slopes during winters.

Hampta Pass hampta pass trek in monsoon with clouds covering the sky

 

  • Region- Himachal Pradesh Himalayas
  • Trek Level- Easy to Moderate
  • Altitude- 14,010 feet
  • Distance- 28 km
  • Duration- 5 days
  • Start Point- Manali
  • End Point- Manali
  • Best Season- Mid-June to Mid-October
  • How to reach-
    • By road- Manali is well connected to major cities by road
    • By air- Bhuntar is the nearest airport which is 52 kilometres from Manali

Hampta pass treats you to dense pinewood forests, expansive meadows, effervescent mountain streams, wild flora, snow-clad mountains, spectacular valleys, and placid lakes, particularly everything a trek can offer. The confluence of three trails Hampta Pass, Spiti and Rohtang Pass taking you to the most picturesque Chandratal Lake is a highlight of the trek.

Goecha La Trek campsite at goechla trek

 

  • Region- Sikkim Himalayas
  • Trek Level- Moderate to Difficult
  • Altitude- 15,100 feet
  • Distance- 100 km
  • Duration- 11 days
  • Start Point- New Jalpaiguri
  • End Point- New Jalpaiguri
  • Best Season- All season trek
  • How to reach-
    • By train- Take a direct train to New Jalpaiguri or reach Kolkata by train. Many trains from Kolkataconnect to New Jalpaiguri.
    • Flight- Take a flight either to Bagdogra or to Kolkata. From Bagdogra, reach New Jalpaiguri by road. From Kolkata, reach New Jalpaiguri by train.

Goecha La Trek is a delight as it offers an extravagant palate to its trekkers. Beautiful orchards, an exotic variety of flora and fauna, dense forests, rugged terrains of the northeast, stunning view of the majestic Kanchenjunga and 16 other mountain peaks from the Dzongri top make Goecha La one of the most spectacular treks. The tranquil Samiti Lake is the star attraction of the Goecha La Trek.

Sandakphu mount kanchenjunga view from sandakphu trek

 

  • Region- West Bengal Himalayas
  • Trek Level- Easy to Moderate
  • Altitude- 11,941 feet
  • Distance- 47 km
  • Duration- 6 Days
  • Start Point- New Jalpaiguri
  • End Point- New Jalpaiguri
  • Best Season- April to May; October to early- December
  • How to reach-
    • By train- Take a direct train to New Jalpaiguri or reach Kolkata by train. Many trains from Kolkata connect to New Jalpaiguri.
    • Flight- Take a flight either to Bagdogra or to Kolkata. From Bagdogra, reach New Jalpaiguri by road. From Kolkata, reach New Jalpaiguri by train.

One of the most enchanting treks that traverse through Sikkim and Nepal. You explore the culture of two countries from close quarters. Stunning views of Mount Everest, Mount Makalu, and Mount Lhotse truly enthrall you and so do the unexplored terrains of this mountainous region. Crystal vision of Mount

Kanchenjunga as sunlight streams upon its icy summit at sunrise and sunset is the prized moment of this trek. Kalipokhri or the "Black Lake", is a serene and stunning site encompassed by the colossal mountainous terrain and with the imposing Kanchenjunga at a distance.

Gangotri Glacier Trek gangotri glacier trek in monsoon

 

  • Region- Uttarakhand Himalayas
  • Trek Level- Difficult
  • Altitude- 14,638 feet
  • Distance- 17 km
  • Duration- 11 days
  • Start Point- Haridwar
  • End Point- Haridwar
  • Best Season- May to June; mid-August to October
  • How to reach-
    • By train- Board Dehradun Shatabdi train for Haridwar
    • By flight- Take a flight to Jolly Grant Airport Dehradun. Drive to Haridwar (1.5 hours)

This challenging trek in the heart of Himalayas journeys from Gangotri to Gomukh (cow's mouth), by the banks of river Bhagirathi. Gomukh is the source of river Ganga. Visit the shrine of Gangotri, the holy place of Hindus. The many glaciers such as Gangotri Glacier (largest Himalayan glacier), Meru Glacier and Kirti Bamak Glacier are exclusive to this trek. Witness the beautiful views of Mount Shivling peak, Gangotri group of peaks, Bhagirath group of peaks and Kedardome peak.

Kedar Tal kedartal lake with huge mountian peak surrounding it

 

  • Region- Uttarakhand Himalayas
  • Trek Level- Difficult
  • Altitude- 15,485 feet
  • Duration- 7 days
  • Start Point- Dehradun
  • End Point- Dehradun
  • Best Season- May to June; September to October
  • How to reach-
    • By road- Dehradun is well connected with major Indian cities by motorable roads.
    • By train- Dehradun railway station is well connected with major Indian cities.
    • By flight- Dehradun can be reached by air (Jolly Grant Airport)

Kedar Tal or 'Lake of Lord Shiva', is one of the highest lakes in Uttarakhand nestled at the base of the Thalay Sagar peak and Bhrigupanth peak. This glacial lake is one of the star attractions of Kedar Tal Trek. The reflection of Thalay Sagar peak on the crystal clear waters of Kedar Tal is an out-of-the-world sight.

One of the hardest trekking routes, Kedar Tal trek journeys through grassy valleys, effervescent river streams, and waterfalls to take you to the holy site of Gangotri before breaking to an uphill and steep journey of rugged terrains. This challenging yet rewarding trek offers breathtaking views of snow-clad gigantic mountains like Mount Thalay Sagar Mount Bhrigupanth, Manda Parvat, Mount Jogin, and Mount Gangotri.

Best Himalayan Treks in Nepal

Everest Base Camp Trek everest base camp

 

  • Region- Khumbhu (northeastern side of Nepal)
  • Trek Level- Difficult and Strenuous
  • Altitude- 18,513 feet
  • Distance- 130-km round trip
  • Duration- 15 days
  • Start Point- Kathmandu
  • End Point- Kathmandu
  • Best Season- April, May, early-June, September October and early-November
  • How to reach-
    • By flight- Fly to Lukla from Kathmandu, flight time is 35 minutes.

Treacherous passes, rocky terrains, challenging treks and sub-zero temperatures with a lot of snowfall, the Everest base camp Trek is a wholesome package of thrill for adventure junkies. It is the closest that you can get to the majestic Mount Everest peak by trekking on a trail that was once journeyed by the legendary Tenzing Norgay and Sir Edmund Hillary.

Explore the distinct culture of "The Mountain People", called Sherpas, familiarise yourself with colourful Buddhist and Hindu traditions and visit the colourful city of Kathmandu.

Culturally rich Namche Monastery, Namche Museum, Dingboche Monastery, and Tengboche Monastery are the unique highlights of this classic trek.

Annapurna Base Camp Trek annapurna base camp

 

  • Region- Nepal Himalayas
  • Trek Level- Moderate to Difficult
  • Altitude- 13,545 feet
  • Distance- 160 km
  • Duration- 9 days
  • Start Point- Pokhara
  • End Point- Pokhara
  • Best Season- April and October
  • How to reach-
    • By road- Reach Pokhara by bus from Kathmandu and from Sunauli, which is next to the Indian border.
    • By flight- Pokhara has a small airport. It is best to reach Kathmandu by flight and take a connecting flight to Pokhara.

Spectacular, challenging and somewhat formidable, that is Annapurna Base Camp trek is for you. Challenging snowy summits of Machapuchare Annapurna South and Huinchuli, diverse landscapes, cascading waterfalls, placid lakes, quaint villages, and lush forests all leading to Annapurna base camp, give you a memorable experience. You also discover hot water springs, explore ancient Buddhist monasteries, learn about Buddhist and Hindu traditions and visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The magical view of Annapurna massif, which is the 10th highest mountain peak in the world, leaves you spellbound. Machapuchare, the 'fish-tailed mountain', glorifies you with its spectacular view. This mountain is believed to be one of the abodes of Lord Shiva.

Makalu Base Camp Trek makalu base camp trek

 

  • Region- Nepal Himalayas
  • Trek Level- Difficult
  • Altitude- 15,978 feet
  • Duration- 22 days
  • Start Point- Kathmandu
  • End Point- Kathmandu
  • Best Season- March to May; September to November
  • How to reach-
    • By flight- 1-hour flight from Kathmandu to the small airport at Tumlingtar. Drive to the starting point of the trek, Chichila.

Soak in the scenic beauty of the fifth highest mountain in the world, Mount Makalu. Extraordinary temperate passes such as KeKe La Pass and TuTu La Pass, Shipton La Pass, Arun river Basin, the beautiful Barun river valley and the view of Nepal giant peaks are the main highlights of this challenging trek. Experience remote landscapes like steep granite cliffs, cultures of Rai people (an ethnic group in the hills of eastern Nepal) and Sherpas (an ethnic group from Tibet who live near Everest). Get spectacular views of the rarely seen Kangshung face of Everest as well as Mount Lhotse, Chamlang and Kanchenjunga.

Gokyo Lakes Trek  gokyo lake surrounded by the mountain peaks

 

  • Region- Nepal Himalayas
  • Trek Level- Difficult
  • Altitude- 17,575 feet
  • Duration- 14 days
  • Start Point- Kathmandu
  • End Point- Kathmandu
  • Best Season- March to June; September to November
  • How to reach-
    • By flight- Take a scenic flight of 35 minutes from Kathmandu to Lukla

19 crystal clear turquoise and green lakes of Goyko form one of the highest freshwater lake systems in the world and stun you with their sheer beauty.

The trek takes you to the world's greatest icy mass called Ngozumpa Glacier.

Ethereal views of the colossal mountains of Mount Makalu, Mount Lhotse, Mount Cho Yu and Mount Everest in a single range are the USP of this trek. Journey along the off-the-beaten paths of the Everest to reach the stunning Gokyo Valley. The steep climb to Gokyo Ri to view the majestic Mount Everest is one of the prized highlights of Goyko Lakes Trek.

Explore the iconic town of Namche Bazaar. Trek to the neighbouring Khumjung village to visit the school set up by Sir Edmund Hillary.

Written by Shanu on 20-Sep-2019