With numerous Hindu temples and pilgrimage sites located throughout the state,Uttarakhand, formerly Uttaranchal, is also known as Land of the Gods. The topography of the state includes the bhabar tarai, (Foothills of the Himalayas) and the Himalayan Mountains. Of these, the Himalayas dominates much of the geography and the hilly state features some of the mesmerizing peaks, Hills, the river heads, hill stations and spectacular mountainous features. The natural beauty and climate presents a stark contrast to the plain areas of Northern India and tourists flock here in large numbers to experience an interesting aspect of nature which is partly mountainous and partly plain.
The entire landscape of the Uttarakhand is divided into Garhwal and Kumaon mountains. The land finds vivid description numerous Hindu Scriptures and as the archeological evidences would suggest, it has been inhabited by people since ancient times. The geographical features provide perfect conditions for trekking and you would find many such treks here of great interest
1) Kuari Pass
With easy to moderate levels of trekking, Kuari Pass trek is quite suitable for the beginners. Kuari Pass is situated in the Garhwal region of the Himalayas and some of the prominent features include the spectacular views of the imposing peaks of Nanda Devi, Trishul, Dronagiri, Chaukhamba and Changbang and lush Meadows. Trekking on this route is organized before or after monsoon and takes you tothe maximum altitude of over 3500 metres. The locals, shepherds, Alpine vegetation,brimming waters - all this makes the Kauri Pass trek an experience of a lifetime.
The 5-day Kedarkantha trek in the Garhwal Himalayas offers spectacular glimpses of the natural settings. This winter trek would take you past the Govind National Park and provides paronamic views of the snow capped peaks.The summit point of the trek is about 3850 metres and no prior trekking experience is required to embark upon this journey. The pristine Nature and the wilderness ofmountainous topography speak for itself and one simply need to follow the settrail to unfold the surrounding beauty.
The cradle-shaped valley of Har ki Doon in the Garhwal Hills offer numerous bounties of nature to make this trek quite special. Though the six day trek is considered easy, but the offerings of nature would prop up challenges in the form of icytracts, rugged terrain and streams of rivers. The abundance of flora and fauna is simply spectacular, as is the mythological aspect attached to the trek along the sacred Valley of Har ki Doon.
This one is considered as moderate to difficult trek. Roopkund trek covers 8 days and takes you to the imposing Himalayas peaks as high as 15700 ft. But it is perhaps the mystery behind the glacial Roopkund Lake in the form of human skeletons which makes the journey all the more interesting. Apart from of the lake, you would also come across the lofty Meadows and streaming Himalayan rivers as you embark upon this arduous trek. Beginning from Lohagunj, the trek concludes at same point.
This trek would let you witness the unique aspect of the Himalayas in the form of wildflowers, especially during the monsoon months. It is a 4-5 day trek and anticipating heavy downpours, it would be wise to equip yourself accordingly. But it the wild beauty of colorful flowers that would more than make up forthe harshness of weather and there are plenty of lodges in Ghangria to stave off the unpleasant rains. The trek starts at Govind Ghat and concludes at same point.
6) Chandrashila Deoriatal Trek
Beginning from Rishikesh, this short trek could be completed in 4 days. One of the major highlight of this trek is the summit of Chandrashila which offers scenic views of the distant Chaukhamba peaks. Similarly, you would also come across Deorital Lake where you would be camping on the first day of your trek. This rather easy trek requires no prior acclimatization and is a perfect venture for beginners. The best time to undertake this trek would be the month of April when the trees and flowers are at full bloom.