Similar to most parts of the world, trekking is one of the most popular adventure sports in India. People who are on the lookout for thrilling holidays or experiences which will bring them close to nature at its purest form, generally like to do so by going on different treks.
India is blessed to have the Himalayas because there are innumerable trekking routes. From a first-time trekker, to an amateur and an experienced trekker, there are challenging treks for people of different ages and fitness. Some of these treks are popular with pilgrims too. Trekking spots in India are an exuberant mix of rare flora and fauna, man-made wonders, structures built by nature, unforgettable views and a cultural potboiler!
We present to you the top places in India for trekking:
1.Hampta Pass Trek
This is a trek done in Himachal Pradesh and begins in the Kullu Valley from a village named Hampta. The trek finishes at Lahaul and Spiti Valley’s Chatru. This 35 kms long trek is very popular. Trekkers have to climb to a height of 4400 m and the trek needs 4 to 5 days to complete it. But this is surprisingly an easy trek and if you are aiming at a high-altitude trek for the very first time in your life, this trek would be just perfect. The unbelievable scenery, seeing different plants and birds and the whole experience is going to be on your mind for years and years. The trail goes through snow-clad valleys, meadows filled with flowers, thick deodar forests, gurgling streams and stops at barren lands. You will also have a great camping experience at ChandraTal. The ideal time to go on this trek is between June to the middle of November.
2.Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek
This is a trek which is not for absolute beginners as the difficulty level is from moderate to challenging and takes about ten days. The best time to go for this trek is from the middle of March to May and from the middle of September to November. If you want to go on a really adventurous trek within the country, you should consider the Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek. The Kanchenjunga towers at an elevation of 8586 m, being the world’s third highest mountain. You will begin this eight day trek from Yuksom and get glimpses of beautiful sights from Frey to Kabru peaks. Yuksom is a quiet village in West Sikkim.
Throughout the trek, you will be enchanted by sights of rare birds, river Rathong, orchid plants and evergreen ferns. You will also be encountering a famous waterfall by the Paha Khola Bridge. The Prek Chu river is the highlight of the trekking route along with the crossing of Dzongri. First you will cross a small village named Tshoka and then cross the Phedang Pass. The scenery is glorious here as you will be able to see Pandim, Thenchinkhang and Jhuponu, which are all mountains.
This is one of the best trekking places in India for beginners and amateurs as the altitude that trekkers have to climb is less than 2000m. This is actually trekking to a fort in the Lonavala area. The best thing about this trek is that it is as much about trekking as it is about sightseeing. The Rajmachi trek is not done in the Himalayas but in the Western Ghats and is fast gaining popularity. An attraction of the trek is the chance to come across the Kondana caves. You will be climbing only a height of 826 metres and the trek can be done easily in one day. The months between June to September are great for this trek.
4.Beas Kund Trek
This is another trek which is done in Himachal Pradesh. Out of all the different challenging treks done here, the Beas Kund Trek is a short one. This trail in Manali is a popular weekend trekking destination. You get to walk along the Beas river and view the mountains of the Pir Panjal ranges and walk through Dhundhi and Bakarthanch meadows. You will trek up to a glacial lake which is the river’s originating point. The lake has been Beas Kund and it is believed that the author of the Hindu epic Mahabharata, the wise Sage Vyasa used this lake for bathing. This is also one of the treks which you can easily complete if you are a first-time trekker, though the difficulty level is moderate. The ideal time to go on this trek is between the middle of May till the middle of October.
The Chadar trek is done in the Himalayan range of Ladakh and requires about thirteen days. The difficulty level is from moderate to challenging as trekkers trek to a height of 3850m. Trekking in the Himalayas in Ladakh brings an unique opportunity to walk on the frozen Zanskar river. The word ‘Chadar’ means ‘blanket’ and here the ice is like a blanket on the river. The river manages to maintain its rapids at some spots because the spring water stops the ice to completely blanket the river. As you hike along the river, you will see the blanket breaking and also changing colour after every couple of hours.
This magnificent trek will also lead you to ancient Buddhist monasteries and see hamlets located in the Trans Zanskar ranges, almost cut-off from the rest of the world. You will also be amazed to see the spots where the ice chadar does not cover the river.
When you arrive at such a spot, you will start walking on a new trail to trek down to a spot where the ice is more stable. This challenging trek is unparalleled. The chadar or blanket, the panorama, the river, sledges, caves, campsites, the whole atmosphere will make it a once in a lifetime experience that you must have.
6.Clouds End Trek
This trek is best for the mid-level trekkers, somebody who has gone on enough lower altitude treks and want to try something more adventurous. In this trek, you will be climbing to an elevation of 2240 metres but the trek will take only two hours. The months between April and October are the best time to go on this trek. The trek is done in Uttarakhand’s Mussoorie and will let you have a first-hand experience of the natural beauty of the state.
This is one of the most beautiful treks that you can go on in the country. The perfectly shaped mountains and the spectacular flora and fauna makes this trip very memorable. Thrill-seekers can do adventure activities too and you can also try the horse safari on the route.
7.Chandrakhani Pass Trek
This moderate difficulty trek is one of the many trekking places in India which is done in Himachal Pradesh. Try going on this trek from the middle of June to the beginning of October. You will be trekking to an altitude of 3650 m, spanning across ten days. The Chandrakhani Pass Trek is a 22 kilometres long trek. Because of the Pass being at a higher altitude, the views are mind-boggling. There is a scenic village in the Kullu Valley called Naggar from where this trek starts. When you reach the pass, the peaks of Parbati, Pir Panjal and Deo Tibba will be a treat to your eyes. The trail you will be hiking on will be lined up with fir and oak trees. If you are on a solo trek, the path lined with trees will keep you away from the sight of other people and you will enjoy trekking alone in isolation, with nature to keep you company.
8.Gomukh Tapovan Trek
This moderately difficult trek falls in the Garhwal Himalayan region. You will climb to a height of 4465m and the whole trek will take about nine days. The best season to go on this trek is between May and October. This trek has a religious significance attached to it along with the magnificent views that makes it undoubtedly one of the best treks that you can go on in India. This is called the Gomukh trek because you will be trekking beside the pious Bhagirathi river and reach the point or Gomukh which is the source of the river. Gomukh in Hindi means the mouth of the cow.
The campsite at Tapovan is a gorgeous one and the sights that you get here are rare. Where else will you be able to view as many as eight Himalayan peaks? You will see Bhagirathi I, II and III, Sudarshan, Mt. Shivling, Bhirgupanth, Meru Parvat and Chaturangi. What makes this trek more attractive are the other peaks from where you get to see the Gangotri glacier.
If you are an amateur trekker and really keen on going for this trek, you can, but you must ensure yourself that you have the required fitness. While trekking, you will also come crossing a part of a huge and lush meadow. The whole region is verdant with greenery and the Tapovan is surrounded by the tall Himalayan peaks of the Garhwal region. The sight of bharals or blue mountain goats out in herds is also a delightful sight for tourists.
This trek is for all the daredevils, amateurs and beginners are strictly advised to stay away from this trek. This is one of the best high-altitude places in India for trekking, where the altitude is higher than 5000m. The standout feature of the trek is the mystery lake. The challenging route will quench the thirst for thrilling adventures that you are feeling.
The trek will also see you traversing over a glacial lake. This lake has a spine-chilling name, it is called the ‘Skeleton Lake’ and this is because there are many skeletons in the bottom of the lake! On this trek, you will be trekking to an elevation of 5028 metres and takes about seven to nine days. Any time between May to October is ideal for the trek.
10.Markha Valley Trek
This trek is done in the Ladakh region. The Markha Valley is one of Ladakh’s largest valleys and the Markha Valley Trek is one of the most well-known ones here. This is a tiresome trek which starts at Leh and you will be crossing a number of places like Chilling, Sara, Nimaling, Skiu and Hankar. Throughout the trek which spans over ten days, you will trek through quaint villages and also the fort ruins, the protected ruins and temples will also surprise you with their charm.
You will be hiking through a whopping distance of 65 kms as you hike to an altitude of 5200 m above sea level. You will also be crossing two important passes called Ganda La and Kongmaru La. The sight of the Karakoram and Ladakh ranges will keep you awestruck. You will also be motivated to trek ahead by the views of peaks like the Kang Yatse, Stok Kangri and the indomitable K2 mountain.On sunny days, the trek becomes more enjoyable when trekkers can see the Tibet region. This trek is best done between July to middle of September and it is a moderate to difficult trek.
11.Kuari Pass Trek
The Kuari Pass trek is another moderate level trek based on the Garhwal Himalayan range. You can go on this trek either in between mid-April to June or between September to November. The trek will take 9 days as you climb to a height of 4268 m. This trek is on the to-do list of many avid trekkers because one gets to see the snow-covered peaks of the Greater Himalayan range. The trail of the Kuari Pass trek is also known as the Lord Curzon’s trail. Trekkers have to hike through thick forests, green valleys and hamlets. The glimpses of glorious peaks of Nanda Devi, Dronagiri, Chaukhamba, Hati-Ghori Parvat and Kamet reward the trekkers once they reach the Kuari Pass.
12.Araku Valley Trek
This is again one of the treks which are suitable for beginner trekkers as the altitude to be climbed is only 910 metres and takes only a day. This is one of the best hikes for amateur trekkers and people who love to be surrounded by nature. The whole trail is through expanses of greenery and every turn of the trek will make the trekker feel one step closer to nature. This trek is done on the Eastern Ghats of India and covers a distance of 36 kms. The key attractions of the trek are Katiki waterfalls and the Borra Caves. You will be trekking to the highest peak of the state of Andhra Pradesh on this route.
13.Valley of Flowers Trek
This is one of the most popular tours which trekkers from all parts of the world come to experience. The destination of this trek in Uttarakhand is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Also with this, tourists get to visit Hemkund Sahib, a Sikh pilgrimage site. The highest altitude which you will climb to on this trek is 3658 m and covers a distance of 55 kms.
This is a trek for the monsoon season as it is during this time that multiple species of Himalayan flowers bloom in thousands and cover the entire pristine valley. The colourful high-altitude flowers make the valley look absolutely heavenly. This trek starts from Govindghat and is suitable for a tourist of any age. You will feel lucky to be able to see the bountiful blessings of nature. It will be one of the finest treks that you will ever go on. This trek should be done from July to the middle of September and it is an easy to moderately difficult trek.
14.Pin Parvati Pass Trek
This is a 16-day trek which is done in Uttarakhand’s Garhwal and like most of the treks done here, it is a challenging trek. Trekkers will climb to an elevation of 5335 metres. This trek should be ideally done from mid-June to mid-October. In Kullu’s Parvati Valley and Spiti’s Pin Valley, there are glaciers and trekkers will have to tread on these glaciers which makes the trek really tough. This is another trek where trekkers will hike through lush meadows, gurgling lakes and ancient villages, starting from Manikaran. One will come across the glaciers after climbing uphill by the Parvati river.
The sight you will get to see after reaching the glaciers is completely unbelievable. The Pin Parvati Pass is the highest point where one reaches before arriving at the Spiti Valley. This Pass is also the trek’s highest point. After reaching here, most tourists explore the monasteries and obviously the Spiti Valley before they start trekking through Rohtang Pass and Kaza to return back to Manali.
15.Milam Glacier Trek
If you love to be in the wilderness, then this mountain trek is for you. This will be a study of nature at its best. This trek is the speciality of Uttarakhand’s Kumaon region.
The Milam Glacier trek is for all the mountain lovers who love to go on treks but have still not reached the level of being an expert trekker. The trek needs from twelve to fifteen days and you will be ascending to an elevation of 2290 metres. The trail goes through varying landscapes and many meadows. This makes it perfect for ones who want to go for an adventure but do not have the fitness to climb very high right now. You should go for this trek any time between May to mid-October.
16.Rupin Pass Trek
This is a difficult trek done in Uttarakhand’s Garhwal region. The Rupin Pass trek is both challenging and one of the best trekking places in India. The trek takes about ten days and trekkers have to climb to an elevation of 15250 feet. The trek starts at Uttarakhand’s Dhaula and after trekking for about 52 kms, ends at Himachal Pradesh’s Sangla. The jaw-dropping panorama and the hardcore challenges make this trek a favourite of avid trekkers. This trek should not be attempted by seniors or children below fourteen as it involves walking on different types of terrain. It is going to be rugged, snowy, and one has to walk through meadows, come across a hanging village and waterfalls. The ideal time for this trek is between May – June and from September – October.
17.Dzongri – Goecha La Trek
This is a Himalayan trek done in Sikkim and is moderately difficult. The trek takes ten days and trekkers have to climb to a height of 4940m. The best time to go on this trek is from the middle of the March till June and from September to mid-November. Out of all the places in India for trekking, the Dzongri trek is one of the most exciting ones. Yuksom is a town in Sikkim which is historically significant. The trek starts at this town , thus giving the trekkers an opportunity to observe and experience the lifestyle and culture of people living there, which is more traditional. You will be amazed to see fences made of wood which looks very aesthetic.
Because the trail goes through the Himalayas in Sikkim, the trekkers are rewarded with the sight of Mt. Kanchenjunga. When it is clear and sunny, the peaks will be clearly visible, at most times there will be cottony clouds covering the peak every now and then. You will be able to see vast meadows sprawled across the foothills.
If your mind is tired and jarred by the regular city life, this trip is going to make you feel serene. You will also be sighting Mt. Kabru and Mt. Pandim. If you want to go on a solo trek, this one will offer you luxurious company of nature while you are at it. Cut off from the dreary regular life, you will be trekking through oak forests, fields filled with rhododendrons and forests with all wild flowers.
18.Bhaba Pass Trek
This is another high-altitude trek meant for expert trekkers. Varied terrains and diverse landscapes give trekkers an opportunity to understand how beautiful our country is. Empty landscapes and then lush meadows makes the trekking experience a lot of fun. On this trek you will be climbing 5300 meters covering a span of eight days. The months between May to October is the best time to go for this trek.
The Sandakphu trek is carried out in West Bengal and the difficulty level of this trek is from easy to moderate. Also referred to as ‘Trekker’s Wonderland’, Sandakphu is West Bengal’s highest point. This trek will take you to a height of 11,500 feet and let you marvel at the sights of Kanchenjunga, Mt. Everest, Makalu and Lhotse. This trek takes eight to nine days and is best done in April or May or between October – February. As you trek on a 45 kms trail, you will see a variety of flowers, magnolias, ferns and orchids. Another highlight of the trek is the Black Pond which is a holy pond for the Buddhists. It is popularly known as the Kalapokhri.Another attraction is the Bikhey Bhanjyang or ‘Valley of Poison’. The poisonous flower called Aconite is found here, that’s why the name.
20.Shepherd Trail Trek
This moderately difficult trek in Himachal Pradesh needs 16 days to complete. The best time to go on this trek is between the middle of June to the middle of October. The Shepherd’s Trail trek is popular due to a couple of reasons. A prime reason is that you will be taken to secluded hamlets which remain open for about five months every year. The trekking route is spread across the Dhauladhar mountain ranges. This ranges’ highest peak is the White Mountain or Hanuman ka Tibba which is situated at an elevation of 5639 m and is located behind Daharamshala, the town.
The edge of Manali serves as the starting point of the trek. Ravi is one of the main rivers of this region and the trek ends here at Bara Bhangal, which is a shepherd’s village, located on the river bank. You will be crossing rhododendron and birch forests to reach the pass nad then you will have to climb down through debris of glaciers and more green forests, making the location ,look exquisite.
Well, that’s our top 20 trekking places in India. We have included the best treks for all people, for someone who is about to attempt their first trek to somebody who is now an avid trekker. If you want to go on your first trek, choose carefully from the list given above. There are quite a few which you can go on. Whichever trek you are going to choose, it will only increase your longing for going on another trek as soon as possible! Nature at its raw form, diverse landscapes and towering peaks makes trekking a great adventure sport.
So if you feel bored and exhausted and desperately looking for a break, do not hesitate and go on a trek, this is a tested method of feeling fully rejuvenated.