For adventure seekers and free spirits, the perfect way to experience nature in its most natural form is to trek along untrodden paths. Rolling through green forest swathes, crossing hills and dales, fording streams in secret valleys offers surges of adrenalin that can never equal packed five-star vacations.
India is truly the heaven of any hiker. India welcomes every hiker with magnificent views of snow-capped mountain peaks, green meadows, spurting streams and waterfalls, high-altitude glaciers, and incredible flora and fauna range, covering a wide number of hiking trails in the Himalayas.
Here are the top 10 stunning trails across India you must not miss.
Pin Parvati Pass Trek
Pin Parvati Pass Trek falls in the group of difficult treks as one would have to walk in Kullu and Pin Valley in Spiti over the peaks in the Parvati Valley. This hiking & walking tour begins from Manikaran, passes through many villages, green meadows and stunning lakes. The trekker comes across the glaciers as he follows the path upstream of the Parvati River. One has to go through the Pin Parvati Pass, which is the highest point of this trek, before reaching Spiti Valley. Before returning to Manali via Kaza and Rohtang Pass, tourists discover the Spiti Valley and its monasteries.
Valley of Flowers
The valley of flowers, situated high in the Himalayas of Uttaranchal at an altitude of 3658 m, is very aptly named, it is a huge valley full bloom with more kinds of flowers than can be counted. It is a beautiful location surrounded by lovely mountains. With flowers of all colours, the valley floor is splendid, and the whole place has an extremely good fragrance. Plan a trip for six days and the best time to visit this valley is between July to September. The maximum altitude is 3658 m.
Chopta Tungnath Chandrashila Trek
There are several explanations behind is among the most popular high-altitude treks in North India being the Chopta Chandrashila Trek. It is one of those treks that can be enjoyed all year round. The 360° views of Himalayan peaks are an absolute treat to the eyes. Explore the beauty of Kedarnath, Chaukhamba, Nanda Devi and Trishul, mostly during the duration of this trek. The charm of the alpine flora that this area is so famous for, can also be seen. As the starting point for the Chandrashila Trek, there are 2 to 3 routes recommended. When you go past the 1000-year-old Tungnath temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, the pinnacle of the trek is.
Auli Gorson Bugyal
One of the most popular treks in Uttarakhand is the Auli Gorson Bugyal Trek. The trail takes you past the Garhwal Himalayas region’s most beautiful locations. You go by meadows in the summer season where tiny colourful flowering plants actively dance in the wind and thrill your mind. Although, the trek’s path is filled in summers with vibrant and spectacular flowers, in winter is ice-coated, making it a bit hard to trek, but all the more stunning. Also, it is this rapid change in its landscape making Auli Gorson Bugyal Trek in Uttarakhand such a properly looked after tourist spot.
Green Lake Trek
There are not many locations where one can still see nature’s raw beauty. Except for one such place in North Sikkim, and the Green Lake Trek takes you towards this region of the country whose pristine beauty lies in its charm. The landscape here is filled with frozen lakes, mountains, thick woods and vibrant meadows. Traverse the incredible sights of Phodong Monastery, Mangan, Changthang & Lachen all along. One from Zema to Talem is a particularly beautiful trail. The Ice Green Lake Hike, that brings you up to Green Lake, is the most alluring part of such a trek and exposes you to sights of Simvo, Twin Peaks and Nepal Peaks.
Nanda Devi Trek
Nanda Devi, rising to an altitude of 7816 m, is the highest peak in India’s Garhwal region. The Nanda Devi National Park, scattered across the lap of the mountain, housing rare Himalayan fauna and flora, is a spot of elegance in and of itself. You will be trekking along Himalayan foothills and numerous small rivers, glaciers and streams. A location that attracts thousands of photographers, trekkers and mystics each year is an epitome of pure natural beauty. The location is in Garhwal Himalayas, and the best season to visit is May-June and September-October.
Goecha La Trek
Goecha La, a trek in the centre of the beautiful region of Sikkim, brings you face-to-face with Kanchenjunga, the earth’s third highest mountain peak. Enjoy the beauty of the enticing rhododendron trees, picturesque hill stations, or beautiful clear Himalayan lakes. The trek is very difficult, but you will certainly find it worth the hassle when you see the magnificent Himalayas from Dzongri. The location of the trek is in Sikkim and takes 10 days.
Stok Kangri Trek
At an altitude of 6153 m, the Stok Kangri trail takes you to the highest climbable summit in India. In the Ladakh region, it is a fairly challenging trek that is suitable for skilled trekkers, although it doesn’t involve mountaineering skills. From Stok Kangri summit, the breathtaking view of the Himalayas makes the entire trek a trip to cherish. It is located in Ladakh and takes you 9 days. It is remote and the best season to go is from July to September.
Madhya Pradesh’s enormous geographical suburbs (443,446 sq. km) provides numerous trekking possibilities amidst lushly forested hills and national parks. Their selection centres around Pachmarhi hill station, 3,500 ft above sea level. Pachmarhi is located in the heart of the towering Satpura Range, 200 km from the capital of the state, Bhopal. The peaceful and peaceful hiking trails meander through salt and bamboo forests and around them, up hilly terrain and through pretty valleys, crossing many streams and brooks. Within the day, most paths can be accomplished, and the trek to Priyadarshini point, the highest in the range of Satpura, is the most wonderful of the lot.
Located in the south-western seaboard state of Kerala, the breath-taking pristine forests of the Silent Valley are every trekker’s imagination. Trekking in the Silent Valley, declared an ecologically vulnerable area and planned for preservation, is tightly supervised by the forestry department of the Kerala state government. Trekkers must receive multiple permissions from the Mukkali forest district office or the Mannarkkad wildlife warden. Hikers are accompanied by a guide-cum-cook through authorized trails.
Trekkers need to be well-equipped to make cross-country adventures fun and mishap-free. A must-have is a durable and convenient backpack that can store clothes, sleeping bags, camping gear, simple cutlery, snacks that are not perishable, water, toiletries, and so on. A sine qua non is also comfortable hiking footwear and a first-aid bag. Also, it is crucial to understand that trekking is a group activity that can only be carried out in designated trekking locations. For beginners, a single-day hike is a decent starting point that can be stretched to half-week and seven-day trekking excursions with the acquisition of learning-by-doing experience.