Stays and travelling organised by Youth Hotels all around the globe is popular for the past 80 years. The movement started in Germany focuses on friendship, adventure, and travel in peace and gives young people with limited resources the opportunity to travel the world. Likewise, YHAI or The Youth Hostels Association of India intends to promote tourism, adventure and national integration so that every member is provided with safe, budget-friendly and good-standard travel accommodation while travelling with limited means. YHAI is a volunteer-driven organization that offers affordable stays, educational tours, and adventurous excursions to promote tourism in India.
About Youth Hostels Association of India (YHAI)
The YHAI is an associate member of the Hostelling International at Welwyn Garden City, England that has a remarkable network of more than 4500 Youth Hostels all across the world. Besides providing hygienic, safe, and affordable accommodations, YHAI provides a good-standard hostel experience for those looking to explore the world around them. It is one of the largest youth membership organizations worldwide. The hostels are managed by like-minded people and situated in places from where you can easily participate in environmental awareness activities or adventures organized by the YHAI.
Why should you become a YHAI member?
YHAI membership not only offers discounted accommodations but also provide members with various opportunities to explore nearby places. The membership discounts and other advantages make it easier for budget-travels to plan vacations with family and friends frequently in an affordable way. You also get to participate in educational events, organised trips or excursions with a group of friends while staying at clean, safe and reasonable prices accommodations. Some of the benefits include:
- You can stay in discounted accommodation in more than 150 locations.
- The Youth Hostels located across the country offer safe, affordable and clean accommodations.
- The events and programs are affordable and well-organised.
- The membership card can be used in more than 3300 locations located all over the globe.
- The members are entitled to get more than 40,000 types of discounts in all the YHAI-IYTC Co-Branded Membership.
- Members can participate in economical adventure programs, family adventure campaigns and other YHAI activities to get good experiences.
- Programs are managed by volunteers who give members the chance to engage with new people and make friends.
Adventure Programs, treks and weekend retreats organised by YHAI
The YHAI is internationally popular due to the well-organized youth programs that promote love for nature and nurture. In order to do so, the YHAI arranges various trekking, camping, and cycling programmes in the country’s best beaches, mountains, deserts, and so forth. All the programs are very popular among the youth since they not just get the opportunity to lead the adventure but also develop a sense of national integration, togetherness and social development. All the above-mentioned programs aim to encourage courage, mutual understanding and sharing among people. With a ‘Back to Nature’ slogan, the organization indeed create an everlasting impression on the mind of people. Some of the popular treks and programs organised at YHAI includes:
Dalhousie Winter Trek
Dalhousie is one of the most scenic and picturesque places in India. It is also known as the summer retreat. The members of YHAI can explore this pristine hill station in the Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh at an affordable price. Dalhousie is situated at an altitude 7550 above sea level and is perfect for new trekkers with forest lakes and pastoral lands. One of the popular sites that can be visited during the trek is Khajjair which is called as ‘Mini Switzerland’ in India. In the foothills of the Dhauladhar ranges, Khajjiar is located 6,500 feet above the ground. The trekking starts from Devidehra which itself gives a thrilling experience.
A weekend trip to Mussoorie
Mussoorie is yet another popular hill station in India and one of the mountaineers’ favourite. YHAI organises weekend trips to Mussoorie that includes various activities and fun. Being the summer capital of the British Raj, this place is full of thrill and vibe. Some of the activities that you can enjoy with the YHAI weekend retreat to Mussoorie include boating at the man-made lake, strolling at the nearby village and Doon valley besides city marvels and Mall Road.
Visit Pindari Glaciers
Pindari Glacier is an ancient mountain that is believed to be a place where the Pandavs had performed Pind Daan before proceeding towards heaven. With the YHAI team, you can visit this sacred place situated high up in the Kumaon Himalayas, southeast of Nanda Devi. Nanda Kot is one of the best natural attractions here and is loved by adventure seekers the most. Nanda Devi is the second-highest mountain in India that stands 25,644 feet above the ground.
Sar Pass Trek
The Sar Pass trek is in fact of the most revered treks of YHAI as it excites both new as well as experienced trekkers with enough adventures on the way. The trek starts from Kasol and takes almost 9 days to return to the base camp. To cater the travellers, there are many shops and budget-friendly food joints which offers Chinese, Continental, Israeli and Indian cuisines.
Brahma Tal Trek
Brahma Tal is the place which is believed to be visited by Lord Brahma millions of years ago thereby, is very sacred and surreal. Brahma Tal is located in the Garhwal Himalayas at the Bhrama Bugyal, Chamoli district in Uttarakhand. The trek is 28 kilometres long walk which is spread across 7 days, including resting periods in between. The trekkers have to reach Kathgodam railway station and then to the Lohajung base camp from where the trekking journey begins. During the trek, you may get a glimpse of snowy fields, meadows, ravines and a lot more that becomes lively during winter. Besides Bhrama Tal Lake and Beklatal, you get to view Chaukhamba, Neelkanth, Trishul and Nandaghunti Mountains along with villages that adds allure to the adventure.
Biking in Himachal Pradesh
With lush green mountains and valleys, Himachal is a paradise where you will see simple villages and mesmerising views all through the year. This is the reason YHAI organises a cycling trip in Himachal Pradesh to make you explore nature from the close instead of travelling by bus or train. The cycling route passes through Trithan valley and Jalori Pass that also acts as the base camp for the riders. In Trithan Valley, you can visit the Teerth River or a UNESCO declared World heritage site, Great Himalayan National Park that is spread across 1100 square kilometres. Sojha and Jibhi are the two beautiful towns that will also come in between along with other mini-hamlets. But before going for the cycling adventure, ensure that you have taken appropriate training from the mountain biking experts and camp leaders for a safe journey.
Kedarkantha trek is one of the most popular mountain treks in Uttarakhand and a trekkers delight that can be explored with YHAI in a safe and affordable manner. The mountain is covered mostly by snow during winters while the majestic Himalayan peaks offer breathtaking views. During the trek, you can explore some of the untouched natural beauty and remote villages. The place is dotted with lovely lakes, snowy paths, meadows, rivers and dramatic landscapes. To enjoy to the fullest, you must visit Kedarkantha during December when the area has maximum snowfall. Both experienced and amateur trekkers will find the route manageable, as it’s neither too steep nor too flat.