The welcoming views of the first landscape
The simplicity of greenery everywhere
The fresh water that cuts through the mountains
The hidden world of unpopulated meadows
The freedom of exploring the endless kingdom
And then the curious case of grey color
The sparsely vegetated terrain of the rugged mountains
The sprinkles of the snow that carpet the peaks
Himalayas, the first thing that comes in mind is the snow capped peaks and its abundance of natural beauty. Trekking in Himalayan mountains is all together a different experience. People come here in search of peace and nirvana. Some of them come here embrace the beauty of nature, while others come to quench their thirst for adventure. In the last few decades, hundreds of explorers have ventured into the unknown terrains of the mountains and discovered some of the mind boggling treks. Depending on the season, these treks completely transforms itself and gives a different experience every time visited.
A time frame when only adventure seekers dare to venture is in winters. Winters in Himalaya’s are a great time to experience first snow. Trekking in snow is challenging and fun. The soft snow makes it difficult to walk while the hard snow is slippery. Some high altitude treks also require mountaineering equipments like Gaiters and crampons to walk on it.
The following treks has its own unique charm to offer
- Pangarchulla Peak
Height - 4700mts
Start Point - Joshimath, Uttarakhand
Difficulty Level – Moderate
At a height of 14,700ft, Pangarchulla peak gives an opportunity to experience abundance of snow and use of Mountaineering equipments like Micro spikes, ropes, etc. Though the best season is from April to June, trekking before April gives an opportunity to experience more snow. This well rounded trek is adorned with varied landscapes of Nanda Devi sanctuary. It’s pleasant to walk through Oak trees and Rhododendrons. But be aware that this is a Moderate level trek. There are chances of AMS, so it is important to have an experienced guide and disclose any existing medical problem before starting the trek.
Day 01 : Haridwar to Joshimath
Day 02 : Joshimath to Dhak to Gulling Top
Day 03 : Gulling Top (9600 ft) to Khulara
Day 04 : Khulara to Pangarchula Peak Summit and back to Khulara
Day 05 : Khulara – Joshimath
Day 06 : Joshimath to Haridwar
Book Now : Pangarchulla Peak Trek
- Dayara Bugyal
Height - 3600mts
Start Point - Uttarkashi
Difficulty Level – Easy
Dayara Bugyal is a high altitude meadow perched at a height of 3000mts. From 100s of years, Sherpa’s come here to graze their heard of sheep’s and goats. When they brought back the stories of its extra ordinary beauty to the explorers, they got curious to visit it. And alas! The place proved to be alluring. This 15kms long trek opens up to the views of Bhagirathi, Bandarpoonch, and many others peaks. Experiencing snow at such an altitude is not common. Acclimatization should not be a problem here and the beauty of nature can be experienced at its fullest.
Day 01 :- Haridwar to Barsu (7545 ft) 200km.
Day 02 :- Barsu to Barnala (8530 ft) 4km.
Day 03 :- Barnala to Dayara Bugyal (9980) 5km.
Day 04 :- Dayara Bugyal to Bakaria Top, back to Dayara Bugyal(12000 ft).
Day 05 :- Dayara Bugyal to Pichkiya (7873 ft).
Day 06 :- Pichkiya (7873 ft) to Barsu(7545 ft).
Day 07 :- Barsu to Haridwar.
Book Now : Dayara Bugyal Trek
- Hampta Pass
Height - 4,200
Start Point - Manali
Difficulty Level – Moderate
Hampta pass is my favourite as it is the first Himalayan trek of my life. The lustrous beauty it beholds and the slow but steady challenges one has to face, makes it adventurous. The Rani nallah (stream) becomes the companion as the trek goes parallel to it for the next 4 days. Camping besides the flowing stream, drinking the fresh water, and crossing the rapid torrent gives a chilling experience. The famous Indrasan peak stands right in front as you trek through the pass. On the summit day, mild AMS can be possibly experienced. So drink ample of water. The beautiful Chandratal Lake is very close and can be visited on 5th day once the trek is finished.
Chika Day 01 : Drive from Manali (6000 ft) to Jobra than start trek to Chika (10100 ft).
Balu Ka Ghera Day 02 : Chika (10100 ft) to Balu ka Ghera (11900 ft) .5 hrs easy ascent.
Siagoru Day 03 : Balu ka Gera (11900 ft) to Siagoru (12900 ft) Crossing Hampta Pass (14100 ft).
Chandra Tal Day 04 : Siagoru (12900 ft) to Chatru (11000 ft) 4 hrs. Drive to Chandra Tal.
Manali Day 05 : Drive from Chandra tal/Chatru to Manali via the Rohtang Pass.
Book Now : Hampta Pass Trek
Height – 5000 mts
Start Point - lohajung, Uttarakhand
Difficulty Level – Moderate
Roopkund is famous for its mysterious skeleton lake. But the trek is about lot more than just those skeletons. The trail meanders through the rhododendron and deep virgin oak forest. The trail is well marked and with preparation, this high altitude trek can also be attempted by the beginners. Mt. Trishul can be seen in its full glory from this place. Oh! And post monsoon, a good amount of snow can be experienced here. You can get most out of its beautiful meadows as you spend ample of time on it. At a height of 5000ft, this trek is a perfect blend of Adventure and mesmerizing beauty.
Day 1 :- Kathgodam to Lohajung
Day 2 :- Lohargunj to Didna Village
Day 3 :- Didna Village to Ali Bugyal
Day 4 :- Ali Bugyal to Patar Nachauni via Bedni Bugyal and Ghora Lotani
Day 5 :- Patar Nachauni to Bhagwabasa via Kalu Vinayak
Day 6 :- Bhagwabasa to Roopkund to Patar Nachauni
Day 7 :- Patar Nachauni to Lohajung via Bedni and Wan
Day 8 :- Loharjung to Kathgodam
Book Now : Roopkund Trek
Height - 4,900 mts
Start Point - Yuksom, Sikkim
Difficulty Level – Moderate / Difficult
Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand are the 2 states that are extensively visited for Himalayan treks. But the real towering peaks of the Himalayas are actually towards the east. And Goechela is a perfect trek to go closest and get a glimpse of the mighty peaks of Nepal. The big highlight though is the heavenly sunlight falling on the beautiful Kanchenjunga peak. The trek is difficult and hence one needs to be fit to do this trek. Rhododendron trees adore the trails all the way. Goechala is best done in Oct-Nov.
For more details follow this link – http://www.365hops.com/blog/goecha-la-a-stairway-to-kangchenjunga/
Day 1 :- NJP to Yuksom(5,800ft).
Day 2 :- Yuksom (5,800 feet) to Sachen (7,200 feet).4 hours.
Day 3 :- Sachen (7,200 feet) – Tshoka (9,650 feet). 4 hours
Day 4 :- Tshoka(9,650 feet)- Dzongri(12,980 feet) via Phedang(12,050 feet). 5-6 hours
Day 5 :- Dzongri(12980ft) to Dzongri top and back.
Day 6 :- Dzongri to Lamuney via Kockchurang(12096ft).6-7 hours.
Day 7 :- Lamuney(13,693ft) to Goechala(16,000ft) and back to Kockchurang.10 hours.
Day 8 :- kokchurang to Tshoka via Phedang. 6-7 hours.
Day 9 :- Tshoka to Yuksom via Bhakim and Sachen. 6 hours.
Day 10 :- Drive back to NJP.
Book Now : Goechala Trek
- Har ki Doon
Height - 3500 mts
Start Point - Dehradun
Difficulty Level – Easy/ Moderate
This is another easy level trek which is perfect for first timers. At a height of 3500mts, this place transfers into a white adobe in winters. The mighty peaks of Swargarohini can be seen from here. Har ki doon is also called Valley of Gods as the trail was followed by Pandavas to ascend to heaven via Swargarohini. As you trek, you pass through ancient villages that are 3,000 year old. Once you reach the top, it gets into a reverse trek as you have to descend from the same route.
Day 1 :- Pick up from Dehradun railway station at 6.30 am. Drive to Sankri (10-11 hrs).
Day 2 :- Sankri to Taluka (12 km drive) ,Taluka to Osla (14 km trekking)
Day 3 :- Osla to Harkidoon – 11 km – 5 to 6 hrs
Day 4 :- Harkidoon to Jaundhar Glacier, Explore the area & back to camp 15 km – 7 hrs
Day 5 :- Harkidoon to Osla – 11 km – 3 hrs
Day 6 :- Osla to Sankri – 26 km – 7 to 8 hrs
Day 7 :- Drive back to Dehradun. Reach by 7-8 pm.
Book Now : Har Ki Doon Trek
- Tarsar Marsar
Height - 3,300 mts
Start Point - YAru valley, Pahalgam
Difficulty Level – easy/ moderate
Tarsar and Marsar are the names of 2 different lakes. Kashmir is a paradise of natural wonders. But the real beauty starts when you leave the paved road and follow the path of grazing sherpas inside the alluring valleys. This trek is long but not difficult. The best part is that you get to camp right besides the lake. The experience of waking up to the grand views of lake is incredible. The twin almond shaped lakes are known from 16th Century during the period of ruler of Kashmir, Yusuf Shah Chak.
Brief Itinerary :-
Day 1 :- Arrive at Srinagar. Depart Srinagar by 2 pm and drive to Aru base camp (4 hrs)
Day 2 :- Aru to Lidderwat (9.5 km, 6 hours)
Day 3 :- Lidderwat to Shekwas (5.6 km, 5 hours)
Day 4 :- Shekwas to Tarsar and explore Tarsar (5 km, 4 hours)
Day 5 :- Tarsar to Sundarsar (5 km, 5 hours)
Day 6 :- Sundarsar to Marsar and back and then Sonmasti ( 7.5 km, 6 hours)
Day 7 :- Sonmasti to Sumbal. Drive to Srinagar and reach by 5 pm.
Book Now : Tarsar Marsar Trek
- Kashmir Great Lakes Trek
Height - 4,200 mts
Start Point - Sonmarg
Difficulty Level – Moderate / Difficult
Kashmir Great Lakes trek is probably the most magnificent treks of all. The 72km long trek is moderately difficult and requires good health and physic. But it can also be attempted by first timers. The trek is full of extensive mountain walking with some steep climbs and sharp descends. As the name suggests, the trek goes through the major lakes of Kashmir, which includes Gadsar, Vishansar, Kishansar, Nundkol and Gangabal. There is no easy exit option here as it has 3 high passes to cross. So it is recommended to go with complete preparation before you embark on this trek.
Note – I am aware of the current unrest in Kashmir. I have personally stayed in Sonmarg valley for 1 month in Sep and trust me, there was no problem in terms of safety. The only problem is travelling by road which should be only done at night. Though you should be travelling to Kashmir at your own risk.
Day 1 :- Arrive Srinagar, Drive to Sonamarg Night stay in Camp.
Day 2 :- Sonamarg to Nichnai via Shekdur (9 to 10 kms , 7 hours).
Day 3 :- Nichnai to Vishansar Lake (13 kms, 8 hours).
Day 4 :- Acclimatization + Rest Day at Vishansar.
Day 5 :- Vishansar to Gadsar via Kishasar lake and Gadsar pass (11 kms, 6 hours).
Day 6 :- Gadsar to Satsar (12 kms, 7 hours).
Day 7 :- Satsar to Gangabal Twin lakes (9 kms, 7 hours).
Day 8 :- Gangabal to Naranag (12 kms, 7 hours).
Book Now : Kashmir Great Lakes Trek
- Stok Kangri
Height - 6,153 mts
Start Point - Leh, Ladakh
Difficulty Level – Difficult
Stok Kangri is a 6000mts peak situated in Ladakh. It is almost 70% of Mt. Everest. This means, it needs extensive preparation before going for the trek. Please do not go for this trek if you do not have any high altitude trekking experience before. The probability of summiting Stok Kangri is less for the people who do not give enough time to acclimatize themselves. You should atleast attempt a 4000mts – 5000mts peak before attempting this trek. This is the most adventurous and thrilling trek amongst all. The breathtaking view of the snow clad Himalayan peaks from such a height is something that only an eye witness can describe.
Day 1 :- Arrive Leh
Day 2 :- Leh (Acclimatization day)
Day 3 :- Leh (11500 ft.) to Chang Ma (13087 ft.) via Stok Village (11800 ft.)
Day 4 :- Chang Ma (13087 ft.) to Mankorma (14200 ft.)
Day 5 :- Mankorma (14200 ft.) to Base camp (16300 ft.)
Day 6 :- Rest day + training day.
Day 7 :- Base camp (16300 ft.) to Stok Kangri (20080 ft.) back to base camp
Day 8 :- Base camp to Leh
Book Now : Stok Kangri Trek
- Chopta Tungnath Chandrashila
Height - 4,000mts
Start Point - Sari, Haridwar
Difficulty Level – easy/ Moderate
Chopta Tungnath Chandrashila is a perfect long weekend getaway. As you near the it slowly reveals the stunning views of various Himalayan peaks namely Nanda Devi, Trishul, Chaukhamba and Kedar.
Camping is all together a different experience here. Camping besides the pristine Deorital lake offers stunning reflections of big mountains like Chaukhamba and Kedar Dome. The trail is a bit tricky with its abrupt climbs and sudden changes in the terrain. The Tungnath peak is known to be the highest Shiva shrine on the globe.
Day 1 : Drive Haridwar-Sari (7 hours)
Day 2 : Trek to Deoriatal (3kms)
Day 3 : Deoriatal to Rohini Bugyal (8 km, 5-6 hours trek)
Day 4 : Rohini Bugyal to Chopta ( 7 km, 5-6 hours trek)
Day 5 : Trek Chopta-Tungnath (3680m),Chandrashilla Top (4130m) and back to Chopta (7-8 hours)
Day 6 : Chopta to Haridwar (Drive 7 hours)
Book Now : Chopta Chandrashila Deoria Tal Trek
Height - 4,300mts
Start Point - Gulaba, Manali
Difficulty Level – easy/ Moderate
The stunning lake nestled at an altitude of 14,000 ft offers fascinating natural vistas and breathtaking views of snow clapped mountains, lush meadows ad verdant rich forests. This trek has 2 unique things about it.
- It is a high altitude glacier lake that is easily accessible compared to other glacier lakes that take several days.
- The meadows of Bringu Lake Trek are a real treat. Like high altitude Lake, high altitude meadows take several days to reach and Bringu lake trek offers this experience in its initial days itself.
But be aware, in winter the temperature gets lower with 10-15C around daytime and nearly 0 to -7C at night. Almost half a year the lake remains frozen.
Day 1 : From Manali drive to Gulaba and trek to Gulaba Meadows camp
Day 2 : Gulaba to Rola Kholi
Day 3 : Rola Kholi to Bhrigu Lake to Pandu Ropa
Day 4 : Pandu Ropa to Vashist to Manali
Book Now : Bhrigu Lake Trek
“The Mountains are calling and I must go”