Discover the various top trekking places in India
Trekking in India offers a huge range of different landscapes and terrains to explore and different cultures to experience. India has a huge land mass that is bordered by the mighty Himalayas in the north, home to some of the highest peaks in the world.
Trekking in the Himalayas, depending on the region, will take you through the green valleys of Himachal, or the stark beauty of Uttarakhand. Here, in the upper reaches of the mountains, there are glaciers that rumble as they move, snowy peaks swathed in mist, and icy high-altitude lakes to be discovered. Trekkers from around the world come here to try trekking in India, in these spectacular settings.
Trekking in Himalayas
Even if you’re trekking in the Himalayas in the foothills, there’s plenty to see and do. There are campsites with stunning views, spread out over meadows of sweet grass. Trekking trails take you through alpine forests scented with pine.
While trekking in the Himalayas, you’ll stop at ancient temples, pass villages with traditional architecture, meet friendly shepherds tending their flocks of woolly sheep, and maybe even have a philosophical discussion with a monk or a sage.
The winter months are gorgeous in the Himalayas, with pine forests blanketed in snow, white-capped peaks. Here is a list of easy snow treks that are the perfect way to experience a true Himalayan winter
If you are still confused about which Himalayan trek is best for you, read our blog on which Himalayan trek is best and help you with your decision.
Trekking in Sahyadris
Trekking in India isn’t restricted to just trekking in the Himalayas, though. If you’re further down south, the Western Ghats, or the Sahyadris, provide some of the best tropical treks in India. The Sahyadris were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, thanks to their natural and historical significance.
The rich biodiversity in this region makes it one of the most rewarding regions for trekking in India. While history buffs love the forts and ancient ramparts atop most hills, bird-watchers and dinosaur fossil-hunters come here hoping for the next big discovery. However the trekkers in India, especially those who live around, come here for the gorgeous views of sprawling hills and the chance to escape the city in just one short drive.
During the summer, the hills are brown and arid, and the air that blows across the Deccan Plateau is warm and dusty. Trekking in India, especially in this region during the hot months has its rewards, but is not for everyone.
In the monsoon, however, the clouds hang dark and low, washing the hills clean, and filling the rivers and streams. Everything turns green and lush, and the Sahyadris turn into a wonderland for adventure seekers. Trekking here during this time is like walking through paradise.
Trekking in Maharashtra
Hiking in Maharashtra is undertaken mostly by the urban population from Mumbai, Pune and other cities as it offers relief from the fast-paced city life. Monsoon is arguably the best time to undertake these treks.
The Sahyadris are only a few hours away by transport from these urban jungles. They are a favorite among trekkers, nature-lovers and adventure seekers. Maharashtra is blessed with hills, rock-climbing areas and forts which satisfy the needs of novices and experienced hikers alike. Sandhan Valley, Rajmachi, Harishchandragad and Lohagad fort are some of the most famous hiking spots.
Trekking in Karnataka
Down south, Karnataka consistently ranks highly as a trekking destination. Like Maharashtra, hiking in this state offers the ideal getaway for people from the crowded urban areas of Bangalore and other cities.
Karnataka has a gorgeous topography that a trekker must experience once in their lifetime. You are spoilt for choice here, from the imposing mountains of the Western Ghats to the majestic meadows of Coorg and the shola forests.
Trekking here allows you to explore ancient temples, age-defying forts and mountains that kiss the sky. Not to mention the splendid views and the thrilling trails. Karnataka has something in store for every trekker, from the first timer to the vastly experienced and you will never be disappointed with all that it has to offer.
The best time to go for hikes is during the monsoon and winter months because the summers can be intolerable. Some of the best treks are Kunti Betta, Kodachadri trek and Ramanagara trek.
Trekking in Sikkim and Jammu Kashmir
Hiking in the Himalayas is not restricted to the states of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. There are numerous treks in Sikkim, and the more intense treks offer you views of Kanchenjunga, the third highest peak in the world.
Some of the most exciting treks in India are in Leh and Ladakh, in the state of Jammu Kashmir. Here, trekking in the Himalayas takes you through the historic Indus Valley, across high altitude deserts with bleached desolate landscape. In the winter, you can book a Chadar trek package, an iconic trek that goes over the frozen ice sheet that is the Zanskar river.
Trekking in Ladakh
Ladakh is a truly unique destination; a cold desert situated at mind boggling heights between the Karakoram Mountain Range and the Himalayas. It is truly an unimaginable experience and its beauty can only be experienced and not conveyed, making it one of the best trekking destinations in the country, if not the world. Famous for its pure lakes, high passes and the landscape that juxtaposes with the surreal blue skies.
The cold desert is also known as the land of high passes (and with good reason), Ladakh has gradually developed into an incredible adventure destination in India for various sports like trekking, rafting, mountaineering, motorbiking, etc. It draws thrill-seekers, nature lovers and adventure buffs from all across the globe. Through Ladakh, you go through some of the most exquisite trails that the Himalayas have to offer.
You cross high passes, frozen rivers, deep gorges, stunning glaciers while attempting to conquer the challenging peaks. You do this, while trying to take in the unbelievable views of the desolate landscape. While trekking, you lay your eyes on the majestic scenery of the Karakoram and Zanskar ranges along with the Nubra Valley and the unreal views of some of the tallest mountains in Indian Himalayas like K2, Saser Massif, Stok Kangri etc.
Views are only one half of what Ladakh has to offer. What makes it stand out from other treks is the Tibetan culture that you get to experience. You go to some of the secluded villages in the world where you get to taste authentic lip-smacking Tibetan food, explore ancient monasteries and meet some of the warmest people in one of the coldest locations of the world.
Trekking in Uttarakhand
Uttarakhand, also known as the Land of the Gods, offers some of the most adventurous treks known to hikers in the country. Residing in the state are some of the tallest mountains in not only the country but in the world.
Mountains like Nanda Devi, the Himalayas of Uttarakhand, can make a trekker’s heart skip a beat. Here, you are immersed in fantastic and dramatic vistas of towering peaks, lush valleys, wild rivers and sprawling glaciers, along with dense alpine forests and meadows.
The magnitude of visual beauty in the state will leave you dumbfounded. You get to experience the marvel that are the glacial-fed rivers of Ganga and Yamuna slicing their way through the state.
Two-thirds of Uttarakhand is blanketed with oak and pine forests as well as rhododendrons. The various mountains of the Himalayas stand guard all around this marvelous state. Gorgeous meadows strewn all over the state are perfect quiet campsites. If this wasn’t enough, the state has the distinction of being home to some of the rarest flora and fauna in the country.
Trekking in Himachal Pradesh
Himachal Pradesh is a marvel, a place of absolute beauty. Right from the snow-covered Himalayas that cut across the state to the green valleys filled with forests of pine, apple, birch,deodar, etc. From the delicate glaciers, roaring rivers to the serene lakes, and high-altitude passes slicing through the mountains. All of these make trekking in the state an experience one can never forget
Himachal Pradesh probably has the most treks compared to any other state in this country. These treks cut through the towering ranges of Pir Panjal, Dhauladhar and the land of Spiti and Lahaul. Through these treks you end up in some of the most gorgeous landscapes, nestled deep in the Himalayas, where only a few have ventured.
Like Ladakh, the visual beauty of the state is only half of the fun of the trek. The villages that remain hidden in remote locales within the mountain ranges have much to offer in terms of culture and heritage. Exploring and understanding their way of life among the majestic Himalayan ranges, you are sure to appreciate the serenity of a simple life.
Other offbeat locations in India for trekking
Apart from these prime spots for trekking in India, you can also explore other regions on foot. In Goa, the cliffs along the sea present an exciting day trip. You’ll trek along the beach, climb up to the top of the cliffs, and get unending views of the ocean stretching into the horizon.
Trekking in India can also be done in other areas of the country. You can trek through coffee plantations, over the grassy meadows of Kerala, or explore the caves and waterfalls in Andhra Pradesh.
With all these options, it’s no wonder that trekking in this country is one of the most desired adventure sports. Read this blog that The Great Next team has curated a list of top 10 treks in India.