From the Western Ghats to the Himalayas, the Indian landscape offers a wide assortment of terrain that one can trek through. Whether they are high-altitude alpine forests, craggy mountaintops, gurgling riverbanks or dense evergreen jungles, the thrill is just the same. Trekking brings us closer to the elements, to nature and even to our inner selves. Here is a list of some of India’s best trekking routes.
1. Roopkund – There’s no better way to appreciate the Himalayan landscape than to trek up to Roopkund Lake. Make your way through alpine forests, rolling meadows, barren mountain sides, and lots of snow. With Mt. Trishul looking over the climb up to Roopkund Lake, this part of the expedition will make your jaw drop. Roopkund Lake is covered in a shroud of mystery, with several human skeletal remains and no knowledge of how they got there.
2. Goecha La – Witnessing the staggering scale of Himalayan peaks can make your heart skip a beat. If you find yourself wanting to get as close as you can without actually scaling one, Goecha La is just right. You get a perfect view of the south-western face of the third tallest peak in the world, Mt. Kanchenjunga. If you do this trek in April, you begin through rhododendrons in bloom that wrap the hills in sheets of red and proceed to icy towering mountains. For a pit stop, break at the banks of the aquamarine Samiti Lake. This moderately difficult trek will give you a generous dose of adrenaline and an even more generous dose of stories to tell everyone back home.
3. Kudremukh – Ever since iron ore mining was stopped in this area, the forests have regenerated at a surprising pace. It is now one of the most spellbinding parts of the Western Ghats, with native vegetation that hasn’t been taken over by invasive species. With endless Shola grasslands and forests that drape every inch of every hill, Kudremukh is easily one of the most astonishing treks on the planet. Kudremukh was recently declared a tiger reserve, so trekking is permitted only during the day. Wild dogs, leopards, and tigers are known to roam these hills.
4. Chembra Peak – The trek to Chembra peak begins through the lush green tea estates of Wayanad and then moves through dense evergreen forests alon the fringes of wildlife parks. Rich in biodiversity, this trek makes for a good wildlife experience too. There is a heart-shaped lake on the way up that is believed to have never dried up. Ascend all the way up to the tallest peak in Wayand and camp out in immaculate Shola grasslands.
5. Dhauladhar Trek – Set out on a high-altitude expedition through the Dhauladhar range, starting from the city of McLoed Ganj. Hike through a variety of landscapes making your way through a mixture of gradual and steep ascents. Stroll over rolling fields, grassy ridges, alpine forests and meadows, and the snout of a glacier. Trek through a necklace of tribal villages and walk along with some of the locals as they go about their daily lives. Be one with the elements in these pristine Himalayan forests.