5 Famous Trekking Destinations in India

Treks are invitations to engage wilder with the unknown terrains, both of our psyches as well as of the land that catches our fancy. We must have well evolved from nomadic creatures we once were to species whose day-to-day life revolves around a 9 to 5 routine in enclosed cubicles, the whole sphere of our typical arena of engagement having shifted from the physical world to intellectual. But the call of the wild, of nature, of uncharted territories still evokes longing deep in our hearts and awakens our adventurous spirit.

Here are a list of the five sought-after trekking destinations in India accompanied with descriptions of what in them act as fuel and fodder for our adventure selves.

1- Chadar Trek (Zanskar Frozen River Trek), Ladakh

Chadar Trek, Ladakh

What adventurous heart wouldn’t skip a beat or two at the possibility of trekking through a frozen river? The enchantingly beautiful Zanskar River prepares ground as ‘Chadar’ (blanket) for a whopping length of 105 kilometres in the freezing months of January and February. The icy blanket the river wears during the chilly months doesn’t fully cover its body though; one would encounter rapids at certain junctions which add to the adventurous element of the entire trek. Climbing over icy rocks and sleeping in caves at night need not be a fantasy only Hollywood films can portray, Ladakh might just as well have the ideal answer for you. One also gets to acquaint with the ancient Buddhist monasteries and remote villages along the way. This challenging trek offers it all, intimate indulgences in the unadulterated beauty of nature and exhilarating encounters with a unique culture and its beautiful people.

You can capture the moments of your trek carrying a carbon fiber tripod  and a nice DSLR camera.

2- Chandratal Lake Trek, Himachal Pradesh

Chandratal Lake Trek

Doesn’t the name say it all? If your destination is as enchantingly beautiful as a Lake whose beauty seeks metaphors in the iridescent glow of moon, wouldn’t you want to tread on its alluring trails? This one km long lake located at a 4300 m altitude is as beautiful as its name would have you believe. Once a resting ground for traders passing between Tibet and Ladakh, Chandratal Lake is making its mark as an ideal destination for adventure lovers from around the world. Once at the Chandratal Lake, enjoy the vast meadows filled with wildflowers it bears in its banks. The Lake surrounded by majestic mountains is also one of the ecologically important high-altitude wetlands recognized by the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance. The trek to Chandratal Lake located in Spiti Valley usually commences from Manali.  One passes through the mountain ranges of Mulkila and Chandrabhaga along the way. Also, the shifting colors of the waters of the lake across the spectrum of red, orange, blue and emerald green is peculiarly striking.

3- Goecha La Trek, Sikkim

Goecha La Trek, Sikkim

The high mountain pass of Goecha La is located in the picturesque north-east Indian state of Sikkim. One would be trekking through one of the greenest terrains in the whole world- the very Kanchenjunga National Park. The pristine ecosystem which carries such diverse multitudes of flora and fauna is a true delight for any nature-lover. It is not just the forests that are home to such biodiversity that are the highlights of the trek though. One gets to view Mt Kanchenjunga, the third highest of all mountains in the world, while on Goecha La Trek. Some other mountain peaks among the sixteen visible while on the trek include Rathong, Talung, Jupono, Kabru Dome, Koktang and Simvo. The tear shaped Goecha lake, the majesty of the Kanchenjunga Peak along with the rest of the snow clad massif, the meandering rivulets, verdant meadows, rhododendron forests combined with the breathtaking beauty of sunsets and sunrises offered at its veritable heights make Goecha La trek a true treasure for any nature-lover.

4- Deoria Tal Trek, Uttarakhand

Deoria Tal Trek

Trek to Deoria Tal when combined with visiting Tungnath Temple, the highest Shiva Temple in the world, and Chandrashila Peak makes for one wholesome of an adventurous and spiritual journey. Deoria Tal, located at a distance of 3 km from the Himalayan villages of Sari and Mastura is a picturesquely beautiful spot that has few parallels. It appears as if the majestic peaks of Chaukhamba and Kedar behold admiringly at their own images in its crystal clear waters. The lush greenery of the forests that surround the lake is complemented by the snow-covered mountains of Chaukhamba and Kedar in providing the picture-perfect backdrop to the scenic lake. After trekking and camping at Deoria Tal, one can tread towards the zenith of the Tungnath Mountain at Chandrashila which is known for the spectacular views of mountains of Nandadevi, Kedar, Bandarpunch, Trishul and Chaukhamba it provides. One can wind up one’s trek by moving towards the highly acclaimed spiritually potent temple of Shiva at Tungnath.

5- Gaumukh – Tapovan Trek, Uttarakhand

Gaumukh – Apovan Trek

Well, this a trek mostly sought for the spiritual reverberation of its environs. Those mystically and spiritually inclined among you can consider trekking till the origin of Ganga River at Gaumukh, Gangotri and even tread further to reach the largely unsullied expanse of Tapovan. The trek-route passes through the ecologically sensitive and religiously revered terrain of Gangotri National Park. Many pilgrims on Char Dham Yatra undertake the journey till the base of Gangotri glacier at Gaumukh, halting at Bhojwasa along the way. For the more daredevil among the lot, the challenge of traversing across the glacier and scaling over a thousand metres is particularly inviting. Or it is the promise of the sacred land nestled in the green expanse of meadows at Tapovan that tempts you.  In fact, the sacred land of ‘Tapovan’ still is home to few of the spiritually ardent saints who have left their attachments to corporeal world in favour of the invitation of their souls to delve deeper into the spiritual realms. The splendid views of Mt Shivling, Meru Parvat, Sudarshan, Bhagirathi and Chaturangi from Tapovan are a true delight to one’s senses. So are the sparkling stars of the Milky Way Galaxy the night-sky offers while camping at the sacred premises. And if that is not enough, one can come across a particularly unique species of blue mountain goats called ‘Bharals’ in the terrain. A true paradise for the spiritual seekers as well as nature lovers, Gaumukh-Tapovan terrain remains, perhaps, one of the few lands known for its mystical and mysterious nature.

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