The state of Uttaranchal is primarily divided into 2 regions namely the Kumaon and Garhwal. The Garhwal region consists of 7 districts namely chamoli, uttarkashi, pauri, dehradun, rudraprayag, haridwar and tehri garhwal.
The Garhwal region is a treasure trove for nature and art lovers. The lush green landscape surrounded by picturesque mountains is a treat to the eyes and this makes it one of the most popular tourist destinations in India. The people of Garhwal are called Garhwalis and they are renowned for their traditional songs and dances which are mostly dedicated to Gods.
The present community is a mixture of indigenous settlers and immigrants from different parts of the country. They speak the Garhwali language which owes its origin to the Indo Aryan language. The language uses the Devanagari script and has several dialects spoken by people in different parts of Uttarakhand. Very often the people of Garhwal are called Paharis. They consist of Rajputs, Brahmins and Tribals.
The tribals of Garhwal are settled in the upper regions of the Garhwal district and are of Mongoloid origin. These people live a nomadic or semi-nomadic life and rely on animal husbandry or small time business for their livelihoods. One such tribe of Garhwal is the Jaunsari tribe of the Jaunsar Bawar.
The Rajputs of the Garhwal region are believed to be of Aryan origin. These people went on to settle in the mountainous region of Garhwal during the Mughal invasion. They practised agriculture for a long time but are now engaged in all kinds of professions.
The nearest airport is the Jolly Grant airport in Dehradun, which is about 155 km from Pauri Garhwal. The only railway station in the district is the Kotdwara.
One of the most well-known treks near Delhi, the Nag Tibba peak stands in the Tehri Garhwal region of Uttarakhand. This trek over the weekend is witnessing growing footfalls, and offers splendid views of the Bandarpoonch, Swargarohini, Gangotri and Kedarnath mountain peaks en route.
What makes this an ideal first trek are the relatively easy routes etched along the mountain. Thick Deodar forests blanket the hill, and the best seasons to visit are between February and June, and September to December. The Nag Tibba trek route is circular in nature, and the differing starting and ending points ensure that there is no overlap at any point. The lush meadows hide patches behind them that act as serene camping sites.
Nearest Railhead:Dehradun Railway Station
A pristine hanging valley in the Garhwal range, Har Ki Doon is one of the simplest trekking places near Delhi—making it an ideal foray into Himalayan trekking for amateurs. Fulfilling scenes of nature’s majesty carry you through rampant alpine vegetation, glaciers and breath-taking views. For the hill folk, time has remained elusive and one gets to notice their lives from close quarters. The best season to visit is during the months from April to November, and is one of the closest places for trekking in Delhi.
Distance from Delhi: 299 Kilometres approximately
Nearest Railhead: Dehradun Railway Station
Close to another marvel of nature, Har Ki Doon, lies the Kedarkantha trek passing through windy trails of the Garhwal Himalayas. A classic winter trek unravelling untouched mountain-villages on its path, it’s the perfect trek to prepare for the other more arduous Himalayan treks.
Abound with flora and fauna, the Kedarkantha treks passes around the rim of Govind National Park and is open throughout the year. This place for trekking near Delhi is flanked by the Swargarohini peak and a hanging valley, complete with views that’ll blow your mind away.
Distance from Delhi: 428.2 Kilometres approximately
Nearest Railhead: Dehradun Railway Station
With the enthralling Kedarnath range to the north, the Chandrashila Peak offers splendid panoramic vistas. Literally meaning the ‘Moon Rock’, Chandrashila is incidentally the highest peak in the area. A low altitude trek that’s full of cavernous gorges and vivid imagery, the season for trekking is round the year. With gradients suiting beginners, Chandrashila trek allows eyeful glimpses of Garhwal Himalayas and the trek passes through an ancient Shiva temple atop Tungnath.
Distance from Delhi: 455 Kilometres approximately
Nearest Railhead: Rishikesh Railway Station
Gaumukh known as the holy city is just 6 KM away from Shivling and thus the mountain is at an easily accessible location. Though it is not at a great height, mountaineers find it awesome as the climb seems to be challenging and also since it offers the splendid view of the surrounding peaks from the top which in turn is incomparable to anything else. Tapovan meadow, yet another famous pilgrim centre is located between Shivling and Gaumukh. Climbing towards Shivling top started in the year of 1974 by Hukam Singh and group.
Also known popularly as Devariya Tal, it a crystal-clear lake that mirrors the snow-draped Chaukhamba peaks. Offering an otherworldly view of the mountains and its reflection, trekking here is a surreal experience. Situated in the Kedarnath Musk Deer Sanctuary, overnight camping sometimes leads to spotting animals near the waterhole in the morning. This trekking place near Delhi is open throughout the year, and is a relatively short and easy trek to the magical place that is even mentioned in the Mahabharata.
Distance from Delhi: 420 Kilometres approximately
Nearest Railhead: Haridwar Railway Station
Hanging valley of Gods, also known as Har ki Doon, is a classic and moderate trek which provides a funfilled experience to the trekker. Situated in the Western Ganges of the Garhwal Himalayas at an altitude of 3, 556 meters, the valley is cradle-shaped and surrounded by dense forests and glittering peaks.
An interesting fact about the Hanging Valley is the people here still practice polygamy and worship the Mahabharata character Duryodhana as their deity. The Hanging Valley of Gods is a remote region that possesses virgin beauty and tranquility. Due to this, this is one of the most preferred places for trekking.
Best season: May - October
Duration: 7 Days
During this trip, trekkers can visit some of the most famous Hindu pilgrimages on the way. This place is a home to some of the most protected mammals like bulbuls, owls, cuckoos, bearded vulture, golden eagle, Himalayan snow cock, brown bear and so on.
Best season: July - September
Duration: 12 Days
Altitude: 5946 m