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  • India is a vast and varied country, having many places to visit and explore. Hiking destinations in India is broad and vast. When it comes to hiking in India, India has plenty of places where this activity is possible. Hiking is a good way to experience and appreciate the outdoors and get in touch with nature.

    There are some oft-visited places in the country which are popular among one and all. These hiking regions witness hundreds of backpackers every year.

    Here is our list of the top hiking destinations in India:

  • 01Winter Treks | Himalayas | Nov-Feb

  • Hiking the Himalayas in Himachal Pradesh

  • 02The Grand Indrahar Pass, Himachal Pradesh

    Image Credit : Raman Sharma - flickr
    This is essentially a mountain pass which is also one of the top hiking destinations in India. Located in the Dhauladhar range in the Himalayan section, the trekking start off point is the Galu temple. The Galu temple is located in Dharamsala. On the way you can see Triund – which is a camping ground. You must also visit the Lahesh Caves on the way. Triund and Lahesh Caves are popular camping points for hikers through the Grand Indrahaar pass. The trek ends at Chamba.

    Image Credits : Hiranmay



    The hiking expedition lets you experience the Dhauladhar range and Pir Panjal Mountains. The hiking trail is moderately difficult. On the way you hike through green pastures and navigate through dense forests. These are Deodar and Rhododendron jungles, and if you have never been to a tropical forest, then this could be an enchanting experience. You also trudge on the ancient Gaddi Shepherds trail.

    Hiking through this pass is an amazing experience. You can see the Mani Mahesh Kailash peak. The snow clad Panjal Range will never cease to delight you. The best time to visit this place is between May and October.


    Indrahar Pass Trek, 2017

    Indrahar Pass Trek, 2017

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  • 03Trekking in Manali, Himachal Pradesh

    Image Credit :  _Virdi_

    Manali is the epicenter of adventure in Himachal Pradesh and is one of the top hiking destinations in India. There are numerous things to do and see here. Be it adrenaline pumping outdoor sports, or experiential hiking trips, Manali has all the options. The best place to start hiking in Manali is the Solang Valley. It is also called locally as Snow Point. You can trek up to this point or take a public bus.

    From Snow Point, you hike up to Dhundi passing naturalistic settings along the way. You can engage a local guide to help you get to the place. Along the way you will see the Beas River. The mountain water is icy cold on most times of the year. Purple Rhododendron flowers stand in an inviting stance throughout the hike. The Solang Valley hike in Manali is the most engaging and enlightening hiking destinations of them all.

    There are some popular day hikes in Manali. Some of them are Bijli Mahadev and Dashaur Lake. The former is a trek to Bijli Mahadev and back. The latter is a 5 km trek from Manali to the Dashaur Lake and back. For first time hikers, a day hike is recommended. And Manali presents so many options for the same.

  • 04Seven Sisters Trek, Himachal Pradesh

    Image Credit : Deepak Bhatia - flickr
    Looking to scale a peak and hoist your flag when hiking In India?  An easier option is the Seven Sisters inHimachal Pradesh. Located in the Western Himalayas, this group of peaks is one of the most wonderful places on Earth. This place is full of apple orchards and dotted with ancient wooden temples. The mountains have pleasant climatic conditions which makes it one of the ideal top hiking destinations in India.
  • 05Hampta Pass Trek, Manali 2017

    Hampta Pass Trek, Manali 2017
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    • lManali
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      Code: 6691309

    About the Activity:

    Discovering the unique landscape on the Manali side of Himachal Pradesh with the Hampta Pass trekking is like a dream to reality experience. A rich, diverse canvas with resplendent flora and fauna, the trail goes through a picturesque setting of lush green forests, meadows, and also throws glimpses of barren lands.

    An integral part of Manali’s topography, which is the India’s favourite adventure zone, this trek is voted amongst the easiest of trails and most attractive to beginners. An exciting activity, being around Hampta Pass opens a whole new beautiful world. Coupled with a stop over at the eerie and placid Chandra Tal, this journey is replete with adventure and scenic moments.

    Altitude: 14,100ft

    Temperature Range: 0 - 20 degrees Celsius

    Total Trekking Distance: Approx. 34 kms.



  • Hiking the Himalayas in Uttarkhand

  • 06Kedarkantha Trekking, Uttarakhand 2017

    Kedarkantha Trekking, Uttarakhand 2017
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      Joy

    About the Destination:

    Situated in the Garhwal Himalayas, Kedarkantha trekking in Uttarakhand is an amazing experience for those who enjoying spending time in nature. One of the often visited locations, the area’s natural beauty is complemented with quaint hamlets, unending lush green meadows, and some terrific sights of the towering Himalayan peaks.

    The snaking trail to the 3,850m tall summit goes through Govind National Park, which offers an exclusive glance of the Himalayan flora and fauna. With views of peaks like the Swargarohini, Banderpooch, Black, and Ranglana, the highlight of the trail is undoubtedly sunsets against the backdrop of impressive snow-capped mountains.

    Altitude: 3,850m

    Temperature Range: -5 to 20 degrees celsius

    Total trekking distance: 36km


  • 07Kuari Pass Trek 2017, Uttarakhand

    Kuari Pass Trek 2017, Uttarakhand
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      Code: 6691309

    Trip Starting From: Haridwar

    About the Destinations: 

    Kuari Pass is situated in Garhwal Himalayas. used extensively by the local shepherds, exploring this route is one of the richest manners to get a full view of the splendid Himalayas. Their imposing and scenic presence can be witnessed from atop Kuari, which literally means “a getaway”.

    Originating in Joshimath, a meeting point for many a religious pilgrimage, the path gives you a brief stopover at Devaprayag, before it gradually ascends to take you to heights that end with a mesmerising view of the Nanda Devi summit in all its glory. Replete with tributaries of the Ganges, dense mountain forests, and a fleeting interaction with local life, Kuari Pass trekking can be best enjoyed during winter months.

    Total Trekking Distance: 33km


  • 08Doon Valley Trek, Garhwal, Uttarakhand

    Image Credit : Dr. Umesh Behari Mathur - flickr

    Hiking in Garhwal is always an exhilarating experience. You trek through flower meadows and thick forests. The Har Ki Doon Valley presents you varied flora and fauna. Hiking through the Har Ki Doon Valley is a 50 mile trip. It is only for trekkers who like to hike in fair weather conditions. You will hike through a steady gradient in the valley and is relatively easier compared to Himalayan trails where you have to navigate from one valley to the other.

    Geographically it is located in the Garhwal Himalayas, the Har Ki Doon valley is cradle shaped but you cannot see its shape when on the ground! There are numerous snow covered peaks in this place. The alpine vegetation is one of the prime attractions in these regions. The valley is snow clad throughout October to March which is generally avoided. The hiking trails through this valley pass through remote villages such as Gangaad, Seema and not to forget Osla which is an overnight camping spot.

    On the way you will encounter the Tamsa River. If you are hiking here during the monsoon season, this river is swollen and flows at full capacity. Further into the trail, it bends into gorges and deodar forests. You can choose to stop at Torluka, stay at the Forest Rest House or the accommodation provided by the Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam. From Torkula, the trail gets tougher. You will have to navigate through this rugged terrain to ultimately reach Osla.

  • 09Clouds End Trek, Mussoorie, Uttarakhand

    Image Credit : Paul Hamilton - flickr
    Clouds End is a resort in Mussoorie. It was initially purchased from the Swetenhams of England by Durga Ram Agarwal as their summer retreat center. He was instrumental in making this huge area a resort. Over the years, this resort has grown in popularity with hikers and campers. Wilderness enthusiasts hiking in India spend many weeks in these serene settings.

    The surrounding area is spread over more than 2000 acres offering plenty of avenues to experience some of the best hikes in India. There are thick oak and deodar forests spread across the area. There are numerous species of flora and fauna that exist here. Camping here brings you back to living in a bygone era. If you are looking for a complete lifestyle overhaul for some time, then this is the place for it. Apart from hiking, you can also do horse safaris, and numerous other adventure activities.

    There are plenty of activities that you can do here. You can climb a hill. Walk among deer. Try to entice a pheasant. You can setup a perch point and look at the Himalayan snow peaks that stretch for a distance of 250 kilometers. You can hike up to the Jwala Devi Temple. You can head off into the Benog Mountains to see quails. From here you can see the estate of George Everest. There are so many activities to do here that this place befits a mention in the top hiking destinations in India.


  • 10Nag Tibba Trek 2017, Uttarakhand

    Nag Tibba Trek 2017, Uttarakhand
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      Santosh

    Group Departures:  [November: 5, 19] ; [December: 3]

    About the Destination:

    The panorama of the Himalayan snow peaks of Garhwal and Himachal offers views of some of the famous peaks from here including the Bandarpoonch, Swargarohini, Srikanth and Black peak. Enjoy the magnificent views of Gujjar or shepherds dotting the envrons from the Nag Tibba Top.

    Nag Tibba trek route is a circular trek where the finish point is different from the start point and at no time there is an overlap of trail. On your way down you will go through a completely contrasting landscape having a dense mixed forest of Oak, Rhododendron, Cider and Alpine. Adding to the beauty of the trek is the opportunity to visit a couple of quaint villages which are extremely scenically situated amidst thick Deodar forests. Icing on the top would surely be the opportunity to dunk one's feet into a cold and inviting stream at the end of the trek.

    Another great attraction of this trip is the camping experience. There are beautiful meadows and thick jungles along the trail offering numerous scenic camping locations. Nag Tibba trekking is suitable for people of all age groups having reasonable fitness levels who seek adventure.

    Temperature: 16-25 degrees (days) and 8-16 degrees (nights) during March, 14-22  degrees (days) and 6-14 degrees (nights) between September and December

    Max Alt: 3050m

  • 11Snow Trek to Deoria Tal and Chandrashila Peak, Uttarakhand 2017

    Snow Trek to Deoria Tal and Chandrashila Peak, Uttarakhand 2017
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      Code: 3713222

    About The Destination:

    To be spellbound by the natural splendour of the Garhwal Himalayas, take a snow trek to Chopta, Deoria Tal and Chandrashila Peak, that offers you the best of trekking in Uttarakhand. Not only will you get a chance to surpass breathtaking pastures laden with snow, anyone can take this trek due to the easy terrains and comfortable trails. The first bit of the trek comprises a walk up to Deoria Tal Lake at 2438m surrounded by dense thickets all around. This trail does not comprise of much snow which explains the easy start to the trek. The sight of the lake reflecting the mighty Chaukhamba Peak, located nearby, is a vision worth marveling at.

    The next bit of the trail is the hike up to Chopta peak laden with beautiful blankets of snow in winter. Upon arriving at Chopta peak, marvel at the expanse of snow surrounding the environs. Due to the snow conditions, either camps will be set up or arrangements will be made in some homestays dotting the area. There is also the trek to Tungnath temple at 3680m, known to be the highest Shiva shrine in the world. This trail offers magnificent views of Bandarpoonch, Kedar and Chaukhamba peaks. After a 1km long trek from Tungnath is the top of Chandrashila peak at 4000m that gives a panoramic visual on the gorgeous valleys and snow-peaked mountains around.

    Adding to the serenity of this expedition is the experience of residing in the charming lodges in Kund that overlooks the Mandakini river under the Kedar peak. 

  • 12Har Ki Doon Trek Via Jaundhar Glacier, Uttarakhand 2017

    Har Ki Doon Trek Via Jaundhar Glacier, Uttarakhand 2017
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    About the Destinations:

    Nestled away in the heart of a cradle shaped valley, the trek to Har Ki Doon valley is known to be one of the most stunning and picturesque treks in Uttarakhand Embraced with scenic alpine meadows and striking greeneries, the beauty and splendour of this portion of the Garhwal Himalayas is credited by snow clad peaks, panoramic views of the Himalayan Range, gurgling rivulets and much more.

    Locally known as the 'Valley of Gods', trekking through this eternal meadow is one of the best experiences and is rewarded with mesmerising views of the glaciers, mountain ridges, ancient temples, appealing caves and high altitude villages. According to the legends, Har Ki Doon valley shares its history with the age of the Mahabharata and holds an important place in the Hindu mythology.

  • 13Roopkund Trek, Uttaranchal 2017

    Roopkund Trek, Uttaranchal 2017
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      Santosh

    About the Destinations:

    A trek to Mystery Lake of Uttarakhand i.e. Roopkund Lake is a must-do for an avid trekker! Battling several adversities common to the Himalayas, this water body perched in the laps of the snow clad Mt. Trishul is situated at an altitude of 16,499ft.

    Most attractive for the human skeletons lying at the bottom of the lake, which are distinctly visible when the snow melts, the lake is swarmed by plenitude of visitors.

    The route along this trek is a fascinating journey of discovering the most pristine of Himalayan contribution of oak and blooming rhododendron forests. A moderate trek, the trek trails through mountainous rivers, enthralling ridges, lush forests and scenic meadows.

    Roopkund Trek Altitude: 5,029m


  • Hiking the Himalayas in West Bengal

  • 14Tiger Hill, Darjeeling, West Bengal

    It is from Tiger Hill that you can view the majestic contours of the Himalayas and Mount Kanchenjunga. If you tread all the way to Tiger Hill, be ready to be treated with breathtaking views. The magnificent sunrise and sunset views provides a perfect photography spot. March and June is the perfect time to visit this spot. During this time Tiger Hill is frequented by hundreds of people to experience one of the best hikes in India. In fact thousands of people climb the hill during this time every day.

    You should try to get here by pre-dawn to witness the sunrise. During this time, the mountains are painted by the sun’s rays in vivid colors such as yellow, pink and purple. After witnessing the splendid sunrise, you can hike to Ghoom – which is a scenic town. On the way you can see beautiful tea plantations that will amaze you to no end.

  • 15Singhalia Ridge Trail, Darjeeling, West Bengal

    Image Credit : solarshakti - flickr

    Experience the Singhalia Ridge Trail in the heart of a beautiful city, Darjeeling in any month other than July to mid-September. During this time, this park is not open for the public. Darjeeling is one of the picturesque destinations in the country. When you get here, you will be amazed at the plenitude of options available. Whether it is to take a break from the hot summer season or to conduct hiking activities, the fringes of the Himalayas have plenty to offer.

    The most popular is the Singhalia Ridge Trail. If you are staying while in transit through the trail, you must make advance bookings in Darjeeling for accommodation. This hiking trail in Darjeeling is the most adventurous and exciting of them all. You take this trail only if you are willing to expend some thrills on the way. Local guides have expert knowledge on how to navigate the trail without a hitch.

  • 16Darjeeling to Kurseong Trek via Old Military Road, West Bengal

    Image Credit : Ankit Agarwal - flickr

    The Darjeeling to Kurseoung trail via the Old Military road is considered one of the top hiking destinations in India. This is essentially a one-day hiking trail. Due to this, it is a very popular one amongst first-time hikers. The expedition starts off in the picturesque settings of Darjeeling and ends at Kurseoung.

    The Old Military road is an amazing sightseeing route to take. One point of interest is the Mag-Dhog Yolmowa Buddhist Monastery. Also known as Aloobari, this monastery was built by Sri Sangay Lama. Construction of the monastery began as early as 1914. This was the same year that the First World War erupted. Hence, the monastery got the name Mag-Dhog – which means avoiding war.

    Apart from the monastery, the coffee plantations are worth a visit. These plantations stretch over several acres of land and offer one of the best hikes in India. These sloping lands have narrow passages for people to walk through. Along with coffee plantations, there are plenty of tea estates as well. These sprawling tea estates give off the aroma of tea leaves. 

    The freshness of the air is unmistakable. You will feel like you are in one of purest environments on Earth. One of the reasons to this is that the estate owners take special care that the environment that these plants grow in is pure and verdant.

  • Hiking the Himalayas

  • 1710 Days/9 Nights Goecha La Trekking in Sikkim , 2017

    10 Days/9 Nights Goecha La Trekking in Sikkim , 2017
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    About the Destinations: 

    If you want to live a Himalayan trekking experience to the fullest, attempt the Goecha la Trekking in Sikkim. For, it takes you on a fulfilling and rich journey that has you capture the Himalayan framework like no other trek. Originating from the historic Yuksom settlement (1,780m), the trail ascends to pass through really old rhododendron forests to land at clearings formed by high altitude alpine meadows.

    With the incredible view of the Kangchanjunga, the highlight of this experience is the Goechala Pass (4,940m) from where the second tallest Himalayan peak seems just an arm’s distance away.

    Just right for a seasoned trekker, the Goechala trek in Sikkim puts forth challenges of subtropical bamboo forests, luxuriant ferns, and dense forests of oak to eventually open vistas that provide uninterrupted views of the Kanchenjunga.

  • 18Chadar Trek - Frozen River Zanskar Trek - 2017

    Chadar Trek - Frozen River Zanskar Trek - 2017
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    • Laviral Kalra
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    About the Activity:

    • Ladakh has always captivated visitors with its magical charm and beauty. Be it the picturesque mountain peaks, azure lakes or the challenging trekking trails, this scenic valley is known for all. While during the summers, the region adorns the most vibrant colour of the nature, during the winters it is embraced with heavy snowfalls that cuts off the entire region from the rest of the world.
    • Nestled deep within the whirly passages of the snow-clad mountains, this frozen river also entices thousand of trekkers from different corners of the world. Popularly known as the 'Chadar Trek' due to the formation of the thick blanket of the snow, it is considered as one of the challenging as well as tricky treks in the world. 
    • When this happens, the only way to continue with the trek is to hike through the snowy rocks and boulders besides the river. 

    Temperature Range: 15 to 20 degrees (during the day) and -25 to -35 degrees (during the night)

  • Hiking the Eastern Ghats

  • 19Nagalapuram Trek, Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh

    Image Credit : Ravi S. Ghosh
    Nagalapuram has grown in popularity with hikers over the past decade and has become one of the top hiking destinations in India. It has become a favorite destination for chronic trekking enthusiasts given its proximity. The clean water pools and trekker-friendly environment is what became Nagalapuram’s claim to fame. There are many well-known trekking trails in this place. One of them is Nagalapuram Hills.

    Nagalapuram Hills is a vast place spread over more than ten thousand acres. Here the trails run along streams. At all times you will be walking beside streams and jumping across them from boulder to boulder. There is another exhilarating trek that connects Nagalapuram and Tada. This is locally known as marathon in mountains given its difficulty level.

    That is why Nagalapuram is one of the toughest hiking destinations in the country. But the difficulty in hiking is compensated from the sights that are on display here. The scenic charm of the place is outstanding. The mountains of Nagalapuram have so many scenic delights that they look straight out of an adventure travel movie.


  • 20Araku Valley Trek, Andhra Pradesh

    Image Credit : roadconnoisseur -flickr

    Araku Valley is located between Vishakhapatnam and Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh. This place is known for its verdant greenery and has some of the best hikes in India. There are plenty of hills, thick forests, and waterfalls in the Araku Valley. The valley is spread across an area of 36 kms. The valley is located on the Eastern Ghats of India. There are many ethnic tribes living in this area still.

    The hiking trails in Araku are moderately difficult. When in transit you will see the tribal habitation and their culture in full display. Hiking routes take you through these tribal villages. Along the trail you can also see the Barezolla Park. Then there are the Bora Caves which is a popular spot. The Bora Caves to Katiki Water Falls hiking trail is a popular one too. In the Araku Valley that you will see the Jindhagada Peak. This mountain is the highest in Andhra Pradesh and is one of the top hiking destinations in India. There are separate hiking trails to this mountain and beyond.


Attractions

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Pangong Lake

Rather, the most sought after tourist destination is Pangong Tso in Ladakh region. It is the highest among the high altitude lakes in India which is filled with saline water but provides some awe-struck moments to the visitors with the unbelievable phenomenon of changing colours quite a number of times a day.

The reflections of the towering Himalayan peaks in the water add more charm to the lake. Currently, Pangong Tso is the favorite location for tourists as the banks of the lake give soothing bed to relax and the nearby places are enhanced by the beauty of this particular lake. The quiet lake is 134 km in length and 5 km in width is situated at an altitude of 14270 meters. But the major share of the lake lies in the area of China. Now, its recognition is spread everywhere in the world because it is termed as a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention.

The highly saline water does not accommodate any water species not even micro-organisms. But the banks of the lake give space for several birds and animals very rarely seen in the other parts of India. It is an important breeding ground for many migratory birds as well.

Height: The lake is located at an altitude of 4250 meters above the sea level.

Location: Pangong Tso is easily accessible as it can be reached after a five hour drive from Leh and the travel would be on a rough and dramatic mountain road. You will cross the villages of Shey and Gya during the tour and go through Chang La as well.

Best time to visit: The months from May to September are the ideal time to visit the lake as the other seasons may cause challenges due to the heavy snowfall.

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Nubra Valley

Something divine makes Nubra Valley close to heart and it is not an exaggeration but a fact that experienced and shared by the countless tourists visited the paradisiacal location in Jammu and Kashmir. Without touching the spectacular roads of Nubra Valley, a Ladakh tour will not be complete. The tri armed valley has Diskit Village as its capital. Ldumra, a magnificent name is the original name of the valley as the local scholars insist. Ldumra means Valley of Flowers. The large valley is formed after the merging of Shyok River with Nubra or Siachen River causing the separation of the Ladakh and the Karakoram Ranges. The valley is located 10000 feet that is 3048 meters above mean sea level and those who cross the Khardung La Pass can easily come to Nubra Valley from Leh.

Except the river beds, every other place in the valley shows scant vegetation and low precipitation levels. Most of the villages in the valley are occupied by Nubra skat speakers and in the villages, one can find lush greenery and farming which happen through the regular irrigation. Diskit is the place where native people are seen in abundance and Diskit Monastery is the entre of attraction as well. The Shyok River flowing on one side of Diskit has a captivating effect on the visitors. Nubra Valley unwinds a lot of surprising sights when you visit it and an unbelievable fact is that the valley was open to the public till Hunder until 2010. Beyond Hunder, it was the greener region in the lower altitude where the Turtuk village exists. Till 2010, the Government did not allow tourists to mesmerize themselves in the magnificent beauty of Turtuk where numerous apricot trees and other vegetation along with the tribal community were preserved as a virgin.

Height: 3048 meters above the sea level

Location: The paradisiacal Nubra Valley is located at a distance of 140 km from Leh and the main road access to the valley is through Khardung La pass where you have to show the photocopies of your travel permit to the soldiers camping.

Best time to visit: The months from June to September is the perfect period to visit Nubra Valley

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Khardung La

Controversies regarding the proclamation that Khardung La is the highest motorable pass in the world is not yet diminished but Ladakh travelers still believe that it is the highest and most adventurous pass in the world. Despite the controversies, Khardung La keeps on attracting hundreds of adventure seekers every year, be it bikers, trekkers or visitors. Nestled amidst the most reverberating surrounding, the ‘Pass of Lower Castle’ is located at an altitude of 17582 feet. Near to the pass, the collection of awesome valleys will lure you and along with the natural extravaganzas, the Tibetan prayer flags are an additional charm.

The pass was constructed in the year of 1976 and later in 1988, it was opened to public and from then on, the pass was inviting uncountable bikers, trekkers and tourists. It is maintained by the Border roads Organization as the pass is highly significant and important to India because it was once used to carry supplies to the Siachen Glacier. Recently, Khardung La became the hot potato of the town with a happy news that a ten member team of visually impaired people is going to conquer the pass through cycling in 2017.

Height: Khardung La is located at an altitude of 5359 meters. But there is an incorrect proclamation on the signboards appear here saying that the height of the pass is 18379 feet.

Location: The highest motorable pass in Ladakh is lying about 39 kms away from Leh. By road, one can reach the pass. The first 24 kms of the road are paved and from there to the North Pullu check post, the 15 kms of the road are filled with loose rock, dirt and occasional rivulets formed after the melting of snow.

Best time to visit: The season between May to October is the best time to visit Khardung La.

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Tso Moriri Lake

It won’t be exceeding at all how much you describe the beauty of Tso Moriri in Ladakh, a highly protected lake in Changthang Region and a significant portion of Tso Moriri Wetland Conservation Reserve.  It is the largest of all high altitude lakes in India especially in Ladakh and is located at an altitude of 4522 meters above the sea level. The length comes to 26 km north to south and 3 to 5 km is the width and the water is wholly brackish. 

The water to feed the lake comes from the springs and melted snow from the nearby mountains. There are two major stream systems to lead the water to the lake. One in the north part of the lake and the other comes in the southwest part. Huge, extensive marshes are seen at both the entrances of the lake. Rupshu Valley, a breathtaking area is the guardian of Tso Moriri along with an array of the lofty Himalayan Mountains in the surrounding.

The number of people come to witness the beauty of this splendid lake is lesser when compared to that of Pangong Lake. It is because of the secluded location of the lake. Hence, it is a favorite home town for many migratory birds. They come to breed here especially birds like great- crested grebe, the brown-headed gull and the Brahmin duck. The rare Himalayan hares are also abundantly seen near the lake. Thus, the declaration of the lake as a reserved area is a right option to protect these species from extinction. Less human interference would keep their lives strong.

Height: The lake is situated at an altitude of 4522 meters.

Location: You can reach Tso Moriri via road from Leh. It is 150 kms away from Leh Airport. Kalka Railway station is the nearest one to the lake. You will get buses and taxis from the station as well.

Best time to visit: May, June, July and August are the peak season when tourists come to Tso Moriri in large numbers and other months will be filled with snow and have extreme cold conditions.

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Shanti Stupa

The white dome of Shanti Stupa is clearly visible from a far distance when you are on a tour of Leh. Peace Pagoda got its name like that because of many reasons mainly the silence persists in and around the pagoda always. This Buddhist prayer center is the most beloved attraction in Jammu and Kashmir. At a height of 4267 meters, the two storied stupa stands holding its head high and overlooks the bustling Leh town. The uneven mountain terrains in the surrounding gives the pagoda a remarkable shining. It is at a location which is 5 km away from Leh town and one who visits the stupa has to climb five hundred steps. The exotic view of the Himalayan peaks turns the beauty of the stupa also, a peace lover would dedicate his life to have such overjoying moments.

History

The stupa was constructed by both Japanese and Ladakh Buddhists. The construction was started in 1983, many Buddhists and Indian Government officials have supervised the procedures throughout.

Structure of the stupa

Among the two structures of the pagoda, the first level depicts the central relief of Dharmachakra which has deer on each side and the turning wheel of Dharma also has a golden image of Buddha at the center. The second level displays images which show the birth of Budhha and the death as well. In addition, both the level have smaller images of Buddha meditating. The stupa came into existence in order to spread the word of peace and harmony among people and it came into establishment as a commemoration of the valuable 2500 years of Buddhism.

Location: Any one can reach the stupa via road from Leh, only 5 kms from the town, a walk of fifteen minutes would require.

Timings: 05:00 am to 09:00 pm

Highlights: The sunset and sunrise views from the stupa are inevitably beautiful


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Magnetic Hill

Magnetic Hill is still a mystery yet a famed attraction that pulls the adventure lovers on a large scale toward it. A mystifying phenomenon which stunts the science and fiction together and exists as a magic to the normal people visiting here. Magnetic Hill is a trump card of every Ladakh tour because of the awe-struck moments it would promise the travelers. There is a sign board placed which says that the hill defies gravity completely and inviting everyone to experience the magical phenomenon.

 If you keep your vehicle in neutral at a position marked on the road and wait, you will be surprised to see the vehicle starts moving uphill at 10-20 km per hour. And this is the unexplainable feature of Magnetic Hill that confuses the world of science. It is located on Leh-Kargil-Baltic Highway and on the east, the beautiful Sindhu River is flowing calmly. Near the hill there is a Sikh Gurudwara maintained by the Indian Army. Due to the natural attraction as well as the human architectural brilliance, the hill has gained popularity in a short term. 

Not just the vehicles hitting the road but the aircrafts and helicopters crossing the radius which Magnetic Hill comes in would feel the same magnetic effect. If the aircrafts are going on a slow pace, then it starts jerking while they are in the circumference of the hill. So the only solution to escape from the clutches of this phenomenon is that the crafts should move at a greater speed.

Height: Magnetic Hill is located at an elevation of 14000 feet above the sea level.

Location: To reach the hill, you can hit the Leh-Kargil-Baltic National Highway and it is situated at a distance of just 30 kms from Leh town.

Best time to visit: The best time to visit the Magnetic Hill is from June to October.

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Chadar Trek

For some years, adventure seekers all around the world have been talking about Chadar Trek in the Zanskar Region. Until this year, hundreds of people have experienced the thrill hidden and the mind blowing sights around Chadar frozen river. In fact, Chadar Trek is the most sought after and one of the breathtaking treks in the Himalayas. The winter trek is so special for those who are ready to have adventure at the maximum level. 

The river trek starts from Chilling where the river begins to freeze and mostly, travelers choose February as the best time to cross the frozen river as the ice sheets will be comparatively stable. The precarious snow-flakes would pose severe threats during the trek but in some other time, the challenges would be kind to the trekker. The surrounding of the river are completely vertical cliffs tall up to 600 meters. The Zanskar River is a tributary of the Indus and is 5 meters long. 

A trekker would have to cover 16 kms per day to complete the Chadar Trek. Usually, people opt for 10-15 days of trek depending on the climatic conditions persisting here. The temperature at Chadar will come to the lowest at -35 degree Celsius during winter and thus Chadar Trek becomes more intimidating. Approximate trekking distance one would have to cover in total is 75 kms.

Maximum altitude: 11123 feet is the height at which Chadar Trek would lead you to.

Location: To take part in Chadar Trek, one should arrive in Leh and from Leh, the journey starts and goes to Chilling, the beginning of the Zanskar River in the frozen state. From Leh it would take about 65-70 kms to reach Tilad via Chilling, the base camp of the trek.

Best time to visit: January end to February is the best time suitable for trekking in the frozen river of Chadar. Quality and safe trekking gears and highly warm clothes are required.

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Markha Valley Trek

Adventure lovers always had an affection to Markha Valley and still it fulfills the dreams of a trekker or adventure seeker with the unrivalled collection of natural spectacle. Long day trekking tours are offered by a lot of tour providers all over India which promise a journey through the most scenic locations and villages. The awesomely exciting feature of this trek is that it will let the trekker cross two high altitude passes in Ladakh; Gandala La at 4980 meters and Kongmaru La at 5276 meters.

 Being one of the diverse treks in Ladakh region, Markha Valley trek offers a lot of adventurous moments throughout. The barren land of Ladakh and the Buddhist temples found throughout the journey make the trek special. The route winds past the Ladakhi villages and it goes to Hemis National Park where the chances to spot some rare wildlife species are comparably high. The nomadic groups of people will be a unique picture to keep in heart. The symbols of Buddhism like ‘chortens’, stupas, multi colored prayer flags and numerous monasteries narrate the story of Buddhist culture embraced Markha centuries ago. Another interesting fact heard about Markha Valley trek is that it is also called ‘tea house trek’ due to the accommodation provided in parachute tents in most of the villages during the tour.

Maximum altitude: 15000 feet is the maximum altitude the trek will cover.

Location: In most of the cases, the trek starts from Leh. The trail usually goes through Chilling, Skyu and then to Markha. From Markha it would take the trekker to reach Hankar and Nimaling and finally return to Leh. The ideal trekking distance is 75 kms and it would be graded as difficult.

Best time to visit: The months of June, July, August, September and October are recommended as the best time to do Markha Valley trek.

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Stok Kongri Trek

Stok Kangri, Ladakh is one of the most popular places for high altitude trekking in India. Although the beauty of Ladakh draws in innumerable tourists and trekkers from all over the country and the world, the Stok Kangri trek isn’t really suited for anyone and everyone.

It is advisable that only experienced trekkers set out on this expedition as the climatic and geographical conditions of the place may not suit novice or amateur trekkers. Nonetheless, Stok Kangri is one of the most beautiful tourist destinations in the country. It is for this reason that the Stok Kangri trek forms an inevitable experience while trekking in India.

The trek begins from Leh, which is noted for its natural beauty as well as the warm and hospitable people. During the first couple of days of the trek, you can move around Leh, go sightseeing and get acclimatized to the weather of the region. These couple of days will prepare you for the trek ahead. You will next be taken to Chang Ma via Stok Village by road.

The journey from Leh to Stok Village takes you to witness the amiable yet fictional setting which includes lush greenery, glistening snow peaks and scenic splendor of the region in this stretch. On reaching Chang Ma, you reach a snow covered region and begin trekking. You will need to climb on for about three hours. From here you will head on to Manokorma, which is at an elevation of 14200 feet.

During the trek, you will be able to view some very beautiful peaks such as the Gulap Kangri, Parcha Kangri, etc. The base camp of the trek is at an elevation of 16, 300 feet. From here, the journey continues till you reach the Stok Kangri. The rewarding scenery from the top is what draws trekkers from all over the world to high altitude trekking in India. The trek back to Leh is a bit arduous and you may need to be careful while climbing down the mountainous terrain.

Best Season: June - October

Difficulty Level: Medium

Max. Elevation: 5000 m

Number of Days: Maximum 10 days of trek can be done here

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Manali

From Manali, breathtaking views of the Dhauladhar and Pir Panjal ranges are a perennial specialty. This is the place where mountain adventures takes on a new dimension. A haven for tourists, Manali is replete with scenic quotients offering trekking enthusiasts an experience of its own kind.

Attracting visitors from all over the world all year round, this is a place for backpackers to explore the serene settings of the Himalayas. It is also the place where adventure tourists can enjoy exhilarating activities such as paragliding, rafting and skiing while on Manali to Leh Road trip.

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Roopkund Trek

Counted among the best treks in India, the Roopkund trail is a trekker’s paradise. Roopkund’s topography is complete with verdant forests, acres and acres of open meadows, trickling brooks, and the celestial snow of course. Roopkund also comprises of the eerie Skeletal Lake, and is great for one’s initiation into high-altitude trekking. Pre-monsoon and post-monsoon seasons make Roopkund one of the compulsory trekking places near Delhi.

Distance from Delhi: 308 Kilometres approximately

Nearest Railhead: Kathgodam Railway Station

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Kuari Pass Trek

Kuari Pass which signifies doorway is one of the best treks in Uttaranchal. It is also known as Curzon trail as this trekking trail was discovered by Lord Curzon in 1905. The panoramic views of the eastern slopes of the majestic Garhwal Himalayas, Neelkanth, Mana, Hathi Ghori Parvat, Bertholi, Trishul, Dronagiri, Kamet and Nanda Devi peaks can be experienced on Kuari Pass Trek.

The trek has dense deodar, ok and rhododendron forests which present a picturesque view. Rare and protected flora and fauna can be found on this trail.  The trek passes via major rivers like Mandakini, Kaliganga and Dhauli Ganga .The ideal time to visit here is in summers.

Best Season: December - January
Duration: 6-8 Days
Max. Elevation: 4,264 m

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Dodital Trek

Dodital trek is a short trek and must to do when you are on trekking in Uttaranchal tour. Difficulty ranges from easy to moderate through thick forests and across majestic Himalayas landscapes, large meadows and stream crossings.  

The trek begins from Sangamchatti (kalyani) road near Uttarkashi and completes at the Hanumanchatti. From Dodital Lake, you will need to trek uphill to reach the Darwa pass, also called as Bakaria Khaga pass. The alpine meadows of Kanasar are an ideal place for camping.

Best season: May - October
Duration: 10 Days
Altitude: 4150 m

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The Castle Manali

Built in 1460 AD, the Naggar Castle has a unique architecture that comprises of stones and wood. About a century ago, this castle of Raja Sidh Singh of Kullu was converted into a rest house, and presently it is being taken care by the Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation.

In its rechristened avatar, the castle is now The Castle Heritage Hotel. Naggar Castle came into the limelight after a bollywood movie was shot here. A grand Tibetan carnival dance was shot here and hence this castle grew in touristic prominence.


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Van Vihar National Park

One of the most frequent places to visit in Manali, the Van Vihar National Park attracts visitors mainly because of its ideal location, which is bang on the Mall road in Manali. The park is a welcome respite from the crowds and the pollution with its tall and shady groves of Deodar, birch and pine. There are a number of wooden and concrete benches within the park, which provide rest, relaxation and recreation to its visitors.

Take off your shoes and take a leisurely walk across the garden paths of this wonderful haven of nature. You could also have fun cruising around in a boat that sails in the small pond within the vicinity of this park. Set amidst beautiful and verdant environs, the park is a perfect respite for anyone who chooses to visit it and makes up for a great place for a spontaneous picnic or simply a long walk!

Timing:

08:00 am – 07:00 pm (summer)

08:00 am – 05:00 pm (winter)

Entry Fee: 10 INR per Person

Photography Allowed: Yes

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Gyuto Monastery

Gyuto Monastery is one of the most famous and popular monasteries in Tibet. This monastery is well known for its tantric meditation and people there study a lot about this subject. It is also known for its various tantric ritual arts and Buddhist philosophy. Gyuto monastery was founded in the year 1474 by the prime disciple of the 1st Dalai Lama.

Location: It is situated in the town of Dharamshala which is easy to reach through road, rail as well as airways. Transportation is not a major issue while visiting the place.

Highlights: You can find majestic statues of Buddha with a backdrop of snow clad mountains covering it. If you want to have a nice afternoon, it is the most peaceful and serene place to be at.



Best time to visit: Since this is a monastery, there is no particular season that makes any difference. However, if you are planning a full trip of the place, April-May has to be the best months.