Trekking in a vast country like India is something very magical. One can walk through icy deserts and tropical rainforests, the majestic Himalayan peaks and the expansive rolling meadows without cutting across the national border.
Finishing a trek to a peak and then staring down into the vast openness is simply breathtaking; the joy that comes from drinking a hot cup of tea and relishing the simplest meal while getting to know the locals is a bonus. After the extremely unpleasant struggle, which involves short bursts of vertigo and paranoia, buckets of sweat, aches and pains, one is bound to feel two things.
First, how out of shape one really is. Second, and most importantly, the dawning realisation that life is much more than than running from one day to the next, trying to beat the others in the race. From romantic spots to crystal-clear lakes and great heights, here are some of the most beautiful treks in the country.
Chandratal Lake Trek
Chandratal in translation means the lake of the moon; the name literally matches the setting of this location. Located in Spiti Valley, at a height of approximately 4,300 m, is the kilometre-long trial which is very common amongst the trekkers who head to the Hampta Pass. It is also a much-loved destination for campers as well.
Home to one of the oldest monasteries in the Ladakh region, Lamayuru, which is located at a height of more than 5000 m, holds a mystical charm. The trek has become one of the most popular treks in the region which begins from Zanskar and is located between Kargil and Leh. It takes about three weeks to complete.
PC: Sumita Roy Dutta
If you have had enough of trekking across the mountainous peaks and rolling glades, how about walking over a frozen river? The frozen river Zanskar, which is also known as Chadar, is located in the Zanskar Valley, which presents a fascinating and challenging trek, which is spread across 105 km at extreme weather conditions.
The beauty of this trek is the amount of cultural dose one would get from the Ladakhi and Tibetan communities here. The local tribes along with their yaks add on to the beauty of the place against the multihued prayer flags, which fly against the blue skies and the barren ground. Located at an altitude of 5,200 m, this 80 km trek extends from 10 days to two weeks.
Rajmachi Fort is an upcoming tourist destination, thanks to the efforts of the Maharashtra Tourism Board. The beauty of this place is unparalleled with rolling hills and has two trekking trails one of which is a 15 km hike from Lonavala and the second is a 2000 ft uphill trek from the village of Kondivade. From here one can get a view of the beautiful Kondana Caves.
The second highest peak in Coorg and a favourite destination amongst trekking enthusiasts in the state of Karnataka is Kumara Parvatha. The trek is 15 km long, which takes you through scenic terrains.
The trek begins from the temple road which lies at very close proximity from the well-known shrine of Kukke Subramanya and can be completed within two days.
PC: Robin S Kishore
Located at an altitude of 2100 m above sea level, Chembra Peak in Wayanad is one of the tallest peaks in the state of Kerala. The trek is an easy one; however, the initial stretch is quite steep.
The trek is a perfect combination of exploring Wayanad's grassy meadows and the heart-shaped lake at the summit, which is an experience to cherish for a lifetime. The trek extends across 9 km and can be completed within a day.