Winter is all about cold weather, woollen clothing and windy atmosphere. Wrapped in warm clothes, people love their hot beverages and dishes in this freezing time. In the Himalayan regions of India, it is the time for snowfall and winter sports. For some adventure freaks, it's the season for winter trekking in Indian Himalayas.
People undertake many expeditions but the winter treks are a must try in India. Gigantic mountains covered in snow, frozen rivers, snow filled trees and houses are an incredible sight. Trek the Himalayas for an awesome experience of your lifetime.
Hiking in subzero levels on mountainous terrains is a challenge in itself. Trudging along the snowy path, to feel like a tiny ant, in the middle of the giant peaks is worth the effort. Here are some popular and must visit Himalayan trek routes in India.
Plan a winter trek to any of these spots in the India Himalayas to enjoy the gifts of nature. So, let us plod along the frozen paths for a unique experience!
Joshimath – Kuari Pass Snow Trek
Best Time: First week of December
Joshimath or Jotirmath is a pilgrim site and a hill station in Chamoli district. It is a base camp for many trekking expeditions. Joshimath - Kuari Pass trek route was founded by Lord Curzon in the Indian colonial era.
One gets to see a string of mighty Himalayan peaks in the Curzon trail (Kuari Pass trek). Nanda Devi, Chaukhamba, Nilkanth, Trishul are some of the main attractions.
The trail also crosses through Chitrakantha Forest ridge where the Rhododendron forests lure the visitors.
Passing through Pangarchulla peak, the hike ends in Kuari Pass view point. It is one of the famous winter treks in the Indian Himalayas.
Photo Courtesy: Michael Scalet
Har Ki Doon Valley Trek
Best Time: Last Week of December - March
Har Ki Doon Valley literally means the 'Hanging Valley of Gods'. It is situated 3500m above the sea level, in Fateh Parvat of Uttarakhand.
The trek begins either from Dehradun or Sankri further to reach Taluka and Osla village which finally reaches Har Ki Doon Valley.
It is one of the Himalayan treks which is gaining popularity in recent times. This trail will introduce you to some enchanting Himalayan villages, lifestyle and architecture.
The pine forest in the valley is a major attraction in this trek.
Photo Courtesy: Metanish
Chopta – Chandrashila Trek
Best Time: December - March
Chopta is a beautiful village full of pine, rhododendron and deodar forests. It is one of the famous bases for Tunganath-Chandrashila Trek.
Beginning from Chopta, the trail takes you to Tunganath and Chandrashila peak. One can also visit the frozen Deoria Tal and an ancient Shiva temple in Tunganath.
Chopta - Chandrashila route is one of the popular trekking trails in the Uttarkand Himalayas.
Photo Courtesy: Vvnataraj
Snow Leopard Trek
Best Time: End of December - February
Snow Leopard Trek is a famous one in Ladakh. This route covers Rumbak Valley and Hemis National Park; snow leopards are the main attraction in the trail.
Unique vegetations, beautiful valleys, monasteries and sighting wild animals together make it an adventurous trip.
Photo Courtesy: Irbis1983
Chadar Trek – The Ice Route
Best Time: Mid-January - February
Chadar Trek is a unique and a thrilling one in Ladakh. It is a route which is taken on a frozen Zanskar river. Chadar means a blanket; it literally translates to an 'Ice-Blanket Route'.
The frozen river, waterfalls and snow filled valleys allure the trekkers.
It starts from Tilat Sumdo, passing to Tsomo Paldar and ending in Chilling; walking on a ice road is definitely challenging.
Photo Courtesy: Payal Vora