The most striking Himalayan peak, Kedarkantha is situated at an elevation of 3150 m, in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand. The rewarding summit to the ridge peak offers great views of 13 other Himalayan peaks, such as Ranglana and Banderpooch. The trail goes to the Govind National Park which is home to exotic flora and fauna such as bears, leopards and musk deer. One thing that motivates you to hike further on the challenging course encompassing rough slopes and sharp ascent and descent is the ever-modifying scenery of this spectacular place.

Moreover, this trek is considered an idyllic destination for both the nature lovers and an ardent trekker. The trek begins from a peaceful village called Sankri, which is surrounded by the dense oak forest and snow-capped mountains. Also, the trek offers an exquisite sight of River Tons, which is fed by the glaciers. Filled with the majestic natural beauty and stunning views of the snow-clad mountains, trekking in the ‘Land of Gods’ always pleases eyes and soul of the trekkers. The course combines the contrasting views of snow-capped mountains, glacial pools and frozen streams on the lush green landscape. For those who love snow, Kedarkantha trek is a must-try.

 

Duration: 6 Days
Grade: Easy to Moderate
Highest Point: 3810 m (Kedarkantha peak)
Distance Covered: 22 km
Base Camp: Sankri
Airport: Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun

Day 01: Dehradun to Sankri (1951 m) > Day 02: Sankri to Juda Ka Talab (2774 m) > Day 03: Juda Ka Talab to Kedarkantha Meadow (3429 m) > Day 04: Kedarkantha Peak (3150 m) to Hargaon (2713 m) > Day 05: Trek back to Sankri > Day 06: Drive to Dehradun

Here are the 5 reasons that would surely make your trekking experience a life-time experience:

  • A Drive in the Majestic Landscape
    Your venture to Kedarkantha Peak starts with a drive from Dehradun, which is a capital of Uttarakhand. The road from Dehradun takes you through the remotest routes and some of the most popular hill stations in Uttarakhand like Mussoorie and Purola. With bushes and green trees on either side, these picturesque roads offer an ideal surrounding to those who are hunting for peace, away from the buzz of city’s life.

    Kedarnath Temple Image Credits: photos.wikimapia.org
    Kedarnath Temple
    Image Credits: photos.wikimapia.org

  • Spiritual Walk to Kedarkantha
    Smeared in mythological connotations, Uttarakhand is one of the holiest of all Hindu pilgrimage centres. It is home to four great religious sites – Yamunotri, Gangotri, Badrinath and Kedarnath. Locals of Kedarkantha believe that this place was supposed to be Kedarnath as Lord Shiva wandered here in a bull’s avatar. After escaping from the Pandavas, he disguised as a bull to meditate in the valley. But the locals disturbed his peace and he fled from Kedarkantha to Kedarnath. Further, the villagers of Sankri believe that the Trishul of Lord Shiva, erected on the pile of rocks at the valley of Kedarkantha, guards them and fills the rivers of Himalayas.
    On the way to trek, you will come across an ancient temple, which comprises of Lord Shiva Lord Ganesha and Goddess Parvati idols. The temple is a must visit for Lord Shiva’s devotees and for the photography enthusiasts as it lends a great click for the camera.kedarkantha_trek__3_
  • Get Lost in the Mesmerizing Views of Smoky Mountains
    You will be rewarded with a dreamy view when green landscape will turn into snowy land. In winters, the forests of pine and trees showcase an ideal combination of frozen ice with greenery. The feeling of being surrounded by the smoky mountains is a completely a unique experience in itself. Also, in the winters, the Govind National Park remains open, allowing the trekkers to explore the hidden gems in the scenic mountains.
  • A night under glittery sky aside gushing river stream 
    The campsite of Kedarnath trek is one thing that will surely make your excursion faithfully spellbinding. Everyday with the end of 5-6 hours of trekking, your tents are set amidst pictorial scenery that would surely worth all your pain and weariness. A night under the fancy sky and on a frozen land is like that you have stepped into a dreamy world. The campsites of Pukhrola and Akroti Thach, which are surrounded by pine and walnut trees, give you a lifetime experience.
  • Splendid 360-degree view of 13 Himalayan peaks
    On accomplishing the summit, one can enjoy a dazzling view of famous 13 Himalayan peaks like Bandarpoonch, Kala Nag, Black Peak and Swargarohini. Nothing could be better than witnessing the magnificent and heavenly charm of these peaks with your naked eyes.

Best time to Trek to Kedarkantha Peak
Whether it’s summer or winter, one can trek Kedarkantha Peak at any time of the year. In summers, the trek which is filled with the vibrant fauna, green meadows, and lush emerald landscape always refreshes the trekkers’ soul. However, in winters, one can experience the breathtaking vistas of the grand Himalayan peaks and remotest villages, which are blanketed with snow.

Due to harsh climatic conditions in the high altitudes, it is vital for the trekkers to plan the trekking expedition carefully. So, one is required to choose the right time considering acclimatization as the priority before heading for the trek. The best time to hike Kedarkantha Peak is either from April to June or September to December.  

From April to June, the temperature varies from 3°C to 8°C in daytime and -5°C to -1°C at night.
From September to December, the temperature varies from -4°C to 6°C in daytime and -8°C to -3°C at night.

kedarkantha_trek__2_

On this expedition, you will definitely explore the beauty beyond your thoughts, and with that, you also get a chance to get a glimpse of the socio-cultural lifestyle of Uttarakhand’s folks. Meeting women who have come from far away villages in the dense forest, which is situated at a hilltop, to collect wooden sticks and fodder for their cattle is such a lovely experience that cannot be penned down in mere words. Kedarkantha trek is more than an excursion, it is an experience. 

Nature’s resplendent display of wonders peaks in the North-eastern region of India. With Tibet in the north and east, Bhutan on its east, Indian state West Bengal in the south and Nepal on its West, Sikkim is one of the most important tourist locations in the North-East. Almost 35 percent of it covered by Kanchenjunga National Park, this state is the least populous and the second smallest state in the country.

Sikkim 2 (3)

Trekking in Sikkim: Nature and Nurture
Although home to a multitude of tourist spots, cultural fests, trekking summits owing to its proximity to the Himalayas and its abundant flora and fauna unique to this region, three of the most happening treks stand out as ideal getaway to the Himalayas. Goecha La is the best trek if a majestic view of Kanchenjunga and exploring Kanchenjunga on an intense expedition is one of your travel goals, Sandakphu is a picturesque trail for the trekkers that think the journey is as important as the destination itself and an excursion to Singalila offers up, close and personal views of the Singalila range and spotting rare wilderness in the Singalila National Park.

Here’s a complete breakdown of the three jewels of North-East:

Goecha La

Home to world’s highest mountains like Kanchenjunga, the trek to Goecha la is for those on the lookout for a trek that challenges them within and almost simultaneously delights them with the richness of natural beauty surrounding them. Exotic flora and fauna, alpine meadows, glacier basins, this place in Sikkim is a treasure trove for travelers curious to seek Nature’s wonders.  

goecha Best season: Best time to visit the Kanchenjunga National Park is from the last week of March to May during which the days are bright and nights are cold. Monsoons remain incredibly unfavorable because of the high possibility of landslides, blocked transportation, slippery trails, etc. Post monsoon, in the months of September and November, one can capture crystal-clear views of all the peaks. This is a good time to head to Goecha la. Due to heavy snowing, winters remain unfavorable for this trek.

  • Goecha la offers splendid views of world’s third highest mountain Kanchenjunga and Pandin, Tien Chenkhang, Koktang, Jopuno, etc.
  • Explore the stunning stupas, monasteries, temples and wildlife sanctuaries located in the region
  • Traverse through lush green pasturelands, vibrant fauna, rare wildlife species, alpine meadows and glaciers to reach your final destination

    Early morning sun rising from Mt. Kanchenjunga
    Early morning sun rising from Mt. Kanchenjunga

  • Spot Eurasian tree sparrow, pied bush cat and green-tailed sunbird and enjoy the rare sight of Himalayan endangered species like musk deer, red panda and blue sheep in the Kanchenjunga National Park if you are lucky!
  • In Lamuney, walk through clouds and camp under the glittery sky at night

Sandakphu

Sandakphu trek is a brilliant trek for the simple reason that it offers unmatched views of the highest peaks in the world (Sleeping Buddha i.e. Kanchenjunga, Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Annapurna range) and the journey to that spot on the map is filled with mesmerizing natural wonders itself. At many a point, the exhaustion of trekking through dense forests is lifted by the joy of sighting a meadow as vast as the eye goes. Trekking alongside Siri river and staying in the guest houses or camping right there is another matter of delight. The trek offers striking views of everything you expect from a retreat into the lap of nature: forests, waterfalls, alpine meadows and then some.

Sleeping Buddha, Sandakphu
Sleeping Buddha, Sandakphu

Best season: While in the spring, the trail to Sandakphu is covered in the most scenic way possible by rhododendrons among other exotic flora (spot the magnificent mangolia from Chitre to Meghma!), the trek is accessible even in winters and the snow-laden trails are as charming as the destination itself.

  • One of the most beautiful rhododendron treks; trek in Spring to behold the beauty with your own eyes as you make way to the Sandakphu summit
  • Explore the vibrant Buddhist culture as you start your trek from Chitre village; pay a visit to the splendid monasteries and stupas around

    Singalila National Park
    Singalila National Park

  • Camping in Singalila National Park; enjoy the days of camping amid North East’s natural beauty; wake up to a sunrise on Singalila range and spot blue bamboos in the jungle!

    A guest house in Tumling
    A guest house in Tumling

  • Tumling’s guest houses set on the serene river bankside; Tumling lies on the Indo-Nepal border and houses many a beautiful tea estate in the region; you can look at the entire Sandakphu trail from the ascent after Tumling

    Black Lake or Kaliphokri
    Black Lake or Kalaphokri

  • Kalaphokri or ‘Black Lake’: After Tumling, reach the bean-shaped black lake that refuses to freeze even in deadly winters. Believed to be divine, the lake is surrounded by an array of Buddhist flags found fluttering in the wind.
  • Magnificent view of Sleeping Buddha (Kanchenjunga and sister peaks) and a 180 degree view of world’s highest mountains including Everest, Makalu, Lhotse, Nuptse, Baruntse, Chamling, Chomolonzo, Machapucchare, Chomolhari and other peaks of Annapurna range.  

Singalila Pass (and Phoktey Dara trek)

The Singalila range marks the western borders of Sikkim and Darjeeling with Nepal. You have a fantastic opportunity to trek to the passes and ranges that lie within India and/or Nepal. Once you reach Singalila pass, trek further to Kalijhora; the top of Kalijhora is Phoktey Dara which offers a spectacular viewpoint. In the far left (west), the majestic Everest group of peaks and to the right, three sisters– Chamlang, Baruntse, Kanchendzongha, Simvo, Pandim, Tenzingkhang, one after another. The entire Kabru range (North, South, Dome) Fork I/II, Rathong, Frey peak (just above Chaurikhang, HMI base camp area) are south to the gigantic Kanchenjunga and form a semicircle in front of the massif.

Singalila range
Singalila range

Best season: March-May and October-November are the best seasons to head out on an exploration of the Singalila range. 

  • Panoramic views of four of the five world’s highest peaks including Mt. Everest, Kanchenjunga, Lhotse and Makalu and more
  • Singalila range lies on the Indo-Nepal border: the western borders of Sikkim and Darjeeling with Nepal
  • Visit Kitam Bird Sanctuary and Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary to spot the Red Crossbill and Parrotbills. If you are lucky, you might spot the endangered vividly colored Satyr Tragopan or a Kalij Pheasant as well!
  • Walk through rich forests canopied by rhododendron, magnolia and bamboo
  • Witness spellbinding sunrise at Kalijohra
  • Stay at beautiful campsites in the evening which is near a hill slope thickly covered with Magnolia and conifers
  • Access remote locations that are extremely sparsely populated so enjoy the exclusivity of it all

Trekking in the North-east is a growing interest of the young trekkers for it offers an exclusive opportunity to witness distinct culture, communities located in remote locations however so incredibly beautiful, that it makes the trekking experience wholesome and worth it.

The religious and spiritual heritage of India provides a profound insight into its history, culture and civilization. It is not only responsible for creating an image that defines the ethnicity of the nation but has deeply affected the religious life of other parts of the world. The gravity of this intangible cultural heritage is strongly evident in the popular spiritual yatras to Nanda Devi Raj Jaat Yatra, Roopkund, and Kailash Mansarovar Yatra. It is a beautiful journey to see how spirituality has kept the roots stronger and contributed to the sense of oneness at the same time.

Home to many different religions and beliefs, India is a country which has been associated with spiritual significance since time immemorial. The spiritual energies have even added charm to those ordinary destinations which are now touted as significant religious places of the country. And as tourism has grown manifold, the spiritual places of India have gained immense fame worldwide.

What’s unique about trekking to these spiritual destinations?
While trekking itself boasts of a challenging journey, trekking to spiritual places like Roopkund and Kailash Mansarovar is symbolic of attaining spiritual bliss amidst en route moraines, streams and snow-capped mountains. Undertaking such pristine trails dotted with pilgrimage sites represent a unique bond between nature’s art and spiritual energy. Don’t miss the chance to get hypnotized by a spiritual yet adventurous rhythm of the trekking expedition to Nanda Devi Raj Jaat Yatra (Roopkund) and Kailash Mansarovar.

Here are two accounts of trekking expeditions carried out to Nanda Devi Raj Jaat Yatra and Kailash Mansarovar Yatra:

Nanda Devi Raj Jaat Yatra, Roopkund

Nanda Devi Raj Jaat Yatra includes a trekking expedition to Roopkund. Being the most significant pilgrimage in Uttarakhand, Nanda Devi Raj Jat Yatra holds immense spiritual importance. As it is organized in every 12 years, it witnesses a huge gathering where people from different faiths and religions unite to honor Goddess Nanda Devi. It is believed that it is a religious journey in which the goddess has to be taken to the abode of Lord Shiva, located in the icy folds of the mighty Himalayas. In particular, the journey is reckoned to be a significant event in the life of a Hindu devotee.

Nanda Devi Raj Jaat Yatra
Mt. Trishul and Nanda Devi from Junargalli, Roopkund

Nanda Devi Raj Jaat Yatra is a three-week-long grand procession that begins from Nauti village near Karanpraayg and ends at Hemkund near Roopkund. Often referred to as Himalayan Mahakumbh, it is a festive occasion in Uttarakhand in which devotees from both Garhwal and Kumaon regions of the state along with people from across the globe come together to participate. The yatra begins when the ‘Kunwar’ of the village Kansua inaugurates it in a customary manner.

According to the locals, the yatra is a testimony to the story which says that the Goddess Nanda Devi, the consort of Lord Shiva and the daughter of the ruler of mountains, left her village and went to Nanda Devi Parbat. It is also said that heavy rain occurs on this day symbolizing the goddess’ act of crying as she was leaving her home. It is a journey which lends a deep insight into the culture, lifestyle, flora and fauns of the ‘Land of Gods’, Uttarakhand. What adds a tinge of uniqueness to the yatra is that the devotees remain barefoot throughout the yatra despite the harsh climatic conditions.

Nanda Devi
Nanda Devi

Trekking expedition to Nanda Devi, the second highest peak of Indian Himalayas, is one of the most arduous treks. Home to the scenic beauty of the snow-clad peaks, the surreal nature that prevails around them and the exotic range of flora and fauna in the vicinity, trekking to Nanda Devi offers an experience of one-of-its-kind. The trek crosses through exhilarating passes, winding trails, lush forests and picturesque meadows. Also, it offers a plethora of opportunities to register the sublime beauty of nature in the mind which can perceive everything in its multitude and vastness.  

Kailash Mansarovar Yatra:

The best way to witness a divine circuit of thousands of pilgrims across the world is to embark on a spiritual journey to the Mount Kailash and Mansarovar Lake. The journey to these spiritual destinations is not only a jewel that reflects the nature’s beauty at its best but also serves as the source of inspiration for several religions and beliefs. There is nothing better than Kailash Mansarovar Yatra for those people who have devoted and wish to devote their entire life to a journey to wash their sins and seek blessings from the deity they worship.

Mt Kailash
Mt Kailash

The key attractions of the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra include a sacred Parikrama around the Mount Kailash and a holy dip in Mansarovar Lake. The journey also provides a chance to embrace the beauty of the blue lake – Pieko-Tso and Yarlung Zangpo. It enables one to experience some cathartic moments and rejuvenate their soul by taking a holy dip in Mansarovar Lake, which is considered sacred in four religions; Hinduism, Bön, Buddhism and Jainism. Situated at an altitude of 22, 028 ft above sea level, Mansarovar is the largest freshwater lake in the world.

Another major attraction of the yatra is Yama Dwar, which means the gates of the lord of death. It is a place of great religious and mythological significance. Yama Dwar is considered as the entry door to the heavenly paradise, Kailash. It is believed that one must abandon the mortal self to enter the region of Kailash, which is equated to the divine world. Both geography and mythology combine to lend the Mount Kailash, a charm of its own.  

Holy Lake Mansarovar
Holy Lake Mansarovar

Further, the grandeur of Kailash does not lie in the height that other peaks of the Himalayan range boast of, but in its distinct shape resembling the cardinal points of the compass in the form of four sheer faces. Amidst the natural beauty that this area of permanent peace beholds lies an opportunity to set the mind free from all shackles. And, partake in the spiritual ecstasy that the solitary location of this place emanates.

If the best view comes after the hardest climb, there is no better example than trekking expedition to the Mount Kailash. With varied levels of difficulty, trekking to the Mount Kailash is not that easy as it seems to be in the slumber of your dreams. There is a lot of gasping and puffing involved in climbing an altitude of around 6638 m. At times, it even becomes difficult to put one foot in front of the other.  However, the natural surroundings of the place will keep you motivated throughout the journey. So, feel the thrill of challenging your inner potential to complete a difficult feat, Kailash Mansarovar Yatra.

Somebody has rightly pointed out that spirituality lends dimension and direction to the life that humans lead in the search for the truth about their existence. So, get ready to ride on the chariot of belief and hope to locate the key to you life and beyond. Do not hesitate to add a beautiful chapter in the story of your life that can become the source of inspiration and joy even when memories start ageing.

Nestled in the peaceful abode of Jammu and Kashmir at a high altitude of 2,987 m, Ladakh is the most-scenic landscape in the north-west region of India. Said to be the coldest inhabited desert in the world, it is enclosed by the world’s highest mountain ranges, the great Himalayas and Karakoram. It is the raw beauty of nature that adds a mysterious, incredible and stunning charm to the beautiful landscape.

Completely isolated from the hustle-bustle of the city, the ‘Land of high passes’, Ladakh is well-known for its crystal-clear water lake, azure sky, magical clouds, freezing winds, extreme deserts, sand dunes and glaciers. In its serene demeanor, the land encompasses various ethnic groups, primarily Tibetans, Dards, Monpas and Muslims. It is a place where prayer flags flutter in the cool breeze and striking stupas covered with snow stand tall. Ladakh attracts several tourists from around the world as it gives a chance to reinvent thrill, excitement and adventure. 

Chang la pass, Ladakh
Chang la pass, Ladakh

Best Time to Visit Ladakh
Undoubtedly, anyone who visits Ladakh gets fascinated by its beauty and quaint charm. Witnessing the stunning views in the mountains along with trekking is one of its kind excitements.

You can visit Ladakh in the following three seasons:

Summers – April to July :  At this time, the passes are accessible, and pleasant weather and surroundings offer an impressive panorama. It is the best time to go on the trek, ride a bike and board a jeep. The temperature ranges between 15 degrees Celsius and 30 degrees Celsius.

Monsoon – July to September : Despite the irregular rainfalls, monsoon is also considered as an ideal time to visit Ladakh. A traveller can enjoy river rafting, challenging treks and masked dance performances during monsoons. Temperature ranges between 3 degrees Celsius and 17 degrees Celsius.

Winter – October to March : Ladakh is the winter destination for those adventure-seekers who are eager to experience the majesty of Himalayas. At this time, ardent bike riders undertake motorcycle expeditions to acclimatize with harsh weather conditions. One thing that gives an adrenaline rush is a panorama of jaw-dropping Himalayan landscapes, Buddhist monasteries, frozen lakes and rivers. The temperature ranges between 0 degrees Celsius and 15 degrees Celsius.

Indus zanskar Confluence Ladakh
Indus zanskar Confluence Ladakh

The Best Trekking Expeditions in Ladakh
To escape from mundane life and crowd, the Himalayas are the best place to please your heart and soul. If you’re heading to the Himalayas, then do not resist yourself from undertaking new adventure and thrill activities at higher altitudes. Hiking in the mountainous region requires a lot of courage, will and attention.

Here are the two most popular treks that one should add to the list of trekking while planning a trip to Ladakh.

Stok Kangri Trek

Duration: 10 days
Grade: Difficult
Max Altitude: 6120 m
Approx Trekking: 40 km
Airport: Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport, Leh
Route: Leh>Changma>Mankorma>Spituk>Stok Kangri>Leh
Best Time to visit: June to September (-2 °C to 15 °C)

Stok Palace
Stok Palace

Situated in the Hemis National Park and the Stok Range of Himalayas, Stok Kangri is one of the highest mountain peaks in the world. On the way to the summit, the trail passes through the rustic hamlets built in traditional style, glacial pools, frozen streams and snowy landscape. Visiting vibrant small markets, meeting locals and peeking into their lifestyle is a unique experience in itself. The trail offers a 360-degrees view of grand Stok and Yissay peaks, and Zanskar and the Karakoram ranges, against the white dancing clouds. The trek is quite challenging, as it involves brook crossings, slippery slopes, long hour walks and sharp ascents and descents.

It is a place where one can experience an ideal amalgam of natural exquisiteness with cultural splendor. The sight of large moraines, crystal crests and the lofty peak of Mt. K2 is just breathtaking. Before starting the trek, there is a need to get acclimatized with the harsh weather conditions and surroundings of the place. In the initial days of trekking, explore Stok Palace, museums, forts, monasteries and local markets. The mission to reach Stok will be accomplished after crossing Chang Ma and Mankorma.

This trek is a must-try for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts.  

Markha Valley Trek

Duration: 9 days
Grade: Moderate to difficult
Max Altitude: 5130 m
Approx Trekking: 75 km
Airport: Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport, Leh
Route: Leh>Spituk >Zingchen>Yuruste>Ganda La>Skiu>Markha>Thachungtse>Nimalingmaling >Kongmaru La>Shang Sumdo>Leh
Best Time to visit: June to September (2 °C to 12 °C)

markha

Surrounded by the towering and snow-covered mountains, the Markha Valley trek is one of the most alluring regions and preferred treks in Ladakh. The tributary of the River Zanskar flows in the beautiful village called Markha. The 9-day trek passes through the unexplored beauty of Hemis National Park and Gandala La and Kongmaru La passes. This trek will take you to the last village of the region, and also gives you a chance to enjoy rare sights of wildlife, such as the bear and snow leopard. The trekking expedition starts with acclimatization that helps you in getting familiarized with the surroundings. Later, you will head for sightseeing in Leh to get a glimpse of Ladakhi culture and Buddhists tradition. 

Under the glittery sky and amidst the gushing river, camping in Yurutse is a delight for trekkers’ eyes and soul. One will come to a dazzling sight of Zanskar Range after reaching Ganda La. The sight of convergence of three rivers at Skiu and Kangyatze Peak is a feast to trekker’s eyes. On your way to Markha, which is 6 km from the Skiu, you will come across several stunning streams.

How to reach Ladakh?

Ladakh on a motorbike expedition is a fantastic idea!
Ladakh on a motorbike expedition is a fantastic idea!

Those who are planning to visit the Moonland called Ladakh can reach there by flight, bike, jeep, bus or train.

Travelling by Bike : It is well said that for a bike rider nothing could be better than chasing the roads of Ladakh! To enjoy the surroundings of the scenic environment of this cold desert, one should undertake this trip on a bike. Bike ride to Ladakh is something which you will cherish for a lifetime. Srinagar and Manali are the two spots from where the routes lead to Ladakh. To witness the true majesty of Mother Nature’s creation, the road trip is a must-try.

Train Journey : The closest railway station to Ladakh is Jammu Tawi, which is around 700 km from Ladakh. One can hire a taxi or bus from there to reach Ladakh.

By air : The nearest airport to reach Ladakh is Leh Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport. The airport is connected to and from Delhi, Jammu, Srinagar, Chandigarh, etc.

By road : Ladakh is well-connected with Srinagar and Jammu by roads. There are two routes that lead to Ladakh – one is from Srinagar via Zoji La Pass, and the other is Manali via Rohtang Pass.

ladakh shutterstock_1873033_txzmh

Ladakh is a must for you if you want to write your own travel journey on the roads that take you to the doors of heaven.

A vale bounded by the ranges of Pir Panjal and the great Himalayas, Kashmir is filled with the pristine beauty for which it aptly owes the title of ‘Paradise on Earth.’ With its ideal geographical position and scenic topography, the place offers several trekking options to the visitors. Located above Sonmarg on the Srinagar-Leh highway, the Kashmir Great Lakes trek tops the list of the best moderate treks in Kashmir as it offers the awe-inspiring vistas of the rustic nature.

It is often believed that the true beauty of nature lies in the lush-green isolated places that are not accessible by roads. And surprisingly, the Kashmir Great Lakes, which includes alpine lakes, meadows and exotic flora and fauna, also remained unknown for years. Many of these beautiful lakes have interesting stories behind their formation and existence, besides being named after Hindu gods.

A drive through heaven on earth - Kashmir
A drive through heaven on earth – Kashmir

Some of the stunning lakes covered during the trek include Krishnasar, Gangabal, Gadsar and Vishansar. A magical view of ice sheets sliding off from the glaciers and feeding the alpine lakes is truly a feast for the eyes. And the icing on the cake is the sight of milky white ice sheet floating on the sapphire lakes.

Mobile market on the Dal Lake in Srinagar
Mobile market on the Dal Lake in Srinagar
  • Get a chance to explore five stunning glacial lakes situated at higher altitudes
  • Know about Kashmiri lifestyle, culture and traditions
  • Enjoy lip-smacking authentic delicacies of Kashmir
  • Witness a sight of snow-capped mountains along with the exotic wildlife
  • Spend a night in the camp, which is set aside the cold blue lake and under the glittery sky
  • An encounter with herders and their livestock,  including cattle and goats
  • Walk on the sharp gradient and pasture land with snow patches
  • Follow a trail that passes through green meadows, crystal clear glaciers, rocky barren land and gushing streams

Best time to plan your visit: April to October is considered as the best time to undertake the Kashmir Great Lakes trek. At this time, the pleasant weather allows you to witness the charming mountains and the beautiful valley. The average temperature during these months ranges from 17°C to 20°C in daytime and 3°C to 4°C at night.

Region: Jammu and Kashmir
Duration: 8 days
Altitude: 4206.24 m
Trekking distance: 63 km
Difficulty level: Moderate
Minimum age: 10 years
Starting Point: Sonmarg
Ending Point: Naranag
Railway Station: Srinagar railway station
Airport: Sheikh ul-Alam International Airport

Kashmir Great Lakes

A Quick Recap of Elevation Points
The trek will begin from the mesmerising hill station of Sonmarg to Nichnai (3505 m). The trail goes through the dense forests, beautiful streams and enchanting valley encompassing green pasture land. Hiking through the rough and rocky terrain, the next stop will be Vishansar Lake (3657 m). The terrain will take you to Gadsar (3657 m) via Krishansar Lake and Gadsar Pass (4192 m). Next day, while enjoying breathtaking views of mountains, hike through steep slopes and rough mountainous region to reach Satsar (3657 m). Follow the course that goes through the coniferous forest to arrive at Gangabal Twin Lakes (3503 m). On the last day of expedition, descend to reach a rustic hamlet called Naranag (2270 m).

Trekking through the Sublime Beauty of Kashmir Lakes
Being an admirer of nature and its enchanting beauty, the Kashmir Great Lakes trek gave me lifetime memories of splendid nature residing in the abode of Sonmarg Valley. The trek is known for reflecting an astonishing contrast in the landscape that begins from lush green valleys and ends at the semi-arid and cold region of Naranag. A walk through dazzling meadows, alpine forests, grassland and glaciers made my journey truly enthralling and exciting.

After comprehensive research, I planned the trek with my childhood friends and booked our flights to Srinagar and then we packed our bags with all the necessary equipment like trekking pole and shoes.

Day 1: Reach Srinagar and then Drive from Srinagar to Sonmarg
We boarded a flight from Delhi to Srinagar at 9 am from Indira Gandhi International Airport. After enjoying a stunning view of sun amidst the floating clouds, we reached Srinagar in 1 hour and 15 minutes. Our guide was waiting for us at the arrival hall. He greeted us with a bouquet and said Khush Aamdeed, which means you’re welcome. From there, we left for Sonmarg and reached there in next 2 hours. The place is famous for lush green meadows and is said to be the last Kashmiri town on the way to Ladakh.

High-angle shot of Sonmarg village
High-angle shot of Sonmarg village

We reached our guesthouse by the afternoon. After gorging on a refreshing hot cup of Kashmiri tea called kahwah with snacks, we were briefed about the trek by our tour representative. In the evening, we took a stroll in the town and found some singers who were singing melodious folk songs. Despite being unaware of the language, every word of that folk song was falling on my ears like a magic that was taking me to the ancient times. We clicked pictures with these women and also played pithoo with the children. At night, we were served delicious Kashmiri thali in dinner.

Day 2: Trek from Sonmarg to Nichnai
We got up at around 6 in the morning. After breakfast, we were driven to Nichnai, which was situated just a few kilometres away from Sonmarg. In 35 minutes, we reached a point from where we had to start our trekking expedition. Initially, the trek was a steep climb up to a place called Table Top. While hiking, our eyes were able to catch the magnificent views of the famous Sonmarg glaciers and the valley in the background. It was our first day of trekking and climbing in an upward direction wasn’t an easy task for us, as many of us had started facing breathing issues.

But thankfully, we encountered a dhaba (eatery) at Table Top, which is run by a beautiful Kashmiri couple. We spent around 20 minutes there and had a cup of tea and snacks. And, it literally gave us the much-needed energy. From here, the trail also turned gradual as we entered a valley of birch trees. We reached Nichnai at 2.30 pm and found that a beautiful campsite next to a stream was arranged for us. We quickly settled down in our tents as we were about to get some tea, pakoras (fritters) and Maggi noodles. We spent a night in the camp.

Day 3: Nichnai to Vishansar Lake | Day 4: Acclimatization
Next day, we hiked for around 30 minutes, following a stream next to our campsite. The steep path later led to alpine grasslands. After an hour, we encountered a small glacial lake, where we captured several pictures. Thereafter, we crossed a stream of River Beas and then ascended towards the Nichnai Pass. We kept resting after every hour.

Later, we descended towards a beautiful meadow that took us to Vishansar Lake. It was such a big and beautiful lake, which is named after Lord Vishnu. We also enjoyed a sight of the majestic glaciers that feed this lake. As it was important for us to acclimatize before heading upward, another day was also spent in a campsite set aside Vishansar Lake.

Day 5: Trek from Vishansar Lake to Gadsar via Krishnasar
If you ever try this trek, this is going to be the longest and prettiest day on this trek. After crossing Vishansar, we steadily ascend towards Krishnasar, which is the second beautiful lake on this journey. This lake is named after Lord Krishna. Notably, our guide told us that scientists have classified these lakes as oligotrophic lakes, which mean these lakes have higher levels of oxygen and less organic content; making it perfect for drinking. After crossing this stunning lake, we climbed towards Gadsar Pass.

Now, the most difficult part of the journey began as the trail challenged us both mentally and physically. While trekking, we had energy drinks and bars. Gradually, after a walk of about 2 hours, we were able to see dazzling Vishansar Lake. Later, we crossed Gadsar Pass and descended towards Gadsar Lake. The course passed through the beautiful grassland filled with vibrant wildflowers. That day we were quite lucky as we saw Himalayan Marmots too. The dazzling view of Gadsar Lake with glacier and wildflowers in the background is breathtaking. We reached Gadsar Lake by the late afternoon. The best part about this journey was that we got a chance to spend a night in an Indian Army Camp.

Day 06: Gadsar to Satsar
It was a day when we all were ready to start our expedition to Satsa which was located about 10 km from the military camp. We walked on a sloppy land and crossed a river and then ascended to the heavenly mountains. On the way, we found apple and walnut orchards and of course, we plucked some to eat. After 2 hours, we arrived at mountainous grassland, which was surrounded by lofty mountain peaks. Now, we had to take a permit from the army to hike deeper as an army check post was located there. After getting the permission, we reached a stunning glacial water body called Satsar Lake.

Day 07: Satsar to Gangabal Twin Lakes
We woke up to a dazzling view of sunrise and after heavy breakfast, we moved ahead on the 9-hour expedition. We crossed a rocky terrain and ascended to a valley from where we could see the striking Mt. Harmukh. This mountain is said to be the abode of Lord Shiva and it is believed that no human feet can touch the Harmukh Summit. Later, we entered a dense forest of pine and oak trees, where we captured the sight of beautiful birds in our camera. We passed through around three ridges and gradually the course became sharp and rocky. Also, we met a few locals here who came to the hilltop from the nearby village with their cattle. In next four hours, we arrived at Nundkhol Lake and walked further for 30 minutes to reach Gangabal Lake. This lake is named after the River Ganges and is considered sacred to Kashmiri Pandits.

Day 08: Gangabal to Naranag | Drive towards Srinagar
The last day of this beautiful expedition started from Lake Gangabal to Naranag. The path going along the lake entered a green landscape dotted with yellow flowers. We walked around 2 hours in the forest and then descended to the village of Naranag. Following the stony trail, we finally reached the picturesque village and visited a Lord Shiva temple, which was built by the Kashmiri ruler of the 8th century, Lalithdatiya Muktadiya. Later, we boarded a taxi and went back to Srinagar, which was around 2 km far from here.

kashmir

Apart from providing a beautiful sight of the Kashmir Great Lakes, this expedition surely has a lot more to offer. A lovely meeting with the locals, listening beautiful folk songs from them and knowing about their socio-cultural lifestyle was a lifetime experience.

Known for high-altitude trekking at 15250 ft, Rupin Pass trek offers absolute excitement and thrill to the adventure lovers. The picturesque trek begins and ends at the “Lands of Gods”, including Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh. So, naturally, the pristine beauty of the scenic landscapes on this trek are pure bliss for the ones who love a rendezvous with nature.

On this venture, a trekker gets a chance to pass through rustic hamlets, lush green pasturelands, suspension bridges, dense forests, stunning rivers, and gushing streams and waterfalls. 

  • Pass through two stunning Himalayan villages, including Jhanka and Mori, which are positioned on the hilltop
  • Walking through the dense forests of oak, pine and rhododendron in the Govind National Park
  • Feast your eyes on the exotic sights of rare Himalayan flora and fauna
  • Explore the culture and tradition of hill people
  • Crossing suspension and snow bridges enhances excitement and trekkers can feel the adrenaline rush
  • Waterfalls at such a height would make you feel that the almighty is pouring down the holy water from the blue sky
  • Offer prayers at Kinnaur Temple and Pokhu Devta, situated at the confluence of the rivers Rupin and Supin
  • Get lost in the mesmerizing beauty of the lofty Kailash Peak and snow-capped mountains
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Trek through forests that are beginning to autumn in the post-monsoon season

Best Time to Head to Rupin Pass: The Rupin Pass trek can be undertaken in two seasons, one in summer, i.e., from May to June and another in the post-monsoon season, i.e., September and October. Notably, summer experiences heavy snowfall, while in the post-monsoon season the landscape turns green and the weather becomes clear. However, the grass starts turning golden from the end of October, referring to the arrival of winters. The average temperature in Rupin Pass ranges from 13°C to 18°C in daytime and from 0°C to 7°C at night.

Rupin Pass: A Glimpse of My Long Journey To The ‘Land of Gods’

Region – Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh
Duration – 8 Days
Grade – Moderate to Difficult
Max Altitude – 15250 ft
Distance – 52 km
Being one of the most adventurous and beautiful trails, the Rupin Pass trek is known for showcasing a breathtaking contrast in the green and snow-covered landscapes. The trail is admired for its awe-inspiring beauty and appealing charm. A walk through the valley, encompassing exquisite flora and fauna, is a unique experience in itself. A panoramic sight of the River Tons and the Kailash Peak makes this journey, the most memorable experience.

After a relaxing journey of 2 hours on a flight from Delhi to Dehradun, I reached Jolly Grant Airport at 8 am. I met my guide and trek mates outside the airport. We all introduced ourselves to each other. As we were a group of 15 people, our guide had arranged three Tata Sumos for us. After boarding our respective vehicles, the beautiful journey began on the hilly road with greenery all over.

We gorged on a glass of lassi (buttermilk) and aloo-pyaaz parathas (bread stuffed with mashed potatoes and chopped onions) with butter at a dhaba (roadside eatery). Then, our vehicles halted at Mori to offer prayers to Lord Pokhu (god of law and order) at Pokhu temple, which is a beautiful wooden temple in the village of Netwar. The temple is also known as the point of confluence of rivers Supin and Rupin, and the origin base of River Tons.

Moving ahead, the trail passed through some spectacular views of hills and it took us around 7 hours to reach Dhaula via Mussorie. Situated in the Uttarkashi district, Dhaula was the base camp of our trek. After relaxing for two hours at the base camp, our guide briefed us with the detailed itinerary and routes. He also handed over a map of the 8-day trek to every trekker. After dinner, we spent a night in the camp.

Next day, I woke up to a stunning sight of sunrise and after that, we all were asked to do warm up and some flexibility exercises. Later, the adventurous Rupin Pass trek from Dhaula to Seva began. The trail passed through rustic hamlets, fragrant apricot and apple orchards and suspension bridges over the River Rupin. On our way, we found a small shop ran by a Pahadi couple who were selling tea and biscuits. We could not resist and had a hot cup of tea along with some light snacks. Later, we walked through the dense forest and pastureland for about 3 hours and we also kept taking rest after every hour.

rupinsupin8

Meanwhile, the gushing sound of rivers and streams was falling as a well-composed melody on my ears. On reaching our destination, we came across a stunning temple known for its Kinnauri traditions. We hiked for 10 minutes and reached a bridge which connects Uttarakhand to Himachal Pradesh. We crossed that suspension bridge and arrived at Seva where we set up our camps aside the river stream.  

On day 3, we entered the thick rhododendron forest and after walking for around 2 hours, we crossed a wooden bridge called ‘No man’s Place’. Our guide told us that this is because the bridge does not belong to any state. We first arrived at Gosangu, and from there we continued walking to Kwar and reached Jiksun in the next two hours. We had energy drinks and bars on our way to Jiksun. We stayed at Jiksun for around 20 minutes and captured stunning views of the valley and snow-capped mountains in our cameras. Gradually, we reached Jhaka Village after a walk of 1 hour.

The picturesque Rupin Pass Trek
Enjoy the lushness of nature on the picturesque Rupin Pass Trek

Trekking became difficult as the trail towards a tributary of the main river turned steeper and demanding. The lush greenery of the forest and a beautiful sight of snowfields kept us motivated. We crossed the snow bridge that leads to a forest of rhododendron. Further, a walk of 1 hour took us to the campsite of Saruwas Thatch. From here, we enjoyed a stunning sight of the Rupin waterfall.

The next day, we began trekking after having breakfast. We went through pictorial and dense maple and blue pine forests. We walked for around 1 hour and then we descended towards a river to cross a bridge to reach the other side. The forest comprised of silver birch, rhododendrons and alpine meadows. Here, my eyes enjoyed a magnificent vista of the bright colors of the wildflowers including Himalayan daisy, lily and blue poppies. Further, we reached Dhanderas Thatch after 6 hours.

Next morning, we all hiked on the patches of snow to reach Upper Waterfall Camp. I captured the views of land filled with blooming marigold flowers. After an easy walk for 3 hours, we reached the campsite and relaxed there for the night.

As per my experience, day 7 was the most-challenging trail of this trekking journey as the path was less wide and had a high angle of ascent. Even the trail became narrow and slippery. And, it was hiking for a total of 10 hours. On reaching the summit, we enjoyed the impressive views of the Kinnaur Kailash Range. We clicked several group pictures and selfies here. We spent around 1 hour at the top and then descended towards alpine meadows and arrived at Ronti Gad for an overnight stay.

View of Rupin Pass towards Sangla Valley
View of Rupin Pass towards Sangla Valley

Next morning, we descended toward Sangla, and with a decline in elevation, the trail grew steeper. We maintained a good pace and were moving carefully.  It took us around 6 hours to reach Sangla. Here, we spoke to locals and tried to get an essence of their local festivities and culture. We also clicked several pictures with them. Around 5 pm on the same day, we came to Shimla in a taxi.

Here’s what you should definitely pack…

  • Trekking shoes/trekking pole
  • Warm clothes/mosquito repellent
  • LED flashlight/headlamp with extra batteries
  • Extra pair of woollen socks/raincoat/gloves
  • Sunscreen lotion/sunglasses/lip balm
  • Water bottles/energy drink and bars/emergency medical kit

ATM Facility and Mobile Connectivity: In case, a person is running short of cash on the way to Dhaula from Dehradun, there is a place called Purola which has an ATM. Mobile network of BSNL, Vodafone and Airtel are available only at three places namely Dhaula and Jiskun and Sangla.

Porter and Pony Facility: Pony and porter facilities are available at Dhaula and even at several other points that you will be crossing during your expedition. You can avail this service at a reasonable price and all your luggage would be carried by the porter and pony. Further, it would help you to maintain a good pace at high altitudes.

Must-carry Documents: A trekker is required to carry an identification proof, such as driving license or voter ID, passport along with a photo, and a medical certificate ensuring fitness for the trek. Moreover, a disclaimer certificate stating voluntary participation in the trekking expedition to Rupin Pass is a must.

Some Tips To Make Your Rupin Pass Trek A Success

  • Always pay heed to the advice given by the instructor
  • Avoid alcohol consumption and other intoxicants during the trek
  • Never take shortcuts and don’t start your trek after sunset
  • Don’t litter the beautiful site and respect nature
  • Capture as many pictures as you can
  • Value the culture and traditions of locals, greet them with a smile
  • Don’t try to compete with fellow trekkers, just set your own pace

This adventurous yet beautiful trek gave me a gamut of experiences from fear to courage and of course, a sense of achievement. It was truly a lifetime experience for me. I must say that this trek is mandatory for those whose eyes are looking to explore the mesmerising beauty of the great Himalayas.

Trekking is no less than a therapy, one that replenishes our body and mind from the routines we face while working so hard in the run for having a proper life. It teaches us a certain discipline, reminds us of how to live in the moment again as it throws us new adventures and risque routes in our faces. If you were to ever interact with an experienced trekker, you would find yourself at the receiving end of such time-honored wisdom; the adventure one seeks while lurking in the lap of nature must truly bring out one’s inner explorer, taking up a new path to ascend higher rather than taking a beaten up path must bring out one’s inner child eager to learn of new things, new places, new peoples. So, pack a bag because here are the best weekend treks from Delhi you can do today! 

  • Kasol to Kheerganga Trek
River Parvati in Kasol
River Parvati in Kasol

The Kasol to Kheerganga Trek is a two-day weekend trek in the serene Pin Paravati Valley. The trail of this trek is 12 km long, which comprises of numerous scenic viewpoints and mesmerizing waterfalls. During this trek, one will come across the sight of many waterfalls such as Rudra Nag. One will also get an opportunity to take a dip in the Kheereganga hot springs during the trek. At the height of 2960 m, trekkers will be experiencing great views. The best time to go on this trek is between the months of October – December and April – June. This is an easy grade trek.  

  • Triund Trek in Himachal Pradesh
Triund Top - weekend trek from Delhi
Triund Top

Known as one of the easiest weekend treks of all, Triund trek starts in McLeodganj near Dharamshala. Mcleodganj and Dharamshala are popular for its monasteries and trekkers can worship here before starting this trek. On reaching Triund after an easy trek of 7 to 9 kms, one will be captivated by the magical sight of the Dhauladhar Ranges. Triund is known to be accessible during all seasons of the year. In summers, the trekker will witness the greenery on the mountains at a complete scale. In winters, the trekker will witness white sheets of snow covering the whole terrain. However, the best time to go on the Triund trek is between the months September and October. With the total trekking path scaling to 18 km, the trekker will be reaching the maximum altitude of 2850 metres. 

  • Prashar Lake Trek
Prashar Lake trek in winter
Prashar Lake trek in winter

Of all the weekend treks, the two-day Prashar Lake Trek has one of the most beautiful locations. Located at a height of 2700 metres above the sea level, the Prashar Lake is a mighty pond in the shape of an oval. This dream-like lake is surrounded by green grasslands in summers and white snow sheets in the winters. Apart from the Prashar Lake, this trek offers a beautiful experience with its ridges, rivulets and mountain trees such as cedars, firs and spruces. Most of the surroundings including the lake will be frozen during winters. The trek starts and ends at the Jwalapur village.  It is also suggested that trekkers carry proper woollen clothes and trekking shoes with spikes. The total length of Prashar Lake Trek is 9 km and the best time to opt for this trek is winters.

  • Nag Tibba Trek Uttarakhand
Pantwari village, Nag Tibba trek
Pantwari village, Nag Tibba trek

The two-day Nag Tibba Trek in Uttarakhand is popularly known as a religious site by devotees of the Serpent God, who believe that the Nag Devta resides here. Located at the height of 3022 metres, this place is also a delight for the trekkers and mountaineers, who trek towards its peak. This trek offers a mesmerising view of the snow-capped Himalayan Range. The trek starts and ends at the Pantwari village. During the trek, one will get to witness the beautiful mountain forest and the view of famous mountain peaks such as Neelkanth, Black Peak and Swargarohini. This trek is a moderate grade trek and individuals facing any kind of health issues are required to consult a doctor before opting to go for this trek.

  • Tosh Valley Trek
Tosh village
Tosh village

The two-day Tosh Valley trek is one of the most amazing treks of all as it exposes the trekker to the deep mountain forests along the trail as well as the wide green meadows of the valley. Kasol is the starting and ending point of this trek located in Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh, located at the height of 1640 metres. This trek offers great views of the snow-capped mountains. On reaching Tosh, located at the height of 2400 metres, one can witness the sweeping view of the Parvati Valley dam and the scenic convergence of Tosh and Parvati rivers. This is an easy grade trek and the best time to go on this trek is from the months April to June in summers and from September to October in winters. 

Trekking Gear Essentials For Your Weekend Treks 

  • Insulated travel flask
  • Waterproof socks
  • Woolen cap
  • Trekking shoes
  • Tool bag
  • LED Flashlight/Headlamp with extra batteries
  • Extra pair of woolen socks
  • First aid box
  • Swiss army knife
  • Waterproof zip lock bags – 2 sets
  • Cell phone with powerbank
  • LED Flashlight/Headlamp – 2 with spare batteries*
  • Swiss army knife
  • 2 Sweatshirts
  • 2 Trekking pants
  • Windproof jacket with a Hood
  • Woolen sweater
  • 2 Sweatshirts
  • 2 T-shirts
  • 1 Jeans
  • Floaters
  • Woolen inner gloves
  • Micro-fiber quick-dry towel
  • 2 Handkerchief
  • Ready-2-Cook food of your choice
  • Dates, Dry fruits & Nuts
  • Biscuits
  • Chocolates or Energy bars
  • Milk powder
  • Tea Bags
  • Water bottles and/or Hydration pack

Pack a bag, pick a friend because your weekends are tied. It’s time to experience the best of nature’s bounty without missing out on much. Come back ten years younger from a trip to the faraway lands in the pristine lap of nature. 

It is a must for every individual to at least go once on a motorbike trip to Leh and Ladakh. In this one-of-a-kind motorbike expedition, you will likely ride on the rugged terrains amid sultry deserts alongside high-altitude lakes and get to be up, close and personal with the mighty Himalayan and Karakoram ranges. What’s more is that this expedition offers a brilliant opportunity for travelers to embrace the culture and interact with the locals living in the Leh and Ladakh region.

Leh and Ladakh
Comprising of Stupas and houses made of mud brick, Leh and Ladakh are high altitude desert regions with the extremely cold weather. The population in these regions have completely different lifestyles as compared to the life in metropolitan cities. Leh and Ladakh are popular for its Tibetan culture, cuisine and folk music.  

Nubra valley
The mesmerizing Nubra valley in Ladakh. Visit Panamik in Nubra valley, a famous hot water spring.

Ride of Your Dreams to Leh and Ladakh: Details, Route and Season To Visit

  • Location: Leh and Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir
  • Duration: 13 Days
  • Distance: 2787 km
  • Maximum Altitude: 16000 feet
  • Grade: Difficult
  • Start Point: New Delhi
  • End Point: New Delhi

Biking in Ladakh!

The duration of the motorcycle journey ranges from 13 days. During this marvellous journey, one will witness the gradual change in the terrain while ascending towards the higher altitude region. The riders will get to ride one of the world’s highest roads, such as the Baralacha La Pass and Khardung La Pass, which are also known for its rough and difficult terrain. The riders will get to enjoy viewpoints from several other passes, including Nakee La, Lachung La and Tanglang La.

Riders will get to witness many places of attractions on their route such as the Thiksey Monastery and Shanti Stupa. Riders can also take a stoppage in Ladakh and trek towards the Peak of Stok Kangri Mountain. A night camping at the Nubra Valley is definitely a delight for the travelers as it offers magnificent views during the night. The Pangong Lake with its golden brown uneven terrain and indigo blue waters is the final destination. During the return journey, the riders will be experiencing the gradual change of environment while descending towards the plains.

Best Season to VisitBikers can go on this Motorcycle Trip to Leh and Ladakh between the months of May and October. However, the best time to visit is between the months of May and June. The Leh and Ladakh region is covered with snow during the month of May and June. The temperature during the day stays around 16 degrees Celsius and around 3 degrees Celsius in night.

ladakh motorbike tour

If you are indeed ready for the thrilling journey that awaits you, you are better off starting with taking some quick tips to make your motorbike expedition to Leh and Ladakh a dream come true:

  • Perform a comprehensive research

Before opting to take the Motorcycle Trip to Leh and Ladakh, the traveller must prepare for the unexpected and learn all the backup solutions for any kind of unforeseen worst-case scenario.

  • Start the journey with a well-maintained bike and carry the requisite spare parts

Before beginning the journey, one must ensure that the bike is fully maintained. The biker should stay prepared with spare parts in a sudden unexpected breakdown of the bike during the journey.

  • Be respectful to the environment

One must carry a garbage bag, which must be used to store all the rubbish. The biker should refrain from dumping garbage such as plastic bottles during the journey.

  • Keep the petrol tank of the bike full and refill at every petrol pump during the journey

In order to stay prepared for any kind of worst-case scenario, the biker should always ensure that the petrol tank of the bike is always topped up.

  • Carry extra money in order to stay prepared for unforeseen issues

There are chances that the trip may get obstructed and one may not be able to continue the bike journey. In such a case, one must have sufficient money to book a return flight. It is suggested to carry an extra Rs. 10,000/- for any kind of emergency scenario.

ladakh bike

  • Travel in groups

As it is known that places such as Leh and Ladakh are isolated regions, one must refrain from riding alone and stay in a group of bikers.

  • Stay physically and mentally fit before the bike ride

One must stay healthy and keep all the necessary medicines before beginning the journey.

  • Become thoroughly prepared with the do’s and don’ts during the bike journey

One must be aware about all the rules and regulations related to the bike journey.

  • Stay alert and active during the bike journey

One must pay close attention to the details and signage during the bike journey.

  • Allow the body to adapt to high altitude temperature

The Leh and Ladakh region are known to have low atmospheric pressure condition. In order to allow the body to adapt to the changing temperature, one must take ample rest of 24 hours after reaching Ladakh. 

ladakh bike

A cultural dive into the vibrant communities of Leh & Ladakh
The local population living in the Leh and Ladakh region are incredibly kind and helpful. Travelers/bikers should respect the locals and their culture, at all times. You can interact with the locals and learn about their lifestyles and traditions by observing. These make for great stories when you go back home. Some of the popular markets to visit are Ladakh Main Bazaar, Tibetan Market and Moti Market.

Hemis Festival in Ladakh
Hemis Festival in Ladakh

Must Carry Essentials

  • Riding pants and jacket with thermal liner
  • Energy drink
  • Insulated travel flask
  • Waterproof socks
  • Woolen cap
  • Riding boots
  • Tool bag
  • LED flashlight/Headlamp with extra batteries
  • Waterproof ziplock bags
  • Jerry cans for fuel
  • Extra pair of woollen socks
  • Water Bottles/Hydration pack
  • Emergency medical kit
  • First aid box
  • Swiss army knife

Once you are prepared for the journey with these essentials, you can proceed forward to take the Motorcycle Trip to Leh and Ladakh.  

Nestled at the splendid peak of Fateh Parvat and surmounting a height of 3,566 m from the sea level, Har ki Doon is one of the remotest places in the Devbhoomi of Uttarakhand. Its desolation, alpine vegetation and snow-capped peaks make this cradle-shaped valley, a perfect spot for trekking excursion. In addition, it offers several delightful views that leave the trekkers awe-struck, starting from the raw beauty of nature to ice-covered peaks of Swargarohini and Jaundha. The valley which is packed with the alpine meadows, stunning streams, vibrant Himalayan flowers and exotic wildlife species has many hidden gems that add an extra charm to the trekking expedition.

A Dream-like Trek to Har Ki Doon
Believe it or not – walking through the eternal meadow of Har Ki Doon is one of those experiences that remain entrenched in the heart and mind for life. The trail rewards you with fascinating views of mountain ridges, glaciers, ancient temples, alluring caves and rustic hamlets.

It is believed that this valley holds a religious significance for Hindus and shares its past with the age of the Mahabharata. According to the locals, the eldest brother of the Pandavas, Yudhishthira, scaled the Himalayan peak ‘Swargarohini’ on his way to heaven. Also, there is a temple dedicated to eldest brother of the Kauravas, Duryodhana.

High-angle shot of Sankri village
High-angle shot of Sankri village

The initial phase of trek begins from Sankri Village to Taluka, which is located at a distance of 12 km from Sankri. Further, the course goes through icy pools, alpine meadows, moraine ridges, and pine and oak forests. On way to the summit, trekkers get an opportunity to capture spectacular views of the valley in camera and learn about the simple yet amazing lifestyle of locals. Also, eyes will be fascinated with a sight of Brahma Kamal flower that blooms in a beautiful alpine lake called Mahinda Taal.

Location: Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand
Duration: 7 Days
Trekking Distance: 54 km
Maximum Altitude: 3566 m
Grade: Easy to moderate
Start Point: Sankri
End Point: Sankri

Best Season to Visit: With pleasant weather conditions, the Har Ki Doon Trek can be undertaken round the year, except the monsoons. From December to March, the region experiences incessant snowfall, thus, adventure enthusiasts need proper physical training and experience to head for the trek during this time. Notably, the average temperature ranges from 11°C to 2°C, although at night temperature dips below freezing point.

Moreover, spring season i.e. from mid-April to June is considered as the best time to engage in this expedition. At this time, the average temperature ranges between 22°C to 10°C.

Several trekkers undertake this trek from September to November due to safe weather condition. The average temperature ranges between 18°C to 9°C.

Warm-hearted locals
Uttarakhand is not only known for its majestic hills and religious significance, but also for its warm-hearted inhabitants. They are the one who makes this place a travel-friendly state. Visit the religious memorials in towns and villages and explore the lifestyle of people and traditional practices followed by them.You will be surprised to see that people of Uttarakhand keep culture and religion very close to their hearts. Their generosity and admiration for the travelers make the expedition one of the most cherished memories.

Quick Overview of Elevation Points: Basically, the Har Ki Doon trekking expedition starts from the capital of Uttarakhand, Dehradun. The drive from Dehradun to Sankri goes through charming villages of Purola, Nainbagh and Naitwar, taking around 7 hours. Situated at an elevation of 1950 meters, Sankri is the base camp of the trek that offers astounding vistas of the quaint Himalayas. Next day, move towards a small village called Taluka at 2560 meters. A major perennial Himalayan river, Tons flows from here. The trek heads to the final destination Har Ki Doon that stands at an altitude of 3566 meters. Leaving the mountains behind, descend to Taluka and then to Sankri.

Itinerary
Day 01: Dehradun – Sankri > Day 02: Sankri – Taluka – Seema > Day 03: Seema – Har Ki Doon > Day 04: Camp near Kalkatti Dhar – Har Ki Doon > Day 05: Har Ki Doon – Seema > Day 06: Seema – Taluka – Sankri > Day 07: Sankri – Dehradun

Har ki Doon Trek
Har ki Doon Trek

My Footprints in the Paradise Called Har Ki Doon

Unlike other Himalayan treks, Har Ki Doon trek deserves a special mention because of the splendid views it offers. Without any doubt, this trek is a delight for those who want to witness exotic Himalayan flora and fauna. For city dwellers, this is a perfect escape from the mundane life. A walk on lush green landscape along with snow patches is surely a delightful experience to one’s eyes and soul.

After planning an excursion with my two best friends, I landed at Jolly Grant Airport from Delhi. At the airport, we met our tour representative who welcomed us with a beautiful flower bouquet and a charming smile on his face. He briefed us about Sankri and asked us to wait for sometime as we had to wait there for our other fellow trekkers. Later, we became a group of 10 people with their arrival. We all boarded the taxis arranged by the tour representative and moved toward Sankri. 

The views of snow-covered hills, monasteries and temples were so stunning that they cannot be described in mere words. We had lunch at a roadside Dhaba near Nagthat. After 7 hours, we reached Sankri – a stunning village at Uttarkashi, which is located 13 km inside an exotic Govind Wildlife Sanctuary, where I captured splendid views of mountains animals like black peak, swarg rohini and bandarpunch. Further, the trail passed through River Supin and the dense forests of pine, maple and chestnut trees. The sound of gushing water and birds’ chirping poured into my ears like a melodious song. After reaching Sankri, we had a dinner at GIO camp Sankari.

village_in_himalaya__pczwm har ki doon

Next morning, we woke up to a spectacular view of sunrise. After breakfast, our trek began from Sankari to Taluka via Osla and Seema. In the initial phase, the trail was quite easy as it was filled with pastureland and vibrant flowers. Suddenly, it started raining and our guide instructed us to not move further. So, we took out our raincoats and after wearing them we sat in a place covered with trees. Showers made the trekking difficult and the trail turned foggy, however, the vistas became more alluring and mysterious. We crossed Seema Market and reached Taluka gradually. We spent a night in the tents under the glittery sky.

Today, it was the day to make it to the final destination, for which we had been waiting so long! After breakfast, we moved towards Har ki Doon. The trail was pleasingly undulating with a steady gradient, which helped us in maintaining good speed.

The aroma of orchards, Himalayan primroses and the forest kept seeping inside us, just like a magic these flowers create to attract a swarm of bees. The clear-crystal views of Swargarohini and Bandarpoonch peaks were a feast to our naked eyes.

Further, we crossed a cantilever bridge and just after that the path became extremely high and slopes turned rough and perpendicular. Climbing on that giant and the demanding trail took a lot of concentration and efforts. Despite that, it was a remarkable experience as success gave us an immense pleasure. En route, we luckily met local school-going kids aged between 5 and 8, along with their parents. We clicked several pictures with them and it was quite an overwhelming experience. Thankfully, I had a few chocolates in my bag which were distributed among the children.

Our next resting point was Charota waterfalls where we spent around 20 minutes and it gave us immense relief after a long exhausting day. Later, we reached Har Ki dun after a total of 6 hours walk. Sun had already set down in the valley but the enclosing peaks were reflecting the blonde shades of the sun. We captured several group selfies there and spent a wonderful night under the tents.

Old wooden temple in Sankri
Old wooden temple in Sankri

Way Back to Sankri
On Day 4, we moved to Hata Valley after breakfast. Trekking to Hata Valley was an experience in itself. We encountered with Shepherds came there from far away villages with their herds. In the afternoon, we came to Har Ki Doon.

Next day, we woke up to a beautiful morning in the valley surrounded by lofty trees and mountains. After breakfast, we descended towards Seema Market. We first reached to a temple in the Osla Village, where we interacted with the locals and collected more information about the place. Later, we reached Taluka from Seema and spent a night in the tents. Next morning, on our way back to Sankri, we captured amazing views of flora and fauna in our cameras. We reached Sankri after 5 hours of tiring yet fascinating journey. On last day, I headed to the airport with my two friends, after bidding adieu to our fellow trekkers and tour representative.

Do Not Forget!

  • Respect nature, wildlife and local traditions
  • Travel in a group of 3 to 4 people
  • Respect local culture and be sensitive towards wildlife
  • People with heart disease, diabetes, asthma or high altitude sickness should avoid the trek
  • Work on the fitness levels for the trek
  • Prior research is a must
  • Don’t try to compete with fellow trekkers, just set your own pace

A Handy List of Trekking Essentials

  • Trekking shoes/Trekking pole
  • Warm clothes/Mosquito repellent
  • LED flashlight/Headlamp with extra batteries
  • Extra pair of woollen socks/ Raincoat/Gloves
  • Sunscreen Lotion/ Sunglasses/Lip balm
  • Water Bottles/Energy drink and bars/Emergency Medical Kit

This trekking expedition to Har Ki Doon not only gave me a plethora of wonderful memories to cherish but also help me in conquering my fears. A closer sight at the jewels hidden in the snow capsule mountains is something that one should definitely experience at least once in a lifetime.

Scenic Sikkim: Understanding the geographical and cultural importance
For wanderlust ridden souls, nothing could be better than the Goecha La trek, as it quenches the thirst for some real adventure. Bordered by Tibet, Bhutan and Nepal, Sikkim is a scenic state in the north-eastern region of India. It is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna, alpine meadows, glaciers and the third highest mountain in the world, Kanchenjunga. When it comes to exploring the state, Sikkim offers stunning monasteries, temples, wildlife sanctuaries and several adventurous sports to the tourists. 

Sikkim Silk Route
Sikkim Silk Route

Know About Goecha La trek (4,876 m)

Trekking Distance: 90 Km
Maximum Altitude: 4,876 m
Duration: 11 Nights and 12 Days
Grade: Moderate to Challenging

The trek begins from the little hamlet, Yuksom, and takes you to Dzongri, Phedang, Thangsing and Goechala. On the way to the summit, trekkers will pass through lush green farms, small streams and suspension bridges. Moreover, trekkers would get a chance to enjoy a camp night at the marvelous meadows of Thansing and Lamuney, under the glittery sky and shadow of the moon.

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Is there an ideal time to do Goecha La trek?

In comparison to the plains, climatic conditions differ and keep changing at high altitudes. So, it is advisable to choose an ideal time for the trek to be on the safe side. Notably, there is no specific time to undertake the Goecha La trek. It is said that different seasons bring different surprises for the trekkers that offer immense pleasure to them. So, plan specifically for yourself and make the best of our complete breakdown of Goecha La trekking in different seasons: 

Temperature Table
March to May: The temperature ranges from 11 °C to 19 °C during daytime, and 2°C to 10 °C at night.
June to August:
The temperature ranges from 15 °C to 22 °C during daytime, and 7 °C to -1°C at night.
September to November:
The temperature ranges from 6 °C to 12 °C during daytime, and 5 °C to -3 °C at night.
December to February:
The temperature ranges from 4 °C to 7 °C during daytime, and 4 °C to -5 °C at night.

Here Is How Different Seasons Bring Along Different Flavors And Colors!

Summer (Last week of March to May)

In summers, Goecha La experiences the melting of snow and along with that flowers begin to bloom. As it is home to a range of indigenous species including Eurasian tree sparrow, pied bush chat and green-tailed sunbird, one can hear melodious voices of birds echoing in the valley. Also, it is the best time to visit Kanchenjunga National Park, where one can enjoy a rare sight of Himalayan endangered species like musk deer, red panda and blue sheep. At this time, lower altitude has a lot more to offer in comparison to high altitude spots, which remain covered with the layers of snow.

During this season, the days are bright and sunny but the nights are really cold. Also, the chances of rainfall remain consistent.

Early morning sun rising from Mt. Kanchenjunga
Early morning sun rising from Mt. Kanchenjunga

Monsoon (June to August)

Usually, trekking is avoided in the monsoons due to higher chances of landslides in hilly areas. This is the time when south-west monsoon moves toward Sikkim. Trekking becomes difficult due to moderate rainfall that makes the trail very slippery. Incessant rains lose the mud slopes and cause landslides, which block transportation activities. However, mist gives a magical touch to the mountains during mornings.

Moreover, the chances of mosquitoes breeding and creepy crawlers like leeches, become high in dense forests. Therefore, do not head for the Goecha La trek in the monsoon season.

Autumn (September to November)

This is the best time to start most of the treks in India as one can enjoy clear vistas of picturesque mountains and magnificent peaks. By this time, the site of Goecha La becomes clear as monsoon swipes away all the dirt and dust from the hills. A day starts with a stunning sight of the sunrise, making you feel that sunrays are painting the whole dale with a brush dipped in orange colour.

Capture crystal-clear views of snow-clad mountains including Kanchenjunga, Pandin, Tien Chenkhang, Koktang and Jopuno in camera.  In comparison to other seasons, the trail is not that difficult as you can breathe well and rejuvenate yourself in the cool breeze. The weather conditions are pleasant throughout the expedition but the chances of rainfall are still there.

goecha la

Winter (December to February)

The winter season altogether adds extreme difficulty to the trek, thus, the expedition becomes much more challenging. During this time, a trekker has to use professional equipment like trekking gear, pole and shoes as the trail gets covered with heavy snow. Also, prior trekking experience and proper physical training are a must to head on the trek in winters. Trekkers can face breathing problem and allergy issues too.

Undoubtedly, heading on the course filled with frozen streams, snow, slippery slopes and wintry grasses is not an easy feat.

Don’t Forget The Trekking Essentials! 

  • Trekking shoes/Trekking pants/Trekking Pole
  • Woollen socks/Thermal innerwear/Gloves
  • Torch/Whistle/Camera
  • Sunglasses/Sunscreen lotion/Toiletries
  • First-aid kit/Water bottle/Swiss knife

So, here’s some final advice…

  1. Work on the fitness levels for the trek
  2. Prior research is a must
  3. Don’t try to compete with fellow trekkers, just set your own pace
  4. Greet the locals and try to grab more information about their lifestyle
  5. Respect mountains, fellow trekkers and trekking staff
  6. Last but not the least, take out your camera and capture as many memories as possible

Goecha La

The Goecha La trek is a feast for the eyes and gives peace to the mind. While winter is to experience the harsh climatic conditions and snowfall, summer is to capture some spellbinding views of rich flora and fauna. And, autumn is to enjoy crystal clear views of alpine mountains with naked eyes. So, overcome your fears and experience the natural charm that awaits you on this challenging yet beautiful trek.

There are several places in India that are considered to be the spiritual destinations, however, Kailash Mansarovar Yatra has something special to boast about. It is a journey which represents a unique bond between nature’s creativity and the sheer spiritual energy that the place emanates. Being a perfect exemplar of the “image of God” recreated by the sacred texts of the religions across the globe, Kailash Mansarovar Yatra is popular for providing a lifetime kind of experience. It not only helps to revive the lost connection with one’s own self but also offers a chance to get appealed by the feelings of being integrated, unified, organized and whole.

The major attractions of the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra include a Parikrama of Mount Kailash and a holy dip in the Mansarovar Lake. The journey is also famous for the difficult feat that the trekking enthusiasts have to cover in order to fulfil their passion for adventure and thrill. Being one of the most arduous treks, Kailash Mansarovar Yatra also gives a chance to live an epic climbing adventure.

Best Time to Visit: The best time for the trekking expedition to Mount Kailash and Mansarovar Lake is considered from mid-May to mid-October. During this time period, the weather remains steady and visibility of the region is at its finest. Moreover, the temperature levels are cool throughout the day. In addition, it is believed that the best time for Kailash Mansarovar Yatra is during Saga Dawa Festival. Being one of the important festivals in Tibetan Buddhism, it witnesses a huge flock of tourists who wish to have a quick glance at the cultural roots and traditional heritage of the region.

Tracing Our Steps To The Holy Abode of Mount Kailash
Before signing up for the trekking expedition to Mount Kailash and Mansarovar trek, there were several things that gave me cause to wonder. In the moments when my decision was swirling around the waves of uncertainty, I was confident of rediscovering the most neglected “me” on the journey. With a streak of adventure and a hope for joy, I stepped into the unknown zone to battle against the nightmares of living into a world of constructions.

Kailash Mansarovar from Kathmandu
Kailash Mansarovar from Kathmandu

The trekking expedition to Kailash Mansarovar Yatra took its flight when I reached Kathmandu, the sprawling capital of Nepal. Perched at an elevation of about 1,400 meters, it lies on the bowl-shaped Kathmandu valley which is the spiritual heart of the state. It is believed that the valley is created from the bed of a sacred lake by deity Manjushri and is symbolic of the beautiful patchwork of terraced fields and sacred temple towns showcasing the glory of the architects and artisans of Nepal. The beauty of the place was immensely captivating and drifted my mind to the astounding scenic views that nature beholds. Despite getting tired after such a long journey, the curiosity to explore more of the area was intact. But the call of drowsy eyes and waning strength made it difficult for me to play my curiosity to the fullest.

Trekking In Kathmandu
Trekking In Kathmandu

Next day, I began my sojourn by seeking blessings at Pashupatinath Temple and Budhanilkanth Temple. This was the day when I drove from Kathmandu to Dhunche to reach Kyirong. Here, my way had been blocked by the immigration formalities that need to be completed before moving ahead. Thankfully, I carried all the documents that saved me from any mishap and helped to enter in those geographical boundaries to which nature had not added any fence, unlike humans. If the journey through this place has to be explained in few words, I must say it was a journey of introspection. It not only enlightened me on the superficial construction of boundaries by humans but also offered moments where one can seamlessly relate to one’s own fragmented self. 

Lake Mansarovar
Lake Mansarovar

Further, I reached Dongba, a place of majestic beauty which knows no bounds. Home to a panoramic view of the blue lake Pieko-Tso and the astounding views of Yarlung Zangpo (the Brahmaputra River), the place lends an experience of one-of-its own kind. The beautiful mountain terrains and high plains double the level of excitement of hiking.

The best part about this location is the highs and lows of this terrain that lead to the sight of an abode of purity, Mansarovar Lake. Nestled in the lap of nature at an altitude of 22,028 ft above sea level, it is the highest freshwater lake in the world. The crystal clear blue water of the lake and its emerald green appearance has never failed to sway the mind of thousands of tourists across the world. The view of such an exceptional beauty of nature gave me a plethora of opportunities to turn into a photographer to create negatives for the moments lived in ecstasy and excitement.

Mt. Kailash in all its might and divinity
Mt. Kailash in all its might and divinity

And therein arrives the time to start trekking to Mount Kailash. As the first day of Kailash Parikrama begins, Yama Dwar served as the starting point of the trekking expedition. Yama Dwar, the Gates of the Lord of Death, is believed to be the gateway where all mortal bonds have to be shaken off to meet the deity of great religious relevance, Lord Shiva. It is a place of symbolism where truth prevails and the spiritual concept of supreme reality holds value. It also offers the closest views of a place of great religious significance and mythological importance, Mount Kailash.

Standing tall at 21,778 feet, Mount Kailash is considered to be the source of four mighty rivers of Asia including the Brahmaputra, the Ganges, the Indus and the Sutlej. Mount Kailash is a testament to one of the popular sayings, ‘The best views come after the hardest climb.’ When the rays of the sun fell on such a mighty mountain, the whole region brimmed with light and transformed into a matrix of unbelievable possibilities. For a while, it seemed that the Lord himself has sent a messenger to remind that after darkness, comes the light, and that life holds in surprise for those who know how to give fire to the flickering hopes. Before descending through rocky paths and loose stones, it was time to dig deep into those experiences that made this journey worth-undertaking.

Must-carry essentials:

  • Trekking shoes and Trekking pole
  • Duffel bag
  • Torch with extra batteries
  • Hand gloves
  • Warm clothes
  • Tracksuit
  • Extra pair of socks
  • Moisturizer
  • Camera
  • First Aid Medical Kit

To think back to ones’ own childhood, it reminds us of our free self where the idea of a creative life used to inspire us. However, when we started growing, those creative impulses have been slowly replaced by the struggles of life. But one should never forget that life offers a chance to all to design it beautifully. The imbalances that clog lives and limit the innate capacity for joy cannot keep one away from adding a memorable experience to the calendar of his life. So, do not hesitate to play hide and seek with perceived realities to restore the fun that sometimes lies in living life on the edge. And one such experience lies in the trekking expedition to Kailash Mansarovar Yatra.

Amidst the royal mountains of Himachal Pradesh, the Beas Kund Trek takes trekkers away from the hustle-bustle of the city, along the banks of River Beas. Passing through the lush green meadows and glaciers, the trek offers majestic views of snow-capped mountains of Pir Pinjal ranges. The grasslands of Bakartach and Dhundi are magnificent in their own beauty.

Origin of the Beas Kund
Situated at a high altitude of 3,800 m, the stunning lake of Beas Kund is fed by glaciers. The term Beas has been derived from the word Vyas (Sage), while Kund means a lake. It is believed that in this sapphire lake, Rishi Vyas, the author of the Indian epic, Mahabharata, took his daily bath. Visitors travelling here often take a dip in the icy cold lake.

As it is an easy trek with less curves, rough and slippery path, it doesn’t require any prior experience.

Base camp: Solang Valley, Manali
Duration: 3-4 days
Difficulty level: Moderate
Maximum altitude: 3800 m
Trekking distance: 32 km
Average hiking daily: 4-5 Hours

beas-kund-trekking

Beas Kund Trek: Quick Itinerary
The trek starts from the mesmerizing valley of Solang and passes through lush green meadows, small streams, and waterfalls, before continuing towards stunning snow-covered mountains. The next stop is Dhundi, which is known as the birthplace of River Beas and is surrounded by dense forest of deodar and oak. Here, you will spend the night at the campsite, set by the striking stream.

After crossing a few bridges lies Bakartach, from where one can enjoy a 360-degree view of the Great Himalayas. Here, a trekker will be surrounded by the mighty peaks of Deo Tibba, Hanuman Tibba and Shitidhar. This is an ideal spot for photographers as it offers an opportunity to capture some lifetime memories in camera. You will reach the final destination in a matter of hours.

Right Time to Trek

A perfect time to explore the Beas Kund Trek is from mid-May to mid-October. During this period, the weather remains pleasant.

Summers are quite cool, with the maximum temperature of 25 degrees Celsius and minimum of 10 degrees. In the winter season, between November and February, the place receives a good amount of snowfall, and temperature ranges from 12 degrees Celsius to -15 degrees Celsius.

So here are five reasons why Beas Kund Trek has become one of the most sought-after treks this summer:

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  1. Trekking along Alpine Glacial Lake:What can be more exciting than trekking along a serene high altitude alpine glacial lake! The trek offers an opportunity to cross mountains and witness the source of the Beas River with your own eyes. It is a rocky yet picturesque spot with the River Beas flowing through the forested hills. The campsite arranged by the river will give you real thrill and your ears will be pleased by the wonderful sound of gushing water. Here, you will realise that this was a moment you were looking for, away from the hustle-bustle of city life. The cool breeze and sight of maple, deodar, toss and oak trees on the way can make you feel rejuvenated.

    Beaskund Trekking

  2.  Stunning Views of Some Amazing Peaks:It is at Dhundi where you will witness the splendid sight of four major peaks of Himachal Pradesh – Friendship Peak, Hanuman Tibba, Deo Tibba, and Shitidhar. Standing at an altitude of 5289 m, Friendship Peak is a magnificent mountain, which is a part of the Pir Panjal range in Himachal Pradesh’s Kullu District. Also called White Mountain, Hanuman Tibba is the highest mountain in the Dhauladar Range of Himachal Pradesh.
  3. Capture the views of Solang Nullah and the Manu Temple:In the abode of Solang Valley, Solang Nullah is a stunning stream flowing through snow-capped mountain peaks, dense forest encompassing wild colourful flowers and lofty trees. It is the most serene place on the earth where nature remains in its purest and artistic form.

    One of the most-famed religious sites in Manali, Manu Temple, is named after the holy Sage Manu, who is believed to be a divine creator of the human race. According to Hindu mythology, he lived and meditated in Manali. Thus, the temple holds great significance for Hindu pilgrims.

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  4. Meeting the Locals: The trek gives you a chance to meet locals of Burua, Goshal and Sannag villages. Talk to them and try to know about their simple yet fascinating lifestyle. Himachalis are true devotees of nature, and they are quite reserved about their culture and traditions. However, they share a great bond of brotherhood and togetherness. Also, they are very helpful and if you’re lucky enough, they may offer you lip-smacking local delicacies. In village markets, don’t forget to buy uniquely designed handicrafts and paintings made by the locals. night-839807_1920
  5. Spend Night under the sapphire glazy sky: Your campsite will be arranged in the beautiful location at Dhundi from where you will be able to enjoy striking views. Celebrate the victory of completing the summit with bonfire and music. And last but not the least, spend a night under the sapphire sky amidst the scenic landscape and be the admirer of its magnificent beauty.

 

It might not be a trek that gives you a sudden adrenaline rush; however, its natural beauty will offer excitement and leave you in a state of awe. So, if you want to make some beautiful memories filled with the scenic beauty of green landscape, streams, waterfalls, and flora and fauna in the beautiful Himachal Pradesh, then there is nothing to wait for; pack your bag and say yes to Beas Kund Trek.

To chase the road of dreams is the desire of every adventure-lover. Be it any thrill-seeking activity, but when it comes to speed up on a lengthy road trip, nothing can match the excitement, fun and enjoyment involved in it. If you are someone who has always dreamt of seeking freedom that bike-riding offers, do not hesitate to realize all your fantasies with Motorbike Expedition to Ladakh.

About the Expedition:
Riding through rough roads, crossing through high mountains and chasing those undulated terrains is one of the major highlights of the Ladakh Motorbike Tour. Apart from offering the breathtaking vistas of the Moonland, Ladakh Motorbike tour also provides an opportunity to regain some of the childlike wonders by riding on a double-humped camel. Moreover, the enchanting sight of the glacial lakes during the tour has never failed to sway the mind of millions across the countries. Pangong Tso and Khardung La Pass are the two popular attractions of the tour that offers a quick insight into the culture and traditions of Ladakh. Undoubtedly, it is a difficult road to pursue, but everybody knows that the “The Road Not Taken” makes all the difference.

khardung-la-top_1437473836

Gear to get:

  • LED Flashlight/Headlamp with extra batteries
  • Swiss Army Knife
  • Jerry Cans for fuel
  • Riding Boots
  • Riding pants and jacket with thermal liner
  • Extra pair of woollen socks
  • Waterproof Ziplock bags
  • Tool bag
  • Insulated travel flask
  • Water Bottles/Hydration pack
  • Emergency Medical Kit

Best time to visit:
The best time for the Ladakh Motor Bike Expedition is between mid-September to and mid-October. It is considered one of the best seasons to explore the amazing and picturesque locations of Leh and Ladakh. Imbued with vibrating colors, the natural beauty of the place is at its best during this time period. It is important to choose the right time as the number of miles covered in a day depends on the weather conditions and the condition of the roads you are likely to take.

A quick glimpse into my Ladakh Motorbike tour: Routes, Essential Information
With the desire of adding a new dimension to the leading chapters of my life, I signed up for the Ladakh Motorbike trip. I was looking forward to ascertain some adventurous experiences in the midst of uncertainty in which I planned for this expedition. And as often said, unplanned adventures are the best ones!

Before entering into that bike marathon, I accumulated all the essential information required for the ride. Though going solo adds a tinge of additional adventure to the race, it necessitates that one gets clear on nuts and bolts so as to get familiarized with those unknown roads. In addition, I buffed my bike with all essentials and got ready to zip and zap.

The first day of my motorbike expedition to Ladakh began when I reached a beautiful valley nestled in Himachal Pradesh, Manali. Despite getting a short glimpse of the journey ahead while riding along those challenging roads of Kullu valley, the beauty of the surroundings empowered me from time to time.  With every turn and bend, my riding skills were getting tested. However, the majestic view offered by cascading waters of the Beas River, rocky slopes of the mountain, hills covered with pine and deodar forest and sprawling apple orchards kept me going.

In actuality, the first level of the motorbike tour to Leh Ladakh kick-started when I started riding towards Jispa to reach Sarchu.  One of the enlightening parts of this location was its early morning sunrise that gave light to all flickering hopes of life. In order to reach this place of symbolic beauty, I rode through Rohtang Pass, which is situated at an elevation of 3,978 m. On the way, it seemed that the pages of the journey were getting turned when the trees started disappearing and the brow color terrain replaced the green portions and marked the arrival of the Lahaul and Spiti district.

motorbike-expedition-ladakh_1439473379

Now, it was time to bring the speed down to cross a comparatively difficult road through Baralacha La. As you tread on, the risky part of riding towards this destination is the sleep that is potentially life-harming. Therefore, it is better to stay cautious and rest in intervals to avoid landing into an unfavorable situation.

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Next day, I performed crucial checks on my bike as I was about to enter the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir. On the way, the vastness and multitude of high altitude passes such as Nakee La, Lachung La and Tanglang La left me numb and motionless for a while. Before I could register the majestic views offered by them, the art behind the rare paintings of Thiksey Monastery made me fall short of words to appreciate the beauty that this place and nature beholds.  While exploring more of the capital of the Himalayan Kingdom of Ladakh, Leh, I came across the captivating views offered by the Stok Kangri and the mountain ranges of Ladakh.

The natural surroundings of the place are the perfect exemplar of the poetry of earth which is eternal.

Khardungla Top
Khardungla Top

Further, I crossed the highest road pass of the world, Khardung La Pass. Situated at a height of 5,636 m, the muddy route of this pass has a charm of its own.  Riding on the muddy road not only tested my biking skills, but also gave me the thrill I was looking forward to. Crossing through chilly mountain desert with rocky slopes and ravishing dunes gave rise to conscious feelings of fear and anxiety.

Pangong Tso Lake, Ladakh
Pangong Tso Lake, Ladakh

Next morning, I prepped up to embark on the most adventurous of all routes, the route to Pangong Tso Lake. Comprised of off-road terrain and a river, it is home to several incredible sights. As I was extremely tired, I wished to put halt to the ride but there were many surprises waiting to be explored on the journey back to home. Before returning back to the twinkling of the city lights, I decided to introspect on the ride I used to take with closed eyes.

We have often heard that speed has been the fantasy of many individuals across the globe. But there are very few people who are able to frame it in the boundaries of real life experiences. The azure clear waters, serene picturesque lakes and a ruggedly handsome terrain are the constituents of this trip that lends an experience of one-of-its-kind. So, when you get this opportunity, do not restrict your adventure to the slumber of dreams, instead get ready to recreate the real-life experience that gives you jitters even when the memories of this ride would become myopic.

Situated at an altitude of 2,050 m in the Beas River Valley, Manali lies near the northern end of the Kullu Valley in Himachal Pradesh. With sprawling pine and deodar forest and apple orchards, the resort town is known for its natural beauty and temples.

Majestic hills, its glorified past, blissful ambiance, religious beliefs, vibrant culture and time-honored traditions have rightfully christened Manali as ‘Valley of the Gods’.

A Traveler’s Perspective
Are you fond of hills, snow-capped mountains, lush green landscape, quaint villages, waterfalls, rivers, and clouds? Then, Manali is the ideal place to be! Owing to its geographical positioning, serene landscape, high-altitude mountains and deep dense forests, this beautiful town, nestled in the state of Himachal Pradesh, offers the perfect blend of thrill and excitement to adventure seekers. Lofty fir trees and snow-covered pines are the attractions that drive one into the natural charm of the world. Also, if you’re in the woods, you might get a sight of snow leopards and brown bears.

Be it solo travelers, couples or families, this place has something special for everyone; starting from wonderful tourist attractions to recreational activities. Also, it is a gateway for trekking in the Parvati Valley and skiing in the Solang Valley. Further, Manali offers opportunities for rafting, paragliding and mountaineering in the Pir Panjal mountains.

Parvati valley's serene aura
Parvati valley is popular with youth for its scenic vibe, local restaurants and a ‘home away from home’ feeling

Trekking: A Taste of Adventure and Nature
When it comes to trekking, Manali wholeheartedly welcomes both the ardent trekkers and beginners, and does its best to fulfil the aspirations of adventurers and nature lovers.

Here, trekkers will come across uneven territories, slippery course, thick backwoods and high meadows while walking through the Kullu Valley. Further, the beauty of Himalayas cannot be ignored. This is why Manali attracts trekkers from around the world.

From Chandratal Lake Trek with Hampta Pass to Bhrigu Lake, Manali has so much to offer. Here are 8 must-do treks from Manali:

  1. Hampta Pass with Chandratal Lake Trek
    Duration: 5 Days
    Starting Point: Manali
    Grade: Easy to moderate
    Max Altitude: 4297 m
    Trekking Distance: 26 km
    Best Season: Mid June to August
    Day 01 – Manali to Chika > Day 02 – Chika to Bhalu Ka Ghera > Day 03 – Bhalu ka Ghera to Siagoru across Hampta Pass > Day 04 – Siagoru to Chatru > Day 05 – Chatru to Chandratal | Chandratal to ManaliThe Hampta Pass Trek is known for offering a dazzling view of Kullu and Lahaul valleys in Himachal Pradesh. The ever modifying scenery has been fascinating nature lovers for years. The trek offers an exquisite sight of some amazing hidden gems in the valley, including glaciers and alpine forests. Certainly, Himalayan flora and fauna contribute a lot to making this five-day trek truly spellbinding.The expedition goes to splendid foothills of the Pir Panjal Range and the great Himalayas. While hiking towards the summit, the course offers different shades of nature consisting green pastureland to awe-inspiring views of Indrasan and Deo Tibba mountains.
  2. Beas Kund Trek
    Duration: 3 days
    Starting Point: Solang Valley
    Grade: Moderate
    Max Altitude: 3800 m
    Trekking Distance: 32 km
    Best Season: Mid May to October
    Day 01 –  Solang Valley – Dhundi > Day 02 – Dhundi – Beas Kund – Dhundi > Day 03 – Dhundi to Solang Valley | Drive to Manalibeas-kund-and-bhrigu-lake-trek
    The Beas Kund trek stands out as one of the best in Manali. It is considered appropriate for all age groups and no prior trekking experience is required to undertake it. The dells of Bakartach and Dhundi are incredibly majestic. Also, the little cold lake of River Beas, fed by the glaciers, is breathtaking.The trek begins from the stunning valley of Solang and passes through waterfalls, green meadows, small streams, and continues towards the striking snow-covered mountains. On reaching Dhundi from Solang, trekkers would find themselves surrounded by dense forest of deodar and oak trees. Nothing could be better than spending a night at the campsite, set by the striking stream. Here, you get this opportunity!
  3. Pin Parvati Trek
    Duration: 10 days
    Starting Point: Rumsu Village
    Grade: Difficult
    Max Altitude: 5318 m
    Trekking Distance: 78 km
    Best Season: Mid May to September
    Day 01 – Rumsu Base Camp > Day 02 – Rumsu Base Camp – Kheerganga > Day 03 – Kheerganga – Tunda Bhuj > Day 04 – Tunda Bhuj – Thakur Kuan > Day 05 -Thakur Kuan – Mantalai > Day 06 – Mantalai – Pin Parvati Pass Base Camp > Day 07 – Pin Parvati Pass Base Camp – Pin Parvati Pass – Riverside Camp > Day 08 – Riverside Camp – Mud Base Camp > Day 09 – Mud Base Camp Kaza > Day 10 – Kaza – ManaliConnecting Kullu’s Parvati Valley and Spiti’s Pin Valley, the Pin Parvati Pass trek offers the stunning vistas of snow-capped mountains along with the green pastureland. While the Parvati Valley in Kullu showcases a flourishing green and grassy landscape, the Pin Valley in Spiti is mostly barren without any vegetation. Even culturally, both these places are quite different from each other.
    It is the most adventurous and difficult trek in Manali, which remains untouched by a large number of trekkers. And this is why this serene-clean beauty allows the visitors to capture pristine views of the valley. The journey begins at Manikaran and goes along the River Parvati and ends in the Pin Parvati Valley.
  4. Bhrigu Lake Trek
    Duration: 4 days
    Starting Point: Manali
    Grade: Easy to Moderate
    Max Altitude: 4235 m
    Trekking Distance: 29 km
    Best Season: Throughout the yearDay 01 – Arrival at Manali Base Camp > Day 02 – Drive from Manali to Gulaba | Trek to Rohlikohli Campsite > Day 03 – Trek to Bhrigu Lake > Day 04 – Trek back to Gulaba and DepartureBhrigu lakeA crystal-clear Bhrigu Lake is formed by the melting glaciers. A route from Gulaba to Rola Kholi goes towards charming small towns, apple orchards, rustic hamlets and icy pools. The sights of Gulaba, Rola Kholi and Pandu Ropa offer a dream-like journey making you realize that childhood tales of wonderland.
  5. Deo Tibba Base Camp
    Duration: 6 days
    Starting Point: Rumsu Village
    Grade: Moderate
    Max Altitude: 4480 m
    Trekking Distance: 37 km
    Best Season: June and July
    Day 01 – Arrival at Rumsu Base Camp > Day 02 – Rumsu – Chikka > Day 03 – Chhika – Seri > Day 04 – Seri – Deo Tibba Base Camp– Seri > Day 05 – Seri – Jagatsukh – Rumsu Base Camp > Day 06 – DepartureFor those adventure seekers who want to make their vacation in Manali absolute pleasure, the Deo Tibba trek is an ideal option. The picturesque trek begins from Manali and goes through several deep wild forests, moraines, meadows, waterfalls, steep climbs and a high-altitude lake with blue water known as mini-Chandratal (4480 m). Also, the trek offers a wonderful sight of snow-clad peaks of Indrasan (6220 m) and Deo Tibba (6001 m) along with the glaciers of Jagatsukh.
  6. Sar Pass Trek
    Duration: 6 days
    Starting Point: Kasol
    Grade: Moderate
    Max Altitude: 4206 m
    Trekking Distance: 50 km
    Best Season: May to first week of July
    Day 01 – Registration and Orientation at Kasol > Day 02 – Trek to Grahan Village > Day 03 – Grahan Village to Min Thatch > Day 04 – Min Thatch to Nagaru > Day 05 – Nagaru to Biskeri Thatch via Sar Pass > Day 06 – Biskeri Thatch to Barshaini and Drive back to KasolSar Pass
    Situated in the serene Parvati Valley, the Sar Pass trek takes you to alluring green meadows and serene villages. This trek offers an exquisite sight of waterfalls and the majestic snow-clad peaks. A trekker also gets a chance to spend nights under the dazzling sky at some beautiful campsites like Ramsu and Grahan.
  7. Great Himalayan National Park Trek
    Duration: 3 days
    Starting Point: Kasol
    Grade: Easy
    Max Altitude: 3199 m
    Trekking Distance: 22 km
    Best Season: April to November
    Day 01 – Aut – Gushaini > Day 02 – Rola – Shilt > Day 03 – Rola – Gushaini – Autgreat-himalayan-national-park-trek
    For an ecstatic trekking experience, say yes to the Great Himalayan National Park trek in Shilt Thatch. This trek is filled with a range of wild flora and fauna, curves, steeps and hilly paths. The park has stunning River Tirthan and here you can get glimpses of rare species of wild animals residing in the dense Himalayan forests.
  8.  Chandrakhani Pass Trek
    Duration: 4 days
    Starting Point: Rumsu Village
    Grade: Easy
    Max Altitude: 3657 m
    Trekking Distance: 22 km
    Best Season: April to June, October -November
    Day 01 – Rumsu Base Camp – Sterling – Rumsu Base Camp > Day 02 – Trek to Ghan Kulhadi > Day 03 – Trek to Chanderkhani Pass – Stay at Chaklani > Day 04 – Descend to Rumsu Base Camp and DepartureMalana Chanderkhani
    Chandrakhani Pass offers pictorial vistas of Pir Panjal, Deo Tibba crest and Parvati Valley. It gives you an opportunity to experience the surreal beauty of the mountains! Meet friendly locals on the way while crossing lush green forests, charming snow patches, colourful flora and scenic landscape. Further, the trek goes through bhojpatra trees, dwarf rhododendron shrubs, and forests of oak, pine, fir and chestnut trees.  

Get ready for adventure like never before! Go and enjoy the sights of glaciers and mountains from these thrilling trekking spots. Meet locals and learn about their unique culture and traditions. Capture those lifetime moments on camera and make wonderful memories as nothing could be better than a refreshing delight in the hills, away from the hustle-bustle of your daily city life.

Trekking in Uttarakhand has lately become so much more than an adventure sport. Now a popular destination for weekend getaways, long treks, river rafting, camping, mountaineering, ziplining and other adrenaline-inducing adventures, it has also long been a important location for pilgrims for decades for it harbours the origin of GangesGangotri. The Garhwal and Kumaon ranges offer the most promising treks, courtesy its position in the foothills of famous Himalayan peaks.

The second highest mountain in India and the highest mountain located entirely within the country, Nanda Devi (7,816 m) lies right here in the Garhwal Himalayas; it is the holy site for a lot of cultural festivals that take place annually. Lots of other 7000 m+ peaks loom over this region in North India. Therefore, so far as cultural, geographical and historical importance is considered, Uttarakhand is naturally a winner.

Gangotri, on the banks of Bhagirathi and the origin on Ganga
Gangotri, on the banks of Bhagirathi and the origin on Ganga

Keeping in mind a lot of factors that make a trek worthwhile, the best treks located in Uttarakhand are Roopkund Trek and Har Ki Doon Trek. These treks offer great views of the Himalayan peaks, challenge one’s trekking skills and endurance in controlled limits and are spread over a comfortable number of days to accommodate the best experiences without exhausting oneself completely.

But the major catches remain: Expansive alpine meadows; lush valleys; dense oak, deodar and pine forests; high altitude lakes, moraines, ridges, hanging glaciers; towering Himalayan peaks looming over. These trek features are entirely unique to Uttarakhand’s picturesque locales and that is what makes it such an invigorating experience for trekkers of all backgrounds.

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The best time to visit any of these treks are the sunny summer months: April to June. Avoid monsoon season for there’s possibility of flash floods, landslides, slippery trail and other dangers.  

First one on this list is Roopkund Trek, The Mystery Lake:

Roopkund 1

  • Everything a Himalayan trek can offer!
    Alpine meadows that stretch as far the eye goes, oak and pine forests, frozen waterfalls, scenic peaks that make this trek incomparable. So picture perfect!
  • The mystique and the memory of a past forgotten
    The Skeletal Lake is said to have buried in it skeletons of travelers that were caught in a hailstorm. So far, no conclusive research has shown where exactly the group of travelers was headed. Spooky, right? Visit in the summers so that the lake is not completely covered by sheets of snow.
  • The adventure, the thrill, the views
    Roopkund trek, over the years, has remained one of the most popular trekking destinations in North India. Each year, thousands of people set out to make it on this trek. Perhaps, the biggest selling point of this trek are the adrenaline-inducing climb up to the lake and the chilling views of Mt Trishul, Nanda Ghunti, Badrinath. The trek is not meant for beginners.  

Har Ki Doon, a paradise in the lap of Himalayas on the border between Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh: The valley is reached through Govind Wildlife Sanctuary which is a repository of the most exotic variety of flora and fauna.

Har ki Doon Trek
Har ki Doon Trek
  • Follow Pandavas’ steps to the Swargarohini
    This trek offers mesmerizing views of Swargarohini – I, II, III, Bandarpoonch and Blackpeak, Ruinsara, etc. In the Hindu mythology, Pandavas ascended to heaven following the very route trekkers take. How is that for some rich history?
  • In the foothills of Fateh Parvat, Har ki Dun is one of the most scenic valleys and, therefore, perfect spot for your photography passions! So is the nearby Hata valley.
  • Enjoy camping next to Kalkatti Dhar
  • Trek to Jaundhar Glacier and spot lush greens and snow-capped peaks. An exhilarating view that will leave you wanting for more, definitely!

Quit being afraid. The world awaits.

Trekking in Uttarakhand
Trekking in Uttarakhand is more than an adventure, it is an experience worth a thousand memories that will last a lifetime. Underneath the picture perfect hillocks touching clear skies, in the lush valleys and amid flowing rivulets, through pine and oak lands, find your own nature calling!

When it comes to trekking, nothing could be more enthralling than the Markha Valley trek in Ladakh. It is also known as ‘Tea House Trek’. An awesome 8-day trek amid cold desert develops both thrill and excitement in the land encompassing exotic flora and fauna, high passes, deep and shaved gorges, and fluttering colourful Buddhist flags. While embarking on the trek, passing the little hamlets constructed in conventional style is a unique experience in itself as it provides a closer view of Ladakh’s lifestyle and culture. A sight of the vibrant rock figures against white dancing clouds and majestic mountains like Kang Yissay, Stok and Zanskar are always of interest for the trekkers.

Trail on the Markha Valley Trek
Trail on the Markha Valley Trek

Despite being a tricky trek that includes long hours walk, brook crossings, sharp ascents and descents, it is a must-try for adventure enthusiasts and nature lovers!

Altitude: 5130 m
Trekking Distance: 75 km
Difficulty Level: Difficult
Nearest Airport: Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport, Leh
Base Camp: Spituk
Best Time to Trek: Mid June to September

Long story short: Markha Valley Trek Explained
The trek offers astounding views of Markha Valley and several other peaks. Initial two days will be spent becoming accustomed to the cold place where temperature even falls below 0 degrees. Also, travellers can explore Leh Palace, forts, museums, Buddhist monasteries and local markets. Next day, following the way to Ganda La (4800 m), reach stunning Markha Village where the night will be spent in a camp.

Next day, drive to the village of Spituk and then hike towards Zingchen to reach a green dale named Yurutse. On day 4, after ascending for 4 hours, reach Siku passing Ganda La. From Siku, come back to Markha village, following the route along with River Markha. On day 6, move towards Thachungtse for an overnight stay. Go after a gradual descent and reach Nimaling. Shang Sumdo will be the last trekking destination, from here, a trekker will move towards Leh.

Trekking Gear Essentials for Markha Valley Trek

  • Trekking shoes and trekking pole
  • Warm clothes/Mosquito repellent
  • LED Flashlight/Headlamp with extra batteries
  • Extra pair of woolen socks/ Raincoat/Gloves
  • Sunscreen Lotion/ Sunglasses/Lip balm
  • Water Bottles/Energy drink and bars
  • Emergency Medical Kit

Itinerary Breakdown: My Meeting with Mountains and Dancing Clouds
Being an adventure enthusiast and a firm believer of Buddhism for years, I feel Ladakh is more than just a tourist destination. A blend of colorful monasteries, dome-shaped stupas and a serene barren landscape offer an ideal glimpse of Buddhist culture. So this time, when I visited Ladakh with my friends, we planned to hit the Markha Valley referred as ‘The Land Of The Passes’. The trek gave us a chance to explore the Hemis National Park and meet our nomadic brethren.

Shanti Stupa
Shanti Stupa

Day 1: We boarded our flights to Leh at 7 am. A flight to Leh is always a feast for the eyes as it offers the mesmerizing views of snow-capped mountains. Moreover, landing is an adventure in itself as the airport strip is flanked by the mountains on both sides. Our tour representative was waiting for us outside the airport, when we met him, he greeted us with flowery headband saying “O-Jullay!”(You’re welcome). He took us to our pre-booked hotel and later briefed us about the trek itinerary.

As Leh is encompassed by three Himalayan ranges – Ladakh, Karakoram and Zanskar, there was nothing to wait for! We kept the luggage in a storeroom and went out to explore the valley that boasts several wonderful attractions including Pangong Lake, Nubra Valley, Shanti Stupa and Stok Monastery. After visiting some places, we came back to the hotel around 5 pm. In the late evening, we took a stroll to Moti Market near Leh Bus Stand, from where I bought two jackets and we all had the yummiest momos ever! The night was spent in the hotel.

Thiksey Monastery
Thiksey Monastery

Day 2: As told by our tour representative, we had to stay at Leh today as well, in order to acclimatize to the cold weather, height and declining oxygen levels. After having Ladhaki butter tea and sandwiches, we thought to explore more of Leh before Markha Valley trek begins. On our way, we witnessed the beauty of the Ladakh plateau. Our driver took us to the Thiksey Monastery, located around 22 km from Leh. It was the most striking monastery complexes that I have ever seen, though, it reminded me of Potala Palace in Lhasa. We consumed lip-smacking authentic Tibetan food in its restaurant.

Shey Palace
Later, we visited Shey Place too, which was located on a hillock in Shey. We returned to the hotel by evening for another overnight stay.

Spituk

Day 3: Next morning, we woke up to a stunning view of sunrise amidst the hill and lush green fields. After having breakfast, we put our rucksack on and met our tour guide who was waiting for us in a car, just outside the hotel. The trek began with a drive and gradually we crossed Zinchen Gorge, which is an extended desolate desert.

Within next two hours, we reached Spituk Village where we had a cup of coffee. Afterwards, we hiked to an easy slope and arrived at Zingchen in next 1 hour. It was a lush-green valley, amid rocky and sandy hilly landscape, and Zingchen is the place where the River Rumbak surges into the River Indus. From here, we trekked through green barley fields and beautiful streams. On reaching Yurutse, we saw that beautiful campsite was arranged by our guide. We stayed there overnight.

Stok Kangri in the Himalayas
Western Flank, Stok Kangri

Day 4: On this day, we explored the beauty of Hemis National Park and we were fortunate enough that we got to see a rare sight of Ladhaki Ural (mountain goat) and argali (a Tibetan Sheep). Also, the park is home to snow leopard, blue sheep, wolf and red fox. We continued walking alongside the bed of wild roses and through a valley embellished with colorful Tibetan prayer flags fluttering in the cool breeze.

It took us around 2 hours to reach Ganda La,  situated at the height of 4900 m. We stayed here for a while and I also captured some beautiful views in my DSLR. Later, we descended to Skiu, we realised that the sight of terrain is turning rough and rocky. In around 4 hours, we reached to Skiu, which is situated at the confluence of rivers Markha and Shgri Nala. We paid a visit to Skiu Monastery after which we enjoyed a beautiful sight of a sunset from the top of the valley. Magnificent views of Stok Kangri and Stok range dazzled us.

Day 5: It was quite an easy day trek, along with the banks of the Markha River. Enroute, there were several green willow thickets and barren cliffs. We visited religious shrines at Lhatos and saw a wide range of stone inscriptions at Mani Walls. We crossed River Markha and reached to a beautiful village, Markha. There were 15-20 houses, a monastery and fort. 

Later, we were told that about 3 km above, there is a Dhaba run by the Women’s Association of Ladakh, where one can get buck-thorn juice and traditionally made wheat biscuits. We tried to talk to the locals with the help of our guide as no one knows how to speak Hindi or English there. We stayed in village quarters.

Day 6: Next day, we followed the trail that took us to Markha Valley. We captured several pictures of ancient monasteries including Techa and ruined castles. We reached Umlung in two hours. Gradually, we crossed Kang Yaste and Hangskar which is the last village in the valley. Here, we had a cup of tea and snacks. From here, we walked through a steep and rocky ascent that brought us to Thachungtse campsite.

Day 7: Today, we had to walk around 6 km. We woke up early today and after breakfast, we headed toward a stunning plateau of Nimaling. After 2 hours of climbing, we reached to a pond where we filled our empty water bottles. Following a grassy pastureland, we reached Nimaling. There were eye-catching streams on my left and to the right, it was the grand Kang Yatse peak. I also clicked pictures with herders who brought their cattle for grazing. Here, we enjoyed a bonfire night at the campsite and Ladakhi delicacies such as Thupka, Tigmo, Skyu and Khambir.

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Day 8: We were quite sad today as it was going to be the last day of trekking. But as rightly said, one journey has to end to begin another, we moved downward towards Shang Valley. We stayed there for 15 minutes. Later, we crossed Kongmaru La, which was the highest pass on the Markha Valley trek. This peak offers impressive views of Ladakh Range and Indus Valley. In next 2 hours, we reached Shang Valley and a course from here took us to the last trekking spot, Shang Sumdo. In a taxi, we came back to Leh and spent the night in the hotel.

Day 9: With a heavy heart and lots of memories, we drove to the Leh airport.

While you are at it, don’t forget to visit these cafes! 

  • Tibetan Kitchen
  • German Bakery
  • Dzomsa
  • Open Hand Cafe
  • Lala’s Cafe

It was truly a beautiful and culturally rich experience! Everyone should explore the hidden beauty of Ladakh. So, go ahead and give a chance to the serenity of the Markha Village to take away your stress and fears.

Considered as the highest peak in the Great Himalayan region of Uttarakhand and famed as ‘Nag Tibba Range’, Nag Tibba trek is a wonderful delight for adventure lovers across the world. Situated at the height of 3,050 meters, the place is filled with serene beauty and thrilling trekking routes through dense forest and meadows.

The peak is named after Serpent God as the locals have a belief that Nag Devta dwells in the hills. Historically, it’s a holy site where devotees pay reverence and prayers to the deity.

One particular thing that attracts mountain-lovers toward Nag Tibba is an abundance of flora and fauna and picturesque views of snow-capped peaks of Gangotri, Kedarnath, Bandarpoonch, Changabang and the Doon Valley, from the top.

Altitude: 3050 m
Trekking distance: 20 km
Trek level: Easy to moderate
Region: Mussoorie-Dehradun
Days of adventure: 2
Best time to Visit: October to April

Trekking and Camping Experience
Nag Tibba is a circular trek which begins from Pantwari, a small village in Uttarakhand. It takes around 6 hours to reach the spot from the state capital i.e. Dehradun. The trekking first takes the trekkers to the Nag Devta Temple and later the course goes through lush green pine and Deodar forests and beautiful streams that keep you close to the raw beauty of nature. Further, the trail gives an opportunity to explore terraced farms and little hamlets, which brings a sense of excitement in trekkers and takes away all weariness.

Campsite
Campsite

The camping experience is an added charm to the trek. The feeling of spending a night in the valley of forest and mountains under the glazy stars is truly inexplicable. Furthermore, Nag Tibba trek is recommended to all, especially to the beginners.

Rules of Responsible Tourism 

  • Respect nature, wildlife and local traditions
  • Travel in a group of 3 to 4 people
  • Respect local culture and be sensitive towards wildlife
  • Carry personal trekking gears
  • Do not litter!

Trek Highlights
Dehradun to Pantwari Village
Pantwari Village to Nag Tibba Base (2600m)
Nagtibba Top (3050m)

Time to trek Nag Tibba
Chasing mountains and reaching the summit is something that every adventure lover would love to take pleasure in. I personally love trekking on high terrains through scenic landscape and action-packed routes that offer a lot of thrill and enjoyment. Amidst the spectacular trekking destinations of India, Nag Tibba is a moderate trek, but undoubtedly, the most exciting one. It is a journey where a trekker would explore the hidden wonders of nature and admire the pristine beauty of the Himalayas. Trailing through beautiful streams, mountainous rivers, lush forests and scenic meadows, is surely a once in a lifetime experience. So, one fine day, I decided to test my true potential by agreeing with my friends for a Nag Tibba trekking expedition.

A beautiful high-angle shot of Pantwari village
A beautiful high-angle shot of Pantwari village

We packed everything, from warm clothes to trekking shoes,  and were ready to begin our expedition. We boarded a flight at 5 am in the morning and arrived at Jolly Grant Airport in next two hours. From there, we hired a taxi that dropped us at Pantwari village. On our way to the village, we crossed one of Uttrakhand’s most popular picturesque hill stations, Mussoorie. In a conversation with the driver, we came to know about spectacular Kempty Falls in the lap of an emerald valley. It is a much-loved weekend spot for local residents who come here for the picnic and to enjoy water sports.

We decided to visit the site and reached there in another half an hour. We took a refreshing dip in the chilled natural pool. There was a lush flora bordering both sides of the waterfall. Obviously, I had to capture several pictures in my camera. We had a lot of fun at this stunning place! Our souls were mighty pleased with the amazing sounds of the gushing water and melodious chirping of the wild birds.

Enroute Nag Tibba
Enroute Nag Tibba

While travelling on the smooth highway road, large acres of green farmlands and various flowering plants and trees blossoming in the lap of nature kept us engaged in its mesmerizing beauty. In the next two hours, we reached the village of Pantwari. Before starting the trek, we had a cup of coffee and some snacks that helped us in scaling the summit. Later, we tramped on a cemented path that was going upward from the main village market

The trail was steep and fantastic views of glacial valleys, adrenaline pumping waterways, dense pine forest, pastureland and high altitude provided an exceptional combination of thrill and excitement. We had lunch in a restaurant and then moved towards the campsite. It took around 5 hours and we reached there by evening. Our tour representative had set up a camp for us and we spent the night there. Also, after dinner, the bonfire under the glittery sky was so exciting!

Spectacular view of the Himalayan peaks from Nag Tibba top
Spectacular view of the Himalayan peaks from Nag Tibba top

Next morning, we woke up to a dazzling view of the sunrise which was one of a kind experience. Afterwards, we took bath and enjoyed buttery Aloo Paratha with a hot cup of tea for breakfast. Later on, we started trekking and met several locals and herders who bought their goats and cows to feed them on grassland. We continued hiking for almost 2 kms and scaled the Nag Tibba top in next 3 hours. Here, we got a chance to enjoy a beautiful sight of the snow-capped mountains and I captured the most appealing views of Swargarohini, Bandarpoonch, Neelkanth peaks in my DLSR. We stayed there for a bit and then followed the route back as it took us to the base camp. We spent that night in tents and next morning we were heading towards the airport.

nag tibba

It was one of the most-cherished expeditions of my life! It was not only about hiking for a few hours but also about meeting the warm-hearted locals, knowing their socio-cultural lifestyle and exploring the hidden beauty of mountains. Surely, these reminiscences will remain entrenched in my heart deeply.

Undoubtedly, there are some beautiful chapters in our lives that cannot be described in words. A trek to Valley of Flowers and Hemkund Sahib was one such chapter for me! Located in the ‘Land of Gods’, in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand at an altitude of 3,600 m, this stunning paradise was unknown for centuries. The site was explored by the British mountaineers in 1931 when they came to visit Uttarakhand and lost their way. And then they stepped in the magnificent valley brimming with wide varieties of flowers. Hence, the gorgeous dale was named ‘Valley of Flowers’.

In 1982, the Indian Government included it in the list of national parks and UNESCO gave it a title of ‘World Heritage Site’ in 2004. The course to the valley also goes toward Gurudwara Hemkund Sahib which is situated at an elevation of 4,320 m.

Valley of Flowers National Park
Valley of Flowers National Park

Here’s when to plan a getaway 
One can visit the valley from mid-May to September as it is the time when the site is splashed with thousands of bloomy colourful flowers. It is known for 600 different types of flowers including the Brahma Kamal, Snake Lily, Cobra Lily and Blue Poppy.

Valley of Flowers in Hindu Mythology 
The dazzling land is said to be the abode of various Hindu deities. Some say it was garden of Lord Indira, Nandan Kanan. A few others believe that Lord Rama‘s devotee Hanuman found Sanjeevani here, the magical herb that brought back unconscious Lakshmana to life. Whereas the locals believe that this place was home to fairies.

My ‘Flowery’ Tale: Exploring the flowery bed on a 3-day trek 
I’m the kind of a person who wants to travel to each and every corner of the world. But my plan to travel Valley of Flowers turned out to be an alternate to Kashmir. Each journey brings out a unique experience leaving its imprints on my heart and soul in the most special way. When I visited the Valley of Flowers and Hemkund Sahib I truly felt that ‘Dev Bhoomi’ is nonetheless a heavenly paradise.

My journey began from Delhi to Rishikesh. My journey through lush green fields was simply mesmerizing. I had breakfast at Gulshan Da Dhaba, Roorkee. And the next stop where I halted my car was Haridwar, I visited Triveni Ghat and took a dip in river Ganges. I spent around 2 hours at this divine land. It was interesting to witness the religious significance that influences the lifestyle of the people of Haridwar. After two hours of driving, I reached Rishikesh and a cup of chai at a tea stall. There, I heard news that a landslide occurred on a way to Govindghat on the same day. So, as advised by locals I decided to spend a night in Rishikesh only. I had a dinner at Choti Wala and an amazing night at the rooftop of my hotel that was located along the bank of Ganges.

I could only manage to reach Govindghat by noon, which in itself was like an adventure before the trek began. Seeing locals cleaning the rocks on the road after landslide, I found myself trapped in Govindghat. Thankfully! My trek leader reached right on time, the man-in-charge greeted all my confusion and apprehensions with a stoic smile and somehow managed to assuage my fears of reaching the base camp Ghangaria. He also briefed me about the trek plan and introduced me to two other persons who were ready to hike with us.

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Day 1: Govindghat to Ghangaria
We started our trek to Ghangaria after a langar in gurudwara. The delight of visiting gurudwara is always amazing as it gives peace to one’s soul and it is open for everyone – regardless of beliefs, caste or colour. After walking 1 km, our guide advised us to submit our luggage to the porter as he thought we could not carry it anymore! We enjoyed a cup of tea and pakodas at Barsati Wali Chai ki Dukan. The course to Ghangaria goes along the River Lakshman Ganga for most of the way. It was quite a smooth trek as I didn’t have to trek uphill.

It was not only us, as there were hundreds of people who were going up in palkis and horses. Moreover, beautiful streams, waterfalls and lush greenery on our way hypnotized us. While trekking to this sublime beauty, we came across isolated hamlets, oak forests and diverse species of flora and fauna. We covered around 13 km to reach Ghangaria, we spent a night at Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam.

Day 2: Ghangaria to VOF
We woke up to a stunning view of sunrise amidst the ravishing panorama of lush green mountains. After breakfast, we started our way to VOF. The striking mountains helped us to regain our energy. A trail was filled with beautiful flowers and we finally scaled to Valley of Flowers. My eyes were glazed by an incredible sight of different kinds of flowers I had never even dreamt of. I enjoyed a sight of majestic flowers such as Balsam, Dwarf Globe, Brahma Kamal and Marsh Marigold. These exotic flowers were spread like a flower bed sheet that was stretched over an expanse of 87.50 km. A quote that comes to my mind as I write this is, ‘Nature is never in a hurry, yet everything is accomplished’.

A unique blend of snow-capped mountains, green meadows, and white clouds made our trek a dreamlike adventure. After spending 2 hours at VOF, we descended to our base camp where our guide had arranged a bonfire night and dinner for us.

Day 3: Ghangaria to Hemkund Sahib
We woke up early in the morning and started our trek to Hemkund Sahib, a revered site for Punjabis and Sikhs. It was a 7 km long expedition which began with a gradual incline through the Himalayas. On the way, we clicked several pictures of grazing cows and goats, stunning waterfall and lakes. It was like a tea house trek, as the course was lined with a number of tea plants. After two hours of trekking, we reached the point where the views of snow-capped mountains started getting better. Later, we reached a river gorge from where the oxygen levels started reducing. Somehow, we managed to reach the Hemkund Sahib gurdwara bang on time and the Hemkund Lake was just behind it. We paid homage at Laxman Mandir. We spent around 3 hours there and later descended back to Ghangaria.

Exquisite!

Spend some time in the serene lap of nature and visit this tranquil bed of flowers overlooked by towering Himalayan peaks. Don’t miss out on capturing some beautiful pictures when you do!

Situated at a height of 21,778 feet, the majestic Mount Kailash is said to be an abode of Lord Shiva hailed as ‘destroyer of evil’. The grand mountain is nestled in the South-Western part of Himalayas Tibetan Plateau.  Also, located in close proximity to Lake Rakshasta and Lake Manasarovar, Kailash paves the path for four major rivers of Asia i.e. the Brahmaputra, Indus, Sutlej and Karnali.

Therefore, Kailash Mansarovar Yatra doubles as a pilgrimage for ardent Hindus and a journey into the magnificent Himalayas for wanderers.

The Most Fascinating Journey Ever!

The journey to Kailash Parvat is not just a regular yatra, it is a completely life-changing experience for those who undertake it. A hike to this breathtaking, isolated, eternal and fascinating sacred spot is like a journey within oneself. Kailash Mansarovar Yatra is like an experience of a lifetime!

Lake Mansarovar
Lake Mansarovar

Situated at a height of 15,015 feet, the emerald green and sacred blue Manasarovar Lake is just at a distance of 20 km from Kailash Parvat. The lake is said to be an embodiment of purity which has the power to wash away your sins and heal your wounds.  

The spiritual journey involves meditation sessions, satsangs and bhajans which would subsequently be followed by the difficult yet exciting trek to the North face of Kailash. You will get an opportunity at the Kailash Mount to meditate in the presence of the Almighty.

Hidden Jewels on Kailash Route
On this journey, one would visit the world’s highest city and the capital city of Tibet, Lhasa. There are several tourist attractions on the way to Kailash such as Jokhang temple, Bhakor Street, Sera Monastery, Potala Palace, and the lively Lhasa market.

One can enjoy the stunning picturesque sights of Darchen, Dirakphuk and Zuktulpuk.

My Journey to Sacred Mount
We all arrived at the Tribhuvan International Airport which is situated 6 km away from the city centre. After reaching Kathmandu airport, I first met my tour representative, he gave me a warm welcome, and we later moved toward the booked hotel. I completed all the check-in facility and went to relax for a while after lunch. Later, the tour representative introduced me to 9 other trekkers who were set to undertake this exciting journey. He then briefed us about the program schedule. When the session got over, I thought to take a stroll in the hotel garden.

Next day, we woke up to a striking view of sunrise in the valley that was echoing due to pleasing sound of chirping birds. Afterwards, I enjoyed an appetizing breakfast in the hotel’s restaurant. Our guide came to the hotel and briefed us about today’s itinerary and then he took us to the most sacred temples in Nepal, Pashupatinath and Budhanilkanth dedicated to Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu respectively. Our lunch was organised in a Nepali Restaurant, where we savoured some authentic delicacies like Thupka, Sel Roti and Momos. We also paid a visit to the Patan Museum and the Taragaon Museum.

Day 3 involved 6 hours bus journey from Kathmandu to Dhunche. Though the unsteady path was quite tough to handle, the drive through the majestic mountains was lovely. The one thing that propelled us throughout was acquaintance with the rare sights of nature away from the hustle-bustle noise of the city. We spent a night at a booked guesthouse. Next morning, after consuming yummy paranthas and curd, we moved toward Rasuwagadi, a point from where initial trekking began. The moving clouds, lush greenery mountains and chilly wind added an excitement to our journey. After a few hours of walk, we reached Lipulekh Pass where we waited for the Chinese authorities to complete the immigration facilities. After 1.5 hours of monitoring by the officials, we boarded a bus that took us to Kyirong. We spent a night at a lodge in Kyirong. We explored Kyirong markets and monasteries on the 5th day.               

Next day, while moving to Dongba, pictorial views of mountain terrains and blue lake, Pieko-Tso and Yarlung Zangpo (the Brahmaputra River) worked as a feast to our naked eyes. After 7 hours, we reached Dongba guest house for night stay.

Now, it was the day to trek to the highest and holiest lake in the world, Lake Mansarovar. We first crossed Mayumla Pass where we had our lunch. Later, we reached Prayang County and we stayed there for 15 minutes to catch a glimpse of striking Mount Kailash.

The view of blue and emerald green lake was overwhelming. The blend of snow-capped mountains, incredible vistas of sand dunes and white clouds were simply majestic and truly breath-taking. This was a spiritual day of meditation and prayers. I experienced a revitalizing and cleansing dip in the purest lake, which is said to have the power to wash away all our sins. We stayed overnight in the camp set on the banks of the lake. Next morning, it was a time to get ready for a trek that was as testing as it was rewarding.

Yam Dwar
Yam Dwar

We packed up our stuff and drove to the starting point of the trek, Yamadwar, and then hiked to Dirapuk. En route, we beheld the sights of cliff-top monasteries, and yak caravans gently wandering over snowy passes. Finally, the time to experience the powerful and inexpressible phenomenon of this sacrosanct mountain arrived. For half an hour, we indulged in the exquisiteness and immensity of the esoteric Kailash. We spent a night at its base.

Staying in Diraphukh
Staying in Diraphukh

On Day 8, we moved from Dirapuk to the north face of Kailash for meditation and then back to Dirapuk. Then we headed back to Manasarovar and one more night was spent in amidst the mountain and beautiful lake.

Next morning, the journey to Zuthulphuk began with a steep climb up to the Dolma-La Hi

For bike lovers, nothing could be better than just hitting the roads of Ladakh to experience the serene and heart-warming beauty of nature. The two-week long Ladakh motorbike expedition gives an unprecedented opportunity to explore the majestic charm of this cold desert which is hidden behind the snow-capped mountains at a relaxing and slow pace.

Go solo or have fun with a partner-in-ride!
It’s completely on you whether you want to undergo this expedition alone or with a partner. Your journey will be both picturesque and exhausting. The uneven, narrow and meandering mountain roads with pointed curves, deep canyons at frequent points will surely give you an adrenaline rush.

When Do I Need To Get Going
You can opt for the Ladakh motorbike expedition at anytime of the year, but one should avoid the winter and rainy season, as slippery roads may cause an accident. Further, it is advised to not visit Ladakh via bike in the months from December to February and July to August.

Ladakh motorbike expedition

The Most Adventurous Ride of My Life
I always had a dream to take a ride that would remain as a lifetime memory with me. Home to unruffled pictorial lakes, sapphire clear waters, isolated roads and an uneven striking terrain, the Ladakh motorbike expedition came as a lifetime opportunity to me. A ride into majestic mountains and unfamiliar valleys always provide me with an absolute pleasure and good sense of adventure.

Before starting a long race, I met my tour guide to get the essential information. The guide provided map and details on each and every minute detail related to the expedition. The journey started from New Delhi.

Along with my four besties, I headed towards Chandigarh. While riding on the smooth highway road, I witnessed lush green farmlands of Haryana and Punjab. Also, the beauty of flowering plants kept us engaged. After completing a long and tiresome bike journey of around 260 km, we rested in the hotel for 4 hours.

As we didn’t want to waste our precious time, we began our day with a fresh start and headed toward Manali, a beautiful valley nestled in the state of Himachal Pradesh. While riding we came across stunning sights of Beas River, rocky slopes of the mountain, majestic hills featuring pine and deodar forest and sprawling apple orchards. Moreover, the tricky bends and stretches on the road were not only testing us but our bike’s strength too.

You and your bike - Spiti Valley!
You and your bike – Spiti Valley!

Next day, we started our bike expedition to Leh Ladakh while riding towards Jispa. On the way, we crossed one of the most spectacular destinations in the entire Kullu region, Rohtang Pass. It is situated at an elevation of 3,978 m. We noticed a sudden change in the scenery as trees had started disappearing and brown terrain with barren slopes was replacing the greener portions as we were reaching the Lahaul and Spiti district. The next stop was Sarchu, and after 3 hours, we reached the place for overnight stay. In the morning, an incredible view of the sunrise over the mountain appeared as a reminder that light always follows the darkness.

Thiksey Monastery
Thiksey Monastery

Now, it was a time to ride slowly and carefully on a comparatively difficult road through Baralacha La. The place is infamous for accidents due to the icy uneven runway, thus, it was very important for us to be extra cautious as we were supposed to cover 90 km distance today. As we entered the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir, we left behind all anxieties and enjoyed the spectacular views on our way. While passing through passes such as Nakee La, Lachung La and Tanglang La, located at high altitudes, we realized that nature knows no bounds. We stopped at the popular Thiksey Monastery and observed the art behind the rare paintings like thangkas and ancient stupa. After capturing several stunning views and covering a distance of around 250 km, we finally touched Leh. That day we were extremely exhausted, so we decided to check into the hotel and rest.

khardung-la-top_1437473836

Next day, we all took our bikes for servicing as we wanted to be on a safer side before exploring more of Leh. We even got an opportunity to enjoy a sight of Stok Kangri and the mountain ranges of Ladakh. Later, we visited Shanti Stupa which was located on the hilltop in the Changspa region. And then we continued riding toward the Nubra valley, it was here when we crossed muddy routes and the world’s highest road pass, Khardung La. We spent a night at a campsite in this magnificent valley.

Remember the lake in Aamir Khan’s 3 idiot movie? It was the day when we were going to visit it. This ride came as the most exciting and adventurous one. Situated at the height of about 4,350 m, Pangong Tso Lake has been much-talked about due to the incredible sights that it offers. It is also a perfect place to set up an overnight camp.

The journey was not over yet! After checking out from the Leh hotel, there were many surprises en-route. We crossed Zoji La pass and entered the awe-inspiring valley of Sonamarg. Later, we hit the road that took us to Srinagar and here we visited numerous places of interest, such as Shalimar Bagh and even enjoyed a Shikara ride on the picturesque Dal Lake. The night was spent in the beautiful Kashmiri houseboat. From Kargil to Drass, Tiger Hill Peak to Srinagar and Pathankot, there were a plethora of astounding views that we enjoyed on our Ladakh bike tour. Next morning, we hit the road back to Delhi.

Must Carry Essentials

  • Riding pants and jacket with thermal liner
  • Insulated travel flask
  • Riding Boots
  • Tool bag
  • LED Flashlight/Headlamp with extra batteries
  • Waterproof Ziplock bags
  • Jerry Cans for fuel
  • Extra pair of woollen socks
  • Water Bottles/Hydration pack
  • Emergency Medical Kit

Dine in Leh! Must-try cafes and diners: 

  • Dzomsa
  • Open Hand Cafe
  • Lala’s Cafe
  • Tibetan Kitchen
  • German Bakery

ladakh-motorbike-2

The memories of this trek are so close to my heart that whenever I close my eyes or somebody say Ladakh, it reminds me the whole journey encompassing rough terrains, lush greenery, chilly winds, snow-capped mountains, dancing clouds, playing kids, mountain animals and what not…. It’s a far-flung trip for the adventure seekers searching solace for the soul, its snow-covered mountains and extreme climatic conditions are enough appealing for any biker who wants to go on a trip to Ladakh. Moreover, the essence of Ladhaki culture has left its imprint on my mind and heart. To experience the real adventure, one has to hit the road.