Landlocked between Tibet and India, Nepal is one of the most stunning and serene countries in Southern Asia. It is known for housing eight of the highest summits in the world, including the gigantic Mt. Everest, which is said to be bordered with the birthplace of the creator of Buddhism, Lord Gautama Buddha. Remarkably, the spectacular spiky mountains, swaddled in the Kingdom of Gorkha, spread the magic in the region along with the lively shades of Buddhist culture and traditions.

Trekking in the High Mountains of Nepal
Upon entering Nepal, one could easily feel the magnificence of the land which is home to the legendary mountaineers such as Tenzing Norgay and Pasang Lhamu Sherpa. Over the years, Nepal has become an idyllic destination for mountaineers and nature lovers. The trekking adventure amidst the breathtaking mountain scenery offers a chance to explore the lifestyle of Nepalese and the hidden gems of nature, simultaneously.

Some of the Himalaya’s most stunning and accessible trekking destinations with jagged trails include Upper Mustang, Gokyo Lakes, Everest, Dhaulagiri Circuit, Nar Phu Valley and Annapurna. But the two treks that have gained attention and reputation among the hikers are the classic Everest Base Camp (EBC) and Annapurna Base Camp(ABC). For adventure enthusiasts, these treks are a must-try to gain the ultimate Himalayan experience.

EVEREST BASE CAMP: The Ultimate Adventure!
EBC is the place where the most thrilling and daring dreams turn into reality. The grand Mount Everest lies in the abode of splendid nature and it wholeheartedly welcomes adventure lovers from across the globe to scale its height. A journey through dense forests, glacial pools and Sherpa villages is truly an incredible experience.

everest-base-camp-trek_1439798387

The exclusive Everest Base Camp trek is known for providing the impressive views of the world’s highest snow-clad mountains. The trail accompanied by the beautiful Himalayan ranges begins from the beautiful town of Lukla and it takes you to EBC through terraced landscapes and striking river valleys, Namche Bazaar, pine forests and suspension bridges. Moreover, you will come across the several wonderful Everest high passes, gushing River Dudhkoshi, tranquil Imja Tse Valley and stunning Buddhist monasteries.

Nevertheless, the experience of reaching EBC is as exciting and adventurous as accomplishing the Mt. Everest summit which is considered as the mother of all the adventures.  

Maximum Height: 5642 m
Trek Time: 14 Days
Distance Covered: 97 km
Level: Easy to Moderate
Start/Finish: Lukla/Lukla
Trek Style: Tea House
Nearest Airport: Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu
ATM Point:
Namche Bazaar

Kathmandu>Lukla> Phakding>Namche Bazaar >Tengboche >Lobuche>Gorakshep>Everest Base Camp>Kala Patthar>Namche Bazaar>Lukla>Kathmandu

everest-from-base-camp

  • Witness the stunning vistas of snow-capped mountains of the Everest, Thamserku, Lhotse, Nuptse, Ama Dablam, etc.
  • Walk through the forests of pine and cedar along the River Dudh Kosi
  • Explore the lifestyle of the people residing in Thame and Khumjung villages
  • Hiking the peaks like Imja Khola, Chhukung and Nangkartshang
  • Spend a night on a hilltop surrounded by the Khumbu glacier
  • Enjoy a splendid view of sunrise against the Everest from Kala Patthar

everest-base-camp

What is the best time to trek to EBC? 
Due to extreme height, the weather in EBC remains harsh and cold throughout the year. The best time to undertake the trekking expedition is either from March to May or September to December.

March to May: The weather during this period remains pleasant and it is considered as the perfect time to head on the trek. The course is also less slippery since snow starts melting in the spring season. This is the primary reason why this place gets overcrowded by the trekkers at this time around. Notably, you can enjoy clear-crystal views of mountains. The average temperature ranges from 8°C to 18°C during the daytime. At night, it ranges from -15°C to 4°C.   

September to December: Ardent trekkers undertake the journey during this time of the year as it is the most challenging. Notably, hiking during this time is considered tough due to snowy and slippery trails, and tricky slopes. Also, very few trekkers can be found during the journey and the temperature falls below the freezing point at night and in the daytime, it remains between 12°C and 18°C.  


ANNAPURNA TREK: A Thrilling Journey Through The Deepest Gorges!
Known for its high passes, deep gorges, stunning hills and narrow slopes, the Annapurna trek is very popular among the young trekkers. The trek which starts from the picturesque village of Besisahar ends at a certain point in the striking Annapurna range. The trail goes along with the River Marshyangdi and takes you to the beautiful lake town of Pokhara from where you can enjoy exceptional views of the Annapurna and Machapuchare ranges. The maximum altitude that you will hit on this trekking expedition is 5,415 m at Thorong La. Notably, the French duo Maurice Herzog and Louis Lachenal made history when they scaled the Annapurna range at a height of 8000 m in 1950.

The blended one! - in Nepal

You have to cross various suspension bridges, rivers, waterfalls and tea houses. On this expedition, you will come across exotic flora and fauna that will lend some of the most beautiful views to your camera.

Maximum Height: 5415 m
Trek Time: 15 Days
Distance Covered: 82 km
Level: Moderate to Difficult
Start/Finish: Kathmandu
Trek Style: Tea House
Nearest Airport: Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu
ATM Point: Besisahar and Jomsom

Kathmandu>Besisahar>Bhulbhule>Jagat>Dharapani>Chame>Pisang>Manang>Yak Kharka>Thorong Phedi>Muktinath>Jomsom>Pokhara>Kathmandu

Lake Gangapurna (3500 m) is one of the most amazing places. Just half hour away from Manang, you can reach the lake on the 5th day of Annapurna Circuit trek.
Lake Gangapurna (3500 m) is one of the most amazing places. Just half hour away from Manang, you can reach the lake on the 5th day of Annapurna trek.
  • Reaching the source of River Marsyandi, Tilicho Lake, which is situated at an altitude of 4919 m
  • Crossing Thorang La Pass and arriving at Phulchoki Valley is a unique experience in itself
  • The views of upper Mustang and lush green landscape of Manang are a feast to eyes
  • Explore the local markets and buy amazing souvenirs at decent prices
  • A sacred bath in the steaming pond of the most famous temples of Hindus, Muktinath, which is believed to vanish all the sins of pilgrims
  • Crossing the deep gorge and river of Kali Gandaki gives you a spine-chilling experience
  • Meeting and knowing about the lifestyle of warm-hearted locals gives you immense pleasure
Trekking around Annapurna Circuit
Trekking around Annapurna

Gear Up: The Best Time To Take This Adventure
October and November are the months when a number of adventure enthusiasts undertake this trek. Notably, the valley experiences heavy snowfall except December to April. Mid-April to May is another time to head on this trek as a trekker can enjoy the perfect picturesque views of Annapurna and Dhauladhar ranges.

October and November: The average temperature ranges from 10°C to 18°C during the daytime. And at night, it ranges from -12°C to 4°C.   

Mid-April to May: The average temperature ranges from 12°C to 20°C during the daytime. And at night, it ranges from -5°C to 8°C.   


Check Your Fitness Levels! Both EBC and Annapurna treks require moderate physical fitness as you have to climb at altitudes higher than 5,000 m and that too for 6-7 hours daily. Also, due to lack of oxygen at height, a trekker is likely to face breathing issues. Thus, mental and physical fitness is a must to undertake the trek.

It is advised to start exercising at least a month prior to the trek. You should increase your walking speed and stamina. Notably, you have to carry a medical certificate to ensure your physical fitness levels, and a disclaimer certificate stating that you’re voluntarily undertaking the trek.

Check The List: Trekking Essentials

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

How to Reach Kathmandu?
The mighty Annapurna and Everest Base Camp treks start from the capital of Nepal, Kathmandu. It is well-connected to India by air. Notably, most of the flights are being operated from the major cities like Mumbai and New Delhi. However, the availability of flights completely relies on the weather and season.

Tenzing-Hillary Airport or Lukla Airport
Tenzing-Hillary Airport or Lukla Airport

You can also travel to Kathmandu by train. To avail the train you have to reach Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh. Also, Delhi Transport Corporation has been operating a direct bus service from Delhi to Kathmandu since 2014.  Further, a luxury Volvo bus is available on daily basis and it departs at 10 am from Ambedkar Stadium Bus Terminal at Delhi Gate. In order to reach Nepal, it covers a distance of 686 km in 30 hours via Agra, Kanpur, and the Sunauli border in Uttar Pradesh.

For a traveller’s eyes, nothing could be more fascinating than enjoying a sight of the stunning temples and striking gompas, consisting of multi-coloured prayer wheels and fluttering flags against the regal Himalayas in Nepal. Also, on these trekking expeditions, you will get an opportunity to explore the charming rustic hamlets, snowy landscape, magnificent glaciers, and a wide variety of wildlife. After completing these treks, you will surely come back with a whole new experience that will remain entrenched in your heart for a lifetime!

One of the most adrenaline-pinching, risque, thrilling explorations organised in the winter months(January-February) of every year is a trek on the frozen Zanskar river-Chadar Trek. The ice trail is a bold exploit even for the most advanced trekkers. Fluctuating and harsh weather over a frozen trail between ginormous golden mountains, this one is for the truly headstrong.

But it isn’t impossible! Far from it. The wild undertaking is carried out successfully by hundreds of trekkers every season. Through Naerak and Lingshed, the venturous make their way to the frozen river.  Couple months of preparation and reliable information about the trek beforehand are their only friends. Of course, having a presence of mind and trekking gear in perfect shape are absolutely non-negotiable.

chadar trek

Before we go on to discuss what truly makes this trek so challenging, here’s what you should at least pack for the trip:

  • Trekkers are also suggested to carry a pair of open-toe slippers, which one can wear around the campsite without wetting their socks
  • Proper trekking shoes with high-rise ankle, waterproofing and insulation
  • One size large pair of gumboots – a kind of boots for the purpose of wading through icy water
  • Open toe slippers for casual wearing around the camp
  • Two synthetic trek pants
  • One windcheater
  • Two pairs of upper and lower body thermal wears
  • Two warm pants
  • Two full sleeved collar t-shirts
  • 1 down jacket
  • 1 fleece jacket
  • 3 pairs of merino trekking socks
  • Four pairs of undergarments
  • 1 complete body raincoat
  • Woollen gloves and synthetic waterproof gloves
  • Woollen cap that covers the ears
  • Woollen socks for sleeping in the night
  • Woollen stole or balaclava to wrap around the neck.
  • Lip balm
  • Sunscreen
  • Cold cream
  • Toothpaste
  • UV protection sunglasses to prevent snow blindness
  • Trekking pole
  • Head torch
  • Daypack
  • Rucksack with a capacity of 50 to 60 litres
  • Medicine kit
  • Insulated water bottle and thermos flask
  • Utensils
  • Packaged refreshments
  • Plastic sealable polythene bags, which can keep items dry and safe

chadar

Know It All: The Multi-fold Challenges of Chadar Trek 
One will always face the mind-blowing challenge of walking on a thin ice sheet which may break at any time and thrust you in the icy cold water at around -25 degree Celsius temperature. Apart from this challenge, there are some other challenges as well that one may have to face:

  • Acute Mountain Sickness: According to a report, around 15 trekkers are reported to have been hospitalized in 2018, due to symptoms of AMS such as nausea, vomiting and breathlessness. During Chadar trek, trekkers can trek up to 11,123 feet. This sudden change in altitude may affect one’s body, thus failing him from accomplishing the trek. In order to prevent such as thing, trekkers are advised to first stay in Ladakh for a few days before starting the trek. This will enable one’s lungs to adjust according to the change in altitude. This time can be fruitfully used by taking acclimatization walks by trekkers.
  • Constant change in trekking trail: As a major portion of Chadar trek is covered over the frozen icy path formed by Zanskar River, the slightest of change in temperature has an extreme impact on the frozen trail of Chadar trek. It is highly suggested that travelers should pay attention to all the commands and instructions of the team leader and trek on only sledge routes. During an average day, the frozen river undergoes a constant process, which involves the formation of new ice sheets, melting of old ice and irregular breaking of ice blocks. During Chadar trek, travelers will always find the frozen river in a different condition. At times, the whole river will be completely frozen and its surface will be suitable to walk. At other times, the frozen stream of ice will completely melt from the center portion, thus leaving only narrow side trails of ice to walk on. There will also be times when the river would completely melt and the trekkers would have to leave the melted stretch of the river and climb the mountains. When there won’t be an option to climb the rocks, trekkers would also have to wade through the cold slushy stream of the river. It is suggested that trekkers should walk in small packs comprising of 6 to 7 people along with a person, who has all the necessary equipment including rope, carbines, harnesses, slings, a throw bag, sleeping bag and is ready to handle any kind of worst-case scenario. In case a trekker falls into the deeper portion of a running stream, he or she should prevent flowing along the stream. In such a case, a leader would throw a throw bag end, so that the drowning person may grab hold of it and get saved. In order to prevent such a situation, trekkers can opt to get anchored with the leader, who will be attaching all the trekkers by rope to his or her anchor.
  • Extreme cold conditions: The excessive cold conditions during Chadar trek often result in causing hypothermia to trekkers. Hypothermia occurs due to lack of warmth within one’s body. Usually, during a trek, hypothermia sets into one’s body after he or she has worn wet clothes for a long duration or even during the sleeping hours. People having weak bones should refrain from opting to go on this trek as the slippery icy terrain leads one to fall numerous times. Also, people with any kind of serious heart condition are also prone to hypothermia. The cold weather during the trek shrinks the blood vessels in one’s body, thus causing an immense pressure within the heart and leading to hypothermia in people with serious heart conditions. In order to tackle the issue of hypothermia, a trekker is required to be constantly active and warm during the Chadar trek. During the day, trekkers should constantly keep their body in motion, which will help in keeping themselves warm. It is suggested that trekkers at camping site should perform activities such as exploring campsite, interacting with locals or even playing some sports on the icy field. Trekkers are required to bring warm clothes which may protect them from snow blizzards and avalanches.
The ice sheets are dangerously thin at some points. Extreme caution is advised to the trekkers.
The ice sheets are dangerously thin at some points. Extreme caution is advised to the trekkers.

IN THE UNLIKELY SCENARIO OF A DROWNING: 

  1. Shout at your loudest to attract attention.
  2. Seek hold of the bank and staying glued to it.
  3. In the case of getting dragged away, travelers can hold on to their bags and place it above their chests as it will help them stay afloat.
  4. If a drowning traveler in a running current of the river is unable to reach the surface, he or she should look for a whirlpool in the river.
  5. Once the traveler gets rescued from the river, it is necessary to remove all wet clothes at once.
  6. In case a traveller gets hypothermia, he or she can try to get warmth from sleeping bags and hot water bottles.
  7. In case a traveler is in a serious case, the support staff should set up a tent and arrange warm stoves for warmth.

Are you still reading?
You have already won half the battle if you are well equipped with information because now you know what to expect. And come on, all this risk is what makes Chadar trek an absolute thrill! If you play by the rules, you will never forget this once-in-a-lifetime experience.  

With magnificent snow-clad mountains, beautiful river streams and mystical ancient temples, Himachal Pradesh is one of the most striking states in north India. The state reflects a perfect blend of Himachali and Tibetan culture. Hindu temples, Buddhist stupas and vibrant monasteries hold the essence of two different cultures and traditions together on one scenic landscape, which adds lots of charm to the beauty of Himachal Pradesh.

Its snowy peaks, emerald environs, Himalayan, Dhauladhar and Pir Panjal ranges, and picturesque yet smooth and rough trails, make Himachal an ideal destination for climbing, skiing, paragliding, bungee jumping and trekking. With evergreen exquisiteness, rustic hamlets, dream-like natural architecture and friendly locals, every step into the spectacular valley brings a different world in front of you. The eternal splendor of McLeodganj, Manali, Kasol, Lahaul and Spiti, displays various colors and richness of alluring terrains.

Trekking Expedition in the Land of Gods…Let’s Go!  

Moving away from the hectic and noisy city life for trekking is undoubtedly a perfect way for you to revive yourself. Every hill station in Himachal Pradesh has a number of treks which take you to extremely remote, peaceful and scenic areas. It doesn’t matter whether you are an amateur or ardent trekker, Himachal is known to accommodate the taste of each and every individual.

So, here’s a list of treks that can be undertaken by adventure enthusiasts and nature lovers.

  • Indrahar Pass Trek

Duration: 4 Days
Maximum Altitude: 4342 m  
Trekking Distance: 35 km
Level: Moderate to Difficult
Best Time: May to September
Temperature: Day – 12°C to 18°C, Night – (- 6°C) to 4 °C

indrahar-pass-trek-2

At a height of 4342 m, Indrahar Pass offers enthralling and majestic views of Dhauladhar range. The trek begins from McLeodganj and goes to Indrahar Pass through the dense forests of deodar, suspension bridges, snow patches and gushing streams. The route will take you to some of the most amazing sites that would surely be an amazing feast for your eyes. After hiking through challenging and difficult routes, you’ll spend a night under the glittery sky. And, one of the most stunning campsites on this trekking expedition is set near Lahesh Caves.

  • Beas Kund Trek

Duration: 3 Days
Maximum Altitude: 3690 m
Trekking Distance: 32 km
Level: Easy
Best Time: May to October
Temperature: Day – 10°C to 16°C, Night – (- 5°C) to 6 °C

River Beas
River Beas

If you’re looking for an easy trek then you must undertake the Beas Kund trek. On the journey, you have to follow a stream of River Beas in the opposite direction to reach the summit. Throughout the trek, you will be surrounded by lush green trees, alpine meadows and exotic flora and fauna. The 3-day trek begins from Dhundi, an idyllic spot for photography enthusiasts. Further, the course takes you to the mark from where striking River Beas originates and Hanuman Tibba is visible. Also, if you want to climb Ladakhi or Friendship peaks then Beas Kund is the place to be.

  • Hampta Pass with Chandratal Trek

Duration: 5 Days
Maximum Altitude: 4297 m
Trekking Distance: 26 km
Level: Easy to Moderate
Best Time: Mid June to Mid October
Temperature: Day – 8°C to 12°C, Night – (- 5°C) to 4 °C

hampta_pass

Nestled at an elevation of 4,297 m, Hampta Pass is known for the magnificent views of Himalayan and Pir Panjal ranges. The trek goes to Hampta Pass from Manali through Jobra, Chika and Balu Ka Gera, and ends in the valley of Chandra and Spiti. The trail, which starts from the dense forest of deodar and pine, takes you to an open lush green valley and gradually to a barren land featuring snow patches. On your way to the summit, you will come across the beautiful Lahaul and Kullu valleys and glistening Chandratal Lake. The most amazing part about this trekking venture is that it serves an ideal route for both the beginners and ardent trekkers.

  • Pin Parvati Pass Trek

Duration: 10 Days
Maximum Altitude: 5319 m
Trekking Distance: 78 km
Level: Moderate to Difficult
Best Time: June to September
Temperature: Day – 6°C to 10°C, Night – 0°C to 5 °C

Pin Parvati Pass Trek

One of the longest and popular treks in Himachal Pradesh, the Pin Parvati Pass trek is a must for adventure enthusiasts. On this journey, you can witness a majestic sight of the Parvati Valley, which is spread across Kullu and Spiti. While the Pin Valley displays a barren land, the Kullu Valley consists of vibrant flora and emerald scenery. Also, these two sites differ from each other, in terms of culture and traditions. Further, the trek begins from an isolated village of Rumsu and goes through gushing rivers, cuddling streams and deep forest to Pin Parvati Pass and impressive monasteries.

  • Deo Tibba Trek

Duration: 13 Days
Maximum Altitude: 6000 m
Trekking Distance: 48 km
Level: Moderate to Difficult
Best Time: May to June, September to October
Temperature: Day – 12°C to 20°C, Night – (- 2°C) to 6 °C

deo tibba

The Deo Tibba trek lends an exciting and thrilling opportunity to the adventure lovers. This trekking expedition requires experience and moderate physical fitness. The journey begins and ends at a high-altitude Himalayan resort town, Manali. You will be walking through pasturelands, glaciers, forests and rough ascents and descents.

From hanging glaciers to flourishing meadows, witness the spine-chilling places during the trek. One thing that will keep you energetic and accompanies you on this journey is the views of the lofty mountains covered in the layers of snow. Further, the trek gives an opportunity to the adventure enthusiasts to witness the beauty of Dharamshala and McLeodganj.

  • Kareri Lake Trek

Duration: 4 Days
Maximum Altitude: 3099 m  
Trekking Distance: 29 km
Level: Easy to Moderate
Best Time: May to June, September to October
Temperature: Day – 10°C to 16°C, Night – (- 5°C) to 8°C

Kareri Lake trek

A small enchanting glacial lake, Kareri is situated at an elevation of around 3,099 m above sea level. The place captivates the trekkers with its unusual beauty, tranquil surroundings and refreshing air. The pond is enclosed by velvet-like grasslands and soaring trees. The trekking expedition starts from McLeodganj and gives you a chance to explore the Tibetan culture and lifestyle.

The campsite of Lioti is a delightful experience. The course from Lioti to the eye-catching pond offers beautiful views of nature, which is a treat to your camera. After reaching the famous Hindu temple of Goddess Guna, you can explore the spiritual sight of the place too.

  • Bhabha Pass Trek

Duration: 7 Days
Maximum Altitude: 4000 m
Trekking Distance: 50-60 km
Level: Moderate to Difficult
Best Time: June to September
Temperature: Day – 14°C to 20°C, Night – (- 2°C) to 10°C

The Bhabha Pass trek starts from the tranquil hill station of Shimla and takes you on an electrifying road trip to the beautiful Kafnu Village, after covering a 206-km ride. On your way to Kafnu, you will come across the impressive peaks of the Himalayas. Also, a walk into the dense forest of birch and pine will surely be a treat for senses. Further, the trail will turn difficult with narrow and sharp ascents after crossing a river on the third day of your venture.  Moreover, a walk on the snowy moraine and icy patches will surely test your trekking skills.

A ride from Kaza to Chandratal Lake will take you through the striking monasteries and a wonderful place called Kunzum La. Also, the charming Chandratal which is popular for its moon-like shape, offers one of the fascinating sights for your naked eyes.

  • Rupin Pass Trek

Duration: 8 Days
Maximum Altitude: 4648 m
Trekking Distance: 52 km
Level: Moderate to Difficult
Best Time: May to June, September to October
Temperature: Day – 13°C to 18°C, Night – 0°C to 7°C

rupin-pass

Nestled at a high altitude of 4,648 m, Rupin Pass offers absolute exhilaration and delight to the trekkers. The picturesque trek begins from Uttarakhand and ends at the scenic land of Himachal Pradesh. The trail takes you through rustic hamlets, startling rivers, suspension bridges, dense forests, lush green pasturelands, and garrulous streams and waterfalls.
The trek begins with a trail through the greener landscapes of Dhaula. And, later it moves to the frozen landscape surrounded by snow-capped mountains. Notably, 80 percent of the trekking expedition will be undertaken in Himachal Pradesh.

  • Kheerganga Trek

Duration: 2 Days
Maximum Altitude: 3500 m
Trekking Distance: 12 km
Level: Easy
Best Time: October to June
Temperature: Day – 14°C to 20°C, Night – 2°C to 10°C

trek-in-kasol kheerganga

The abode of Lord Shiva and his son Kartikeya, Kheerganga is beautifully located at a height of 3,500 m from the sea level. It is believed that around thousands of years ago, Lord Shiva meditated at the Sylvan Hill of Parvati Valley. The snow-capped peaks, lush green environs, gushing River Parvati, and exotic flora and fauna, are certainly a much-awaited pleasure to the trekkers’ souls. 

  • Bhrigu Lake Trek

Duration: 4 Days
Maximum Altitude: 4267 m
Trekking Distance: 29 km
Level: Easy to Moderate
Best Time: Mid May to October
Temperature: Day – 20°C to 25°C, Night – 5°C to 7°C

Bhrigu lake

If you want to treat your eyes with awe-inspiring scenery, then you just need to say yes to the Bhrigu Lake trek. The meadow trail takes you to the quaint lake, from where you can see the beautiful mountains and clear sky; adding an extra charm to the stunning place. The journey gives you an opportunity to meet the locals and explore the Himachali lifestyle and culture. Not just this, refreshing air and the fragrance of dense forests and apple orchards will revitalize your senses. Further, the trek starts from Gulaba Village and takes you to the charming lake through the green pastureland and startling streams, along with the splendid views of the Kullu Valley.

  • Prashar Lake Trek

Duration: 2 Days
Maximum Altitude: 2730 m
Trekking Distance: 12 km
Level: Easy
Best Time: December to February
Temperature: Day – 8°C to 12°C, Night – 2°C to 6°C

Prashar Lake Trek in Winter Snow

The Prashar Lake trek is a must-visit for those who want to undertake an adventure expedition in the winter season. The stunning lake is surrounded by grassland along with a pagoda-style temple featuring three floors. Built in the 13th century by King Bansen, the old temple is dedicated to the sage, Prashar.

The locals believe that the lake was discovered by the Pandavas. The trail will take you through steep ridges, rough slopes, striking rivulets and forest of fir and cedar trees covered with snow. The adventure begins from the beautiful village of Jwalapur and takes you to Prashar Lake, where you get a chance to enjoy a bonfire night on snowy land under the glittery sky.  

So, get ready for a whole new experience as you escape the mundane city life with these wonderful treks in Himachal Pradesh.

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.

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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.

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. 

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.

For a city dweller, nothing could be more relaxing and joyful than travelling to hills that are covered with lush greenery and fresh air! Such enchanting beauty and peace can be witnessed in the ‘crown jewel of Dharamshala’, Triund. With all its natural appeal and majesty, Triund is positioned beautifully between the laps of Himachal Pradesh’s Dhauladhar Ranges and the captivating Kangra Valley. Also, Triund is among India’s most popular trekking destinations for the youth, and attracts lakhs of adventure lovers from all across the country. The tricky terrains and curves offer a perfect treasure trove to its trekkers.

Here’s why to pack your bag for Triund

Triund boasts of the lively and distinctive Tibetan culture with splendid monasteries that are equipped with beautiful cloisters, idols of Buddha, wheels and supplication banners. While on your trek to Triund, you will witness some of the finest views of the lush green mountain ranges, white clouds and the dense forests. One of the best experiences to be had on this trek is to witness the myriad starry constellations setting the night skies dazzling.

Notably, the Triund trek is a steep ascent of over 1,100 metres. It is neither a lengthy nor a difficult trek.  From Galu temple, it only takes around 3 hours to reach Triund. The journey of steep climbing begins at the last 2 km from Snowline Café, which means the trekking is quite hassle-free.

The beauty of Himachal Pradesh in its finest form
So, pack your bags for Triund to experience beauty in its purest form!

Reaching Triund from Mcleodganj

Galu is a starting point of the Triund trek. In order to reach Galu, one can either hire a taxi from Mcleodganj, or just start the trek right from there. Many travellers start their trek from Bhagsu Nag which is famous for the stunning waterfall. Moreover, while trekking from Galu, one has to follow a path which goes through a dense forest covered with deodar and oak trees. In case, you face any difficulty while climbing up, you can hire a horse/pony to reach the top.

The beginning of My Triund Adventure

I started my solo journey at around 5am from Delhi, taking a route via Sonipat, Panipat, Ambala, Chandigarh and Solan. Because I didn’t want to miss the Parathas of the most famous restaurant, Amrik Sukhdev, I stopped my car at Murthal.  I gobbled 3 buttery Parathas with a glass of creamy Lassi that was actually a divine treat to my taste buds!

I reached Dharamshala by 5pm, and searched for a place away from the hustle-bustle of the town. After visiting several guest houses and hotels, I ended up settling at a hotel in Naddi village which was much more secluded and peaceful than the other places I had searched. Enclosed by the village, the hotel offered wonderful views of the splendid Dhauladhar Ranges.

On the next day, I decided to go to Bhagsu Nag Temple which is situated in Mcleodganj. Before reaching there, I came across St. John’s church. Without a second thought, I parked my car and went down to the cathedral.

Later I visited Bhagsu Temple, Dalai Lama Temple and Dal Lake. After capturing several photos with my DSLR and getting mesmerized by the calmness of the soothing environment of Dalai Lama Temple, I went to Jimmy’s Bakery for breakfast and Taste Of India for lunch.  In the evening, I explored Tibetan Market, where I did some shopping for my friends and family.

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On the second day, I started my long awaited trek to Triund from Naddi village at around 9 am. After collecting information from locals, I first reached Dharamkot covering a distance of 3 km. The trek was delightful, with sights of colourful prayer flags, flowers, mud houses and alpine trees. Meanwhile, I met few other trekkers as well. After introducing ourselves we headed towards Galu Devi Temple, which serves as a base for the trek. I stayed there for 10 minutes to refill my water bottle and to click some pictures. One thing that I can’t forget was the group of talented mountain goats; talented because they were balancing themselves amazingly while grazing on that steep mountain!

The last one hour of the trek was a test of my fitness, as I was exhausted by the end. I reached the top of this majestic hill by 2 pm which, I think, was good timing. The glance of Triund top was the curtain raiser to all my expectations. It gave peace to my mind while soaking away all my tiredness. The biggest surprise that was waiting for us was snowfall. I stayed overnight in the camp that was set on the top of Triund hill, and the night sky, with all its twinkling stars, mesmerized me.

Camping at the most serene site
Camping at the most serene site

Best time for the Triund trek

March to May is considered as the best time for the Triund trek. However, September to December is also a good time to go. It keeps raining in June and July, but people who enjoy the monsoon can still go for the trek.

Things to Do

  • After reaching Triund top, don’t be in a hurry! Sit there, and enjoy the majestic views.
  • On the way to Triund, get some energy by gorging on some healthy snacks and refreshing tea or coffee at the cafes there.
  • If possible, stay at Triund top for the night to get the most beautiful camping experience.

Must carry essentials

  • Jackets and sweaters
  • Water-resistant shoes and an extra pair of socks, skin moisturizers and sunscreen lotion
  • Energy bar and snacks, water bottle
  • Good camera and a pair of sunglasses
  • Torch, trekking-pole
  • First aid kit and insect repellent

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Checkpoints of Trek

  • Galu Devi Temple
  • ‘Rest A While’ Cafe
  • Magic View Cafe and Best View Cafe

Some amazing nearby attractions

  • The Namgyal Stupa
  • Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts
  • Bhagsu Waterfalls

Must-visit Cafes

  • Magic View Café
  • Shiva Café
  • Best View Café
  • ‘Rest a While’ Café

What more do you want? Try out the Triund trek in Dharamshala to make an invigorating exploration of the Dhauladhar peaks and camp under a star studded sky to fully unwind. Beware the feeling of not wanting to come back!

One has different shades of blue and snowy peaks to allure you and the other takes you close to the world’s highest peak. Still wondering which teahouse trek to go for first? Everest base camp is a dream for anyone who gets into the flavour of trekking, Everest being the world’s highest scalable mountain peak. Annapurna main of the mighty Annapurna range is the 10th highest peak in the world. Not many know that the toughest peak to scale is also The Annapurna main and not K2.

Whether you are solo, or a group of friends or a family, it doesn’t matter, Spiti Valley is one landscape you must travel to, and if you don’t, you really are missing witnessing a lot in a lifetime. Why so? Well, you’ll know as you read through this.

Many of us might not know that Tibet is known as the roof of the world, as it is the highest inhabited land in the whole world, home to the mightiest Himalayas, the home of his holiness Dalai Lama, the land of mystic people and culture. If you have watched the movie Seven Years in Tibet starring Brad Pitt, you will know what I am talking about. And if you haven’t, then go watch it now.

The first time I traveled to Spiti Valley was in the year 2009 which was on a motor bike. Back then no one, including myself, had any idea about this valley and the history behind it. It was gruesome and rough, and I was just 21 years old. We started our ride from Manali and crossed through the rough plateaus of the valley over a period of 7 days including Gramphu, Chhatru, Batal, Chandratal, Kaza, Tabo, Nako and finally Rekong Peo. Back then there were very few Indian travelers on the highway; more of foreigners, and it did come to me as a shock that a hidden valley existed in such close proximity to us and yet most were not aware of this magical land.  I knew that I was going to go back there soon again, didn’t know when, but I felt a deep connection with the land.

“You are a curious and a restless soul, and that is the problem and the solution to everything!”

Growing up being a defense officer’s daughter certainly has its takeaways. I was five when I sailed in a defense ship for the first time, eight when I learned how to swim and thirteen when I scuba dived for the first time in my life, this was in the Andaman. My father served in the Indian Coast Guard for 28 years and hence I spent the first 18 years of my life very close to the sea. Not to mention the need for adrenaline rush began at a nascent stage in my life. Before Goa became Goa, I spent 3 years of my final schooling in Vasco. I had seen so much of Goa in that time that going back there for another mundane vacation was not on my list. Clearly I had seen so much of sea that a beach vacation did not excite me anymore.

I began most of my travel sojourns only after I completed bachelors from Delhi University. I started a desk banking job, made new friends and luckily those that loved to travel, and there it was, the beginning. Lying to parents just to travel had begun! I started exploring the mountains, when I was 22, with the first trip to Dharamshala. I had been to the mountains as a kid, to Shimla and Manali, but with folks (does anyone count those trips?). I traveled nonstop for the next two years and every time to the mountains, the more I’d travel there, the more I’d want!

En-route Har Ki Doon Trek.
En-route Har Ki Doon Trek.

My first ever Enfield trip was in 2009 through the Grand Hindustan Tibet Road – Spiti Valley. Back then no one knew what or where this valley was. It was the most gruesome experience of my life until then; I was 22 and had no idea of what I was getting into. It was an adventure I took when I was nowhere close to ready and had several falls and injuries during the ride, but I survived and that was all that mattered. I realized that I was stronger than I thought, though I was still too young to understand what that meant.

I had tasted blood and so in 2010 I decided to take the Manali – Leh – Srinagar road trip with friends. This time I was better prepared. I consider myself lucky to have explored these places while they were still untouched. The beauty of the mountains started to infuse in my blood streams in a way that I never imagined it would. I didn’t care anymore about the company I was in, I started falling in love with the mountains and that’s all I could see and feel around me, the mighty Himalayas!

I moved to Switzerland for my post-graduation and by then the fear of solo travel had gone far away. Even though Switzerland is beautiful, nothing beats the beauty of the mighty Himalayas. I traveled to Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, France and Germany. It was an unforgettable experience no doubt. I started loving the feeling of being a lone gypsy, just heading out to a destination, staying in cheap accommodations and reading maps to find places. Being in Europe for two years I got the chance to fulfill some of my childhood dreams, one was going to Disneyland in Paris and the other was to visit Anne Frank’s Memorial in Amsterdam. It was now that I, secretly in my mind, had started thinking of opening my own travel venture, and started building it up in my head. I was 23!

At total peace with myself
At total peace with myself

I returned to India and started working in the hospitality sector. If only I knew back then that one can travel, blog, make money and do it all over again! A mainstream job could never hold me and I was pretty much confused in my head as to what am I supposed to be doing with my life! I had quit banking, I wanted to be a chef, but that wasn’t happening too. I found myself doing sales for some odd reason. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great either. I started switching jobs one after another turning my resume into a shocking piece on how unsteady a person can be. I was 25 and still not old enough to know that there was nothing wrong in feeling that way; I was just trying to find my place and my true calling, which society never understood. Guess they never do! This further drew me in, and more solo travel to the Himalayas happened, as that’s where I felt the most at peace!

From 2012 until today, while I was hopping jobs one after another, I made numerous trips to the mountains. Starting from spending time alone at the Norbulinka institute (Dharamshala), to living like a hippie in Kasol, to traveling to interiors of Lahaul, I experienced it all. The Buddhist Culture always had strange ways of drawing me towards itself. I was never a religious person (still am not), but I always found myself praying in a monastery, and I don’t know why and how.

Monasteries have a way of filling my heart like nothing else!
Monasteries have a way of filling my heart like nothing else!

In the year 2012 came the grand turning point of my life with my first ever trek to Malana. I probably can never describe in words what that feeling was. I was at a point in my life where I was convinced that I was good for nothing and didn’t deserve a thing. I was a very strong athlete and a swimmer as a kid, but soon I hit the teens and developed Bronchial Asthma which killed my stamina to an extent where I could not walk up the stairs without going breathless, let alone climbing mountains. I also came to know that I have a deformed backbone, which I didn’t know until I turned 25. With all that playing at the back of my head I decided to climb up and I made it! Along with that I made another career switch, the telecom sector.

Whenever I traveled or wherever I traveled in all these years, one thing that truly disturbed me was the pollution – the way the places were being degraded by irresponsible tourist activity and lack of knowledge of the locals. I wanted to do something about it but wasn’t sure of how and where to begin.

I had done enough backpacking and I wanted to see bigger and higher mountains, so there was just one solution to that problem – trekking. It was 2013 when I started trekking and in this span I did close to 10-12 Himalayan treks. Starting from the basic ones like the Kheerganga, Triund, Beas Kund and then the moderate ones like the Har ki Doon and Hampta Pass and a few more! When you climb; get tired; literally want to cry; get up when you cannot; keep walking; push yourself beyond your physical limits; push the mind; you don’t just win beautiful sights but you overcome your demons too. A vacation for me meant trekking and I can literally keep trekking for the rest of my life.

Mountains, Monasteries and Me :)
Mountains, Monasteries and Me 🙂

It was climbing mountains that helped me find my true calling in life, which is to save the planet. Soon after telecom I moved to environment conservation. My true teacher was travel and there is no other better teacher than experience itself. That’s when I decided what I wished to do with my life – help people travel responsibly, and in this process protect the planet and create harmony.

2016, being the year when I enter my 30s, I am flagging off my Ecotourism venture. I wish to share my experiences, not just in words, but through the experience of travel itself. The world is a beautiful place, and every soul and place has a story to share. I wish to create a world within this world where people are taught on how to respect the gift that we have, the Earth itself, and in this process find themselves, and that’s how I shall continue to find myself. I also wish to inspire others to travel solo in the Himalayas.