Soothing and lush greenery of the mountains paired with the fragrance of damp earth marks as an end of the Monsoon and a beginning of the Autumn. Thanks to the showers of the last season. October turns out as a perfect month to surrender yourself in the landscapes of the Himalayas. Witness autumn’s spectacular colors by zipping through the verdant deciduous forests, water bodies, and lush green mountains complimenting the blue skies. There cannot be a better time for trekking the Himalayas than in the month of October. The beautiful shades of sky at dusk and dawn will be an icing on the cake of your trip.

To escape the monotony of everyday life, October hosts certain remarkable treks that will take all your worries at bay. So if you are wondering where to travel this autumn then we have amassed certain Himalayan treks in October that might bring pleasure to your soul.

nag tibba

Nag Tibba

One of the most underrated trail, Nag Tibba trek qualifies as one of the best weekend treks near Delhi. The trek offers some of the best camping sites, scenic routes and majestic panoramic views of the Gangotri group of peaks. The trek is perfectly suitable for beginners as it carries no possible threats in terms with AMS. A 2-day itinerary is enough to take in all the ambience this place has to offer. If you have couple of extra days then the “queen of hills” Mussoorie can be covered too.

Explore Exciting Treks in Uttarakhand

The trek embarks from a rocky ascend following with a trail of oaks and rhododendrons trees. Then at the nightfall, the camping scenarios are blessed with a view of towering peak. Also the clear sky embroidered with billions of sparkling diamonds sparks beauty. The Nag Tibba (Serpent’s peak) trek goes up till a temple devoted to the serpent god, and from there a small hike to the climax of the trek reveals the magnificent vista of the Gangotri group of mountain peaks.

High-angle shot of Sankri village
High-angle shot of Sankri village, Har Ki Doon

Har ki Doon

 Hidden in the Gharwal Himalayas, Har ki doon trek is also known as the hanging valley as the striking beauty of this trek captivates anyone visiting this colorful gorge. Also, known as the valley of gods as the Pandavas in Mahabharata took the stairway to heaven through this route. Alpine forests adorned with the rich diversity of flora and fauna is the best part about this trek. Since a wide-variety of plants and animals thrive in this region, one might spot animals like Black bears, wild boars, languor family, Barasingha, and etc.

Explore Popular Treks in Garhwal Himalayas

Har ki doon’s simple lifestyle has not been affected by the rising modernism in any way. The unspoiled forests, and the valley offers a blissful experience for nature lovers, bird watchers and shutterbugs. The beauty of this place will entice you but also the simplicity will urge you to build a house and live here forever. Learning about their day to day activities will keep you closer to the valley and its people. While on the trek you will witness various horses and cows grazing on the vast meadow. Camping at Har ki Doon is also a must-do thing! Rest and sleep within a pristine region of vast alpine meadows to fulfill your checklist. If you are looking for best treks in October, Har Ki doon is just phenomenal in terms of divine beauty.

kedarkantha_trek__4_

Kedarkantha

A Trekkers delight and a paradise in autumn for every adventurer who loves to visit sparsely-crowded places. Since Kedarkantha trek is widely famous for a winter trek, October is the best month to take this trek if you want to avoid crowd.

Also, during this month the panoramic view of the mountains is unhampered by the clouds. Loaded with breath-taking vistas of Mt. Swargrohini accompanied with the scenic trail of Kedarkantha, the trekking route seems to come straight from a canvas painting.

On your trek, you will also come across myriad species of flowers blooming throughout the trail giving a feeling of new-life to the trekker. The togetherness of nature offers such a fabulous view that it will keep your amazement constant throughout the trek. The hill is also famous for various Shiva temple, as the word Kedarkantha means Shiva throat. Devotees trek this hill in order to find solace within the tranquility of Shiva’s abode.

goecha la

Goechala

 When we converse about the Goechala trek, it beats all of the most winsome treks in Sikkim. You don’t only see one summit — the Kanchenjunga, but also numerous big summits, all standing strong adjacent or opposite to each other. Yet, to see the gigantic mountains you need clear views. It is only in Oct-Nov when the fog is out of the way, you get the best views. The mountains cut-throat sharp peaks whereas the sunrises and sunsets sparks mind-boggling beauty. The rainy season brushes away all the dust and dirt. Then the dramatic and colorful flora of the region adds a kaleidoscopic charisma to the trek.

The dawn are so poetic that when the first shaft of sunlight fall on the silver peaks it turns sublime. The clear-cut shots of snow clad mountains will ensnare you instantly. Mt. Khangchendzonga, Mt. Pandin, Frey’s peak, Mt. Koktang, Mt. Rathong, the Kabru family of peaks, Mt. Tien Chenkhang, and Mt. Jopuno are all spot on in the month September and October.  You might get little patches of snow on the route, however, there are negligible chances of the downpour or snowfall. The weather will be pleasant throughout during this month.

beas-kund-trekking

Beas Kund

As the name indicates, the hike is to the Beas Kund where you can see the origin of the river Beas. But, what makes it more interesting than any other trek? One can see glacier melting away into a tiny brook which then takes the shape of a robust river, the Beas.

It’s not the view of the mountains or river that makes this trek a winner among the other ones. It is the crooked trail and cobblestone pathways that gives you a feeling of absolute bliss. Suitable for beginners and can be easily completed within three days make this trek perfect for people who are longing for a minication.

The best time to traverse this trek is the month of May to October. As during this time the temperatures are ideal enough to hike and also one gets outstanding display of Mother Nature. One of the most popular treks from Manali, the Beas Kund trek offers laid-back mountains, meadows, pristine air and the whispers of whistling river. Such is the gorgeousness of the Beas Kund trek!

Sleeping Buddha or Kanchenjunga Massif, as seen from Sandakphu Trek
Sleeping Buddha or Kanchenjunga Massif, as seen from Sandakphu Trek

Sandakphu

Amassed with joy for trekkers, Sandakphu offers encompassing perspectives of the strong Himalayas including four of the most astounding crests on the planet Kanchenzongda, Everest, Lhotse and Makalu. Situated in North West of Darjeeling at a height of 11,900 feet, Sandakphu is the most astounding pinnacle of West Bengal State. The trek has everything a trekker wishes for. So if you are fond of Hiking and haven’t done this trek yet, you are missing something.

The sublime feeling of strolling through the forest of rhododendrons, mammoth magnolias, and extensive variety of stunning orchids is something that you will never forget. The trekking course passes through Shilgalila National Park which adds another feather to this trek. The national parks boasts of certain rare species like Red Pandas and Pangolins and birds. The best time to do Sandakphu trek is either in May to June or in mid-August to October.

So hurry up, book a vacation for yourself to the best Himalayan treks in October and appreciate breathing the crisp air in the lap of nature, reviving your body, brain and soul.

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.

Beautifully nestled in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh, Bir Billing is the hub of all kinds of adventure activities. Famously called, “Paragliding capital of India”, Bir attracts thousands of visitors throughout the year. Bir is a part of Billing Valley. The paragliders are launched from Billing and land down at the stunning site in Bir, after covering the distance of around 18 km. The landscape of Bir Billing features deep gorges, impressive snow peaks, misty woods, flowery meadows, lush green valleys, glistening lakes, gushing waterfalls and enthralling lakes.

A melting point of cultures

shutterstock_5387715_att6z

Amidst the scenic and serene settings, striking temples, soulful monasteries and stupas represent a perfect blend of Himachali and Tibetan culture. Not only Himachalis, a sizable community of Tibetan refugees also resides in the village. The Bir Tibetan Colony features several monasteries and local restaurants, where travelers can enjoy lip-smacking delicacies with an essence of the friendly culture that Bir offers. The incredible sight of bhikkhus and Tibetan monks offering prayers in the monasteries give a sense of peace to one’s soul.

Many-splendoured Tea Gardens 
Famed for organic tea farms, the Bir Tea Factory is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Bir. As the tea factory remains open to the public travelers, visit the place along with their children to learn about the plantation skills of India’s most consumed hot beverage. Hills are always suitable for tea production and this is why one can find various kind of tea that are grown in the garden and processed in the Bir Tea Factory.

The factory is located in close proximity to Bir Bazaar, from where one can buy a selection of dry fruits, fragrant tea, handmade articles etc. In the tea garden, a sight of men and women labours dressed in traditional attires with a beautiful basket on their back is a great capture to the cameras of photographers.

Paragliding, Hand-gliding, Motorbiking, River rafting, Trekking and Camping: Bir Billing has it all! 

  • Soaring High: Tandem Paragliding
    One of the major highlights of Bir Billing is Paragliding. Nothing could be more eventful than flying under the sky from where you can see a whole different world around. Remarkably, Bir is considered as the world’s second best site for paragliding after Lake Como in Italy. Paragliders are launched from a lush green valley of Billing, which is situated at a height of about 2400 metres. And these paragliders land in the grassland at the western edge of the Bir Tibetan Colony in Chowgan.
    Landing at Bir Billing grounds
    Landing at Bir Billing grounds

    Keeping the protection in mind, beginners get a chance to enjoy an adventure-packed ride in a two-seater glider with a skilled trainer. Bir witnesses a huge crowd in October as it hosts the event of ‘paragliding pre-world cup’ every year.

  • Trek To The Top
    1
    Bir Billing offers a number of trekking options to the adventure enthusiasts and nature lovers. This activity gives you an opportunity to explore the exotic Himalayan flora and fauna, stunning rivers, gushing streams and waterfalls. From easy to difficult and 1 day to 1-week treks are available near the Bir Billing. Some of the trekking destinations include Sach Pass to Pangi Kareri Lake, Manimahesh Lake and Chamba over Jalsu Pass.
  • Camping in Bir
    India-Camping
    Staying at hotel becomes dull at times, especially when you’re surrounded by the mountains and lush greenery. To have a wonderful experience in the lap of nature, you need to avoid the option of hotel booking as Bir gives you a chance to spend a night under the glittery sky at some of the exquisite locations. While living in tents, you can enjoy the sights of splendid vistas of nature.

Plan a weekend in Bir
If you are on long holiday and have explored enough of Bir Billing, then you can opt any destination from the list of wonderful weekend getaways near Bir Billing.

There is no dearth of amazing weekend getaways from Bir Billing. Getaways like Manali, Leh, Ladakh, Kullu, Shimla, Dharamshala and McLeodganj offer peaceful surroundings that revitalize your mind and body with exciting activities. Other nearby attractions include: 

  • Deer Park Institute
  • Chokling Monastery
  • Dharmalaya Institute
  • Sherab Ling Monastery
  • Baijnath Temple
  • Drukpa Kagyu Monastery
  • Chowgan Tea Gardens
  • Tashi Jong Village
  • Chauntra Bazaar

If you’re looking for accommodation options at Bir Billing

  • Tatva Bir Camp
  • Siddhartha Greens Bir Billing
  • Hotel Paul Manor
  • Big Mountain Camps
  • Bir Resort
  • Camp Oak View

If you’re looking for some food joints…

  • Norgay Kitchen
  • Sterling Restaurant
  • Glider’s Pizzeria
  • Bruce House
  • Cafe Cloud Door

How to Reach this Amazing Holiday Destination?
Bir Billing is very well connected to other Indian states. As it is situated away from the hustle-bustle of city amidst the snow-capped mountains, one has to put an extra effort to reach there as there is no direct flight or train available from the major cities like Delhi and Mumbai. However, the travel journey to Bir is joyful and a one of its kind experience.

Flight: The Kangra Airport is situated at a distance of 68 km from Bir Billing. The airport is situated in Dharamshala and is very well connected to and from Delhi and Mumbai. However, passengers can board a non-stop flight from Delhi to Dharamshala and a connected flight from Mumbai. Notably, the air route remains closed due to bad weather, especially in winters. After reaching the airport, travelers have to hire a taxi or board a bus to reach Bir.

Train: At present, one can get a toy train that takes you to Bir Billing. Kangra valley railway runs a toy train from Pathankot, which covers the distance in 7 hours via Ahju. The distance between Pathankot and Bir is around 143 km.

Taxi or Bus: If you’re among those who always look for astounding vistas or adore long drive then you should visit Bir either by taxi or bus. You can board a bus from the Inter-state Bus Terminal (ISBT) and it takes around 12-14 hours to reach Bir. Notably, the distance between Delhi and Bir is around 520 km.

If you have decided to hit Bir Billing by road then you can follow these routes:

Route 1: Delhi>Ambala>Banur via Chandigarh bypass>Kiratpur>Anandpur Sahib>Nagal>Una>Kangra>Palampur>Baijnath>Bir

Route 2: Delhi>Ambala> Banur via Chandigarh bypass>Kharad>Kiratpur>Bilaspur>Mandi>Jogindernagar>Bir

pilots_on_a_paragliding_takeoff_at_bir-billing_01

Is Bir Billing Accessible throughout the Year?
The entire summer season is an ideal time to beat the heat of hot cities like Delhi and Chandigarh. Here, the weather remains pleasant and the temperature ranges between 10°C and 22°C. Notably, the monsoon season receives moderate to heavy rainfall and the region might become prone to landslides causing blockage of roads. So, this is not an advisable season for a visit.

Despite the harsh and cold weather in winters, Bir experiences a heavy flow of tourists. Also, the months of October and November are perfect for paragliding and the average temperature ranges from 4°C to 12°C. The temperature drops below freezing point at night in the months of December and January.

What are you waiting for? Plan a trip to one of the most splendid tourist destinations in Himachal Pradesh to explore the fun like never before!

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:

image03

  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.

    webp-net-compress-image-17

  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.

Perched at an altitude of 3,500 m, Kheerganga is nestled deep in Parvati Valley in Himachal Pradesh.  It is believed that Lord Shiva’s son Kartikeya meditated here for thousands of years. On the Kasol to Kheerganga trek, you can experience a rare combination as you will take a bath in the hot spring while the surroundings are chilled and covered by snow.

Moreover, stunning views of mountains, waterfalls, mountain animals, and oak and deodar trees are a much-needed feast for the trekker’s eyes. The trail unveils a few of the most fascinating destinations such as Rudra Nag Waterfall and Shiv Temple.

A Serene Visit to Kheerganga
Trekking to the magical Parvati Valley still seems like a dream. It was a place which I wished would remain a secret as I couldn’t stop myself imagining about those majestic valleys, mountain goats, green lush mountains and peaceful oak forests.   

webp-net-compress-image-9

My journey to Kheerganga began when I boarded a taxi from Delhi’s Paharganj to Kasol with my younger sister. After 12 hours of tiresome journey and covering 550 km, we finally reached Kasol. Kasol is one of the most beloved destinations among youth though, we preferred to move to Tosh, the nearby village.

In Tosh
In Tosh

We had Aaloo parathas at Sasi Restaurant and then we kept moving ahead. The trail had no roads and we walked through green land and reached the beautiful village of Tosh. 

On the first day, we wanted to take rest as much as possible. In the evening we visited local bazaars, enjoyed local delicacies and coffee in a nearby Amsterdam’s coffee shop. We played badminton with the local girls, gave them chocolates and clicked several pictures with them. At Tosh, villagers sit together after a long day of work and smoke chillums.

kasol_to_kheerganga__cpozp

Next day, the thrill of Kheerganga trek began from Barshaini, which is enveloped by lush green trees. Also, it is a confluence point of Rivers Parvati and Tosh. We reached the base camp at 10 am. We had delicious breakfast at Prem Cafe. From there, we walked through the splendid landscape and enjoyed magnificent sights of nature. While trekking, we passed a few wooden bridges, waterfalls and hamlets.

Camping on the trek from Kasol to Kheerganga
Camping on the trek from Kasol to Kheerganga

We both captured some amazing pictures in our DSLR. After two hours of moderate trek, we arrived at Rudra Nag and stopped there for a while to admire the beauty of nature. This dazzling serpent-shaped waterfall is considered as one of the main tourist attractions in the Parvati Valley. Here we met a local who told us that there are other villages as well, like, Kalga, Pulga and Tulga. He said that thousands of years ago, there was a very powerful demon, Tadkasura, who defeated Devas. The Devas  then visited Brahma, who told them to worship Mahadevi. It was Mahadevi who told them-‘I would soon reincarnate and get married to Lord Shiva, and the offspring would defeat the demon’.

Later, we kept climbing for 3 hours. We followed the marks imprinted on trees; the trail was quite an arduous climb. My sister asked me the same question for at least five times, “How far do we need to climb in one day?” Surprisingly, before she asked the same thing for one more time, we suddenly came across a sign saying “Welcome to Kheerganga”.

The green meadow of Kheerganga was right in front of us. There was nothing to wait for, we kept our bags in the tents and took a refreshing dip in the hot springs. It simply washed away the weariness of the trip. This pool was divided into sections one for men and the other for women.

Later, we visited Kartikeya Cave and offered prayers to Lord Kartikeya. Amazing weather, sights of mighty peaks, green forests, friendly locals and the therapeutic water of the hot springs made our journey worth. We spent a night at our campsite at Kheerganga.

Next morning, we woke up to a wonderful view of the sunrise. After taking a bath in the divine hot water pool again, we descended towards Kasol through the same route that we followed to reach Kheerganga. For me, it was mystery-packed trek which involved lots of excitement and thrill.

img_0840

Best Time to Visit
One can visit Kheerganga from Kasol from March to June or October to November. This place experiences soothing climate throughout the year. The weather remains pleasant and in summers, the temperature varies from 15 – 22 degrees Celsius while in winters, it varies from 3 to 10 degrees Celsius.

Must Carry Essentials

  • Sunglasses and Sunscreen
  • Trekking shoes and trekking pole
  • Camera and torch
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Warm clothes and rain coat
  • First aid kit

In the backdrop of the mystery hidden in the majestic Parvati Valley in Himachal Pradesh, it would be really exciting to unravel these untold tales on your own. Moreover, the beautiful views of the meadows and dense oak forests make Kasol-Kheerganga trek a must-do for every avid trekker. 

Situated at an altitude of 3,700 m, Beas Kund is an alpine lake which is said to be the original source of Beas River. Set in the backdrop of several peaks such as the Shitidhar Peak, Friendship Peak and others, Beas Kund has a unique way of making people fall in love with nature. Home to some of the most pictorial views of the region, it allows trekkers to embrace the beauty of fascinating lands, majestic peaks, hospitable locals and cascading waters. So, do not miss the chance to experience the respite and magnificence of the Himalayas with Beas Kund trek.

What draws the attention of the masses? 

There are several treks to enjoy your journey to the mighty Himalayas. However, Beas Kund trek is an ideal trek for those who have a desire to witness isolated miracles of nature away from the proximity of urban settlements. The natural splendor of Beas Kund that extends from the giant ski slopes of the Solang Valley to the meadows of Dhundi and Bakarthach is beyond comparison. Being a trek for everyone, it is convenient as well as easily accessible. Without any age restrictions and prior experience, it is a trek that appeals all equally.

Meadows and mountains on the Beas Kund Trek

A quick glimpse into my illuminating trekking expedition to Beas Kund: At times, it becomes difficult to deal with the curve balls that life throws. When the desire to do something new and different starts awakening, it’s time to paint it with colours of spirit. In my case, trekking to Beas Kund helped me to rekindle that fire.

Somebody has rightly said that it is better to see something than hear about it a thousand times. Many of my friends had been singing praises of their experiences, and I finally decided to embark on the journey. I packed my bags and left home with a desire to give voice to those unruly and wild screams which the din and noise of human settlements had pacified. With that welcoming hope in my heart, I reached the first leg of my trek, Dhundi. While driving with other group members from the Solang valley up to the Dhundi road, there were several views that left us awe-struck.

Following river Beas, witnessing the best skiing slopes of India and crossing the stream from one side to the other was a lifetime kind of experience. Surrounded by wildflowers and their scenic beauty, Dhundi served as a perfect site to set up camp for overnight stay.

Meadows of Beas Kund
Expansive meadows and exotic flora and fauna; let yourself loose!

The next day, we proceeded from the 9,000 ft tall quaint little mountain helmet, Dhundi, to Bakartach. Situated at 10, 800 ft, Bakartach is a high-altitude meadow which literally translates as ‘shepherd’s field’. The guide told us that these sun and windswept meadows are very popular pastures for a hardy nomadic tribe of shepherds, Gaddis. The sight of sheep grazing in this pastoral idyll gave us a pause, as we gazed upon the picture perfect scene.

The almost flat walk from Bakartach’s meadows gave gradual way to moraines and stray boulders that made the climb little steeper. It was little difficult to climb from boulder to boulder until we crossed the river that took us to the ridge which was marked by systematically placed cairns. At this point of time, we all were feeling tired and needed rest. To sleep in the lap of nature amidst its music and rhythm was a dream-like adventure. Our endless talks, excitement and the desire to explore more of the area kept us awake all night.

Beautiful verdant mountains as you make your way on the Beas Kund Trek

An early start the next day and a short climb up the ridge through Bhoj Patr got us to our final destination. When we reached here, the guide enlightened us about the historical and mythological importance of Beas Kund. He told us that it is believed that the author of the great epic of Mahabharata, Sage Vyas, had meditated here. Protected by an igloo-like stone structure, the Kund is a site of great religious importance to devotees across the country, especially Hindus. Besides being regarded as sacred, it is home to spectacular views of the nearby located Shitidhar, Ladakhi, Friendship and Hanuman Tibba peaks that can leave anyone numb for a while.

Beas Kund River Crossing
Waterfalls and rivulets galore; the trek is a retreat into nature

The best part of the journey was to locate the valley amidst the numerous streams and waterfalls. After discovering this lake nestled at an altitude of 3,700 metres, we decided to capture the splendid views that it offers. It was reflecting the pristine and untamed beauty of nature which was worth-experiencing after this long and tiresome journey. Before heading back, we decided to rest here for some time. 

Let not routes puzzle your mind: 

There are several modes of transportation to reach the first location of the trekking expedition to Beas Kund. People can travel by air, rail and road as per their own convenience. However, the most convenient way to reach Manali is by bus. The view offered by the window serves as a microcosm of the entire journey that you wish to undertake in the lap of nature and in a desire of adventure.

As there is no airport in Manali, Bhuntar airport serves as the nearest airport. It is located at a distance of 50km from Manali and 10km from Kullu. Chandigarh Airport is 300 km away from Manali and runs scheduled flights from major cities likes New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Bangalore.

The nearest railway station to Manali is Joginder Nagar railway station. Situated at a distance of 166 km, it is known for connecting several important cities of the country. Chandigarh and Pathankot are the other convenient railheads.

Being well connected to major North Indian cities such as Delhi, Ambala, Chandigarh, Dehradun, Haridwar, Shimla, Dharamsala and Chamba/Dalhousie, Manali provides regular bus service that makes it convenient to ply between these stations. 

Flowers on the trek to Beas Kund

Do not let the wrong time spoil the fun:

The best time for Beas Kund Trek is from mid-May to mid-October. During this period, the weather remains quite salubrious and is suitable to explore the beauty of the place. 

Beas Kund Trekking Tour Highlights: 

  • Witnessing the stunning views of Indrasan, Hanuman Tibba and Deo Tibba Peak
  • Enjoying the calm and solace offered by Solang Nallah and the Manu Temple
  • An opportunity to seek information about the simple yet fascinating life of the inhabitants of picturesque villages such as Goshal, Sannag and Burua
  • Camping under the open sky, amidst the scenic landscape and to recall your own childhood.

Load your bags with some essentials:

  • Trekking shoes
  • Trekking Pole
  • Warm clothes
  • Trekking pants
  • Moisturizer
  • Torch
  • Synthetic hand gloves
  • Emergency Medical Kit
  • Required Documentation:
  • Original and photocopy of identity card
  • Medical certificate 

To sum up – it is not under our control to live longer but we can make efforts to live deeper. It is important to rediscover those impulses that fill one’s life with fun, excitement, thrill and tonnes of happiness.

 

What’s expansive, majestic and home to the highest peaks on the planet? Of course, the Great Himalayas! An enigma in itself, the Himalayan Range lures travelers with its arresting landscape of snow-laden mountains, glaciers and plunging river valleys, along with the ever-so-colossal Mount Everest sitting at a whopping elevation of 8,848 meters above sea level.

But there is more to the Great Himalayan range than just natural grandeur…

Stok Kangri in the Himalayas
Stok Kangri, Himalayas

India’s prime outdoor adventure refuge- Himalayas- house some of the most prominent winter-sports destinations like Gulmarg, Auli, Leh, Manali and Narkanda. While Kashmir offers some of the world’s highest, tough-to-tread but blissfully unexplored ski slopes, just right for extreme snow sport enthusiasts, the gentle slopes of Himachal Pradesh provide a perfect base for novices.

Whizzing past jagged and raw terrains, plunging from great heights will fill you with a sense of exhilaration and make you want to immerse yourself in the unparalleled beauty of the surroundings. All this at a fraction of the cost in contrast to famous European resorts! Well, does that make you want to go on a snow-sporting vacation right away? If you are still not convinced, here are our top reasons to go skiing and snowboarding in the Great Himalayas:

Tanglang-La
Escaping the well-trod path; explore Himalayas in the most action-packed way

You Don’t Get To Do This Every Day!

Winter sports in India are not that prevalent. You do not get to experience such activities every day. That makes the Himalayan resort towns even more special. But if you wish to experience uncharted and unique snow challenges, then the Himalayan Range is your eternal playground. Forget the jam-packed and well trimmed Alpine slopes, the Himalayas offer next-level skiing and snowboarding experiences, adding a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘going-off-piste’!

skiing in gulmarg
Discover Hidden Treasures of Gulmarg

Adventure tourism is on the rise with Kashmir’s Gulmarg leading the pack! Often touted as the Mecca for skiers, Gulmarg has one of the highest ski lifts in the world and it is certainly not just another alpine escapade. While the naturally smooth gradient of Kongdoori Peak makes it an ideal spot for novice skiers to get a hang of the activity, it is the Mountain Apharwat that steals the show! Strictly meant for advanced skiers, it offers an once-in-a-lifetime experience. Here, you will find the world’s highest gondola- The Gulmarg Gondola that takes fearless skiers to the world’s most uncharted slopes at a vertigo-inducing altitude of 13,400 feet- almost reaching the peak of Mount Apharwat.

Advanced skiers feeling a little frisky can really push their boundaries in these elevated terrains. How about exploring the hoary playground filled with firs and pines by taking on the mountains from dizzying heights where the Gondolas do not reach? Picture taking a helicopter ride to the most untouched and dramatic mountaintops of the world and get ready for a flabbergasting Heli-skiing experience amid the mystical wilderness of Gulmarg. Those who cannot imagine a skiing holiday without the comforts of gourmet dishes can look forward to an authentic experience with Kashmiri offerings like soothing mint teas, flavored curries, and some warm conversation.

Lose yourself in the picturesque Garhwal slopes of Uttaranchal..
The lesser-known cousin of Gulmarg, Garhwal woos adventure enthusiasts with its intoxicating natural splendor and is just as generous in terms of thrill!

Auli
Auli, a pristine stimulation

Auli– Enveloped by the mighty Himalayan range, Auli has some of the gentlest slopes covered in just the right amount of snow. The ski-worthy slopes range somewhere between 2000-3000 meters, making it an ideal playground for both amateur and skilled skiers. To enhance the thrill, an 800 meters long cable car runs between Auli and Joshimath offering magnificent views of the Dronagiri, Kamet and Nanda Devi peaks. On top of the mountain peaks, there is a government operated ski resort equipped with amenities and guide which also features a 500-m long ski-lift.

Dayara Bugyal– With multiple trails, gorgeous scenery and an awe-inspiring ambiance, this Himalayan hamlet has skiing slopes extended about 28 square kilometers in area that brings back skiers for more. The magnificent snow covered slopes are a dream to ski and the enchanting views of the Tal and Barnala lakes add further charm to the site.

Mundali– Another entrancing winter-sports destination in Uttarakhand, Mundali offers sublime views and the perfect snowy slopes for skiing adventures. The powdery snow-draped slopes work as a magnet for both amateur and expert skiers. Getting to the hill station is a thrill in itself. Expect to fight through a tough terrain, unmetalled roads and steep treks to reach this unspoiled paradise.

The Thrill of Mystical Slopes of Manali in Himachal Pradesh

Himachal Pradesh
Himachal Pradesh is a calling for the venturous souls

Manali has evolved from being a quaint holiday destination to a promising base for thrilling winter-sports like skiing, heli-skiing and snowboarding. Covered with miles of glaciers and surrounded by snow-clad peaks, skiing trails in Manali takes one through cedar-birch forests and jaw-dropping ridgelines that is sure to raise your adrenalin levels.

Apart from the above mentioned places, the other Himalayan towns that offer memorable and thrilling skiing experience include Pahalgam, Kufri, Narkanda, Solang Valley, Tawang, Yumthang Valley, among others.
Have you been to the Great Himalayas for skiing or snowboarding? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!

Ask any 20-something about what they cherish the most and see them talk lovingly about weekends. Yes, weekends are truly the best! From extroverts who love to socialise with just about everyone to introverts who prefer to stay back in the familiar comfort of their home, weekends are fervently awaited by each of us. They are after all the only two days in a week when we can ignore work-related mails and focus on ourselves and our loved ones. It is that magical period of time which makes us feel that we were not born to just work, pay taxes and leave the world without having lived at all. Whatever our idea of a good time may include, a weekend is when we indulge ourselves in what we love.

Don’t know about you, but 2016 was amazing for me. I started the year with a bang, and that’s how it ended. Doesn’t it feel great when everything falls into place and all your dreams are realised just as you wanted them?! I hope it does not sound like I am bragging, but I get excited just thinking about it. Some moments that I had been longing for ever since I can remember, happened in the past few months. Here is an account of things that I checked off my bucket list this year:

What goes in your mind, when you read about someone else’s adventurous trekking expedition, especially in the Himalayas? Do you hear an inner calling? Does your heart and mind tell you that someday, you too should do this? Then, what is stopping you? Every year, thousands of amateur trekkers go on their first expedition into the Himalayas. All that one requires is a basic physical fitness level, necessary trekking equipment, a bit of mental strength and loads of zeal. We have listed down a few trekking trails in the Himalayas that are perfect for beginners like you. Read on to know about them so that you can start planning your impending desire to trek in the Himalayas.

Bestowed with dense forests and charming tea gardens, the town attracts thousands of tourists round the year, not just from parts of India but abroad as well. A place that promises a perfect escape from the hustle bustle of the city, the town of Bir offers numerous outdoor activities and thrilling sports; thus making it equally popular among tranquillity seekers, adventurous souls and nature lovers.

Whenever I ask someone if they like winters, most answer me in the negative. And I think it is justified to some extent as the season, especially in North India, brings with it coldness, smog (not fog or mist) and sometimes strong and chilly winds. The sun seldom shines, and most of the times it does, it is shadowed by the light haze, which sometimes persists for many days. At least, this is what happens in Delhi. I have been patient up till now, letting winters pass as I lay curled up in a blanket or underneath layers of clothes, but no more. Enough is enough, I say. Let us get up and go out there  even in the season, when everything seems gloomy.

Contrary to our belief, winters, and specifically winters in India, are not a cause for that much worry. Compare the season in our country to some other places like the Baltic, Siberia and northern Canada, where nothing grows and temperatures of –40 degree Celsius are regular. Does any such thing happen here? No, right? Winters here are much more bearable, and we still cry about the season being too cold. And, what if it is cold?! We have thermals and woollens. So, let us put them on and head out so we can live life to the fullest, leaving the so-assumed dullness of the season behind.

Here is a description of what you could do and see in the country during the winter season.

Visit the Hill Stations of the North
India has no dearth of hill stations, and these are the kind of places I love the most. Nainital, Srinagar, Shimla, Dalhousie, Munsiyari, Manali, there are so many in the Himalayas. All these lie between elevations of 5000 feet and 10000 feet, making them ideal for a relaxed vacation. It snows in all these places, but not as much as it does higher up in the mountains. For me, this is the perfect altitude range to have fun and not be frozen by the cold. All these places have coniferous trees that are all covered with snow. I just love such sights; it is the quintessential mountain scene.

Manali Leh Highway during winters
Manali Leh Highway during winters

You could walk around the towns, admiring the vistas, and visit the popular places of interest there. Also, remember to try some local delicacies that would make your experience even better. If you go during Christmas, there may be some celebrations going on, especially on the Mall Road of Shimla, where the famous Christ Church is located. The Dal Lake in Srinagar is completely frozen during the season, resulting in an astonishing sight. Another such scene to admire would be of fresh snow, falling on the waters of Naini Lake as you take a walk on the quiet Thandi Sadak.

Go Trekking
Aah…trekking, a good way to explore mountains and be close to nature. Most consider trekking as a summer activity, and rightly so as the paths are clear then. But those, with an adventurous soul, can also try hiking in winters, when the landscape would be white with snow. There are numerous sites within the Himalayas, to where trekking tours are organised in the winter season. While no trek would be easy in winters, they all promise loads of thrill; is it not why we would trek in snowy conditions? For the challenge? Some of the places you could trek to in the Himalayas in winters are Naggar, Brahma Tal, Dalhousie, Kasol, Kheerganga, Tirthan Valley, Triund, Kedarkantha, Prashar Lake, Tungnath, Chandrashila, Kuari Pass and Indrahar Pass.

Winter trekking has its own charms
Winter trekking has its own charms

For those of you, who cannot summon the strength and courage to go trekking in snow, there are loads of hiking trails in the Western Ghats as well, where the cold will be nowhere as much as in the Himalayas. Even in the height of winters, the weather here remains cool and pleasant. The hills are not even as rugged as the Himalayas, making it is easier to hike here. So, if you are considering this option, you can go on a trekking tour to Mullayanagiri, Antaragange, Durga Hill, Ramanagara and Kodachadri.

Explore the Northeast
If you want to see primitive cultures and learn about warring peoples, then the north-eastern part of India is perfect as it is home to hordes of tribes. The summers here can be quite warm, and the rains are like a pestilence; hence, the winter season is perfect to come here. There is so much to see and do in the region that one trip will never be enough. Among the best things to do in the Northeast is taking a walk through the lush tea plantations of Assam and learning about the different types of teas produced in the state. A mystical place in Assam is the village of Mayong, where a large number of occultists, who claim to have spells to cure various diseases, live.

Sikkim during winters
Sikkim during winters

I’m personally planning to head to Meghalaya to explore astonishing caves, many of which have a river. But, what I’m most interested in is trekking to a Living Root Bridge that the locals make by letting the branches of rubber trees entwine around the trunks of betel nut trees. Nagaland is where I would be heading in order to meet the indigenous and eponymous Naga people, who have a rich warring culture. One great way would be to take trips to villages deep in the hills for a chance to stay with the tribesmen and get a first-hand look at their customs. If you don’t have that much time, then do attend the Hornbill Festival in December, where people from all Naga tribes display their dances, music, customs and food.

For those, who want to learn about the Buddhist faith, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim are the best places to visit in Northeast India. There are so many monasteries or gompas in these states like those in Tawang, Rumtek, Taktsang (different from the one in Bhutan), Urgelling, Bomdila, Pemayangtse and Phodang. Natural ponds like Sangetsar Lake in Arunachal Pradesh and Tsomgo Lake in Sikkim, and the town of Lachung in Arunachal Pradesh are also great destinations to explore in winters. The town, with snow-covered spruce trees, and typical mountain homes with sloping roofs, might remind you of a hamlet from a fairytale; it is that pretty!

Dare to go to Ladakh
Ladakh, the northernmost region of India, is arguably one of the best places for an adventure lover. Only the bravest venture there in winters as the season is characterised by heavy snowfall and freezing temperatures for 4-5 months at a stretch. Just reading about it gave me shivers, but I am determined to push myself to the limit, let me see what I’m made of. Though Ladakh is a summer destination, it is so famous around the world that it gets clogged with tourists during this time also. If you want a quiet retreat and desire to come face to face with its true magnificence, then winters are perfect for a visit.

Chadar Trek
Chadar Trek

The essential thing to do here during the season is the famous Chadar Trek on the frozen Zanskar River. It takes you past numerous frozen waterfalls and lets you spend a night in a cave.  You could either head to Naerak Pullu and head back to Chilling or go all the way to Lingshed, tracing the ancient route, taken by the locals of Lingshed to transport wooden logs to Leh, every year. There are so many monasteries here; many built on hills overlooking rivers. As the entire landscape would be covered in snow, the monasteries would look amazing, like something right out of Peter Jackson’s Middle Earth movies.  

Try Skiing
One reason, which is desperately making me wait for the arrival of winters, is so I can go skiing. I just love watching people come down snow-covered slopes on skis, twisting right and left. I had followed the recent Winter Olympics religiously and am now determined to do it at least once. I earlier thought that the sport is only tried in places like the Rockies and Alps, but to my pleasant surprise, the Himalayas have no dearth of ski resorts. There are so many I could pick from; Gulmarg, Kufri, Narkanda, Solang Valley and Auli. Another plus about trying skiing is that many ski tops are reached by cable cars, something I really want to ride. As all these are popular destinations, they are well connected to major cities and towns; therefore, reaching them is not a problem.

Auli Skiing
Auli Skiing

Go on Wildlife Safaris
The incredible geographical diversity of the country blesses it with an astonishing variety of animals. As the summers are quite warm and monsoons are a strict no-no for tourism in national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, winters give you the perfect chance to see India’s biodiversity. Head up North to see animals like Himalayan wolves, Tibetan wolves, black bears, Himalayan brown bears, Himalayan tahrs, bharal and yak. If you go to the Spiti Valley or Hemis National Park, then get a chance to spot the snow leopard, the Himalayas’ most celebrated predator. Peninsular India, on the other hand, is known for its wide distribution of tigers, ranging from Jim Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand all the way to Eravikulam National Park in Kerala, which is also home to the Nilgiri tahr.

Sunderbans
Sunderbans

Gir Forest in Gujarat, the only home of the majestic Asiatic lion, is another must visit. If you, by any chance, like snakes (like me), then I suggest you head to the forests of Agumbe in Karnataka. Winters are when migratory birds come to India, and the Rann of Kutch, Keoladeo National Park, Chilika Lake and Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary are the best places to see them.

With so much to do and see, winters will never seem boring to you again. I for one have always loved the season for this particular reason. So, wait no more. Welcome winters with a smile, and pack your bags for a wonderful time.

Reading has always been my most favourite thing to do. I remember reading with a torch inside the sheet, way past my bedtime as a kid. Even today, no matter how busy I am in life, I never go to sleep without a book. And when someone reads as much as I do, it becomes impossible for them to not want to travel. In my experience, all my bookworm friends, (that is quite literally all my friends) are fond of travelling. The inverse might not be true; all travellers may not be readers, but trust me when I say that almost all readers are travellers and backpackers. When we read something, our mind creates images of those things side by side and therefore all these years of reading about faraway places has awakened a side of me that craves adventures in unknown places. Though I have not travelled as much as I would like to, owing to demands of school and work, whenever I can squeeze out a break of a few days, I totally go for it. And when I do get to travel, I almost always find myself planning a trip to the mountains.

One of my very first getaways to the mountains was in Manali. It was the second year of my college, and I was just getting used to my new-found freedom! So three of my buddies and I decided to spend a few days of our semester-end break doing nothing, but travelling. It is important to mention that since we were quite young and inexperienced, we chose a destination closer to home and Himachal Pradesh was as far as we could have gone from Delhi at that time. Nonetheless, it was a dream-come-true for all of us as this was our first vacation ever without the constant restrictions imposed by our parents! Upon reaching Manali and spending two days in sightseeing and clicking thousands of pictures, we started to look for something else, something more adventurous to do. And when you are in the mountains for the first time, there is nothing better than trekking to give you that sweet taste of adrenaline. Dev Roopa trek’s surreal beauty helped us zero in on the destination and what came then is still etched in my memory.

Read on to know more about this trek on which nature presents itself clad in its finest of attires.

Don’t you just hate it when it is September and raining continuously, and you cannot do anything, but sit stupidly at home? Well, I do and I am about to get really sick of it. I want to go out, damn it! And, I will. Who cares if it is raining and what if we get a little wet?! At least we will have some fun. So, here is the formula! Let’s just brave the rains and head out wherever our desire takes us. Now, for a long time, my mind has been fixed on trekking. Most people, I talked to on this front, told me that trekking should not be done in the monsoon. They said that the path will be slippery, there might be a danger of landslides and that the weather will be horribly humid. But, I have a habit of doing things, I know I am not supposed to. This is the whole point of adventure and thrill, isn’t it?

So, to satisfy my thirst for ‘insanity’, I sat on my laptop, searching for what all treks I could go for in September when the rains are at their heaviest. To my amazement, there were others like me, who had already done something like this and uploaded accounts of their experience. They had all written about how nature was at its prettiest during the wet season and how the grass was tall, dense and green everywhere they looked. What I liked the most, reading their accounts, was having clouds literally on one’s face and getting the chance to walk through them. There were numerous hikes I read about, but there were a few that really caught my attention.

The ones, I am detailing in the following sections, are all in the moderate-to-high altitude (11000-20000 feet) category. Places below 11000 feet altitude are your regular hill stations, and you don’t need September to visit them; these are essentially summer or winter destinations. At the above-mentioned altitude range, summers are characterised by snow, which has only started melting. It is only in the rainy season that it disappears and the real beauty of the place is unveiled. Keeping this in mind, I have specifically chosen the best treks in September. Read on.

The scenery of sky-piercing mountains, with a radiant sun shining in the backdrop, only soothes one’s soul. The view makes you forget every little stress of your hectic life and brings you immense peace. For such an experience, you do not have to travel too far. A flight or drive towards north, and you are here. I am talking about, of course, the eternally serene and surreally beautiful Spiti Valley. If you don’t trust me, and why should you, you haven’t even met me, will you take a respected novelist and poet’s word? Rudyard Kipling, the English writer, said the following words about the majestic place: “…a world within a world” and a place where the gods live.” Of course, this was a long time ago, about hundred years, but the place hasn’t changed since. It is still drenched in that same elegance as during that time. It is almost like none of the advancements in the rest of the world, or any person, place or thing have been able to touch and influence its tranquillity.

“Chasing angels or fleeing demons, go to the mountains”. This famous quote by Jeffrey Rasley explains my situation right now! For some, mountains is just an escape for a while, but for me, it feels like home. Whenever I am bored with the city life, and the pollution takes a toll on me, I head to the mountains! I have always loved mountains. I read about Chandratal a few years back, and from that moment on it’s always been on top in my bucket list. Nothing can be more soothing and rewarding than admiring the bounties of nature and that too by doing a trek to a place which is still unaffected by the ever-increasing endeavours of human beings.

Even being a travel aficionado and an avid blogger, until recently, I didn’t get a chance to see the beautiful (a relatively modest adjective) Chandratal lake. Probably even now, the thought of visiting it would not have crossed my mind, had a colleague, who is an achiever when it comes to visiting some of the highest lakes and glaciers in the world, not mentioned it.

Everyone in their right minds would want their life to be peaceful, rather than full of turmoil. Some take to meditation, some shut themselves from the world, some perform yoga, some look to religion and some resort to travelling like a nomad. If you are indeed thinking of heading out in search of inner peace, alone or with a group, then you do not have to go too far. There are places within our “great country”, where you can be immersed in utter serenity, with nothing troubling you. You guessed it, such places are far from the city. Isolated from modern civilisation, these places are mostly in the mountains.

My personal choice for finding peace has been to head to the Spiti Valley and the adjoining Lahaul region, in Himachal Pradesh. Its significance for serenity seekers is twofold: there is nothing here except for untouched nature all around, and Buddhism pervades through it. When you combine these two aspects, you know you will never have to go anyplace else to find peace and may be even yourself. Peace, you can find at a plethora of Buddhist monasteries, called “gompa” in the local language, that are mostly perched atop mountains, making for a spectacular view. If you have seen Lord of the Rings, then these would look to you like the White Castle of Minas Tirith. Keep reading to learn about the gompas in the region. These alluring monasteries of Spiti Valley will surely leave you astonished!

The three months of monsoon with heavy rains and humidity are the most irritating time of the year, especially if you stay in those polluted cities. Before you can dry yourself with a towel after bathing, the humidity and sweat negates everything. You don’t feel like going out because the roads are all flooded as are parks and grounds. I always get the urge to leave home and go some place, where rains can be enjoyable. You will never believe what I found on the internet while searching for ways to spend the monsoon away from all the fuss. I found that I could go trekking in the Himalayas! Now, many believe that trekking is not a monsoon activity, but there are several hikes in the Himalayan Region that are specially meant for the rainy season. So, keep reading to learn about some incredible places you can trek to if you want to escape the fussy rains. Explore these monsoon treks in the Himalayas and take an experience of a lifetime!

Hampta Pass – Himachal Pradesh
A moderate level hike with a maximum altitude of around 14000 feet, it will take you to a surreal meadow with snow-capped peaks in the background and colourful flowers on the valley bed. Increase the fun by trekking further to Chandratal.

Best off-beat Himalayan Treks

The Scottish-American writer, John Muir once said, “The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.”

And man, was he right! What could be a better way for people like us to get close to nature than getting lost in the forests! Truthfully, there’s not much of true nature left around us. Humans have gone everywhere; they have taken over nature and established their empire. Today, sky-piercing towers make the skyline, and bustling, over-crowded metropolises, dominate the landscape. Sometimes, it even gets hard to find a lush public park in cities.

To come across the true bounties of nature, I suggest you go on a trek. And, to find nature, you do not even have to go far to any international destination. The Himalayas in the North and Northeast, and the Western Ghats in the South are perfect for trekkers. From easy hikes that are almost like a walk in the park to some demanding ones that require you to utilise every muscle in your body, all kinds of trekking excursions are possible here.

Roopkund, Har Ki Doon, Goecha La, Beas Kund and Nag Tibba are some of the most taken trekking trails in India. However, if you are one of those, who like to, as our favourite Star Trek character, Captain Kirk, says, “Boldly go where no man has gone before”, then the following are some treks you can consider for your next excursion. I suggest that you try at least a few of these in 2016 itself! Life is too short to be delaying such amazing experiences for the future.

The Himalayas is one wonder of nature that has intrigued us since time immemorial. Its high snow-clad mountains, rich flora and fauna, and scenic beauty have enchanted one and all. But in all this, we have somehow missed another wonderful aspect of it – its people. So, read on and find out more about the people living in the Himalayas, their history, faith, occupations and living conditions.

Know more about Trekking in the Himalayas

The Great Himalayan Story
The mighty Himalayas rise beyond the Indo-Gangetic plain of Northern India, extending through the Indian states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand to Northeast India, Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan. This entire range of the Himalayan Mountains serves as home to more than 50 million people, with another 450 million settled at the base of it. And this entire population flourishes on the resources that flow from the Himalayas.

Today, the Himalayan population can be classified into three ethnic types, namely Aryans, Mongoloids and Negroids. But the truth about its original inhabitants is still a point of debate. There is a belief that the first settlement in the Himalayas began in 1500 BC when a warrior tribe called Khasa migrated to its western range. This was followed by the migration of Tibeto-Burman people from Southeast Asia to the eastern and central Himalayas in the early part of the millennia. These people were called the Kiratas. However, if one takes into account the Hindu epics and Puranas, then it is deduced that the native inhabitants of the Himalayan region were the Kinnars, Kiratas, Kulinds and Kilinds, with later migration of the Darads and Khasas.