India

Description

India, Zanskar

Immense India, a colorful jigsaw of peoples, cultures, landscapes and climates, is a continent in its own right. The high snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas rise up across the north of the country, to form a natural border with China (Tibet). Also to the north are India's Himalayan neighbour states Nepal and Bhutan. The famous Ganges river and several of its tributaries flow from the Himalayan ranges and then turn east to form the scorchingly hot expanse of the Indo Gangetic Plain. Further south hills rise up again, such as the Aravalli range across arid Rajasthan, and the low Vindhya and Satpura ranges of Central India. Towards the southwest, parallel to the coast, several ranges collectively called the Western Ghats run all the way to India's southern tip. Their humid ridges, covered in sandal wood trees and coffee plantations, rise up well over 1000 m, and occasionally over 2000 m. In the east of India are several lower ranges of mountains and hills, known as the Eastern Ghats.

So what about hiking in India? Is it a popular local pastime? True, many Indians like to escape from the summer heat of the low plains to catch up on some fresh air in one of many hill stations, vestiges of the British colonial era. Yet, to actually set out on a multi-day hike for pleasure appears to be a primarily foreign visitors affair. Exceptions to this rule are the pilgrimages in different parts of India, most notably those in the foothills of the Himalayas, which draw whole families, the old and young alike from all walks of life. Strikingly lively and colorful events, little known by foreigners, and more of a bustling social occasion than a true hike. But then, India is changing too, and hiking is becoming increasingly popular with students and other young people.

For long distance hiking and trekking into the quietude of nature, some parts of India clearly stand out in popularity. First and foremost in the north, there are the relatively accessible western Himalayan ranges of Himachal Pradesh, with valleys such as Kangra, Kullu, Sangla and the more remote and arid Spiti and Lahaul. Altitudes in Himachal Pradesh vary widely, from the 600 m high Shivalik hills to peaks rising up well over 6000 m!

To the southeast of Himachal Pradesh is another attractive hiking and trekking region: Uttarakhand (formerly Uttaranchal), bordering on both Tibet and Nepal. The famous Hindu pilgrimage centers of Haridwar and Rishikesh are main gateway to the Uttarakhand Garhwal Himalaya's. Some lovely and not too difficult high altitude hiking and trekking options here.

Rather less easily accessible are the high altitude valleys of Zanskar and Ladakh, in India's far north. Like neighbouring Spiti and Lahaul (both part of Himachal Pradesh), these are located on the northern flanks of the Great Himalayan range. Sheltered from the monsoon rains, climate here is much more arid. Summers are pleasant and dry, but winters long and harsh.

Towards the southwest of Zanskar and Ladakh, back on the south side of the Greater Himalayan range, are the more populated valleys of Kashmir. A lovely area for hiking, but alas, bordering on Pakistan and currently not safe for foreigners.

Let's travel east now. The Himalayan range continues, and is covered by Nepal and Bhutan. However, squeezed in between these two is the former kingdom of Sikkim, now part of India. A popular area for multi-day treks at medium and high altitudes, and rightly so. For less demanding treks with great views of high peaks like Kanchenjunga (8586 m), set out from Darjeeling, a nearby old hill station surrounded by tea plantations just to the soutwest of Sikkim. Both Sikkim and Darjeeling have a monsoon season, so avoid this and go hiking from late March to May or from late September to early December.

Continue east past Bhutan, and tucked away in the far northeastern corner of India are the Himalayan ranges of Arunachal Pradesh. Although little known or explored as yet, there are some high altitude trekking possibilities here, as well as medium altitude treks through forested valleys and with great views of the snow-capped western Himalayas.

And there are so many places other than the Himalayas to go hiking and trekking in India. Most of India's countless National Parks and Nature Reserves offer guided walking safari's, day-hikes mostly. To name a few other options: Nagaland, Meghalaya, Western Ghats, Nilgiri Hills, Eastern Ghats, Orissa, Munnar Hills, Karnataka, Periyar, and so on.

Opinions

Rate 8.7 | 3 votes | No 3. in Asia
  • sans4u2 April 1984
  • Rate 9
  • Positive its my country.. I like its unity in diversity.. I like its struggle to become a great nation.. I like its spirit. I like its vivid colours.. I like the Himalayas.. I like being an Indian The Himalayas of India are to live for and die for. The magical landscape of ladakh, the sharp rising peaks of the Pir Panjals, The Dhauladhar, The Great Himalayan range are one of the most enlighting place
  • Miguel September 2006
  • Rate 9
  • Positive Great mountain scenery in the Ladakh area (the only one I visited), with few people to be found beyond villages
  • pc22 March 1999
  • Rate 8
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Trails

Regions

Mountains

Books

Stanfords
United Kingdom
2015
  • Lonely Planet Kuala Lumpur Pocket Guide
  • Lonely Planet Pocket Kuala Lumpur is your passport to all the most relevant and up-to-date advice on what to see, what to skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. Gape at the dizzying views from the top of the Petronas Towers, escape from KL`s urban grind to the Forestry Research of Malaysia (FRIM) for a canopy walk, or soak up KL`s British... Read more
Stanfords
United Kingdom
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Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Singapore Lost Guides
  • Lost Guides – Singapore is a unique, stylish and offbeat travel guidebook toSingapore. Featuring over 120 of the most special spots in Singapore, from coolcoffee shops and fabulous food (local and contemporary) to authentic Asian artgalleries and wild nature walks. The book also includes interviews with localcreatives, and pieces of local... Read more
Bol.com
Netherlands
  • The Ivory Trail
  • Talbot Mundy (born William Lancaster Gribbon) (April 23, 1879 – August 5, 1940) was an English writer. He also wrote under the pseudonym Walter Galt. Born in London,at age 16 he ran away from home and began an odyssey in India, Africa, and other parts of the Near and Far East. Mundy spent much of his early life as a "confidence trickster"... Read more
De Zwerver
Netherlands
2016
  • Reisgids Handbook Rajasthan, Delhi en Agra | Footprint
  • Zo mogelijk nog betere gids dan de Lonely Planet. Vol met de praktische informatie over reizen, slapen etc. Goede verwijzingen naar websites en veel mailadressen. Zelfde soort informatie als de Lonely Planet, diepgaander met vooral meer tips in de minder bekende gebieden One of India’s most fascinating states, a region steeped in tradition with... Read more
De Zwerver
Netherlands
2012
De Zwerver
Netherlands
2010
De Zwerver
Netherlands
2016
  • Reisgids Handbook India Handbook | Footprint
  • Zo mogelijk nog betere gids dan de Lonely Planet. Vol met de praktische informatie over reizen, slapen etc. Goede verwijzingen naar websites en veel mailadressen. Zelfde soort informatie als de Lonely Planet, diepgaander met vooral meer tips in de minder bekende gebieden. India strikes its visitor with a sensory, intellectual, spiritual and... Read more
De Zwerver
Netherlands
2014
  • Reisgids Te gast in India | Informatie Verre Reizen
  • India stelt zich open voor nieuw tijdperk Als gevolg van de snelle economische groei vinden er in India momenteel grote veranderingen plaats. Veel jongeren en stedelingen omarmen de moderne westerse invloeden. Maar wat betekent deze ontwikkeling voor de religieuze en culturele tradities? De vernieuwde uitgave TE GAST IN India laat zien wat... Read more
Bol.com
Netherlands
  • Trailing Window
  • Ever since the invention of the locomotive generations of people have been fascinated by railways and its myriad images and sounds, the rhythmic puffing of the steam locomotive, the sound of trains negotiating curves or entering and emerging from tunnels, the sight of smoke billowing out of the chimney of the locomotive forming a cloud over the... Read more
De Zwerver
Netherlands
2014
  • Reisgids Handbook South India - Zuid India | Footprint
  • Een zeer uitvoerige reisgids voor zowel de zelfstandige als de georganiseerde reiziger. Veel informatie, zowel praktisch als over allerhande achtergronden van het land; met o.a. aandacht voor geschiedenis, taal ,flora & fauna en met veel plattegronden. A spellbinding intersection of old and new, South India epitomizes the fascinating and... Read more
De Zwerver
Netherlands
2005
  • Vogelgids Zuid India - Birds of Southern India | Christopher Helm
  • This is an essential reference guide for anyone birding in the southern India region. The colour plates are accompanied by a succint text highlighting identification, voice, habitat, altitudinal range, distribution and status. The text is on facing pages to the plates, for easy reference. Southern India is defined for the purposes of this book... Read more
De Zwerver
Netherlands
2015
  • Reisgids Goa & Mumbai (Bombay) | Lonely Planet
  • De perfecte reisgids voor zowel de georganiseerde als de zelfstandige reiziger. Naast een algemene inleiding van het land / streek vol met praktische informatie over hoe je er het beste kunt reizen: slapen, eten, vervoer, excursies ... alles kun je er in vinden. Engelstalig. Lonely Planet Goa may be small but its legend is large on India’s... Read more
De Zwerver
Netherlands
2016
  • Reisgids India | Rough Guides
  • Zeer goede reisgids voor India, geschikt voor zowel de georganiseerde maar vooral voor de zelfstandige reiziger. Boordevol informatie over reizen, slapen, eten, maar ook musea en cultuur. Uitputtende bron van informatie, veelal nog completer dan de Lonely Planet. Inleidende informatie over land en cultuur is zeer goed. Thoroughly revised and... Read more
Bol.com
Netherlands
  • The Migrant Wanders West
  • Pravin Trivedi is an engineer by nature and established himself as a magnetic recording authority in various disk and tape drive industries in the computer field. He has been a cook’s help, University lecturer, sound recording enthusiast, high school teacher, and now a budding writer.His first book “The Wondering Migrant” traced... Read more
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Maps

Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Singapore ITMB
  • Singapore City on a clear, indexed street plan at 1:10,000 with from ITMB, highlighting numerous places of interest and tourist facilities, plus the Singapore Island shown at 1:100,000 with its road and rail networks.The street plan covers the city’s central districts as indicated in our area coverage image, including the Financial District,... Read more
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Forum

  1. Cancel
  • Seema 2013-03-25 06:06:57
  • Valley of flowers
  • Valley of flowers is one of the most beautiful natural wonder on this earth. Do you know some one organizing treks to valley of flowers. I have come across http://www.valleyofflowers.info. Do any one has ever gone through them to valley of flowers.
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  • bodhichittaindra 2012-05-21 12:35:32
  • Reise in den Himalaya
  • Hallo

    Im Juni 2012 moechte ich in den Himalaya laufen um mehr ueber Tara zu erfahren. Ich Bin Buddhist der Tibetischen "Neuen Kadampa Tradition" und Tara ist mein Deity.

    Da ich beschlossen habe Buddhistischer Moench zu werden, werde ich als Bettelmoench in den Himalaya laufen.

    Wer moechte mitlaufen?


    Liebe Gruesse
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