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 7.0 | 4 votes | No 5. 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
More opinions…

Trails

Regions

Mountains

Books

The Book Depository
United Kingdom
2010
  • Indian Himalaya Trekking Guide - Maps 2010
  • Ce guide unique des montagnes de l''Himalaya indien, avec description et carte détaillée de 22 circuits de trekking, contient les informations nécessaires pour chaque niveau, du débutant au professionnel chevronné.La découverte de 10 régions (avec carte à l'échelle de 1/350... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • De Zwerver, Netherlands
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De Zwerver
Netherlands
2010
  • Wandelgids Trekking Guide Indian Himalaya | TerraQuest
  • Ce guide unique des montagnes de l''Himalaya indien, avec description et carte détaillée de 22 circuits de trekking, contient les informations nécessaires pour chaque niveau, du débutant au professionnel chevronné.La découverte de 10 régions (avec carte à l'échelle de 1/350... Read more
» Click to close
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Singapore Lost Guides: A Unique, Stylish and Offbeat Travel Guide
  • `Lost Guides – Singapore` is a unique, stylish and offbeat travel guidebook to Singapore. Featuring over 120 of the most special spots in Singapore, from cool coffee shops and fabulous food (local and contemporary) to authentic Asian art galleries and wild nature walks. The book also includes interviews with local creatives, and pieces of local... Read more
Bol.com
Netherlands
2012
  • Xinjiang
  • The enormous area now known as China's Xinjiang Province came to prominence with the rise of the Silk Road two millennia ago. For centuries its nomadic peoples and city-states were subject to both religious and economic influences from India, Greece, Persia and of course China, resulting in a land rich with archaeological and cultural... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • Bol.com, Belgium
  • De Zwerver, Netherlands
» Click to open
Bol.com
Belgium
2012
  • Xinjiang
  • The enormous area now known as China's Xinjiang Province came to prominence with the rise of the Silk Road two millennia ago. For centuries its nomadic peoples and city-states were subject to both religious and economic influences from India, Greece, Persia and of course China, resulting in a land rich with archaeological and cultural... Read more
De Zwerver
Netherlands
2012
  • Reisgids Xinjiang | Odyssey
  • Een rijk geïllustreerde gids over het noordwestelijke deel van China. Veel nadruk op de geschiedenis en bezienswaardigheden, maar ook een hoofdstuk over bijvoorbeeld het nut van paarden in die omgeving of het raadsel van het wandelende meer. A brand-new cultural and historical guide to China's westernmost region that explores both well-traveled... Read more
» Click to close
De Zwerver
Netherlands
2011
  • Reisgids - Emigratiegids Living Abroad India | Moon Travel Guides
  • India expert Margot Bigg has made the move to India herself, and in Moon Living Abroad in India, she uses her know-how to provide insight and firsthand advice on navigating the language and culture of this complex country. Bigg outlines all the information you need in a smart, organized, and straightforward manner, making planning the move... Read more
Bol.com
Netherlands
  • Indian Steam in the 1970s
  • In 1978, when the country began a major modernisation programme, there were still 5,000 steam locomotives active on the Indian railway, including some dating from as far back as the early twentieth century and the nineteenth century. Taking in the variety of breath-taking landscapes and climates India has to offer, from the heat of Madras to... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • Bol.com, Belgium
» Click to open
Bol.com
Belgium
  • Indian Steam in the 1970s
  • In 1978, when the country began a major modernisation programme, there were still 5,000 steam locomotives active on the Indian railway, including some dating from as far back as the early twentieth century and the nineteenth century. Taking in the variety of breath-taking landscapes and climates India has to offer, from the heat of Madras to... Read more
» Click to close
Bol.com
Netherlands
  • Travelling Rough on the Hippie Trail
  • In 1967 Asta lives in Sydney's Kings Cross, famous for strip clubs, gambling dens, artists and beatniks. After a failed relationship she drops out of her office job, joins a band led by an Aborigine blues singer and is introduced to LSD by a mysterious older man at a teenage party.When she meets her new partner they decide toseek ‘spiritual... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • Bol.com, Belgium
» Click to open
Bol.com
Belgium
  • Travelling Rough on the Hippie Trail
  • In 1967 Asta lives in Sydney's Kings Cross, famous for strip clubs, gambling dens, artists and beatniks. After a failed relationship she drops out of her office job, joins a band led by an Aborigine blues singer and is introduced to LSD by a mysterious older man at a teenage party.When she meets her new partner they decide toseek ‘spiritual... Read more
» Click to close
De Zwerver
Netherlands
2018
  • Reisgids Dominicus India | Gottmer
  • Gids met adequate beschrijvingen van wat een land of gebied te bieden heeft voor de toerist, zonder te blijven steken bij de meest voor de hand liggende trekpleisters. Incl. plattegrondjes, illustraties en praktische tips. India staat als toeristische bestemming al jaren in de belangstelling van westerse reizigers. En terecht, want het land is... Read more
Bol.com
Netherlands
  • Adventures in India
  • This colorful, photo-filled children's book will walk you through the largest religious festival in the world, the Maha Kumbh Mela. Read more
  • Also available from:
  • Bol.com, Belgium
» Click to open
Bol.com
Belgium
  • Adventures in India
  • This colorful, photo-filled children's book will walk you through the largest religious festival in the world, the Maha Kumbh Mela. Read more
» Click to close
Stanfords
United Kingdom
2019
  • DK Eyewitness Travel Guide India
  • Your journey starts here. Featuring DK`s much-loved maps and illustrations, walks and information, plus all new, full-colour photography, this 100% updated guide to India brings you the best of this truly incredible country in a brand-new, lightweight format.- full-colour photography, hand-drawn illustrations, and maps throughout-... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • De Zwerver, Netherlands
» Click to open
De Zwerver
Netherlands
2019
  • Reisgids Eyewitness Travel India | Dorling Kindersley
  • Your journey starts here. Featuring DK`s much-loved maps and illustrations, walks and information, plus all new, full-colour photography, this 100% updated guide to India brings you the best of this truly incredible country in a brand-new, lightweight format.What`s inside? - full-colour photography, hand-drawn illustrations, and maps... Read more
» Click to close
Bol.com
Netherlands
  • My Life on the Road
  • "Gloria Steinem had an itinerant childhood. Every fall, her father would pack the family into the car and they would drive across the country, in search of their next adventure. The seeds were planted: Steinem would spend much of her life on the road, as a journalist, organizer, activist, and speaker. In vivid stories that span an entire... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • Bol.com, Belgium
» Click to open
Bol.com
Belgium
  • My Life on the Road
  • "Gloria Steinem had an itinerant childhood. Every fall, her father would pack the family into the car and they would drive across the country, in search of their next adventure. The seeds were planted: Steinem would spend much of her life on the road, as a journalist, organizer, activist, and speaker. In vivid stories that span an entire... Read more
» Click to close
Bol.com
Netherlands
  • Translating India
  • The cultural universe of urban, English-speaking middle class in India shows signs of growing inclusiveness as far as English is concerned. This phenomenon manifests itself in increasing forms of bilingualism (combination of English and one Indian language) in everyday forms of speech - advertisement jingles, bilingual movies, signboards, and... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • Bol.com, Belgium
» Click to open
Bol.com
Belgium
  • Translating India
  • The cultural universe of urban, English-speaking middle class in India shows signs of growing inclusiveness as far as English is concerned. This phenomenon manifests itself in increasing forms of bilingualism (combination of English and one Indian language) in everyday forms of speech - advertisement jingles, bilingual movies, signboards, and... Read more
» Click to close
Bol.com
Netherlands
1998
  • Garhwal and Kumaon
  • A guidebook to trekking in the Garhwal and Kumaon regions of the Himalayas of northern India. Garhwal and Kumaon, known together as Uttarakhand, are the mountain regions of Uttar Pradesh in India, bordering Nepal and Tibet. They are situated almost at the centre of the great Himalayan chain with more than 250 peaks above 5500m high, culminating... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • Bol.com, Belgium
» Click to open
Bol.com
Belgium
1998
  • Garhwal and Kumaon
  • A guidebook to trekking in the Garhwal and Kumaon regions of the Himalayas of northern India. Garhwal and Kumaon, known together as Uttarakhand, are the mountain regions of Uttar Pradesh in India, bordering Nepal and Tibet. They are situated almost at the centre of the great Himalayan chain with more than 250 peaks above 5500m high, culminating... Read more
» Click to close
Bol.com
Netherlands
  • Also available from:
  • Bol.com, Belgium
» Click to open
Bol.com
Belgium
» Click to close
De Zwerver
Netherlands
2012
  • Reisgids Kunstreiseführer Rajasthan und Gujarat | Dumont
  • Wenn es ein Paradies auf Erden gibt, dann ist es hier, dann ist es hier, dann ist es hier. So steht es geschrieben über den Bögen der privaten Audienzhalle des Roten Forts in Delhi. Dabei zählen die beiden nordwestindischen Bundesstaaten Rajasthan und Gujarat zu den klimatisch unwirtlichsten Gegenden des Landes. Dennoch blicken sie auf eine... Read more
Bol.com
Netherlands
  • The Prince of India (Volume 2)
  • The final volume of Wallace’s, The Prince of India. The protagonist of this novel is “The Wandering Shoemaker” a figure from medieval Christian folklore whose legend began to spread in Europe in the 13th century. The original legend concerns a Jew who taunted Jesus on the way to the Crucifixion and was then cursed to walk the earth until the... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • Bol.com, Belgium
» Click to open
Bol.com
Belgium
  • The Prince of India (Volume 2)
  • The final volume of Wallace’s, The Prince of India. The protagonist of this novel is “The Wandering Shoemaker” a figure from medieval Christian folklore whose legend began to spread in Europe in the 13th century. The original legend concerns a Jew who taunted Jesus on the way to the Crucifixion and was then cursed to walk the earth until the... Read more
» Click to close
More books…

Maps

Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Singapore & Malay Peninsula 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
De Zwerver
Netherlands
De Zwerver
Netherlands
De Zwerver
Netherlands
De Zwerver
Netherlands
  • Wegenkaart - landkaart India Zuid | Borch
  • India South 1 : 3 000 000 ab 9.9 EURO Einzelkarten: India South 1:3 000 000, Mumbai 1:30 000, Kolkata 1:30 000, Chennai 1:30 000, Hyderabad 1:30 000, Bengaluru 1:30 000, Old Goa 1:15 000, Madurai 1:30 000, Thiruvananthapuram 1:30 000, Hampi 1:30 000, Kochi 1:30 000, India administrative and time zones Borch Map. 3. Auflage Read more
De Zwerver
Netherlands
2008
De Zwerver
Netherlands
De Zwerver
Netherlands
De Zwerver
Netherlands
De Zwerver
Netherlands
De Zwerver
Netherlands
De Zwerver
Netherlands
2009
More maps…

Walking holidays

Snp Wandelreizen
Netherlands
  • India - Ladakh
  • In het noorden van India, tegen de Tibetaanse en Pakistaanse grens, ligt het afgelegen berggebied Ladakh, bekend om zijn bijzondere maanlandschap. Na acclimatisatie in het hooggelegen Leh maak je een unieke 4-daagse trektocht aan de rand van de Indus vallei. Onderweg zie je prachtig gekleurde rotswanden, felgroene oases van gerstakkers en... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • Snp Wandelreizen, Netherlands
» Click to open
Snp Wandelreizen
Netherlands
  • India - Ladakh
  • In het noorden van Ladakh, tegen de Tibetaanse en Pakistaanse grens, ligt de afgelegen en nog maar weinig bezochte vallei van de Shayok. Na acclimatisatie in het hooggelegen Leh maken we een unieke 7-daagse kampeertrekking van de Indus naar de Shayok vallei, die we vervolgens vanuit een aantal fraaie resorts gaan verkennen. Onderweg zien we... Read more
» Click to close
More walking holidays…

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