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
  • Alan Stoob: Nazi Hunter: A Comic Novel
  • Alan Stoob, hero of this hilarious novel has been described as a new member of the great pantheon of British comic characters - genus awkward old bastard - that already includes Mr Micawber, Mr Pooter and Captain Mainwairing. Originally a Twitter sensation, whose fans include India Knight and Dara O`Brien, he now walks the pages of this book... Read more
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
Bol.com
Netherlands
2018
  • Rough Guide - South India and Kerala
  • One of the world's most exciting destinations, South India and Kerala offers majestic temples, exotic wildlife, spectacular festivals and thousands of kilometres of tropical coastline. Written by Rough Guides' team of India experts, this brand-new Rough Guide offers the best blend of critical reviews, in-depth background and tell-it-like it is... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • Bol.com, Belgium
» Click to open
Bol.com
Belgium
2018
  • Rough Guide - South India and Kerala
  • One of the world's most exciting destinations, South India and Kerala offers majestic temples, exotic wildlife, spectacular festivals and thousands of kilometres of tropical coastline. Written by Rough Guides' team of India experts, this brand-new Rough Guide offers the best blend of critical reviews, in-depth background and tell-it-like it is... Read more
» Click to close
Bol.com
Netherlands
  • Kaleidoscope City
  • Piers Moore Ede first fell in love with Varanasi when he passed through it on his way to Nepal. In the decade that followed, it continued to exert its pull on him and so he returned there to live - to discover what it is that makes the spiritual capital of India so unique. In this intoxicating city, where funeral pyres smoulder beside the river... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • Bol.com, Belgium
» Click to open
Bol.com
Belgium
  • Kaleidoscope City
  • Piers Moore Ede first fell in love with Varanasi when he passed through it on his way to Nepal. In the decade that followed, it continued to exert its pull on him and so he returned there to live - to discover what it is that makes the spiritual capital of India so unique. In this intoxicating city, where funeral pyres smoulder beside the river... Read more
» Click to close
Bol.com
Netherlands
  • Angkor Wat Temples
  • Cambodia, a hidden pearl ready to be discovered, lies in Southeast Asia, bordering Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam. To the south, hundreds of miles of coastline greet the never-ending surge and swells of the South China Sea, providing a paradise of surf, sand, and sun for the country's two million visitors. The Kingdom of Cambodia (its official... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • Bol.com, Belgium
» Click to open
Bol.com
Belgium
  • Angkor Wat Temples
  • Cambodia, a hidden pearl ready to be discovered, lies in Southeast Asia, bordering Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam. To the south, hundreds of miles of coastline greet the never-ending surge and swells of the South China Sea, providing a paradise of surf, sand, and sun for the country's two million visitors. The Kingdom of Cambodia (its official... 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
  • India as I See It; A Soldier's View
  • In the course of serving for 26 years in the Indian Army, covering the length and breadth of the nation starting the 19th year of my life (I had left Engineering to join NDA), I hadn’t realized that my idea of India could be so very different from the real India. Though not oblivious to the socio-political conditions in the country, yet, I was... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • Bol.com, Belgium
» Click to open
Bol.com
Belgium
  • India as I See It; A Soldier's View
  • In the course of serving for 26 years in the Indian Army, covering the length and breadth of the nation starting the 19th year of my life (I had left Engineering to join NDA), I hadn’t realized that my idea of India could be so very different from the real India. Though not oblivious to the socio-political conditions in the country, yet, I was... Read more
» Click to close
De Zwerver
Netherlands
2016
  • Reisgids Handbook Kerala | Footprint
  • Footprint Handbook is een engelstalige praktische reisgids voor alle leeftijden, boordevol informatie over accommodatie van middenklasse tot luxe en plaatsbeschrijvingen. Kenmerk: brede culturele en achtergrondinformatie, bondig geschreven. Take a rice boat tour of Kerala's lyrical backwaters; endlessly intersecting rivers, streams and lagoons... Read more
Bol.com
Netherlands
  • The Mental Preparation of Fencers and Others
  • Here is an extraordinary book that every serious fencer needs to read over and over, because each reading will bring new insights. It delivers what it promises - a path toward preparation for competition and ultimately for life itself. Dr. Kogler combines the best of a wide variety of disciplines ancient and modern. His insights range back... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • Bol.com, Belgium
» Click to open
Bol.com
Belgium
  • The Mental Preparation of Fencers and Others
  • Here is an extraordinary book that every serious fencer needs to read over and over, because each reading will bring new insights. It delivers what it promises - a path toward preparation for competition and ultimately for life itself. Dr. Kogler combines the best of a wide variety of disciplines ancient and modern. His insights range back... Read more
» Click to close
Bol.com
Netherlands
2016
  • India
  • India strikes its visitor with a sensory, intellectual, spiritual and philosophical assault that's unmatched by any other place on earth: this subcontinent's sheer diversity is staggering. Footprint's 19th edition India Handbook will guide you from tropical beach paradises and lush backwaters, to forests where elephants roam and foothills clad... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • Bol.com, Belgium
  • De Zwerver, Netherlands
» Click to open
Bol.com
Belgium
2016
  • India
  • India strikes its visitor with a sensory, intellectual, spiritual and philosophical assault that's unmatched by any other place on earth: this subcontinent's sheer diversity is staggering. Footprint's 19th edition India Handbook will guide you from tropical beach paradises and lush backwaters, to forests where elephants roam and foothills clad... Read more
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
» Click to close
Bol.com
Netherlands
  • Ignited Quotes of Dr Apj Abdul Kalam
  • This book, written after the demise of the missile man of India, is intended to showcase the wise words of Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. During this occasion, when we are sharing the grief, this book filled with his quotations may ignite his memories and works as a fuel inside each one of us to walk towards national success. Without him we are... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • Bol.com, Belgium
» Click to open
Bol.com
Belgium
  • Ignited Quotes of Dr Apj Abdul Kalam
  • This book, written after the demise of the missile man of India, is intended to showcase the wise words of Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. During this occasion, when we are sharing the grief, this book filled with his quotations may ignite his memories and works as a fuel inside each one of us to walk towards national success. Without him we are... Read more
» Click to close
Kompass
Germany
  • DuMont direkt Reiseführer Singapur
  • Als Finanzzentrum, Drehscheibe mit großem Hafen und Handelsplatz ist die südostasiatische Großstadt ein Schmelztiegel verschiedenster Kulturen, in dem sich indische, malaiische und chinesische Traditionen vermischen. Mit den 15 »Direkt-Kapiteln« des Reiseführers von Mischa Loose können Sie sich zwanglos unter die Singapurer mischen, direkt in... Read more
Bol.com
Netherlands
  • Caste - The Unexplored Territories
  • This book is an attempt to present caste in its entirety, especially with reference to India, in a common relationship with life as is its starting point. For the reason that caste is a part of life and if you dissect life to examine it, what you end up examining is not life. 1 THEORIES OF CASTE – A PEEP1.1 Racial Theory: The fact that caste... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • Bol.com, Belgium
» Click to open
Bol.com
Belgium
  • Caste - The Unexplored Territories
  • This book is an attempt to present caste in its entirety, especially with reference to India, in a common relationship with life as is its starting point. For the reason that caste is a part of life and if you dissect life to examine it, what you end up examining is not life. 1 THEORIES OF CASTE – A PEEP1.1 Racial Theory: The fact that caste... Read more
» Click to close
Bol.com
Netherlands
  • 28 Jobs 28 Weeks 28 States
  • Jubanashwa Mishra had spent 28 weeks trying out 28 jobs a challenge that had seen him travel more than 15,000 miles across India. - Daily Mail, UKA bid to tell Indian parents that the stereotypical engineering or medical degree is not every child's dream - Times of IndiaJubanashwa Mishra refuses to be bogged down, instead chooses a path that... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • Bol.com, Belgium
» Click to open
Bol.com
Belgium
  • 28 Jobs 28 Weeks 28 States
  • Jubanashwa Mishra had spent 28 weeks trying out 28 jobs a challenge that had seen him travel more than 15,000 miles across India. - Daily Mail, UKA bid to tell Indian parents that the stereotypical engineering or medical degree is not every child's dream - Times of IndiaJubanashwa Mishra refuses to be bogged down, instead chooses a path that... Read more
» Click to close
Bol.com
Netherlands
  • Ten Thousand Miles Without a Cloud
  • Ten Thousand Miles Without a Cloud is a beautifully written account of Sun Shuyun’s journey to retrace the steps of one of the most popular figures in Chinese history – the monk Xuanzang, who travelled to India searching for true Buddhism. Xuanzang should be known as one of the world's great heroes. His travels across Asia to bring true... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • Bol.com, Belgium
» Click to open
Bol.com
Belgium
  • Ten Thousand Miles Without a Cloud
  • Ten Thousand Miles Without a Cloud is a beautifully written account of Sun Shuyun’s journey to retrace the steps of one of the most popular figures in Chinese history – the monk Xuanzang, who travelled to India searching for true Buddhism. Xuanzang should be known as one of the world's great heroes. His travels across Asia to bring true... Read more
» Click to close
More books…

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
Snp Wandelreizen
Netherlands
  • India - Kerala
  • Met deze fietsvakantie verken je de weelderige Zuid-Indiaanse deelstaat Kerala. Je vindt hier  koele heuvels met theeplantages, uitgestrekte bossen, binnenwateren en witte zandstranden. De reis begint in Kochi, vroeger bekend als Cochin, het perfecte startpunt voor deze betoverende regio. Het koloniale verleden in Kochi is duidelijk herkenbaar... Read more
More walking holidays…

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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