One thing that India has in abundance is the Himalayan range. A large part of the Himalayas falls under the Indian subcontinent. The Himalayas span across six Indian states namely, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Sikkim, And Arunachal Pradesh.
From dense forests of pine, oak, and deodar to wide green meadows, from glaciers to fast flowing rivers, India has it all. The Himalayas are a biodiversity hotspot too. They provide home to many and shield the people in these areas from the harsh cold winter. Most parts of the Himalayas are not accessible during the winter as there is a huge amount of snow covering them.
India is one country that is on the bucket list of trekkers from around the world. Many trekkers or hikers can often be seen traversing ancient and new Himalayan trails. Trekking in India is not just an adventure, it is a spiritual journey for many. Many Himalayan towns and villages are filled with foreigners these days who stay back for a long time at a stretch to understand the culture and learn about the history of the nation.
There are some winter treks and a large number of summer treks which one can opt for in the Himalayas. From easy to very difficult treks, there is something for everyone in the Himalayas. All kinds of trekkers can enjoy the activity.
Having such a large part of the Himalayas to ourselves gives us a huge opportunity to explore and enjoy the beautiful mountain trails. The trekking industry in India is huge and many locals, as well as big companies, operate in various regions. The recent boost of the adventure activities due to many operators and tourists has been a great opportunity for locals to earn their livelihood.
Most adventure enthusiasts in the country believe that trekking in India is one of the best and most beautiful ways to explore the country and get to know more about its culture.
All Himalayan states offer trekking services and all of them are quite different from one another.
I started my trekking journey with a short three-day trek to Bhrigu Lake, which lies in the beautiful state of Himachal Pradesh. I did the trek with an operator called Bikat Adventures and I must say that I had a heck of a time.
The trek started from the famous tourist town of Manali. I arrived in Manali a day prior to the trek and explored the local markets and went to the Solang valley to indulge in adventure activities like paragliding and skiing.
Finally, the day arrived when we had to start the trek. We drove from Manali to Gulaba which is the starting point of the trek. It was a two-hour drive full of scenic views. On reaching Gulaba, we started the trek. As we started walking, we found ourselves in dense forests and green meadows. Leaving Manali behind, we kept moving ahead with Hanuman Tibba and the Seven Sister peaks right in front of us. After crossing a nallah, we reached our first campsite – Rola Kholi. This ideal campsite has a stream flowing nearby and offers the most stupendous views. I couldn’t sleep that day out of sheer excitement to start the next day’s hike.
The day started in the early hours of the morning. We started the day’s hike and soon we were walking on a sheet of white. The snow sparkled like diamonds underneath our feet and I truly felt like I was in a wonderland. After a few hours, the frozen Bhrigu lake – star of the trek made her appearance. It was love at first sight. The sunlight falling on the frozen lake made it shine in multiple shades of blue and I couldn’t help but stare at it for a long, long time.
We stayed at the side of the lake for a few hours and clicked thousands of pictures, literally!
As we traced our steps back to Rola Kholi, I felt upset about leaving the beautiful lake behind. We went back to Gulaba and then to Manali the next day.
My first trek with Bikat Adventures was a great experience for me. I learned several camping tricks and also fell in love with the mountains all over again.
It was a great boon for us to have a major part of Himalayas to ourselves.
After my first trek, I took up trekking in many other states as well. I did the Buran Ghati trek in Uttarakhand which is possibly one of the best treks one can do. We had to rappel down from one side of the pass to get to the other valley. It was so thrilling and adventurous. The Goechala trek in Sikkim was another great trail. The greenest trail I ever trekked upon and the most varied flora and fauna were on this trail. Words fall short when I try to describe the Kashmir Great Lakes trek in Jammu and Kashmir. All of us know about the beauty of the state but once you do the KGL trek, everything else will be spoilt for you.
All these treks are very different from one another and offer a special experience to trekkers. We must consider ourselves lucky and make sure that we do not harm the beauty of the trails and trek in a responsible manner. There has been a lot of talk about the waste we leave behind on the trail so that we can enjoy them for a long time.
Let us enjoy the gift we have from mother nature to the fullest. With the Himalayas present, we will never fall short of destinations to visit.