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The captivating landscape, with an incomparable diversity of flora and fauna: India is regarded as the ‘trekkers’ paradise’ and, indeed, is a refreshing treat to the trekkers. India is the ultimate destination for a trekking holiday, offering everything from short and easy excursions to the long challenges of the snowy peaks, invoking visions of the spectacular Himalayas, the lush meadows, green woodland and fragrant orchards. Arunachal Pradesh is the northeastern tip of India with its borders touching China, Bhutan and Burma (Myanamar). Its endless variations of scenic beauty are the first to greet sunrise in the country. The state is proud of having more than five hundred rare species of Orchids. Its rivers are ideal for angling boating, rafting and its rugged terrain is suitable for trekking, hiking and holidaying in a serene atmosphere. The sixth Dalai Lama was born on the soil of Arunachal Pradesh and the 13th found refuge and safety here. The four major trekking destinations in Arunachal include Pasighat-Jengging-Yinkiang, Bhalukpong-Bomdila-Tawang, Roing-Mayodia-Anono and Tezu-Hauliang. The first trek starts from the plains of Siang and leads through the thick forest area. The second route passes trough the Tipi orchidarium to Bomdila. All through the way the Kameng River roaring down the hill provides excellent scope for angling, trekking and hiking. On the third trekking route the main trekking spots are Mehao Lake Sanctuary and boating in Salley Lake. The hills of Tezu-Hayuliang are Arucnachl's natural treasure house and are ideal for hiking and bird watching too.
Location: northeastern Part of India Capital: Shillong Tourist Attractions: Shillong, Caves, Orchids and Wildlife Best Time To Visit: Round the Year Arunachal Pradesh, a serene land tucked into the north eastern tip of India, invites one to relax in its picturesque hills and dales enjoy its salubrious climate and meet its simple and hospitable people, with their glorious heritage of arts and crafts and colourful festivals that reflect their ancient faith in the inexorable power of nature. PRIME ATTRACTIONS The visitor has a wide variety of options to pick from. There are places of worship and pilgrimage such as Parashuramkund (also spelt as Parasuramkund) and the 400 years old Tawang monastery or the sites of archeological excavations like Malinithan and Itanagar, the serene beauty of lakes such as the Ganga Lake or Sela Lake or the numerous variations of scenic beauty of the snow clad silver mountain peaks and lush green meadows where thousands of species of flora and fauna prosper. In addition, the state provides abundant scope for angling, boating, rafting, trekking and hiking. Besides, there are a number of wild life sanctuaries and national parks where rare animals, birds and plants will fascinate the visitor. ARUNACHAL GEOGRAPHY Region: NorthEastern Tip of India Altitude Variations: 800m To 8,000m Above Sea Level Major Mountainous Zones: Kanto Massif & Namcha Barwa Massif Famous Mountain Peaks of the Region: Gori Chen, Kangto, Nyegyi Kangsang and Takpa Shiri Geographical Divides: Bhutan, China and Myanmar surround Arunachal Pradesh, on three sides. It stretches from snow-capped mountains in the north to the plains of the Brahmaputra valley in the south. Arunachal is the largest state area-wise in the northeast region, even larger than Assam, which is the most populous.
It is a land of lush green forests, deep river valleys and beautiful plateaus. The land is mostly mountainous with the Himalayan ranges running north south. These divide the state into five river valleys: the Kameng, the Subansiri, the Siang, the Lohit and the Tirap. All these are fed by snow from the Himalayas and countless rivers and rivulets. The mightiest of these rivers is Siang, called the Tsangpa in Tibet, which becomes the Brahmaputra after the Dibang and the Lohit join it in the plains of Assam. Nature has provided the people with a deep sense of beauty, which finds delightful expression in their songs, dances and crafts. The climate varies from hot and humid to heavy rainfall in the Shivalik (also spelt as Sivalik) range. It becomes progressively cold as one moves northwards to higher altitudes. Trees of great size, plentiful climbers and abundance of cane and bamboo make Arunachal evergreen. ARUNACHAL HIMALAYAS The Arunachal Himalayas form the eastern frontier of the Eastern Himalayan range of India. Located on the extreme east of the Indian State of Arunachal Pradesh the Namcha Barwa massif is accepted as the easternmost point of the Himalayas. Previously the region was known as Assam Himalayas, but after the creation of the Northeast Frontier Agency (NEFA) and Arunachal Pradesh, this region was rendered with the term of Arunachal Himalayas. For the major part of its length, this range is a low range by Himalayan standards, rising to heights of 5,000 m and 6,000 m. there are two significant exceptions to this and these are as are of considerable mountaineering interest. The visitors have a wide variety of options to pick from. The Himalayan range enters Arunachal Pradesh from Bhutan at the West Kameng district. The region is a series of high ridges and low valleys and the altitude in the region varies from 800 m to 7, 000 m above sea level. It then runs northwards over then Kangto Massif before extending to the easternmost frontiers of the Arunachal Himalayas - the Namcha Barwa Massif. The Himalayan Backdrop: Bhutan, China and Myanmar surround Arunachal Pradesh, on three sides. It stretches from snow-capped mountains in the north to the plains of the Brahmaputra valley in the south. Arunachal is the largest state area-wise in the northeast region, even larger than Assam, which is the most populous. It is a land of lush green forests, deep river valleys and beautiful plateaus. The land is mostly mountainous with the Himalayan ranges running north south. These divide the state into five river valleys: the Kameng, the Subansiri, the Siang, the Lohit and the Tirap. All these are fed by snow from the Himalayas and countless rivers and rivulets. The mightiest of these rivers is Siang, called the Tsangpa in Tibet, which becomes the Brahmaputra after the Dibang and the Lohit in the plains of Assam join it. MOUNTAINOUS ZONES Kangto Massif: Kanto Massif is one zone of mountaineering interest that is the least known of all Himalayan areas. It is the first great mountain range in the Arunachal Himalayas that will come into view as one moves from east to west. Visible from the distant plains of Assam and the Meghalaya state hills, the high range of the Kangto Massif lies in a gigantic S-curve running roughly west-southwest and east- northeast between the passes of Tulung La and Keshong La in the region. The MacMohan line -- the border between India and China -- runs more or less along the top. To the south lies a high rain-sodden, thickly forested ridge of the lesser Himalayas, which makes a difficult and dangerous access from Assam. The access from Tibet is considerably easy. Peaks of Kanto Region: Major peaks in the Kangto Section are Gori Chen (6,538 m), Kangto (7,090 m), Nyegyi Kangsang (7,047 m) and Takpa Shiri (6,655 m). Takpa Sire is a holy mountain just north of the Indian border, near the Tibetan village of Migyitun. Walking around to this mountain is said to have religious merit, much like that of the famous Kailash Parbat. However, its height is not higher than 6,655 m. The Rain Bearer: It is because of the existence the Kangto Massif in this region that the rain bearing monsoon clouds are trapped and the resulting water, forms Kameng -- a major river and
one of the main tributaries of the Dihang, which is the name by which the Brahmaputra River is known in the region. The riverside areas from where these mighty rivers flow through have extremely dense vegetation. They receive heavy rains and are rainforests. A large part of these unexplored forests harbor a tremendous variety of flora and fauna, making the state of Arunachal Pradesh having the most incredible biodiversity in India. Namcha Barwa Massif: Situated on the easternmost frontiers of the Himalayas is another mountaineering paradise - the Namcha Barwa Massif. The mountain ranges that lie beyond the Tsangpo-Dihang are not considered a part of the Himalayas. Standing at an elevation of 7,756 m above sea level Namcha Barwa is the highest point of this range. Known as the 'Mysterious Giant' the actual exploration expedition of this range was done in 1912, although the Pandit explorers had reported its existence first. It's from these mountain masses of Namcha Barwa that the mighty Brahmaputra River enters India. Flowing through the Trans Himalayas, where it is known as the "Yarlung Tsangpo", river Brahmaputra enters India forming a gorge around the Namcha Barwa. The gorge of the Yarlung Tsangpo in known to is one of the wildest and least explored areas on the world. The gorge is three times as deep as the Grand Canyon of Colorado. The Remote Himalayan Mountains: Roads have been built in the region and detailed mapping has been done. But because the entire state of Arunachal is bound under restrictions, an Inner-line area and special permits are required to enter it. As a result, these mountains and its regions remain one of the most pristine and remote areas of Indian and the great Himalayan Range. People & Culture: Arunachal is home to 26 major and numerous minor tribes with rich cultural traditions. There are three kinds of religions practiced here. Monpas and Sherdak Pens in Kameng and Tawang district, who came in contact with Tibetan in the north, adopted Lamaism of the Buddhist faith, while the Khamptis in Lohit district practice Mahayana Buddhism. The second group, Noctes and Wanchos in Tirap district, whose long association with the Assamese in the south, converted them to Hinduism. The third group comprises of Adi, Abas, Appertains, Nyishi, etc - a large majority of the total population, who maintain their ancient belief and indigenous concepts of nature and worship the "Danyipolo" (The Sun & Moon). The people of Arunachal Pradesh have a tradition of artistic craftsmanship and sense of aesthetics manifested through a variety of crafts such as weaving, painting, pottery, smithy work, basket making, wood carving, etc.
FESTIVALS OF ARUNACHAL PRADESH
FESTIVALS: Festivals are an essential part of the socio-cultural life of the people. The festivals are connected with agriculture and celebrated with ritualistic gaiety either to thank God for his providence or to pray for a bumper harvest. The large fairs and festivals are linked with the people and religions. The festivals celebrated by the Arunachalees mirror the people, culture, their artistic genius and skill in music and dance, which is a vital element in the life of every tribe. In one sentence - Arunachal Pradesh is a must visit destination for the cultural tourist. Festivals are an important part of the socio-cultural heritage of Arunachal Pradesh From agricultural festivals, celebrated with ritualistic favor to thank God for a good harvest, to the festivities such as Torgya and Losar that show deeper religious emotions and Buddhist influence in this part of the world. Animal sacrifice is still quiet a common ritual among the tribal festivals. CLIMATE: Due to the great variety in topography, climatic conditions change within short distances. The southern part of the state has hot and humid sub-tropical climate. In the central areas, the climate is cooler, and in the inner or higher reaches, the climate is alpine. The rainfall too, though an almost year-round features, is uneven. The best time to visit this state is October to April.
GENERAL INFORMATION Area 83,743-sq-kms Population 8,64,558 (1991 Census) Location 26.28 W and 29.30 N latitude 91.20 E and 97.30 E longitude Climate Highly hot and humid in the lower altitude, Very cold in the higher altitude Rainfall 3,300 CMS average Clothing summer - Cotton; winter – Woolen Season October to April Language Spoken English, Hindi, Assamese Travel / Trekking a) Tezpur – Tipi – Bomdila- Tawang b) Tinsukia – Tezu- Parasuramkund c) Margherita – Miao- Namdopha d) Itanagar – Ziro- Daporijo – Along – Pasighat
TREKKING IN ARUNACHAL PRADESH
Location: Arunachal Pradesh Highest Altitude: Se La Pass - 14,000 ft. Best Time To Trek: October to February THE LAND OF THE DAWN LIT MOUNTAINS Experience The Wilds: Arunachal Pradesh is the northeastern tip of India with its borders touching China, Bhutan and Burma (Myanmar). Its endless variations of scenic beauty are the first to greet sunrise in the country. The state is proud of having more than 500 rare species of Orchids. Its rivers are ideal for angling boating, rafting and its rugged terrain is suitable for trekking, hiking and holidaying in a serene atmosphere. The sixth Dalai Lama was born on the soil of Arunachal Pradesh and the 13th found refuge and safety here. The picturesque and hilly terrain, Arunachal Pradesh is crises-crossed by innumerable mighty rivers and rivulets. Once described as the 'Hidden Land' it has now opened its doors to outsiders. The mountain peaks show a great variation, ranging from 6,400 -1,829 m. The striking feature of the topography is that the mountainous routes follow the river system except in places where the mountainsides are very steep. These offer perfect opportunities for trekking and other adventure sports. So long closed to visitors, the terrain and the environment are totally untouched. What could be more inviting to adventure-loving people? Southern Flank: The southern flank of the Arunachal Himalayas is visible from the plains. This part of the range includes peaks as secluded as Kangto, among the highest and unconquered peaks in the world. A puzzling approach and thick jungle has kept these summits virtually off limits to mountaineers. Five of the main tributaries of the Brahmaputra River rise in these ranges: the Kameng, Subansiri, Siang, Lohit and Tirap. Geographical seclusion has made the people of these valleys selfcontained. Cross communication is a relatively recent phenomenon. The total population of the state is small and it retains much of the original forest cover. Se La Pass: The western most district is west Kameng, named after the Kameng River, which drains the basin of Groi Chen and Kangto peaks. From the inner line check post at Bhalukpong, 52-km from Tezpur the road winds through the Tipi Orchidariurm to Bomdila. It crosses the crest of the Se La Pass at 14,000-ft finally reaching the Mahayana sect Buddhist monastery at Tawang. These are the environs of the Bailey trail the old border trade route over Tukung La from Tibet first used in 1913 by the British surveyors.
Selected Tourist Routes: Certain tourist routes have recently been opened in Arunachal Pradesh. The first of these routes originates at Itanagar and links up to Ziro in the center of the state 150km away, at an altitude of 1,754 m in the resplendent Apatani plateau. The trail pushes farther east and north, crossing Sunansiri River at Daporijo to reach along. Here, one meets the peripatetic harbinger of Mansarovar, the Siang, still within its white water section. In 1991, an Indo-Japanese team rafted the length of the river in India, putting in near Geling in west Siang district, just a few km short of the Indo-Tibetan border. The final section of this circuit goes down to Pasighat and re-enters north Assam before returning to Itanagar. Day excursions include Ganga Lake, the state museum and a ride on the elephant back to the salubrious camp on the nearby Dikrong River. Margherita Railhead: This circuit covers the well-known Namdapha National park in the Tirap district near the east end of the state, not far from the Burmese border. The designated entry and exit point on this circuit is the railhead at Margherita, also reached by National Highway 38 from Tinsukia. Coaches continue up to Miao for entry into the park. Unique in that its elevation varies between 200 and 4,500 m, the park is also unmatched as the home to four large cats: Tiger, Leopard, Clouded Leopard and Snow Leopard. Thick Forests: Using Pasighat as the base, where the Brahmaputra enters the plains, a reasonably good road meanders up-river through thick forest. Neat settlements at Yembung, Pangin and Boleng lead to the Siamang Bridge, 110-km from the base. The route is a photographer's delight. Here also lie promising tracts for catch and release Mahaseer angling. Again for Pasighat, aside from the Dibrugarh ferry, there is another access via the 415-km drive from Tezpur roughly parallel to the north bank of the Brahmaputra. ENTRY PERMITS: Indian nationals intending to visit any part of the state may obtain an inner line permit from the Arunachal Government office at Delhi or Itanagar. For the permitted areas, the total time allowed to foreigners is 10 days. The usual stipulations of entry permit group size and advance application also holds well. These can be filed with any Indian mission overseas, foreigner's registration offices, and the home commissioners of the state in Itanagar or its resident commissioner in Delhi. BEST TREKKING SEASON: The best season is from October to February. For the energetic leisure seekers keen to undertake a rare wilderness experience, few destinations in the world would match the dimensions of Arunachal Pradesh. HOW TO GET THERE Air: Nearest Airport is situated at Tezpur. There are daily flights from Calcutta. Rail: The nearest railhead is north Lakhimpur in Assam 60-km from Itanagar. Road: Itanagar is connected to the other state capitals in the Northeast. There are regular bus services from Itanagar to Bomdila.
Location: 125-km from Along, Arunachal Pradesh Established In: 1911 Main Attractions: Daying Ering Wild Life Sanctuary, River Rafting, Trekking, and Fishing & Angling Best Time To Visit: November to April Welcome to Pasighat, the oldest town of Arunachal Pradesh established in 1911. And presently the headquarter of the east Siang district. The British government had appointed a political officer to view to help the natives of the area to comedown to the plains of Assam for trade and commerce. Pasighat has been often called the 'gateway of the state of Arunachal Pradesh'. The town derives its name from the 'Pasis', a tribe of the area. Pasighat town is situated at a height of 155 m., from the sea level and has a population of nearly 78,000 people. The climate is hot and humid in summers and temperate during winters. Nature At Its Best: Pasighat and its surrounding areas abound in natural beauty and the place has rightly been called as a photographer’s delight: it is a land to have a rendezvous with Mother
Nature in her purest form. Far away from the maddening crowd, the place has the potential to provide solace to the tired and tense people from the outside world. The mighty Brahmaputra River, called the "Siang" here transcends down from Tibet and gives its name to the district. It flows through the entire length of the area until it descends down into the plains of Assam south of Pasighat town, where it meets Dihang and Lohit and becomes the Brahmaputra. The magic of the land can only be felt when one arrives here. And, on one's return from the place, the heart is filled with joy, the mind is freshened and the soul is elevated to new heights of bliss; the memory always haunts and the temptation to visit Pasighat always prompts one to come here again and again. EXCURSIONS Pasighat and its surrounding areas can rightly be termed as the heart of Arunachal Pradesh because of their central location in the state. With its beautiful hillside and lush-green river valleys inhabited by a galaxy of tribes, the area is a tourist’s delight and photographers paradise. From Pasighat, there are numerous places of interest that can be visited in Arunachal Pradesh.
Akashiganga: This is a sacred place situated near Lekhabli at a distance of 100-km, from Pasighat and 25-km from the nearest railhead at Silapathar in Assam. The place is associated with the legend of Kalika Puran according to which the head of the Sati (Parvati) fell at this place when Lord Vishnu cut her into pieces. The name Akashiganga is suggestive of a water channel in the hill. The place provides a beautiful and magnificent birds- eye view of the Brahmaputra meandering far below. Location: 12-km From Malinithan, West Siang District, and Arunachal Pradesh Famous As: A Pilgrimage Site Best Time To Visit: November to February An Ancient Legend: Akashiganga is believed to be associated with the legend of Parvati narrated in the 8th century Kalika Purana. It is said that Lord Shankar roamed in the sky with the dead body of Parvati (Sati). To bring him out of attachment for the dead body Lord Vishnu using his 'Sudarshan Chakra' cut the body into pieces. During this process it is said that one of the body piece fell in the area which is 12-km from Malinithan towards Along in West Siang District. This place is called Akashi Ganga and is very popular as a sacred place. The Sacred Kund: There is a temple near the road. From there one has to go down 100 meters down through a spiral path, where a sparkling object can be seen in the 'Kund' but on going more down the object is invisible. Devotees take bath in this Kund. The place also provides a magnificent bird's eye view of the Brahmaputra River glimmering far below. HOW TO GET THERE Road: Malinithan is just 12-km away from Akashiganaga, easily accessible by bus or a car. One can also reach Malinithan by bus or car from Guwahati (Assam), as well as by bus from Itanagar. NEARBY CITIES Along: 25-km Likabali: 23-km Malinithan: 12-km Lilabari: 67-km
Malinithan: The place is an archaeological site in Arunachal Pradesh situated at the ArunachalAssam border in the Likabali area of the West Siang district. The place is associated with the legend of Lord Krishna and his wife Rukmani, the daughter of Bhismak. It is believed that Krishna and Rukmani took a rest at this place while they were on their way to Dwarka from Bhismaknagar. Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati received them cordially as guests. Parvati was given the name of Malini by Krishna and the place began to be called as Malinithan.
Set on a mound of about 60 meters high, it is only 1-km east of Likabali, and 100-km from Pasighat, and is easily approachable from Pasighat by bus or taxi. Location: 1-km From Likabali, Arunachal Pradesh Main Attractions: Ancient Ruins Of A 14th -15th Century Durga Temple. Best Time To Visit: April to October Malinithan is a temple site in ruins. It is situated at the foot of the Siang hills under the Likabali Sub-Division of West Siang District of Arunachal Pradesh. It is only 1-Km east of Likabali, the nearest administrative center. PRIME ATTRACTIONS Ruins of Durga Temple: Relics of stone images of Malinithan came to be noted from the early twenties of the present century. In course of series of excavation from 1968 and ending 1971, ruins of temples and valuable scriptures were unearthed at this site. The fame of Malinithan as a holy place of worship draws a large number of visitors and pilgrims. The site excavated has beautifully designed and decorated basement of a temple, divine images, icons of deities, animal motifs and floral designs, carved columns and panels. These rich granite sculptures that are discovered belong to 14th -15th century, the more important being 'Indra' on Airavat or Airabat (elephant), 'Surya' (Sun God) on Chariot, Mayurasan (peacock-seat) along with more than 100 Gods And Goddesses, dancing Yakshi, Images of erotic twins on the arch and a huge 'Nandi' bull. A Shivalinga, made of falic stone is also present over here. The temple at Malinithan is dedicated to Goddess Durga and is built on the classical tradition of Orissa. A Legend: According to a Purana, on the way to Dwarka from Bhismaknagar (also spelt as Bhishmaknagar), Sri Krishna with his newly married wife Rukmini Devi begged blessings of Goddess Parvati. Devi Parvati greeted the newly married couple with wreath. So unique was the stringing of the garland that overwhelmed Krishna called Devi Parvati as " Sucharu Malini", meaning, and a lady who strings garlands beautifully - hence from Malini to Malinithan being the name. HOW TO GET THERE Air: The nearest airport from Malinithan is Leelabari or Dibrugarh in Assam. A helipad is also situated at along. Rail: Nearest railway station is Silapathan, Assam. Road: One can reach Malinithan by bus or car from Guwahati (Assam), as well as by bus from Itanagar. NEARBY CITIES Likabali: 1-km Silapathar: 10-km Akashiganga: 12-km Leelabari: 110-km North Lakhimpur: 109-km Itanagar: 189-km
Along: Like Pasighat, along is also one of the old town of Arunachal Pradesh and is the headquarter of west Siang district. Set in a wide open valley where the Sipu river merges with Siyom against the backdrop of hills covered with snow during winters, it presents a panoramic view tot he delight of visitors. Along by night with hundreds of electric lights flickering and glowing over the broad valley looks like a wonderland from the top of the hills. It can be reached from Pasighat by bus or taxi in 4 hours. Location: 125-km From Pasighat, Arunachal Pradesh Main Attraction: Ramakrishna Mission Ashram, Dayani Polo Temple Famous Excursion: Akashiganga Falls
Best Time To Visit: April to October Along is one of the old town of Arunachal Pradesh and is the headquarter of west Siang district. Set in a wide open valley where the Sipu river merges with Siyom against the backdrop of hills covered with snow during winters, it presents a panoramic view tot he delight of visitors. Along by night with hundreds of electric lights flickering and glowing over the broad valley looks like a wonderland from the top of the hills. It can be reached from Pasighat by bus or taxi in 4 hours. PRIME ATTRACTIONS Famous for its Ramakrishna Mission Ashram another major attraction of this small town is the newly constructed Dayani Polo's temple. 'Dayani' means the Sun and 'Polo' the moon, the warranting deities of the tribals. Beside the temple there 's a museum and a craft center also worth a visit. Akashiganga Falls: In 8th century old Kalika Purana, the holy Sati Pith was referred - the head of Sati fell in Akashi-Ganga. Covering a distance of 25-km from Along to Assam on the way down to Silapathar flows the stream - hence the name Akashiganga Falls. Holy dips and fairs are arranged at the fall site during Chaitra Sankranti. The turbulent river Brahmaputra presents an enchanting view. HOW TO GET THERE Air: Nearest airport is 263-km away Leelabari. Rail: Buses ply to along from the nearest railway stations 169-km away Silapathar. Road: The first option is to reach Zero to Daporizo and from their catch a bus to along. Buses also ply from Itanagar early in the morning and reach along within 14-hrs time. Regular bus service is also available from 147-km away North Lakhimpur in Assam. One may come to Along from Likabali and Pasighat by bus or car. NEARBY CITIES 125-km 147-km 169-km WILDLIFE Daying Ering Wild Life Sanctuary: The Daying Ering Wild Life Sanctuary is located at a distance of 13-km from Pasighat and is one of the few sanctuaries located on an island. One has to cruise through river Siang by boat to reach this sanctuary. During September-February, a variety of migratory birds like Cranes, Wild Ducks, Storks, waterfowls and Hornbills come here from far off places making it a paradise for the bird watchers. Deers, Wild Elephants, Buffaloes and smaller predators are also abundant. The lucky visitor may also have a glimpse of the Tiger. Pangin situated at a distance of about 60-km from Pasighat and connected by road, it stands at a point where river Siom meets river Siang and presents a rare sight. The blue waters of Siom meet the green Siang and the beauty of the sight is to be seen to be believed. ADVENTURE & SPORTS For the adventure loving, Pasighat has a great scope for adventure sports such as river rafting and trekking in the deep forests. River Rafting: Siang River is ideal for river rafting, both for the amateurs and the seasoned. The veterans can start from gelling at the Indo - China border and raft down to Pasighat through rapids of 4 and 5 degree, whereas the amateurs can raft down from Yambung or Sirki to Pasighat through rapids of 2 and 3 degree. Pasighat: North Lakhimpur: Silapathar:
Location: Jaintia Hills District, Meghalaya Best Time To Visit: September to May The Kupli River, which flows for quite some distance as the Assam-Meghalaya interstate border, has a unique riverbed of limestone and soft rock for considerable length of its course. The turbulent Kupli has thus carved for itself deep valleys and chasms all over, beside a steep, star8
shaped gorge near Garampani, where the whole Kupli falls over 60-feet to give rise to the wellknown Iale falls also known in historical legends as 'Mahabarta'. The Khandong reservoir of the Kopili Hydro Electric Project has now inundated Iale Falls and it cannot be seen for the better part of the year when the reservoir is fairly full. Trekking: Trekking through the dense woods and forests from Pasighat to Yinkiong to Komsing - the historic sight where Neol Wilson was buried after being killed by the Adis - is unforgettable experience for the trekkers. One can have the pleasure of seeing a variety of beautiful birds and a variety of vegetation unfound in other parts. It is indeed a privilege to see the cane bridges built across river Siang that are a marvel of native engineering. R. Wilcox who visited the area in 1825, remarked about these cane bridges: "We are quite astonished at the skill and labour shown in the construction of cane suspension bridges thrown over at this point: it was such as would do no discredit to the department for similar worked in Calcutta." Fishing & Angling: Besides, a lot of places like Yingkiong, Bodak, Siom, etc. provide good spots for Fishing and Angling. The Mahseer is legendary and catches of 20-30 kg are not uncommon. The colder waters of the higher reaches have the golden and the rainbow trout. One can have a sight of traditional but effective methods of fishing while trekking in the jungles. So, this is Pasighat, a place that one must visit to have the fun of lifetime, where Mother Nature showers all its bliss and delight upon one in her purest form. A place that will always linger in one's memory and will motivate one to come here again and again HOW TO GET THERE Pasighat is well connected to the mainland by rail, road and air. Air: The nearest airports are to Dibrugarh (Mohanbari), and Guwahati in Assam, helicopter (Pawan Hans) flights are available from Dibrugarh and Itanagar. Rail: The nearest railway station is Murkong Selek, at a distance of 35-km, from Pasighat and buses or taxies are available there for the town. Road: Visitors can reach Pasighat by bus, private vehicles or taxis from Guwahati, Itanagar or Lakhimpur, alternatively they can cross over river Brahmaputra from Dibrugarh to Oryamghat that is situated at a distance of 30-km, from Pasighat and then take a bus or taxi to Pasighat. Ruksin check gate is the point of entry for those coming by road from Itanagar or Guwahati and Kemi check gate for those coming by boat from Dibrugarh. Note: An inner line permit is required for the tourists to visit Pasighat that can be had from the liaison officers at Delhi, Calcutta, Guwahati and Dibrugarh or from the Deputy Commissioner, Pasighat or the Sub Divisional Officer at Ruksin. The foreign tourists are required to obtain protected / restricted area permit from the Commissioner (Home). Government of Arunachal Pradesh or from Ministry of Home Affairs, New Delhi. GENERAL INFORMATION Best Time To Visit: The best time to visit Pasighat is from November to April, when the rainy season ends and weather becomes comfortable and mildly cold. The nights are rather cold and therefore, visitors are advised to carry warm clothing during this period. For reservation in the Siang Guest House, Circuit house and Inspection Bungalow, contact: The Deputy Commissioner, Pasighat Inner Line Permits can be obtained from the following: Resident Commissioner, New Delhi Deputy Resident Commissioner, Kolkata Deputy Resident Commissioner, Guwahati Deputy Resident Commissioner, Dibrugarh NEARBY CITIES Akashiganga: 100-km Malinithan: 100-km Pangin: 60-km
TEZPUR- BHALUKPONG - BOMDILA - TAWANG
Location: Arunachal Pradesh Destination Covered: Tezpur, Bhalukpong, Bomdila, and Tawang Highest Altitude: 10,000 ft This circuit shall take the visitors to the 17th century Tawang Monastery built on a jutting spur over looking the wide Tawang Valley at a height of 10,000 ft. the monastery is a vast complex of 65 buildings housing lamas and antique scriptures written in gold letters. The route traverses through nuranang, which offers snow and rainbow trout fishing. The Sela Pass enroute runs through a high altitude lake of simmering crystal blue colour. Both sides of the lake are decked with miles of Rhododendrons of various hues. Another important station along the route consists of Tipi, a botanical station housing 500 varieties of orchids, which grow abundantly in different parts of Arunachal Pradesh. PRIME ATTRACTIONS Parasuramkund, Bhismaknagar, Mayadia, Mehao Lake, Boating in Salley lake, Namdapha National Park, Miao Mini Zoo, Tibetan camp where colourful woolen carpets of various designs are produced. HOW TO GET THERE By Air - Nearest airport is Mohanbari. By Rail - Tinsukia is the nearest railway station. By Road - Bus/Taxi are available from Tinsukia.
Location: Arunachal Pradesh Destination Covered: Tinsukia, Tezu, and Parsuramkund This circuit commences at Tinsukia, a road-rail head in Assam, leading to Tezu, Roing and Parsuramkund in the Lohit district of Arunachal Pradesh. Some 21-km to the northeast of Tezu, the District Head quarter lies Parasuramkund where, according to the legend recorded in the Kalika Purana, Parasuram washed away the sin of killing his mother in the waters of Brahma Kund. On Makar Sankranti each year, a Mela is held at the Kund where visitors wash away their suns. Roing is known for the historical fort of Bhishmaknagar built with clay bricks and embellished with pottery. The Bhishmaknagar fort was first excavated in 1996-97, which testifies to the penetration of the Aryan culture into Arunachal in the 4th century AD. PRIME ATTRACTIONS Parasuramkund, Bhismaknagar, Mayadia, Mehoaa Lake, and Boating in Salley Lake. HOW TO GET THERE By Air - Nearest airport is Mohanbari (Dibrugarh District). By Rail - Tinsukia is the nearest railway station. By Road - Bus/Taxi are available from Tinsukia
MARGHERITA - MIAO- NAMDAPHA
Location: Arunachal Pradesh Destination Covered: Itanagar, Ziro, and Daporijo, Along, Pasighat Highest Altitude: 5,754 ft This circuit Itanagar- Ziro - Along - Pasighat starts from the state capital Itanagar, which has Geker Sinyi (Ganga Lake), a beautiful spot for picnic, outing and boating. The Jawaharlal Nehru state museum, The Ita Fort (ruins), Buddhist temple etc enroute Ziro (also spelt as Zero) a hill station, which stands at 5,754 ft enclosed by blue pine-clad rolling hills. At Daporijo, the Menga cave (Temple) can give immense satisfaction to the believer of Lord Shiva and throughout the way to along and Pasighat a scenic beauty with beautiful riverbanks and most ideal locations are available for river rafting, angling splendid and picnic spots. PRIME ATTRACTIONS
Itafort, Gekar Sinyi (natural lake), Talley Valley, Menga Cave, D'Ering Wildlife sanctuary, Mouling National park. HOW TO GET THERE By Air - Lilabari is the nearest Airport. By Rail - North Lakimpur railway station. By Road - Bus/ taxi are available from North Lakhimpur or Itanagar.
So long hidden behind red tape, Assam's beauty is a fact that defies imagination. The rarest of flora and fauna, blue hills and green tea, a bustling capital and black oil, it is a beauty that soothes even as it disturbs. Arunachal Pradesh and Bhutan bound Assam in the north, Nagaland to the east, and Manipur and Mizoram to the south. In the southwest, Assam touches the borders of West Bengal and Bangladesh. In Guwahati, the commercial capital of Assam, the tour starts from Kamakhya temple, Basistha Ashram, Zoo, Gita mandir, Nabagraha temple, Assam State Museum. Assam is very rich in wildlife. There are three national parks and 12 wildlife sanctuaries of which Kaziranga and Manas are most well known. Gateway to the Northeast: Guwahati, the industrial and commercial hub of Assam is revered for its ancient Hindu temples. It spreads at the edge of the vast moving, river-sea of the Brahmaputra. It's the service center for the oil industry and tea plantations. The world's largest tea auctions are held in the nearby city Dispur, the official state capital. The People: The Assamese are a mixture of Mongolian-Tibetan, Aryan, and Burman ethnic origins. Their language is akin to Bengali, spoken in West Bengal and in Bangladesh. Since the late 19th century a vast number of immigrants from Bangladesh has entered the valley, where they have settled to cultivate the almost empty lands, particularly the low floodplains. The hill tribes of the Garo, Khasi, and Hajong inhabit the hilly margins of the plain. The Bodo are the largest minority group in Assam and are concentrated in the northern areas of the Brahmaputra River valley. Occupation: Agriculture is basic to Assam's economy. Rice is grown on about two-thirds of the cultivated area; tea and jute are also important crops, and their sale accounts for a major portion of Assam's income. Other significant crops include oilseeds, peas, beans, canola (rapeseed), sugarcane, and fruits. Oil and coal are found in upper Assam, and the state produces about onesixth of India's petroleum and natural gas. Handicrafts: Artist and sculptors, masons and architects, and others practicing minor crafts such as weavers, spinners, potters, goldsmiths, artisans of ivory, wood, bamboo, cane and hide flourished in Assam from ancient times. Every household possesses a handloom used to produce silk and (or) cotton clothes of exquisite designs. The Eri, Muga and Pat are the important silk products of Assam. CLIMATE: Assam has mild winters and warm summers. Summer is March to June and monsoon from July to August. November to February is winter. Average temperature is moderate, about 29 degrees C in the hottest month of August. The average valley temperature in January is 16 degrees C. The real force of the monsoon winds is felt from June onward. Rainfall in Assam ranks among the highest in the world; annual rainfall varies from 70 inches in the west to 120 inches in the east. Best season: February to May. TRAVEL KIT Population: 25 million Festivals: Assam observes Bhogali Bihu, Rongali Bihu, Kati Bihu, Janmashthami and Durga Puja festivals. Rangali Bihu, the main Bihu festival, is in April. This festival is essentially in celebration of a good harvest and is accompanied with lively dances, music and feasting. Guwahati also celebrates the Ambuchi Festival in July. TOURISM OFFICES: Tourist Information Officer, Directorate of Tourism, Station Road, Guwahati, Assam-781001.
Tourist Information Officer, Assam House, 8, Russel Street, Calcutta, West Bengal-71. Tourist Information Officer, B-1, Baba Kharak Singh Marg, New Delhi-110001. Kaziranga- Joint Director of Tourism, P.O Kaziranga National park, Dist. Golaghat.
Trekking in Darjeeling
Perched at 2134 m directly opposite the Kanchenjunga, the Darjeeling hills at 8586 m, is the world's third highest mountain and India's tallest. The road rises steadily to Kurseong where wisps of cool air affirm an undeniably Himalayan setting. Road and train track follow each other for the remaining 60 kms past the Jorebangla crossing and the Batasia loops to the bustling railway terminus. The earliest Everest expeditions started their journey from Darjeeling. A profusion of alpine blossoms and orchids can be found on the leisurely trips to the neighboring lakes at Senchal and Mirik and the Lebong racecourse, which is the highest in the world. This was also the home of the late Tenzing Norgay and has since 1954 housed the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute where he trained a generation of mountaineers. The sunrise over Kanchenjunga as seen from Tiger Hill nearby, is also a great draw. On clear days, Everest is visible as well. Down to the Teesta and up on the other side are Kalimpong, 67 km away and the main stopover point on the proposed trade route to Lhasa. Along the river, the road ascends once again to Gangtok, 88 km away coursing some very fine water runs. The direct road to Bagdogra is 125 km. Trekkers to Darjeeling cannot resist a stopover in Sikkim. As in other parts of the Himalayas, the scale of its altitude and the distinct character of its seasons make Sikkim an all-year destination. Low altitude treks in winter and higher-level excursions in spring summer and autumn, when the snowline recedes, are possible. The conventional trekking periods are March - May before the monsoon, and after the rains in late September-mid-December. For foreigners, travel formalities have now been further simplified. For sightseeing and trekking, and for visits to Gangtok, Rumtek, Phodong and Pemayangtse monasteries, permits can be obtained for periods upto 15 days from a number of designated offices including Indian missions overseas, immigration officers at the main metro airports, Bagdogra, Gangtok and other convenient points including the Sikkim tourism office in Delhi. Likewise, for trekking in the currently permitted Dzongri area of west Sikkim groups of 4-20 persons may obtain 15-day permits. Indian nationals can visit the areas inside the inner line with permits, which can be obtained in advance. Each season in Sikkim is distinct. The periods for outdoor excursions are several. March to May is the best season for flowers. Then on till September, the monsoon moves in with thick mists and heavy rain. The onset of autumn imparts an enduring clarity to the distant views until late December, when snow starts falling in the upper valleys. Meanwhile, the life cycle carries on, adapting to the changing colors of the landscape. In many ways, this deep-seated harmony with nature is a special characteristic of Sikkim going back to the origin of its earliest inhabitants, the Lepchas. In its monasteries, picturesquely dotted across the state, lie the religious and cultural strengths of the friendly Sikkimese. Getting there: The nearest airstrip to Darjeeling and Sikkim is Bagdogra in North Bengal. Bagdogra is 124 kms and a 5 hours drive from Gangtok. Flights from Calcutta, Delhi and the northeast connect this sector. The nearest railhead is Siliguri -114 km and New Jalpaiguri - 125 km connecting Calcutta, Delhi, Guwahati and other important cities in India, to Sikkim and Darjeeling. Gangtok is connected by road to Darjeeling Kalimpong and Siliguri. These places are well connected with other destinations in India. Trekking routes: Treks in the Darjeeling area join up with the feeder Sikkim valleys of the Rangit river adjoining the Singalia ridge. Kanchenjunga is the prominent feature, its subsidiary
peaks spread alongside with distant Everest also in view. Medium or strenuous grade trekking trips can be undertaken using Darjeeling as a convenient departure point. Darjeeling-Batasi-Tonglu-Sandakphu -- This is a 6-7 day moderate trek from Maneshanjang, which is 26 km by road from Darjeeling. Ideal for views along a standard trail. The route is famed for its view of Kanchenjunga, Mt. Everest and rhododendrons from Phalut and Sandakphu. Darjeeling / Gangtok - Pemayangtse - Yoksam - Dzongri -- 6 days exhilarating trek with exclusive views of the brilliant Dzongri sunset over Kanchenjunga. Best Season: The most rewarding season for travelling through Darjeeling and Sikkim is between May to October. The winters are very cold and the region is swamped by fog. The rainy season make trekking unsafe. Plan your trip well in advance and Enquirer about the weather conditions before setting out. The monsoon in the Teesta valley is heavy, lasting from early June till mid September for Sikkim and Darjeeling. For this reason, winter treks are recommended, beginning with October though the period from April to end May is also preferred.
Haryana was carved out of Punjab in 1966. It is a land of fat, flat fields and villages where the patriarch is still the venerated figure and politics revolves around rural and village-community loyalties. Its history lies buried in the ground beneath our feet with excavations, daily revealing its distant past. Its roads merge with those of Delhi's: it's difficult to know where one begins and the other ends. Tourist attractions of Haryana are mainly centered in the capital, Chandigarh. Rock Garden, Sukhna Lake, Rose Garden is worth seeing. The Sultanpur National Park, which houses many birds including flamingoes, is also a must-see. Capital: Chandigarh is the capital of Punjab & Haryana and the language spoken is Punjabi. It is a typically north Indian city with an interest in Delhi: every family has one family member either working in the capital or atleast a married daughter staying in Delhi. People in Chandigarh lead disciplined lives. Unlike its more industrial neighbors like Ludhiana, it's a serviceoriented culture here. Chandigarh, is on the whole, a clean, planned, educated and corporate city? History: The history of Haryana goes back to the period of the epics. Kurukshetra, where the great battle of Mahabharata was fought between the Kauravas and Pandavas, is situated in Haryana. The state was the home of the legendary Bharata Dynasty, which gave the name 'Bharat' to India. Haryana continued to play an important part in the history of India till the coming in of the Muslims and the rise of Delhi as the capital of British India. In 1857 AD, the people of Haryana joined the Indian leaders in the revolt against the British Government. The People: Haryanvis are simple, straightforward, enterprising and hard-working people. Preserving their old religious and social traditions, they celebrate festivals with traditional fervor. The region has its popular folklore’s, folksongs and musical instruments. The women are devoted and diligent and assist their men-folk on the farms. The people have simple food habits. They are known for their love for cattle and the abundance of milk and curd in their diet. Haryana's Highways are replete with landscaped gardens, shops and hotels that prove to be weekend getaways for people of Delhi and neighboring states. Of late, Haryanvis have also acquired a taste for weekend outings. Occupation: Essentially an agricultural state, Haryana also has a few industries that produce tractors, bicycles and sanitaryware. Panipat is the main textile center where cotton fabrics and carpets are produced. For tourists, the state has created a number of parks and lakes that add charm to the overall green scenery. Chandigarh is the shared capital of Punjab and Haryana, the main language is Punjabi, Hindi. CLIMATE: Climatically, the state has three major seasons. Hot weather (April to June) when the mercury shoots up to as high as 110oF. Rainy season is from July to September. The average
annual rainfall ranges between 96 CMS in the sub-mountain region and 58 CMS in the plains. Winter months are October to March when the temperature dips to as low as 40oF. October to March is the best season to visit. Population - 18 million. Festival: Baisakhi, 'Mango Festival' and the 'Kurukshetra Festival.' The internationally famous Surajkund Crafts Mela is held every year in the month of February, to promote Indian arts and handicrafts. Tourist offices: Haryana Tourism (Head office) 111-113, Sector 17-B, Chandigarh 160 017 Haryana State Tourism Dev. Corp. Ltd. 36, Janpath, Chanderlok Building, New Delhi 110 001, India Haryana Bhavan, Copernicus Marg, New Delhi.
Location : Near Panchkula Attraction : Adventure Sports Best Time : September to March On the opposite hillside of the Pinjore valley, 45 kms from Chandigarh lie the Morni Hills, past the township of Panchkula. Past sleepy hamlets and cultivated terraces, one witnesses the calm altitudes of the Morni Hills, on chugging up a hill climb of above 3900 ft. with wilderness all around. Situated in the lower reaches of the Shivalik range, Morni is ideal for a holiday with its cool climate, beautiful natural vistas and myriad opportunities for trekking, rock-climbing and other adventure sports. The best time for visiting Morni Hills is from September to March. Crowned by a pocket of pine trees, the hills look green and blue. The area is quiet, with hardly a bus moving up the hillside. The greens are yet undisturbed. The hill delight with their patches of green trees of pipal, jamun, dhak, the amaltas and the purple flowered jacaranda trees. The river Ghaggar cuts past the hills that are dotted with natural attractions. Two water bodies lie in these hills and are ideal for trek routes. Morni Hills have some villages, where farming is the main occupation. Exotic Flora and Fauna: Morni Hills have a fascinating range of flora and fauna. Pines crown the hilltops and trees like neem, oak, pipal, jamun, amaltas and jacaranda cover the slopes. When the flowering trees blossom, the hillsides are awash with color, presenting a delightful sight. Morni is a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts and birdwatchers with its teeming population of birds like quails, partridges, sand grouse and common doves as well as animals like jackals, hare, hyenas, neel gai, sambhars and even leopards. The Old Fort: Ruins of a fort can also be seen here. The locals believe that the fort belonged to the Queen of Morni Hills. Lakes: There are two lakes or Tals, which seem to be interconnected mysteriously even though they are separated by a hillock. The water level in both the Tals always remains the same, as there is a hidden channel under the hill connecting them. The larger is about 550 meters long and 460 meters broad and the other about 365 meters either way. Locals consider the lake auspicious and gather here on ceremonial occasions. A small temple on the banks contains a Trimurti (the Hindu Trinity), which dates back to the 12th century AD when a Shiva temple was also supposed to have existed at the site. Trekking: Morni offers many interesting trekking options. One can trek to the two 'Tals' and the fort and for the more adventurous; there are treks to the bank of the River Ghaggar, which flows past Morni. Goat tracks lead out of the tourist complex for those keen on walks. The tourist authorities are examining the viability of hang-gliding in Morni, introducing yet another special attraction.
Where to Stay Mountain Quail: For tourists, Mountain Quail tourist resort has been opened here. Restaurant and guestroom facilities are available. Packed lunch for trekkers can also be ordered for.
Himachal Pradesh is wrapped in snow most of the time. Many parts of the state have a distinctly Austrian look with conifer-clad mountains, chalet-like huts with overhanging balconies and serene blue valleys watered by snow-fed streams. Shimla, the capital of Himachal Pradesh, is still very much a Raj township in appearance and atmosphere. Himachal Pradesh stores numerous wonderful hill stations, which are particularly cool in summers. Shimla, Dalhousie, Kullu, Kasauli, Manali, Chail and Kufri are a few of the hill Stations that offer breathtaking scenery. Dharmasala, where the Dalai Lama lives, is another important centre on the tourist map. The foremost shrine in Kangra town is the Brajeshwari Devi temple. 30-km from Kangra is Jwalamukhi, one of the most revered temples in northern India. The Kangra Museum has an impressive art collection. Capital: Built in the mid-eighteenth century, Shimla was highly popular among the British royalty after it was named the 'Summer Capital of India'. The Parliament used to move up to the hills to get a break from the hot Indian summers. The town is a picturesque place dotted with charming bungalows and shops made of stone. A perfect sets for romance or to go on a idle holiday. The best way to see Shimla is to pick up a tour book, which tells a small history of the buildings and churches. History: Aryan groups filtered into the more productive valleys during the Vedic Period. Later, the Mauryans, Guptas and the Mughals sought to exercise varying degrees of control over trade and pilgrimage routes into this area and between India and Tibet. Ladakh controlled Lahul and Spiti from the decline of the Mughal Empire (about the mid-18th century) until the early 1840s, when it briefly came under Sikh rule. British domination followed the Anglo-Sikh Wars and continued, directly or indirectly, for the next 100 years. In 1948, it was constituted as an administrative unit comprising 30 princely states. The People: Himachalis lead a simple and quiet life, tending their orchards, fields and flocks. The population is composed of a variety of distinctive hill tribes: Gadis, Gujaris, Kinnauris, Lahulis, Pangwalis, and Rajputs. Hindi (the official state language) and Pahari are the principal languages. Himachal Pradesh is the least urbanized state in India; the urban population accounts for less than 10 per cent of the total. The simple people of Himachal Pradesh still hold their gods in awe. Culture: Keeping alive their rich highland identity, they remain immersed in the annual rounds of fairs and festivals full of music, song and dance. The Shimla hills, the Kullu valley (including the town of Manali), and Dalhousie are tourist attractions. Skiing, golfing, fishing, trekking, and mountaineering are activities for which Himachal Pradesh is ideally suited. Occupation: Most people in Himachal Pradesh earn their keep by agriculture, pastoralism, horticulture, and forestry. The state's main industrial products are agricultural implements, turpentine, and resin at Nahan, television sets, fertilizer, beer, and liquor at Solan, cement at Rajban, processed fruit at Parwanoo, and electronics near Shimla. Thousands of artisan-based, small-scale industrial units are also in operation. Handicrafts: Exquisitely designed shawls of Kinnaur, the distinctive woollen caps of Kullu, and the embroidered handkerchiefs of Chamba are some of the very attractive examples of local weaving. Himachal Pradesh is also known for its Kangra Valley School of Paintings. CLIMATE: The State can be divided into two regions: the Southern part, which is almost as hot as the plains and the northern region having a temperate summer and a winter with extreme cold and heavy snowfall. The rainfall is around 180 CMS. Best time to visit Himachal is during the months Mid-May to Mid-October.
Population: 6 million Festivals: Shivratri festival in Mandi in Feb/March; Sul Mata festival in Chamba in March; Kangra Valley Tea Festival in April; Shimla Summer Festival in May; Kulu Dussehra, which begins when festivities in the rest of the country have ended in October; Renuka Fair, held on the banks of Renuka lake in November. Tourist Offices: Himachal Pradesh Tourist Information Counter - The Mall, Shimla- 171001, and Himachal Pradesh. Himachal Pradesh Tourist Information Counter - The Mall, Manali - 175131, Himachal Pradesh. Department of Tourism & Civil Aviation - Daizy Bank Estate, Shimla- 171001 Himachal Pradesh. Himachal Tourism Office - Chandralok Building, 36, Janpath, New Delhi - 110 001.
Trekking in Himachal Pradesh
Himachal offers a virtual bonanza for trekkers. From moderate to strenuous treks ranging up to 11 days and the best season to trek over here is during the months of June to October. One of Himachal's classic routes is the Chandra Bhaga triangle and the Baralacha Pass at a height of 4,833m. Kullu - Manali region, together with Lahaul and Spiti areas, offer possibly the best soft, medium and hard trekking opportunities. Besides, the main Kullu and Parbati Valleys, there are many idyllic side valleys, all leading to passes or snow covered summits of the Pir Panjal and Himalayan ranges. Some popular treks include: Batal to Chandra Tal & Baralacha Pass, Dharamsala to Chamba over Indradhar Pass and Kinnaur Kailash Parikrama, which is also known as Kinner Kailash Circuit.
BATAL TO CHANDRA TAL & BARALACHLA LA
Altitude: 4,800m. Duration: 18 Days Time Period: Mid-July to September The Baralacha La (4,800m) is a double pass. It marks the divide between the main Himalayas and Lahaul Range, and also between Himalayas and the Baralacha Range, which extends north to the Zanskar. The mountain ranges provide an impressive backdrop, and a night's camping will afford fine views. ITINERARY Day 01: Arrive Delhi Day 02: Delhi – Manali, 2,000m- 570-km, 16- hours. Day 03: Manali Day 04: Manali to Marsu via Seten, 2,500m- 5-hours. Day 05: Sethan to Balu Gyra, 3,300m- 5-hours. Day 06: B/Gyre to Shea Gharu, 3,700m, over H/Pass, 4,200m- 6-hours. Day 07: Shea Gharu to Chhatru, 3,360m. Day 08: Chatru to Chhota Dara, 3,440m- 5-hours. Day 09: Chhota Dara to Batal 3,640m- 5-hours. Day 10: Batal to Chandra Tal, 4,200m- 6-hours.
Day 11: Chandra Tal Day 12: Chandra Tal to Topko Yongma, 4,370m- 6-hours Day 13: Topko Yongmo to Topko Gongmo, 4,450m- 4-hours. Day 14: Topko Gongmo - Baralachala Base Camp, 4,550m Day 15: Base camp to Baralachala, 4,800m- 4-hours. Day 16: Base camp Baralachala to Manali, 135-kms. Day 17: Manali to Delhi Day 18: Delhi - Onward Destination. TOUR END
Altitude: 3,600m Duration: May-June and September-October Time Period: 9 Days Few trekkers make it to the spectacular, all but inaccessible Pangi Valley, sandwiched between the soaring Greater Himalayan Range in the North and the Outer Himalayan range of the south. Several peaks have never been climbed, and onward paths lead to Kashmir, Lahaul and Zanskar. Trekkers already acclimatized can complete this moderately difficult trek in 9 or 10 days. ITINERARY Day 01 Manali- Udaipur- Raoli, an 8-hour drive by taxi. Day 02 Raoli- Sach, 2,150m, is a 6-hour trek and on the way good temples to see. Day 03 Sach- Kilar, one can go to Mindyhat temple in the morning before starting for Killar. Day 04 Kilar- Bindrabani, 2,800m, steep down to Chenab River and then 5-hour steep ascents to Bindrabani. Day 05 Bindrabani- Bagotu, 3,600m, 2.5-hour climb to Duna Sarai, 2,500m and then 3-hour further to Bagotu. Day 06 Bagotu- Satrundi, 3,400m, 4-hour steep ascent to the Sach Pass and then 2-hour descent to the camp. Day 07 Satrundi- Traila 2,000m, 4-hour down going to Alwas and 3-hour to Traila Day 08 Traila- Chamba, 9,96m by taxi, 5-hour drive. Day 09 Chamba Pathankot via Dalhousie by taxi, 6-hour drives. TOUR END
DALHOUSIE-DHARAMSALA OVER GHASUTRI PASS
Altitude: 4588m. Time Period: 10 Days Most of the routes in this trail are used by Gaddi Shepards, who cross from north to south in the winter, cradling bundles of lambs and kids in their jackets, and return to the northern pastures in summer. ITINERARY Day 01 Dalhousie to Khajjiar, 1,951m, Distance 20-km. Walk up to Kalatop and then through the beautiful forests to Khajjiar. Enjoy the beauty surroundings of the lake, temple and the green meadows. Day 02 Khajjiar to Chamba, 9,96m, Distance 18-km. While going down enjoy the wonderful view of the distant mountain ranges and Chamba valley down below. Day 03 Chamba to Chhatrari, 1,900m, Distance 4-hour journey by bus. Day 04 Chhatrari to Chalau, 2,800m, Distance 15-km. Walk through the green fields, villages and mixed forests, along the stream. Day 05 Chalau to Chanderkup Tal, 3,450m, Distance 10-km. A mixed terrain but later becomes steep and even rough patches have to be negotiated.
Day 06 Chanderkup Tal to Alyas, 2,800m, Distance 12-km. Steep and rough route to the Pass, which remains covered with snow for most of the time. The snow and steep slopes on both sides of the Pass make it possible for the locals and Gaddis to slide down. Sliding down over any slope is called Ghasutri in local dialect and so is the name of the Pass. Day 07 Alyas to Rawa village, 2,100m, Distance 14-km. It is all going down but a rough route. Day 08 Rawa village to Dharamsala, 1,250m, Distance12-km. It is well-marked route and going down to Dharamsala. One can go via Macleodganj to visit this part of the town.
Day 09 From Dharamsala proceed towards by bus to Delhi, Shimla or any other place. TOUR END
DALHOUSIE - MANALI (VIA KEYLONG) OVER KUGTI PASS
Altitude: 5,040 m Duration: 11-12 Days Another demanding route is the one that crosses Kugti Pass, at an awesome altitude of 5,040m. From Hadsar, an hour by bus from Bharmour, the path follows the River Budhil for 12-km to Kugti, known for fine Yak milk and curds. ITINERARY Day 01 Dalhousie to Khajjiar, 1,951m Distance 20-km. either via Kalatop or direct through thick forests and the wild life sanctuary. Day 02 Khajjiar to Chamba, 9,96m, Distance 18-km. Descend and enjoy a good view of distant mountains and Ravi valley down below. Day 03 Chamba to Bharmour, the Base Camps situated at 2,195m. Distance 64-km by bus via Rakh, Durghati and other villages. Visit old temples and other buildings of old capital of Chamba. Day 04 Bharmour to Hadsar, 2,317m, Distance 13-km. The route is along different terra up and down through forests. Day 05 Hadsar to Kugti, 2,640m, Distance 14-km. The route is along the Budhil stream with many ups and downs through green forests. Day 06 Kugti to Duggi Caves, 3,354m, Distance 13-km. amidst the green valley and panoramic view, Kartic temple at Keling is worth a visit. Kailash peak is also visible from here. Cave is sufficient for 15 persons. Day 07 Duggi to Alyas, 3,660m, Distance 12-km is a tough route. At Kudi there is a big grassy plateau and a stone hut. Day 08 Alyas to Khardu, 3,550m, Distance 15-km. A steep ascent to Pass and then steep descent after the Pass. Day 09 Khardu to Shansha, 2,950m, Distance 14-km. A rough treks over stones and loose boulders. From here either go to Keylong or return to Udaipur via Triloknath. Day 10 Shansha to Keylong, 2,050m, Distance 7-hours journey by bus. Visit Kardang Monastery and meet the tribal people. Day 11 Keylong to Manali, 2,050m, Distance 7-hours journey by bus. TOUR END
DALHOUSIE - MANALI OVER MARHU PASS
Altitude: 4,365m Duration: 12-15 Days This trail again leads the path to Kugti pass and is a very arduous trek. After enjoying the fine views of the towering peaks of Lahaul and Zanskar from the summit, one plummets once again to the head of Khardu glacier. ITINERARY Day 01 Dalhousie to Khajjiar, 1,951m Distance 20-km. either via Kalatop or direct through thick forests and the wild life sanctuary. Day 02 Khajjiar to Chamba, 9,96m, Distance 18-km. Descend and enjoy a good view of distant mountains and Ravi valley down below.
Day 03 Chamba to Bharmour, the Base Camps situated at 2,195m. Distance 64-km by bus via Rakh, Durghati and other villages. Visit old temples and other buildings of old capital of Chamba. Day 04 Bharmour to Hadsar, 2,317m, Distance 13-km. The route is along different terra up and down through forests. Day 05 Hadsar to Kugti, 2,640m, Distance 14-km. The route is along the Budhil stream with many ups and downs through green forests. Day 06 Kugti to Duggi Caves, 3,354m, Distance 13-km. amidst the green valley and panoramic view, Kartic temple at Keling is worth a visit. Kailash peak is also visible from here. Cave is sufficient for 15 persons. Day 07 Duggi to Alyas, 3,660m, Distance 12-km is a tough route. At Kudi there is a big grassy plateau and a stone hut. Day 08 Alyas to Khardu, 3,550m, Distance 15-km. A steep ascent to Pass and then steep descent after the Pass. Day 09 Khardu to Shansha, 2,950m, Distance 14-km. A rough treks over stones and loose boulders. From here either go to Keylong or return to Udaipur via Triloknath. Day 10 Shansha to Keylong, 2,050m, Distance 7-hours journey by bus. Visit Kardang Monastery and meet the tribal people. Day 11 Keylong to Manali, 2,050m, Distance 7-hours journey by bus. TOUR END
DALHOUSIE-MANALI VIA BHARMOUR-UDAIPUR OVER KALICHO PASS
Altitude: 4,800m. Duration: 18 Days Time Period: Mid-July to September Trekking routes lead north from Brahmour (2,130m) across passes covered with snow for most of the ayer. The challenging trek over Kalicho Pass (4,800m), aptly names as 'the abode of Kali' (the Goddess of death), starts with a gradual ascent of 24-km to Badagram (2,325m). ITINERARY Day 01 Arrive Delhi Day 02 Delhi – Manali,2,000m- 570-km, 16- hours. Day 03 Manali Day 04 Manali to Marsu via Seten,2,500m- 5-hours. Day 05 Sethan to Balu Gyra,3,300m- 5-hours. Day 06 B/Gyra to Shea Gharu,3,700m, over H/Pass, 4,200m- 6-hours. Day 07 Shea Gharu to Chhatru,3,360m. Day 08 Chatru to Chhota Dara, 3,440m- 5-hours. Day 09 Chhota Dara to Batal 3,640m- 5-hours. Day 10 Batal to Chandra Tal, 4,200m- 6-hours. Day 11 Chandra Tal Day 12 Chandra Tal to Topko Yongma, 4,370m- 6-hours. Day 13 Topko Yongmo to Topko Gongmo, 4,450m- 4-hours. Day 14 Topko Gongmo - Baralachala Base Camp, 4,550m. Day 15 Base camp to Baralachala, 4,800m- 4-hours. Day 16 Base camp Baralachala to Manali, 135-kms. Day 17 Manali - Delhi Day 18 Delhi - Onward Destination. TOUR END
DHARAMSALA TO CHAMBA OVER INDRADHAR PASS
Duration: 7 days Time Period: May to November Dharamsala is one of the prominent starting points for trek over the rocky ridges of the Dhauladhar range, which rise steeply from Kangra Valley, surmounted by passes as high as 4,600m. The most frequent route from Dharamsala to the Chamba Valley, over the Indradhar Pass, is arduous in places, but most novice trekkers manage it in around five to seven days. ITINERARY Day 01 Arrival at Mcleod Ganj, Dharamsala. Acclimatization walks. Day 02 Sight seeing and visiting, His Holiness Monastery, St. John’s Church in Wilderness, Dal Lake, Bhagsu Shiva temple and water fall, Naddi Talnoo. Preparation for trek and packing. Day 03 Mcleod Ganj- Gunna Devi, 2,310m- 8-kms, pass through Tibetan Children village, Dal Lake and then to Balh Nullah. Naddi to Balh Nullah is a thick deodar and Oak Forest and sight of a leopard is very common feature. After a steep climb of an hour one reaches at Galu on top and enjoys views on all sides. From here a 4-km trek is facing the sun that traverses towards Gunna Devi and the Kali temple. Day 04 Gunna Devi- Jari Gote via Kanjrala, 3,000m-12-kms. This place has got very thick forest of mixed variety, lot of medicinal plants and wildlife in abundance. Form here a steep ascent is followed upto Relu Gote and then a gentle climb and traverses to Jeri Gote which abruptly opens after a long jungle walk. Jari Gote is located at the base of Bhimaghasutri Pass. Day 05 Jari Gote- Illaqa Gote, 3,150m- 8-km. In the month of June the whole trek is partially covered with snow up to Illaqa Gote, which offers a view of the Pass and the Mun Peak as well as the other snow capped peaks. Day 06 Illaqa Gote- Triund, 2,975m- 10-km. Triund is the base camp for trekkers going to Chamba and Bharmaur. Lasu green meadows, closets view of Dhauladhat, sunset and panorama of Kangra valley, plains of Punjab and Shivalik ranges are the unique sights from this place. Day 07 Triund- Mcleod Ganj, 1,760m- 9-km. A lovely trek descends down the valley. It’s a welldefended trail with picturesque scenes of Mcleod Ganj, Bhagsu and Dharamsala town. TOUR END
HADSAR TO CHANDRA VALLEY VIA KUGTI PASS
Altitude: 5,040m. Duration: 7 Days The trek over the Kugti Pass can ideally be combined with a trek to Mani Mahesh Lake. Option: Hardsar to Mani Mahesh Lake This option takes two to three stages to complete. From Hadsar (2,280m) the pilgrim trail commences the steady climb towards Dancho (2,250m), where most of the pilgrims take up an overnight stay. It takes approximately three hours to complete this 7-km stage. From Dancho it takes a further three hours to climb alongside the Gauri stream to Mani Mahesh Lake. Mani Mahesh Lake (3,950m) is set beneath the peak of Mani Mahesh Kailash, the traditional seat of Lord Shiva. Most pilgrims trek from Dancho to the lake and return to Hardsar. ITINERARY Day 01 Bharmaur, 2,130m – Hadsar, 2,320m, 13-kms by Jeep, Hadsar – Manimahesh and back 13-kms trek. Day 02 Hadsar – Kugti village, 2,590m, 12-kms. Day 03 Kugti village – Kuddi Got, 4,000m, 12-kms. Day 04 Kuddi Got – Khardu, 3,540m over Kugti Pass, 5,040m, 10-kms. Day 05 Khardu – Shansha village via Raape village 12-kms, Shansha - Udaipur by jeep. Day 06 At Udaipur visit to Trilok Nath temple and Mrikula Devi temple. Day 07 Udaipur – Manali via Rohtang Pass, 3,979m by jeep. TOUR END
KILLAR - LEH VIA POST LA (PASS)
Duration: 12-15 Days The wild and picturesque Pangi valleys subdivision headquarters are situated at Killar, which is located in the deep and narrow gorge of the river Chandrabhaga. The foaming river, the high crags of the gorge and the difficult terrain are a challenge for intrepid trekkers. ITINERARY Day 01 Killar to Ishthari, 2,226m, Distance 7-hours. The route is easy and one has to pass through Dharwas. Day 02 Ishthari to Atholi, 2,225m, Distance 6-hour via Shol. Moderate walking. Day 03 Atholi to Shashut, 2,750m, Distance 7-hours. Cross the bridge and the trek ascend along Padar River to Gularbagh, where horses are available. The river has to be crossed twice. Day 04 Shashut to Dangel, 3,245m, Distance 5-6 hours. On way pass through a Buddhist village – Machel and its inhabitants have their relations in Zanskar valley. Porters can be hired here. There are sapphire mines behind this village. Trek one hour more. Day 05 Dangel to Tilput Got, 3,585m, Distance 5-6 hours. From Dangel one has to follow the Dharlang Nallah to Tilput Got at the crossing of this trek with another trek coming from Shol over the Kaban-La, 4,905m. Day 06 Tilput Got to Chomo Chhumkhor, 4,100m, Distance 6-hours. The route is ascending along the Nallah till the confluence of another stream. Local people with their animals may be seen around. Day 07 Chomo Chhumkhor to Camp I, 4,475m, Distance 5-6 hours. Trek along this Nallah to the crossing of another route coming from Sersank Pass. Day 08 Camp I to Camp II, 4,815m, Distance 6-7 hours. Now the route is ascending over the boulders, stones and moraine. The shepherds have marked the route well. Day 09 Camp II to Camp III, 5,150m, Distance 4-5 hours. The route is steep and one has to walk at height. So it is better to camp near the Pass. This will help in acclimatization too. Day 10 Camp III to Camp I, 4,850m, Distance 6-7 hours. Climb to the Pass for a beautiful sight on all sides. Walk down to the Sumdo where the trek from Kangla lot meets. Day 11 Camp I to Camp II, 3, 675m, Distance 6-hours. Going down along the stream till another confluence of two streams. Day 12 Camp II to Padam, 3,560m, Distance 7-hours via Pibcha across the river where another route from Manali joins. From Padam proceed either to Leh or return to Manali. TOUR END
MANALI TO CHANDRA VALLEY VIA HAMTA PASS
Altitude: 3,960m Duration: May, June, August, September, and October Time Period: 5 Days The trek from the Kullu Valley over the Hampta Pass to lahaul, the old Carvan route to Spiti, is a classic. Rising to 3,960m, it is high by Kullu standards; do not undertake it without allowing good time for acclimatization along the way. ITINERARY Day 01 Arrival Manali, 2,050m and acclimatization walk around Manali Day 02 Drive from Manali to Pirni village, further steep walk via Pandu Ropa to Chhika, 3,000m, camping site Day 03 Chhika- Hamta, 4,268m- 10-km, one can have a close view of Deo Tibba and Indrasan Peaks, further retreat the steps back to confluence of Patpori Nallah and Hamta Nallah. Day 04 Pataori Nalla- Sarotu 3,400m-12-km, during the traverse of hills one will gain maximum height of 4,000m and cross Jobri Nallah, the camping ground is a grazing place on the way one can visit the famous cave of Wangdwar. Day 05 Sarotu- Bhanara- Manali, 13-kms, trail descend to Bhanara village a place for old beautiful temple and ruins of forts of Piti Raja. Gradually traverse on the way from the famous Arjun Gufa and Shabbri temple to Manali.
MANALI-HAMYA HERBAL TREK
Altitude: 4268m. Duration: June to September Time Period: 8 Days This treks natural trail follows from Manali to Chikka, situated at 3,000m and for camping one has to go over to right bank of Hamta Nallah. This site is having plenty of choices of natural hubs and a nice experience for those who are not just looking for a hike experience. Say hello to nature! ITINERARY Day 01 Arrival Manali, 2,050m and acclimatization walk. Day 02 Manali Pandu Ropa- 10-kms, Pandu Ropa is situated at 2,800m. The camp is located on the left bank of Hamta Nullah. From here three trek leading to different valleys, which are abundant in herbal plants. Here one can find beautiful caves and tents can also be pitched. Day 03 Pandu Ropa- Chikka and back to Pandu Ropa – 6 kms, Chhika is situated at 3000 mtrs. Here and further above the tree line plenty of bushes and herbs e.g. gentian, Kurro, Swertia Chirata, Mantha- Sylvstris, Cannabis Sativa & Morchella are available. Day 04 Pandu Ropa – Balugera (base of Hamta)- 10 kms, Balugera is situated at 3,800m approximately 3-km below Hamta Pass. Day 05 & 06 In search of herbal plants e.g. Aconitum heterophuyllum, Gentian Kurroo, Discorea, Pdophyllum haxandrum, Valeriana Wallichii, Mantha- Sylvstris and many other medicinal plants. This herbal trek is gaining height upto Hamta Pass. At Pass, a panoramic view of peaks in Central Lahaul and close view of northern face of Deo Tibba, 6,001m and Indrasan, 6,221m is available. Day 07 Return Journey- Hamta to Pandu Ropa. Day 08 Pandu Ropa- Manali. TOUR END
UDAIPUR TO PADUM (ZANSKAR) VIA KANG LA
Altitude: 5,200m Duration: 17 Days Time Period: July, August & September A drive for 6-hours by Car/Coach to Darcha, from where the trek starts, enroute the famous Rothang Pass, the gateway to the tribal valley of Lahaul and Spiti regions. For those who seek adventure to explore the barren desolate and can touch natural beauty, this trek is great experience and rewarding one. One should not miss the incomparable Phuktal Gompa perched high on the cliff. ITINERARY Day 01 Arrive Delhi Day 02 Delhi Day 03 Manali Day 04 Manali -Darcha Day 05 Darcha-Palmo Day 06 Palmo-Zanskar Sumdo Day 07 Zanskar-Sumdo-Chumik Nakpo Day 08 Chumik Nakpo-Lakhong Day 09 Lakhong-Kargiakh Day 10 Kargiah-Purni Day 11 Purni-Phuktal Gompa Day 12 Purni-Mune Day 13 Mune-Padum Day 14 Padum-Leh Day 15 Leh
Day 16 Leh- Delhi by flight Day 17 Delhi -Onward Destination TOUR END
MCLEOD GANJ TO MACHETER VIA INDRADHAR PASS
Altitude: 4,350m Duration: 8 Days Time Period: June to October There are dozens of treks that can be covered over the Dhaula Dhar ranges, but the most famous are this one out of Mcleod Ganj and also the easiest one. The treks over the Dhaula Dhar can easily be combined with a trek out Brahmour over the Kugti Pass. ITINERARY Day 01 Arrival at Dharamsala/ Mcleod Ganj, acclimatization walks. Day 02 Sight seeing of prominent places, town, and monasteries and know about the area. Day 03 Mcleod Ganj- Triund, 2,975m- 9-kms, it takes 3-hours to reach Triund, which is known for scenic grandeur presenting closest views of Dhauladhar. Below the valley one can enjoy the sunset and plains of Punjab and Shivalik ridges. The place is unique for stargazers; green meadows give a cozy feeling to a tired trekker. There is a forest bungalow constructed during the British regime. Day 04 Triund- Lahesh Cave, 3,350m- 7-kms, the journey takes 3-hours, the Lahesh Cave is located at the base of Indrahara Pass and it is a big rock overhang to provide shelter for 8-9 trekkers. One can also camp below the cave in flat open area. The trek crosses all along Illaqa Gote. Day 05 Lahesh Cave- Chatta Parao, over Indrahara Pass- 4,350m, 3-4 hours steep and taxing climb, this is the most frequented pass. TOUR END
The Baralacha La (4,800m) is a double pass. It marks the divide between the main Himalayas and Lahaul Range, and also between Himalayas and the Baralacha Range, which extends north to the Zanskar. The mountain ranges provide an impressive backdrop, and a night's camping will afford fine views. ITINERARY Day 01 Dalhousie to Khajjiar, 1,951m, Distance 20-km. either via Kalatop or diret through thick forest and the wild life sanctuary. Day 02 Khajjiar to Chamba, 9,96m, Distance 18-km. Descend and have good view of distant mountains and Ravi valley down below. Day 03 Chamba to Kalhel, 1,230m, Distance 55-km journey by bus. Day 04 Kalhel to Tikri, 1,615m, Distance 16-km. After crossing Chanju Nallah, the trek rises and goes to Tikri. Day 05 Tikri to Chanju, 2,135m, Distance 20-km. Easy walking and then ascending the Charar Nallah through Bagal and Bhula Villages. Day 06 Chanju to Bhangor, 2,450m, Distance 14-km. After crossing 2 streams the route goes through dense forest; lovely walking. Day 07 Bhangor to Sillagharat, 1,830, Distance 12-km. Climb to the Pass and then descend to the other side for a night camp in the Pangi Valley. Day 08 Sillagharat to Chamba, 9,96m, Distance 20-km. Trek down along Hul Nallah. One has to cross and recross it many times. TOUR END
DALHOUSIE - BARA BHANGAL
Duration: 8 Days
This trek follows the green landscaped trails of Khajjiar, which is a lovely picnic spot site of Himachal Pradesh. From here a 30-km long footpath, passing through thick deodar forests leads to Chamba. ITINERARY Day 01 Dalhousie to Khajjiar, 1,951m Distance 20-km. either via Kalatop or direct through thick forest and the wild life sanctuary. Day 02 Khajjiar to Chamba, 9,96m, Distance 18-km. Descend and have good view of distant mountains and Ravi valley down below. Day 03 Chamba to Channota, 2,201m, Distance 18-km. From Ulansa the route turns to right, passes through Gurola and climbs to Sual along Chanaota Nallah. From here one route goes to Kuarsi, Distance 19-km and one to Dharamsala. Day 04 Chanaota to Holi, 1960m, Distance 19-km. The trek goes down to Lamu and ascends along left bank of Ravi to Sutkar and then to Holi. Day 05 Holi to Nayagram, 2,285m, Distance 19-km. Walk along the left bank of Ravi passing Deol and Garoh villages. From here one fan go to Baijnath via Sural Pass. Day 06 Nayagram to Dharari, 2,440m, Distance l6-km. cross the river to the other side and walk through Bajoli and Sind villages. Day 07 Dharari to Ratnapani, 2,500m, Distance 16-km. along the river for some distance and then cross to the left bank. Day 08 Ratnapani to Bara Bhangal, 2,540m, Distance 16-km. At certain places the route is difficult. From Bara Bhangal one can go either to Manali or to Dharamsala. TOUR END
DALHAUSIE-KISHTWAR VIA SACH PASS
Altitude: 4,390m Duration: 12 Days This trek is also among some of the many treks that pass through the dense Deodar forests of Khajjiar. The trail also presents a chance to explore the various wild horizons and hilly beauty in and around Dalhousie and the ideal time to trek is during summer. The gradual climb to Sach Pass (4,890m), which remains open from June to October, is toughie! So be prepared for some steep climbs. ITINERARY Day 01 Dalhousie to Khajjiar, 1,951m, Distance 20-km, walking through the forests. Day 02 Khajjiar to Chamba, 9,96m, Distance 8-km. Steep going down with a beautiful view. Day 03 Chamba to Tarella, 2,000m, Distance 8-hour via Tisa by bus, passing through green fields, villages and Chamera Hydle Project. Day 04 Tarella to Satrundi, 3,400m, Distance 16-km and a steady climb. Day 05 Satrundi to Bindrabani, 2,800m, Distance 18-km. Gradual climbs to Sach Pass and then descends to Bindrabani. Day 06 Bindrabani to Killar, 2,600m, Distance 16-km. going down hill via Bagotu. Day 07 Halt to visit nearby villages and enjoy the views while resting and relaxing. Day 08 Killar to Ishtahari, 2,226m, Distance 27-km. Descend and level walking via Dharwas. Day 09 Ishtahari to Atholi, 2,225m, Distance 22-km. Level walk via Shol. Day 10 Atholi to Shasho, 2,287m Distance 14-km and level walk. Day 11 Shasho to Galhar, 2,288m, Distance 22-km. Level walk along Chenab River. Day 12 Galhar to Kishtwar, 1,525m, Distance 4-hour journey by bus. See Kishtwar town in the afternoon and then proceed to Jammu. TOUR END
DALHOUSIE - MANALI OVER CHOBIA PASS
Altitude: 4,966m Duration: 8-10 Days
The descend that one takes from Dalhousie to Chamba valley is full of panoramic natural horizons and while exploring the nature one also gets the opportunity to visit the temples and shrines of this religious town. But caution should be taken in the trail from Chobia to Alyas, which is a difficult one and the hike is steep till one reaches the base of the pass. ITINERARY Day 01 Dalhousie to Khajjiar, 1,951m, Distance 20-km. Walk via Kalatop or direct through thick forests and the wild life sanctuary. Day 02 Khajjiar to Chamba, 9,96m, Distance 18-km. Descend and have a good view of distant mountains and Chamba town down below. Day 03 Chamba to Bharmour, the base camp situated at 2,195m. Distance 64-km is covered by bus. Visit the old palace and temples. Guides and supplies can also be arranged here. Day 04 Bharmour to Chobia, 2,745m Distance 15-km via Hadsar. The route first goes down to Budhil River and then ascends. Chobia is the last village on this route. Day 05 Chobia to Alyas, 3,355m, Distance 12-km. Difficult and steep climb to the base of the Pass. Day 06 Alyas to Alyas, 3,250, District 15-km. Pass is situated between Barakanda, 5877 m and Tend Peak, 6,133m. Final pitch is very steep. Descent over stone and crevasses top on the other side. Day 07 Alyas to Trilokinath, 2,915m, Distance 20-km. stay for the night or go down to Udaipur to catch the early morning bus. Days 08 Trilokinath to Manali, 2,050m, Distance 9-hour journey by bus via Udaipur TOUR END
DALHOUSIE - MANALI OVER DRATI PASS
Altitude: 4,694m Duration: 10 Days For witnessing a lavish display of natural scenery, have a hiking expedition towards Manali that is the principal show place of Kullu valley. Another places that covers in the trek are Udeypur (also spelt as Udaipur) situated at an elevation of 2,743m above sea level. This place is also located at the junction of the mighty Mayar Nallah with the main river Chandrabhaga. ITINERARY Day 01 Dalhousie to Khajjiar, 1,951m, Distance 20-km. either via Kalatop or direct through thick forest and the wild life sanctuary. Day 02 Khajjiar to Chamba, 9,96m, Distance 18-km. Descend and have a good view of distant mountains. Day 03 Chamba to Sillagharat, 1,830m, Distance 20-km. After crossing Saho NaIlah the route rises and turns to left along Hul Nallah. Day 04 Sillagharat to Bhangor, 2,450m, Distance 17-km. Crossing and re-crossing Hul Nallah the route climbs to Banatu Bridge and then through forest to Bhangor. Day 05 Bhangor to Chanju, 2,135m, Distance 15-km. After leaving Bagal on the left, follow the Chanju nalla after Lunek. Day 06 Chanju to Alyas, 4,300m, Distance12-km. through Kalpra village to the base of the Pass. Day 07 Alyas to Tindi, 2,650m, Distance 20-km. Steep climb to the pass and then descent over moraine and grassy slopes. Day 08 Tindi to Udaipur, 2,743m, Distance 3-hour journey by bus. Visit the Trilokinath temple in the evening and join the prayers. Day 09 Udaipur to Manali, 2,050m, Distance 9-hour journey by bus via Rohtang Pass TOUR END
DALHOUSIE - UDAIPUR – MANALI OVER SACH PASS
Altitude: 4,390m Duration: 12 to 15 Days ITINERARY Day 01 Dalhousie to Khajjiar, 1,951m, Distance 20-km. Wonderful trekking through thick forest and the Wild Life Sanctuary. Day 02 Khajjiar to Chamba, 9,96m, Distance 18-km. Descending and having good view of distant mountains and Ravi valley. Day 03 Chamba to Tarella, 2,000m, Distance 84-km. By bus passing through green fields, villages and Chamera Hydle Project. Day 04 Tarella to Satrundi, 3,400m, Distance 16-km. Beautiful wild flowers meadow at this point and above. Day 05 Satrundi to Bindrabani, 2,800m, Distance 18-km. Over the Sach Pass down to Bindrabani. Day 06 Bindrabani to Killar, 2,600m, Distance 16-km. Descending. Killar is the headquarter of Fangi Valley. From here one route goes to Kishtwar in Jammu and another to Manali. Day 07 Killar to Sach Village, 2,200m Distance 15-km. There is a famous Mindhal temple worth visiting opposite to Sach. Day 08 Sach to Purthi, 2,150m Distance 20-km R.H. and temples with villages. Easy going through the valley. Day 09 Purthi to Raoli, 2,450m, Distance 19-km. Enjoy a pleasant walk along the Chenab River. Day l0 Raoli to Tindi, 2,650m, Distance 16-km. The village and temple may be visited in the evening. Day 11 Tindi to Udaipur, 2,743m, Distance 4-hour journey by bus, in the afternoon visit Trilokinath temple and then return to Udaipur. Day I2 Udaipur to Manali, 2,050m, Distance 9-hour journey by bus via Rohtang Pass. TOUR END
DHARAMSALA - NAYAGRAON TREK
Altitude: 3,693m. Duration: 10 Days Time Period: June to October Most of trail from Dharamsala pass through forests of Deodar, Pine, Oak and Rhododendron, cross-streams and rivers, and wind along vertiginous cliff tracks, passing the occasional lake, waterfalls and glaciers. Because the varied altitudes the snowline in this region is perhaps more easily accessible than at any other hill resort and it is quite possible to trek upto it after early morning's start. ITINERARY Day 01 Arrival at Dharamsala and acclimatization walk Day 02 Sight seeing to His Holiness Monastery, St. Joha’s Church in wilderness, Dal Lake, Bhagsu Shiva temple and water fall. Day 03 Drive to Bir by jeep, about 64-kms. From Dharamsala, sight seeing in Bir. Day 04 Bir- Billing and Rajgaunda- 14-kms. By road, Bir to Billing is along the road; the trek goes to the North of Billing along a spur above the Uhi River with an easy 2-hour trail to Rajgaunda. Day 05 Billing- palachak, 2,770m- 12-kms, Billing to Thamsar Jot and further to Barabhangal is a mule track, the Pass is comparatively higher than other passes of Dhauladhar but it is most frequented and well marked and generally used by the people of Baijnath and Barabhangal for want of any transport facility. Day 06 Palachak- Panihardu, 3,693m –9-kms, it takes about 3-hours to reach Panihardu over some Meadows and snowfields during May and June. There is steep climb at places, tent pitching is advised at this place. During summer season the local people put up tea stalls.
Day 07 Panihardu- Udeg/ Marhu, 3,690 Mts.- 17-kms, this is a long haul, one must take an early start to avoid mid day winds and bad weather. The trek is arduous being steep. There is a small glacial lake a little below the Pass, after about 4 hours strenuous climb one reaches Marhu, which has a flat land for camping. Day 08 Marhu- Barabhangal, 2,550m –18-kms, this is again a long trek, which descended steeply over rock cliffs. Many steep ridges have sot be negotiated before reaching Khaner village; it takes about 3 hours to reach Dhardi village. There is one short tricky rock face about 200-ft. above the river; the rest of the trek is normal. Day 09 Dhardi- Nayagraon, 2,245m- 14-kms, a descent along the river at an easy pace and after 3-hours arrival at a Dhaba or a small restaurant. The trek leads down towards a steel cable bridge on the south bank one Kilometer above Nayagraon where there is a rest house, Dhardi is being connected by a jezebel road from Nayagraon to facilitate the people of Dhardi and Khaner to reach Barabhangal comfortably. Day 10 Nayagraon- Deol, 2,020 Mts.- 8-kms, an easy trekking trail, rather jezebel path, to reach Deol, The Bus Head/ Deol is emerging as a big village with few shops and eating-places. From Deol one gets bus to reach Kharamukh, Bharmaur or Chamba. TOUR END
JAGATSUKH TO BASE OF DEO TIBBA
Altitude: 4,480m. Duration: 6 Days Time Period: May-June, September-October The base of Deo Tibba is reached via the forests, alpine meadows, and high grazing pastures of the Jagatsukh Nala - a return trip of between four or five days that is hard going in places. ITINERARY Day 01 Arrival Manali, 2,050m and acclimatization walk around Manali Day 02 Manali- Khanol, drive to Jagatsukh, further trek upwards through the forests ends up a place known as Khanol on the left bank of Dhuangan Nallah. Day 03 Khanol- Chhika, 6-kms, trek through unspoiled lushgreen forests, Alpine the camping site surrounded by beautiful rock climbing area. Day 04 Chhika- Seri, 5-kms, treks through alpine meadows with moderate climb for camp at Ser plateau. Day 05 Seri- Chandertal, 4,480m and back Seri with small pack one can visit to Chander Tal area, skied mountain of the Himalayan. Day 06 Seri- Manali, same trails follow back to Jagatsukh via Bhanara village, jeep drive back to Manali. TOUR END
KINNER KAILASH PARIKRAMA
Altitude: 5,242m Duration: 7 Days Time Period: May- September Mount Kinner Kailash has religious significance for a huge Shiva Lingam the representation of Lord Shiva. The circuit around the whole range attracts many pilgrims every year. The Parikrama begins from Kalpa via Triung and back to Kalpa via Sangla valley. One has to drive up to Thangi and the actual trekking begins from here. ITINERARY Day 01 Kalpa- Thangi, 2,966m-50-km, by bus, school building can be used for night, and tentage accommodation. Day 02 Thangi- Lambar, 2,89m-12-km, trek slightly going down. Day 03 Lambar- Charang, 3,506m- 12-km, the trek is through different terrain. Day 04 Charang- Chitkul, 3,450m- 14-km. Over Charang Ghati, 5,242m, gradual climbing to the Pass and then easy descending.
Day 05 Chitkul- Rakchham (2900 m-12 km) Jeepable road in operation during season, otherwise trek down to Rakchham. Day 06 Rakchham-Sangla (2590 m-14 km) Along the Baspa river in the Sangla Valley. Rest house available. Day 07 Sangla- Karchham (1982 m- 17 km) Through the Sangla valley with good view of mountain ranges. TOUR END
MANALI TO BEAS KUND
Altitude: 3,980m. Duration: 9 Days Time Period: May-October This easy trek takes you to the source of the river Beas, near Rohtang Pass. The walk is an easy one with Scenic Mountain View till the source of the river. Even children can undertake this trek too. ITINERARY Day 01 Arrive Delhi Day 02 Delhi – Manali, 2,000m- 16-hours. Day 03 Manali Day 04 Manali - Solang Valley, 2,050m. Day 05 Solang – Dundi, 2,775m. Day 06 Dundi - Beas Kund Day 07 Beas Kund - Solang Nallah Day 08 Manali – Delhi, 5,40-kms Day 09 Delhi TOUR END
MANALI - PADAM VIA BARALACHA LA
This trek starts across Rohtang Pass, which is the gateway to Lahaul, Spiti, and Pangi & Zanskar Valleys. Once reaching Keuling, the trekker has to go across Baralacha pass, which is the source of three rivers namely, Chandra, Bhaga, and Yunam. As one reaches Padam, the sub-divisional headquarter of Kargil district of J&K; try visiting the Bardan Gompa, one of the oldest Gompas of the region. ITINERARY Day 01 Drive to Darcha over the Rohtang Pass via Keylong. Day 02 Trek to Patsao, 3,820m. It was a center for trade between India and Tibet and a beautiful place for night stay. Day 03 Trek to Suraj Tal, 4,800m. Bhaga River originates from it. Day 04 Trek to Keuling, 4,200m, over Baralacha La, 4,954m. Day 05 Trek to Lingti ground, 4,300m, in Ladakh region along the Yunam River. Day 06 Trek to Khamerup, 4,500m. Streams on the way must be negotiated carefully. Day 07 Trek to Chhumickmarpho, 4,800m. Then cross Phirtse La, 5,435m. Day 08 Trek to Zingchen, 4,650m. Day 09 Trek to Kuru. TOUR END
MANI-MAHESH CHHUI YATRA
Altitude: 4,171m Duration: 9-Days Scared to Lord Shiva and his divine consort Parvati, the lake of Mani Mahesh is 35-km from Bharmaur. Past Gaddi villages and wide meadows that give way to bare rock and snowfields, this tarn is a 9-day trek from Bharmaur - via Hadsar and Dhanchha. ITINERARY
Day 01 Chamba, the Base camp is situated at 9,96m. People from various parts assemble here to join the Chhari Yatra. Day 02 Chamba to Julakari Mohalla, 1,050m, Distance 8-km. The procession with Chhari and other gods starts from the Lakshmi Narayan temple. Day 03 Julakari Mohalla to Rakh, 1,190m, Distance 14-km. On the way, more and more people from the villages, join the procession. Day 04 Rakh to Durghathi, 1,372m, Distance 22-km. More and more devotees join the procession. Day 05 Durghathi to Bharmour, 2195m, Distance 23-km. Some ceremonies are held in the temples. More devotees join procession for further journey. Day 06 Bharmour to Hadsar, 2,317m, Distance 13-km. Since, the procession grows big, it takes more time to the next halt. Day 07 Hadsar to Dhancho, 2,440m, Distance 12-km. For night halt, there is no suitable camping place after this point. Day 08 Dhancho to Mani Mahesh, 4,170m, Distance 10-km. Steep going. Devotees with advanced age take more time for the final stage due to steepness of route and height. Mani Mahesh is an ancient and most beautiful temple. Day 09 Mani Mahesh to Chamba, 9,66m, Distance 102-km. Return by bus from Hadsar. After the holy dip in the sacred lake, the procession starts back. This sacred lake is situated at the base of Chamba Kailash, 5,656m. TOUR END
THE SHALI TREK
Altitude: 4,800m. Duration: 18 Days Time Period: Mid-July to September Visible from Shimla and facing Mashobra, is the Shali peak. At 3,200m this is the highest in Shimla's vicinity. The summit presents an unimpaired view of the area around and holds an ancient temple dedicated to the Goddess Bhimkali. A wealth of herbs encircles the peak, and local belief maintains that breathing their air in early summer or autumn can cure chronic ailments. Interestingly, spring is not advised as it is believed that the fumes of fresh shoots emerging from the soil can render a person unconscious. The stout shrub sat brewer that grows in the local area was once used by the local area was once used by the local Kolis to make a kind of papyrus. The Trek: Drive upto Mashobra and walk down to the glade of Sipur. Carry on 8-km through picturesque woods, fields and orchards to the village of Thaila. Cross Nauti stream that races through a deep gorge. Here begins the 6-km climb to the hamlet of Kuthnol. Then is the final 6km ascent to the peak. A thick forest lies on the northern face of the Shali hill. An additional hike may be made to the adjacent 'Choti' or small Shali and the lake of Karyali. Camp overnight at Shali or at Kuthnol. Alternatively, drive upto the village of Gulthani that lies about 8-km short of the peak and walk the rest of the way. This route is via Mashobra, Baldian and Thaila. TOUR END
WANGTU TO KAZA VIA THE PIN VALLEY
ITINERARY Day 01 Arrive Delhi Day 02 Delhi – Manali, 2,000m- 16-hours. Day 03 Manali Day 04 Manali - Solang Valley, 2,050m. Day 05 Solang – Dundi, 2,775m. Day 06 Dundi - Beas Kund Day 07 Beas Kund - Solang Nallah Day 08 Manali – 5,40-kms
Day 09 Delhi TOUR END
JAMMU & KASHMIR
Location: Northern Most Part of India Three Main Regions: Jammu, Kashmir & Ladakh Language Spoken: Dogri, Kashmiri, Hindi & Ladakhi Best Time To Visit: Jammu - October To February Kashmir - May To October & November To February Ladakh - Mid June to September Jammu and Kashmir are really three regions: the foothill plains of Jammu; the lakes and blue valleys of Kashmir rising to alpine passes, the high altitude plains and starkly beautiful mountains of Ladakh, which lies beyond those passes. It's enough to move one to poetry. Srinagar is Kashmir's summer capital and Jammu, the winter capital. One of Kashmir's greatest attractions is the Dal Lake houseboat. The Mughal Gardens of Srinagar is another tourist haunt. Pahalgam, Gulmarg, near Srinagar are picturesque towns, the first a byroute to Amarnath, the second a premier skiing resort. The famous Shankaracharya temple is perched high on top of the valley. Jammu is a templed town. Ladakh, the land of high passes draws tourists to its Hemis Gompa, Stok Palace and Museum. The People: The majority is Muslims living in the Kashmir valley; culturally and ethnically, the closest links are with peoples in the northwestern highlands of the Gilgit district in the Pakistani sector. While Hindus dominate the Jammu region and Ladakh is majority influenced by the Trans-Himalayan Buddhism.The Kashmiri language is influenced by Sanskrit and belongs to the Dardic branch of Indo-Aryan languages also spoken by the hill tribes of Gilgit. The great majority of the population resides in the lower reaches of the Vale. Sringar, Jammu and Kashmir's largest city, is located on the Jhelum River. Capital: Srinagar, the capital, has a distinctly central Asian look. It stands on the Dal Lake (most of the more modern houseboats are located here) and the picturesque Jhelum River. Srinagar is also considered to be a small-sized Lake District. The massive Dal Lake, near the city and Nagin, the 'Jewel in the ring', a smaller lake, to the north, is dotted with water lilies. The lakes are mobile shops of moving shikaras. The old city has a labyrinth of alleyways and mosques. Culture: The ancient caves and temples of Kashmir reveal a strong link with Indian culture at the beginning of the Christian era. At one time the classical dances of the south are believed to have been practiced. These arts survived only in folk forms and were performed principally at marriage ceremonies. The popular Haifa dance performed by Kashmiri women to the accompaniment of sufiana kalam was later replaced by the bacha nagma, performed by young boys dressed like women. The bhand jashna ("festival of clowns"), a 300- to 400-year-old genre of Kashmiri folk theatre performed in village squares, satirizes social situations through dance, music and clowning. Occupation: The majority of the population is engaged in agriculture with rice, being the staple crop. Many temperate fruits and vegetables are grown in areas adjacent to urban markets. Kashmir is the sole producer of saffron in the Indian subcontinent. Cultivation in Ladakh is restricted to the Indus, Shyok, and Suru river valleys. Cattle breeding are a vital feature of the economy; the Kashmir goat provides cashmere or pashmina for the production of fine textiles. Handicrafts: Srinagar possesses many specialized agricultural markets, retail shopping centers, and associated industries. The industries have developed from rural crafts and include handloom weaving of local silk, cotton, and wool, carpet weaving, woodcarving, and leatherwork. Such industries, together with silverware and copperware and jewelry, were stimulated by the presence of the royal court and the tourist trade but also owe something to the important position achieved by Srinagar in west Himalayan trade. CLIMATE: The climate is one of opposites: while in summer time the heat builds upto breaking point in the foothills, people of Ladakh and Kashmir wait for the snow to Milton the high passes.
From October onwards, Jammu becomes a much more pleasant destination. However, the best time to enjoy vale of Kashmir and the adventures of Ladakh region is between the months of May and September. Population: 9 million Festivals: Jammu celebrates Lohri and Baisakhi in February. Every year a 3-day Jammu Crafts Mela is also organized during Baisakhi at the picturesque Mansar Lake, 60-km from Jammu. Bahu Mela, a major festival of Jammu region is held at the Kali temple in Bahu Fort, twice a year during March-April and September-October. In Srinagar, besides Id other important Muslim festivals are Urs at Khaneka in downtown Srinagar and Urs at Chrar-e-Sharif. The annual Ladakh festival is held in September; the Hemis Festival features chaams performed by the monks in elaborate masks. Tourist Offices Tourist Reception center - J&K Department of Tourism, Vir Marg, Jammu Tourist Office - J&K Department Of Tourism, National Airport, Jammu Tourist Office - J&K Department Of Tourism, Railway Station, Jammu. The Director Tourism - J&K Government Tourist Reception Center, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir Tourist Office - 201-203, Kanishka Shopping Plaza, 19 Ashoka Road, New Delhi - 110 001.
Trekking in Kashmir
Highest Altitude: 3, 700m Duration: 5 Days Time Period: June to September There are numerous beautiful treks in and around Kashmir Valley. They vary from short day walks from valley hill stations to longer walks in the valley and across the surrounding ranges, to hard treks out of the Kashmir region to Zanskar or Ladakh. This five-day trek out of the Kashmir valley into the Jammu region reaches a maximum altitude of 3, 700 meters and is best made between June and September. Day 01: Srinagar-Daksum Day 02: Daksum-Sinthan Pass Day 03: Sinthan-Chhatru Day 04: Chhatru-Mughal Maidan Day 05: Mughal Maidan-Dadhpeth GETTING AWAY: There are daily buses from Dadhpeth to Kishtwar. Dadhpeth is only 8-km from Mughal Maidan. Kishtwar has a Dak bungalow and other accommodation as well as camping possibilities. Kishtwar has some notable waterfalls and is also a center of saffron cultivation. It's a popular jumping off point for other treks and mountain climbing. From Kishtwar one can reach either Jammu or Srinagar by bus in one day.
Altitude: 4,191m Duration: Six Days Trekking Distance: 81-km Time Period: Early June to Late October This 81-km trek can take up to six days, or even longer in early June or late October when there may be snow or heavy thunderstorms. It reaches a maximum altitude of 4,191 meters. The first few days the route follows the Sogput Dhar, a ridge of the western Himalayas, crossing and recrossing it at convenient points. The first part of the trek as far as Nichinai is straight forward, but from here there are several routes to Narannag and Wangat. There is also a route beyond on the longer trek to Erin and Bandipur. Day 01: Srinagar-Sonamarg
Day 02: Sonamarg-Nichinai Day 03: Nichinai-Krishansar Day 04: Krishansar-Dubta Pani Day 05: Dubta Pani-Gangabal Lake Day 06: Gangabal Lake-Wangat ALTERNATIVE: - WULAR-GANGABAL (VIA POSHPATHRI) This is an alternative route on the reverse trek from around the Wular Lake to Gangabal and then either down to Wangat or on all the way to Sonamarg. Day 01: Srinagar-Erin Day 02: Erin Chuntimula Poshpathri Day 03: Poshpathri-Sarbal Day 04: Sarbal-Kundsar Lake Day 05: Kundsar Lake-Gangabal Lake Day 06: Onwards From day 6 onwards one can either torn south to Wangat, as on day 6 of the Sonamarg. Wangat trek, or continue east to Sonamarg, as on day 1 to 5 of that same trek.
PAHALGAM TO KOLAHOI GLACIER & TAR SAR
Highest Altitude: 5,425m Duration: 5 Days Time Period: June to September This short trek from Pahalgam is one of the most popular in Kashmir. From June to September months the route can be quite crowded. The route follows the Jammu road out of the Srinagar then turns up the Lidder Valley through a number of villages to Pahalgam. Reservation Desk Adventure Tours Day 01: Pahalgam to Aru (Average walking time 3 hours) Day 02: Aru to Lidderwat (Average walking time 3 hours) Day 03: Lidderwat to Kolahoi Glacier & Return (Average walking time 8 to 9 hours return) Day 04: Lidderwat to Seikwas, Tar SAR & Return (Average walking time 8 to 9 hours returns) Note: Although Lidderwat can be used as base for treks to the Kolahoi Glacier and Tar Sar, both stages are quite long and it is recommended to camp higher - at Satalanjan for the Kolahoi Glacier Trek, or at Seikwas for the Tar Sar trek, If this is not possible, then an early start is important if one has to reach Kolahoi or Tar Sar and return to Lidderwat before nightfall. Options: If one has started the trek at Seikwas then one could return by climbing the first ridge on the true left of the lake. This affords excellent views of the lake, and leads to the valley en route to the Sonamous Pass. The descent from this ridge is quite steep and is steep and is under snow during the early part of the season. From the valley floor, it is a couple of km back down to the upper Seikwas Campsite to complete the circuit. A further option is to trek around the late to the ridge at the far end of the valley. This route leads to the upper Dachigam sanctuary, and from the ridge one can appreciate the Kashmir valley at Harwan, not far from Dal Lake. Day 05: Lidderwat to Pahalgam (Average walking time 5 hours) GETTING AWAY: There are three buses a day from Pahalgam to Srinagar, the first leaves at 7.00 am and the last around 3.00 PM. If one misses the last bus, catch the bus to Anantnag and change buses here to Srinagar. It is therefore possible to trek from Lidderwat and return to Srinagar in one day.
PAHALGAM - SONAMARG
Highest Altitude: 4,115m Duration: 5 Days This blissful trek from the 'Valley of Shepards', Pahalgam to the hilly backdrop of Sonamarg is much more than just places of panoramic views. Among the main attraction of this route is the large open meadow of Aru (2.410m), situated at the confluence of Nafran and Lidder rivers. Day 01to 02: Pahalgam Aru Lidderwat The first two days are as for the Kolahoi glacier trek from Pahalgam. An additional day can be added here to actually visit the glacier before continuing on from Lidderwat. Day 03: Lidderwat Sekiwas The 10km walk ascends the Sekiwas Nullah to Sekiwas at 3430 meters. Day 04: Sekiwas-Khemsar The 11-km trek takes one over the 4,115-meter Yemhar Pass to Khemsar at 3,659 meters. The descent from the pass is fairly easy during July and August. There is no firewood available at Khemsar. Day 05: Khemsar-Kulan The trail descends through forests to the Sindh (also spelt as Sind) river where one crosses the Kulan Bridge at 2,226 meters. Reservation Desk GETTING AWAY: Sonamarg is only 16-km from Kulan and can be reached either by a good track up the Sindh valley or by bus.
PAHALGAM TO SUMBAL VIA SONAMOUS PASS
Highest Altitude: 3,960m Duration: 5 Days From Seikwas there is a choice of three passes leading to the Sindh Valley. The right hand valley leads to the Yehhar Pass; an unnamed pass directly above the Sekhiwas camp, which involves a steady ascent and Sonamous Pass towards the west of Sekhiwas. Day 01 to 03: Pahalgam to Seikwas. (Follow the PAHALGAM TO KOLAHOI GLACIER & TAR SAR trek). Day 03: Seikwas to Sonamous to Camp (Average walking time 5 hours) Day 03: Sonamous to Sumbal (Average walking time 3 to 4 hours) GETTING AWAY: At Sumbal there are a number of tea stalls where one can rest before catching the local bus. There are regular services till 4.00 PM taking two to three hours to return to Srinagar. The last bus to Sonamarg leaves Sumbal around 3.00 PM and the journey takes about two hours. From here there are a number of alternatives, including boarding a truck or bus onward to Ladakh and completing a trek there or spending a day in Sonamarg and continuing the trek onto Vishen Sar and Gangabal before returning to Srinagar.
PAHALGAM TO SURU VALLEY (LADAKH) VIA BOKTOL PASS
Highest Altitude: 4,860m Duration: 8 Days Time Period: Mid July to Early September This trail passing from Boktal Pass, sometimes referred to as the Lonvilad Gali, has been the most popular back-door route for the pilgrims and armies crossing into Ladakh. A spellbinding divide between two of the word's most formidable mountain ranges, the Suru Valley winds south from Kargil to the desolate Pensi La - the main entry point to Zanskar region. Day 01 & 02: Pahalgam to Sheshnag (Follow the first two stages of the AMARNATH CAVE TREK) Day 03: Sheshnag to Permandal over the Gul Gali
(Average walking time 5 to 6 hours) Day 04: Permandal to Humpet (Average walking time 5 to 6 hours) Day 05: Rest Day. Visit Kantial Valley. Day 06: Humpet to Kanital (Average walking time 3 hours) Day 07: Kanital to Boktol Pass & Donara (Average walking time 8 to 9 hours) Day 08: Donara to Panikhar (Average walking time 2 to 3 hours) GETTING AWAY: From Panikhar there are local buses to Kargil and the drive takes about four hours to reach. Alternatively, one may wish to continue to trek. Options are to continue via Parachik To Rangdum and then over the Karji-La To Heniskot Or Lamayuru, or to catch a trek in the Zanskar region.
Trek: Pahalgam to Amarnath Cave via Mahagunas Pass Altitude: 4,175m (13,700ft). Alternative Trek: Sonamarg to Amarnath During the yatra, the Indian authorities carefully control stages of the walk. The first stage of the trek is to Chandanwadi, the second to Sheshnag and the third over the Mahagunas Pass to Panchtami. Many pilgrims visit the cave from Panchtami and return to Sheshnag the same day, walking back to Pahalgam on the fifth day. Stage 1: Pahalgam to Chandanwadi (Average walking time 4 hours) The trail leaves Pahalgam on a bitumen road, past the Shankar temple and along the east Liddar valley. The trail is easy to follow indeed it is suitable for jeeps as far as Chandanwadi (2,900m). There are many obvious short cuts on the route, and a number of tea stalls, as this first stage always seems to be quite hot. The campsite is in a pleasant glade just before the main line of tea stalls. Stage 2: Chandanwadi to Sheshnag (Average walking time 5 to 6 hours) From Chandanwadi the trail winds steeply for 500m to the summit of ridge known as Pisu Top (3,390m). From here, there are commanding views back down the valley to the mountains beyond Pahalgam. During the main pilgrimage, the tea stall owners do a thriving business, which keeps the pilgrims going on the long incline to the next main resting area at Wawajana (3,550m). From here it is two to three km further to Sheshnag (3,720m). The glacial lake is set in remarkable surroundings; its waters reflecting the snow capped peaks of Vishnu, Shiva and Brahma. Rumor among pilgrims has it that the lake is inhabited by a serpent of Loch Ness monster proportions, so it's advisable not to camp too close to the water's edge. Stage 3: Sheshnag to Panchtarni (Average walking time 6 hours) The trail gradually ascends from Sheshnag with magnificent views of the mountains immediately above. The ascent towards the Mahagunas Pass winds up to a grassy plateau, and from there on to the pass it is a further hour's climb. The sign at the top of the pass states the height as 4,270m. It is not a dramatic pass, but it is still no mean achievement for the pilgrims, many of who have never been beyond the Indian plains before. The descent to Panchtarni (3,450m) is quite long and tiring, but there are frequent flowered meadows to rest in and admire. The campsite can be seen from afar; and behind, on a further ridge, the bare, treeless mountainscape resembles the terrain on the far side of the Himalayas. There are more spacious campsites upstream from the main camping area, and these are also a little cleaner.
Stage 4: Panchtarni to Amarnath Cave & Return (Average walking time 5 hours return) The actual time to the cave will depend on whether one's trek coincides with the main pilgrimage. During the pilgrimage an early start is essential, with many of the pilgrims move more steadily and slowly than on the rest of the trek, as if in awe of their surroundings. The climb to the Singh Pass (3,850m) is gradual before the trail enters the Amarnath valley. It descends to a permanently blackened snow bridge, which fords the Amarvati stream before ascending the true right back to the base of the mountain. From here the final ascent is up a series of concrete steps to the entrance to the Amarnath Cave (4,050m). The J&K police manning the entrance to the cave only permit a limited number of pilgrims inside at any one time. Stage 5: Panchtarni to Chandanwadi (Average walking time 8 hours) Many pilgrims return from Panchtarni to Chandanwadi in one day. After completing their pilgrimage to the cave most are happy to trek as far as they can the following stage. Stage 6: Chandanwadi to Pahalgam (Average walking time 4 hours) On the final stage most pilgrims arrive back in the Pahalgam bazaar with enough time to complete the drive to Srinagar or Jammu the same day. ALTERNATE TREK SONAMARG AMARNATH: Although the traditional yatra trek to the Amarnath cave is from Pahalgam one can also go there from Sonamarg. Stage 1: Sonamarg-Baltal This 15-km trek takes about five hours and it's an easy walk since there is little altitude change between Sonamarag and Baltal. One should be able to get a lift on a truck to the roadblock, from there on it is better to walk. The roadblock is closed until noon or later, waiting for traffic to come across the Zoji la from Ladakh. From the roadblock one can walk along the river valley track, which is very pleasant. The river valley track is also 2 to 3-km shorter than the vehicle road. A military camp is the first sign of Baltal, which can be reached in a day from Srinagar. Day 2: Baltal-Amarnath The 15-km trek to Amarnath climbs over a thousand meters from Baltal at 2,743 meters to the cave at 4,175 meters and the walk takes about nine to 10 hours. The route crosses one major snow bridge over a river and climbs steadily up, crossing the Satsing pass, 3 ½-km before Amarnath, at 4,115 meters dropping down and then climbing up again to the cave at 4,175 meters. There are some tea stalls along the way, even at the river, and after the junction with the main trail there are even more. From Amarnath one can follow the traditional yatra trail down to Pahalgam. Option: Amarnath to Baltal & Sonamarg from the Amarnath cave return along the pilgrim trail as far as the junction of the Panchtarni and Amarvati rivers. Here the trails divert, with the track to Baltal heading down the true right of the valley. The trail is prone to rock avalanches where it traverses large scare slopes and one should be wary of descending without first checking its condition. If there are no problems, the trek to Baltal can be completed in about four hours. GETTING AWAY: Road: From Baltal there is a regular bus service during the pilgrimage period, getting back to Srinagar that night. At other times, camp at Baltal and continue to Sonamarg at a more leisurely pace the following morning. From Sonamarg there are three buses a day to Srinagar and the drive takes around five hours.
Trekking in Ladakh
SPITOK TO HEMIS VIA THE MARKHA VALLEY
Highest Altitude: 3,850m Duration: 17 Days Also known As: The Classic Markha Valley Trek
It is short drive from Leh to Spitok, which has the monastery considered to be one of the oldest monasteries in the upper Indus Valley, founded at the same time as Thikse and Likir. The monastery, like Thikse, is situated on a hilltop with a commanding view of the valley. Day 01: Arrival in Delhi, flight to Leh. Day 02: Tour of Leh city, including the 17th century Palace and Gompa. Day 03: Tour of Spitok and Phyang gompas. Day 04: Tour of Shey and Matho gompas and Stok palace, the home of Ladakhi royalty. Day 05: Tour of Tikse and Hemis gompas, two the wealthiest and most influential institutions in Ladakh. Camp at Hemis. Day 06: Trek from Hemis to the village of Chogdo. Day 07: Trek to Kongmaru La base camp. Day 08: Rest day for acclimatization. Day 09: Trek over Kongmaru La (5,150m) to the plain of Nimaling, a vast high altitude pasture. Day 10: Trek through the tiny settlements of Hankar and Umlung to the valley's largest village, Markha. Day 11: Trek to the lovely oasis at Tunespa. Day 12: Trek to the village of Skiu, with its med review Gompa. Day 13: Trek to Zanskar River. Take the Pulley Bridge across before boarding the rafts on the Zanskar River. Ride the river to its confluence with the Indus at Nimu, then board jeeps for the trip to Alchi. Overnight stay at Alchi village. Day 14: In Alchi, we tour the remarkably well-preserved 11th -century Gompa and the famed frescoes within. In the afternoon, we return by jeep to Leh. Day 15: Rest day in Leh. Day 16: Morning flight to Delhi. Check into hotel there and stay overnight. Day 17: Transfer to Airport for flight to onward journey. Alternative Trek: There are two approaches to the trek up the Markha valley. The first is via Spitok, Jingchan and Rumbak villages to the base of the Ganda-la; the second approach is via Stok village and over the Namlung-la to join the first route at Rumbak village. For those who are fit and well acclimatized, the Stok approach provides breathtaking views of the Indus valley as one ascends to the Nanlung-la (4,570m). Normally, one night is spent camping in the gorges above Stok, crossing the pass the following day before descending to Rumbak village. If one is not well acclimatized the first route via Spitok and Jingchan is the better alternative. Day 01: Spitok to Rumbak Day 02: Rumbak To Yurutse & Camp Day 03: Camp To Ganda La, Markha Valley & Skiu Day 04: Skiu To Markha Day 05: Markha To Nimaling Day 06: Nimaling To Kongmaru La & Chogdo Day 07: Chogdo to Hemis GETTING AWAY: The bus from Hemis to Leh departs around midday and takes about two hours to reach. The bus stops on the way at Thikse monastery and Shey palace, where there are small hotels for overnight accommodation.
LAMAYURU TO CHILING VIA THE DUNG LA
Highest Altitude: 4,820m Duration: 5 Days Alternate Trek: Sumdo Chinmu Village To Alchi Via The Stakspi La The old caravan route to Lamayuru diverges from the Kargil-Leh road at the Fatu-la. As one descends from the pass, one can appreciate the impressive line of Mani walls and contents, which lead down to the village. Day 01: Lamayuru To Wahlah (Average walking time 3 ½ to 4 hours)
Day 02: Wanlah To Hinju (Average walking time 4 to 5 hours) Day 03: Hinju Via Konze La To Camp (Average walking time 6 to 7 hours) Day 04: Sumdo Chinmu To Base Of Dung La (Average walking time 3 to 4 hours) OPTION: SUMDO CHINMU VILLAGE TO ALCHI VIA THE STAKSPI LA From Sumdo Chinmu follow the trail down the valley past the base of the Dung la. This entails following a rough trail, which crosses the river several times before it diverts to a side ridge to the north of the valley. The trail then leads up and over to the village of Sumdo Choon. (Note: Sumdo Choon 'little village, Sumdo Chinmu 'big village') At Sumdo Choon there is a small monastery affiliated with Alchi. Above the village there is a trail leading to the base of the Stakspi la (4, 970m). On the second stage there is a short, steep ascent to the Stakspi la and grand views of the Ladakh range. The trail descends quite steeply to a small grazing area and shepherds' shelter and a possible campsite. (This is a useful camp spot if one is doing the trek in reverse out from Alchi.) It is a further three hours down to Alchi (3,200m), where there is a regular campsite cum restaurant close to the monastery. A further three to 4-km along the jeep track takes one to the Alchi Bridge and the main highway to Leh. Day 05: Dung La To Chiling (3,350m) GETTING AWAY: The road was completed to Chiling in October 1995, however, there is no bus service yet. The alternatives are to arrange for a jeep to come from Leh to pick one up, or to trek down the valley for a further stage to Nimmu and the Indus valley. A further option is to trek up the road to the pulley bridge over the Zanskar River. Cross the river and then continue on the opposite, true right side of the river to the confluence with the Markha valley. The trek up the valley to the confluence should take no more than two to three hours and from there it is a further two hours to the village of Skiu. For most people Kargil is just an overnight stop on the road between Srinagar and Leh or Padum. Yet before 1947 its position at the confluence of the Suru and Drass Rivers made it an important trading town, linking Kashmir and Ladakh with Gilgit and Baltistan.
PANIKHAR TO HENISKOT VIA THE KANJI LA
Highest Altitude: 5,290m Duration: 7 Days Alternate Trek: Kanji To Lamayuru Via Yogma La Villagers and Buddhist monks have followed the treks out of the Suru Valley for many generations and much of the trade between the Zanskar Valley and the Indus was Lao carried out from Suru Valley only. For most people, the trek to Pannikhar to Heniskot or Lamayuru is an extension of the trek from Pahalgam in Kashmir. The trek can be completed from the end of June when the snow begins to melt on the highest pass; the Kanji La. Day 01: Panikhar (3,350m) To Parachik (3, 550m) (Average walking time 5 hours) Stage 02: Parachik To Shafat (3,850m) (Average walking time 6 hours) Day 03: Shafat To Rangdum (3,980m) (Average walking time 5 hours) Day 04: Randgum (3, 980m) To Kanji La Base Camp (4, 250m) (Average walking time 5 to 6 hours) Day 05: Kanji La Base Camp To Camp (Average walking time 7 hours) Day 06: Camp To Kanji Village (3, 875m) (Average walking time 2 to 3 hours)
Day 07: Kanji Village To Heniskot (Average walking time 2 to 3 hours) OPTION: KANJI TO LAMAYURU VIA YOGMA LA This option takes three to four stages to complete. From Kanji village follow the trail up the valley coming in from the east to camp below the Yogma la. This trek up the valley takes a couple of hours through the outlying fields and small settlements, which are occupied by the villagers during the summer months. The climb on the next stage to the Yogma la is deceptively easy and affords good views of the immediate gorge country. The descent to the meadow below the pass takes a further 1-½ hours. Camp here, or continue down to the Shilakong gorge, further three to four hours, with steep descents in places. On the third stage one descends through spectacular gorges where huge cliff faces block out the sun for all but a few hours each day. Along the valley floor there are plenty of river crossings, which can prove hazardous after a summer storm. The time taken to reach Shila village, at the foot of the gorges, can therefore vary greatly. On average it takes five to six hours, leaving time the same day to visit the Wanlah monastery. On the final stage, the trail leads up to the Prinkiti la. This is a hot stage once the sun hits the narrow gully. From the pass it is a further hour down to the monastery at Lamayuru. GETTING AWAY: If travelling from Heniskot to Leh, remember that most vehicles leave Kargil in the early morning, so one should be at the trailhead by 9.00 am to ensure one gets to Leh that evening. Getting to Kargil is more relaxed, as most vehicles don't reach Heniskot till 3.00 PM. Alternatively, if going onto Lamayuru, the drive from Heniskot over the Fatu la takes about one hour. For extending trek out of Lamayuru, then one will have to backtrack over the Prinkiti la; then continue to Alchi or to the Markha valley to Leh. Alternatively, head to the Zanskar valley and Padum via the Singge la before returning by road to Panikhar and Kargil.
PADUM TO LAMAYURU VIA SINGGE LA
Highest Altitude: 5,050m Duration: 10 Days Alternate Trek: Lingshet To Rangdum The Zanskar region is a small and isolated Buddhist kingdom wedged between the main Himalayas and the Zanskkar Range. It comprises of two narrow valleys - the Stod Valley in the northwest and the Tsarap Valley in the southeast, which converge at Padum, the administrative center of the region. Day 01: Padum To Karsha (3, 600m) (Average walking time 2 hours) Note: that if you're coming from Kargil, it is possible to drive straight to Karsha and avoid this first stage. This very short stave allows one time to visit the monastery at Karsha, which is one of the most important in the Zanskar region. The route can be clearly seen from Padum and can, if one chooses, lead through some villages away from the road. Follow the trail from Padum towards Pipiting village. And from there, cut across the fields to the bridge over the Stod River just above the confluence with the Zanskar River. There is a campsite just beyond the bridge, or alternatively, walk up to the village at Karsha, where there are some lodges where one can spend the night. Day 02: Karsha To Pishu (3, 470m) (Average walking time 4 to 5 hours) Day 03: Pishu To Hanumil (3, 380m) (Average walking time 4 to 5 hours) Day 04: Hanumil To Snertse (3, 850m) (Average walking time 5 hours) Day 05: Snertse To Hanuma La (4, 950m) & Lingshet (4,000m)
(Average walking time 5 to 6 hours) OPTION: LINGSHET TO RANGDUM From Lingshet, there is a rather ill defined trail leading to Rangdum. The route crosses the Kesi la to the north of the Hanuma la, and then the Pingdon la, before passing the base of the Kanji la to Rangdum. In places the trail is hard for horses. Three stages should be reserved to complete the trek. Day 06: Lingshet To Bas Of Singge La (Average walking time 5 to 6 hours) Day 07: Singge La (5,050m) To Photaksar (4,200m) (Average walking time 5 to 6 hours) Day 08: Photaksar To Sisir La (4, 850m) & Honupatta (3, 760m) (Average walking time 6 hours) Day 09: Honupatta To Wanlah (3,250m) (Average walking time 5 hours) Day 10: Wanlah To Lamayuru (Average walking time 3 to 4 hours) GETTING AWAY: The following morning it is advisable to be at the trailhead by 7.00 is to meet the first of the truck and bus convoys going to Leh. If one is going to Kargil, one can enjoy a sleep-in, as the vehicles do not normally arrive at Lamayuru until early afternoon, to arrive in Kargil that evening.
PADUM TO LEH VIA CHA LA RUBRANG LA & MARKHA VALLEY
Highest Altitude: 3,850m Duration: 7 Days Trekking in Padum or Padam, the capital of Zanskar region, opens up several outlying villages and monasteries, which form the nucleus of the region. This hard but very rewarding trek takes one from Padum to Zangla. As on the Padum-Lamayuru trek and is only recommended for the second half of August because from Zangla to Markha many crossings have to be made over large rivers. Day 01: Padum To Zangla (Average walking time 7 hours) There is a choice of routes to Zangla. The first is to go via Karsha monastery, and then continue down the true left side of the Zanskar valley to Pishu village, where one crosses the bridge to Zangla. The alternative route is to cross the bridge over the Tsarap River at Padum, and then continue down the true right side of the Zanskar valley via the village of Stongde (also spelt as Stongdey). Day 02: Zangla To Cha Base (Average walking time 3 hours) Day 03: Cha La Base To Camp (Average walking time 6 hours) Day 04: Camp To Tilat Sumdo (Average walking time 6 hours) In some maps and guidebooks there is a trail marked down the Khurna River from Tilat Sumdo to the Zanskar River and on to the confluence with Markha valley. This track is probably a late winter or early spring track, which the locals follow after some sections of the ice on the Zanskar River begin to melt. There is no summer trail along the Zanskar River between the Khurna and Markha Rivers. Day 05: Tilat Sumdo To Base Of Rubrang La (Average walking time 5 to 6 hours) Day 06: Rubrang La Base To Markha (Average walking time 6 hours)
Day 07: Markha To Leh (Average walking time 6 hours) From Markha village, the trek to Leh can be completed in three or four stage. The options are either: continue down the Markha valley, and then comes to Gonda la to the Indus valley and Leh; or go up to the valley to Nimaling, and cross the Kongmaru la to Hemis in the Indus valley.
PADUM TO DRACHA VIA SHINGO LA
Highest Altitude: 5, 090m Duration: 7 Days Alternate Trek: Dracha To Padum The climb to Shingo La is not hard by Himalayan standers, and can be completed in a couple of hours too, but it may take a little longer early in the season when the approach is completely under snow. A series of prayer flags marks the Shingo La. It is set beneath an impressive backdrop of 6,000m snow-capped peaks defining both the main Himalayas and the Baralacha Range. Day 01: Padum To Mune (3, 900m) (Average walking time 6 hours) Day 02: Mune To Purne (3,700m) (Average walking time 8 hours) Day 03: Purne To Phugtal & Tetha (3,950m) (Average walking time 4 hours) Day 04: Tetha To Kargyok (4,050m) (Average walking time 7 hours) Day 05: Kargyok To Lakong (4,470m) (Average walking time 6 to 7 hours) Day 06: Lakhong To Rumjak (4,290m) (Average walking time 6 to 7 hours) Day 07: Rumjak To Darcha (3,350m) (Average walking time 6 to 7 hours) GETTING AWAY: At Darcha there is tea stalls, and an adequate campsite. The local bus to Manali departs early in the morning. If heading north, there are also regular truck convoys, which could provide a lift to the Indus valley and Leh. Alternate Trek TREKKING FROM DARCHA TO PADUM Many trekkers follow the above trek from Padum to Darcha in the opposite direction. If one follows this route it is essential that one spend at least a few extra days acclimatizing before crossing the Shingo la. Day 01: Plan to trek from Darcha to Jankar Sumdo. This should take around seven to eight hours. Here one can spend a rest day before making it up to the stone shelter huts at Chumik (4,640m) below the Shingo la on the following stage. Day 02: The next stage over the Shingo la to Lakong in the upper Zanskar valley taken six to seven hours. The pass crossing is not so arduous when compared with other passes over the main Himalayan range. From camp, there is a gradual ascent for the first 2½ hours to reach the terminal moraine at the base of the pass. The trail then steepens, crossing a rocky slope to the true right of the glacier before rounding a large crevasse to a Chorten in the center of the valley. This is not the top of the pass. However, most of the climb is over, and a gradual ascent to the pass follows. The pass is marked by a series of Cairns and Mani walls draped in prayer flags. Day 03: The initial descent from the pass is quite steep, and care must be exercised when crossing the snowfield as it is often very icy just beneath the surface. The route heads to the left of the valley across scree slopes before the final descent to the valley floor. After crossing a large side stream there is a choice of campsites on the meadows known locally as Lokong (4,470m). There are no tea stalls, but there are shepherds' huts where one can shelter overnight.
Day 04: From Lakong, it is a further six to seven hours trek to Kargyak. From there on to Padum, allow four stages. The first takes one to Tetha village and the second to Purne and Phugtal monastery. The third stage would see one at Reru and the fourth stage at Padum, with time that day to organize onward transport to Kargil.
PADUM TO DARCHA VIA PHITSE LA & BARALACHA LA
Highest Altitude: 4,950m Duration: 9 Days The Baralacha La is one of the most historically famous passes in the Himalayan. It is a double pass, at the convergence of the Tsarap Valley in the north, the Chandra Valley to the south, and the Bhaga Valley to the west. There is no shortage of campsites on the pass, complete with wildflowers and an impressive mountain backdrop. Day 01 To 03: Padum To Tetha Village (Follow stages 1 to 3 of the Dracha To Padum Trek) Day 04: Tetha Village To Tanze (Follow stage 4 of the Dracha-Padum trek, but stop near Tanze for the night.) Day 05: Tanze to Phitse La Base (Average walking time 7 hours) Day 06: Phitse La Base To Camp (Average walking time 7 hours) Day 07: Camp To Kilang Sarai (Average walking time 6 to 7 hours) Day 08: Kilang Sarai To Baralacha La (Average walking time 3 hours) GETTING AWAY: From the pass, it is a double stage down the Bhaga valley via the campsites of Zing Bar and Paste to Darcha. If the thought of trekking on the road does not appeal, it should be easy to hitch a ride by truck to Darcha or the Kullu valley. A pleasant alternative is to continue trekking down the Chandra valley to the lake Chandra Tal. This can be completed in two to three stages until you reach the Kullu-Spiti road below the Kun Zum la.
PADUM TO MANALI VIA UMASI LA
Highest Altitude: 5,340m Duration: 9 Days If one drove to Padum it is advisable to either include a rest day before trekking higher or complete this stage over two days. From Zongkul monastery the trail leads up the true left side of the Mulung Tokpo to a natural rock bridge. Cross the river here and ascend the grassy meadows before the route diverts up a steep ridge to enter a side valley on the true right of the main valley. There follows a tiring stage through an extensive boulder field to a wide glacial valley where a cluster of stone shelters and a small grassy meadow mark the overnight camp (4,490m). Day 01: Padum to Zongkul Monastery (Average walking time 6 to 7 hours) Day 02: Zongkul Monastery to Base of Umasi La (Average walking time 6 to 7 hours) Day 03: Umasi La Base To High Camp (Average walking time 7 hours) Day 04: High Camp to Suncham (3,250m) (Average walking time 8 hours) Day 05: Suncham to Marchel (Average walking time 3 hours) Day 06: Marchel to Atholi/Gularbagh
(Average walking time 8 hours) Note: Until recently most trekkers would take the bus from Atholi to Kishtwar and the following day catch the bus to Jammu or Srinagar and the Kashmir valley. However, this option is not recommended for the time being. The current political situation in Kishtwar is worse than in the Kashmir Valley with many of the J&K separatist groups active in the region. Option: The alternative is to continue trekking up the Chenab valley for three stages to the village of Kilar and onward transport to Manali and the Kullu valley. Day 07: Atholi/Gularbagh to Shoal (Average walking time 2½ to 3 hours) Day 08: Shoal to Istahari (Average walking time 6 to 7 hours) Day 09: Istahari to Kilar (Average walking time 6 to 7 hours) GETTING AWAY: The jeep road to Kilar has a regular bus service to Lahaul and Manali. One can also take a hike in a truck as an alternative and allow at least two days to reach Manali.
Highest Altitude: 5,492m Duration: 4 To 5 Days This four or five day trek can be extremely dangerous and difficult although it might, superficially, seem like an attractive way of making a round trip Padum-Phugtal Padum. The route from Padum runs to Thonde then eastwards into the mountains and across the 5,492-metre Thonde la. To the top of the pass the route is quite easy but from there it's hell through the gorges. The route has not been regularly traveled for years so the path has deteriorated and much dangerous clambering plus river and mountain crossing is necessary. Horses are unusable! There is only one tiny village, Shadi, on the whole route and even that is in a side valley. Many stretches are dangerous due to the vertical rock walls and the loose rock slopes high above the turbulent rivers winding their way far below the trail. From Phugtal (also spelt as Phuctal or Phugthal) one soon rejoins the usual Padum-Manali route.
INDUS VALLEY TREK
Highest Altitude: 3,750m Duration: 13 Days Passing through a vast inhabited wilderness at the very heart of the Himalayas, the Indus valley region comprises of some of the least explored places of Ladakh. A motorable road along the old craven route through the hills between Likkir and Temisgong, makes a leisurely two-day hike, which takes in three major monasteries - Likkir, Rizong (also spelt as Rhidzong) and Tamisgang. Day 1: Arrival in Delhi, catching a flight to Leh. Day 2: Tour of Leh city, including its 17th century palace and Gompa. Day 3: Tour of Shey, Tikse, and Hemis Gompas, the spiritual heart of the Indus Valley. Day 4: Tour of Stok Palace, home of the hereditary rulers of Ladakh, and Spitok Gompa. Day 5: Tour of Basgo, Alchi, and Likir Gompas. Camp at Likir. Day 6: Trek over Pobe la (3,550 meters) to Yangthang. Day 7: Trek to Rizong Gompa and back to Yangthang. Day 8: Trek over Sermanchan la (3,750 meters) and Lago la (3,750 meters) to Ang. Day 9: Trek to Temisgang, then over Bongbong la (3,630 meters) to Khaltse, then by jeep to Wanlah. Camp at Wanlah. Day 10: Trek from Wanlah over Prinkiti la (3,725 meters) to Lamayuru. Camp at Lamayuru. Day 11: Return by jeep to Leh. Day 12: Morning flight to Delhi, on arrival checks in a hotel and stays overnight. Day 13: Depart- Delhi and transfer to airport for catching a flight to onward journey
A JOURNEY TO SOUTHERN ZANSKAR TREK
Highest Altitude: 5,080m Duration: 26 Days Most of the visitors travel to the remote parts of Zanskar region for trekking. Numerous trails wind their way north from Padum to Central Ladakh, west of Kishtwar and south to Neighboring Lahaul - all along hard hikes that involve strenuous ups and downs. The two main routes leading in to Zanskar, despite they region's isolation is those from Kargil and from Manali to Padum. Day 01: Arrival in Delhi and transfer to a hotel for an overnight stay. Day 02: Train to Chandigarh, jeep to Pinjore, stays overnight at Hotel. Day 03: Jeep to Manali, on arrival checks in at Hotel for an overnight stay. Day 04: Day at Leisure in Manali, and overnight stay at the hotel. Day 05: Day free in the Kullu valley, to explore the surrounding region. Day 06: Travel by jeep over to Rohtang Pass (3,978 meter), the gateway to the Lahaul valley, to Darcha. Day 07: Trek to Rarig, a prosperous farming village. Day 08: Trek to Zanskar Sumdo, where one camps by the shore of the raging Barai Nallah. Day 09: After crossing the Barai Nallah by Cable Bridge, trek towards Shingo La base camp. Day 10: Rest and acclimatize with the surroundings. Day 11: Trek over 5,080 metre Shingo La to the high pasture of Lakang. Day 12: Continue down the valley in the shadow of the massive arrow-shaped Gumbaranjon (peak) to Kargyak, one of the highest villages in Zanskar. Day 13: Trek to the village of Testha. Day 14: Trek to Purni, where the Kargyak and Tsarap rivers merge to form the mighty Lingti Chu. Day 15: Trek to Phugtal Gompa, one of the world's most spectacular sights. Its location, spilling down a sheer cliff face from the mouth of a massive cave, is a staggering one. Day 16: Trek to the friendly village of Tangtse, at the base of the gorge leading to Phirtse La. Day 17: Trek to Shingsaw, the base camp for pass crossing. Day 18: Trek over Phirtse La (5350 metres) to base camp. Day 19: Trek to Chumik Marpo. Day 20: Trek to Sarchu Serai, on the banks of the Yunan River. Day 21: Trek to Kilang Sarai, where one will meet the Manali to Leh road. Day 22: Travel by jeep to Keylong, the capitol and administrative center of Lahaul. Day 23: Continue by jeep over Rohtang Pass to Manali. Day 24: Rest day in Manali. Day 25: Jeep to Kullu, then catch a flight to Delhi, on arrival check into a hotel for an over night stay. Day 26: Depart- Delhi and transfer to airport for catching a flight to onward journey.
CHADAR ICE TREK
Highest Altitude: 3,550m Duration: 19 Days The journey, as perilous and extraordinary as any in the Himalayan region, is known as "Chaddar". The Chaddar trek takes one to the giant "S" bench worn by the Zanskar Tiver as it surges from Padum to join the Indus at Saspol, 120-km northeast, and is one of the deepest and most spectacular canyons in the world. Day 01: Arrival in Delhi and transfer into hotel they’re for an overnight stay. Day 02: Morning flight to Leh. Day 03: Tour of Leh city, including the 16th century palace and Gompa. Day 04: Tour of Shey and Tikse Gompas, and Stok Palace.
Day 05: Visit to Basgo fort and Alchi Gompa, a remarkably well-preserved 11th century Gompa and one of the artistic treasures of the Himalayas. Day 06: Drive to village of Chiling (3,550m), from where one begins the trek. A short ways from Chiling, step onto the frozen Zanskar River for the first time. Trek to Tilat Do. Overnight stay in the cave. Day 07: Walk upstream on the ice to Bakhula. Overnight stay in the cave. Day 08: Walk through tremendous canyons, inaccessible in any other season, to Nyarak. Overnight stay in the cave. Day 09: Continue on the frozen river to Sarakdo. Overnight stay in the cave. Day 10: Walk to Hanuma, the first village and most likely the first people that can be seen since leaving Chiling. Overnight stay in the village house. Day 11: Hanuma to Pishu, another small village. Overnight stay in the village house. Day 12: Pishu to Karsha, site of the largest monastery in Zanskar. Overnight stay in the village house.
TRANS ZANSKAR EXPEDITION
Highest Altitude: 5,350m Duration: 32 Days Ladakh is both historically and culturally Tibetan. Its ancient monasteries and villages have remained unchanged over the centuries. Even if Zanskar had only got a handful of Gompas and settlements that lie within striking distance of the road or hidden away in the remote valleys, it offers glimpses into Tibetan Buddhism and the colourful lifestyles of this isolated region. Day 01: Early morning flight to Leh. Day free for rest and acclimatization. Day 02: Tour of Leh city, including the 17th century palace and Gompa. Day 03 & 04: Touring the monasteries and palaces of the Indus valley. Day 05: Travel by jeep to Lamayuru Gompa, a site that abounds in myth and legend. Overnight stay in the village. Day 06: Trek from Lamayuru over Prinkiti la (3,725 metres) to the village of Wanlah, with its ancient Gompa. Day 07: Trek through remarkable gorge country to the village of Honupatta. Day 08: Trek to Photoksar. Day 09: Trek to the Singe la north base camp. Day 10: Trek over the 5,100 metre Singe la to south base camp. Day 11: Trek to Lingshet. Day 12: Trek to Snertse. Day 13: Trek to Hanuma. Day 14: Trek to Pishu. Day 15: Trek to Karsha, the largest monastery in the entire Zanskar valley. Day 16: Trek to Padum, crossing the Zanskar River on a remarkable bridge. Day 17: Day at leisure in Padum. Day 18: Trek past the riverside citadel of Bardan Gompa to Mune. Day 19: Continue along the banks of the Lungnak (Lingti) River to the hamlet of Ichar. Day 20: Trek to Purni, where the Kargyak and Tsarap rivers first merge to form the mighty Lingti Chu (river). Day 21: Trek to Phugtal Gompa, one of the world's most spectacular structures. Its location, spilling down a sheer cliff face from the mouth of a massive cave, is a staggering sight. Day 22: Trek to the friendly village of Tangtse, at the base of the gorge leading to Phirtse La. Day 23: Trek to Shingsaw, the base camp for our pass crossing. Day 24: We make an early start to cross Phirtse la (5,350 metres) to the vast nomad camp at Chumik Marpo. Day 25: Trek to Serchu Serai, on the banks of the Yunan River.
Day 26: Trek to Kilang Sarai, where we meet the Manali to Leh military road. Day 27: Travel by jeep to Keylong, the capitol and administrative center of Lahaul. Day 28: Continue by jeep over Rhotang Pass to Manali. Day 29: Rest day in Manali. Day 30: Jeep to Pinjore, stays in Palace Hotel there. Day 31: Jeep to Chandigarh, then express train to Delhi, on arrival check into a hotel for overnight stay. Day 32: Depart- Delhi and transfer to airport for catching a flight to onward journey.
SPITI TO LADAKH
Highest Altitude: 5,577m Duration: 24 Days If one has come to the Himalayas to hike across high passes and vast sree-covered mountainsides, one will be spoiled for choice in Lahaul and Spiti region of Himachal Pradesh. The old trade route to Ladakh and Tibet may have been tarmacked, but most of this remote and spectacular region is still only accessible on foot. Its trails, though well frequented in high season, are long, hard and high, punctuated by few settlements so are ready for this unending exploration journey! Day 01: Arrive Delhi, on arrival meet and transfer in a hotel for overnight stay. Day 02: Express Train to Chandigarh and drive down to Manali Day 03: Day at Leisure. Stay overnight at a hotel. Day 04: Travel by jeep over 3,978 Rohtang pass, gateway to Lahaul, then continue by jeep over 4.358 metre Kunzam la to Losar, the first village in the Spiti valley. Day 05: Continue by jeep to Kaza, the modern capitol of Spiti. Day 06: Travel by jeep to Dhankar fort, the former capitol of Spiti, and high above the confluence of the Pin and Spiti rivers. Then continue towards Tabo Gompa, one of the greatest artistic treasures in the Himalayan region, to view its paintings and sculptures, some of which are over 1,000 years old. Day 07: Travel by jeep to Kyi Gompa, the largest in Spiti, and Kibber, famed as the world's highest village with electricity and daily bus service. Overnight stay at Kibber. Day 08: Local walk around Kibber: to Gete and Tashigang, two villages among the highest permanent settlements on earth. Return to Kibber for the night. Day 09: Begin trekking with a short but steep climb to the grazing pastures above Kibber. Day 10: Trek to Pangrochen, the last camp before Parang la. Only a small spring sustains life at this high, rocky campsite. Day 11: Trek over 5,577 metre Parang la and descend the dazzling Parang glacier to the lovely oasis of Kharsa Gongma. Day 12: Trek down the valley of the Pare Chu (river) to Tarang Yogma. Day 13: Continue down the Pare Chu, cross the river and camp at the broad oasis of Norbu Sumdo. Day 14: Trek to Kingdom, on the southern shore of Tso Moriri, the "Mountain Lake". Day 15: Rest day in the incredible setting of Kingdom. Day 16: Trek to Korzok, the village and Gompa at the northern shore of the lake. Day 17: Trek past many large nomadic encampments over Gyamsharma La to Gyama. Day 18: Cross the Kyamamuri La to Rajung Karu. Day 19: Trek over the low ridge of Harlam Konka to the small village and Gompa of Nuruchan. Day 20: Trek to Tso Kar, another of the remarkable lakes of the Changtang plains. Day 21: Travel by jeep to over the 5,328-metre Taglang la to Leh. Day 22: Exploration of Leh. Day 23: Morning flight to Delhi from Leh. Check into a hotel for an overnight stay. Day 24: Depart- Delhi and transfer to airport for catching a flight to onward journey.
THE RUPSHU TREK
Highest Altitude: 17,390 ft
Duration: 23 Days With the easing of restrictions in the eastern part of Leh, it is now possible to visit the great wilderness around the lake of Tso Moriri in Rupshu southeast of Leh and to glimpse Tibet from the shores of Lake Pangong in the Far East of Ladakh. Far more relaxing and inviting are the new trekking possibilities offered near these lakes. Day 01: Arrival in Delhi, catch a flight to Leh. Day 02: Tour of Leh city. Day 03: Tour of Spitok and Phyang Gompas. Day 04: Tour of Shey and Matho Gompas and Stok Palace, the home of Ladakhi royalty. Day 05: Tour of Tikse and Hemis Gompas, two of the wealthiest and most influential institutions in Ladakh. Camp at Hemis. Day 06: Trek from Hemis to the village of Chogdo. Day 07: Trek to Kongmaru La base camp. Day 08: Over Kongmaru La (16,730 ft.) to the plain of Nimaling, then over a small ridge to the secluded base camp at the foot of majestic Kang Yatze peak (21,000 ft.). Day 09: Day at leisure or perhaps climb an adjacent ridge for a closer view of Kang Yatze's summit. Day 10: Over Konka Wangpo (16,500 ft.) to the valley of Langtang Chu. Day 11: Climb to the top of Zalung Karpo la (16,570 ft.) for a birds'-eye view of the Kharnak region before descending to the lovely meadow of Sokra. Day 12: Pass through Kharnak, with it’s imposing fort looming over; enter a spectacular gorge leading further down into willow groves. When the valley widens again, one will reach one of the most auspicious spots in the region, the site of a massive and remarkably ornamented monument. Overnight camp. Day 13: A short day. After one hour's walk, one will reach the semi-permanent settlement of Dat and camp near the village. The village and its small Gelugpa Gompa merit an afternoon's exploration. Day 14: On the vast open plain beyond Dat, keeps a close lookout for herds of Kyiang, the Tibetan wild Ass, seen frequently in this valley. The stream has dried up here, but bubbling springs provide refreshment before the climb to Yar la (15,910 ft.). This is an easy pass, but the views are incredible. From the pass, there is a simple descent to Lungmoche. Day 15: The scenery changes yet again as one passes two small ridges and descend through grotesquely wind-carved rocks to one of the most beautiful campsites in Ladakh, called Zhabuk. Day 16: Be prepared for some exciting river crossings before climbing high above the Zara Chu (river) and leave it behind for good. Day 17: Make an early start to tackle the highest pass on our journey, 17,390 ft, and Marang la. The views from the summit stretch to the Great Himalayas. The descent is quite long, and one ends up in a lovely willow grove on the bank of the mighty Tsarap Chu, leaving the icy heights far behind. Day 18: It's a short walk to the Manali-Leh road, where one can get jeeps that will take one to Manali. This spectacular drive takes adventurers over the main Himalayan range at the 15,255 ft Baralacha la before stopping for the night in Darcha. Day 19: Continue by jeep over Rohtang Pass (3,978 metres) to Manali. Day 20: Day free in Manali. Day 21: Drive to Pinjore, check into a hotel for an overnight stay. Day 22: A short jeep ride to Chandigarh, then the Express train to Delhi, on arrival check into a hotel for an overnight stay. Day 23: Depart- Delhi and transfer to airport for catching a flight to onward journey
THE GREAT SALT LAKES OF CHANGTANG
Highest Altitude: 5,440m
Duration: 17 Days The high altitude lakes are something that'll lure any adventurer to check out the northern region of Ladakh. These lakes offer some pleasant trekking expeditions and relatively easy routes of Tso Moriri to Tso Khar. Day 01: Arrival in Delhi, and catch a flight to Leh. Day 02: Tour of Leh city. Day 03: Tour of Spitok and Phyang Gompas. Day 04: Tour of Shey and Matho Gompas and Stok palace, the home of Ladakhi royalty. Day 05: Tour of Tikse and Hemis Gompas, two of the wealthiest and most influential institutions in Ladakh. Continue by jeep over 5,260 metre Taglang la to camp at Tso Kar. Day 06: Trek along the shores of Tso Kar and its freshwater neighbor, Startsapuk Tso, to Nuruchan, where there is a small and rarely visited Gompa. Day 07: Trek over the Harlam Konka (pass) to Rajung Karu. Day 08: Trek over the 5,410-metre Kyamamuri la to Gyama. Day 09: Trek over the 5,440 metre Yalung Nyau la to Korzok, on the northwestern shore of Tso Moriri, the "Mountain Lake". Day 10: Walk along the western shore of Tso Moriri to Kingdom, an expansive grassland on the southern shore. Day 11: Rest day at Kingdom. There are many interesting valleys within an easy walk from camp. Day 12: Continue around on the Eastern Shore to Skyurchu, at the base of impressive 6,000 metre peaks. Day 13: Return to Korzok and our previous camp there. Day 14: Travel by jeep back to Leh. Day 15: A rest day for independent exploration of Leh. Day 16: Morning flight to Delhi. Check into a hotel for an overnight stay. Day 17: Depart- Delhi and transfer to airport for catching a flight to onward journey.
THE NUBRA VALLEY TREK
Highest Altitude: 18,000 ft Duration: 17 Days The lands north of Leh were off limits to tourists till 1994, and had been unexplored by outsiders since the 19th century. Now, the Nubra Valley, unfolding beyond the world highest stretch of motorable road as it crosses the Khardung La (5,578m), can be visited with a seven day permit, which gives one enough time to explore the stark terrain and trek out to one or two Gompas. Day 01: Arrival in Delhi. Catch early morning flight to Leh. Day 02: Tour of Leh city, including the 17th century palace and Gompa. Day 03 to 04: Touring the monasteries and palaces of the Indus valley. Day 05: Take a morning stroll to Sankar Gompa, then to the nearby village of Sabu. Overnight stay in Sabu. Day 06: In Sabu, one can get horses to begin the trek. First day takes the trekkers through lovely grazing areas to the campsite at Polu Digar. From this vantage point, the Stok Mountains appear to float majestically above the Indus valley. Day 07: Continue upward to the Digar La base camp. A short day to aid acclimatization. Day 08: One makes an early start to cross the 17,230 ft, Digar La. From the top, views stretch south to the Zanskar range and north to the Saser range, Ladakh's highest peaks. The descent is steady and one can camp by a lovely meandering stream at Chumik Yogma. Day 09: Continue down through the village of Digar to the tiny settlement of Aghyam. Day 10: Trek to Tangyar, a prosperous village in a remarkable location. Day 11: Continue upward to Dhungle, base camp for the pass.
Day 12: Ascend the 17,061 ft Wuri la for views all the way to the Karakoram in Pakistan! Descend to camp at Zule Tokpo. Day 13: Finish the trek with a short walk out to the village of Sabu, and the Thak Thok Gompa, an ancient shrine built within an impressive cave. Travel by jeep over 18,000 ft plus Chang la to the village of Tangtse, where one can camp amongst idyllic meadows. Day 14: Explore the shoreline of the brilliant turquoise and azure Pangong Lake, Ladakh's largest and one of the great salt lakes of Central Asia. Proximity to the Chinese border prevents one from penetrating much beyond the western shore or camping at the lakeside, but the views are stupendous. Return to Leh takes one back over Chang la, the second highest motorable road on earth. Back in the Indus valley, one can visit the little-known Gompa of Chemrey before returning to Leh that evening. Day 15: Morning flight to Delhi, on arrival check into a hotel for an overnight stay Day 16: Depart- Delhi and transfer to airport for catching a flight to onward journey
THE MANALI LADAKH TREK
Highest Altitude: 4,725 metres Duration: 23 Days Within striking distance of several major trailheads, Manali is the most popular place and end treks. The road journey from Manali to Leh, offers a hikes over some of the world's highest passes and the most stunning mountain desert landscapes, promises to stir up the appetite of those seeking a truly Himalayan adventurer. Day 01: Arrive Delhi, meet and transfer into a hotel for an overnight stay. Day 02: Take the dramatic morning flight to Kullu, then continue by jeep to Manali. Day 03: Day free to explore Manali. Stay overnight at a Hotel. Day 04: Spend an additional day in the Kullu valley, to explore the surrounding region. Day 05: Trek out of Manali to the open meadow of Lamadug. Day 06: Trek to Riyali, just above the treelike. Day 07: Continue to the base camp of Kali Yani pass. Day 08: Rest day in this spectacular natural setting at the base of the pass. Day 09: Over Kali Yani Pass (4,725 metres) to our streamside camp at Donku Thach. Day 10: Continue down valley towards the shepherd camp at Lamapar. Day 11: Trek through a verdant valley with peaks all around to our camp at Dalmarhi. Day 12: The trekkers reach their first village in 7 days, Barabhangal. Day 13: A rest day in the fascinating view of the village of Barabhangal. Day 14: A steady climb to our camp at the base of Thamser Pass. Day 15: Over Thamser pass (4,570 metres) to Pannatu. Day 16: Trek along the river and through the woods to the tiny settlement of Palachak. Day 17: Pass through several small villages on the way to the camp at the village of Biling. Day 18: Continue down to the Tibetan refugee camp at Bir, then travel by jeep to McLeod Ganj, home of Tibet's government-in-exile. Day 19 to 20: Spend two additional days in McLeod Ganj to visit the Tibetan library, local Buddhist monasteries, and the town's colorful marketplace. Day 21: Travel by jeep to Amritsar, site of the Golden Temple, the holiest shrine of the Sikh religion. Have an overnight stay there. Day 22: Catch an early morning express train to Delhi. Check into a hotel for an overnight stay. Day 23: Depart- Delhi and transfer to airport for catching a flight to onward journey
Highest Altitude: 3,370m Duration: 4 Days
From Padum the route leads over the eastern Rope Bridge, below the town on the Right Bank of the Lunak, on the Source River of Zanskar region. Thonde is an important town for trekking tours towards Lamaryu because this is the first place where horses can be hired on this ride of the Rope Bridge. The best view if the irrigated field, in which the semi circle of houses lies, is from the monastery, which has about 60 monks and showcases the intact life of the monastic life. Day 01: Padum-Thonde Day 02: Thonde-Zangla Day 03: Zangla-Karsha Gompa Day 04: Karsha-Padum
The maximum amount of time for a script to execute was exceeded. You can change this limit by specifying a new value for the property Server.ScriptTimeOut or by changing the value in the IIS administration tools. Andhra Pradesh bound Karnataka, the “Lofty land” in the east, Maharashtra in the north and Tamil Nadu and Kerala in the south. A long coastline hedged by miles and miles of tall, waving, palmgroves frames this pretty land. The majority of the state lies on the Deccan Plateau. Bangalore is the state capital. Karnataka boasts a diverse flora and fauna, which make it a nature tourist's paradise. The state's long and colourful history, and the many forts, temples, mosques, and churches make it a great place to explore. Garden city Bangalore, Jog Falls, the beaches of Karwar and Malpe, Golgumbuz in Bijapur, the stone temples of Belur and Halebid, Mysore palace, the list is endless. Capital: Bangalore, the capital goes by many names -- the Garden City of India, India's Manhattan and Silicon Valley. One of the most industrialized cities of the country, its pleasant climate makes it the seat of much commercial and cultural enterprise. Rich in Sandalwood, Rosewood and Silk, it has a lot to offer than a day or two of sight seeing. Founded by the local Chieftain Kempe Gowda in sixteenth century, Bangalore came into its own after Tipu Sultan converted it into the summer capital of Mysore. The Wodeyars also contributed in the city's beautification. Bangalore, is undoubtedly the trump card of Karnataka? History: Karnataka's history takes us back to pre-historic times. The earliest find of the Stone Age period in India was an hand axe at Lingasugur in Raichur district. Chandra gupta Maurya, the great Indian emperor abdicated his throne to embrace Jainism at Shravanabelagola. In 1956, the Kannada-speaking areas were grouped along with the princely state of Mysore to form what we now call Karnataka in 1973. Karnataka has the imprint of many dynasties. Prominent among them was the Chalukyas, the Hoysalas and the mighty Vijayanagara Empire. Culture: Karnataka possesses a rich cultural heritage. The folk theatre has an ancient and rich tradition, the two principal forms being Yakshagana and the puppet theatre. “Yakshagana” is akin to Kathakali of Kerala in the choice of its elaborate costumes and vigorous dancing. 'Bhootada Kunita' (Dance of the Divine Cult), 'Nagamandala' and the demon dance are some quaint rituals prevalent only in Dakshina Kannada coastal area. Sravanabelagola, near Mysore, has a giant 1,000-yr-old stone statue of Bahubali, the Jain saint. Huge monolithic Jain statues are peculiar to the Kannada culture. Occupation: While agriculture is the major occupation, the state boasts some of the most significant industrial growth in post independence India. Karnataka is as well known for its silk and sandalwood as for its high tech industry.
Bangalore, among the fastest growing cities in Asia is home to many industries. The state is rich in mineral ore, and supplies all of India's gold. Other ores mined in the state include iron, chromite, magnetite, mica, copper, etc. The Sharavati, Kali, and the Cauvery rivers have been harnessed for electric power. Handicrafts: Karnataka is famous for its aesthetic craftsmanship in sandalwood and rosewood. Eye-catching items of furniture, in-lay work, coffee tables, wall hangings etc. are worthwhile purchases. Rich silks, wooden toys, leather puppets, Bidriware and other artifacts make ideal mementos. Climate: Best time to visit is September to February. Population: 50 million
Location: 95 Kms Southwest of Chikmagalur, Karnataka Situated At: 1,894.3 M above Sea Level Excursions: Gangamoola Language Spoken: Kannada, Hindi, and English The Horse-Face Hill Station 95 Kms southwest of Chikmaglur town is the Kudremukh (Horse Face) range, so named because of the unique shape of the Kudremukh Peak. Overlooking the Arabian Sea, the broad hills are chained to one another with deep valleys and steep precipices. As yet 'undiscovered' by tourists, Kudremukh is a secluded hill station, which retains much of its pristine, natural beauty. And a holiday here can be truly delightful. Lush green forests interspersed with rivers, grassy slopes, captivating cascades and rare orchids providing an idyllic background for trekking. Kudremukh is trekker's territory with the richness of its flora and fauna waiting to be discovered. Situated 1,894.3 m above sea level, Kudremukh is rich in iron ore deposits. The Kudremukh Iron Ore Company conducts mining operations and transportation of the ore as slurry, through a pipeline to the port at Panambur near Mangalore. This has given new life to the region and converted this isolated tract into a humming modern township without taking away its natural beauty. EXCURSIONS Gangamoola: In Samse Taluk of Chikmaglur district, thick forests surround the Gangamoola Hill. Three important rivers, the Tunga, the Bhadra and the Nethravathi have their origin here. A shrine of Goddess Bhagavathi and a Varaha image measuring 1.8 m within a cave, are the chief attractions. This cave is inaccessible during the monsoons. Jamalabad Fort: Jamalabad is famous for its fort built by Tipu Sultan, the Tiger of Mysore in 1794. The fort was renamed after his mother Jamalbee. The village, which lies at the foot of a high rock, forms a part of the Kudremukh range of hills near Belthangadi. HOW TO GET THERE Rail: Nearest railhead is Mangalore. Road: Kudremukh is connected by road to Chikmaglur, Mangalore and Sringeri. GENERAL INFORMATION Climate: Cool and salubrious around the year. Language Spoken: Kannada, Hindi, and English.
Location: 40 Kms for Sirsi, Karnataka Recreation Activities: Trekking, Camping Difficulty Level: Moderate To Difficult
Located amongst the evergreen forest of the Sahyadri Mountains, Ana Caves are 25 Kms for Kumta, a small coastal town and 40-km for Sirsi, a commercial center. One can experience wilder ness in all its holiness and loneliness in this limestone rock dome paradise. Yana is known for its unique rock formations and is a haven for rock climbers. One has to walk several miles on the partially paved road from the highway. The area is known for its majestic mountains, a variety of rock formations, tricking waterfalls and the holy temple. One can go for a simple climb around the rock dome or explore the cave in between the dome. There is also a possibility of going hiking to Vibhuti Falls and camp overnight in the area. The tallest peak, Bhariraveswara Shikhara stands 120 meters high whereas Mohini Shikhara is 90 meters from its base. The mighty rocks have been roughened by the vagaries of burning Sun, uncontrolled winds and torrential rains. They are solid composition of black, crystalline limestone. Wild bees have taken liberty to construct their hives on these rock-shelters. The trek is moderate to strenuous.
Kerala Tourism - a perfect blend of cultural & natural bliss. Travel though the relaxed and laid back atmosphere of the Kerala cities or indulge in some Eco friendly tourism activities on a leisurely pace at the beaches and tranquil backwaters.
Location: 61 Kms from Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala Altitude: 1868 m Above Sea Level Attraction: The Flower, 'Neelakurinji' Best Trekking season: December to April Agastyarkoodam Peak is a spectacular peak in the Western Ghats that rises to a majestic height of about 1868 m in the form of a sharp cone. It is accessible only on foot, with 61 Kms of trekking from Bonacaud, and 32 Kms from Neyyar Dam. A haven of rare herbs and medicinal plants, its slopes offer a breathtaking sight when they transform into colorful glades of the 'Neelakurinji' a flower, which blooms only once in twelve years. According to a local belief, the peak was the abode of sage Agasthya, who was a confirmed bachelor. Hence, the aborigines dislike the presence of women on the hill. Women are not allowed up the peak. Best Season: The season from December to April is advocated for trekking, for which a forest pass has to be obtained from the Wildlife Warden, Forest Department, Thiruvananthapuram.
Location: 14 Kms from Kalpetta, Kerala Altitude: 2100 m Above Sea Level Famous As: Highest Peak in Wayanad Main Attraction: A Beautiful Lake at the Top of the Peak Chembra peak, which is highest peak in Wayanad is located 14 Kms west of Kalpetta. Located amidst panoramic surroundings, the peak is at an altitude of 2100 m above sea level. An ideal spot for trekking, Chembra Peak is a very beautiful spot close to the Western Ghats. The Chembra Hills and the adjacent Meppadi hills are accessible from Kalpetta. The entire region is quite picturesque with tea plantations and a variety of flora and fauna and some wild life in the jungles.
At the top of the Chembra Peak, there is a lake that has never been dry. It is a delightful spot for the trekkers as well as for the nature lovers. District Tourism Promotion Council provides guides, sleeping bags, canvases huts and trekking implements on hire. The trekking to the Chembra Peak is a risky mountaineering endeavor.
Location: 65 Kms from Kannur Town Altitude: 4,500 Feet above Sea Level Main Attraction: Its Exotic Flora and Fauna Famous as: A Hill Resort Pythal Mala, the enchanting hill station, situated near the Kerala-Karnataka border, is rich in flora and fauna. It is a 6 Kms trek to the top of the hills. This beautiful, calm hill station, 65Km from Kannur is at an altitude of 4500 ft. above sea level. Abundant in flora and fauna, this place is now being developed as a hill resort. One has to trek 6 Kms to reach the top of the hills. There is a proposal to set up a zoo at the top of the hill. The enchanting hill station offers a challenging trek to those inclined to stretch their legs. Trekkers are rewarded by a profusion of exotic flora and fauna and an exhilarating view from the top.
Vast and rugged country of Shivaji is a region of intrinsic beauty; it's a landscape blessed with a mosaic of palm-fringed coast of Konkan, the cotton-growing region of Vidharba and the Jyotirlinga-studded land of Marathwada. Forts that dominate the ranges tell the unending history of valor and artistic skills. The Caves and Temples with artistic embellishments of unimaginable beauty mark the land and attest to the skill of cultured people. Capital: Mumbai Attractions: Gateway of India, Ajanta and Ellora Caves, Marine Drive. Language Spoken: Marathi Best Time To Visit: September to April (Coastal Regions) And September to Mid-June (Hill Stations) Rugged and vast, of enormous energy and vitality, Maharashtra, the third largest state in India, was created in 1960, from the Marathi-speaking regions of what was previously Bombay State. The Arabian Sea in the west, Gujarat in the northwest, Madhya Pradesh in the north, Andhra Pradesh in the southeast, and Karnataka and Goa in the south bound the state. Maharashtra with its diverse geographical features provides a range of tourist centers. The state has a 720-km coastline dotted by rugs standing as mute witnesses down the ages to the march of warrior kings, foreign trading vessels and invaders from across the seas. Running parallel to the coast are the Western Ghats, which harbour some of the more scenic and inviting hill stations - particularly Matheran and Mahabaleshwar. The Ghats divide the Deccan from the Konkan coast, with its unspoilt beaches, today being developed as modern resorts, like Ganapatipule and Sindhudurg. The beauty of Maharashtra is in its forts, caves and temples, so much so that it is called 'Dagd-Ancha Desh', meaning the Land of Rocks. It has a lot to offer to a visitor, its features are such that any tourist will definitely find something of his interest from among its beaches, forts, caves, temples, cities, wildlife sanctuaries, bird sanctuaries etc. The intricately carved caves of Ajanta, Ellora and Elephanta highlight the Indian heritage and the spellbinding Indian Culture. Religious places like Pandharpur, Nashik, Shirdi;
Trimbakeshwar, Tuljapur, Ganapatipule, Bhimashankar etc are a refreshing experience and make a fascinating whole. Capital: Mumbai, the capital, can well claim to be (after Kolkata) the second cultural center of India. Also known as the First City of India, it is one of the world's truly great cosmopolitan metropolises. Being the economic powerhouse of India Mumbai is the most affluent and industrialized city in the country today. Its tradition of glamour and showbiz makes it the city of dreams. Lively and pulsating, Mumbai is India's answer to Hollywood, producing more films each year than any other county in the world. It is also the center of a healthy theatre culture. Originally, the city was a place of seven islands, which Colaba, Fort, Byculla, Parel, worli, Matungs and Mahim. At present the Greater Mumbai extends into a single Mumbai extends into a single large landmass. Mumbai's major sightseeing interests include Gateway of India, Bombay High Court, Victoria Terminus, and countless others. Basically Mumabai belongs to the international culture. A lot of western influence over many Decades has managed to smooth out the cultural differences of the local people and pop music and disco-culture prevail above all. Open spaces in this crowded city include Chowpatty, Marine Drive and Juhu beach. History: Maharashtra is the land of legendary warriors, full of history and adventure. Maharashtra enters recorded history in the 2nd BC, with the construction of its first Buddhist caves. Maharashtra also played a key role during the freedom struggle with strong connections to Gandhi and the Indian National Congress. A large area of the state rests on high plateau, historically the main center of the Maratha Empire, which successfully defied the might of the Mughals under the fearless rule of Chhatrapati Shivaji, who is still an immortal legend here, his memories alive in the many forts scattered across the countryside. Many of the inland and coastal forts of Maharashtra are a legacy of Shivaji's rule. Povadas are Marathi ballads that describe the events in the life of Shivaji. They are very popular in Maharashtra and Maharashtrians highly respect this great hero and remember him through these ballads. Culture: Maharashtra is a huge storehouse of timeless art and culture, which has been reflected through its, forts, caves, palaces known for its rich history, its saints, philosophers, music, handicrafts and its festivals with all their colourful rituals and traditions, all of which amalgamate together to give a true reflection of Maharashtrian Culture. Occupation: Majority of Maharashtrian people is engaged in agriculture; main crops being sugar cane, cotton, peanuts, tobacco and pulses. The strong agriculture sector in the state has always made significant contribution to the economic development of the region. Sugarcane farming and 100's of strong complex of sugar cooperatives are turning into important growth centers in rural areas. Manufacturing industries are centered in Mumbai and to lesser extent cities such as Nagpur, Nashik, Aurangabad, Sholapur and Kolhapur, NOW account for a quarter of the nation's output. Textiles have long been important, but this is now also the premier region for electronics. Handicrafts: Maharashtra is the proud home to various different artistic techniques that have flourished under many rulers including the Marathas, the Mughals and the British. The state has a long and varied tradition of art and crafts from the paintings at Ajanta dating back to many hundreds of years to today's Warli paintings. Maharashtra is known for its Worli folk paintings. The Paithani and Narayan Peth saris are the most celebrated textiles of the state. Kolhapur is famous for its jewelry and Chappals and the craft of Lacquerware in Sawantwadi continues to cast its spell on visitors.
CLIMATE: November to February is most comfortable time to visit Maharashtra although evenings can be cold. Summers are warm with the state receiving monsoon rainfall between mid-June and mid-September. Temperatures: summer (average) 22°C-39°C; winter 12°C-34°C. Best Time To Visit: September to April (coastal regions) and September to mid-June (hill stations). Festivals: Maharashtrians have many festivals to celebrate, with each having a special reason to celebrate. Ganesh Chaturthi is the most important of all Maharashtrian festivals and is celebrated with great aplomb amongst Marathi communities worldwide. The Government of Maharashtra (MTDC) organizes cultural festivals that are held as a tribute to the artists of yore, to celebrate the greatness of a site or simply a religious occasion. Gokhulashtami, Holi, Diwali, Raksha Bandhan, Gudhi Paadva, Guru Pournima, Maharashtra Day are the other festivals celebrated in the state. Population: 92 million.
TREKKING IN FORTS
Location: Maharashtra Forts: Shreevardhan Fort, Rajmachi Fort Beginners as well as seasoned hikers can enjoy the trek to Rajmachi Fort. It is interesting both for its historic features and the natural beauty of the Sahyadris. Rajmachi fort can be approached to via the town of Lonavla along the Khandala plateau. Lonavla is an important train station on the Indian rail network. It is advised to set out early in the morning from Lonavla, because by 11.00 am the sun is really bearing down. From this point make oner way to the Mumbai - Pune Highway (NH4). Trekker's should take a right turn and follow the highway until a signboard indicating the way to Tungarli Lake is reached. This road leads to Tungarli Hill and then turns left. There is dirt track on the left, which leads up the hill to Tungarli Lake - a small lake that is at its best just after the monsoon. It is advisable to drink up and fill up as this is the last point on the trail where water is available. There is an alternative to the trekker's who want to avoid walking on the main road, from Lonavla station they take an auto rickshaw to the base of Tungarli. As one continues up the hillside to Tungarli there is a dam and lake and on the northern end of the lake, one can see Tungarli village. The trail then leads up to a small pass from where Rajmachi fort is visible. The path then descends and joins a dirt track that winds its way along the crest of the hill and disappears into the forests this is the only track, which leads to Rajmachi fort, there are no shortcuts. After about two hours walk one can see a fork in the trail and the path on the left leads to Rajmachi. The trail continues on oner left, climbing gradually and then leveling out. A little later it dips down and up again and then one can see the Rajmachi fort clearly. Continue following the path around the fort and one will finally reach the village of Udhewadi (or Rajmachi). Just before there is a temple dedicated to Kalbhairavnath, and a flat clearing that can be used as a campsite. The trekker's who don't want to camp outdoors, can stay in the temple. Water is available at a tank, which are 100m away on a path to the left of the temple. Cook one's own food or buy some basic village fare of 'Bhakri' and 'Chutney'. On either side of the Col are the two forts of Rajmachi. Once up in the fort one will see that the climb was really worthwhile. Shreevardhan, is another fort, which is just opposite to the Kalbhairavnath temple. It is the more interesting one, with some secret tunnels leading to the battlements. Two deep caves of Buddhist origin can be seen in Shreevardhan, but they do not contain any elaborate carving or inscription.
Manranjan, behind the temple, gives one a good view of the plains. People who want to explore the area can go the base of Manranjan where there are some simple rock-cut caves, which date back to ancient India when the Bhor Ghat was an important trade route. Buddhist monks used these hills long before they were fortified to guard the Bhor pass. Return Route: The return route from Rajmachi is much easier to follow. The trail is steeper and one needs to be very careful. One needs to start from Udhewadi village and follow a well-defined trail, on the hill's western slopes. One can find arrows marked at regular and these arrows marks lead way down until one reaches Kondewadi settlement in about two hours. Trekker's can take an interesting diversion half way down the hillside, and follow a trail, which leads to the ruins of Kondana Caves. These are rock cut Buddhist caves with a Stupa, Chaitya, Vihara and sculptures. An earthquake destroyed the floor of the caves and has left the pillars suspended from the ceiling, without support from the base. Trekker's need to be very careful as there are several large beehives hangs at the cave entrance. It is advised to avoid smoking, peeling oranges or cutting onion or garlic nearby, as this can agitate the bees and cause them to attack one. From the settlement of Kondewadi walk for a kilometer till one arrives at Kondewadi proper (bus stop). One can either walk to Karjat (14-km) from here, or catch a rickshaw or bus and then a local train backs to Mumbai or oner onward destination.
KARLA CAVES-BEDSA CAVES-SAHYADRIS
Location: Lonavala, Maharashtra Explore: The Old Rock Cut Buddhist Architecture Karla caves are 2,000 years and it is a very easy trek where one can explore old rockcut Buddhist architecture. Early Buddhist rock-cut caves can be found all over the Sahyadris. They served as monasteries and were built along the region's ancient trade routes connecting important inland towns. One of these routes the Bhor Ghat runs from Kalyan to Karla where several fine examples of Buddhist caves are easily accessible. One can explore three examples of Hinayana Buddhist architecture. Hinayana Buddhist faith represents the original doctrine of Buddha before his deification and explains the lack of any images of the Buddha in the caves at Bedsa, Bhaja and Karla. Each site consists of one main prayer hall or Chaitya and several residential halls or viharas for the monks. Cisterns carved in to the rock are fed by underground springs and rainwater, and like the rest of the architecture, represent unique engineering skills. Beginning Of the Trek to begin this trek, reach Kamshet station by local train either from Pune or Lonavla. At Kamshet one can hire a jeep or catch a bus to drop one at Bedsa village. If one prefers to walk, head to the Bombay - Pune highway turn left from the station and then takes a road that leads to Pawna dam and Kale colony. Follow this road for about 12-km until one reaches Bedsa village. Bedsa Caves Bedsa caves will come into full view well before one reach the village. From the village a trail leads up to a second village and to the base of the hill, and is followed by a 20-minute climb to the caves. In the monsoons (June-September) the path can be slippery. There is absolutely no accommodation or other facility at Bedsa, though the water tanks always have cool, clean potable water. If one plan to camp in the village or on the hillside one needs to bring everything one requires. A Peculiar Feature about Bedsa Caves an unusual feature of Bedsa caves is the mass of rock in front to the Chaitya that hides the main facade. Two imposing pillars at the entrance create a striking effect characteristic of ancient places of worship. An animal and rider sculpture crowns the pillars and is similar to the ones at the famous Sanchi Stupa.
A typical sun window lets in rays of the rising sun diffusing the light to reach the inside. Unfortunately the caves are not well maintained even though Bedsa is one of the smallest with only four caves. From Bedsa a steep trail leads to the top of Bedsa hill. Start at the few crudely cut steps in the rock to the left of the main cave (when facing it), which turns into a trail that is often overgrown and concealed. It will take one about 45 minutes to the top. From there go left along a fairly well used trail to a small pass (Barrow's pass) where the path forks. Both paths lead to Visapur village about 4-km away. Visapur fort and its soaring cliffs now loom in front of one, a motorable dirt track goes left and leads to Lohagad fort. Follow a trail on the right that leads to a well (clean water) and then to the base of the fort in front of one. From the well, the trail wends its way through a (now rapidly disappearing) wooded area. It then merges with a streambed and leads into Visapur fort. At this point another trail leads off to the right. Taking this will bring one to a village from where one can follow a trail to the Col between the two forts (Lohagad and Visapur) and then down to Bhaja village by a well-trodden path (this is an easier but much longer trail). Bhaja Caves A much shorter route leads one straight down the hillside. After passing the village, take a sharp right that will bring one to a rocky path strewn with boulders and eventually some crude steps cut into the rocks, and to Bhaja. It's a little tricky finding one's way from Bedsa to Bhaja, so if one feel nervous one can pay a villager from Bedsa to escort one. It can be an incredibly hot 5-hour walk in summer, so it's best to leave early in the morning. Bhaja caves are a regular picnic spot on Sundays so if one is looking for peace and quiet come in on a weekday or on a Sunday evening. If one happens to arrive during a Buddhist festival don't be surprised to find monks from the monastery nearby chanting in the main hall. The Vihara's acoustics echo their incantations creating a meditative atmosphere. The evening sunlight's up the Chaitya cave at Bhaja. Some of the caves have figures of humans and animals. Above one of the water tanks just outside the gate leading to cave 19 is an inscription, which probably records the name of a donor. The wooden arches in the main Chaitya are believed to be the original beams dating back to the 2nd century BC. A crudely carved Shiva Linga in one of the caves is a recent introduction, part of an attempt to claim these caves are Hindu. From the caves it's an easy 10-minute walk to Bhaja village along steps built into the hillside. Here one can buy food or provisions and make telephone calls. A twenty-minute walk will bring one to Malavali station. This road will cross the railway track and the Bombay-Pune highway and eventually get one to Karla caves in about an hour and a half. Accommodation is available at the MTDC Holiday Camp near Malavali station but its facilities are very basic. Karla caves also built in the second century BC, are the oldest of the three but the best preserved and finest example of ancient rock cut caves in western India. A large column at the entrance with a lion carved at the base and a sun window make a grand impression. Vivid sculptures of men and women on horses crown the capitals of the pillars. Buddha sculptures carved in the panels indicate later Mahayana Buddhist occupation and the large Shiva temple outside represents some attempt to claim this site for Hinduism. Return to Malavali station along the same route that took one up, from where local trains are available to Pune and Lonavla. Karla The Karla Mountains, probably dating back to 160 BC, harbours the largest cluster of Chaitya caves. Their sheer rock faces provide the appropriate terrain for a rock climber to reach up to the white, fluffy clouds. Another popular adventure spot could be at Bhandardara. Bhandardara is 180-km by road. It has one of the most beautiful lakes in the country surrounded by majestic hills. Other Treks One can go off on long treks around the surrounding hills like Ratangadh, a favorite fort
of Shivaji or Kalsubai, the highest peak in Maharashtra, to the sprightly Randha falls or to Amriteshwar, a 1,200 year- old temple. Various forts in the Sahyadris also provide a good base for trekking activities. Forts around Pune like the Sinhgad, Lohagad, Visapur, Shivneri, Purandar, Rajgad, Raigad etc. are some of the few forts. Besides this Pratapgarh near Mahabaleshwar, Panhala near Kolhapur and Torna near Bhor are other exciting options. There are various clubs and private institutions, which organize trekking expeditions on a regular basis to the above-mentioned forts.
TREKKING IN THE SAHYADRIS
Location: Sahyadri Hills, Maharashtra Famous As: Trekker's Paradise A trekker's paradise-Sahyadri hills are dotted with many lakes & forests, are also known for remarkable historic forts and ancient Buddhist caves. The Western Ghats in Maharashtra is called Sahyadri in the local language Marathi. The Sahyadris located in Maharashtra are not very high but they are extremely rugged hills with some unique, formidable pinnacles for the avid rock climber. But the range is not just. The treks in the Sahyadri mean climbing the mountains to reach to the medieval forts. The treks are classified according to region. Note that there are other regions like Nasik region, Pune region, Koyna-Satara region and WarnaAmboli region, which have not been explored by people.
TREKKING IN WAKI WOODS
Location: Near Nagpur, Maharashtra Ideal Place for: Trekkers Activity Available: Boating, Archery, Riding, and Bird Watching Trekking is the art of living, travelling and surviving in the outdoors and being one with nature. One can find a number of Lakes, Wild Life and Bird Sanctuaries, Picnic spots and places of tourist interest within driving distance of Nagpur City. Waki woods, which is just 30-km away from Nagpur on Saoner road near Waki Dargha. This is a very ideal place for trekking lovers. This resort offers bird watching wide range of activities like boating, archery, and riding. Facilities provided by this resort include furnished-tented accommodation, electricity, water, and telephone.
Capital : Bhubaneshwar Attraction : Golden Triangles ( Bhubaneshwar, Puri, and Konark ) Language Spoken : Oriya Perpetually washed by the blue waters of the Bay of Bengal, Orissa lies on the East Coast of India with a 482-km-long coastal stretch. West Bengal and Bihar bound it on the north, Andhra Pradesh on the south, the Bay of Bengal on the east and Madhya Pradesh on the west . The state's history is divisible into the same four periods in which Indian history is usually analyzed, i.e., the Hindu period, the Muslim period, the British period and the post-Independence period. Orissa's main attractions are the temples of the capital Bhubaneswar, - the long sandy beach at Puri, the Sun Temple at Konark and Simlipal and Nandankanan sanctuaries of Cuttack. The renowned Jagannatha Temple dominates the landscape at Puri as does the Lingaraja Temple of Bhubaneswar. 10 Kms west of Bhubaneshwar are the Udayagiri Caves, which were occupied by the Buddhist monks as early as the 2nd century BC. History: It's hazy past is linked to the fortunes of Kalinga of which it was once a part. Ashoka's carnage of Kalinga made the emperor foreswore war and till 2nd century AD,
Buddhism and Jainism alternately held sway in Orissa. Fast forward to 1514: the time of the European arrival here. After the British conquest in 1804, Orissa was divided into three districts: Cuttack, Puri and Balasore. After independence, Orissa became a state of India in 1950. Capital: Bhubaneswar, the capital of Orissa, famous as a temple town and a handicraft center, has, over the last decade, become an upcoming business center. While the city itself boats of no giant industrial plants, showcased in its main bazaars are craftwork, such as the traditional tie and dye technique of ikat, that date back over several thousand years. Handicrafts: Shopping in Orissa is a joy. You don't look there for what the modern industry can give you, but for unique and exquisite handicrafts, made by those fingers whose forerunners had with such dexterity and skill created the magnificent Orissa Temples. The handicrafts of Orissa include Silver Filigree, Horn Work, Folk Paintings (Pattachitra), Metalware, Applique Work, Stoneware, silk and cotton handloom etc. Culture: Another expression of Oriyan culture is Odissi, one of the finest forms of Indian classical dance. Evolved out of spiritual consciousness, it formed an essential part of the ritualistic services in the important shrines of Orissa. Devotional in spirit, it is marked for its elaborate grace and lyrical charm, revealed through rounded movements. Orissa also has a rich body of literature with Sitakant Mahapatra being one of the major voices in contemporary Oriya poetry. Festivals: Makar Sankranti in January; Magha Mela and Konark Dance Festival in February; Maha Shivratri and Holi in March; Basant Panchami in February / March; Chaitra Parba or Chhow Festival in April; Rath yatra or the Car Festival of Puri and Raja Sankranti in June / July; Durga Puja in September / October; Kartika and Kumar Purnima in October-November; Lakshmi Puja in December -January. CLIMATE: Temperature (deg C): summer - Max.38, Min.27.1 Winter - Max.28.2, Min.15.2. Rainfall : Mid June-September 60 inches (152 CMS). Best season : October to March Population: 35 million
Mahendragiri Hill Trek
Location : Parlekhemundi, Gajapati District, and Orissa Altitude : 1600m Fauna : Elephants, Spotted Deer, Leopards, Peococks, Flying Squirrels, Talking Mynas Parlakhemundi in the Gajapati district is home to the beautiful Mahendragiri Hill, which is the destination of numerous trekkers who can, on a good day, sight elephants, spotted deer and even leopards. The Mahendra Tanaya rivulet wends its dappled way through the forest, which abounds in peacocks flying squirrels and even the talking mynas. Perched on a height of 1,600m the hill is about 175-km from Berhampur.
Nilagiri Hill Trek
Location : Kuldiha Jungle, Balasore District, and Orissa Situated in the Balasore district, the Nilagiri hill in the Kuldiha jungle is a trekker's delight with its silvery streams and immense beauty. Wildlife abounds in their bounteous undergrowth. Trekkers can camp at three of the camping outlets located here.
Gandhamardan Hill Trek
Location : Bargarh & Balangir District, Orissa Waterfalls : Nrusimhanath & Harisankar Famous As : Seat of Buddhist University, Po-Lo-Mo-Lo-Ki-Ii
The hill Gandhamardan enshrines Nrusimhanath on its northern slope in the district of Bargarh while on the southern slope is Harisankar in Balangir district. To walk over the hilltop from Harisankar to Nrusimhanath and vice-a-versa distance of 16-km through the glories of nature and culture is an experience by itself. It is said to be the seat of a Buddhist University called Po-Lo-Mo-Lo-Ki-Ii by Huien Isang.
Location: Eastern End of Himalayas Capital: Gangtok Tourist Attractions: Trekking, White Water Rafting, and Rumtek Monastery Best Time To Visit: March to May & October to December Famous for Kanchendzonga, the third highest mountain in the world at 8,586m, the mountain kingdom of Sikkim has a tremendous variety of plant and wildlife besides a diverse ethnic mix of peoples with rich cultural traditions. One of the smallest states of India, it is bounded by Nepal to the west and Bhutan to the east; by the Tibet Autonomous Region of China to the north and northeast and by West Bengal to the south. Gangtok - The Capital: Sikkimese life is centered on Gangtok. Its Buddhist past is the root of its appeal for visitors, and remains evident at the impressive Institute of Tibetology, the Enchey Monastery, Pemayengtse and the marvelous Rumtek Monastery not far away, the last a thriving center of Mahayana Buddhism. Sikkim's pride, the orchid, is nurtured at the Orchid Sanctuary and other sites in and around Gangtok. Among the festive attraction of this hilly capital is the flower show that is held over here every spring near White Hall, the Governor's residence on the ridge above town. Trekking is another adventure sports that attract lots of trekkers to visit the state. History & Ethnicity: Ruled by the Namgyal (Lepcha) clan since the 15th century, Sikkim lost much land to the British and to Nepal and Bhutan in the 18th century. With the defeat of the Nepali army by the British in 1817, southern Sikkim was given back to the ruler, in exchange for the hill that later became known as Darjeeling. The original inhabitants of Sikkim are the Lepchas who stay in the central and northern areas; Nepali immigrants inhabit lower valleys. Other ethnic groups are the Magars renowned as warriors and the Bhotias, who came to Sikkim from the Kham area of Tibet in the 13th century. Culture & Tradition: The state's cultural life is related to Tibetan religious and aesthetic traditions. The cultural climax of the year comes with the 2-day Phanglhapsol festival, when masked dances are performed in honour of Kanchenjunga, presiding deity and the mountain. There are also many secular folk dances. The Namgyal Institute of Tibetology has one of the largest collection of Tibetan books in the world. Many Buddhist monasteries are repositories of artistic treasures, including wall paintings, Tankas or Thangkas (religious paintings mounted on brocade), and bronze images. Way of Living: Tourism and agriculture are the two basis of the Sikkim's economy. Sikkim is one of the world's main producers of Cardamom, and the region has also become an exporter of Mandarin Oranges, Apples, and Potatoes. Sikkim is also rich in mineral wealth. Its forests have great economic value in sawn Timber and wood Pulp. Sikkim's cotton and wool weaving, carpets, rugs, blankets, and bamboo work is well known. Climate: The climate varies with elevation and ranges from tropical in the low valley bottoms to Arctic-like conditions of perpetual snow and ice in the higher reaches. The annual rainfall varies from 50-200 inches (mostly during May-October), and snow in the upper levels often accumulates to a
thickness of 30m. The best time to visit this state is during the months of March to late May and from October to December. Summer: Max. 20.7°C; Min. 13.1°C, winter: Max. 14.9°C; Min. 7.7°C.
NORTH SIKKIM TREKKING EXPEDITION TO GREEN - LAKE
Highest Altitude: 4,681m Duration: 14 Days Best Time To Trek: June to September & October to Mid November Perhaps the most beautiful of the districts, the north offers an exquisite experience for the lover of nature and alpine scenery. Yumthang alone is enough to satiate the most demanding, with its panoramic valley of flowers. During springtime the lush meadows abound with delicate wildflowers that carpet the valley floor in a rich riot of colors. A must-see here is the Hot Springs and the vibrant Sikkimese tribal culture and customs. Day 01: Gangtok to Chungthang – 109-km (motorable) overnight stay in camp. Day 02: Chungthang – Lachen – 26-km (by jeep) overnight stay at Lachen in camp. Day 03: Lachen – Zema. Overnight stay in camp. Day 04: Zema – Overnight stay in camp II. Day 05: Camp II – Camp III Day 06: Camp III- Jakthang- Pokechhu Camp IV Day 07: Pokechhu – Green Lake. Overnight in camp at Green Lake. Day 08: Explore Green Lake / Zemu glacier area. Day 09: Return to Camp IV Day 10: Return to Camp III Day 11: Return to Camp II Day 12: Return to camp I Day 13: Zema – Chungthang Day 14: Chungthang – Gangtok
Highest Altitude:1,760m Duration: 16 Days Best Time To Trek: June to September & October to Mid November This trek takes one through Darjeeling, its tea plantation and on to exciting Goecha-La in Sikkim. Here one traverse at the base of Kanchenjunga. In this trek one walks through verdant tropical and alpine forests where a great variety of orchids and Rhododendrons and Primuleas carpet the alpine terrain. The valleys are warm and one can expect temperatures around 350C while night temperature drop below 00C. Day 01: Transfer to Darjeeling by surface 90-km-4 hrs drive. Overnight stay in hotel. Day 02: At Darjeeling full day sightseeing – morning sunrise view from tiger hill, Ghoom Monastery, Himalayan Mountaineering Institute and the Tibetan self-help center. Overnight stay at hotel. Day 03: Transfer to Pemayangtse- 118 km – 6 hours journey via Teesta valley and entering Sikkim via Melli. On arrival check into a hotel. Day 04: Morning visit to the Pemayangtse and Sangacholing monasteries. Drive to Yuksam 43-km- 2 hours drive. Overnight stay in camp. Day 05: Trek – Yuksam to Tsokha – 16-km – 5 hrs. Lunch en route at Praig. Overnight inn trekkers huts/ tents. Day 06: Trek up- hill Tsokha to Dzongri –9-km-3 to 4 hours with lunch at Phedang. Overnight in trekker’s huts/ tents. Day 07: Trek downhill Dongri to Thangsing – 8-km. Lunch at Praig Chu. Overnight stay in trekker’s huts/ tents.
Day 08: Trek Thangsing to lake Samiti – 3-km easy walk. Lunch near the placid lake. Overnight stay in trekkers, huts/ tents. Day 09: Early morning trek upto Goecha La – 5-km uphill to get splendid views of the magnificent mountains. Return to Thangsing for overnight in camp. Day 10: Return trek Thangsing to Dzongri. Overnight stay in trekkers’ huts/ tents. Day 11: Trek Dzongri to Bakhim – 10-km – easy walk. Overnight stay in forest log house/ tents. Day 12: From Bakhim treks downhill to Yuksam –11-km. Overnight in forest log house/ tents. Day 13: At Yuksam spends a day at leisure. Day 14: Transfer Yuksam (also spelt as Yuksum) to Gangtok – 123-km. Overnight stay in hotel. Day 15: Gangtok full day sightseeing visiting Enchey and Rumtek monasteries, cottage industry, Institute of Tibetology. Overnight stay in hotel. Day 16: Departure for Bagdogra 124-km for onward journey.
YOKSUM TO DZONGRI & THE GUICHA LA
Duration:12 Days Highest Altitude: 4,940m Best Time To Trek: June to September & October to Mid November If one is in search of adventure, the west is the district to visit. The west district lives up to its proverbial name as being wild and free as it is the base from where all treks into the wilds of the majestic Himalayas begin. Whether it's white water rafting down the frothing waters of the Teesta and Rangit, or trekking through the beautiful and dense Rhododendron forests, the west district has it all. Day 01 Pemayangste - Yoksum It is 35-km by car and 16-km by trekking which takes about six to eight hours. After visiting the monastery, one of the oldest in Sikkim, the pilgrimage starts and the six to eight hours trek gives glimpses of Sikkimese life and provides a good acclimatization for the next few days. Passing through terraced fields of rice, barley and corn, the track is dotted with Nepalese, Shepra and Lepcha huts. Crossing first, the Rimbi 'Chu', the trekker gets to the turbulent mountainous streams of Sikkim. A tableland of barley and apples, Yoksum provides beautiful vistas of mini lakes with the Himalayan background. The night can be spent in tourist huts. Day 02 Yoksum - Bakhim (2,750m or 9,000 ft) The trail now runs through rice wood hills abounding in flora and fauna going, as it does, though moss-laden forests of Oak, Spruce, Chestnut, Fir, Pines, Giant Magnolias and Rhododendron a botanists' paradise. Not to be outdone, the naturalist's can view hundreds of varieties of exotic of birds, butterflies and orchids. It takes six hours before the Bakhim forest bungalow is reached for the night. Day 03 Bakhim- Dzongri (4, 550m or 13,221 ft) 8-km and six hours away, each step to Dzongri leads to the world of the famed Kanchenjunga massive. The spectacle at dawn and dusk tinted in softest hues, is one never to be missed - a supernatural vision of ethereal beauty. Camp in tents or yak huts. Day 04 Dzongri-Thangsing (3,930m or 12,467 ft) 7-km from Dzongri, the four hours' trek leads through meadows and valleys down the burrow leads into the most beautiful valley of all situated at the base Jopine peak. To reach the camping grounds dwarfed in the giant valley, one crosses a wooden bridge over the stream under the watchful even of majestic Pandim. Day 05 Thangsig-Chemathang (4,800m or 15,748 ft)
Situated at the base of mighty Pandim, Chemathang is 8-km from Thangsing and takes 6 hours to trek. Day 06 Chemathang-Goecha La (4,940m) - Chemathang Still higher and steeper, is the Goecha (also spelt as Guicha) pass about 5-km away but taking a good three hours to cover. This is the northernmost and highest point of the trek. Day 07 Chemathang - Thangsing This is the return journey and is spent looking for rare high altitude birds and blue sheep roaming in the wilderness of high cliffs and snows, among the thick and low bushes. Day 08 Thansing - Dzongri It is a four to five hour climb through Rhododendron forests to the camping grounds. Side Trip to Chowrithang (4,380 meters or 14,370 ft) It is an eight-hour and 10-km trip to the Chowrithang falls at the Rohtang glacier. Here is the base camp of the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute of Darjeeling, world famous as a center for training would be mountaineers. Splendid views of the peaks, Free, Koktang, Kabru, Ratong, Chandra Peak and the Kabru Dome are obtained from here. En route one passes the forbidden Kabur Rock, which none is allowed to climb. From Chowrithang a two-hour walk along the glacier leads to the Houe-Chu Lake, the special feature of which is its accumulated milky water. Also ten years from Chowrithang on the way to Bakhim is Zamling Gaon, named after Tenzing's son and a good place to break the journey. Day 09 Dzongri - Bakhim via Jamlingthang (Zamling Gaon) This different route to Bakhim passes through one of the most spectacular forested areas of Sikkim engulfed in the fragrance of magnolias, which is all the more beautiful in the spring when the giant magnolias and more than ten types of Rhododendron are in bloom and the trail runs through the garden of flowers. Day 10 Bakhim -Yoksum A leisurely walk of about four hours bring one back to Yoksum. Day 11 Yoksum-Tashiding (1,470m or 4,822 ft) A pleasant 6-7 hour steady and beautiful trail through fields and Cardamom groves, giant bamboos and orange gardens leads to the Tashiding monastery, which crowns the hilltop. One can camp near the monastery Day 12 Tashiding - Legship (520m) This is the last day and a 4-5 hour walk down hill all the way brings the trekker to the village of Legship along the Rangeet valley ending the delightful 'Pilgrimage Trek'.
OFF THE BEATEN TREKS
Location: Sikkim Highest Altitude: 8, 500 ft Best Time To Trek: June to September & October to Mid November RABONGLA TO MAENAM BHALEDUNGA TREK: Towering above Rabongla town, Maenam hilltop at 10,600 ft, is 3 km through the Maenam wildlife sanctuary - teeming with Magnolia, Rhododendron and small Bamboos. Flowers clamer over trees while mosses, ferns and creepers more reckless and ambitious climb the soaring trunks. A small hermitage containing the image of Guru Padmasambhava nestles here. The view from the Maenam summit is picturesque. The town of Rabongla lies sleeping far below and through the gaps in the mountains one can see the rolling plains of West Bengal lazily stretching out with the clouds resting on them. As the sun rises, these clouds become buoyant and form a heavenly curtain of mist. In the west the Khangchendzonga range complete the scene.
Bhaledunga: Another half an hour walks on the same ridge takes to Bhaledunga - a peculiar looking cliff that resembles the head of a cock. This distinctive looking cliff resembles the head of a cock. This distinctive looking feature can be seen from miles away and during the old days used to serve as a guiding landmark to travelers. From the top of this cliff, there is a vertical five to six thousand feet fall. Far down, teesta can be seen snaking its way like a giant python through the valley. TOLUNG MONASTERY TREK: Tolung Monastery was first built in the reign of Chogyal Chakdor Namgyal in the early 18th century. It contains rare and valuable scriptures and artifacts of other monasteries that were brought here for safety during the invasion of Sikkim by the Nepalese during late 17th and early 19th century. A brass Chorten within the monastery contains the ashes of one of the incarnates of Lama Latsun Chembo, the patron saint of Sikkim. All the relics are kept sealed in thirteen boxes under the supervision of the government of Sikkim. Once every three years in the month of April the relics are shown to the public in the monastery complex. The last display of the relics was held in April 91. Approaching Tolung: Tolung at an altitude of 8,000 ft lies in the sparsely Lepcha populated Dzongu area of North Sikkim and falls in the restricted area for which a inner line permit is required by Indian Nationals. To reach Tolung, one has to travel by road upto Linzey. There is a daily bus service from Gangtok to a place slightly short of Linzey. From Linzey to Tolung is a 20-km walk and takes approximately five hours along the thundering Tolung River through dense forests and cardamom groves. The Trail: Precipitous cliffs surround the easy track, from which plummet down waterfalls in white plumes hundreds of feet below into the narrow gorges to the valley floor. Bird’s tweet louder to make them heard over the sound of the waterfalls and the rivers. Perched precariously on these cliffs here and there are the huts of the hardy Lepchas. As one walks towards Tolung, the surrounding mountains on the top of which ice clings tenaciously even during the summer seem to close in. on reaching Tolung one can understand why the Sikkimese chose this place to keep the relics here out of the reach of the invading Nepalese. Because of its vantage location it was easy to guard hence this place was selected for relics. There is a pilgrims hut. An easy walk of about an hour along the Tolung River takes one to a religious spot - Devta Pani. DAMTHANG - TENDONG TREK: Damthang is 14-km from Namchi on the Gangtok Namchi road. A number of buses ply on this route from Gangtok. To reach Tendong from Damthang one has to trek for about one and a half-hour on a well-defined path through dense forest of the Tendong forest sanctuary. The Trail: Tendong at an altitude of 8,500 ft is situated on a small plateau on top of the mountain. Perhaps no other place in Sikkim offers a better view of the mountain ranges in the state than Tendong - it is like sitting in the center of a huge amphitheater. On the east one can see the full Chola range, on the west the Singelila range and the towering Kanchenjenga. In the north - east can be seen the Gurudongmar peak with other mountains. Darjeeling, Gyalsing, Nathu-La, a part of Gangtok and the rolling plains of Siliguri can be seen from here. Both the sunrise and sunset are breathtaking from Tendong. From other parts of Sikkim Tendong looks like a volcano - and legend has it that it was in fact once an active volcano, which is now dormant. Two small one room monasteries exist here - one quite old and in almost ruins and the other a newly constructed one. A three stories observation tower on the pattern tiger hill, Darjeeling has been constructed for the convenience of tourists.
Capital : Chennai Cradle Have : South Indian Temple Architecture Official State Language : Tamil Best Time To Visit : December to February Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh bound Tamil Nadu in the north and Kerala in the west. The eastern and western tips of the state are defined by the Point Calimere and Mudumalai wildlife sanctuaries while the northern extreme is Pulicat lake and the southernmost tip is Kanyakumari, the land's end. The Cauvery, originating in Coorg in neighboring Karnataka principally washes Tamil Nadu. Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu is known for its beautiful beach resorts. A Temple State: Tamil Nadu, the cradle of south Indian temple architecture, is a living museum of styles that originated in the 7th century and matured in the huge temple complexes studded with towering gateways-"Gopurams"-that soar above the markets of almost every town. Mahabalipuram, Kanchipuram, Chidambaram, Kumbakonam, Rameswaram, Palani, Srirangam, Tiruttani and Kanyakumari are some of the famous pilgrim centers in the state. The famous Meenakshi temple of Madurai is a must see. The Nilgiri Panorama: In the west of the state, where the hill stations of Kodaikanal and Ooty are the premier attractions, sylvan hills offer mountain views and a network of trails winds through forests and tea and coffee plantations. Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary, a vast spread of deciduous forest dominated by teak, offers a good chance of spotting elephants and dholes, wild pack-hunting Dogs, Tigers and Leopards. Annamalai Sanctuary, closer to Kodaikanal in the Palani hills, is better known for its Lion-tailed Macaques (black-maned Monkeys). The wetlands of the coast provide perfect resting-places for migratory birds, whose numbers soar during the winter monsoon at Vedathangal, near Chennai, and Point Calimere. History: three major dynasties-the Cholas in the east, the Pandyas in the central area and Cheras in the west ruled Tamil Nadu. This was during the Sangam Age-the classical period of Tamil literature-that continued for some 300 years after the birth of Christ. The Pallava dynasty was influential particularly in the 7th and 8th centuries, the testimonies to which are the monuments at Mamallapuram. In the 13th century, with threats of Muslim invasions from the north, the southern Hindu dynasties combined and the empire of Vijaynagar (also spelt as Vijayanagar), which covered all of South India, became firmly established. However, by the 17th century, due to the disintegration of the Vijaynagar Empire, various small rulers like the Nayaks ruled southern India. By the middle of the 18th century, there were frequent conflicts between the British, French, Danes, and Dutch due to their interest in these areas. The British were finally victorious, while small pocketed areas including Pondicherry and Karaikal remained under French control. Under the British rule, most of south India was integrated into the region called the Madras Presidency. In 1956, the Madras Presidency was disbanded and Tamil Nadu was established. An Agro-Based Land: Although Tamil Nadu is one of the most urbanized states of India, it is still a rural land; agriculture is the mainstay of life for about three-quarters of the rural population. The principal food crops are rice, maize, Jowar, Bajra, Ragi, and pulses. The cash crops include cotton, sugarcane, oilseeds, coffee, tea rubber, and chillies. You Can Advertise Here: The major industries include cotton textiles, chemicals, fertilizers, paper and paper products, printing and allied industries, diesel engines,
automobiles and parts, cement, sugar, iron and steel, and railway wagon and coaches. The state is the largest textile producer in India and an important exporter of leather and leather products, cotton piece goods, tea, coffee, spices, tobacco, etc. There are a number of hydel power stations in Tamil Nadu. The atomic power plant is located at Kalpakkam, in the Chengalpattu MGR district. Tamil Nadu is rich in handicrafts; notable among them are hand loomed silk, metal icons, leather work, Kalamkari (hand-painted fabric, using natural dyes), brass, bronze, and copper wares, and carved wood, palm leaf, and cane articles. For the best Chola bronzes and a glimpse of the magnificent paintings that flourished under Maratha rajas in the 18th century, travelers should head for Thanjavur. The maximum amount of time for a script to execute was exceeded. You can change this limit by specifying a new value for the property Server.ScriptTimeOut or by changing the value in the IIS administration tools. Capital: Chennai (formerly, Madras), the largest city in South India and the fourth largest city in the country, is located on the Coromandel Coast. The city's British lineage is evident in the various cathedrals, buildings in Indo-Saracenic style of architecture, wide tree lined avenues but there is no denying its traditional Tamil Hindu culture either. This is not surprising because this region had remained a centre of Pallavan culture long before the British came here. The varied aspects of traditional South Indian culture existing alongside the lifestyle of a modern city complete with its plush hotels, restaurants offering a range of continental to typical South Indian cuisine, long and uncrowned stretches of beaches, modern shopping malls, cinema halls, etc. The People: Tamil, the official state language, is spoken by most of the people. The main religions in the state are Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, and Jainism. There is an established caste system, and the traditional differentiation’s here are a lot more pronounced than in many other parts of the country. The Brahmin community here is very pious and people normally have a white mark on the forehead to signify caste. The Performing Arts: Tamil Nadu is synonymous with the Indian musical maestro of the 18th century, Thyagaraja. The land of Carnatic music, Tamil Nadu, is the birthplace of many other music legends as well. The main instruments used are the Violin, Wooden flute, 'Veena', 'Gottuvadayam', 'Mridangam' (also spelt as Mridanga), 'Nadaswaram' and 'Ghatam'. Bharatanatyam, one of India's major classical dance forms, and Carnatic music are both widely practiced. Painting and sculpture, however, are less developed, although there are schools that teach the art of sculpture in stone and bronze. Tamil literature rapidly adapted to the Western literary forms of the novel and the short story. Since the 1940s, cinema has become the most popular form of mass entertainment. There are both touring and permanent cinema theatres; and sentimental and spectacular films, often featuring light music and dancing, are produced by the film studios situated largely around Chennai. Festivities: The main festival of the state is Pongal, which is a harvest festival celebrated in the month of January. Feasting, music and dance mark this festival. "Karthigai Deepam" and "Varushapirapu" (Tamil New Year's Day) are also celebrated on a grand scale. Several temple festivals are held throughout the state, of which The Mahamagam festival celebrated once in 12 years at Kumbakonam, Meenakshi Kalyanam festival at Madurai, Natyanjali Dance Festival at Chidambaram are the famous ones. Climate: The climate of Tamil Nadu is essentially tropical. The temperature in summer seldom 43º C and in winter seldom falls below 18º C. The lowest temperatures are
recorded during December and January, and the highest in April to June. The average annual rainfall, falling mainly between October and December, ranges between 25 and 75 inches. The most precipitation falls in the Nilgiris and other hill areas. Population: 55,638,318
Location: Along the Western Ghats Also Called: Elephant Hills Attractions: Monkey Falls, Aliyar, Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary And National Park, Attakatti, Mirar, Kullipatti, Manompally, Chinnar, Varagaliar, Manjampatty Along the whole length of the western part, at a distance of 80 to 160-km from the sea runs the great mountain wall of the Western Ghats, a rugged chain of mountains rising from 1,220 meters at the minimum to 2,500 meters. The 'wall' breaks for a 25-km stretch at Palghat. From the southern edge of this gap onwards, the hills are called "Anamalai" (Elephant Hills). The heavily forested slopes of this range are the sources of the Kaveri, Vaigai and Thamirabarani Rivers. The 760-kms long Kaveri River is the lengthiest. Anamalai Wildlife Sanctuary: Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park (also called Anamalai Wildlife Sanctuary) is a full-fledged visitor's centre at Top slip, at an altitude of 740 mean sea levels having all the amenities needed for a naturalist. Top Slip is a picturesque locale in the Anamalai Hills with many trekking spots and waterfalls, about 37-km from Pollachi, which is a small town with open forest and wild life around. The grassland is thoroughly sheltered with bamboo forest. Top Slip has an elephant farm that stands to be the main tourist attraction of the place. Some of the places to be visited: Monkey Falls, Aliyar, the Crocodile Breeding Centre at Amaravati, Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park, Attakatti, Mirar, Kullipatti, Manompally, Chinnar, Varagaliar, Manjampatty, etc. HOW TO GET THERE Air: To reach Top Slip, the nearest airport is at Coimbatore. Rail: The nearest railway station is at Pollachi from where there are trains to Coimbatore and Dindigul. Road: There are regular buses from Coimbatore and Palani to Pollachi, which is the nearest big town. To reach Topslip by road tourists can catch a bus or hire a taxi from Pollachi. Divide the text into air, rail and road.
Kalakkadu - Mundathurai
Location: Tirunelveli District, Tamil Nadu Famous: Wildlife Sanctuaries and Trekking Spots Best Time To Visit: October to JanuaryKalakkadu Wildlife Sanctuary 47-km from Tirunelveli, the Kalakadu wildlife sanctuary is very popular with botanists and ornithologists as it has a great variety of faunas and bird lives. It is a Lion tailed Macaque's preserve. Tiger, Sloth Bear, Sambar, Flying Squirrel, Pangolin are some of the major inhabitants of this sanctuary. The best season to visit this sanctuary is between September and March. Mundanthurai Wildlife Sanctuary: Situated 42-kms from Tirunelveli, the Mundanthurai wildlife sanctuary boasts of dry deciduous to tropical wet evergreen forest patches of pure reeds. The sanctuary covers an area of 567-sq-kms. Though this sanctuary is a Project Tiger reserve, one can likely to sight other animals like Leopard, Sambar, Sloth Bear and Chital apart from a wide variety of Indian Primates including Bonnet Macaque, Common Langur, Nilgiri Langur and Lion-tailed Macaque. The best time to visit Mundanthurai is between October and January.
Trekking can be done in both these sanctuaries, but with prior permission from the Forest (Wildlife) Department; trekking trails can also be undertaken. HOW TO GET THERE Air: The nearest airports to these sanctuaries are Madurai (200-km) and Trivandrum (140-km). Rail: The nearest railway station to reach Kalakadu sanctuary is Cheranmadevi (20-km) and to reach Mundanthurai sanctuary is Ambasamudram (6-km). Road: There are regular buses from Tirunelveli and the neighboring towns to reach these sanctuaries.
Location: On the Palani Hills, Tamil Nadu Famous: Hill Station Ideal For: Trekking, Hang-Gliding, Angling and Golf Located on the Palani Hills, an offshoot of the Western Ghat mountain range, Kodaikanal is a spectacular summer resort and ecological paradise of Tamil Nadu. A span of 2,068sq-kms of hills with varied types of forest cover, Kodaikanal offers ideal sites for Trekking, Hang-Gliding, Angling and Golf. Sholas occupy key position! Scrub jungle, deciduous, semi evergreen forests form habitats for Nilgiri Langur, Flying Squirrel, Sambhar, Gaur, Panther, Hyena, Chameleon and variety of birds. Trekking In Kodaikanal: Head for Kodaikanal in the Palani Hills for small-time trekking. You can take short treks and hikes to tourist spots close by as well to local viewpoints. Overnight treks are also possible here where one can spend a night at a local village. Hike with a guide or without; it is entirely on one's own choice. In Kodaikanal, several guides giving one tip on treks and offering help will hound one. Use a recommended guide or see his credentials before deciding. Trekking enthusiasts must check out Perumal Peak. TREKKING ROUTES 01) Kodaikanal-Dolphin's Nose-Vallagavi-Kumbakkarai (8-km/5 mile) - It takes 5 to 6 hours. The return trip would be very rough and the hiking needs strong physique. 02) Kodai-Thopi thokki parai-Periyar Periyakulam - Roughly a 5 hours and 19-km/12 mile trek, includes steep rise and one can have a glimpse of Guar. Coffee plantations are in abundance. 03) Kodai-Vilpatty-Ganesapuram-Puliamarathope-Palani - A 6 hours trek of 16-km/10 mile distance, takes you to Vilpatty village and from there, a zigzag steep path runs along the river Palar. Elephants may cross. Be alert. 04) Kukkal-Kudiraiyar Dam - A difficult 13-km/8 mile long trek route takes 5 hours for a trained trekker. Water falls, Sholas and deciduous forests will arouse interest. It is advisable to have a guide. 05) Pallangi-Poruthalur Dam -A 5-hour trek covering 14-km/9 mile runs through sholas, Teak forests and plantations. It is advisable to have a guide. HOW TO GET THERE Madurai is the closest airport and a 3-hour bus journey away from Kodaikanal. To explore Kodaikanal town hires a cycle or explores it on foot. UTTARANCHAL Location: North Western Himalayan Region. Capital: Dehradun Language Spoken: Garhwali, Kumaoni Best Time To Visit: October to June
A Paradise For Tourists: Lying in the north of the vast and bountiful expanse of India and cradled in the awesome beauty and calm serenity of the stately Himalayas, Uttaranchal - the "Devbhumi" that has attracted tourists and pilgrims from world over since time immemorial. Sacred pilgrimages of different religions including the world famous "Char Dham" or the four Hindu pilgrimage destinations of Shri Badrinath - Kedarnath - Gangotri - Yamunotri; the sacred Sikh pilgrimage of Hemkund - Lokpal, Nanakmatta and Meetha - Reetha Sahib and Piran Kaliyar have drawn pilgrims and seekers for spiritual fulfillment to Uttaranchal. Kailsah Mansarovar, Tholingmath are all in the Chinese occupied Tibet, but for the people of yesteryears, these were some of the most important landmarks in Uttaranchal. Comprising of eight hill districts and an area and population that equals the state of Himachal Pradesh; Uttaranchal is an expression of divinity, austerity, meditation, penance and attainment. Historically Speaking: Uttaranchal has been described in the ancient texts as Kedarkhand and Kurmanchal. The history of the region is older than that of the Ramayan and Mahabharata. It is a land of popular myths, like that of Lord Shiva appearing as Kirat, of Urvashi, Shakuntala, as well as the Kauravas and Pandavas. Of the two component cultural units, Garhwal was known as "Kedarkhand” or the region of Kedarnath, and Kumaon as “Kurmanchal”, the land of the “Kurmavatar” (Lord Vishnu. Geographically, Uttarakhand is a conglomeration of mountains and peaks, "Among Mountains I am the Himalayan", and said Lord Krishna in the famous Hindu holy books Bhagwat Gita. The Himalayas have been equated with God or in other words, everything in Himalayas is godly divine. It is also said that the Pandavas went to heaven through "Swargarohan" - a heavenly spot, about 35-km north of Sri Badrinath. Did the Pandavas actually ascend from here to that heaven which is said to be beyond this world? This is a difficult question to answer. But a possible answer can be that the Pandavas shed off their mortal bodies at Swargarohan and this Swargarohan alone was the heaven, referred to in the Mahabharata. In fact heaven and otherwise everything exists in this mortal world only. Heaven is a multifaceted concept of everything good and beautiful and Uttaranchal is one of it. The Cultural & Natural Heritage: Culturally, Uttaranchal has a rich and vibrant heritage. There are several local fairs and festivals like Jhanda Mela, Surkanda Devi Mela, Magh Mela, Nanda Devi Mela, Chaiti Mela, Purnagiri Mela, Piran Kaliyar Mela, Joljivi Mela and Uttarayani Mela, indicative of the immense possibilities for cultural tourism in Uttaranchal. The holy river Ganga and Yamuna have their sources in the hills within this state. The rich cultural traditions, the rare natural beauty and the cool and invigorating climate of this land of origin of the holy Ganga and Yamuna Rivers have been its main attractions. Uttaranchal still remains the source of spiritual attainments where the urge of self-realization and 'Moksha' becomes an inherent virtue dawn upon the pilgrims. Uttaranchal has that galaxy of peaks and glaciers, that vastness of meadows and jungles and that wealth of colourful jungles and valleys and dales, which have no parallel on earth. Adventure Among the Hills! The queen of hills, Mussoorie, the lake district of India Nainital, Kausani, Pauri, Landsdowne, Ranikhet, Almora, Pithoragarh, Munsyari and many more attractive tourist destinations are part of Uttaranchal. Uttaranchal is a paradise for adventure sports. The sheer variety ranging from Mountaineering, Trekking, Skiing, Skating, and Water Sports to Aero Sports like Hang
Gliding, Paragliding make Uttaranchal one of the most attractive destinations for adventure sports not only in India but the world over. Wildlife: Along with the world-famous Corbett National Park, Uttaranchal has several breaths taking destinations for wildlife tourism. These are the Rajaji National Park, Govind Pashu Vihar, Asan Barrage, Chilla and Saptarishi Ashram, the last four being a delight for bird watchers. Uttraranchal has a flora and fauna, which is diverse as well as rare. Making this state an ideal location for Eco-Tourism. Eco tourism includes Jungle Safaris, Trekking on forest trails, Nature Walks, catch and release of Mahaseer and other fish species. However, the outmost priority in all these activities is given to retaining the ecological fragility of the region. A clean, fresh and invigorating environment makes Uttaranchal a preferred destination to relax and unwind. From the most modern facilities at Mussoorie and Nainital to the untouched, pristine beauty of its snow-clad peaks, rivers and mountains, Uttaranchal provides all that a tourist could possibly seek for amusement and leisure.
ADI KAILASH TREK
Location: Garhwal Himalayas (Uttaranchal) Base: Kausani Highest Altitude: 4770m OM Pravat (3220 M) - Adi Kailash (4770 M) Adi Kailash also known as Chhota Kailash is an area of great natural beauty, peace and serenity. During this trek one gets an opportunity to view the snow peaks of Annapurna, thick forests, waterfalls and wild flowers. Duration: 23 days. ITINERARY 1st Day: New Delhi - Kausani (430 kms by bus). Lunch at T.R.H. Bhowali / Night halt at Kausani watching Himalayan view / Sun rise/Sunset in Kausani. 2nd Day: Kausani - Dharchula (199 kms. by bus). Lunch at T.R.H Chaukori / Night halt at Dharchula KMVN. 3rd Day: Dharchula - Pangu (19 kms. by bus / 9 kms by trek). Lunch / Night halt at T.R.H. Pangu. 4th Day: Pangu - Sirkha (8 kms. by trek). Lunch / Night halt at T.R.H. Sirkha 5th Day: Sirkha - Galgad (14 kms. by trek). Lunch /Night hal t at TRH Galagad 6th Day: Galgad - Malpa (10 kms. by trek) lunch / Night halt at TRH Malpa 7th Day: Malpa - Budhi (8 kms. by trek). Lunch / Night halt at TRH Budhi. 8th Day: Budhi - Gungi (17 kms by trek). Lunch / Night halt at TRH Gungi 9th day: Gunji - Navidang (18 kms. by trek), Lunch / Night halt at TRH Navidang. 10th Day: Navidang - Om Pravat Darshan from Navidang. 11th Day: Navidang - Gunji (18 kms by trek). Lunch / Night halt at T.R.H. Navidant. 12th Day: Gunji - Kutti (19 kms by trek). Lunch / Night halt at T.R.H. Kutti. Tent Accommodation. 13th Day: Kutti - Jollingkong 14 kms by trek). Lunch / Night halt at Fibre Hut in Jollingkong. 14 Th Day: Jollingkong - Adi Kailash / Jollingkong (4 kms. by trek). Darshan Adi Kailash / Parvati Saroval Lunch / Night halt at Fibre Huts in Jollingkong. 15th Day: Jollingkong - Kutti (14 kms. by trek). Lunch / Night halt at Kutti in tents. 16th Day: Kutti - Gunji (19 kms. by trek). Lunch / nigh halt at TRH Gunji. 17th Day: Gunji - Budhi (17 kms. by trek). Lunch / Night halt at TRH Budhi. 18th Day: Budhi - Malpa (8 kms. by trek). Lunch / Night h alt at Malpa 19th Day: Malpa - Galgad (10 kms by trek). Lunch / Night halt at Galgad. 20th day: Galgad -Sirkha (14 kms, by trek). Lunch / Night halt at T.R.H. Sirkha.
21st day: Sirkha - Dharchula (17 kms. by trek / 19 kms. by bus.) Lunch at Twaghat / Night halt at T.R.H. Dharchula. 22nd day: Dharchula - Champawat (210 kms. by bus). Lunch at Pithoragarh / Night halt at TRH KMVN, Champawat. 23 day: Champawat - New Delhi (360 kms by bus). Pack lunch on the way. Tour concludes
BAGESHWAR PINDARI TREKKING
Region: Kumaon Hills (Uttaranchal) Stretch: 3 Kms Long One Way Trek: 41 kms. BAGESHWAR PINDARI TREK: Trek Pindari Glacier, which is 3 km long, and 1/4th km broad connected to the southwestern slope of the outer walls of the Nanda Devi Sanctuary.
Location: Kumaon Himalayas (Uttaranchal) Base: Bhowali Duration of the Trek: 4 Days 1st Day: Delhi-Bhowali 318 kms. 2nd day: Bhowali - Ramgarh - Tagore Top, Departure for Ramgarh after early breakfast. Trek s tarts from Ramgarh. 3 kms to Tagore Top. Packed lunch. Trek continues 4 kms to Mahesh Khan. Back to Bhowali by bus. 3rd day: Bhowali - Nainital 11 kms. Departure after breakfast. Snow view by Cable Car. Trek to Landsend - Deorothi seat to Tallital Bus Stand. Departure for Bhowali by bus. Overnight at TRH Bhowali. 4th Day: Bhowali - Delhi. Short visit to Naukuchiatal and Bhimtal enroute.
DEHRADUN - MUSSOORIE TREKKING
Location: Garhwal Himalayas Base: Dehradun Duration of the Trek: 15 Days Attractions: George Everest, Kempty Falls DEHRADUN-MUSSORIE TREK 1st Day: All the participants are requested to assemble at Hotel Drona, GMVN Ltd., Dehradun. Dinner and over night stay in hotel. 2nd Day: After breakfast 35 kms drive to Mussoorie with packed lunch. On the way visit Malsi Deer Park, Mussoorie sightseeing and ropeway ride. After noon drive to George Everest House 8 kms. Dinner and overnight stay in camp at George Everest. 3rd Day: After breakfast 6 kms. Trek to Jwala Devi with packed lunch from Jwala Devi view of Himalayan peaks, River Yamuna and Mussoorie valley. In the afternoon trek back to George Everest Camp. Dinner and overnight stay in camp. 4th Day: After breakfast 12 kms trek to Bhadraj temple with packed lunch. From Bhadraj temple view of Himalayan peaks, Shivalik ranges, Doon valley, Dakpather and Asan Barrage. In the afternoon 12 kms. Trek back to George Everest camp. Dinner and overnight stay in camp. 5th Day: After breakfast 8 kms trek to Kempty falls with packed lunch. After having bath in Kempty falls drive back to Mussoorie and then to Dehradun 50 kms.
GUN HILL - MUSSOORIE
Location: Mussorie (Uttaranchal) Significance: Second Highest Point in Mussorie Accessibility: Ropeway or Trekking
Gunhill is the second highest point in Mussoorie. To access Gunhill, there are two ways. The first one is to begin trek from court complex on the Mall road. This path takes you to Gunhill in about 20 minutes. The second way to Gunhill is via the Ropeway. The ropeway has more thrill and excitement than the trek (or should we say that both have their own fun). The journey from the ropeway to Gunhill is 400 meters. The ride on the trolley gives an unalloyed pleasure, which cannot be described in words. From Gunhill, one gets a very different view of Mussoorie. And it looks different each time you look at it. A different scene appears before your eyes each moment. There are many shops on the hilltop so this is an ideal place to rustle up a small picnic. It is said that before Independence a cannon was kept here. This cannon was fired every day at noon and people knew what exactly has been the time. Due to the cannon this place was called Gunhill.
HIGH ALTITUDE TREKKING
Region: Garhwal Himalayas Base: Gangotri Duration of the Trek: 12 Days HIGH ALTITUDE TREKKING: For the more adventurous, and with fundamental knowledge of the mountains, an extension of the Nandavan trek eastward to Ghastoli and from there to Badrinath via Kalindi Pass (5967 m) and Arwa Tal provides a rare experience. It involves high altitude trekking and so preparations need to be made on a small expedition scale. The trek is from Nandavan to Vasuki Tal after due acclimatization. It is a gradual ascent for 10 kms. Thereafter, the trek negotiates Khara- pathar at a height of 5456 m before camp is made at Kalindi base (5590 m). Crossing Kalindi Pass very early in the morning, the trek leads to Arwa glacier and Arwa Tal (3980 m), then to Badarinath via Ghastoli with two river crossings on the way. GMVN will help to arrange this trek, which takes about 12 days to complete in normal weather conditions. Place Altitude (M) Distance (km) Gangotri 3048 Nandavan 4500 24 Trek Vasuki Tal 500 10 trek Kharapthar 5500 8 trek Kalindi Base 5590 6 trek Arwa Tal 3980 14 treks Ghastoli 3600 18 trek Badarinath 3110 17 trek
KAURI PASS TREKKING
Location: Garhwal Himalayas Base: Rishikesh Duration of the Trek: 9 Days The pass Khal is approached through a narrow goat track at an elevation of 4265 Mts. in the heart of Chamoli District. The glorious view of the imposing eastern peaks of the Garhwal Himalayas is unforgettably enchanting. They appear so close with their grand glittering snowcaps that one feels like almost touching them. If the weather is clear then the peaks visible from Kuari Pass are Nanda Devi Dunagiri, Bethartoli, Devarthan, etc. Since Lord Curzon once trekked upto Kuari Pass, the trail is known as Curzon trails.
Duration: 9 Days ITINERARY 1st day: All the participants are requested to assemble at Tourist Rest House, GMVN Muni-Ki-Reti, and Rishikesh. Dinner and overnight in TRH Muni-Ki-Reti, Rishikesh. 2nd day: 191 kms. Drive to Nandprayag with pack lunch. Dinner and overnight in TRH Nandprayag. 3rd day: 20 kms. Drive to Ghat and 10 kms. Trek to Ramni with pack lunch. Dinner and overnight in tents. 4th day: 13 kms. Trek to Jhenjipatni with pack lunch. Dinner and overnight in tents. 5th day: 12 kms. Trek to Sinyartoli with pack lunch. Dinner and overnight in tents. 6th day: 10 kms. Trek to Dhakwani with pack lunch. Dinner and overnight in tents. 7th day: 12 kms. Trek to Tall via Kuari pass with pack lunch. Dinner and over night in tents. 8th day: 14 kms. Trek to Auli with pack lunch. Dinner and overnight in TRH Auli. 9th day: 272 kms. Drive to Rishikesh. Lunch en route. Arrival Rishikesh. Tour concludes.
KEDARNATH - VASUKI TAL
Location: Garhwal Himalayas Base: Gaurikund Altitude: 3584 m above Sea Level Best Time: May -September Kedarnath-Vasuki Tal Trek Kedarnath is at an altitude of 3584 m. The Pandavas at the base of Kedarnath Peak’s southeastern face built a magnificent temple, and millions of pilgrims now come to offer their prayers to Lord Shiva here. The trek starts from Gauri kund, which is easily approachable by car or bus. At Gaurikund there is a hot water sulphur spring where you can have a refreshing bath. The trek from Gaurikund to Rambara follows the river Mandakini. It is a little steep initially but then becomes a gradual climb through forests. There are several beautiful waterfalls along the way. From Rambara the trek ..to Kedarnath is much easier. Kedarnath to Vasuki Tal is a continuous ascent along a goat track. The view of the Chaukhamba peaks and Mandakini Valley is wonderful from here. The final trek to the Vasuki Tal is downhill for a kilometer. The Tal is about 1 km in radius and has clear glittering water. Paian Tal is about 1. km to the northwest. This lake is even more beautiful. At the bottom of it, you can see rectangular slabs of rocks, as if they have been placed there intentionally. A guide is essential. The best season to visit these lakes is from May to September. Place Altitude (M) Distance (km) Gaurikund 1981 Kedarnath 3584 15 trek Vasuki Tal 4135 6 trek
TREKKING IN KUMAON
Region: Kumaon Himalayas Places: Almora, Ranikhet, and Kausani Best Season: April-June & September-November The gentle Himalayas of the Kumaon region are among the most picturesque in the country. And hidden among these beauties are breathtakingly adventurous trekking routes. The modest beauty of regions such as Almora, Ranikhet and Kausani is reassuring and rejuvenating. Here giant terraces are flung down high mountains in green steps of cultivation, destroying neither the mountains nor its greenery.
Kumaon consists of the districts of Nainital, Almora and Pithoragarh. The land of Jim Corbett's legendary exploits, it lies to the east of Garhwal from which it is separated by the eastern and southern flanks of Nandadevi sanctuary leading down along the valley of the Ramganga. Whereas the Garhwals, abound in pilgrim centers and the mountains of the GangaYamuna basin, Kumaon is wrapped in the scenic wonders of hill stations such as Nainital, Ranikhet and Kausani, treks through the verdant valleys of the Ramganga as it emerges from the environs of the Namik Glacier and the Goriganga which rises at the snout of the Milam glacier. These rivers drain the eastern and southern flanks of the Nanda Devi sanctuary, merging finally with the main Gangetic system in the plains. At the head of the Pindari glacier is Pindari Kanda or Traills Pass named after the district collector of Almora who made a spectacular attempt up its slopes years ago while looking for a route into the inner sanctuary of Nanda Devi. Till the opening of the regular motor road, trekkers and mountaineers bound for central Garhwal crossed the Kauri Pass, also Known as the Curzon Trail after the Viceroy's journey in that direction. The Garhwal-Kumaon axis can also be traversed by a spectacular horse shoe trail originating at Malari in the Dhauliganga Valley near Kamet and going north and east along the rim of the Nanda Devi Sanctuary to emerge at Unta Dhura Pass near the Milam glacier. BEST SEASON: The trekking and adventure season in Kumaon is prevalent all the year round with the traditionally popular periods being April-June and September-November. April-June, i.e., before the monsoon sets in, is the season of flowers while the second season is known for post-monsoon freshness. HOW TO GET THERE The railhead for Kumaon is Kathgodam, on the main meter gauge line from Lucknow, thus offering convenient connections to Agra, Bareilly, Mumbai, Delhi Calcutta and Madras. The airport for Kumaon is Pantnagar, 71 kms from Nainital, 118 km from Ranikhet and 127 kms from Almora. The frequency of flights is irregular. From Kathgodam, regular bus services are provided by UP roadways and the Kumaon Motor Owners union to Nainital. Buses and Taxis are also available from Nanital for Kausani and southwards to the Terai towns of Haldwani, Pilibhit, Pantnagar and Tiger haven at Dudhwa. The Glaciers Pindari Glacier (3820 m) Kafni Glacier (3800 m) Milam Glacier (4267 m) Sunderdhunga Glacier (3806 m) SOME TREKKING ROUTES Base Nainital: Encircling the lake venerated after the Goddess of the same name, Naninital is the main hill resort in Kumaon. It has equable weather with the maximum and minimum temperature being 27 degree and 19 degree Celsius in summers and in winters, 15 degrees and even 0 degree. 01. Nainital (1938 m) - Snow View (2270 m) - Bhowali (1707 m) - Bhimtal - Naukuchiya Tal. The trail provides a grandstand view of the main peak of the Nanda Devi sanctuary, its eastern view and further right on to the pillars of the central Kumaon region. From the health resort at Bhowali, 11.2 km from Naninital, the trail continues to the cluster of seven lakes at Sat Tal and the nine cornered Naukuchiya Tal. Forest Rest house and PWD bungalow available at Bhowali.
02. Nainital - Kilbury (2528 m) - Paogot - Binayak - Badhanthali - Kunjkharak. 10 km from Nanital, with a forest rest house, Kilbury is ideal for solitude. The trail continues along the Cheens peak range to Binayak and Kunjkharak through oak and deodar forests, facing the high range and abounding in bird life. 03. Nainital - Khurpatal (1750 m) - Kaladhungi (1700 m). Khurpatal, 5 km away is an anglers staging point carrying on to Corbett country in Kaladhungi. Base Almora: Founded over 400 years ago Almora, with its numerous temples, is spread along a ridge from where the high mountains are seen. Almora (1638 m) - Shitalakhet (1828 m) - Ranikhet (1829 m). This an arterial trek providing close ups of the high range. Forest rest house at Shitalakhet and good accommodation at Ranikhet, which is also, the headquarters of the famous Kumaon regiment. 01. Almora - Pandhar - Jalna - Lamgarh - Saharphatak - Mornaula. These are hill walks sure to be found attractive by those looking for the mystical allure of altitude, which the Almora region provides. 02. Almora - Barechhina - Pannwanaula - Artola- Jageshwar. This is a temple trail highlighted by the main Jageshwar temple dating to 13 AD, its smaller edifices having been added by Chand dynasty. Forest Rest house at Jageshwar is best for night halts. 03. Almora - Kapharkhan -Biasar. Once again, closeness of the Snow Mountain is irresistible culminating on this trail 30 km from Almora at Biasar, which has a forest rest house. Base Ranikhet: Long known for its tremendous panoramic delights of the high Himalayas, Ranikhet is located in the very heart of Kumaon at 1829 m. 01. Ranikhet - Majkhali - Gochhina - Kausani. Probably the best-known route in this section, the long views from Kausani is a lifetime's experience. Accommodation at the forest rest house / PWD bungalow at Kausani. 02. Ranikhet - Gagas - Dwarhat - Dunagiri. Dwarhat, 38 km from Ranikhet, has eight clusters of temples and is historically important. 03. Ranikhet - Kalika - Majkhali - Kathpuriya - Sutalakhet, 35 km from Ranikhet, has a forest rest house. The trail once again offers sublime views. Base Kausani: Unrivalled for its location, Kausani is 40 km from Almora enabling an unforgettable look at a 350 km stretch of the high Himalayas. With its pine forests holding the cool mountain air this was Mahatma Gandhi's staging points in 1929. The Garur valley in the distance abounds in relics of the 12th and 13th centuries. Ideal for getting away to a heaven of tranquility and salubrious weather. 01. Kausani - Garur - Baijnath - Bageshwar 02. Kausani - Garur - Baijnath - Gwaldam 03. Kausani - Chhota Pinath - Bara Pinath All the above trails, which enable one to combine the religious aspect of Kumaon with its essentially invigorating mountain scape. Base Chowkori: Chowkori is 112 km from Pithoragarh and is uniquely beautiful with balmy weather and fine views. The region includes the religious base such as Gangolighat, the confluence of the Gori and Kali rivers. At Lohaghat there are places of interest such as Abbot mount and Devidhura and Champawat. 01. Chowkori - Berinag - Patalbhuwaneshwar - Gangolighat 02. Chowkori - Kotbaniya - Dharmghat - Kotgari 03. Chowkori -That - Pithoragarh The three trek routes keep to a mean altitude of about 1900 m and are the jump off points for the high grounds of upper Kumaon with Pithoragarh being this route to the Lipulekh Pass on pilgrim trail. Base Song: At 1400 m Song is at the Bus terminus of the two routes branching towards the Pindari, Katri, Namih and Sundadhunga glaciers.
01. Song - Loharkhet - Dhakuri - Khati - Dwali - Phurkia - Pindari Glacier. The trail goes to Laharkhet, 1753 m, which has KMVN and PWD rest houses for accommodation. Onwards, this well known route goes past the staging points at Dhakuri (2680 m), Khati (2210 m), Dwali (2575 m) and Phurkia from where zero point view for Pindari glacier is 8 kms. 02. Song - Loharkhet - Dhakuri - Khati - Jautila - Dhungiyadhung - Sundardhunga Glacier. This route is same upto Dhakuri after which the trail continues to the fork at Kathalia above, the westward track leads to Nandkund and the eastward one to Maktoli, both approx. 7 km from Sundardhunga Glacier. 03. Song - Loharkhet - Dhakuri - Khati - Dwali - Katri Glacier. The route for the Katri Glacier is common up to Dwali on the Pindari route and then branches eastward to Byangar along the Katri Nala to the glacier of the same name. Base Munsiyari: At 2290 m, Munsiyari is on the arterial water body of the Gorigange which emerges from the Milam glacier system of the eastern flanks of the Nanda Devi sanctuary, fed also by the Kalabaland glacier and the Panchichullu from further east. The Milam glacier stands out at 3872 m is not only the objective of the trek route indicated but also the nodal point for a variety of high-grade routes and peaks. Munsyari is also the base for Ralam, Namik and Poting glaciers. Munsiyari - Lillam - Bogdyar - Milam Village - Milam glacier Base Dharchula Dharchula - Tawaghat -Khela - Chhipalakot Lake
Region: Garhwal Himalayas Base: Mala Main View: Kush Kalyani and Panwali Bugyal This trek is along the old pilgrim route from Gangotri to Kedarnath. From Gangotri to Mala is done by motor vehicle. The actual trek starts from Mala after crossing the river Bhagirathi. The trek is on level ground up to Jauri-ki-Gad. From this point, the climb to Belak is gradual. From Belak to Budakedar, it is downhill through very dense forests full of birds and wild life. Then from Budakedar to Panwali Kantha, it is an uphill climb through terraced fields and picturesque villages. Though this trek, along ridges and through valleys and dales, is tiring, it is worth it. The splendid panoramic view of the Garhwal Himalayan is magnificent and compensates for all the efforts of ascending and descending. The 'Bugyal' (alpine meadows) on this trek are the most beautiful in Garhwal, especially the Kush-Kalyani and Panwali Bugyal. In the rainy season, the colourful flowers in the lush green meadows make the whole atmosphere fragrant and the environment romantic. There are rest houses and Dharamshalas along the trek, but the trek should be well planned beforehand. The services of a guide are advisable. Place Altitude (M) Distance (km) Gangotri 3048 Mala 1478 73 motor Jauri-ki-Gad 1218 5 trek Phyalu 2286 3 trek Chunachatti 1463 3 trek Belak 2439 4 trek Pangrana 2203 5 trek Jhala 2439 4 trek Agund 1981 3 trek
*Budakedar Tolachatti Bhaironchatti *Ghuttu Gawanachatti Gaumanda Dhuphanda Panwali Kyunkholakhal Triyugi Narayan Sonprayag Gaurikund Kedarnath
1524 1311 2493 1524 1677 2134 2896 3963 3658 1982 1829 1981 3583
2 trek 4 trek 3 trek 9 trek 1 trek 3 trek 3 trek 3 trek 4 trek 7 trek 3 trek 5 trek 14 trek
NAINITAL - KILBURY
Location: Kumaon Himalayas Base: Nainital Duration of the Trek: 2 Days NAINITAL TO KILBURY 1st Day : Nainital to Kilbury (2194 Mts.) via Pangoot, Trek distance 12 kms, and back to Nainital. 2nd Day : Nainital to Kilbury (2194 Mts.) via Pangoot, Trek distance 12 kms. Night stay at Kilbury. 3rd Day : Kilbury to Nainital. Trek distances 10 kms.
NAINITAL - BETALGHAT
Region: Kumaon Himalayas Base: Nainital Duration of the Trek: 4 Days 1st Day : Nainital to Binayak (2225 Mts.) Trek distances 18 kms. 2nd Day : Binayak to Kunjkharak (2600 Mts.) Trek distances 18 kms. 3rd Day : Kunjakharak top Betalghat. Trek distances 12 kms. 4th Day : Betalghat to Nainital (by bus.)
PANCH KEDAR TREKKING
Region: Garhwal Himalayas Base: Pipalkoti Duration: 4 Days The Panch Kedar are the five different manifestations of Lord Shiva and are found at: 01. Kedarnath (3584 m) 02. Madhmaheshwar (3289 m) 03. Tungnath (3810 m) 04. Rudranath (2286 m) 05. Kalpanath (2134 m) The mountain-scape seen from each of these temples, is fascinating and the valleys full of rich fauna and flora. The people of the region are very hospitable. The GMVN organizes a Panch Kedar tour thus: 1st Day: Muni-Ki-Reti - Pipalkoti : After breakfast, drive 220 kms by deluxe coach to Pipalkoti. Night halt at Tourist Bungalow. 2nd Day: Pipalkoti-Urgam : After breakfast, drive 22 kms to Helang. Trek 9 kms to Kalpanath with packed lunch. Night halt in Urgam Valley in Alpine style. 3rd Day: Urgam-Gopeshwar : After breakfast, trek to Helang. Drive 53 kms to Gopeshwar. Lunch en route at Pipalkoti. Night halt at hotel.
4th Day: Gopeshwar-Naila : After breakfast, drive 15 kms to Mandal. Trek to Anusuya Devi with packed lunch. Trek 16 kms to Naila. Night halt in' Alpine style. 5th Day: Naila: After breakfast, trek to Rudranath. Hot lunch and night halt in alpine style. 6th Day: Rudranath-Chopta : Trek 17 kms to Mandal after breakfast. Drive to Chopta. Night halt Alpine style. 7th Day: Chopta-Tungnath-Chopta : After breakfast, trek 3 kms to Tungnath. Trek to Chandrashila and return to Tungnath for picnic lunch. Night halt at Chopta, Alpine style. 8th Day: Chopta-Gaundhar : After breakfast, drive 12 kms to Makku with packed lunch. Trek 19 kms to Gaundhar. Night halt in Alpine style. 9th Day: Gaundhar-Madhmaheshwar : After breakfast, trek to Madhmaheshwar with packed lunch. Night halt in Alpine style. 10th Day: Madhmaheshwar-Gaundhar : After breakfast, trek to Gaundhar. Lunch en route. Night halt in Alpine style. 11th Day: Gaundhar-Kalimath-Guptkashi : After breakfast, trek to Guptkashi via Kalimath. Night halt at Tourist Bungalow. 12th Day: Guptkashi-Kedarnath : Drive 31 kms to Gauri kund. Trek 14 kms to Kedarnath. Night halt in Alpine style. 13th Day: Kedarnath-Guptkashi-Rudraprayag : After breakfast, trek to Gauri kund. Lunch en route. Drive to Rudraprayag for night halt at Tourist Bungalow. 14th Day: Rudraprayag-Muni-Ki-Reti : After breakfast, drive to Muni-Ki-Reti. Lunch at Tourist Bungalow and break up.
Location: Garhwal Himalayas Base: Rishikesh Duration of the Trek: 10 Days Rishikesh - Pipalkoti - Urgam/Kalpeshwar - Bansi Narain - Gadolia - Manpai Dumuk Toli - Rudranath - Panar Gufa - Sagar - Gopeshwar Trek. 1st Day: Drive from Rishikesh to Helang 240 kms. Overnight stay in tent. 2nd Day : 12 kms trek to Kalpeshwar Urgam. Overnight stay in tent. 3rd Day : 15 kms trek to Bansi Narain. Overnight stay in tent. 4th Day : 10 kms trek to Godiyala. Overnight stay in tent. 5th Day : (4 + 4) kms trek to Manpai Bugyal and back to Godiyala. Over night stay in tent. 6th Day : 12 kms trek to Dumuk. Overnight stay in tent. 7th Day : 10 kms trek to Rudranath. Over night stay in tent. 8th day : 14 kms trek to Panar Gufa. Overnight stay in tent. 9th Day : 10 kms. Trek to Sagar. Further 4 kms drive to Gopeshwar. Overnight stay in TRH Gopeshwar. 10th Day : 223 kms drive to Rishikesh.
Location: Nainital Altitude: 2270 meters above Sea Level View: Nanda Devi Peak The Snow viewpoint is located at a height of 2270 meter above sea level. The ropeway or the ponies available at Mallital can reach it. From Snow Point, you can have an enthralling view of the Nanda Devi Peak. This place also has good views of the other peaks of the Northern Himalayas. Hire a pair of binoculars for a close view of the peaks. Dress yourself in Kumaoni dresses and have you photographed with the Himalayas in the backdrop. The Dev
Mundi house at the top has marble images of goddesses Durga, Sita, Lord Shiva, Lakshman and Hanuman. A little walk from the peak takes you to the Gadhan Kun Kyop Ling Gompa. The monastery is decorated with colourful flags. The Gompa serves the Tibetan community of Nainital who gather here during the summers to sell woolen garments.
BAGESHWAR - KAFNI TREKKING
Location: Kumaon Hills Base: Bageshwar One Way Trek: 45 Kms. Khati is the last village on this trek from where the route diverts to Kafni glacier at the foot of Nanda Kot.
BAGESHWAR - SUNDERDHUNGA TREKKING
Location: 36 Kms from Kausani Base: Bageshwar One Way Trek: 41 Kms 36 kms from Kausani, at the confluence of the rivers Gomti and Saryu lies this religious town of Bageshwar is adorned by temples and places of worship and is often equated, by pilgrims, with Varanasi in its divinity and religion. Bageshwar is also the base for the popular trekking routes of Sunderdhunga, Pindari and Kafni glaciers.
CHANDRASHILA - TREKKING
Location: Garhwal Himalayas Base: Rishikesh Duration: 7 Days Since most of the peaks of the Garhwal Himalayas are difficult to scale in the winter, a climb to a mini peak, Chandrashila, in Chamoli district is arranged by GMVN. This includes scaling, skiing and trekking through a route of rich flora and fauna, lakes and meadows full of fresh snow during winters. The grassy slopes, which are covered with snow, make it an ideal ski course. ITINERARY 1st Day : All the participants are requested to assemble at Tourist Rest House, GMVN Muni - Ni - Reti, Rishikesh, Dinner and overnight in TRH Muni-Ni-Reti, Rishikesh. 2nd day : 180 kms. drive to Ukhimath with pack lunch dinner and overnight in TRH Ukimath. 3rd Day : 8 kms. trek to Devariyatal with pack lunch. In the afternoon 8 kms trek back to Ukhimath. Dinner and overnight in TRH Ukhimath. 4th Day : Drive 35 kms to Chopta with pack lunch. Dinner and overnight in TRH Chopta. 5th Day : 5 kms, trek to Chandrashila via Tungnath, 5 kms, trek back to Chopta. Dinner and overnight in Chopta. 6th Day : Local sightseeing. After lunch 35 kms, drive to Ukhimath. Dinner and overnight in Ukhimath. 7th Day : 180 kms, drive to Rishikesh, Lunch enroute. Arrival Rishikesh, Tour concludes.
DEVI DARSHAN TREKKING
Region: Garhwal Himalayas Base: Rishikesh. Attractions: Kunjapuri, Surkhanda Devi, and Chandrabadini Temples. This trek is for those who wish to see the Himalayan and do not have the strength or time to get a close view. Three sidh-peeths named after the Goddess Durga are on top of hills that are located at the three corners of a triangle. The temples are: 01. Kunjapuri 1645 m
02. Surkhanda Devi 3030 m 03. Chandrabadini 2756 m From each temple, the other two are visible. Each also presents a panoramic view of the mighty Garhwal Himalayan and the Doon Valley. Each temple is approachable by motor vehicle and then by short treks of an hour-and-ahalf each from the nearest motor-heads. The treks are not tiresome and much strength or stamina is not needed. Tap water is not available, except at Chandrabadini and, therefore, water bottles should be carried. Each hilltop temple brings on a mood of meditation. Those versed in transcendental meditation will feel the vibrations of each of these holy environs. The GMVN has a 4-day program for the three places, taking in Deoprayag and Rishikesh as well.
GANGOTRI NANDAVAN TREKKING
Region: Garhwal Himalayas Base: Rishikesh Main Attractions: Shivling, Sudarshana and Thelu Peaks This trek is for adventure lovers, who can experience mountain climbing, rock climbing, boulder hopping and glacier traversing on this trek. Yet the trek is not a very rigorous one and is easily negotiable by healthy persons who are not mountaineers. The trek passes through woods of coniferous pines at Chirbasa and birch at Bhojbasa. From Gaumukh to Nandavan, trekkers traverse along the Gangotri and Chatturangini Glaciers. Camp can be pitched at the junction of Chatturangini and Bhagirathi Gangotri Glaciers. From Nandavan the views of Shivling, Bhagirathi, Sudarshana and Thelu peaks and Kedar Dome are a fabulous sight. The trek to Tapoban from Nandavan involves crossing the Gangotri Glacier and traversing a rocky face before arriving at the meadows of Tapoban (meditating ground), a green lush valley in the summers confined by the many named and unnamed peaks of the Garhwal Himalayan. Herds of Bharals (blue mountain goats) are a common sight seen on mountain ridges from here. Place Altitude (M) Distance (km) Rishikesh 340 Gangotri 3048 250 motor Chirbasa 3600 8 trek Bhojbasa 3792 4 trek Gaumukh 3892 6 trek Nandavan* 4500 6 trek Tapoban 4463 5 trek • High altitude trek to Badarinath bifurcates here
HAR KI DUN TREK
Region: Garhwal Region Altitude: 3566 m Above Sea Level Timings: Mid-April to Mid-November Glittering peaks and dense forests surround Har-ki-Dun, situated at an elevation of 3566 meters. The forests are rich in wild life and are a veritable paradise for bird-watchers and nature lovers. The people of this region worship Duryodhan of the Mahabharata fame and not the victors, the Pandavas. The trek from Netwar to Osla is through very dense forests of chestnut, walnut, willow and chinar. The trek from Osla to Har-ki-Dun is through terraced mountain fields, lush green grasslands and coniferous forests.
THE TREK: The route to Har Ki Dun follows the established village trail to the highest settlement at Osla. The trail to Har Ki Dun is well defined and should not pose any problems for trekking. A stay at Har Ki Dun for one or two days affords one, the sight of two of the most spectacular places, namely, Yamduar Glacier and Marinda Lake, which are in opposite directions. Sankri to Taluka: From Sankri, there is a jeep road to Taluka, but it is better to walk the distance and appreciate the wild roses, irises, chestnuts, sycamore and deodar trees that line the trail. Average Walking Time: 3 hours. Taluka to Seema: From Taluka, the trail descends the river valley through the forest, on true left side of the valley, passing through numerous villages, Datmir being one of them. Moving along, the village of Osla appears on the left side of the valley. The main trail doesn’t turn to Osla and instead, leads to the Forest Rest House called Seema. Average walking time: 5/6 hours. Seema to Har Ki Dun: From Seema, there is a gradual ascent through the fields. Moving higher on the bridge, the trail winds high above the confluence of the rivers, Har Ki Dun and Ruinsara. On moving further, the vantagepoint of Har Ki Dun is reached. Average walking time: 4/5 hours. When To trek A trek into Har Ki Dun can be undertaken from mid-April to midNovember. The post - monsoon season is ideal for trekking. However, the local trekkers continue to trek up the valley as far as Osla, in the heart of winter too. HOW TO GET THERE There are regular bus services from Mussorie and Dehra Dun to Sankri. There are buses to Sankri from Shimla and Uttar Kashi too. Beyond Sankri, there is a jeep road to Taluka. Place Altitude (M) Distance (km) Rishikesh 340 Dehra Dun 701 36 motor Mussoorie 2004 36 motor Purola 1524 97 motor Jarmola 1800 22 trek Mori 16 trek Netwar 1380 12 trek Saur 12 trek Taluka 1900 11 trek Osla 2559 11 trek Har-ki-Dun 3556 8 trek
Location: Garhwal Himalayas (Uttaranchal) Highest Peak: Kalindi Base Duration: 12 KALINDIKHAL TREK For the most adventurous trekkers, with fundamental knowledge of the mountains, this trek provides a rare experience. The trek provides a rare experience. The trek takes one from Nandanvan to Vasuki Tal after due acclimatization. There is a gradual ascent of 10 kms, thereafter; the trek negotiates Kharapathar at a height of 5456 m before camping at Kalindi base (5590 m.) Crossing the Kalindi Pass, one treks down to Arwa glacier and Arwa Tal (3980 M) to Badarinath via Ghastoli with two main rivers crossing on the way. GMVN arranges this trek for 12 days, under normal weather conditions. Place Altitude (in m.)
District (in Kms.)
Gangotri Nandanvan Vasuki Tal Kharapathar Kalindi Base Arwa Tal Ghastoli Badrinath
3048 4500 5300 5500 5590 3980 3600 3110
24 (trek) 10(trek) 8 (trek) 6 (trek) 14 (trek) 18 (trek) 17 (trek)
KAURI TAPOVAN TREKKING
Location: Garhwal Himalayas Base: Rishikesh Duration of the Trek: 6 Days The pass Khal is approached through a narrow goat track at an elevation of 4265 Mts. in the heart of Chamoli District. The glorious view of the imposing eastern peaks of the Garhwal Himalayas is unforgettably enchanting. They appear so close with their grand glittering snowcaps that one feels like almost touching them. If the weather is clear then the peaks visible from Kuari Pass are Nanda Devi Dunagiri, Bethartoli, Devarthan, etc. Since Lord Curzon once trekked upto Kuari Pass, the trail is known as Curzon trails. ITINERARY 1st day: All the participants are requested to assemble at Tourist Rest House, GMVN Muni-Ki-Reti, and Rishikesh. Dinner and overnight in TRH Muni-Ki-Reti, Rishikesh. 2nd day: 272 kms. Drive to Auli. Lunch en route. Dinner and overnight at TRH Auli. 3rd day: 14 kms. Trek to Tall via Gorson with pack lunch. Dinner and overnight in camp. 4th day: 11 kms. Trek to Kuari Pass with pack lunch. Break for panoramic view of central Himalayan. In the afternoon trek back to Baggarbita. 5 kms. Dinner and overnight in camp. 5th day: 14 kms. Trek to Tapovan with pack lunch. Further 15 kms. Drive to Joshimath. Dinner and overnight TRH Joshimath. 6th day: 256 kms. Drive to Rishikesh. Lunch en route. On arrival at Rishikesh. Tour concludes.
Location: 13 Kms from Mussorie (Uttaranchal) Developed By: John Mekinan Name derived From: Camp Tea Famous For: Kempty Falls Kempty fall is located 13 kms from Mussoorie. John Mekinan developed this place as a tourist destination after 1835. The name Kempty is probably derived from 'camp-tea’, as the British’s would organize their tea parties here. At Kempty, water falls from a height of 40-ft giving the appearance of water jumping and playing on the rocks before falling down. You can reach Kempty by a taxi or bus and can stay in the Huts.
MUNSIYARI MILAM TREKKING
Region: Kumaon Himalayas (Uttaranchal) Base: Munsiyari Altitude: 2290 m above Sea Level One Way Trek: 58 Kms. At 2290 m, Kalabandar glacier and the Panchachuli on the arterial water body of the Gorging, which emerges from the Milan glacier system of the eastern flanks of the
Nanda Devi Sanctuary, feed Munsiyari also from further east. The milam glacier snout at 3872 m is the nodel point for a variety of high-grade routes and peaks.
NAINITAL - BINAYAK
Location: Kumaon Himalayas Base: Nainital Duration of the Trek: 3 Days 1st Day: Nainital to Kilbury (2194 Mts.) Trek 10 kms. 2nd Day: Kilbury to Binayak (2225 Mts.) Trek 8 kms. 3rd Day: Binayak to Nainital. Trek 18 kms.
NAINITAL - KUNJKHARAK TREKKING
Region: Kumaon Himalayas Base: Nainital Duration of the Trek: 4 Days 1st Day: Nainital to Binayak (2225 Mts.) via Pangoot. Trek distances 18 kms. 2nd Day: Binayak to Kunjkharak (2600 Mt.) Trek Distance 18 kms. 3rd Day: Kunjakharak to Binayak. Trek distance 18 km. 4th Day: Binayak to Nainital. Trek distances 18 kms.
RISHIKESH - PAURI - BINSAR
Location: Garhwal Himalayas Base: Rishikesh Duration of the Trek: 7days The trek starts from Thalisain via Pauri, an enchanting hill station presenting a panoramic view of the Garhwal Himalayan snowy peaks, and on a clear day the sunset is worth seeing from Kondolia, 5 kms. From Thalisain the trek trails through a very rich forest of deodar, silver, fir, pine and oak and wildlife. ITINERARY 1st day: All the participants are requested to assemble at Tourist Rest House GMVN. Munl-ki-Reti, Rishikesh. Dinner and overnight in TRH Muni-Ki-Reti, Rishikesh. 2nd day: 136 kms. Drive to Pauri. Lunch enroute. Arrival Pauri. Sightseeing program at Pauri. Dinner and overnight at TRH Pauri. 3rd day: 1-4 kms. Drive to Thalisain with pack lunch. Dinner and overnight in camp. 4th day: 13-km trek to Piersain with pack lunch. Dinner and overnight in camp. 5th day: 7 kms. Trek to Binsar with pack lunch. Dinner and overnight in camp. 6th day: 20 kms. Trek to Gairsain with pack lunch. Dinner and overnight in camp. 7th day: 226 kms. Drive to Rishikesh. Lunch enroute. Arrival Rishikesh. Tour concludes.
VALLEY OF FLOWERS
Location: Uttaranchal Area: 87.5 sq. Kms. Altitude: Between 3,658m to 3,962 m Best Season: Mid April to Mid August High in the Himalayan ranges of Garhwal hills of Uttaranchal lies an enchanting valley. Here flowerful pastures with clear running streams are set against silver birches and shining snow peaks. Dew lies thick on the flowers; bird’s sing in the surrounding forest and the air is pure and charged with floral smells. Hidden from the probing eyes of civilization, this valley had been known to the inhabitants as the Bhyundar Valley, the playground of fairies and nymphs. Trespassing their celestial abode was avoided although shepherds did take the liberty to graze their cattle here.
Legends associate this valley with the area from where Hanumanji of Ramayana collected "Sanjeevani" herbs to revive Lakshmana, the younger brother of Rama. Hanuman had to visit far-flung areas in his search for the life - saving herbs. Frank S. Smith - mountaineer, explorer, botanist who camped here for several weeks in the monsoon of 1937 and did valuable exploratory work, introduced the valley to the world as the Valley of Flowers. He authored a book called " The Valley of Flowers ", which unveiled the beauty and floral splendors of the valley and thus threw open the doors of this verdant jewel to nature - enthusiasts all over the world. In 1939, Miss Margaret Legge, a botanist deputed by the botanical gardens of Edinburgh arrived at the valley for further studies, While she slipped off and was lost for ever in the garden of the gods. Her sister later visited the valley and erected a memorial on the spot where the locals buried her. The thoughtful memorial is still there. The Trek: The trek towards the Valley begins at Govind Ghat, after crossing the Alaknada River on a hanging bridge. The zigzag mule track straightens through an ascending valley of terraced fields and vegetation. In the midst, Laxman Ganga tumbles down in a haste to join the Alaknanda. 3 kms further is the small, pretty hamlet, Pulna. Beyond this, the swifter, and between the green, Rocky Mountains, you can catch a glimpse of snow - clad peaks. The 7 kms. Trail from Pulna to Bhyundar village is full of nature's scenic splendors including cascading waterfalls and cold water springs. Shrubs and wild roses grow abundantly and rhododendrons colour the area with pink and dark red. Small wayside tea stalls run all across the route and young and enthusiastic tourist guides can be engaged at Bhyundar village. After resting awhile here, the trek on the right bank of the Laxman Ganga continues through the rich vegetation till a log bridge, supported on now, the trail becomes, steeper and harder and 2kms. From here, you will reach Ghangharia, the base camp for treks to Valley of Flowers and Hemkund Sahib. Since camping and overnight stay is not allowed in the Valley of Flowers, Ghangharia is the logical base camp for the trek. Travel beyond Ghangharia is on foot at natures pace since the entry of ponies is prohibited. The trek is subject to strict ecological discipline and the trekker is expected to be concerned about the ecosystem of the region. After crossing a log bridge over the Laxman Gangea, 3 Kms. from Ghanghria, the route of the Valley of Flowers separates from that going to Hemkund Sahib. The Laxman Ganga joins the Pushpawati river 400 mtrs. Downstream. The trek continues along Pushpawati. A couple of kilometers ahead, the river is crossed over to its Right Bank on another bridge and this trail goes upto the Valley of Flowers. Snow bridges can be seen spanning the river but their strength should be properly judged if they are to be used to cross the river. The Guru Govind Singh Gurudwara at Hemkund is also a major attraction. According to the verses in Guru Gibind Saheb (the holy book of the Sikhs) Guru Govind Singh meditated hare. Sikhs, Hindus and others revere Guru Govind Singh and so Hemkund has acquired international renown. Topography: The Valley of Flowers is flanked on either side by majestic peaks, many capped with snow. The Pushpawati River, emerging from the glacial deposits around Rataban and Nilgiri ranges, cuts through the Valley and divides it into two sectors. The major portion of the Valley is on its Right Bank and is a paradise for trekkers. Many streams flowing from glacial deposits in and around the Valley irrigate it and merge finally into the Pushpawati River. While exploring the Valley, wading across can easily cross the smaller streams but the larger ones need to be crossed on log bridges. In case those have not been put up in time, thick glacial bridges across the streams also serve the purpose.
There are no sidetracks for viewing colonies of flowers away from the main track so you can either try to wade through knee-deep flowers and foliage, crushing some on the way or stay on the single track running through the length of the valley without seeing the best. You may however stand on a raised vantagepoint to get a better view of the flowers all around. Within the main Valley, there are many smaller valleys cared out by streams of melting glaciers. On the banks of these valleys, you can encounter the most exciting pattern of flowers. One such Valley exists along the Donagair Garh, the last of many streams. On its banks flower some of the most magnificent plants. Every moist place holds its quota of glorious flowers, which grace the still air with their subtle fragrance. On the left bank of the Pushpawati, are several shunks of flat land. One of them is called Nag Tal, literally the place of the venomous serpent - the Nag. It is believed to be infested with poisonous flowers. These Flowers are bound to cause harm when plucked, crushed or smelt. Therefore it is advised that visitors should not pluck flowers.
BAGESHWAR - NAMIK
Location: Kumaon Hills (Uttaranchal) Base: Bageshwar One Way Trek: 45 Kms. In this trek one can see the snout of the Namik Glacier and the stream coming down from Anargal and meeting the main stream after going through Jogi Udiyar the ascent of Bhindawali and Penthang.
BASE KAUSANI TREKKING
Region: Kumaon Himalayas (Uttar Pradesh) Base: Kausani Duration of the Trek: 2 Days Route One, Two and three Kausani - Garur - Baijnath - Bageshwar (2nd Days) Kausani - Garur - Baijnath - Bageshwar (2nd Days) Kausani - Chhota Pinath - Bara Pinath (2nd days) All the above are the trails which enable one to combine the religious aspect Of Kumaon with its essentially invigorating mountainscape
Region: Garhwal Himalayas Base: Guptkashi Duration: 4 Days Since most of the peaks of the Garhwal Himalayan are quite difficult to scale in winter, a climb to a mini-peak, Chandra Shila, in Chamoli District is arranged by GMVN. This climb combines scaling, skiing and trekking along a router rich in flora and fauna, lakes and meadows full of fresh snow in the winter. The scenic beauty on the trails is unbelievably beautiful. The grassy slopes when covered with snow make an ideal ski course and provide a lot of fun. For this summit, the itinerary as planned by GMVN is as follows: 1st Day Drive do Guptkashi (1319 m), 185 kms from Rishikesh. Chaukhamba peak is a remarkable view from here. Night halt at Tourist Bungalow. 2nd Day Drive 14 kms to Okhimath, where prayers are offered to Lord Kedarnath in the winter months. Drive 8 kms to Deoria Tal. Trek 16 kms to Dogal- bitta through thick forests all the way; ascending from 1500 m to 2000-m. Night halt in alpine style. 3rd Day Trek 9 kms to Chopta at 3000 m, on winter-snow slopes, where base camp is established.
4th Day Attempt Chandrashila peak (3679 m) via Tungnath, trekking 7 kms and return to' base camp or acclimatize for the next day's attempt.
DODI TAAL TREK
Region: Garhwal Himalayas Base: Uttar Kashi or Kalyani Altitude: 3024 m above Sea Level Dodi Tal, at an elevation of 3024 m and north of Uttarkashi, has its origins in several natural springs; dense woods of oak surround its crystal clear waters, pine, deodar and rhododendrons. The lake is full of fish including the rare Himalayan Golden Trout. The forest surrounding the lake is full of wild life. The lake provides an idyllic setting for rest and recreation such as angling, boating and bird- watching. The trek for Dodi Tal commences from Uttarkashi or Kalyani, which can be approached by motor. Kalyani to Agoda is a gradual climb through woods, fields and villages along a mule track. The trek from Agoda to Dodi Tal is steep and through thick forests. This trek is open throughout the year, though in winters it is quite cold. For summers, a round trek is possible from Hanuman Chatti to Uttarkashi via Dodi Tal.
TREKKING IN GARHWAL
Region: Garhwal Hills Best Season: May - October The beauty of the Garhwal hills is picture-perfect, a fusion of High Mountain valley and lakes. It's a land of many streams and the birthplace of some of India's greatest rivers. Carmine rhododendron blooms and scarlet flame of the forest blossoms are luminous in jungles of dense green, while the faith of an old people has kept alive a lifestyle that dates back to several centuries. These are the playgrounds of the Gods, where legends have the sanctity of history and where people are warm and hospitable in a manner unknown to modern metropolises. Garhwal comprises the districts of Uttarkashi, Tehri, Pauri, Dehradun and Chamoli. The Garhwal hills are a veritable paradise for trekkers. Nature is in her element here, and the trekking trails are renowned for the great beauty of their views, stunningly different at almost every turn. There are some superb trekking opportunities in the vicinity of important pilgrimage sites such as Badrinath, Yamunotri, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Hemkund close to the Valley of Flowers. Best Season: Though Garhwal is a treat throughout the year except the rainy season, it is advisable to plan any trekking trip to this region during April to November. Trekking in the Garhwal hills is best between the months of May and October. Permits: Indian nationals need no permission for trekking in any area outside the inner line. For routes inside the inner line, the local District Magistrate's permission or that of the central home ministry is necessary in Advance. For foreigners, crossing the inner line is not permitted. Treks upto 4,900m need no permission and can be undertaken on tourist visas. Above 4,900m, treks can also be undertaken with prior permission from the IMF provided no peak is attempted. Camera permits are also necessary. HOW TO GET THERE The nearest airport is Jolly Grant in Dehradun. However, the flights are not very regular. Convenient overnight trains from Delhi connect Haridwar, the nearest railhead into Garhwal. The Shatabdi Express serves Haridwar along with trains from Mumbai and Calcutta. For many of the treks, Rishikesh serves as the base. Bus services connect Garhwal region with other towns in North India.
Location: Garhwal Base: Govindghat Altitude: 4329m above Sea Level The trek starts from Govindghat (19 kms.), on the way to Badrinath, having two major gradients, one initially from Alakhnanda suspension bridge of Govindghat to Pulna village, for 3 kms. and the other from Bhyundhar to Ghangharia. After trekking 1 kms from Ghangharia, a bifurcation point is reached, where one route leads to Hemkund Saheb and the other goes to the Valley of Flowers. The routes are well marked here.
KALSI LAKHMANDAL TREKKING
Region: Garhwal Himalayas Base: Goraghati Attraction for: Ornithologists This is a cultural and historical trek in the Jaunsar-Babar region in the foothills of the stately Garhwal Himalayan, between the rivers Yamuna and the Tons. A tribe known as the January lives in this region. Their customs and traditions are entirely different from those of the rest of Garhwal. The practice of polygamy and polyandry prevail among them. The villages along this trek are worth seeing, culturally and architecturally. Clustered houses with tiled roofs match the environment. The trek is rich with flora and fauna and is particularly inviting for ornithologists. This trek also has historical significance. At Kalsi, also there are rock inscriptions of the Ashokan age in the Pall script. At Birat Khoi, there is a fort in ruins now. According to the Mahabharata, this fort belonged to Maharaja Birat. And at Lakhamandal there are ruins of the ancient palace the Kauravas made of lac for the Pandavas
TREKKING IN KEDARNATH
Location: Garhwal Himalayas Base: Rishikesh Duration: 10 Days ITINERARY 01st day: All the participants are requested to assemble at tourist Rest House GMVN Muni-Ni-Reti, Rishikesh, Dinner and overnight in TRH Muni - Ki - Reti, Rishikesh. 02nd day: 155 kms drive to Uttarkashi with pack lunch, Dinner and overnight in TRH Uttarkashi. 03rd day: 22 kms drive to Lata and 15 kms trek to Betak with pack lunch. Dinner and overnight in tents. 04th Day: 14 kms. Trek to Buddha Kedar with pack lunch. Dinner and overnight in tents. 05th Day: 14 kms trek to Ghuttu with pack lunch. Dinner and overnight in TRH Ghuttu. 06th Day: 18 kms trek to Panwali with pack lunch. Dinner and overnight in tents. 07th day: 24 kms trek to Sonprayag with pack lunch. Dinner and overnight in TRH Sonprayag. 08th Day: 5 km, drive to Gaurikund and 14 kms trek to Kedarnath, Dinner and overnight in TRH Kedarnath. 09th day: 14 kms trek to Gaurikund with pack lunch, and 35 kms, drive to Guptkashi. Dinner and overnight in TRH Guptkashi. 10th Day: 180 kms drive to Rishikesh with pack lunch Arrival Rishikesh. Tour concludes
KHATLING SAHASRATAL TREKKING
Region: Garhwal Himalayas Base: Rishikesh Attractions: Kirti Stambha, Meru, and Jogin Glaciers
The Khatling glacier is a lateral glacier at the source of the river Bhilangana. According to legend, a celestial nymph tried to lure Lord Shiva. She was spurned by him and transformed into a liquid form. Thus originated the Bhilangana. Sahasra Tal and Masar Tal are to the west and east of Khatling glacier. Nature has showered her rich bounty on the Valley of Bhilangana. The panoramic views of the snow-capped peaks and hanging glaciers, such as Jogin group, Kirti Stambha and Meru, are magnificent. The whole trek passes through very thick forests and beautiful lush green meadows. In the rainy season, the meadows are ablaze with the colours of a myriad flowers. Trekkers on this route have to cross scores of small streams using the improvised log bridges
MUSSOORIE - NAGTIBBA TREKKING
Location: Garhwal Himalayas Base: Rishikesh Duration of the Trek: 6 Days At the foothills of the Garhwal Himalayan ranges, north east of Mussoorie, Nagtibba is at an altitude of 3048 Mts. This place is situated on a saddle and at a sunrise it is a beautiful sight to watch the sun peeping from behind the mountains. From Morina Dhar the trek is on a ridge, most of the time parallel to the Garhwal Himalayan ranges from Swargarohini to Nandadevi. This part of the trek is very rich in flora and fauna. ITINERARY 1st Day: All the participants are requested to assemble at tourist Rest House, GMVN Muni-Ki-Reti, Rishikesh. Dinner and overnight in TRH Muni-Ki-Reti, Rishikesh. 2nd day: 135 kms. Drive to Panthwari via Mussoorie. Lunch enroute. Dinner and overnight in camp. 3rd day: 10 kms. Trek to Nagtibba with pack lunch. Dinner and overnight in camp. 4th day: 3 kms. Trek to Nagtibba top with pack lunch. In the evening return trek to campsite. Dinner and overnight in camp. 5th day: 16 kms. Trek to Devalsari with pack lunch. Dinner and overnight in camp. 6th day: 8 kms. Trek to Thatiur with pack lunch. Further 115 kms; drive to Rishikesh via Mussoorie - Dehradun Arrival Rishikesh. Tour concludes.
NAINITAL - KAINCHI TREKKING
Region: Kumaon Himalayas (Uttar Pradesh) Base: Nainital Duration of the Trek: 1 Or 2 Days 1st Day: Nainital to Kainchi (1900 Mts.) trek 12 kms, Night stay at Kanchi. 2nd Day: Kainchi to Nainital (1938 Mts. ) by bus -18 kms.
PITHORAGARH SINLA PASS TREKKING
Location: Kumaon Hills (Uttar Pradesh) Base: Pithoragarh View: Chhota Kailash In this exciting trekking region of Kali, Kuti and Dhauli, one not only walks along a large portion of the Kailash – Mansarovar route, but also gets an exposure to the socio – cultural life of the people living in the Chaudans, Byans and Darma valleys. Pithoragarh often called ‘miniature Kashmir’ is the base for treks that takes one to Jolingkong called Chhota Kailash and its small but beautiful lake called Parvati Tal. The route to Sinla Pass is under a heavy blanket of snow and from here one can constantly see the Chhota Kailash Peak. Pithoragarh – Pangu 144 km by road
Pangu-Gala 23 km by trek Gala-Budi 22 km by trek Budi-Gunji 17 km by trek Gunji – Kutti 18 km by trek Pvt. Accom. Kutti – Jolingkong 17 km by trek Jolingkong-Parwati 4 km by trek Lake and back Jollingkong – Bedang via Sinla Pass 15 km by trek Bedang Dattu 14 km by trek Dattu – Saila 19 km by trek Saila Baling 18 km by trek Baling – New Sobla 17 km by trek New Sobla – Dharchua 57 km by road
Region: Garhwal Himalayas Base: Tharali Altitude: 5029 m above Sea Level Roopkund is situated at a height of 5029 meters in the lap of the Trishul Massif. It is often called the 'Mystery Lake", as human skeletons and the remains of horses were found here many years ago. There are two versions for these remains; one, that they are the remains of soldiers under General Jorawar Singh's army which was on its way to Tibet, the other that they are the remains of people on a yatra to Trishul base about 200 years ago. The lake surrounded by rock-strewn glaciers and snow clad peaks, is a magnificent sight. The starting point for the trek is Tharali, which is easily approachable by motor vehicle from Rishikesh. There is also another trekking route to Roopkund. This one is from chat, which is connected by a motorable road with Nandprayag, on the main highway to Badrinath. The route passes through lush green grasslands and conifer forests clinging to the slopes of the hills. The trek thereafter winds its way along the rocky face by the Pindar River. To round off this trek, you can approach Homekund by way of Shall Samudra glacier and then trek to Ghat or Nandprayag. For the round trek, the services of a guide are advisable. Tharali 333 Debal 1218 12 Motor Badri Gadh 1645 8 trek Mandoli 2134 3 trek Lohajung 2133 1 trek Badni Bugyal 3354 10 trek Bistola 4667 8 trek Roopkund 5029 5 trek Jurighatindhar 5335 5 trek Homekund 4061 8 trek Sutala 2192 18 trek Ghat 1331 26 trek Tharali 333 Debal 1218 12 motor Faldiagaon 1354 8 trek Mandoli 2134 9 trek Wan 2439 14 trek TB Gairoli Patali 3049 9 trek Patarnachauni 3658 11 trek
Roopkund 5029 10 trek
NANDA DEVI TREKKING
Location: Garhwal Himalayas Base: Joshimath Altitude: 4500 m above Sea Level Attraction: Nanda Devi Peak Nanda Devi Sanctuary is situated in Chamoli District at altitudes exceeding 4500 meters. Seventy colossal white peaks surround it, many named and some unnamed. The most famous of them is the majestic Nanda Devi. The sanctuary is shaped like a cup and has several lush green meadows and beautiful water falls. Herds of blue mountain goats (Bharal) graze everywhere. Sir Edmund Hillary in his autobiography described the ruggedness of this sanctuary so: "Nanda Devi Sanctuary is God-gifted wilderness -- India's training ground for adventure..." The starting point for this trek is Joshimath, which is easily reached by motor road from the foothills of the Garhwal Himalayan. At Joshimath, arrangements for guides, porters and last minute purchases can be made. Joshimath to Lata is 25 kms by road and then the trek starts. From Lata to Lata Kharan is an arduous trek, but exhaustion is forgotten on seeing the fantastic views of the snow glistened peaks of Runti, Nanda Devi, Nanda Ghunti and Bethartoli across the river Rishi Ganga. Lata Kharan is an open, wide, grass hilltop which is usually windy' and chilly. The trek from Lata Kharan to Dharansi Pass is a long one, featuring regular descents and ascents. On crossing the Dharansi Pass, Nanda Devi is seen. This trek along a ridge, traversing on rocky surface upto Malatuni Pass. From here it is a continuous descent of 750 meters through alpine grassland. Snow clinging to slopes, dense forest, the wide meadows of Debrugheta beside a river are some of the marvelous sights along the way. In summer, Debrugheta meadow is a riot of colour with flowers in all their variety. From Debrugheta to Ramni is a long trek. At first, there is a steep ascent after crossing the Rishi Ganga before arriving at Deodi. Deodi to Ramni is through dense forests of junipers and rhododendrons. And then there's the world-famed Nanda Devi Sanctuary. The Trishul base camp can be approached from Deodi via Bethartoli and Tridang. For this trek, guide services and ropes are essential. Joshimath 1890 Lata 2317 25 motor Lata Kharan 3689 10 trek Dharansi 4250 7 trek Debrugheta 3500 8 trek Deodi 3354 6 trek Ramni 3520 6 trek Bhoj Gera 4050 5 trek Tilchuni 4200 5 trek Nanda Devi Sanctuary 4500 (avg.) 8 trek
Location: Garhwal Himalayas (Uttar Pradesh) Established In: Hanuman Chatti Best Season: Bandarpunch Peak, Saptarishi Kund Yamunotri is primarily a place of religious pilgrimage. Hindus in large numbers visit the shrine of the goddess Yamuna here and bathe in the tank filled by hot springs. Devotees
cook rice in one of the springs and then carry the consecrated rice back for those at home. The route offers a glorious view of Bandarpunch peak to the north and fragrant orchards along the way. Saptarishi Kund, on the Kalind Parbat, at an altitude of 4421 m, is the real source of the Yamuna River. It is only 5 kms off this route, but difficult to approach with normal gear. Due to an acute lack of accommodation facilities at Yamunotri, pilgrims usually do not halt there and return the same day to Janaki Chatti. Click here for Trekking Tours in Uttar Pradesh Both routes, from Rishikesh or Dehra Dun converge at Barkot, a place of great scenic beauty, with apple orchards all around and the great Himalayan range forming the skyline. Actual trekking starts from Hanuman Chatti, the road to which is motorable. Buses ply from Rishikesh/Dehra Dun/Barkot. Dehra Dun 701 Barkot 1828 128 motor Hanuman Chatti 2134 34 motor Phool Chatti 2561 5 trek Janaki Chatti 2567 2 trek Yamunotri 3323 6 trek
West Bengal, is bounded on the north by Bhutan and the state of Sikkim, on the east by Bangladesh and the state of Assam, on the south by the Bay of Bengal, on the southwest by the state of Orissa, and on the west by Nepal and the state of Bihar. Its capital, Calcutta, is one of the largest cities in India. In Calcutta, visit the Victoria Memorial and drive past Fort Williams. 51 kms from the city, the Hoogli turns towards the Bay of Bengal -- beyond is the beautiful Bakkhali beach. Darjeeling, the Queen of the Hills has the highest RaceCourse in the World. In Darjeeling trek to Tiger Hill and Ghoom monastery. Visit its neighbors Mirik and Kalimpong reached by a fascinating journey through tea estates, winding roads and several viewpoints from where the Himalayan range can be viewed. Capital: Calcutta, the capital city of West Bengal, was the first port of call of the British East India Company. The most important city of British India before the company shifted base to Delhi; its contribution to the Independence movement still makes the elderly nod in nostalgia. There are two Calcutta’s: the north and the south. The north with its narrow lanes and dusty bookshops, the university and the south of the yuppie culture, fast-food joints and elite schools. The markets and the flashy restaurants are in Central Calcutta. History: West Bengal's early and intellectually productive contact with the West and with other parts of India is one of the most significant factors affecting the state history. The other was its partition into Muslim East Pakistan (later Bangladesh) and the Hindu Indian state of Bengal in 1947. Integration of Cooch Behar and the former French colony, Chandernagore into Bengal took place post Independence. After gaining land from Bihar, a link between the northern and southern parts of the state, separated earlier. Tribes: West Bengal contains about 40 recognized communities of tribes--the better known among them being the Santals, Oraons, Munas, Lepchas, and Bhutias--that make up less than one-tenth of the total population. Bengali is the language of most of the people, with Hindi, Urdu, Nepali, and English as minority languages. English, however, is the language of administration and a lingua franca for business purposes.
Occupation: More than one-half of the people are engaged in agriculture; rice being the most important crop. Bengal's tea plantations account for much of India's tea production. The state has a significant mineral output, including dolomite, limestone, and china clay. It has steel plants, an automobile-manufacturing plant, and numerous chemical, machinery-building, and light-engineering industries. Culture: Bengal, the cultural center of India has produced 4 Nobel Laureates: Tagore, Mother Teresa, Satyajit Ray and Amartya Sen. The theatre is popular, and both amateur and professional performances are quite sophisticated. traditional open-air performances, are popular in the countryside, along with kavigan an impromptu duel in musical verse between village poets. Traditional music takes the form of devotional and cultural songs. The kathakata a religious recital based on folklore, is another rural entertainment. Films offer yet another type of popular diversion, and Bengali productions has earned national and international awards. CLIMATE: The annual rainfall varies in the sub-Himalayan region between 150- 210 inches and in the plains between 45-75 inches. There are three seasons: hot and dry (March to early June), hot and wet (mid-June to September), and cool (October to February). During the hot and wet season, rain-bearing monsoon winds blow from the southwest. Best time to visit: during September-October and December-January. Population: 75 million Festivals: Calcutta festival in January; Bathing Festival in Sagar Island in January; Jhapan festival in Vishnupur in August, Nag Panchami in August; Durga and Kali Puja during September-October and the Flower and Tea festival in Kalimpong in October. Id and Christmas are also important festivals.
Tiger Hill, Darjeeling
Tiger Hills is the highest point in the area, which provides the most exotic view of the Kanchenjunga peaks. From this place the other peaks of the Eastern Himalayas can be seen. On a clear day, the sight of Mt. Everest is enthralling. The sight of the sun rising from over the Tiger Hills is an unforgettable experience. The first rays of the sun on these peaks of the Great Barriers gives an impression of molten gold having been spread. Every day, a large number of people flock to this place to catch a glimpse of sunrise. The ideal way to enjoy the sunrise is over a cup of steaming coffee. There is also a watchtower, which can be accessed by paying the tickets. The Tiger Hills can be reached by jeep, but if you want you can trek to the top. It is advisable to take a jeep to the top of the hills and return on foot. The return journey is a pleasant two-hour walk and the scenery, full of little mountain streams and flowers, is breathtaking to say the least. Darjeeling the dreamland of the East, it has been a popular hill station since the British period. The tourist flow to this place has been increasing day by day. Due to the proximity with three international borders, this place is strategically very important. Lofty mountains surround Darjeeling. Except for the monsoon months and if weather is clear then the Kanchenjunga peak can be seen. Down below in the valley flow the rivers swollen by rain water or melting snow. Darjeeling is a fascinating place rich in natural beauty and surrounded by the Buddhist monasteries. Its beauty surpasses any other hill station. Darjeeling has some of the lovely tea plantations (estates) in the country. One can visit these plantations and watch tea being processed. Darjeeling is a place where one feels as if being in the lap of Mother Nature. Due to the vast and abundance of natural splendor Darjeeling is called queens of hill stations. Darjeeling is also a trekker’s paradise and the Gorkha hill council has provided ample trekking facilities for the adventure loving people.
The toy train coming from Siliguri is some thing, which is liked by the elders and the children equally. The real fun in coming to Darjeeling is on the toy train. It takes six to seven hours to cover a distance of 82 kms and the slow speed gives you enough time to watch and appreciate the beauty which nature has provided it. This train passes through the Forests, waterfalls, over deep valleys and through the mountains and tunnels. SHOPPING: Darjeeling has been famous for its Tea with a particular aroma. Throughout the world tea drinker’s love has the special Darjeeling tea. So, how can some one miss getting some Darjeeling tea if he comes to this place? Packed small bag tea from this place makes good souvenirs. But avoid tea in tastefully decorated boxes, as these are mostly blended teas from Calcutta. Apart from tea there are many items, which Darjeeling offers in its shopping malls. Tourists love taking homes the curios and carpets from here. The shops for curios and carpets are on Chowrasta and Nehru road. These shops also sell thangkas, brass statues, religious objects, jewelry, woodcarvings, woven fabrics and many other items from the Himalayan region. The Bronze items and wooden carvings give you good value for your money. Thangkas are impressive at the first sight but the require a closer look if you want to buy them. The West Bengal's Manjusha Emporium has a good collection Himalayan handicraft, silk and handloom products. The woolen garments can be bought from the markets on Hill Cart road. The bamboo items are collector’s delight from the region. Hayden Hall is a place to look for the exclusive Tibetan Carpets. The women's cooperative is also a place worth checking out. CLIMATE: The best season to visit Darjeeling is between April and June. The weather during this period is generally clear and the chilling biting cold gets subsided. But one can also go to Darjeeling between September and November. During these months the mountains are clearly visible and one can enjoy the golden sunrise over the Himalayan peaks. Being a mountain city Darjeeling experiences rains throughout the year. Often heavy down pour wash away the roads and the place are totally cut off from rest of the country. The temperature range is not very large here with the maximum in summers being 15 degrees and 1.5 degrees in winters. This place requires warm cloths any time of the year and does not forget to carry a umbrella to this place GETTING THERE: The nearest airport to Darjeeling is the Bagdogra airport. Bagdogra is 10 kms from Siliguri and is an important military installation. From Bagdogra one can take a bus or taxi to Darjeeling. Darjeeling has a railway station but only the toy train from Jalpaiguri and New Jalpaiguri comes here. The major trains connecting the place with all the major places in India come to Jalpaiguri or New Jalpaiguri. From here again you have to take the toy train or a bus or taxi to Darjeeling. The place is well connected by roads. The state transports run buses from Calcutta and other nearby places. The private operators also have their buses and the fair does not vary much in the state or in the private buses. TIGER HILL - Tiger hills is the highest point in the area, which provides the most exotic view of the Kanchenjunga peaks. From this place the other peaks of the Eastern Himalayas can be seen. On a clear day the sight of Mt.Everest is just enthralling. Dhoom Gompa - About 8 kms from Darjeeling is the Dhoom Gompa. Here a very beautiful statue of the Maitrayie Buddha (prospective Buddha) is established. The Monastery has also preserved some of the rare handwritten Buddhist manuscripts. Batasia Loop - This railway loop is an interesting example of engineering. At this loop the toy train takes a very unique turn. This loop is just five-kilometer from the main town of Darjeeling. This place also has a very good market where you can buy the purses, bags and other decorative items made by the local women at very reasonable price.
Happy Valley Estate - Here the tea from the gardens is processed. One can spent a few hours here. Entry is only allowed to persons who have permission from any officer of the estate. Natural History Museum - The museum has a collection of over 4300 specimen. Established in 1903, this natural history museum packs in its folds a rich collection of fauna found in the Himalayas and in Bengal. Among the attractions are included the estuarine crocodiles. This unique museum also has a good collection of butterflies. The mineral forms of various stones are displayed in a very attractive manner in the museum. Senchal Lake - A scenic place near the tiger hills. This place has popularly come up as a picnic spot among the tourists. The lake supplies drinking water to the town of Darjeeling. Kanchenjunga View - From Darjeeling one can have the best, uninterrupted view of the world’s third highest peak. Bhan Bhakta Sarani provides one of the enthralling views of these snow-capped peaks. The Chowrasta also gives you a good sight to the Kanchenjunga peak. Zoological Gardens - The zoo is situated two kms form the main town. This zoological garden houses some of the rare species of animals and birds. This is only zoo in India having the Siberian Tigers. Apart from these the rare Red Panda is also there. The Snow Leopards, Great Grey Birds, Snow Yaks are some the animals which are attracting tourist in great numbers. The entry in the zoo is by tickets, which are also valid for the natural history museum and the mountaineering institute & museum. Observatory Hills - This point provides one of the breathtaking views of Kanchenjunga peaks. This place is also very sacred for the Hindus and the Buddhists, as there are temples and the monasteries at this place. The Kali temple is decorated with the colourful flags. Be aware of the monkey groups, as some these are very aggressive. Bhutia Busty Gompa - With the backdrop of the Kanchenjunga range stands a monastery called the Bhutia Busty Gompa. This monastery was shifted from the observatory hills to the present place. The Gompa is a branch of the Nyingmapa sect's Phodang Monastery in Sikkim. The monastery is not far from the chowrasta and is very tastefully decorated. It also has a library, which has a copy of the Tibetan Book of the Dead. Snow Leopard Breeding Program - Nowadays the zoologists and the environmental scientists are trying to protect the endangered species by breeding them in captivity. Following this trend is Kiran Moktan who has devoted his life in breeding program of snow leopards. The snow leopards are not known to have bred in captivity but in this center thanks to the efforts of Kiran Maktan these animals have given birth in captivity. Snow leopards are animals that have to be kept in large enclosures. Visitors are allowed in the center but they have to watch the animals in utter silence. Botanical Gardens - This place is worth a visit for its exotic and exclusive collection of a variety of Himalayan plants, flowers and orchids. This place is near the taxi stand. The gardens also have a green house. Tibetan Refugee self-help Center - In 1959 was established a center for the refuges that had fled Tibet with the Dalai Lama after the Chinese invasion. This self-help center has been developed as workshop for the manufacture of handicrafts. The fine and superb carpets, woolens, woodcarvings and leatherwork form this center has been very popular among the tourists. The money collected after the sale of the products goes to the Tibetans who work here. The variety Tibetan Curios on sale is also attracting the visitors in a big way. This center has established it self in the International scenario as place for hard work, self-esteem and truth.
Himalayan Mountaineering Institute & Museums - The Himalayan Mountaineering Institute is on the West Jawahar road. The institute runs courses for training mountaineers as well as has the very good collection of mountaineering equipment’s which have been used in various mountaineering expeditions and other wise. Specimens of Himalayan flora and fauna are also kept here. The record of attempts made to conquer Mt. Everest has been kept in the Mt.Everest Museum. The institute also screens short films on mountaineering. You can also view the Himalayan peaks through the Zeiss Telescope given to the Nepalese Maharaja by Hitler. Sherpa Tenzing Norgay was the Director of this institute for many years and he was cremated near the institute after his death in 1986. Near the institute is Srabri, which gives a very good view of the Single valley and the Kanchenjunga range. One can sit at Srabri and feel the cool breeze from the valley. Passenger Ropeway - Another tourist attraction in Darjeeling has been the Ropeway. This was the first Ropeway in India. It connects the North point (7000-ft) to the Singla Bazaar (800-ft). The rope covers a distance of 8 kms in 45 minutes. The seats in the Ropeway are limited and it is better to get the tickets in advance. The Ropeway is exciting and unique for any one visiting Darjeeling. Chowrasta - This one of the important shopping places in Darjeeling. Here the Nehru Road and the Mall Road intersect each other. The snow-capped peaks of Kanchenjunga are visible from this place. Near Showboat are several Hindu and Buddhists temples. This place is over flowing with foreign tourists. You can also enjoy a pony ride form this place. Kurseong: Kurseong is mid way between Siliguri and Darjeeling. The way from Darjeeling to Kurseong is generally open through out the year. So, the toy train is not coming to Siliguri then you can come up to Kurseong. This place is equally beautiful and is full of natural splendor. MIRIK: Mirik is 52 kms from Siliguri and 55 kms from the nearest Airfield of Bagdogra. Mirik is being developed as a new hill station in the mountains. Tea estates, orange orchards and cardamom plantations surround Mirik. It has all the facilities to fulfill the needs of a tourist. Siliguri / New Jalpaiguri: The twin Cities of Siliguri and New Jalpaiguri are the departure point to Darjeeling, Sikkim and the North Eastern States. Being the nodal point this place has become very busy and crowded. This area has got population over 2.5 lakh people. Siliguri also acts as a transit point for Nepal. This place is not very pleasant to stay, as there are always long lines of buses and trucks. These trucks and vehicles might be good for business but they provide very ugly sight. Tourists come to Siliguri and New Jalpaiguri mainly to change bus or catch trains. If you have time then visit the almost forgotten wild life sanctuary of Jaldhapara. The best season to visit this park is between October and May. This the time when the new grass has come up and animals are out there. The sanctuary has elephants, dears, tigers and other animals but the main attraction is the Rhinos, which are threatened by the poachers. Elephant Safari can be taken from Hollong. KALIMPONG: Kalimpong is within Darjeeling province and is a sub-division of Darjeeling. It is a small but bustling town in the Himalayan foothills of West BengalKalimpong is at an altitude of 1250 meters. This bazaar town was originally a part of Bhutan but later it was taken over by the British and finally it settled down with West Bengal.
TREKKING: One of the famous trekking route taken by the trekkers is that of the DarjeelingSandakphu / Phalut trek. This trekking route is best during the months of April, May, October and November. As during these seasons the visibility is clear and the weather is also hospitable. For
trekking on this route one does not have to carry much luggage as the Gorkha Hill Council has provided trekkers hut and other facilities all along the route. But it is advisable to carry your own sleeping bags. On this route the trekker must be prepared for all kinds of weather and high altitude mountain sickness. The trek passes through low areas and very high ridges so temperature varies a lot are prepared for all types of weather. There surroundings may be very attractive but there are some areas, which have long stretches without any water, so carry water with you. Regular meals are available. Guides and porters can also be arranged. Phalut is also called the viewpoint of the Himalayas and is one of the most important & famous treks in the region. The trek starts with a small bus trip to Manaybhanjang. From here the trek passes through the mountains to Sandakphu. From here you can proceed further up or you can return via Rimbik then to Darjeeling by Bus. One can also take a short cut and not go to Ohalut. From Sandakphu backtrek to Bikhay Bhanjang and cut across to Rimbik. But keep in mind that this trek is a difficult one with no water or food in between.
POPULATION: About one lakh people live in this area. MAIN LANGUAGES: Gorkhali, Hindi, Nepali, Bhutani, Bengali, Assamese and English A WORD OF CAUTION: To all tourist - beware of touts, if, new to the place. NEAR BY CITIE Siliguri: 72 kms Calcutta: 64 kms Guwahati: 513 kms Baddogra: 10 kms Kalimpong: 150 kms Mirik: 134 kms