North India offers the best options for treks since it borders the southern side of the Himalayan foothills. Easy as well as difficult treks can be undertaken in the numerous valleys and a lifetime is not enough to cover all the options provided by this unique geographical landscape. Snow covered mountains and valleys covered with flowers are some of the popular attractions in North India.
Valley of flowers
This place was discovered by a botanist in 1913 and is aptly named the valley of flowers since it is covered with thousands of flowers. Located near the town of Govindghat the valley has more than 200 types of flowers making it one of the most unique natural gardens in the world. The valley is located around ten miles from the town and camping in the town becomes inevitable since overnight stays in the valley are not allowed. The best time to visit is from April to July and in September. Monsoons and winters are to be avoided since the flowers are not in bloom in these seasons. The nearest airport is the Jolly Grant which is in the city of Dehradun the capital of Uttarkhand.
The town of Manali is a melting pot for trekkers and tourists from around the world and offers treks as well as other sporting opportunities such as skiing, white water rafting, and rock climbing. The town offers routes to the Rohtang Pass, Jagatsukh, and Sloang valley which are some of the most popular destinations near Manali. The best time to visit for adventure sports and trekking is in summers when the routes are accessible. Winters and monsoons are best avoided since the weather is harsh and trekking is not possible.
Dehradun and Mussoorie
Dehradun is the capital of Uttarakhand and is located in the foothills of Himalaya; this city is the gateway to many treks in the region. Mussoorie is located about twenty Miles from Dehradun and is known as the ‘Queen of hills’. Dhanaulti is one of the hill stations located near Mussoorie and is famous for its Rhododendron, Deodar and Oak forest trails.
It is also one of the famous trekking locations located thirty miles from Mussoorie. The trek starts at a town called Devalsari located seven miles from Nag Tibba or the Serpent’s Peak as it is popularly known among mountaineers. This trek is not a one day affair since it becomes too hectic to hike and get back to the town; there is no facility for accommodation on the peak itself.
Nanda Devi National Park
The Nanda Devi National Park is one of the highest in terms of height from the sea level and is located near the Valley of flowers. It is also a UNESCO world heritage site as is the valley of flowers. The trek to this park is one of the most arduous and the peak itself is only for experienced or professional trekkers. Some of the other peaks located inside the Park are Devistan, The Rishi Kot and the Rishi Gorge. These are also comparatively difficult and are recommended for experienced trekkers. Numerous other trekking options and peaks await the experienced trekker as well as the novice traveler. The nearest airport is the Jolly Grant located in the city of Dehradun.
Dodital is a freshwater lake located at approximately three thousand meters above sea level in Uttarakhand. The place is the starting point of many rivers and is surrounded by pristine Deodar and Oak forests. Frequented by pilgrims, nomadic herdsmen and tourists, the place is one of the famous locations for people from all walks of life. The best time to visit the place is in October after the Monsoons so that the blooming ambience of the place can be enjoyed.
The Karakoram Range is a huge mountain range forming a common border between China, Pakistan and India. There are hundreds of peaks in the region and the Karakoram pass is one of the important locations on the political map of India and Pakistan. Some of the famous and challenging peaks in the Karakoram Range are K2, Gasherbrum and the Broad Peak which ate more than eight thousand feet above sea level. These are extremely difficult treks and are to be undertaken with experienced trekkers and guides. With over sixty peaks above the seven thousand feet mark, the Karakoram Range offers challenges to many hikers from around the world.
Some basic gear and equipment is necessary for even the easiest of the treks; first aid kits and proper shoes being the most important. Other apparatus that come in handy are sleeping bags, tents, fuel, basic cooking equipment, winter clothes, and flashlights. If you plan to travel peaks in the Karakoram pass then proper gear is recommended since the area is prone to sudden weather changes and extreme cold. Make sure that your bag does not weigh more than twenty pounds and carry at least three liters of water for every four hours of journey on foot.