India

Description

India, Zanskar

Immense India, a colorful jigsaw of peoples, cultures, landscapes and climates, is a continent in its own right. The high snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas rise up across the north of the country, to form a natural border with China (Tibet). Also to the north are India's Himalayan neighbour states Nepal and Bhutan. The famous Ganges river and several of its tributaries flow from the Himalayan ranges and then turn east to form the scorchingly hot expanse of the Indo Gangetic Plain. Further south hills rise up again, such as the Aravalli range across arid Rajasthan, and the low Vindhya and Satpura ranges of Central India. Towards the southwest, parallel to the coast, several ranges collectively called the Western Ghats run all the way to India's southern tip. Their humid ridges, covered in sandal wood trees and coffee plantations, rise up well over 1000 m, and occasionally over 2000 m. In the east of India are several lower ranges of mountains and hills, known as the Eastern Ghats.

So what about hiking in India? Is it a popular local pastime? True, many Indians like to escape from the summer heat of the low plains to catch up on some fresh air in one of many hill stations, vestiges of the British colonial era. Yet, to actually set out on a multi-day hike for pleasure appears to be a primarily foreign visitors affair. Exceptions to this rule are the pilgrimages in different parts of India, most notably those in the foothills of the Himalayas, which draw whole families, the old and young alike from all walks of life. Strikingly lively and colorful events, little known by foreigners, and more of a bustling social occasion than a true hike. But then, India is changing too, and hiking is becoming increasingly popular with students and other young people.

For long distance hiking and trekking into the quietude of nature, some parts of India clearly stand out in popularity. First and foremost in the north, there are the relatively accessible western Himalayan ranges of Himachal Pradesh, with valleys such as Kangra, Kullu, Sangla and the more remote and arid Spiti and Lahaul. Altitudes in Himachal Pradesh vary widely, from the 600 m high Shivalik hills to peaks rising up well over 6000 m!

To the southeast of Himachal Pradesh is another attractive hiking and trekking region: Uttarakhand (formerly Uttaranchal), bordering on both Tibet and Nepal. The famous Hindu pilgrimage centers of Haridwar and Rishikesh are main gateway to the Uttarakhand Garhwal Himalaya's. Some lovely and not too difficult high altitude hiking and trekking options here.

Rather less easily accessible are the high altitude valleys of Zanskar and Ladakh, in India's far north. Like neighbouring Spiti and Lahaul (both part of Himachal Pradesh), these are located on the northern flanks of the Great Himalayan range. Sheltered from the monsoon rains, climate here is much more arid. Summers are pleasant and dry, but winters long and harsh.

Towards the southwest of Zanskar and Ladakh, back on the south side of the Greater Himalayan range, are the more populated valleys of Kashmir. A lovely area for hiking, but alas, bordering on Pakistan and currently not safe for foreigners.

Let's travel east now. The Himalayan range continues, and is covered by Nepal and Bhutan. However, squeezed in between these two is the former kingdom of Sikkim, now part of India. A popular area for multi-day treks at medium and high altitudes, and rightly so. For less demanding treks with great views of high peaks like Kanchenjunga (8586 m), set out from Darjeeling, a nearby old hill station surrounded by tea plantations just to the soutwest of Sikkim. Both Sikkim and Darjeeling have a monsoon season, so avoid this and go hiking from late March to May or from late September to early December.

Continue east past Bhutan, and tucked away in the far northeastern corner of India are the Himalayan ranges of Arunachal Pradesh. Although little known or explored as yet, there are some high altitude trekking possibilities here, as well as medium altitude treks through forested valleys and with great views of the snow-capped western Himalayas.

And there are so many places other than the Himalayas to go hiking and trekking in India. Most of India's countless National Parks and Nature Reserves offer guided walking safari's, day-hikes mostly. To name a few other options: Nagaland, Meghalaya, Western Ghats, Nilgiri Hills, Eastern Ghats, Orissa, Munnar Hills, Karnataka, Periyar, and so on.

Opinions

Rate 8.7 | 3 votes | No 3. in Asia
  • sans4u2 April 1984
  • Rate 9
  • Positive its my country.. I like its unity in diversity.. I like its struggle to become a great nation.. I like its spirit. I like its vivid colours.. I like the Himalayas.. I like being an Indian The Himalayas of India are to live for and die for. The magical landscape of ladakh, the sharp rising peaks of the Pir Panjals, The Dhauladhar, The Great Himalayan range are one of the most enlighting place
  • Miguel September 2006
  • Rate 9
  • Positive Great mountain scenery in the Ladakh area (the only one I visited), with few people to be found beyond villages
  • pc22 March 1999
  • Rate 8
More opinions…

Trails

Regions

Mountains

Books

Stanfords
United Kingdom
2015
  • Lonely Planet Kuala Lumpur Pocket Guide
  • Lonely Planet Pocket Kuala Lumpur is your passport to all the most relevant and up-to-date advice on what to see, what to skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. Gape at the dizzying views from the top of the Petronas Towers, escape from KL`s urban grind to the Forestry Research of Malaysia (FRIM) for a canopy walk, or soak up KL`s British... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • Bol.com, Netherlands
  • Bol.com, Belgium
» Click to open
Bol.com
Netherlands
2015
  • Lonely Planet Pocket Kuala Lumpur
  • Lonely Planet: The world's leading travel guide publisherLonely Planet Pocket Kuala Lumpur is your passport to all the most relevant and up-to-date advice on what to see, what to skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. Gape at the dizzying views from the top of the Petronas Towers, escape from KL's urban grind to the Forestry Research of... Read more
Bol.com
Belgium
2015
  • Lonely Planet Pocket Kuala Lumpur
  • Lonely Planet: The world's leading travel guide publisherLonely Planet Pocket Kuala Lumpur is your passport to all the most relevant and up-to-date advice on what to see, what to skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. Gape at the dizzying views from the top of the Petronas Towers, escape from KL's urban grind to the Forestry Research of... Read more
» Click to close
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Alan Stoob: Nazi Hunter: A Comic Novel
  • Alan Stoob, hero of this hilarious novel has been described as a new member of the great pantheon of British comic characters - genus awkward old bastard - that already includes Mr Micawber, Mr Pooter and Captain Mainwairing. Originally a Twitter sensation, whose fans include India Knight and Dara O`Brien, he now walks the pages of this book... Read more
Bol.com
Netherlands
  • Bharat
  • India is a vast South Asian country with diverse terrain – from Himalayan peaks to Indian Ocean coastline – and history reaching back 5 millennia. In the north, Mughal Empire landmarks include Delhi’s Red Fort complex and massive Jama Masjid mosque, plus Agra’s iconic Taj Mahal mausoleum. Pilgrims bathe in the Ganges in... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • Bol.com, Belgium
» Click to open
Bol.com
Belgium
  • Bharat
  • India is a vast South Asian country with diverse terrain – from Himalayan peaks to Indian Ocean coastline – and history reaching back 5 millennia. In the north, Mughal Empire landmarks include Delhi’s Red Fort complex and massive Jama Masjid mosque, plus Agra’s iconic Taj Mahal mausoleum. Pilgrims bathe in the Ganges in... Read more
» Click to close
Bol.com
Netherlands
2016
  • India
  • India strikes its visitor with a sensory, intellectual, spiritual and philosophical assault that's unmatched by any other place on earth: this subcontinent's sheer diversity is staggering. Footprint's 19th edition India Handbook will guide you from tropical beach paradises and lush backwaters, to forests where elephants roam and foothills clad... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • De Zwerver, Netherlands
  • Bol.com, Belgium
» Click to open
De Zwerver
Netherlands
2016
  • Reisgids Handbook India Handbook | Footprint
  • Zo mogelijk nog betere gids dan de Lonely Planet. Vol met de praktische informatie over reizen, slapen etc. Goede verwijzingen naar websites en veel mailadressen. Zelfde soort informatie als de Lonely Planet, diepgaander met vooral meer tips in de minder bekende gebieden. India strikes its visitor with a sensory, intellectual, spiritual and... Read more
Bol.com
Belgium
2016
  • India
  • India strikes its visitor with a sensory, intellectual, spiritual and philosophical assault that's unmatched by any other place on earth: this subcontinent's sheer diversity is staggering. Footprint's 19th edition India Handbook will guide you from tropical beach paradises and lush backwaters, to forests where elephants roam and foothills clad... Read more
» Click to close
Bol.com
Netherlands
  • An Inviting Path Through a Tea Plantation in India Journal
  • This journal with 150 ruled pages awaits your writing pleasure. You can use it to record your hopes and dreams, express your gratitude, to keep a bucket list, as a daily diary, or to jot down your “To-Do” lists. The possibilities are endless and the choice is all yours. Enjoy! Read more
  • Also available from:
  • Bol.com, Belgium
» Click to open
Bol.com
Belgium
  • An Inviting Path Through a Tea Plantation in India Journal
  • This journal with 150 ruled pages awaits your writing pleasure. You can use it to record your hopes and dreams, express your gratitude, to keep a bucket list, as a daily diary, or to jot down your “To-Do” lists. The possibilities are endless and the choice is all yours. Enjoy! Read more
» Click to close
De Zwerver
Netherlands
2016
  • Reisgids Culture Smart! India | Kuperard
  • De Cultuur Bewust!-gids geeft toeristen en zakenlieden belangrijke informatie met betrekking tot de cultuur van alledag in het land van bestemming. Anders dan in de gebruikelijke reisgidsen wordt de lezer in deze reeks bijgespijkerd op het gebied van omgangsvormen, normen en waarden, hoe zich te gedragen en wat verwacht mag worden op zakelijk... Read more
Bol.com
Netherlands
  • A Journey to Shimla
  • In 1891, the railway line to Kalka from Ambala was opened but it took a couple of years more to begin work on the Kalka Shimla Railway. The burning heat of Indian summers made people sweaty during the whole of the journey from Calcutta, now Kolkata, to Kalka. The wooden box like railway compartments which had no fans fitted and air conditioning... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • Bol.com, Belgium
» Click to open
Bol.com
Belgium
  • A Journey to Shimla
  • In 1891, the railway line to Kalka from Ambala was opened but it took a couple of years more to begin work on the Kalka Shimla Railway. The burning heat of Indian summers made people sweaty during the whole of the journey from Calcutta, now Kolkata, to Kalka. The wooden box like railway compartments which had no fans fitted and air conditioning... Read more
» Click to close
De Zwerver
Netherlands
2018
  • Reisgids India south - zuid (Engels) | Marco Polo
  • Handige en overzichtelijke, kleine reisgids voor een eerste kennismaking met de vakantiebestemming. Globale uitklapkaart achterin, makkelijk binnenzakformaat. Marco Polo India south is for travellers want to have fun and feel relaxed from the moment they arrive at their holiday destination. This new series will appeal to all types of... Read more
Bol.com
Netherlands
  • Bhutan
  • Contains excerpts from literature on India, an introduction to palaces, museums, festivals, wildlife, and practical tips on clothing, trekking, and transportation.</p> Read more
  • Also available from:
  • Bol.com, Belgium
» Click to open
Bol.com
Belgium
  • Bhutan
  • Contains excerpts from literature on India, an introduction to palaces, museums, festivals, wildlife, and practical tips on clothing, trekking, and transportation.</p> Read more
» Click to close
De Zwerver
Netherlands
2016
  • Reisgids Handbook Rajasthan, Delhi en Agra | Footprint
  • Zo mogelijk nog betere gids dan de Lonely Planet. Vol met de praktische informatie over reizen, slapen etc. Goede verwijzingen naar websites en veel mailadressen. Zelfde soort informatie als de Lonely Planet, diepgaander met vooral meer tips in de minder bekende gebieden One of India’s most fascinating states, a region steeped in tradition with... Read more
Bol.com
Netherlands
  • There Are Other Rivers
  • Alastair Humphreys walked across India, from the Coromandel Coast to the Malabar Coast, following the course of a holy river. Walking alone and spending the nights sleeping under the stars, in the homes of welcoming strangers or in small towns and villages, he experienced the dusty enchantment of ordinary, real India on the smallest of budgets.... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • Bol.com, Belgium
» Click to open
Bol.com
Belgium
  • There Are Other Rivers
  • Alastair Humphreys walked across India, from the Coromandel Coast to the Malabar Coast, following the course of a holy river. Walking alone and spending the nights sleeping under the stars, in the homes of welcoming strangers or in small towns and villages, he experienced the dusty enchantment of ordinary, real India on the smallest of budgets.... Read more
» Click to close
De Zwerver
Netherlands
2013
  • Reisgids Focus Delhi to Kolkata | Footprint
  • This region takes in the contrasts of India. From the brash and chaotic Delhi to Varanasi, India’s holiest city, these cities will truly provide an experience of India. Footprint Focus provides invaluable information on transport, accommodation, eating and entertainment to ensure that your trip includes the best of these dynamic destinations. ·... Read more
Bol.com
Netherlands
  • Woven Vibe
  • Woven Vibe is a book about weaving textiles on a table loom or handlooms for that matter.It describes how ten scarves can be made out of fibers such as silk/merino, bamboo, banana, nettle and hemp. There are textile swatches of fibers such as nettle, grewia, hemp, goat hair and cotton in the book as well. The book includes photographs, design... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • Bol.com, Belgium
» Click to open
Bol.com
Belgium
  • Woven Vibe
  • Woven Vibe is a book about weaving textiles on a table loom or handlooms for that matter.It describes how ten scarves can be made out of fibers such as silk/merino, bamboo, banana, nettle and hemp. There are textile swatches of fibers such as nettle, grewia, hemp, goat hair and cotton in the book as well. The book includes photographs, design... Read more
» Click to close
De Zwerver
Netherlands
2014
  • Reisgids Te gast in India | Informatie Verre Reizen
  • India stelt zich open voor nieuw tijdperk Als gevolg van de snelle economische groei vinden er in India momenteel grote veranderingen plaats. Veel jongeren en stedelingen omarmen de moderne westerse invloeden. Maar wat betekent deze ontwikkeling voor de religieuze en culturele tradities? De vernieuwde uitgave TE GAST IN India laat zien wat... Read more
Bol.com
Netherlands
  • 21st Century Journalism in India
  • The Indian media is witnessing an explosive situation with newspaper and magazine circulations increasing in great numbers and television news channels-in both English and regional languages-going up by the day. Internet news portals, too, are recording a good number of hits. Journalism, then, holds tremendous promise for both seasoned and... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • Bol.com, Belgium
» Click to open
Bol.com
Belgium
  • 21st Century Journalism in India
  • The Indian media is witnessing an explosive situation with newspaper and magazine circulations increasing in great numbers and television news channels-in both English and regional languages-going up by the day. Internet news portals, too, are recording a good number of hits. Journalism, then, holds tremendous promise for both seasoned and... Read more
» Click to close
More books…

Maps

Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Singapore ITMB
  • Singapore City on a clear, indexed street plan at 1:10,000 with from ITMB, highlighting numerous places of interest and tourist facilities, plus the Singapore Island shown at 1:100,000 with its road and rail networks.The street plan covers the city’s central districts as indicated in our area coverage image, including the Financial District,... Read more
More maps…

Walking holidays

Snp Wandelreizen
Netherlands
  • India - Ladakh
  • In de regenschaduw van de majestueuze toppen van de Himalaya ligt Ladakh, ook wel klein Tibet genoemd. Grootse kloosters, omgeven door imposante bergen, gebedsvlaggen wapperend in de wind en overal fraaie mani-muren met mantra-reliëfs. De vriendelijke bewoners van deze streek ontvangen u hartelijk. Tijdens deze rondreis bezoekt u de... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • Snp Wandelreizen, Netherlands
  • Snp Wandelreizen, Netherlands
» Click to open
Snp Wandelreizen
Netherlands
  • India - Ladakh
  • In het noorden van India, tegen de Tibetaanse en Pakistaanse grens, ligt het afgelegen berggebied Ladakh, bekend om zijn bijzondere maanlandschap. Na acclimatisatie in het hooggelegen Leh maak je een unieke 4-daagse trektocht aan de rand van de Indus vallei. Onderweg zie je prachtig gekleurde rotswanden, felgroene oases van gerstakkers en... Read more
Snp Wandelreizen
Netherlands
  • India - Ladakh
  • In het noorden van Ladakh, tegen de Tibetaanse en Pakistaanse grens, ligt de afgelegen en nog maar weinig bezochte vallei van de Shayok. Na acclimatisatie in het hooggelegen Leh maken we een unieke 7-daagse kampeertrekking van de Indus naar de Shayok vallei, die we vervolgens vanuit een aantal fraaie resorts gaan verkennen. Onderweg zien we... Read more
» Click to close
Snp Wandelreizen
Netherlands
  • India - Kerala
  • Met deze fietsvakantie verken je de weelderige Zuid-Indiaanse deelstaat Kerala. Je vindt hier  koele heuvels met theeplantages, uitgestrekte bossen, binnenwateren en witte zandstranden. De reis begint in Kochi, vroeger bekend als Cochin, het perfecte startpunt voor deze betoverende regio. Het koloniale verleden in Kochi is duidelijk herkenbaar... Read more
More walking holidays…

Forum

  1. Cancel
  • Seema 2013-03-25 06:06:57
  • Valley of flowers
  • Valley of flowers is one of the most beautiful natural wonder on this earth. Do you know some one organizing treks to valley of flowers. I have come across http://www.valleyofflowers.info. Do any one has ever gone through them to valley of flowers.
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  • bodhichittaindra 2012-05-21 12:35:32
  • Reise in den Himalaya
  • Hallo

    Im Juni 2012 moechte ich in den Himalaya laufen um mehr ueber Tara zu erfahren. Ich Bin Buddhist der Tibetischen "Neuen Kadampa Tradition" und Tara ist mein Deity.

    Da ich beschlossen habe Buddhistischer Moench zu werden, werde ich als Bettelmoench in den Himalaya laufen.

    Wer moechte mitlaufen?


    Liebe Gruesse
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