India

Description

India, Zanskar

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Opinions

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

Regions

Mountains

Books

Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Alan Stoob: Nazi Hunter: A Comic Novel
  • Alan Stoob, hero of this hilarious novel has been described as a new member of the great pantheon of British comic characters - genus awkward old bastard - that already includes Mr Micawber, Mr Pooter and Captain Mainwairing. Originally a Twitter sensation, whose fans include India Knight and Dara O`Brien, he now walks the pages of this book... Read more
The Book Depository
United Kingdom
2010
  • Indian Himalaya Trekking Guide - Maps 2010
  • Ce guide unique des montagnes de l''Himalaya indien, avec description et carte détaillée de 22 circuits de trekking, contient les informations nécessaires pour chaque niveau, du débutant au professionnel chevronné.La découverte de 10 régions (avec carte à l'échelle de 1/350... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • De Zwerver, Netherlands
» Click to open
De Zwerver
Netherlands
2010
  • Wandelgids Trekking Guide Indian Himalaya | TerraQuest
  • Ce guide unique des montagnes de l''Himalaya indien, avec description et carte détaillée de 22 circuits de trekking, contient les informations nécessaires pour chaque niveau, du débutant au professionnel chevronné.La découverte de 10 régions (avec carte à l'échelle de 1/350... Read more
» Click to close
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
De Zwerver
Netherlands
2016
  • Reisgids Handbook Kerala | Footprint
  • Footprint Handbook is een engelstalige praktische reisgids voor alle leeftijden, boordevol informatie over accommodatie van middenklasse tot luxe en plaatsbeschrijvingen. Kenmerk: brede culturele en achtergrondinformatie, bondig geschreven. Take a rice boat tour of Kerala's lyrical backwaters; endlessly intersecting rivers, streams and lagoons... Read more
Bol.com
Netherlands
  • Finding Mojo
  • What does it take to finally let go of things that just aren t working in your life? The suffering of a broken heart? Losing a job? Or maybe the painful disintegration of a long-standing friendship?It is the cruel fusion of all these things and more that leads Natalie to believe the life she s living belongs to somebody else. On discovering... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • Bol.com, Belgium
» Click to open
Bol.com
Belgium
  • Finding Mojo
  • What does it take to finally let go of things that just aren t working in your life? The suffering of a broken heart? Losing a job? Or maybe the painful disintegration of a long-standing friendship?It is the cruel fusion of all these things and more that leads Natalie to believe the life she s living belongs to somebody else. On discovering... Read more
» Click to close
De Zwerver
Netherlands
2016
  • Reisgids Handbook Kolkata & West Bengal | Footprint
  • Handig gidsje op zakformaat van Calcutta en West Bengalen. Dit gidsje is uit het handboek India van Footprint gehaald. Footprint is een engelstalige praktische reisgids voor alle leeftijden, boordevol informatie over accommodatie van middenklasse tot luxe en plaatsbeschrijvingen. Kenmerk: brede culturele en achtergrondinformatie, bondig... Read more
Bol.com
Netherlands
  • A Walk Along the Ganges
  • An enchanting portrayal of northern India along the banks of her holiest river, stretching from the Bay of Bengal up into the Himalayas.The pilgrimage took seven months.Dennison Berwick writes, "I wanted to make a great walk, to set off with no prospect of ending for months. I wanted to see the land that had fired the British imagination for... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • Bol.com, Belgium
» Click to open
Bol.com
Belgium
  • A Walk Along the Ganges
  • An enchanting portrayal of northern India along the banks of her holiest river, stretching from the Bay of Bengal up into the Himalayas.The pilgrimage took seven months.Dennison Berwick writes, "I wanted to make a great walk, to set off with no prospect of ending for months. I wanted to see the land that had fired the British imagination for... Read more
» Click to close
De Zwerver
Netherlands
2017
  • Reisgids Rajasthan | Insight Guides
  • Een rijk geillustreerde reisgids met diepgaande teksten: één van de beste reisgidsen die er bestaan. Eerste deel bestaat uit een beschrijving van de unieke aspecten van de regio, daarna een deel echte reisgids en als afsluiting een deel met praktische informatie. De uitstekende informatie wordt vergezeld van prachtige foto's en heldere kaarten.... Read more
Bol.com
Netherlands
  • And There I Was Volume II
  • This is the second of nine journeys in the "And There I Was" series. In 1991, through a chance meeting in Bangkok with an old CIA station chief and his retired French army counterpart, expeditions were arranged into Cambodia and Laos, both still reeling fifteen years on from the devastating effects of war and genocide. The author's route took... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • Bol.com, Belgium
» Click to open
Bol.com
Belgium
  • And There I Was Volume II
  • This is the second of nine journeys in the "And There I Was" series. In 1991, through a chance meeting in Bangkok with an old CIA station chief and his retired French army counterpart, expeditions were arranged into Cambodia and Laos, both still reeling fifteen years on from the devastating effects of war and genocide. The author's route took... Read more
» Click to close
De Zwerver
Netherlands
2017
  • Reisgids Best of India | Lonely Planet
  • De nieuwste reisgidsen-serie van Lonely Planet: een luxe uitgave met als titel 'the Best of ... ' waarin aandacht voor de belangrijkste niet te missen hoogtepunten van het land. Ook hier wordt het kort en bondig geschreven met veel praktische informatie erbj als eten-drinken en vervoer. De lijst met accommodaties - zoals bij de gewone Planets -... Read more
Bol.com
Netherlands
  • A Learning Curve
  • Do you enjoy reading about myths and legends, ancient cities, Asian culture and cuisine? A Learning Curve takes readers on an interesting series of adventures through Southeast Asia. With a carefully selected amalgam of different stories from the author's own amusing expeditions to tales of ancient history, famous travellers, and legends that... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • Bol.com, Belgium
» Click to open
Bol.com
Belgium
  • A Learning Curve
  • Do you enjoy reading about myths and legends, ancient cities, Asian culture and cuisine? A Learning Curve takes readers on an interesting series of adventures through Southeast Asia. With a carefully selected amalgam of different stories from the author's own amusing expeditions to tales of ancient history, famous travellers, and legends that... Read more
» Click to close
Bol.com
Netherlands
  • Angkor Wat Temples
  • Cambodia, a hidden pearl ready to be discovered, lies in Southeast Asia, bordering Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam. To the south, hundreds of miles of coastline greet the never-ending surge and swells of the South China Sea, providing a paradise of surf, sand, and sun for the country's two million visitors. The Kingdom of Cambodia (its official... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • Bol.com, Belgium
» Click to open
Bol.com
Belgium
  • Angkor Wat Temples
  • Cambodia, a hidden pearl ready to be discovered, lies in Southeast Asia, bordering Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam. To the south, hundreds of miles of coastline greet the never-ending surge and swells of the South China Sea, providing a paradise of surf, sand, and sun for the country's two million visitors. The Kingdom of Cambodia (its official... Read more
» Click to close
De Zwerver
Netherlands
2012
  • Vogelgids Birds of the Indian Subcontinent | Bloomsbury
  • This is the second edition of the authors' groundbreaking Birds of the Indian Subcontinent (1998) and covers all the bird species found in India, Pakistian, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and the Maldives. The plates face the descriptions and maps for quick at-a-glance reference. Many of the plates have been repainted for this edition and... Read more
Bol.com
Netherlands
  • India as I See It; A Soldier's View
  • In the course of serving for 26 years in the Indian Army, covering the length and breadth of the nation starting the 19th year of my life (I had left Engineering to join NDA), I hadn’t realized that my idea of India could be so very different from the real India. Though not oblivious to the socio-political conditions in the country, yet, I was... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • Bol.com, Belgium
» Click to open
Bol.com
Belgium
  • India as I See It; A Soldier's View
  • In the course of serving for 26 years in the Indian Army, covering the length and breadth of the nation starting the 19th year of my life (I had left Engineering to join NDA), I hadn’t realized that my idea of India could be so very different from the real India. Though not oblivious to the socio-political conditions in the country, yet, I was... Read more
» Click to close
Bol.com
Netherlands
2015
  • Lonely Planet India
  • best-selling guide to India, most popular destination in South Asia; new chapter on Agra & the Taj Mahal; illustrated highlights of Taj Mahal and Fatehpur SikriLonely Planet India is your passport to the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. Admire the perfect symmetry of the Taj Mahal,... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • Bol.com, Belgium
» Click to open
Bol.com
Belgium
2015
  • Lonely Planet India
  • best-selling guide to India, most popular destination in South Asia; new chapter on Agra & the Taj Mahal; illustrated highlights of Taj Mahal and Fatehpur SikriLonely Planet India is your passport to the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. Admire the perfect symmetry of the Taj Mahal,... Read more
» Click to close
More books…

Maps

Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Singapore & Malay Peninsula 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 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
  • Also available from:
  • Snp Wandelreizen, Netherlands
» Click to open
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
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  • lapiro 2018-12-20 21:35:27
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  • 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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