If you are bored of the routine “commercialised” tourist destinations and dying to head to the hills but don’t know where to start, read on because we have hand-picked a list of Top 10 Treks for Beginners. Even if you’ve never been trekking – fear not, these treks are easy to walk and have a good infrastructure.
Guided or independent, leisure bushwalk or a more taxing altitude mountain trek- whatever your plan is, there’s a pick for everyone in this list.
Best Time to Trek: March to May
Located in Sikkim, the Goecha La trek takes the trekker up-close for a spectacular view of the mighty Kanchenjunga amidst a majestic panorama of the other lesser Himalayan giants within its range of mountains.
Trekking beyond the meadows of Dzongri is a raw adventure at its best where the visitor is taken into the realm of towering mountain peaks directly above where the camp is set, amidst the view of rumbling avalanches and high mountain glaciers.
Trek's best part: Traverse over the glaciated lake mottled with snow and icy pinnacles and then on a well-trodden path to The Goecha La Pass, festooned with brightly coloured prayer flags. The views of Khangchendzonga and the mountains and valleys in the distance are stunning.
Best Time to Trek: February to May
The Indrahar pass trek starts from Galu temple near Dharamsala and passes through the popular camping ground of Triund, the Laka Got, and the Lahesh Caves. This trek follows one of the more established trails used by the Gaddi shepherds en-route their summer grazing pastures in the upper Raavi Valley and Lauhal. Whatever difficulty this trek throws your way, the spectacular views will more than compensate for it.
Trek's Best Part: To the south we get the mesmerizing views of the Indian plains; to the north, we see the sacred peak of Mani Mahesh Kailash and the snow-capped Pir Panjal Range.
Best Time to Trek: Mid-May to mid-June, and September to October.
Roopkund is a mountain lake, lying in the Garhwal Himalayas in the Chamoli district of the Indian state of Uttarakhand, the lake remains frozen almost throughout the year.
Roopkund is the quintessential Himalayan trek as it takes you through snowcaps, meadows, lakes, forests, folklore and it is the perfect trek to initiate you into high altitude treks. The trek starts from Lohajung, situated at an elevation of 3200 meters, and after gradually trekking uphill for five days you will reach Roopkund which lies at approximately 5000 meters above sea-level.
Trek's Best Part:Snuggled in a sleeping bag at high altitude, you rest at breath-taking campsites and miles of surging meadows gratify the soul of a great adventure as one climbs 5029m from the sea level.
Best Time to Trek: March to May and September to Mid November
Beas Kund trek is one of the most popular and beautiful treks in Kullu Valley. Besides being regarded as sacred, Beas Kund is where the river Beas originates from and offers spectacular views of the nearby located Shitidhar, Ladakhi and Hanuman Tibba peaks. One of the most alluring treks in the Kullu region, the trail offers panoramic views of the Pir Panchal range as well.
Trek's Best Part: Take a leisure walk from Dhundi to Bakkar thach. ‘Shepherd’s fields’ is the literal meaning of highland meadow commonly called as Bakkar Thach. This is the last destination near the frozen lake of Beas Kund. It lies at the height of 3690 mts with a surprising view of Himalayan wonderland.
Best Time to Trek: All around the year except Monsoon
Dense greenery, a fast flowing river, numerous river crossings, a stiff climb and a mind-blowing waterfall at the end- these are the five ingredients which make up the Kolli hills trek.
The vegetation and terrain is very different from that on the other Western Ghats treks. The river valley adds charm right from the beginning. The envelope of greenery is overwhelming at times and the clearings overlooking the settlements below throw in sudden surprises on the trail. The trek ends as you reach the top but the best part is yet to come.
Trek's Best Part:Wading through neck-deep water and standing directly under the 300ft waterfall will set your pulse racing and at the same time isolate you from rest of the world and it is precisely at this moment when you realize what this trek is all about.
Best Time to Trek: Feb to May and September to mid-November
Arunachal Pradesh, the eastern-most state of India is the first to be kissed by the morning sun, therefore Arunachal Pradesh is also known as ‘ the land of the rising sun’.Tribal culture and craft traditions crown the state’s generous riches. Trekking in this unspoilt and unique region offers the trekker an enchanting peep into an isolated and sparsely populated state where the ills of over-development and its consequent problems are nowhere in sight. The Tawang trek follows the old Buddhist trail through Monpa villages dotted with beautiful monasteries .
Trek's Best Part: En-route the Tse-la pass there is a small Alpine lake below the summit and breathtaking panoramic views of the Sela ridge, river valleys, Gorichen (6500m) and Kangdo,(7090 m) peaks on the Himalayan watershed, especially during October. Descending to a river valley, the trees and the foliage present spectacular fall colours.
Best Time to Trek: Post Monsoon
Chembra Peak is the highest peak in Wayanad district of Kerala. It is 2100m high and is a trekker's paradise. The whole of Wayanad district can be seen from the peak when it is not foggy. On the way to the top, there is a heart-shaped lake which has water throughout the year. A large part of the mountain is forest and a lot of animals including elephants, deer, leopards etc. Rest of the region has large grasslands, tea estates and human habitation. The grasslands are ideal places for camping.
Trek's Best Part: Once you reach the top of Chembra peak, you will be astounded by the view that the place offers along with the varying shades of the virgin shola forests on both sides. From this vantage point, one can observe the mist-clad peaks of Nilgiri ranges which include the Nilambur forests of Malappuram district and then there is the heart-shaped lake,which makes you wonder if its a natural occurrence or the work of some romantics.
Best Time to Trek: All round the year
This little-known trekking trail is one of our favourites, situated at about 150 km from Chennai the region is a pleasant surprise hidden in the middle of urban-settlements. A few hours of walk off the highway and you are greeted with crystal clear ponds and amazing waterfalls.Thrown in with some steep climbs for experienced trekkers along with easy climb routes for beginners, natural wilderness and 20-foot water slides-make a perfect blend for an ultimate experience.
Trek Best Part:The “ Paradise Pool”, a pristine location at the heart of this reserve is where you set your camps for the night. Some firewood and Maggi is all you need to set the mood for the night and when you wake-up in the morning by the chirping of birds, the first thing you should do is dive into the pool from the 30 feet rock-face. That pretty much sums-up up a perfect camping trip over the weekend.Also read: Wayanad Travel guide
Best Time to Trek: December to February
Anamudi, the 2,695-m high mountain which stands tall in the Eravikulam National Park is the pride of Kerala. It is the highest point in India outside the Himalayan Mountain Ranges. Anamudi, together with the Eravikulam Park, is home to one of the largest surviving populations of Asian elephants, Gaurs and the Nilgiri Tahrs. The mountain, covered with evergreen forests and inhabited by endemic flora and fauna and vibrant avian life, is a paradise in the wild.
Trek's Best Part:This region is home to “Nilgiri Tahr” (Mountain Goat) a rare and endangered species. This animal can be seen only in Eravikulam National Park, and if you are fond of wildlife, then this trip is exactly what you are looking for. The greenery of Kerela and the misty mornings of this tall hill are sure to mesmerise you the moment you step out of your tents.Also read: Munnar Tour guide
Best Time to Trek: March to May & September to November
The Singalila or the Sandahphu trek is famous for being one of the most scenic and rewarding walks in the entire Himalaya. This trek passes through the Singalila National park with its highest point at Sandakphu from where four of the world’s five highest peaks can be seen – Everest, Kanchenjunga, Makalu and Lhotse in a continuous snow-clad arc. The trail passes along the Indo-Nepal border through small settlements and rhododendron forests. It is also a haven for orchids.
Trek's Best part: Sandakphu is a window to one of the finest view of the snowy mountains, from the mighty Everest in Nepal to the revered Kanchenjunga in Sikkim and the legendary Chomolahari in Bhutan. Everest is just 144 km from here and as you look out of your trekker’s hut the whole snowy range of Bhutan, Sikkim and Nepal, about 320 km in length, a magnificent square mass of mountains looking like a wall of snow, is visible, but the gigantic height and breadth of touring Kanchenjunga, with its attendant peaks, Kabru, Jannu and Pandim dominate the scene.You might also like: Best treks in Himachal