Here come the vacation and here comes the million-dollar question – what to do in these vacations! Take your children to movies? Yes, that will cover up a few hours. Shopping? Sure, a few more hours. Visit the relatives and grandparents? Probably a week will be invested. Buy them a PlayStation? Sure, then also start looking for solutions to make them get rid of it when the schools open! All in all, these are so short termed plans that they are almost futile!
Get ready for the most challenging trek of your lifetime – an ice walk on the frozen Zanskar River, an experience for the brave-hearted and thrill-seekers while you trek the Himalayas, its beauty leaving your breathless & gasping for more!
Lucky are we, to have a country like India that with its diverse terrains offers us endless options for an adventure trek all year round, especially the summer season trailing in & around the Himalayan region – luring travellers & adventure lovers from all over the globe to take up some adrenaline filled challenges throughout.
Trekking in India started when the land was inhabited in prehistoric times. There are perhaps as many trekking routes in India as there are Indians. It was in the 1970Ã¢â‚¬â„¢s and 1980Ã¢â‚¬â„¢s that trekking started gaining in popularity as a recreational/adventure sport. A number of religious sites and shrines across the country, especially in Jammu and Kashmir, and in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand Ã¢â‚¬â€œ such as Badrinath, Amarnath, Gangotri, Hemkund, Joshimath, Kedarnath, Vaishno Devi and Yamunotri Ã¢â‚¬â€œ entail trekking for a couple of days in the mountains. Trekking in India has grown in leaps and bounds and the current trekking scenario is very promising, with thousands of Indians and foreigners hitting trekking trails each year.
What India can boast of is some of the most stunning trekking routes in the world Ã¢â‚¬â€œ many of the mountain passes in the Ladakh and Zanskar Himalayas are above 5000m. But there are plenty of gentler and smaller trails, at different altitudes, both in the mountains and in the forests. If youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re looking for less arduous hikes, youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll find plenty in in the Western Ghats and the Nilgiri Hills of south India (Munnar and Wayanad in Kerala, Coorg in Karnataka, and around Ooty in Tamil Nadu).
It is possible to rent/buy trekking equipment all over India from clubs and adventure- gear manufacturers. Do thoroughly check all gear before venturing out into the mountains.
1. Small rucksack / knapsack
2. Sleeping bag
3. Lockable duffel bag
4. Karrimat / Therm-a-Rest
6. Personal toiletries
7. Water bottle (at least 2 litres)
8. First-aid kit
9. Camera with spare batteries and film (carry more film than you think you will need!)
10. Headlamp/torch with spare cells
12. Diary/pen/reading material
13. Sewing kit
14. Swiss Army knife
16. Sunscreen Ã¢â‚¬â€œ with high SPF (at least 30, to better protect you from harmful UV rays)
17. Lip salve/ChapStick
18. Sunglasses with retainers/spare prescription glasses
20. Emergency rations/goodies
21. Parachute cord
23. Rope (for high-altitude treks)
24. Plastic bags and Ziplocs for packing gear
Best season in India
May/June and September/October for Garhwal, Kumaon (Uttarakhand), Sikkim and Himachal Pradesh
June/July and August/September for Ladakh and Zanskar (Jammu and Kashmir)
One can trek in the foothills of the Himalayas from October through till March
Trekking destinations in India
1. Jammu and Kashmir (Ladakh, Zanskar)
2. Himachal Pradesh
3. Uttarakhand (Garhwal, Kumaon)
4. Sikkim and Darjeeling
5. Northeast states (Arunachal Pradesh)
6. Western Ghats
7. South India (Nilgiris, Coorg)
2. Clothing / staying warm (Ã¢â‚¬ËœCover your head if your feet are cold gentlemenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ is an old English saying)
3. Packing a rucksack
4. Pacing yourself on a trek
5. Timing Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Ã¢â‚¬ËœStart early and arrive earlyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ is the cardinal rule of trekking
6. Porters and guides Ã¢â‚¬â€œ A guide, or guide-cum-cook, is important on routes that are remote, tougher and relatively less trodden. Porters, with the option of ponies, will come in extremely handy on longer trips, especially if youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re carrying lots of provisions.
7. Mules and horses on the trail
Adventure Tourism is one of the emerging segments of travel in India. The Ministry of Tourism extends Central Financial Assistance to State Governments/Union Territory Administrations for the development of tourism projects including Adventure Tourism, on the basis of proposals received from them subject to adherence of relevant scheme guidelines and availability of funds utilization of funds release earlier.
The National Tourism Policy, 2002 and the Report of the Working Group on Tourism for the 12th Five Year Plan lay thrust on development and promotion of Adventure Tourism. The steps taken by the Ministry of Tourism to promote Adventure Tourism, inter alia, include issuance of guidelines for Approval of Adventure Tour Operators, formulation of basic minimum standards for Adventure Tourism activities, etc. The Ministry of Tourism has been promoting Adventure Tourism through its domestic and international campaigns.
The Ministry of Tourism had launched a campaign 777 days of Incredible Indian Himalayas on 27th September 2013 to promote the tourism potential of the Indian Himalayas. The campaign, inter alia, aimed at promoting Indian Himalayas as an incredible tourism product and to make it as round the year destination. This campaign was conceived after holding a detailed discussion with the representatives of the Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI). The Adventure Tour Operators Association of India has appreciated this initiative of the Ministry of Tourism.
The Ministry of Tourism also extends financial support for capacity building/training programmes in the adventure tourism sector.
In addition, the Ministry of Tourism in its guidelines for Basic Minimum Standards for Adventure Tourism related activities has identified the following categories of adventure tourism viz. land, water and air based activities which include mountaineering, trekking, river running, hang gliding, para gliding and bungee jumping.
Safety-precautionary measures to prevent any untoward incidents are under the purview of concerned State Governments/Union Territory Administrations.
This information was given by Minister of State for Culture and Tourism (Independent Charge) and Minister of State for Civil Aviation Dr. Mahesh Sharma in a written reply in Lok Sabha today.
THE NUMBER OF ADVENTUROUS, EXHILARATING AND DOWNRIGHT MIND-BLOWING TREKS THAT INDIA OFFERS ARE ENDLESS. IF YOUÃ¢â‚¬â„¢RE AN ENTHUSIASTIC HIKER AND TREKKER THEN REALLY, THERE IS NO BETTER PLACE FOR YOU TO BE.
There are several places in India which are excellent for trekking in India. Needless to say, most of them are based out of the high altitude areas like the Himalayas and Karakoram ranges. The most popular and most frequented trekking destinations in India are Ladakh, Garhwal, Sikkim, Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal. All reliable companies divide their tours by abilities and cater to beginners, novices and experts alike.
In addition to the adventure factor treks in India also offer a solid cultural element. This means that while youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re getting your adrenalin fix, youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll also be experiencing local life firsthand in the remote corners of India. YouÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll find yourself enthralled by the friendly locals youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll speak with, the tiny hamlets youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll pass and the elusive monasteries thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll make you want to stick around a little while longer. India offers a lot of high altitude treks and some of these treks require a certain amount of fitness level.
Make sure you inform your tour operator of any health restrictions and that you are comfortable with the altitude levels of your trek. It is important to remember that treks in the northern slopes go through snow capped terrain which can be quite difficult to navigate. While the winters are extremely bitter and the cold is unrelenting, the warmer months make the conditions more conducive and the climate more charitable.
Across most locations, the ideal time to undertake this expedition would be between June and October. There are several safety considerations that must be taken into account when discussing trekking in India. Apart from knowing your health conditions well and ensuring acclimatization during the trek, it is important to carry all necessary medication throughout. Lots of treks go through remote stretches so carrying adequate food is also vital.
Although there is no strict regulation around trekking in India, it is important to ensure that they are led by registered and recognised tour guides and leaders.