The Top 10 Treks in India
The top treks in India offer a diverse range of different landscapes and terrains to explore, and many different cultures. India has a huge land mass that is bordered by the mighty Himalayas, home to some of the highest peaks in the world. Depending on the region, trekking in north India will take you through the green valleys of Himachal, into the stark beauty of Uttarakhand, across the desolate landscapes of Ladakh, or up into the soaring trekking peaks in India. Here, in the upper reaches of the mountains, there are glaciers that rumble as they move, snowy peaks swathed in mist, and icy high-altitude lakes to be discovered. Trekkers from around the world come trekking in India, to see these spectacular places.
1. The Valley of Flowers trek
The gorgeous Valley of Flowers in Uttarakhand is a world heritage site located within the Nanda Devi National Park in the far interiors of Garhwal Himalayas. As far as the top treks in India go, the Valley of Flowers is a favourite amongst tourists and yet the beauty of the valley remains untouched. Every year, over 300 species of wildflowers bloom across the valley, including rare species of orchids, poppies, Cobra Lily, anemone as well as the elusive and rare Blue Poppy, and Brahmakamal. Apart from this, there are waterfalls, glaciers, towering mountains, mighty rivers and quaint villages to be seen, making it a top trek in north India. The months of July and August are the best times to undertake this trek as the flowers are in full bloom during this time.
2. Rookund Trek
Roopkund is a glacial lake nestled in the Garhwal Himalayas. Situated at an altitude of 16,500 feet, the lake is completely uninhabited, desolate and is surrounded by snow clad mountains. The lake offers you a rare chance to see the ancient remains of human skeletons that surround it, making it one of the top treks in India. On this adventure, you will trek through verdant green meadows, climbing to more barren heights as you get closer to giant Himalayan peaks, and there’s usually a good chance of snow at the lake itself. The best season to visit is in summer from May to June and then September to October.
3. Hampta Pass and Chandratal Lake Trek
The Hampta Pass Trek starts in the verdant Kullu valley and takes you into the desolate Spiti valley. No other trekking route in Himachal offers such dramatic changes in the landscape, making this one of the top treks in India.
On this trek, you’ll see open meadows with sweet grass, herd of grazing sheep and cattle, and clear streams, all on the first few days of the trek. As you trek, you’ll experience the thick, mixed forests of Jobra, the rolling meadows of Chikha, the streams at Balu Ka Gera and finally, you’ll end at the gorgeous turquoise Chandratal Lake. This adventure of trekking in north India is suitable for fit beginners, but experienced trekkers will love it.
4. Chopta, Tungnath and Chandrashila trek
Chopta is a quaint hill station in the Kedarnath wildlife sanctuary and it is popularly known as the ‘Mini Switzerland’ of India. The beautiful Chopta-Chandrashila-Tungnath region is a famous destination for trekkers and thrill seekers, and is one of the top treks in India. The Chandrashila mountain peak is a summit of 13,123 feet and is home to Tungnath, the highest Shiva temple in the world. The trek is a moderately easy one, but the Chandrashila climb gives you the fun experience of trekking peaks in India. The best time to visit is from April to November, however, the trek is also popular during the winter because of the snowy beauty.
5. Chadar trek
The thrill of trekking over the frozen Zanskar River in Ladakh makes this a top trek in India that is known around the world. In the summer, this raging river offers ferocious rapids for those looking for whitewater rafting. But in winter, the river freezes over, and when the roads are covered in snow, the river is the only access route for locals. You’ll trek along this river, between the soaring walls of the river valley, carefully negotiating your way over the ice and looking at the bubbles that are frozen underneath. You’ll see waterfalls that have frozen over in mid-fall, and drink hot tea in ancient caves with walls darkened by thousands of campfires. This top trek in India is not for beginners, but is an A-lister on the top treks around Leh.
6. Triund trek
Located about ten kilometres from the bustling city centre of McLeodganj, this trek in Kangra Valley is an easy but gorgeous adventure and is one of the top treks in India. Trekkers visit sacred mountains, ancient temples and quaint ‘pahadi’ villages hidden in valleys, waiting to be explored. There are rocks to scramble over, peaks swathed in mist, and cold air all around. This adventure gives you breath-taking, 180-degree views of the top trekking peaks in India. The Triund trek will take about four hours to complete and the view of the evening sky from Triund is a good enough reason to pitch a tent here for the night.
7. Bhrigu lake trek
At the heart of Kullu Valley, Bhrigu Lake is one of the top treks in India during the summer months or for a snow trek in the winter. This easy trek begins from Manali, and takes you through quaint mountain villages, forests of oak and pine, with impressive views of snow-capped trekking peaks in India, and the stunning Hampta valley. You’ll be camping along the banks of the lake, which changes colour over the course of the day, making this one of the top treks in India. The trek also offers a chance to visit the famous hot water springs in the Vashisht village.
8. Kedarkantha trek
Kedarkantha is a beautiful ridge peak in the Tons River Valley, Uttarakhand, India. At 12,500 feet, the summit offers stunning 360-degree views of some of the highest Himalayan peaks like Bandarpoonch, Swargarohini, and Black Pearl. The Kedarkantha trek lets you camp at Juda-ka-Talab, one of the prettiest campsites around, set alongside a small pond amidst oak and pine forests. The Kedarkantha trek is one of the top treks in India because of the mountain’s easy accessibility throughout the year. The best time to visit is between December and March, when the landscape turns from beautiful to spectacular. A snow trek to Kedarkantha will take you along a trail that is completely covered with thick, pure white snow.
9. Goechala and Dzongri trek
Sikkim is one of the most untouched regions in India, and so one of the top treks in India takes you here. While trekking in Sikkim, you’ll see frozen lakes, hot springs, mountain peaks, and slow-moving glaciers. The Dzongri and Goechala trek is undoubtedly one of the top treks in India, and will take you through forests of ancient oak and rhododendron trees, across alpine meadows with great open views, and to the hill station of Darjeeling. While on the Goechala trek trail, you’ll also see the world-famous Kanchenjunga Peak, and see village life at Tsokha, a Tibetan settlement.
10. Kalsubai trek
Kalsubai Peak, with an elevation of 5400 feet, is the highest peak in the Sahyadris, and we’re counting it as a top trek in India. It gives you a complete experience of a green trek in the Sahyadris, and is spectacular in the monsoon. This trek to the ‘Everest of Maharashtra’ is dotted with beautiful streams, pools that invite you to take a break, and lush landscape on all sides. You’ll also be navigating are some rocky sections that are wet and mossy in the rains, and the winds are strong, so do tread carefully.