Diwali, the festival of lights, is one of the most celebrated festivals in India. How about adding some more fun to this year's Diwali festivities by ticking off some enticing trekking and hiking destinations from your bucket list this year?
A mixture of adventure, fun, and self-discovery, hiking in India is a lifetime experience! From the snow-capped mountains of the Himalayas to the lush South India Jungles, India offers a plethora of trekking opportunities, and they all have the potential to draw your attention. However, some spots in India have gained more prominence due to their exclusive trails or majestic views. So we've scoured the entire subcontinent to bring you some of India's best hiking spots.
So, whether you’re looking for a short day trek or want to undertake a longer expedition, here are some of the most epic hiking spots.
Valley of Flowers
Where: Haridwar, Uttarakhand
Valley of Flowers is not just a hiking or trekking spot, it is a way to paradise! Nestled in the Chamoli District of Uttarakhand, Valley of Flowers is an Indian National Park renowned for its exclusive variety of flora and fauna. The National park boasts an area of 87.50 sq. km. A majestic trek to the valley begins from Joshimath, a holy town near Haridwar. When you stand at the entry of this trek, you can see a carpet of pinks, blues, and yellow flowers laid out, leading you to the valley, which is a few kilometers wide and almost over 10 kilometers long. The valley is home not only to some of the most precious and rare flowers but also to some rare endangered species of animals and birds. If you are a nature and animal lover, then this picturesque valley should be your go-to hiking choice.
Har ki Dun
Where: Garhwal Region, Uttarakhand
Har ki Dun or Har ki Doon, which is also known as the Valley of Gods, is nestled along the border between Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh. With easy climbs and gradual descends, Har ki Dun is considered as an easy to moderate trek, making it an ideal trekking spot even for beginners. This exciting 8-day trek flags off from Sankri, a small village in the Garhwal Himalayan range. The trek further continues to Taluka, where you can enjoy the best scenic views and wonderful flower blooms. From Taluka, the trail moves to Osla, and the fourth place is the Har ki Dun itself.
Har ki Dun lies in the valley of Swargarohini Peak that is best known for its snow-covered mountains, pristine and crystal clear waterfalls, and postcard-like campsites. Consider camping at Har Ki Dun and wake up early for the best views of sunrise from the mountains. With the hues of orange and red in the backdrop of the Himalayas, the sunrise of Har ki Dun is unmissable.
A mixture of exploration and adventure, the Har ki Dun trek is sure to be a lifetime experience for both amateurs and experienced trekkers.
Where: Wayanad, Kerala
If you’re in South India and looking for a hiking spot, then Chembra Peak in Wayanad, which adjoins Nilgiri hills in Tamil Nadu and Vallarimala in Kozhikode will be a perfect spot for you. You can reach this summit by walking from the town of Meppadi. With majestic mountains surrounded by lush green forests and foamy clouds resting upon the peaks, Chembra Peak is a visual treat for travelers. The Hridaya Thadakam Lake, also referred to as the heart-shaped lake, at the top of the forest remains the main attraction of the Chembra Hill. This lake is said to have never dried up in any season. Amazing, right?
There is a watchtower that offers a complete view of the Wayanad hill to people who cannot go up to the highest point. The tower is the starting point of the trek and the lake is the final point of the trek. This trek can be covered in one day.
Kumara Parvatha Trek
Where: Coorg, Karnataka
Kumara Parvatha Trek is not just a trek, it is a journey that everyone should embark upon to truly meet themselves. Situated in the lap of Coorg, Karnataka, Kumara Parvatha Trek takes you through thick forests, large volcanic rocks, and wild flora and fauna. Some stretches of the trail are rather strenuous even for experienced trekkers, but the accompanying views make it worthwhile. With its unique blend of rocky trails with verdant greenery, historic caves, and puffy clouds, Kumara Parvatha Trek is sure to offer you the best sights while boosting your adrenaline rush. So, if you want to challenge yourself and take a break from mundane life, then pack your bags and head over to this jewel of Karnataka.
Where: Igatpuri, Maharashtra
Sandhan valley also known as the valley of shadow in Maharashtra offers an experience like no other. You don’t only trek, you rappel, rock climb, and camp under the starry sky. This is a short trek, where trekkers cross a 2 km odd trail. What makes this trek interesting is that you rappel down and jump from boulder to boulder to reach the campaign spot. If you are in Sandhan valley, then you should consider camping for a night in the peaceful village under the star-studded sky. Indeed, Sandhan valley is an adventure and mountain lover’s delight.
Now that you know so many hiking places, have you decided where will you go this Diwali?
Are you looking forward to going trekking? But do you know what to carry and what to leave? If so, this is the right place for you. Undoubtedly, it is frightful to be on this majestic, snow-covered mountain and realise that you have forgotten to bring the most crucial backpacking supplies.