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 7.0 | 4 votes | No 5. 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
More opinions…

Trails

Regions

Mountains

Books

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
Stanfords
United Kingdom
  • Singapore Lost Guides: A Unique, Stylish and Offbeat Travel Guide
  • `Lost Guides – Singapore` is a unique, stylish and offbeat travel guidebook to Singapore. Featuring over 120 of the most special spots in Singapore, from cool coffee shops and fabulous food (local and contemporary) to authentic Asian art galleries and wild nature walks. The book also includes interviews with local creatives, and pieces of local... Read more
De Zwerver
Netherlands
Bol.com
Netherlands
  • Caste - The Unexplored Territories
  • This book is an attempt to present caste in its entirety, especially with reference to India, in a common relationship with life as is its starting point. For the reason that caste is a part of life and if you dissect life to examine it, what you end up examining is not life. 1 THEORIES OF CASTE – A PEEP1.1 Racial Theory: The fact that caste... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • Bol.com, Belgium
» Click to open
Bol.com
Belgium
  • Caste - The Unexplored Territories
  • This book is an attempt to present caste in its entirety, especially with reference to India, in a common relationship with life as is its starting point. For the reason that caste is a part of life and if you dissect life to examine it, what you end up examining is not life. 1 THEORIES OF CASTE – A PEEP1.1 Racial Theory: The fact that caste... Read more
» Click to close
Bol.com
Netherlands
  • 28 Jobs 28 Weeks 28 States
  • Jubanashwa Mishra had spent 28 weeks trying out 28 jobs a challenge that had seen him travel more than 15,000 miles across India. - Daily Mail, UKA bid to tell Indian parents that the stereotypical engineering or medical degree is not every child's dream - Times of IndiaJubanashwa Mishra refuses to be bogged down, instead chooses a path that... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • Bol.com, Belgium
» Click to open
Bol.com
Belgium
  • 28 Jobs 28 Weeks 28 States
  • Jubanashwa Mishra had spent 28 weeks trying out 28 jobs a challenge that had seen him travel more than 15,000 miles across India. - Daily Mail, UKA bid to tell Indian parents that the stereotypical engineering or medical degree is not every child's dream - Times of IndiaJubanashwa Mishra refuses to be bogged down, instead chooses a path that... Read more
» Click to close
Bol.com
Netherlands
  • Ten Thousand Miles Without a Cloud
  • Ten Thousand Miles Without a Cloud is a beautifully written account of Sun Shuyun’s journey to retrace the steps of one of the most popular figures in Chinese history – the monk Xuanzang, who travelled to India searching for true Buddhism. Xuanzang should be known as one of the world's great heroes. His travels across Asia to bring true... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • Bol.com, Belgium
» Click to open
Bol.com
Belgium
  • Ten Thousand Miles Without a Cloud
  • Ten Thousand Miles Without a Cloud is a beautifully written account of Sun Shuyun’s journey to retrace the steps of one of the most popular figures in Chinese history – the monk Xuanzang, who travelled to India searching for true Buddhism. Xuanzang should be known as one of the world's great heroes. His travels across Asia to bring true... Read more
» Click to close
Bol.com
Netherlands
  • The Best Travel Writing 2007
  • The Best Travel Writing 2007 is the fourth volume in the annual series Travelers' Tales launched in 2004 to celebrate the world's best travel writing from Nobel Prize winners to emerging writers. These 29 stories cover the globe, from probing the depths of a culture in Jerusalem to riding the rails in India and trying to save a life in Costa... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • Bol.com, Belgium
» Click to open
Bol.com
Belgium
  • The Best Travel Writing 2007
  • The Best Travel Writing 2007 is the fourth volume in the annual series Travelers' Tales launched in 2004 to celebrate the world's best travel writing from Nobel Prize winners to emerging writers. These 29 stories cover the globe, from probing the depths of a culture in Jerusalem to riding the rails in India and trying to save a life in Costa... Read more
» Click to close
Bol.com
Netherlands
2014
  • South India handbook
  • A spellbinding intersection of old and new, South India epitomizes the fascinating and dynamic nature of the Indian subcontinent. Footprint’s South India Handbook will guide you from the Portuguese-steeped villages of Goa, through coconut groves and mangrove thickets, and to the paradoxical cities which are home to spice-packed bazars and... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • Bol.com, Belgium
» Click to open
Bol.com
Belgium
2014
  • South India handbook
  • A spellbinding intersection of old and new, South India epitomizes the fascinating and dynamic nature of the Indian subcontinent. Footprint’s South India Handbook will guide you from the Portuguese-steeped villages of Goa, through coconut groves and mangrove thickets, and to the paradoxical cities which are home to spice-packed bazars and... Read more
» Click to close
Bol.com
Netherlands
  • Lonely Planet Sacred India
  • India boasts the world's largest Islamic population, one of the world's oldest Jewish communities and is the birthplace of Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Jainism. From a humble postal worker performing "puja" for safe deliverance of a parcel to a former salesman who has renounced material life and set off on the path of self-realization,... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • Bol.com, Belgium
» Click to open
Bol.com
Belgium
  • Lonely Planet Sacred India
  • India boasts the world's largest Islamic population, one of the world's oldest Jewish communities and is the birthplace of Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Jainism. From a humble postal worker performing "puja" for safe deliverance of a parcel to a former salesman who has renounced material life and set off on the path of self-realization,... Read more
» Click to close
Bol.com
Netherlands
2016
  • India
  • India strikes its visitor with a sensory, intellectual, spiritual and philosophical assault that's unmatched by any other place on earth: this subcontinent's sheer diversity is staggering. Footprint's 19th edition India Handbook will guide you from tropical beach paradises and lush backwaters, to forests where elephants roam and foothills clad... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • Bol.com, Belgium
  • De Zwerver, Netherlands
» Click to open
Bol.com
Belgium
2016
  • India
  • India strikes its visitor with a sensory, intellectual, spiritual and philosophical assault that's unmatched by any other place on earth: this subcontinent's sheer diversity is staggering. Footprint's 19th edition India Handbook will guide you from tropical beach paradises and lush backwaters, to forests where elephants roam and foothills clad... Read more
De Zwerver
Netherlands
2016
  • Reisgids Handbook India Handbook | Footprint
  • Zo mogelijk nog betere gids dan de Lonely Planet. Vol met de praktische informatie over reizen, slapen etc. Goede verwijzingen naar websites en veel mailadressen. Zelfde soort informatie als de Lonely Planet, diepgaander met vooral meer tips in de minder bekende gebieden. India strikes its visitor with a sensory, intellectual, spiritual and... Read more
» Click to close
De Zwerver
Netherlands
2018
  • Reisgids India south - zuid (Engels) | Marco Polo
  • Handige en overzichtelijke, kleine reisgids voor een eerste kennismaking met de vakantiebestemming. Globale uitklapkaart achterin, makkelijk binnenzakformaat. Marco Polo India south is for travellers want to have fun and feel relaxed from the moment they arrive at their holiday destination. This new series will appeal to all types of... Read more
Bol.com
Netherlands
  • Letters from Africa
  • Dr. Tuthill embarked on her first safari into the African bush in 2003, honoring the death of her best friend, the astronaut Kalpana Chawla, in the crash of the space shuttle Columbia. She and her husband fell deeply in love with the animals and the people they met in the wilds of southern Africa, and the experience changed their lives. They... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • Bol.com, Belgium
» Click to open
Bol.com
Belgium
  • Letters from Africa
  • Dr. Tuthill embarked on her first safari into the African bush in 2003, honoring the death of her best friend, the astronaut Kalpana Chawla, in the crash of the space shuttle Columbia. She and her husband fell deeply in love with the animals and the people they met in the wilds of southern Africa, and the experience changed their lives. They... Read more
» Click to close
De Zwerver
Netherlands
2019
Bol.com
Netherlands
  • My Idols - Journey of a Cricket Crazy
  • India and Indians are crazy for two things. Cricket and Bollywood. So there are only two kinds of people, who have unconditional fan following in India. That is Film actors and Cricket players. There are millions of Indians, who are huge fan of Cricket and cricketers. The book is all about collection of memoirs of the author in regard with his... Read more
  • Also available from:
  • Bol.com, Belgium
» Click to open
Bol.com
Belgium
  • My Idols - Journey of a Cricket Crazy
  • India and Indians are crazy for two things. Cricket and Bollywood. So there are only two kinds of people, who have unconditional fan following in India. That is Film actors and Cricket players. There are millions of Indians, who are huge fan of Cricket and cricketers. The book is all about collection of memoirs of the author in regard with his... 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
De Zwerver
Netherlands
De Zwerver
Netherlands
De Zwerver
Netherlands
De Zwerver
Netherlands
De Zwerver
Netherlands
De Zwerver
Netherlands
De Zwerver
Netherlands
De Zwerver
Netherlands
De Zwerver
Netherlands
2008
More maps…

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