When it comes to the outdoors, India has brilliant variety. And it is, unfortunately, something we often overlook, opting instead for adventures further afield. A trek is a great way in which to experience said brilliant outdoors, and we’ve reached out to experts to find options across the country.
YAMBONG VALLEY, SIKKIM
EXPERT: PIRAN ELAVIA
Tucked away in a remote corner of West Sikkim, the Yambong Valley is a little-known treasure trove. The Rimbi River begins in the upper reaches and gushes through Yambong. The mountain slopes are carpeted in dense temperate forests, with many varieties of birds and flowers. You might also spot mammals such as barking deer and the Himalayan black bear.
The journey begins from Rimbi, and consists of a three-day continuous climb up through virgin forests to eventually arrive at Lam Pokhari, the first of the many glacial lakes found in the area. You should take a rest day here, if only to explore some of the beautiful lakes in the area, as well as to hike up to Daphe Bir, which offers grand panoramas of the Kanchenjunga range.
From Lam Pokhari, the route turns northward to join the Singalila Ridge. For the next three days, you’ll walk on the ridge line under the watchful gaze of the Kanchenjunga range. The final descent from Chewabhanjyan to Uttarey passes through the Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary, which is home to 13 varieties of rhododendrons.
INDRAHAR PASS TREK, HIMACHAL PRADESH
EXPERT: MILAP NEHRIA
The Indrahar Pass trek is one of the most popular and beautiful in the area, although it’s also difficult. This three-night, four-day trek involves heading to the top of Indrahar Pass, a stunning mountain pass in the Dhauladhar range, the outermost part of the Himalayas. From the top, you can see all the way to the Pir Panjal range in the central Himalayas. The chances of spotting Himalayan pheasants, ibex and other wildlife, and the views of the peaks of the central Himalayas once you reach the top of the pass, make it worth all the effort.