5 Best Offbeat Treks in India
With the trekking industry on an all-time boom, more and more people are opting to trek and explore the wild which is leading to all the established jaw-dropping trails getting commercialized. Now while there are trails that are getting famous by the day, there are trails waiting to be discovered and walked upon. Trails that have not been seen by many. Trails that are sure to leave you spellbound because after all, we have the Himalayas.
While we are happy that more people are conquering summits, we realize that long-term trekkers are allured to face unique challenges and would go out of their way to discover authentic cultures scattered across quaint hidden villages, nestled deep within the mountains.
We get numerous texts from our trekkers expressing their disappointment about the commercialization of trails and hence, decided to collect a list of off-beat treks. The trails here are almost untouched and the beauty unseen, go traverse these trails and discover what trekking in the Himalayas really mean:
1. KALIHANI PASS TREK:
On the route of one of the rowdy trek in the Himalayas, lies a stunning pass largely untouched by trekkers. The vertical wall between Manali and Bara Bhangal or the gateway to Manali from Bara Bhangal is known as Kalihani Pass. One is Kali means Black and Heni means glacier (snowfield). The Kalihani Pass sits at an altitude 15,500ft in the midst of a deep wilderness of the glorious Himalayas. The fascinating landscapes and an everlasting thrill along trekking routes of the Kalihani Pass captivate hundreds of trekkers from different corners of the country who come here to explore hidden graces of this enticing expedition. Offering astonishing views of ‘Hanuman Tibba’, ‘Deo Tibba’ and ‘Indrasan’ peaks of the Pir-Panjal Himalayan range, the Kalihani Pass takes you through lush pastures carpeted with vibrant alpine flowers, enchanting valleys, remote villages, dense forests and emerald green meadows. The trek is also a nirvana for wildlife enthusiasts and bird lovers who get abundant opportunities to have a glimpse of uncountable Himalayan birds and animals traversing from brown bears, musk deer, snow cocks, to a variety of pheasants.
One of the most off beaten trekking junkets, The Kalihani Pass leaves you thrilled and excited as you cross adventurous moraines, gushing streams, steep slopes, and snow-fed glaciers. Twisting your ways through a series of gradual ascents and descents, when you reach the Kalihani Pass, fascinating landscapes of Pir-Panjal and Dhauladhar ranges and hanging glaciers greet you with a smile; spend some time here, warm yourself in the beauty of nature and its work of art.
Generally, the Kalihani Pass trek initiates from the peculiar town of Manali and cut bisects you through flower-studded pastures of Lama Dugh, Riyali Thatch finally leading to Kalihani Pass from where the descent starts for Rani Sui, Lama Dugh and back to Manali. Astonishing beauty of the Himalayas and enchanting trekking trails will definitely make you attempt this trek once more in your life. You even come across some monasteries along the trek, which adds a bit of spirituality to this Kalihani Pass trekking experience. Put your trekking shoes on, gather some friends and take this breathtaking Kalihani Pass trek- it will be an experience you will remember for the rest of your life.
2. KANG YATSE TREK:
Kang Yatze, one of the most captivating and ravishing mountain peak is located at the end of Markha Valley in Ladakh region of the Himalayas situated in Northern India. The mountain features 2 summits, the western one at 6200m and the eastern one at 6400m. The main peak (eastern) is quite vocational as the western is very easy and often climbed. We will be attempting the western peak together and some selected participants, on their level of fitness and experience shall stay back for an attempt on the eastern peak.
The peak lies in the Hemis National Park at a height of about 6400 m (21000ft) above the sea level. The journey to the peak takes 3 days.
Though the trek to the peak is hazardous and demands a lot of physical exercises, one would love the path because of the wondrous valleys and rivers. The novel villages and locals on the way, portray a glimpse of the traditions and values imbibed in the place.
You even come across some monasteries along the trek, which adds a bit of spirituality to this Ladakh trekking experience. Establish your trekking shoes on, congregate some of your trekker friends and take this astonishing Ladakh trek which you will never forget for the rest of your life.
The twin peaks of Kang Yatze stands magnificently tall at 6400m and 6200m respectively. On this trek, we will attempt the summit of just Peak 2 (the lesser in altitude of the two and a non-technical climb) or both Peak 1 and 2 (The main peak being a technical climb).
As this is not an easy trek, the team shall be selected on their fitness level, willpower and experience. The decision of making an attempt or not rests solely on the organizers. Each decision will be factored by the weather conditions, altitude, terrain and the general condition of the team.
Also Read: How to Choose and Repair a Backpack.
3. BORASU PASS TREK:
Borasu Pass Trek is one of the hardest and wildest treks which is filled with muddy tracks, rocky roads, green lush meadows and much more adventurous things in the Uttaranchal and Himalaya along the border with Tibet. It was an ancient trade route between Har Ki Dun valley and Kinnaur valley. This place is quite famous for trekking. The best thing about this place or trek is Har Ki Dun Valley. Har Ki Dun is a Valley of God’s (‘Har’ means Shiv and ‘Dun’ means Valley) and according to their local customs, this is the place where fairies congregate.
The trek starts from Taluka and passes through the abundant green Har ki Dun valley. Har ki Dun is a dangling valley in the Garhwal Himalayas, surrounded by elegant Himalayan peaks and dense forests converged with colourful birds and wild life. The trek starts by following the clamorous Har ki Dun Ganga and ends with the enormous Baspa River. One can stay in the Forest Rest House in relax mode or camp near Har ki Dun Ganga. Also, one can camp near the glorious glacial lake at Maninda Tal a few km from Har ki Dun.
Borasu Pass and Har Ki Dun peak, it is one of the most elegant valleys in the Western Himalayas. A delight for trekkers, both in summer and winter, this valley is accessible through Govind National Park – known for its rich variety of flora and fauna. The trail through the alpine pasture, rim ridges, glacier lagoons, pine forests and ancient villages, gives you spectacular valley views and a chance to experience the wonderful slow-paced local lifestyle.
This is the only valley from where one can see Swargarohini – I, II, III, (6300mt) Bandarpoonch and Blackpeak (6387mt), all together. One can also see the Ruinsara Lake (3400 mt) mountains from here.
4. TRAILS PASS TREK:
The Traill’s Pass is also called as Pindari Glacier, it is found in the upper reaches of the Kumaon Himalayas, to the southeast of Nanda Devi, Nanda Kot. The glacier flows to the south for a short distance of about 3 km (1.9 mi) and gives rise to the Pindari River which meets the Alakananda at Karnaprayag in the Garhwal district.
The route to reach the iceberg crosses the villages of Saung, Loharkhet, crosses over the Dhakuri Pass, continues onto Khati village (the last inhabited village on the trail), Dwali, Phurkia and finally Zero Point, Pindar, the end of the route. Though most of the route is along the banks of the Pindari River, the river is mostly buried until after Khati.
The Pindari Glacier trail provides for a 90 km (56 mi) round-trip trek that most people find comfortable to complete in six days.
Experienced trekking guide, multi-cuisine cook, comfortable trekking equipment’s like trekking tents, sleeping mattresses, air cushion pollution free small generator set to recharge tour camera battery and mobile and expert pony man can full-fill your dream to do this trek. Come and experience the different world.
Also Read: Why Trekking Pole is must during a Trek?
5. KEDARDOME TREK:
The most gorgeous and adventurous peaks situated in Gangotri Group of mountains in the Western Garhwal Himalaya in Uttarakhand in India is Kedarnath (Main Kedarnath Peak) and Kedarnath Dome (or Kedar Dome).
Kedar Dome lies 2 km from the Northwide side of the Kedarnath Mountain. Kedar Dome is a high peak in the Gangotri group in the Garhwal Himalaya and the base camp lies just 4 days from the Gangotri Shrine which is the road ahead for this expedition. It was first climbed in 1947 by a Swiss Team which also climbed Mt. Kedarnath nearby. The Northwest flank taken during the first ascent is still the standard route to climb this mountain. An easy climb, the mountains highest draw are its altitude which is just about 150m short of 7000m. This is a great mountain to target for people looking to climb something high but not requiring serious mountaineering skills. This mountain is very popular for ski ascents during springs.
Have you done some other off-beat trek? We would be glad to know about your experience in the comments below.