India is a vast and diverse country with many places to explore and discover. When it comes to hiking, India has a number of areas where you can get in touch with nature and get out of the megacities! No matter in which part of the country you go, you’ll discover a hiking trail for your level of experience.
Don’t worry if you’re not a hardcore hiker, there’s still plenty of hikes that can be attempted on your Asia vacation! India rewards every adventurer with magnificent sights of lush meadows, high-altitude glaciers, gushing streams, and an astonishing diversity of flora and fauna.
Hemkund and the Valley of Flowers
This is a special paradise for both nature lovers and adventure seekers. During the warmer months, you have the opportunity to see a variety of flowers on this short day hike. The Pushpawati River also makes this valley a picturesque spot and the ideal trail for those who want a big reward for little effort. Make sure to bring along your camera on this hike to capture the flowers in bloom–and for your Instagram followers.
Offering a glimpse of the ancient culture of the Ladakh region, this trail is recommended for more advanced hikers. If you’re up for it, you’ll find pristine nature along with the icy paths and bone-chilling winds. Hiking on the ice-covered river of Zanskar is an experience built for adventurers. Everything about this place is exceptional: the atmosphere, the opportunity to visit local caves, unique campsites, and the nearby Chadar Gorge.
Indrahar Pass is a well-known hike that continues to fascinate travelers from around the world. This trail will take you up rocky peaks and deep into the caves located off the main path. The pass is perfect for beginners looking to get their feet wet hiking in India for the first time. Bring a jacket since it can get cold down in the caves and sturdy, slip-proof boots. A headlamp can be helpful too!
Tiger Hill is a must-visit spot in Darjeeling, West Bengal. It is a perfect introductory hiking destination for those people with little or no experience, and the nature is romantic, making it a perfect spot to take your loved one for a spectacular view of the sunrise or sunset. It was also a major pivotal area during the India-Pakistan war of Kargil. For history buffs, it offers a look into the past as well as a great form of exercise.
Roopkund is a mountain lake that lies in the Garhwal Himalayas. It’s also known as the “Skeletons Lake” or the “Mystery Lake.” Recently, it was discovered that some of the skeletons found there died because of trauma to the head from a hailstorm–just as local legend states. This hike is becoming more and more popular with travelers every year as they look for a trail with a bit of intrigue.
This trail is great for both rookie and amateur hikers thinking out how far they can push themselves. This paradise is one of Andhra Pradesh’s most-explored destinations. Located near the city of Visakhapatnam, this hike is accessible and a favorite among weekend travelers.
This hike is not a misnomer. On this winding journey through the peaks of Kashmir, be ready to come across seven gleaming blue pools that are certain to take your breath away. This is a hike where a jacket comes in handy because of high winds and occasional snow.
Anamalai Tiger Reserve Nature Trail
While the journey to the summit of Anamudi Peak is the best-known adventure in the Anamalai Hills, it’s also one of the toughest in the region. Another path that is slightly less intense and has become progressively popular is the trail located inside the Anamalai Tiger Reserve. You might also get a chance to spot some of the area’s wildlife along the way.
Across India, brilliant landscapes offer hiking experiences fit for every type of adventurer. The country is not only home to the world’s best-known mountain range–it is also home to hiking trails through hills, valleys, and tropical rainforests.
Read more about the nature of India in “Kerala: Beyond the Houseboats.”
Header photo by Ben Lowe.