What is your definition of adventure? Something that makes your heart skip a beat or increases your pulse rate or something that gives you goose bumps just by the thought of it? If you have nodded your head in agreement to these questions, then both you and I have similar views on adventure. And when it comes to adventure, one activity that immediately comes to mind is trekking.
Adventure means trekking and trekking means adventure; put it either ways, and it still means the same. So for all the adventurists out there, who are dying to go on a thrilling trekking expedition, here are a few of my personal favourites.
Trekking in the Indian Himalayas
The offbeat trekking trails that are best suited for thrill seekers are snuggled beautifully in the lap of Indian Himalayas. Though there are treks across the globe that put your guts to the test, the Himalayan trekking trails are unique and dangerously beautiful.
Kalindi Khal Pass Trek, Uttarakhand
Covered with boulders, scree, glaciers and snow, the Khalindi Khal Pass Trek is the “Big Daddy” of all the trekking trails in Uttarakhand. The trek begins from the pious land of Gangotri. It is a high altitude trek that makes you travel up to a height of around 19,500 feet, and gifts you with several marvelous stopovers like Gashtoli (3,600 m), Arwa Tal (3,980 m), Tapovan (4,250 m), Nandanvan (4,500 m), Vasuki Tal (5,300 m), Kalindi Base (5,590 m) and Kalindikhal (5,948 m). Along with the thrill of challenging heights, this trek renders you the scenic vistas of various Himalayan Peaks like Shivling, Chandra Parvat, Vasuki, Satopanth and Bhagirathi.
Perhaps now you know why I called the Indian Himalayas dangerously beautiful.
Best time to visit: In case you are getting this strong intuition that the Khalindi Khal Pass Trek is calling you, be sure to visit it between Mid June to July & August, as it is the best time for trekking there.
Chadar Trek, Ladakh
Walking along the banks of a river is one thing, and walking on a river is a completely different ball game. At the Chadar Trek you play this different game. This trek makes you walk on the frozen river; yes, it literally makes you walk on the frozen river! Isn’t it exciting, and at the same time very daring? The frozen river trek in the Zanskar Valley, Ladakh is not everyone’s cup of tea. You need to first climb to an altitude of around 12,360 feet and then have to walk on a thin blanket of ice. This route was once the ancient trade route of the Zanskari people, as it was the only way that connected the valley with the outer world.
Best time to visit: Adventure buffs can try their luck here between mid of January and end of February, as the river freezes for approximately 15 days during this time of the year.
Roopkund Trek, Uttarakhand
India and folklores are something that go hand in hand. Be it a festival or a holy site, almost everything in India has a legend, and the Roopkund trek isn’t an exception. Roopkund is actually a lake full of corpses! There are thousands of dead bodies lying in and around the lake. According to folklore, these corpses were groups of travellers, who were caught in a furious hailstorm which took their lives. It is believed that the deadly storm was the result of a local deity’s anger. Legends aside, Roopkund, the mysterious lake of Himalayas has always enticed trekkers from different nooks and corners of the world.
On one hand the scary sight of skeletons resting in and around the lake compels you to give a second thought to trekking, and on the other hand the soothing vistas of snow-capped mountains and Bedni Bugyal grassland entice you to trek. Such a dilemma!
Best time to visit: Well, when you come out of this bewilderment and decide to explore the mystery of Roopkund lake, the best time to visit is May – June & September – October.
Pin Parvati Pass Trek, Himachal
Also known as the Valley of Gods, the Pin Parvati Valley is sandwiched between Dhauladhar and Pir Panjal Ranges. The landscape of this trek changes dramatically from lush pine woods, to meadows of wild flower, to a barren land. Perhaps, that is what allures me and the rest of the travellers the most. However, if you think the story ends here, then sorry to disappoint you as it does not. This trek takes you far from the human population, up to an altitude of 17,500 feet, where the cold desert waits to freeze you. One needs to have enough spunk for bearing the bone-freezing temperature of this trek.
Best time to visit: So, if you have the stomach to go on a trekking expedition to the Pin Parvati Pass Trek, plan a trip between July and September.
The Indian Himalayas are a mélange of unmatched beauty and ultimate thrill and therefore, they are loved by adventure freaks worldwide. All those who genuinely have an appetite for adventure, must try these treks out and live the thrill of their lives!
Zara is a passionate writer, photographer and adventurer. She loves to write about her experiences and trips to some of the most amazing places in India. She specialises in travelling to off-beat destinations and writing all about them!