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  • Experts Opinion

How to choose your very first Himalayan Trek

Published On 21 May 2020 by Harshit Patel

Trekking in the Himalayas is on everybody?s bucket list, but when someone is new to trekking, the mighty Himalayas may seem too grand for a beginner, sure some trails require special training and professional help, but there are plenty of trails which can be traversed by beginners. The only requirement is fitness. In simple terms, fitness is maintaining the correct BMI. If you can do that, then there is absolutely nothing stopping you from conquering the Himalayas.

There are different levels for every trail so that you are aware in advance of how the terrain is going to unfold and how difficult it is going to be. Here you can judge your capacity and choose wisely, remember there will be plenty of chances in the future for trekking if you start right. The levels vary from easy to easy-moderate for beginners. Both levels require you to be fit but easy-moderate could be challenging with various elevations in the terrain and longer duration, etc.

There isn?t a list of rules to choose the best Himalayan trek, you just need to decide which city/village you want to explore, the kind of temperature you can endure.

Here is a curated list of Himalayan Treks for first-timers:

  1. Daraya Bugyal

  2. Altitude: 12500ft
    Difficulty: Easy

    It is a high-altitude trek-based Uttarakhand. The literal meaning of Bugyal is a pasture land on high altitude. Among all the treks in Uttarakhand, this is considered the most beautiful and scenic trek. It is located in Uttarkashi and is more than 10,000 ft. it starts from Barsu a small clean village who welcome you warmly into their valley.

    It has become a popular trek among travellers and tourists, you get to experience the mighty Himalayan ranges with snow-covered peaks and meadows swarming with merry flowers. You even chance upon the breath-taking oak forests. You get to see various wild animals as well. And beautiful sunsets give a sense of peacefulness and satisfaction.

    How to reach?
    Jolly Garden Airport 108 km away from Uttarkashi
    Haridwar Railway station 215km away
    Buses and taxis from:
    Rishikesh 170km away
    Haridwar 189km
    Dehradun 144km

  3. Chopta Chandrshila Trek

  4. Altitude: 3925ft
    Difficulty: Easy-moderate

    It is situated in the Garhwal Himalayan region with lush oak and deodar forests and rich flowers spread over like a blanket over the vast meadows.

    You get to view the Nanda Devi, Trishul, Kedarnath Peaks from this region and they remain on your peripheral vision.

    This trek is open throughout the year and takes 3-6 days to complete. On your journey, you will experience the village life and the Garhwal Culture and get to know the people personally. A lot of temples come across your way like Mansa Devi, Chandi Devi, Maya Devi, Bharat Mata Devi Temple.

    Best time to visit is during Summers and Winters. In monsoons, you may face challenges and the trek might become difficult, so monsoon is not the most ideal time to venture this area.

    How to reach?
    Rishikesh railway 209km away
    Private taxis and Jeeps are readily available as well

  5. Kuari Pass Trek

  6. Altitude: 13,615ft
    Difficulty: Moderate

    Most popular treks of the Himalayan region it is located in the Garhwal region and attracts thousands of travellers from across the world. This trek is often called Lord Curzon Trail since he traced it in 1905. You will go through dense Alpine Forest oak and conifer forest as well; a variety of animal and birds will also mesmerize your experiences like Leopards and black bear. The mountain ranges which will move with you throughout this trek are Trishul, Kedarnath, Neelkanth, etc.

    The starting point is Seul Bagar and you enter the thick forests as you start your journey. You will also take a halt at Vinayak Pass and get to visit the Ganesh Temple.

    How to reach?
    Rishikesh Railway station 215km away

  7. Hampta Pass Trek:

  8. Altitude: 14,100ft
    Difficulty: Easy-moderate

    This is one of the most travelled treks in Manali by beginners and professionals alike. The Hampta Pass connects the Lahaul and Kullu Valleys. This trek provides you the most variety of terrain which gives you the ultimate challenge of physical and mental strength. This trek may be open to beginners but getting in shape and being fit is a necessary requirement, so make sure you start preparing a few months prior to the trek.

    The mighty Chandratal Lake will also bless you on your way and the well connects bridges will ensure you get the best angles to click postcard-worthy photos.

    Along the trek, you will find dense forest valleys, grand alpine meadows and never-ending pastures where you may spot the local shepherds and their herds.

    The starting point is Manali a hill station and as you proceed with your journey you pass over the desert of Lahaul and Spiti.

    The most favourable time to traverse this trek is the monsoons, there is not much snowfall so, it won?t be a barrier to your trek but monsoons is the time when the local flora are at the peak of their beauty and greenery.

    How to reach?
    Bhuntar Airport 52k m away
    Jogindar Railway station is 166km away
    By Road from Delhi- 12-14 hours

  9. Prashar Lake Trek

  10. Altitude: 8957ft
    Difficulty: Easy

    It is ringed by the Dhailadhar mountain ranges in the valley of Kullu. Prashar is a blue water lake. The trekking trail beautifully covers lush green forests, you get to enjoy the company of the local villagers who are more than welcome to entertain you and let you experience the village life. The apple orchards are also an eye catcher as this reminds you of the city life and how an apple journey starts from this very point, delivered at your doorstep in cities.

    Temples like Prashar Rishi is a great please to visit during this trek, its architecture is marvelled by one.

    The starting point for Prashar trek is Mandi.

    How to reach?
    Bhuntar Airport, Kullu 75km away
    Kalka Railway Station 175km away
    Private and Public buses, both ply to Mandi from Shimla, Delhi, and Chandigarh.

  11. Beas Kund Trek

  12. Altitude: 11,972ft
    Difficulty: Easy-moderate

    This is the kind if trek which gets you addicted to trekking, it starts from Manali and Gulaba which is the starting point. You get to see the majestic Bhrigu Lake and dense conifer forests. The ancient deodar trees start appearing in Solang valley these trees have an astonishing height of up to 164ft.

    The Beas river splits into smaller streams throughout the trail, making slurping sounds and creating the best ambience noise of nature.

    The mountain ranges of Pir Panjal will move along with you giving a picture-perfect background to the trek.

    You will experience gradual levels of elevation as you travel, it is a rejuvenating experience for anyone who wants a taste of fresh air and wants to get away from city life and the city pollution.

    How to Reach?
    Bhuntar Airport 50km away
    Jogindra Railway Station 166km away
    Well connected by road from Ambala, Dehradun, Shimla, and Dalhousie.

  13. Sar Pass Trek

  14. Altitude: 13,780ft
    Difficulty: Easy-moderate

    It is a gateway to many of the Himalayan Peaks and originates in Kasol known as Backpackers Paradise. The trail transits through thick pine forests along with wide meadows and rustic hamlets. If you are fit, then even as a beginner this trek is a good choice.

    Packed in the Parvati Valley of Kullu, Sar Pass delivers some mindboggling views of mountain tops and misty valleys. Streams of water will follow you along the trek.

    The months of May ? October are the best to plan this trek.

    How to reach?
    Bhuntar Airport
    Pathankot Railway Station

  15. Sandakphu Trek

  16. Altitude: 11962ft
    Difficulty: Easy

    This trek goes up to the heights peak of Darjeeling district located in the state of West Bengal. Darjeeling falls right next to Sikkim. It is closer to Sikkim than the capital city of Kolkata! Spectacular views of the Nepal Himalayas like Kanchendzongha range, Makalu, Everest, Lhoste, Jannu, etc. Travelers also get to see the ?Sleeping Buddha? formation of mountain ranges which visible from this trail (the ?sleeping Buddha? is an illusion formed by several mountain ranges appearing in a way where a man seems to be lying down on his back). You will find yourself switching between Nepal and India all through the trek. This trail also houses the indigenous and endangered species of Red Panda, if you are lucky you may get to glance at this shy animal on your way to Gurdum.

    The best time to trek would be April May as the Spring sets in and rhododendron bloom in their full capacity.

    This is also a great trek to choose if you want to explore the Eastern side of India rather than the usual Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh. The locals have a different culture with mainly Hindus, Buddhists, and Tibetan Population.

    How to reach?
    New Jalpaiguri railway station
    40km by road from Darjeeling

  1. Harshit Patel : Co-Founder at Trekmunk. A certified Mountaineer, Skiier, has led more than 50 high altitude treks in the Indian Himalayas. He is an Engineer by profession but a traveler by passion. He has led treks in Kashmir, Ladakh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, West Bengal, Sikkim and Nepal. He is a NOLS certified First Aid Responder and has covered 185,000+ km on Motorcycle. A Poet, Drone Pilot and Videographer at Insane Traveller Productions.

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