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Himalayan Treks You Can’t-Miss This Summer!

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    Winters have started drifting away. And spring is tiptoeing closer by the day. As I sit and write this in Manali, a sparrow tells me that soon it will be summer. Trees, mountains, and trails will open the path for us as the snow melts with the sun shining brightly. Summer, for us travel enthusiasts means adventure. It means long hikes and making way to the mountains that remain mostly inaccessible in winters. So here are five Himalayan treks that you just can’t miss this summer.

    Dzongri – Goechala: The Kanchendzonga Basecamp Trek

    Wrapped in legends, Dzongri–Goechala is more than just a trek. Folklore has it that amidst the trails of this trek hides the gateway to Shangri–la, the Kingdom of Happiness. Shangri–la is the mythical kingdom where everybody is happy, far beyond the struggles of this world.

    Dzongri – Goechala The Kanchendzonga Basecamp Trek

    Once an old monk narrated the tale of Shangri– La to me:

    There was an old monk. He was the sole possessor of a detailed map to the valley of Shangri–La. When power mongers who wanted to plunder the valley of happiness were informed about the map, they wanted to snatch it away from the old monk. However, the wise old monk, in order to save Shangri–La, decided to run away with the map and jumped off a cliff. Ever since then, we’ve lost our way to the Kingdom of Happiness. Legend has it that this gateway hides somewhere in the mountains of Sikkim and will only be revealed to the right person at the right time.

    Goechala Trek Itinerary

    It is interesting to note that many people have “lost their way” on the Dzongri–Goechala trail; it gets me wondering if they were really lost or were they present at the right place to stumble upon the secret gateway.
    I am not sure if you will believe this or not, but I have never seen a trail this enchanting. The luring jungle on this trail calls, the mountains on this trail move people to tears– there’s something about Dzongri– Goechala may be an air of magic!

    Quick Highlights:

    Region: Sikkim

    Location: West Location

    Maximum Altitude: 4986 meters

    Best Time: March to June and September to November

    Duration: 10 days

    Grade: Difficult


    Itinerary:

    Day 1: Siliguri – Yuksom | Drive: 7 to 8 hours

    Day 2: Yuksom (1750) – Sachen | Trek: 5 to 6 hours

    Day 3: Sachen – Tshoka (3040 meters) | Trek: 5 to 6 hours

    Day 4: Tshoka – Dzongri (3930 meters) | Trek: 6 to 7 hours

    Day 5: Dzongri – Dzongri Top ( 4175 meters) – Dzongri – Thansing (3800 meters) | Trek: 5 to 6 hours

    Day 6: Thansing –Lamuney (4164 meters) | Trek: 2 to 3 hours

    Day 7: Lamuney – Goacha La pass (4930 meters) – Thansing | Trek: 7 to 8 hours

    Day 8: Thansing – Tshoka | Trek: 6 to 7 hours

    Day 9: Tshoka – Yuksom | Trek: 6 to 7 hours

    Day 10: Depart to NJP/ Siliguri

    Pro Tips:

    • If you are a beginner, do not consider this for your first trek.
    • If you are trekking during monsoon, it is highly recommended to carry a bag of salt to get rid of the leeches.
    • Carry antifungal and anti-allergy ointments, especially during monsoon.
    • This trek is not advised alpine. Go with a group with a certified adventure tour operator.
    • This is a high altitude trek. It’s no joke. Make sure you inform your trip leader about the maximum altitude you’ve ever hit and in case you need any specific medication for altitude sickness. A Diamox course has to be prescribed a couple of days before the altitude elevates, Consult a doctor if required.
    • In case, you feel unwell or need to call someone; there is a small rock in Tshoka that catches network signals; sometimes. Yes, sometimes.

    Deo Tibba

    Himachal is every trekker’s paradise. The colorful prayer flags on mountains, lush forest and roaring rivers, keep the traveler’s heart humming. Out of the many treks in Himachal, Deo Tibba certainly has a vibe. Like the whole of Himachal, Deo Tibba basecamp trek is dear to every mountain enthusiast. Dense forest, majestic mountains, clear rivers, hanging glaciers, the postcard natural landscape; need I say more? The best part about this trek is that you will be hiking along Duhangan river, experiencing the confluence of Duhangan and Beas as you head towards the source of Duhangan (Chota Chandratal).

    Deo Tibba Trekking

    Himachal certainly has got it all, and Deo Tibba is precisely where one can live it all in one trek. Hiking around grazing pastures with innumerable sheep and the emerald blue water of Chota Chandratal (4,480 meters) with a magnificent view of the Deo Tibba peak (6, 001 meters) – is what makes this trek a winner of hearts.

    Deo Tibba Itinerary

    Quick Highlights:

    Region: Himachal Pradesh

    Location: Manali

    Maximum Altitude: 4800 meters

    Best Time: May to October

    Duration: 5 days

    Grade: Easy with some steep patches


    Itinerary:

    Day 1: Manali (2050 meters)

    Day 2: Manali (2050 meters) – drive to Jobra Naala – hike to Chikka (3100 meters) | Drive: 1 hour | Trek: 2 to 3 hours

    Day 3: Chikka (3100 meters) – Seri (3900 meters) | Trek: 4 to 5 hours

    Day 4: Seri (3900 meters) – Deo Tibba Base (4800 meters) – Seri (3900 meters) | Trek: 7 to 8 hours

    Day 5: Seri (3900 meter) – Chikka (3100 meters) – Manali (2050 meter) | Trek: 5 to 6 hours and Drive: 1 hour

    Deo Tibba Himachal Pradesh

    Pro Tips:

    • If trekking in the monsoon, make sure you carry a raincoat/poncho.
    • Though there is no river crossing on the trek, it is still important to wear proper waterproof trekking shoes.
    • Before you hit Seri, there is a moraine zone. It is insanely windy. Make sure you cover your head and wear a jacket after crossing Panduropa and before hitting Seri. I’ve seen a lot of trekkers fall ill because of this sudden weather change and wind.

    Har Ki Doon

    This trek is straight out of a Himalayan postcard. The cradle shaped valley is situated in the western Himalayas. It can be accessed through The Govind National Park, which also implies that it is home to wild alpine flora and fauna. By far, this is one of most romantic trails, I have ever experienced. Walking on this trail is a sheer joy. There are ancient Himalayan villages, little wooden bridges, and the turquoise blue water of Tamsa river seldom leaves your side. I trekked to the valley of Gods around half a decade ago, and yet if I close my eyes I can go back to it! Such is Har Ki Doon; it is one of those experiences that stays with you.

    Quick Highlights:

    Region: Uttarakhand

    Location: Garhwal

    Maximum Altitude: 4300 meters

    Best Time: March to June and September to December

    Duration: 7 days

    Grade: Medium


    Itinerary:

    Day 1: Dehradun – Sankri (2000 meter) | Drive: 200 km/ 6 to 7 hours)

    Day 2: Sankri (2000 meter) – Osla (2560 meter) | Drive: 30 minutes and Trek: 4 to 5 hours

    Day 3: Osla (2560 meter) – Har ki Doon base Camp (3450 meters) | Trek: 5 to 6 hours

    Day 4: Har Ki Doon basecamp (3450 meters) – Hata Valley (3850 meters) – Har Ki doon basecamp | Trek: 5 to 6 hours

    Day 5: Har Ki Doon basecamp – Osla (2560 meters) | Trek: 4 to 5 hours

    Day 6: Osla (2650 meters) – Sankri (2000 meter) | Trek: 4 to 5 hours and Drive: 30 minutes

    Day 7: Sankri – Dehradun | Drive: 200 km/6 to 7 hours

    Pro Tips:

    • Lots of sunscreens and a cap.
    • Raincoat/poncho, in monsoon.
    • En route Osla, is an old Himalayan village called Gangaad. You simply can’t miss visiting this one. After crossing the river, a small trail leads to Gangaad. Follow the path and spend some quiet moments with the heartwarming village folks.
    • Ahead of Har Ki Dun Valley is the Jaundhar glacier, see if you visit that if you love Astro sky and photography, this is the trek for you.

    Hampta Circuit

    No, this is not Hampta Pass! And this is precisely what makes Hampta Circuit so unique. The past few years stand witness to the rise of adventure travel, and suddenly Hampta Pass has become popular on the tourist grid. However, hiding in plain sight, right adjacent to Hampta Pass is Hampta Circuit. It’s an easy trek that unfolds into a breathtaking view of Dhauladhar, Pir Panjal, and Bara Banghal ranges. The trail is easy and walks us through walnut and oak trees along with the famous cannabis plantation.

    Hampta Circuit Trekking

    Quick Highlights:

    Region: Himachal Pradesh

    Location: Manali

    Maximum Altitude: 3100 meter

    Best Time: May to October

    Duration: 6 days

    Grade: Easy


    Itinerary:

    Day 1: Manali (Jagatsukh)

    Day 2: Jagatsukh – Buggi meadow (1900 meters) | Trek: 3 to 4 hours

    Day 3: Buggi – Sorotu (2200 meters) Meadow | Trek: 2 to 3 hours

    Day 4: Sorotu – Jogidugh(2800 meters) | Trek: 6 to 7 hours

    Day 5: Johidugh – Kharmandari (2600 meters) | Trek: 5 hours

    Day 6: Kharmandari – Panduropa (2000 meters) | Trek: 4 hours

    Pro Tips:

    • This trek is absolutely inaccessible in winters. I learned this the hard way. But that’s another story for another blog.
    • There is a small frozen glacier part on the trail, en route Sorotu, the only technical part of the trail.
    • There is a viewpoint around 1.5km up the mountain at the Kharmandari base camp. It usually (no promises but most likely) has snow at the top. In case you want to explore your chances of experiencing snow in early summer then you should go ahead with this.
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