Trekking in Himachal Pradesh
Trekking, as an adventure sport in India is not very old. However,
still it has gained wide acceptance and popularity amongst tourists.
The reason for this is that the country is blessed by mother nature
with beauties that leaves one and all mesmerisied. There are brilliant
green meadows, dense pine forests, fruit orchards, snow capped peaks
and rushing streams to fascinate the onlookers. While passing through
these bounties of nature, your eyes feast on the beauties while your
soul gets an opportunity to rejuvenate in the freshness of the
surroundings. Moreover, the cultural diversity of the country also
adds to the charm of trekking. Walking past various villages or small
hamlets, you interact with different people. Their way of living,
stories, culture and tradition have much to make you feel that a trip
is worth all the effort made.
Himachal Pradesh, nestled in the great Himalayas of India, is one such spot where you will love to tread through the designated trek paths. Also, it is not that you need to be an experienced or professional trekkers to enjoy yourself here. The trek routes here vary a lot - from very gentle to rugged and very tough.
Trekking Places in Himachal Pradesh
There are more than two hundred and seventy well defined trekking
trails in Himachal Pradesh. The major areas where you can undertake
trekking in Himachal are the Dhauladhar and Pir Panjal ranges, routes
over the passes between the Shimla region and the Kullu valley and the
various treks out of Kullu. There are also specific tracks in the
Trans-Himalayan regions of Kinnaur, Lahaul and Spiti.
Usually, these trekking places are located at an altitude ranging between 1500 m to 6000 m. The scenes that will make your trekking trip really special include paddy field and woods of oaks, rhododendrons, cedar, deodar and spruce. Rivers will flow by gently giving you company while the mountains will stand tall to greet you at every step.
Best Time To Trek
The most important thing that you must know is the season in which it is best to undertake such a trip. Summers, from March to August, make for the best time to trek In winters and monsoons, trekking can be a bit risky activity to undertake. Professionals do trek in the winter season but for a novice, it is certainly not advisable.
Physical fitness is of paramount importance for trekking. Before embarking on a trip, you must give yourself ample time to adjust to local climate of the state. This is because the climate of Himachal is very coarse. Select your trek routes depending upon your physical fitness. Trek plans can be modified to suit your level of energy. The starting and the end destinations can be the same, still the entire plan can be reworked upon.
Certain equipments need to be carried along during your trip. These equipments are available with the HPTDC office and you can hire them on a reasonable price. There are several other agencies as well that conduct trekking in Himachal and provide the necessary equipments. These equipments include 4-man/ 2 man tent, sleeping bags, carry mat, jackets, windcheaters, rucksack and trekking boots. Porters and horsemen are there who will not only carry your luggage but will also provide guidance enroute. You will also require eatables, medicines, guide map and a first aid kit to make your tour completely hasslefree. Moreover, a broad brimmed hat, UV proof glasses with side blinkers, SPF-15 sunscreen, a lip balm are essential too. Carry water to avoid dehydration and iodine tablets to sterlise water.
Rest Houses And Dak Bungalows
Along many trek routes, you will find old forest 'dak bungalows', State Electricty Board and PWD guest houses where you can stay during your trip. These guest houses are mentioned in the trek maps. You can pick up the ones you want and make an advance booking.
Special Permits & Environment Protection
You should also keep in mind that entry into the interior areas of the Himalayas require special permission. Last but not the least, you should take care of the environment and surroundings. Make sure that you do not spread waste material here and there during your trip.
For those looking for a bit of training before starting off, basic and intermediate courses are available at Manali's Mountaineering Institute and at its Regional Centres at Dharamshala and Bharmour.
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