Most Offbeat treks you can not miss out in India

Most Offbeat treks you can not miss out in India

#Adventure | Last updated on Aug 20, 2016 by 
Most Offbeat treks you can not miss out in India

The process of zeroing in on a single trekking place for our next adventure reminds us that, where there are places that are exceedingly frequented, there are places yet to be traversed. Where there are places immensely famed, there are stunning places yet to be known.

What a pleasure would it be to travel our country beyond its beaten tracks and trails to new horizons and different directions. So in this filtered digital era, lay your hold on this opportunity of witnessing beauty at its unfiltered best by travelling the offbeat heights and corners of the country and its wilderness.

We present to you our comprehensive list of these awe-inspiring offbeat treks in India and provide key insights to each one of them that will entice a lot of you to set off on your next adventure trek. May you see the unseen and frequent the unfrequented.

We are going to keep updating our list of offbeat treks in India because of the extensive range of stunning treks India is endowed with. So let us know if you want to see any specific trek to be a part of our updated list in the future.

1. The Phuktal Monastery Trek

Phuktal Monastery Trek

Image Source : @kanglapass-flickr
Phuktal Monastery Trek
Image Source : sandeepachetan.com


Altitude: 3850m

Minimum Days: 7-8 days


A trek to this remote Himalayan jewel named, ‘The Phuktal Monastery’ tops our list of offbeat treks in India. It is the most isolated Buddhist monastery sequestered in Lungnak valley, which is the most remote valley of Zanskar, Ladakh. It looks as if a huge honeycomb structure has been built on the opening of a large cave on a cliff above the Tsarap river.

This beautiful monastery has been a proud abode to many renowned scholars and has been a centre for meditation, teaching and learning since time immemorial. Currently it is home to more than 70 monks who seek peace in the tranquil and remote location of the monastery isolated from the rest of the world. There is an old Juniper tree on the upper side that dominates the entire valley. A Perfect Offbeat Trek in India.

Fun Fact : In Ladakh, the Juniper tree is considered sacred and it is believed that anyone who dares to cut it will be afflicted by spirits later on.

Route : Padum ⇒ Shilla Camp  ⇒ Reru ⇒ Changpa Tsetan ⇒ Purne ⇒ Phuktal

Nearest Roadhead: Padum

 

How To Reach Phuktal Monastery?

Air

Leh is the nearest airport.

Taxis are available from the airport to Kargil, where you will be required to change and hop into another taxi that will take you to Padum.

Railway

Nearest railway station is the Jammu Railway Station. One can opt for a taxi or a public transport to reach Padum.

Road

The Leh airport is 438 km from Padum via NH1 and NH301.

Jammu Railway Station is about 755 km from Padum via NH1 and NH301.

Whether you take a bus from Srinagar or Leh or Jammu, one has to cross Kargil by road to reach Padum. Buses and taxis are available from Kargil to Padum.

Food: The monks at the monastery are very friendly and they provide food to the visitors, mostly healthy boiled food. That is the only option available.

Other Things To See: Bardan & Mune Monastery, located at 12 kms south of Padum.

Best Time To Visit Phuktal Monastery: July to mid-October, as rest of the months the road from Kargil to Padum is closed due to snowfall.

Bardan Monastery
Image Source : amazonaws.com


2. The Kugti Pass Trek

Kugti Pass Trek
Image Source : 365hops.com


Altitude : 5,050 m

Minimum Days : 6-7 days

The beauty about this trek is that it is virtually unexplored. Kugti Pass is located near the scenic hamlet of Kugti in Himachal Pradesh. This trek climbs up to 16,600 feet, which makes it a challenging high altitude trek. Not many trekkers are acquainted with the Kugti Pass trek though it exhibits all the glory of any great Himalayan trek. That is why we have this destination on our list of offbeat treks in India. The trek commences from the town of Bharmour near Chamba. The actual trek starts precisely from Dharol, 19 kms from Bharmour.

As you start your trek from here, the trail takes you through dense pine forests, acres of apple and peach orchards, gushing waterfalls everywhere. As you go higher you witness the most beautiful snowfields and glaciers. If you love trekking, then the Kugti Pass is a trek that needs to top your list of ‘must explore off-beat spots’.

The actual trek starts precisely from Dharol, 19 kms from Bharmour. As you start your trek from here, the trail takes you through dense pine forests, acres of apple and peach orchards, gushing waterfalls everywhere. As you go higher you witness the most beautiful snowfields and glaciers. If you love trekking, then the Kugti Pass is a trek that needs to top your list of ‘must explore off-beat spots’.

Route : Chamba ⇒ Bharmour ⇒ Dharol ⇒ Kugti village ⇒ Duggi ⇒ Lahes ⇒ Kugti Pass

Nearest Roadhead : Dharol

How To Reach Kugti Pass?

Air

The nearest airport is the Gaggal Airport aka Kangra Airport near Dharamshala.

There are buses and taxis available from Gaggal to Bharmour. Dharol is a further 4-5 hour drive from Bharmour.

Railway

Nearest railway station is the Pathankot Cantt (PTKC) and the Pathankot railway (PTK) station. There are buses and taxis available from these stations to Bharmour.

Road

Gaggal Airport is 175 km away from Bharmour via MDR52.

Pathankot Cantt and Pathankot Railway Station are 180 Kms from Bharmour via Chamba-Pathankot Road and MDR52

Food : Bharmour is the last place where you can load up on food supplies because you don’t get  anything after that. However you may find grocery supplies like rice,

Bharmour is the last place where you can load up on food supplies because you don’t get  anything after that. However you may find grocery supplies like rice, wheat and dal once you reach Kugti village, but nothing fancy.

Other things to see :

Kugti Sanctuary, 15 Km from the village of Kugti

Kartik Swami Temple, 6 Km from the village of Kugti

Best Time To Visit Kugti Pass : July to September

Kartik Swami Temple
The Kartik Swami Temple
Image Source :
sadanandsafar.blogspot.in

3. The Parashar Lake Trek

Parashar Lake Trek
The Parashar Lake surrounded by lush greenery
Image Source : mstravelbee.com
Parashar Lake Trek
The Parashar Lake surrounded by snow
Image Source : wenomads.com

Altitude : 2,730 m

Minimum days : 2 days

A trek to this offbeat lake holding a great sense of aesthetic pleasure is a must. It is a hidden jewel in the Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh. It is in its best form in the winters when the lake with its deep blue waters is frozen and encircled by snow capped peaks. Adjacent to the lake lies a three storied pagoda structured temple which is dedicated to Sage Parashar. He is believed to have meditated here and hence to pay homage this lake is named after him.

What makes this trek a part of our list of offbeat treks in India is the panoramic views it presents of Dhauladhar, Pir Panjal, Rohtang Pass and Kinnaur mountain ranges. No one knows how deep this lake is and to protect and maintain the ecological balance of the site, the circumference of the lake has been fenced by the Temple management.  

Fun Fact :

There is a small island on the surface of the lake which is believed to change its location from time to time, sometimes a few hours and sometimes several months according to the locals. 

Route : Mandi-Baggi-Parashar Lake

Nearest Roadhead : Baggi

How To Reach Parashar Lake?

Air

The nearest airport is the Bhuntar airport aka Kullu Manali Airport.

There are taxis and buses available from Bhuntar to Mandi. Baggi village is another 25 km drive from Mandi.

Train

The nearest railway station is the Joginder Nagar Railway station. Taxis are easily available from the station to Mandi.
Road

Bhuntar Airport is 60 km from Mandi via NH3.

Joginder Nagar Railway Station is 54 km from Mandi via NH154.

Food :

There is a small restaurant near the temple, on one of the hillocks, that serves tea, snacks, and simple food like rice, dal, and maggi.

Other Things To See :

Tunga Mata Temple, 10 km from Parashar Lake

Best Time To Visit Parashar Lake : All year round

July-August, If you want to be surrounded by lush greenery

January-March, If you want to be surrounded by snow and frozen lake.

Tunga Mata Temple
The Tunga Mata Temple
Image Source : tarungoel.in

4. The Mandani Valley Trek

Mandani Valley Trek
Mandani Valley
Image Source : trekwords.wordpress.com

Altitude : 4,750 m

Minimum Days : 8-9 days
Mandani valley is one of the most beautiful valley of flowers in the Garhwal ranges of the Himalayas and that is why it’s one of the offbeat treks in India that you must set off for. For starters, this trek is an extremely challenging high altitude trek and could take anywhere from 8 to 9 days. It is one of the least travelled and least explored trekking trails.

The Mandani valley is often described by the locals as heaven on Earth and a photographers dream place to shoot. This trek acts like a connecting channel between two Kedar of the Panch Kedar pilgrimage circuit, Madhya Maheshwar and Kedarnath. This blissful trek connecting the two shrines commences from the small quaint village of Ransi, progressing through dense forests and steep climbs, covering three high altitude passes, and is successfully completed at Kedarnath.

Fun fact :

According to Hindu Mythology, this valley is believed to be the place where goddess Durga killed the demon, Mahishasura.

Route :  Ukhimath ⇒ Ransi ⇒ Paturi ⇒ Manani Bugyal ⇒ Yeonbuk Col Base ⇒ Mahapanth Col ⇒ Kedarnath ⇒ Gaurikund

Nearest Roadhead : Ransi

 

How To Reach Mandani Valley?

Air

The nearest airport is the Jolly Grant Airport near Dehradun. Taxis are available from the airport to Ukhimath. Ransi is another 20 km drive from Ukhimath.

Railway

The nearest railway station is the Rishikesh Railway Station. Rishikesh is well connected by railway networks with major destinations in North India.

Road

Jolly Grant Airport is 195 km from Ukhimath via NH7.

Rishikesh Railway Station is 178 km from Ukhimath via NH7.

Ukhimath is well connected by road with other major cities in the region. There are taxis and buses available from Rudraprayag (45 km), Srinagar (78 km), Gopeshwar (60 km), Rishikesh (180 km) etc.

Food : You have to carry packed meals post Ransi.

Other Things to See :

The shrine of Madhya Maheshwar, 16 km from Ransi.

You can experience hot water springs at Gaurikund, 14 km from Kedarnath.

Best Time To Visit : June to September

Madhya Maheshwar
The shrine of Madhya Maheshwar
Image Source : templepurohit.com

5. Tarsar Marsar Lake Trek

 

Tarsar Marsar Trek
Tarsar Lake
Image Source : konnectholidays.com

Tarsar Marsar Trek
Marsar Lake
Image Source : thealternative.in

Altitude : 3,795 m

Minimum Days : 7-8 days

Tarsar Marsar trek is on our list of offbeat treks in India because the distinguishing aspect about the beauty of this trek is that it takes you to not one but two beautiful lakes in Kashmir, surrounded by the towering Kolahoi mountains, named the Tarsar and the Marsar lake. These lakes are similar in nature and hence known as twin lakes. Both these lakes are divided by a mountain and they flow in the opposite directions.

In winters, these lakes exhibit their snowy beauty with frozen waters, surrounded by a stretch of alpine flowers. In summers, they are a host to myriad of beautiful migratory birds like bar-headed geese, Lammergeier, choughs, cinnamon sparrows, black bulbuls, Himalayan golden eagles.

Fun Fact : The beauty of these lakes is such that it couldn’t stop Yusuf Shah Chak, a Kashmiri ruler in the 16th Century from mentioning the twin lakes in his poetry to his beloved.

Route : Aru ⇒ Lidderwat ⇒ Shekwas ⇒ Tarsar ⇒ Zachmargi ⇒ Sonsar ⇒ Marsar ⇒ Zachmargi ⇒ Sonemasti ⇒ Sumbal

Nearest Roadhead : Aru

 

How To Reach Tarsar Marsar Lake?

Air

Srinagar International Airport is the nearest airport. There are taxis available from the airport and you can reach Aru.

Railway

Jammu is the nearest railway station.

Jammu railway station is well connected to all major cities in India by rail. Direct train services are available from Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore and Trivandrum.

Road

Srinagar airport is about 104-107 km from Aru Valley via NH44 and NH501.

Jammu Railway Station is about 295 km from Aru via NH44.

Srinagar is linked by the National Highway 1A to the rest of the country. There are special and comfortable buses from Jammu and Srinagar to Pahalgam, from where you can either opt for a taxi or a pony ride to Aru valley.

Food

There are many hotels within 20-25 km from the Tarsar Lake.

Other Things To See : Dachigam National Park, 10 km from Tarsar Lake.

Best Time To Visit : July-end to September

Dachigam National Park
Dachigam National Park
Image Source : jkinside.com

6. The Bhrigu Lake Trek

Bhrigu Lake Trek
The Bhrigu Lake
Image Source : trekmatesindia.com

Altitude : 4,270 m

Minimum Days : 2 days
The Bhrigu Lake Trek is yet another beautiful lake trek on our list of offbeat treks in India, especially made for the people who long to experience a high altitude trek but never have enough time for it. This trek can be covered in just 1-2 days of time. There is a lot of religious sentiments attached to this lake. The Bhrigu Lake is rightly termed as the ‘Pool Of Gods’ as it is believed that many local gods in the Kullu valley visit the lake to take a dip into its holy waters.

Situated at an altitude of 4,300 m, this lake is located in the upper Kullu valley, 8 km southeast of the Rohtang Pass and is flanked by serene snow clad mountains on all sides. The trek starts from the village of Gulaba and the trail takes you through alluring areas of rich meadow pasture and a vast stretch of spruce, fir and birch trees and once you reach the summit, you are presented with the most beautiful panoramic view of the Manali valley.

Fun Fact : It is believed that Rishi Bhrigu meditated here at this lake and that is how this lake earned its name.

Route : Gulaba ⇒ Bhrigu Lake ⇒ Gulaba

Nearest Roadhead : Gulaba

 

How to Reach Bhrigu Lake?

Air

The nearest airport is the Bhuntar Airport aka Kullu Manali Airport.

Domestic flights connect Bhuntar with Delhi and Chandigarh. From the airport you can take a taxi to Manali. Gulaba is another 2 hour drive from Manali.

Railway

The nearest railway station is the Joginder Nagar Railway station.
Road

From Bhuntar Airport, you can pass through Manali and reach Gulaba via NH3.

Joginder Nagar Railway Station to Gulaba can be covered via NH154 and NH3.

Food
Gulaba is the last place that has a couple of tea stalls that provide refreshments and food supplies. There is no option for food after that. So it is advisable to carry your own food supplies when you set off on your tail.

Other Things To See :

Hadimba Devi Temple, 19 km from Bhrigu lake.

Vashishth temple, famous for its hot water springs is 19 km from Bhrigu lake.

Best Time To Visit Bhrigu Lake : July to October

Hadimba Devi Temple
The Hadimba Devi Temple
Image Source : mapsofindia.com


7. Kheer Ganga Trek

Kheerganga Trek
Kheerganga
Image Source : avnishdhoundiyal.com

Altitude :  2,960 m

Minimum Days : 1 day

The beauty of this trek is at its zenith majorly because it is virtually unexplored and untouched and that is the prime reason behind having this trek on our list of offbeat treks in India. Kheer Ganga is a hidden gem cloistered in the Parvati valley Of Himachal Pradesh. It is a small village nestled in the slopes of a mountain. Spiritually, it is also regarded as a sacred meadow where Lord Shiva is believed to have meditated for 3.000 years.

A trek to this meadow will steer you through vast stretches of greenery strewn areas, multiple waterfalls and drastic changes in vegetation and panoramic views. Once you reach the top , you are rewarded with the best natural hot water spring experience which is the highlight of the whole trek. This pool of hot spring water is where the village of Kheerganga has taken its name from, which roughly translates to ‘milky water of holy nature’.

Fun Fact : The hot spring water from this pool is believed to be holy and have healing properties.

Route : Barshaini ⇒ Rudra Nag ⇒ Kheerganga

Nearest Roadhead : Barshaini

 

How To Reach Kheer Ganga?

Air

Nearest Airport is the Bhuntar Airport. Buses and Taxis are available to reach Barshaini.
Railway

Joginder Nagar railway station is the nearest railway station from Barshaini.

Road

Bhuntar Airport is at a distance of 49 km from Barshaini.

Joginder Nagar Railway is at a distance of 162 km from Barshaini via NH154 and NH3.

It is advisable to reach Bhuntar first as there are many HRTC buses available from Bhuntar to Barshaini.

Food

This trek has good options available for food. There are many cafes and guesthouses on the way. These cafes serve various cuisines including Israeli and Indian food, and different delicious recipes of maggi, tea, and coffee are available too

Other Things To See :

The famous Shiva Temple near the springs.

Rudra-Nag waterfalls on the way to Kheer ganga.

Manikaran Gurudwara, 15 km from Kheer ganga.

Best Time To Visit Kheer Ganga: May to November

Kheerganga Shiva Temple
The famed Shiva temple near the Kheerganga hot springs
Image Source : avnishdhoundiyal.com
Rudra Nag waterfalls
Rudra Nag waterfalls
Image Source : avnishdhoundiyal.com


8. The Dodital Trek

Dodital Lake Trek
The Dodital Lake
Image Source : euttaranchal.com

Altitude : 3,310 m

Minimum Days : 3-4 days

This trekking destination in Uttarakhand is a bonus for all the angling enthusiasts out there. It involves camping along the pristine Dodital lake, which is regarded as an Angler’s paradise as the crystal clear waters of the lake are full of glorious fish like the famous and rare Himalayan golden trout. You can actually see the famed trout swimming in the clear waters of Dodital in large numbers.

Trout in the local language here translates to ‘Dodi’ and that is how the Dodital lake received its name. Perched in the crest of majestic mountains the lake is flanked by dense woods of pine, oak and deodar trees. The trail to Dodital from the base takes you through multiple waterfalls, a few passes and meadows until you reach the lake set against a stunning backdrop of hills.

Fun Fact : It is believed that Dodital is the birthplace of  Lord Ganesha. You can also find a small temple dedicated to him on the left bank of the lake.

Route : Uttarkashi ⇒ Sangam Chatti ⇒ Agoda ⇒ Dodital Lake

Nearest Roadhead : Sangam Chatti

 

How To Reach Dodital?

Air

Nearest Airport is the Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun

Railway

Nearest Railway Station is the Dehradun Railway Station

Road

Jolly Grant Airport is at a distance of 169 km from Uttarkashi via NH34

Dehradun Railway Station is at a distance of 143 km via NH34

Regular buses are available to Uttarkashi from other major cities

Food : At Agoda, the locals provide food like brown rice, pahadi rajma, chapati and saag pahari     aloo at very nominal costs.

Other Things To See : Darwa Pass, 16km away from Dodital.

Best Time To Visit :

March to October

June to July (Best for Angling)

 

 

9. Japfu Peak Trek

Altitude : 3048 m

Minimum Days : 4-5 days

Recognised as the 2nd highest peak in Nagaland and located 15 km South of Kohima, a trek to Japfu Peak is a spectacular visual treat. Before reaching this stunning attraction, this trek takes you through the splendid Dzukou valley which is regarded as the most charming valley of Nagaland.

Right from the commencement of this trek you are privileged to emerald green hillocks, prolific rhododendrons, myriad colourful blossoms, and the most beautiful topography ever, making the journey as worthy as reaching the top. Once you reach the top, the peak overlooks the most breath taking sunrises, stretch of hills, valleys, half of Nagaland and villages on the Arunachal side.

Fun Fact : The base of the Japfu peak houses the tallest rhododendron tree in the world, being 130 ft tall, making it enter the Guinness Book Of World Records. 

Route : Kohima ⇒ Zakhama ⇒ Dzukou Valley ⇒ Viswema Village ⇒ Japfu Base Camp ⇒ Japfu Peak

Nearest Roadhead : Zakhama Check-Post

How To Reach Japfu Peak?

Air

The nearest airport is Dimapur Airport. It is well connected to major cities of India like Guwahati, Imphal, Kolkata and Dibrugarh.

Railway

The nearest railway station is the Dimapur Railway Station.

Road

Dimapur Airport is at a distance of 81 km from Zakhama via NH29 and NH2.

Dimapur Railway Station is at a  distance of 86 km via NH29.

Food

Viswema village is the last place to pack food and water supplies.

Other Things To See :

The Dzukou Trekkers’ Hut

Ghost Caves, locally known as ‘Bhoot Gufa’

Naga Heritage Village, Kohima

Best Time To Visit : October-April

Naga Heritage Village
A dance performance during the Hornbill Festival held annually at the Naga Heritage Village
Image Source : trodly.com


10. Sandakphu Trek

Sandakphu Trek
Spectacular view of Mount Kanchenjunga from Sandakphu
Image Source : wikimedia.org

Altitude :  3600 m

Minimum Days : 5-6 days

Sandakphu is perched at the edge of the Singalila National Park, Darjeeling. Sandakphu is one of our offbeat treks in India because it is an ideal trek for people who want to experience glimpsing spectacular views of Mt Kanchenjunga without going on an arduous adventure like the Dzongri Goecha La trek. Sandakphu has the highest summit in the Darjeeling Hills of West Bengal.

This trek commences from Manebhanjan, which is signified as the junction of Stupas and passes through the famous Singalila ridge , which is one of the few spots in the world that provides a view of world’s four out of five highest mountains : Everest, Kanchenjunga, Lhotse, Makalu and others. The terrain is not as challenging. The low difficulty level and the spectacular mountainous views are the main reasons to embark on this trek.

Fun Fact : The name Sandakphu means “Height of the poison plants”. It is due to the extensive number of Himalayan cobra lilies and poisonous Aconite plants growing here.

Route : Darjeeling ⇒ Manebhanjan ⇒ Jaubari ⇒ Sandakphu ⇒ Phalut

Nearest Roadhead : Manebhanjan

 

How To Reach Sandakphu?

Air

The nearest airport is the Bagdogra Airport. Taxis are available from the airport to reach the Manebhanjan.

Railway

The nearest railway station is the New Jalpaiguri Railway Station. There are private cabs available from the station to Manebhanjan.

Road

Bagdogra airport is at a distance of 78 km from Manebhanjan via Matigara-Kurseong Rd and NH110.

New Jalpaiguri Station is at a distance of 85 km from Manebhanjan via NH110.

Food

There are several lodges, trekkers’ huts and bungalows along the way through the whole trek that provide food. Also, there are tea stalls serving food and refreshments.

Other Things To See :

Singalila National Park

Singalila Ridge

Best Time To Visit  Sandakphu: July-September

Singalila National Park
Gateway to Singalila National Park
Image Source : @Marc Shandro-flickr

 


12. The Milam Glacier

Milam Glacier
Milam Glacier
Image Source : indiatrekking.com

Altitude :  3450 m

Minimum Days : 10 days

The Milam glacier, a major source of the Goriganga river is a well celebrated glacier in Kumaon Himalaya. It is around 27 km long, being the longest glacier of the Kumaon Himalaya. It lies four kms away from the village of  Milam which used to be a major trade route between India and Tibet until the 1962 Indo-China war which resulted in the migration of Bhotia traders to cities. This is why the trek route is scattered with various abandoned Bhotia settlements, offering great accommodation for trekkers.

The trek to this pristine glacier commences from Munsiyari and takes you through lush alpine meadows, dense forests, cloistered hamlets, and diverse landscapes until you reach the snout of the glacier. This trek is on the bucket list of every avid trekking enthusiast.

Route : Munsiyari ⇒ Lilam ⇒ Bogudiyar ⇒ Rilkot ⇒ Milam ⇒ Glacier ⇒ Ragash Kund

Nearest Road head : Munsiyari

 

How To Reach Milam Glacier?

Air

The nearest airport is the Pantnagar Airport. Taxis are available from Pantnagar airport to Munsiyari.

Railway

There are two nearest railway heads to Munsiyari. They are Kathgodam and Tanakpur. Taxis and buses for Munsiyari are availed at both rail heads.

Road

Pantnagar Airport is at a distance of 336 km from Munsiyari via Jauljibi-Madkote Rd.

Kathgodam Railway Station is at a distance of 302 km from Munsiyari via Jauljibi-Madkote Rd.

Tanakpur Railway Station is at a distance of 274 km from Munsiyari via NH9.

Munsiyari is well connected through motorable roads to major destinations of Uttarakhand and Northern India. Taxis and buses are available from major destinations of Kumaon region to Munsiyari.

Food

There are many dhabas offering food around Munsiyari as well as the village of Milam. Also, there is a ration shop at the base of the village from where you can stock up on your food supplies.

Other Things To See :

Ragash Kund

Birthi Falls

Best Time To Visit Milam Glacier :

May-June

September-October

Birthi Falls
Birthi Falls
Image Source : indiamike.com


13. Chembra Peak Trek

Chembra Peak Trek
The heart shaped lake nestled on top of the Chembra Peak
Image Source : wayanad.com

Altitude : 2050 m

Minimum Days : 3-4 hours

Chembra Peak is listed as one of our offbeat treks in India because if you want to witness the true spectacle of the beauty of Wayanad district, then there is no place better than the Chembra peak, which is the highest peak in Wayanad in the North-east of the state of Kerala. It is embedded in the Western Ghats, located near the town of Meppady, from where Chembra peak is accessible by foot and takes just 3-4 hours to reach the top.

However for the adventure buffs who are in the mood to explore Wayanad beyond this peak can opt for a circuitous route commencing from Sultan Bakery taking you through the fascinating Edakkal caves, Meenmutty and Soochipara waterfalls. The trail starts with a 300 metre stretch of rich tea estate through dense forests and grasslands. One fascinating aspect about reaching the Chembra peak is a heart shaped lake nestled on the top of the peak which is a major tourist attraction. The lake is believed to have never dried up.

Also from the top you can see the entire lush green wrapped Wayanad and chunks of Malappuram, Kozhikode and Nilgiri districts. You need to acquire a permit from the forest office in Meppadi for trekking up to Chembra Peak, however, going to the extreme top is not permitted.

Fun Fact : This heart shaped lake is called many names like ‘Hridaya Saras’, ‘Heart of Chembra’, ‘Chembra Love Lake’ and is on the list of natural heart shaped wonders of the world.

Route : Kalpetta ⇒ Meppadi ⇒ Chembra Peak foothill ⇒ Chembra Peak

Nearest Roadhead : Meppadi

How To Reach Chembra Peak?

Air

Nearest airport is The Calicut International Airport.

Railway

Nearest railway station is the Nilambur Road Railway Station.

Road

Calicut International Airport is at a distance of 89 km from Meppadi via SH29.

Nilambur Road Railway Station is at a distance of 83 km from Meppadi via SH28 and SH29.

Food

There are many restaurants near Chembra peak base and around Meppadi. Carry enough water from the base.

Other Things To See : Edakkal Caves, 27km from Meppadi.

Meenmutty Falls, 18km from Meppadi.

Best Time To Visit : September-May

Meenmutty Falls
Meenmutty Falls
Image Source : usandeep.com


14. Kanasar Lake Trek

Kanasar Lake Image Source : outlooktraveller.com
Kanasar Lake
Image Source : outlooktraveller.com

Altitude : 4,450 m

Minimum Days : 8-10 days

The Kanasar lake, perched high up in the mountains of Garhwal is the ultimate off-beat trekking destination you could ever imagine visiting. Explored until only a few years ago, this lake is still little known and least visited. The most surprising and awe-inspiring element about trekking to this lake is how huge it is. It is one of the largest high altitude lakes, almost a kilometre in length, which is massive for a high altitude lake and that us why it is on our list of offbeat treks in India.

It’s not easy reaching this lake. Starting from the base of Sangla, this trek passes through the Nalgan and Panchodar valley before reaching Kanasar and takes upto 8-10 days of uphill ascend, staggering over snowy and rocky fields, traversing through high passes and camping in the supreme cold.

It’s not easy reaching this lake. Starting from the base of Sangla, this trek passes through the Nalgan and Panchodar valley before reaching Kanasar and takes upto 8-10 days of uphill ascend, staggering over snowy and rocky fields, traversing through high passes and camping in the supreme cold.

Fun Fact : It is believed that the lake of Kanasar gets its name from its eye shaped structure and the islands in the lake look like spots in the eye of a blind person which in Hindi translates to ‘kana’.

Route : Sangla ⇒ Kanda ⇒ Nalgan Base ⇒ Nalgan Valley ⇒ Panchodar Camp ⇒ Bijouri ⇒Kanasar Lake

Nearest Roadhead : Sangla

How To Reach Kanasar Lake?

Air

The nearest Airport is Jubbarhatti Airport, Shimla.

It is very well connected to many major cities of India like Dharamshala, Chandigarh, New Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Shimla.

Railway

The nearest railway head is the Kalka railway station.

Road

Jubbarhatti Airport is at a distance of 258 km from Sangla via NH5.

Kalka Railway Station is at a distance of 325 km from Sangla via NH5.

You can drive to Narkanda, beyond Shimla, take a halt and then drive to Sangla the next day.

Food

Other Things To See :

Tibetan wood carving centre, Sangla

Kamru fort, Sangla

Best Time To Visit : June to September


15. Auden’s Col Trek

Auden's Col
en route to the Auden’s Col Pass
Image Source : debolinsen.in

Altitude : 5490 m

Minimum Days : 15-18 days
The Auden’s Col trek can easily qualify as one of the most challenging and offbeat treks in India. It is a very arduous trek and that is why the least explored in the Garhwal Himalayan region of Uttarakhand. Auden’s Col is a high altitude mountain pass that serves as a connecting link between the Rudugaira valley and the Bhilangana valley, also connecting the north-west ridge of Gangotri III and Jogin I. This trek also gives you the opportunity to explore the famed Khatling glacier on the south side of Bhilangana valley.

Despite the high level of difficulty, this trek holds an exalted status because of the wondrous landscapes and awe-inspiring snowscapes it has to offer. especially the glorious views of peaks like Rudugaira, Jogin group, Bhagirathi and Kedar Dome. Auden’s Col trek is replete with Hindu pilgrimage sites and also hosts the shrine of Gangotri. The trail commences from Gangotri and takes you through dense alpine forests, myriad flower strewn meadows, streams, quaint villages, temples and treacherous moraines. This trek is on the wish list of every avid trekker.

Fun Fact : The Auden’s Col Pass is named after John Bicknell Auden, a British geological surveyor, who first discovered it in 1935 and crossed it in 1939. The second successful crossing had to wait and happen until 1983, which explains the level of difficulty.

Route : Uttarkashi ⇒ Gangotri ⇒ Nalla Camp ⇒ Rudugaira Base Camp ⇒ Gangotri Group Base Camp ⇒ Auden’s Col Base Camp ⇒ Auden’s Col ⇒ Khatling Glacier Camp ⇒ Kharsoli ⇒ Gangi ⇒ Ghuttu ⇒ Delhi

Nearest Roadhead : Gangotri

How To Reach?

Air

The nearest airport is the Jolly Grant Airport.

Railway

Nearest Railway station is the Rishikesh Railway station.

Road

Jolly Grant Airport is at a distance of 267 km from Gangotri via NH34.

Rishikesh Railway Station is at a distance of 280 km from Gangotri via NH34.

Gangotri is well connected by motorable roads with major destinations of Uttarakhand. Buses and taxis are easily available from major destinations of Uttarakhand like Rishikesh, Dehradun, Tehri, Garhwal, Uttarkashi.

Food

Uttarkashi is the last point to get all your food supplies and provisions.

Other Things To See :

Khatling Glacier

Shrine Of Gangotri

Best Time To Visit Auden’s Col Pass: May-June


16. Baraadsar Lake Trek

Baraadsar Lake Trek
The Baraadsar Lake
Image Source : himalayandrifters.in

Altitude : 4,400m

Minimum Days : 6-7 days

Baraadsar Lake is listed as one of our offbeat treks in India because trekking to this lake named Baraadsar is a blissful journey. This high altitude lake is a secret jewel nestled between the Rupin and Supin valleys in the North-western region of Garhwal. The Baraadsar lake makes for a stunning visual surrounded by high ridges on all sides with the lake right in the middle of the lower basin. You can advance to Baraadsar lake from the Rupin valley and exit from the Supin valley.

The trek commences from Dhaula with Bitri being the last village on the trail. The trail takes you past well-kept mountain villages, small fields, densely forested patches, massive stretches of grassy slopes , and eventually snowlines. Local people consider the Baraadsar lake sacred and they believe that one must offer a prayer once they reach the lake as no prayer goes unanswered there.

Fun Fact : On your journey  from Masunda Dhar to Dhalka Dhar, you will catch glimpses of a large meadow called ‘Vishkhopdi’, with ‘vish’ standing for poison and ‘khopdi’ meaning brain. Local lore has people believing that whoever visits this meadow in summers becomes intoxicated from the scent of flowers there.

Route : Netwar ⇒ Dhaula ⇒ Bitri ⇒ Masundha Dhar ⇒ Dhalka Dhar ⇒ Dev Bhasa ⇒Baraadsar Ridge ⇒ Dhara ⇒ Jakhol

Nearest Roadhead : Dhaula

How To Reach Baraadsar Lake?

Air

Nearest Airport is the Jolly Grant Airport.

Railway

Nearest railway station is the Dehradun Railway Station.

Road

Jolly Grant Airport is at a distance of 225 km from Dhaula via NH507.

Dehradun Railway Station is at a distance of 197 km from Dhaula via NH507.

Its an 8 hour drive from the station to Netwar via Mussoorie. It’s a further 10 km drive to reach Dhaula.

Food

Bitri is the last village to pack your food supplies and provisions. You can cook your food at campsites that follow.

Other Things To See : Obra valley

Best Time To Visit Baraadsar Lake: June to August

Obra Valley
The Obra Valley
Image Source : juniperopc.com


17. Hatu Peak Trek

Hatu Peak Trek
The Hatu Peak
Image Source : summitpost.org

Altitude : 3,400 m

Minimum Days : 1-2 days

If you want to embark on a trek that takes you to a place that is uninhabited, provides a panoramic view of the great Himalayan range, and can be completed in a single day, then a trek to the off-beat Hatu Peak is precisely what you are seeking and that is what compelled us to have it on our list of offbeat treks in India. The Hatu Peak is the highest summit in the Shimla/Narkanda part of Himachal Pradesh. The trek commences from Narkanda and the entire trail goes through a rich coniferous forest consisting of deodar, fir, blue pine, rhododendron, walnut, horse chestnut and kharsu oak.

When you reach the summit you are rewarded with the magnificent views overlooking the Narkanda and The great Himalayas. You are also blessed with the shrine of Hatu Mata at the top of the hill. The 7km from Narkanda to Hatu Peak and back can be trekked on the same day. However if you want to make this experience a little thrilling, you can camp at the Hatu Ridge.

Fun Fact : According to local lore, the temple of Hatu Mata belongs to ‘Mandodari’, wife of Ravana. It is also believed that there is a stove like structure of rocks near this temple and it was used by the Pandavas to cook their food during their Agyaat Vaas.

Route : Narkanda ⇒ Hatu ⇒ Narkanda

Nearest Roadhead : Narkanda

How To Reach Narkanda?

Air

Nearest airport is the Shimla Airport.

Railway

Nearest Railway Station is the Kalka Railway Station.

Road

Shimla Airport is at a distance of 81 km from Narkanda via NH5.

Kalka Railway Station is at a distance of 148 km from Narkanda via NH5.

Narkanda is well connected through motorable roads with other cities. You can reach Shimla and then hop on a bus to Narkanda or take a taxi. Both private and state-run buses ply on this route frequently.
Food

Narkanda is the last place to get food. There are good hot meals available at the base of Narkanda. Also carry enough water from Narkanda as there is no source of water available on the trail.

Other Things To See : Hatu Mata Temple

Best Time To Visit :

May-Jun

September-November

Hatu Mata Temple
The Hatu Mata Temple
Image Source : tripadvisor.co.nz


18. Maldaru Lake Trek

Maldaru Lake Trek
The  Maldaru Lake
Image Source : juniperopc.com

Altitude : 4,200 m

Minimum Days : 6 days

The Maldaru lake is a high altitude jewel nestled within the Govind National Park, in Western Garhwal region of Uttarakhand. This glacial lake is not large, being around 400m in circumference. However, the visual attractiveness it exhibits is everything you need to witness after a tiresome trek up to the ridge and that is why it is one of our offbeat treks in India. If you trek on a clear day you will witness the lake reflecting the Swargarohini massif that emerges over it.

The waters of this lake flow and join the Supin river below. This lake is considered very sacred by the villagers of Osla and the locals worship its waters. There are easier routes that take you to the Maldaru Lake, but the trail that commences from Taluka is the most off-beat, relatively challenging and more rewarding one. The trail takes you through stunning meadows, gurgling streams, untouched forest stretches, excellent ridge-top views and also breathtaking views of Swargarohini, Hath Parbat, Kala Nag and Banderpoonch.

Fun Fact : The Govind National Park is one of the fewer sites in the Himalayas that hosts the Bearded vulture, a vital ecologist catalyst listed as nearly threatened species in 2014.

Route : Sankri/Taluka ⇒ Dharkot ⇒ Vishkhopdi ⇒ Batgair ⇒ Rashi ⇒ Maldaru Lake ⇒Banya Ridge ⇒ Debsu

Thach ⇒ Osla ⇒ Taluka

Nearest Roadhead : Sankri

How To Reach Maldaru Trek?

Air

Nearest airport is the Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun. Taxis are available from the Jolly Grant Airport to Purola which can be further be taken to Sankri.

Railway

The nearest railhead is Dehradun. Buses and taxis are easily available from the station.

Road

Jolly Grant Airport is at a distance of 225 km from Sankri via NH507.

Dehradun Railway Station is at a distance of 196 km from Sankri via NH507.

There are no direct buses to Sankri. You can reach Mussoorie, board a bus to Purola and then hop on a taxi or shared taxi from Purola to Sankri (54 km). Taxis and buses are easily available to Purola from Barkot, Mussoorie, Uttarkashi, Rishikesh, and Tehri.

Food

At Sankri, The GMVN’s Tourist Rest House offers accommodation as well as serves hot meals. You have to carry food supplies here on to cook at campsites later.

Other Things To See : Har Ki Doon valley

Best Time To Visit :

May-June

September-October

Har Ki Doon Valley
The Har Ki Doon Valley
Image Source : wikipedia.org


19. Lamkhaga Pass Trek

Lamkhaga Pass Trek
en route to Lamkhaga Pass
Image Source : Indiamike.com

Altitude : 5326 m

Minimum Days : 10-12 days

We conclude our list of offbeat treks in India with the Lamkhaga Pass. The Lamkhaga Pass trek is the ultimate offbeat trekking destination as well as the ultimate trekking trail which is rarely traversed. Lamkhaga pass is the connecting link between the northeastern Garhwal and Kinnaur in Himachal Pradesh. It is an incredibly difficult and incredibly beautiful trail, surrounded by endless sea of snow and mountains.

The trek commences from Harsil and concludes at Chitkul and the trail is endowed with grand vistas of gigantic peaks and lakes, glaciers and massive snow fields. Reaching the Lamkhaga Pass after 8 long days of arduous trekking and unforgiving terrain is a moment of pride and you are rewarded with a panoramic view of the glorious snow-laden peaks hugging the Lamkhaga glacier.

Fun Fact : The great Indian actor Raj Kapoor’s Hindi film, ‘Ram Teri Ganga Maili’ was shot in the village of Harsil.

Nearest Roadhead : Harsil

How To Reach Harsil?

Air

The nearest airport is the Jolly Grant Airport. Taxis are available from the airport to Uttarkashi, Tehri and Harsil.

Railway

The nearest railhead is the Rishikesh Railway Station. Taxis and buses are available from here to Harsil.

Road

Jolly Grant Airport is at a distance of 242 km from Harsil via NH34.

Rishikesh Railway Station is at a distance of 255 km from Harsil via NH34.

Harsil is well connected by motorable roads with major destinations of Uttarakhand. And buses and taxis are easily available from Rishikesh, Dehradun, Tehri, Barkot and Uttarkashi,

Food

You have to carry adequate amount of food supplies, ready to make food and utensils according to the days and number of people trekking. You cannot depend on anyone for food till you reach Chitkul.

Other Things To See : Chitkul Mathi Temple

Best Time To Visit Lamkhaga Pass Trek : May-June

Chitkul Mathi Temple
Chitkul Mathi Temple
Image Source : traveldglobe.com

 

We hope this write-up was helpful to you. If you think there are any other trekking destinations that are worthy enough to make to this list of offbeat treks in India or if you want more details on any other trekking destinations, then please drop your suggestions and queries in the comments below because we are going to keep updating this list to deliver the best to your needs. We are happy to help and happy to learn. 

Here’s wishing you the very best for your upcoming adventures.

May you see the unseen & frequent the unfrequented.