A valley to soothe your soul
Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks ( Uttarkhand )
Trekkers, naturalists, artists and poets love to map the glaciers, rivers and streams of the Nanda Devi and Valley of flowers National Park, with its gentler landscape and placid alpine meadows, beautifully complements the rugged, inaccessible, high-mountain wilderness of Nanda Devi. Both parks are ripe with flora and fauna, with a sizeable population of the elusive Himalayan musk deer and even the snow leopard. For bird watchers, the place is an absolute treat.
Tip:- The trek can be arrange through the DMVN Mountaineering and Trekking division in Rushikesh
Highlight:- During and post monsoons, the floor of valley of flowers us covered with a carpet of rare flowers like brahmakamal and blue poppy!
Best time to visit: – July to October. (Valley of flowers) and April – October (Nanda Devi National Park).
Spot the Elusive snow leopard
Hemis High Altitude National Park ( Jammu and Kashmir )
The high – altitude park derives its name from the Hemis Gompa, a famous Buddhist monastery situated near Leh ( India ). The confluence of Indus and Zanskar rivers cordons the park and is a treat for the eyes. “ While the park is most sought – after for its snow leopard sight – seeing, it’s also home to bharal or the blue sheep, Ladakhi urial, Himalayan Marmots and Tibetan Wild ass,” says seasoned trekker and photographer Neelima Vallangi. The fact that these areas are protected makes them pristine minus any litter. However, there is a high chance of coming down with Acute Mountain Sickness ( AMS ) on this trek, if not acclimatized enough. The only place to stay during these treks is in campsites by pitching your own tents.
Tip: – Light crampons might be useful in crossing snow – ridden sections;
Highlight: – The trek offers some of the most rugged landscapes in the country that keeps changing color and form every few hours;
Best time to visit: – July to September
Waterfall of hope
Kugti Wildlife Sanctuary ( Himachal Pradesh )
Virtually explored, the Kugti wildlife Sanctuary leads you through steep slopes, rough terrain, snow and glaciers. The mountains on this trek are replete with greenery and the slopes are lined with many waterfalls making for beautiful scenery along the way. High – altitude Himalayan fauna species have made this sanctuary their home, including the endangered goat called Himalayan Thar. It also houses the famous Manimahesh Temple that is annually visited by thousands of pilgrims.
Tip:- Ensure all your supplies for the trek are bought at Bharmour since you don’t get much beyond rice and dal at the Kugti village
Highlight :- The trek has medicinal plants along the way with some rare floral species as well.
Best time to visit:- September is a good time as the snow melts and the pass is open for crossing.
A view of Mt. Everest
Singalila National Park ( West Bengal, India )
steal a look at the Everest on this trek located in the higher ridges of Darjeeling Himalayas. One can reach the start of the trel at Moneybhajan by the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway and further from there in vintage Land Rover jeeps. The trek can be done in three days or more with an option of a side trip of Phalut, through the ridge where one gets unrivalled panoramic views of Mr. Kanchenjunga and Mt. Everest! As you trek, you will pass through areas full of oaks, ferns, silver firs, bamboo and flowering plants like rhododendrons, wide range of orchids, magnolias and a lot more.
Tip :- there are government – run trekkers’ hut that provide basic accommodation. One can also stay at government – run lodges in Ghoom, Darjeeling or Siliguri
Highlight:- Home to exotic red panda and Himalayan black bear
Best time to visit:- March – April