Highlighting the breathtaking views of the Himalayan mountain range, the government has unfolded the tremendous potential of tourism for its stakeholders in a virtual session.
Titled “Trekking in the Himalayas- Magical Experiences”, the Ministry of Tourism showcased the pristine nature, snow covered thick pine forests among others in the Indian Himalayan range in its latest DekhoApnaDesh webinar series.
Targeting trekkers specifically, the Ministry offered experiences that are unique and magical in the myriad trails of Indian Himalayas, which can enthral everybody all over the world and across age groups and fitness levels.
Engaging with the friendly local villagers and taking in the wonder of the lakes, rivers, meadows are guaranteed to leave one with experiences of a lifetime to cherish and plan a trip again, ministry maintained.
The series is an effort of the Ministry to engage various stakeholders of the tourism industry by showcasing India’s rich diversity under the Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat programme during the lockdown.
The session was moderated by ADG Tourism Rupinder Brar and was presented by Anupam Singh, Co-Founder and Director, SharedReach and Parag Gupta, Co-founder & Partner, The Bucket list Travel Company. The two presenters virtualized a mesmerising trip to different treks ranging from easy, moderate and difficult ones which are truly magical and breathtaking.
The famous quote by Bill Aitken “The inescapable logic of desire leaves the mountain traveller no choice but to plan his next expedition to the very peak that may have just rejected vociferously the most single minded of advances” set the tone of the presentation.
Singh shared stories about every rock, peak, pristine natural beauty, amazing spectacular sunset, the colours of fall and the spring of the important treks and offered tips for trekking.
Presenters also explained to participants about various aspects of trekking including how to go about it, understanding the season, choosing a trek and about trek guide besides fitness, clothing, gear/equipment.
They also emphasised that to be prepared for the unforeseen and acute mountain sickness or altitude sickness.
While on the trek leave only footprints behind and survive to tell the tale about flora, fauna, snow, tiny findings your way, they maintain.
Sharing some of the famous treks which they called as “Experiences of a lifetime”, Kuari Pass, Brahma Tall, HarkiDoon Valley, Fotoksar and Roopkhund were mentioned in detail.
Kuari Pass (Uttrakhand) – (12,500 ft) is classified as an easy- moderate trek. Best time for this trek is from April to mid-June and in Spring from mid-September to early November. The trek starts at 6,900 feet at Dhak and reaches at a maximum altitude of 12,516 ft above Mean Sea Level on the pass crossing day.
On the Kuari Pass trek, you’ll be trekking for an average of 4-5 hours every day, except the pass crossing day which will be 8 hours long.
One can travel from Delhi to Haridwar by rail or road. From Haridwar – Joshimath- Gulling top- Tali Forest camp-Kuari pass and back via Khullara top.
The majestic and magical experience of HathiGhori Parbat, Dronagiri and Nanda devi peaks can be enjoyed. One gets to see lovely alpine lakes on the way, snow covered mountains, golden meadows and a heavenly experience on this trek.
The Brahma Taal (12,650 ft) takes one to a frozen alpine lake with a mythology to match, it is an easy to moderate level of trek. The trek requires 6-7 days from Kathgodam to be completed.
The Best time for this trek is from December to February. The place is easily accessible from Delhi where one has to reach Kathgodam and then a drive from Kathgodam to Lohajung. The climb starts from Bekal Taal, a frozen alpine lake and camp on the snow. The trails go through a forest and when you reach Telindi top, behold the enchanting views of the mighty Himalayas. Next day climb to Brahma Taal, the mystical lake where it is believed that Lord Brahma meditated. After a night on the snow, climb to Brahma Taal top, for enjoying the magnificent views. Next day, descend down directly to Lohajung and conclude the trek and depart to Kathgodam.
The HarkiDoon Valley (3,566m/11,700 ft) located at the Valley of Gods, in Garhwal region of Uttarakhand. It is a moderate level of trek and requires about 6 days from Dehradun. Best time for this trek is from April to June and September to December. From Dehradun, drive to Sankri, then onwards to Taluka through Mussoorie.
From Taluka the real trek begins upto Seema village and then from Seema climb up to HarkiDoon with an overnight stay at HarkiDoon. En-route one will witness the Swargrohini (20,512 ft) regarded as the gateway to heaven and is associated with the mythological tales of Mahabharata.
The next day, one can directly descend to Seema through the hanging village of Osla. The village has a historical temple wherein Duryodhana is being worshipped.
The Fotoksar (16,000 ft) is a picturesque village in Ladakh. It is the part of the Lingshed- Padum trek (also known as The Great Zanskar trek)- not accessible for about 6 months every year due to heavy snows and avalanches.
It is a moderate level of trek and requires 9-10 days from Delhi. The best time to visit is from June to October. There are options for homestays which would help in gaining local experience and supporting the local economy.
The Roopkund (15,700 ft) is another popular trek of Garhwal region. The level of difficulty lies from moderate to difficult and requires about 6 days from Kathgodam to Roopkund trek. Best time to do this trek is from December to February. A drive from Kathgodam to Lohajung. Trekking through Lohajung pass, crossing the Bedni river and overnight stay at Didana village.
The next day a steep climb to Ali Bugyal (12,500 ft), the largest meadow in Asia. With an overnight stay at Bedni Bugyal, the next day proceed to an amazing campsite next to glacier Bhaguwasa (14,100 ft). Next day, I started an early morning trek to Roopkund Lake. Visit to the lake side and return to the camp by lunch time.
The next day descent to Lohajung. The mystery of skeletons lying in the Roopkund trek is that about these are the skeletons of about 500 people who were crossing Roopkund caught in a lethal hailstorm around 820 AD. This fact has also been confirmed by the scientists after inspecting the bones and dating the carbon within them.
Brar stated that the trekking and experiencing the Himalayas are on the Bucket List of many people, across all age groups and fitness level and therefore as soon as COVID-19 is subdued one could plan to experience and explore them thus peeking into the thrill of adventure, wonderful flora & fauna and the awe of the mysteries that the “Abode of Snow” hides.
The moderator informed trekkers to identify the tracks of their choice. For most of the destinations there are local guides and also one can contact any tour operator who is a member of the Adventure Tour Operators Association of India.
As a responsible trekker, one has to abide by certain basic guidelines like not to litter, keeping the trek clean, not to disturb the animals and birds and privacy of the locals must be respected.
The sessions of webinars are now available on are now available on the https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbzIbBmMvtvH7d6Zo_ZEHDA/featured and also on all social media handles of Ministry of Tourism, Government of India.