India’s Toughest Treks

India’s Toughest Treks

It’s time to move your butt people because just playing the video games we feature and the cars we want you to drive won’t give you the rush that tackling a trekking terrain would. Read on to know more.


Chadar Trek

Area: Leh

Season: Winter

Altitude: 12628 ft

Days: 10

While the picture says it all, just imagine how challenging and enduring it would be to walk on a frozen river for 8-10 days. This trek is done on the frozen Zanskar River, which is the only link between the people of Zanskar and the outside world when the passes are shut at freezing temperatures of close to -30. On the way, you get to see monasteries and villages that are completely cut off from the rest of the world and a way, you get to trek into the past.

Rough Iternary

Day 1: Fly to Leh

Day 2: Drive to Chilling, which will take roughly three hours, and then trek down for two kilometres to Tilad Do Camp, which will take another hour.   

Day 3: Trek down to Gyalpo Camp, which is nine kilometres away and takes six hours to cover.

Day 4: An eight-hour walk will take you to your next destination Dib Cave.  

Day 5: From Dib Cave, you trek to Naerak Camp, a distance of 10 kilometres that will take seven hours

Day 6: Naerak to Tibb

Day 7: Tibb to Shingrakoma

Day 8: Shingra Koma to Chilling

Day 9: Drive back to Leh   

Day 10: Fly back to Delhi


Kalindi Khal Trek

Area: Garhwal, Uttarakhand

Season: Mid July to Mid August

Altitude: 19578 ft

Days: 22

It doesn’t matter if you have always chosen stairs over lifts, you will still find this popular but treacherous terrain too tough to handle. Only those people who have earlier done high altitude trekking should consider this 100 km-long route that lets you cover Garhwal from the Bhagirathi Valley to the Alaknanda Valley. On the way, it takes you through Gangotri, Nandavan, Vasukital, Kalindikhal Pass, Arwatal and to the village on the Chinese frontier, Mana. The trek ends at Badrinath temple. Also, this is a pretty expensive trek because of the duration of the expedition and the extensive logistics needed.

Key to complete this trek

1. Fitness: If you are not fit, don’t do it. You know your body, and only if you are sure that you can take this high altitude route where fatality rates are really high should you opt for this trek.

2. Permissions required: Ask your trek guide to take all the necessary permissions because, considering the fatality rates, the authorities shy away from granting permissions to people going on this route. You will need permissions from the Forest Departments so carry identity proofs, photographs and medical certificates.

3. Be courageous: Once you are in the mountains, anything can happen. The ground can sink, the ice on the mountains could slide and the weather could have unexpected turns, so only if you have balls of steel to face death-like situations should you try this.

Moderate to DifficulT

Koch Fort Trek

Area: Wagheta, Thane, Maharashtra

Season: Preferably monsoons

Altitude: 1500 ft

Days: 1

Located near the small town of Wada, this trek starts near the Vaitarna dam. First, you will have to walk for about two kilometres on a rocky stretch that will take you to the tip of a mountain, which looks like the entrance of a jungle. It’s from here that you get a panoramic view of the fort and of the jungle around. It’s a steep walk of around three hours and a partly submerged and largely damaged fort of Shivaji is the endpoint.

Treks around Mumbai

1. Gambhirnath Caves

Where: Close to the Beed village near Karjat

2. Korigad Fort

Where: Near Aamby Valley

3.  Malshej Ghat

Where: To reach, take NH3 to Bhiwandi and turn towards Murbad

4. Lohagad Fort

Where: Near Lonavala

5.  Takmak fort

Where: Vasai

Easy to Moderate

Rajamachi Fort Treks

Area: Tansa Lake, Naneghat, Maharashtra

Season: Monsoon

Altitude: 1

Days: 1 day

There is more than one route you can opt for while trying this trek, and depending upon which route you take, your duration could be anything between six to seven hours. You get to walk through dense foliage and spot several seasonal waterfalls. All the treks end at Udhivade, a small village in Rajmachi, and from here it takes another half an hour to climb the twin forts of Shrivardhan and Manoranjan. There are no prior bookings needed for this trek.

How to pep-up the trip

1. Stay: Though it just takes 5-6 hours to complete this trip, you can stay overnight at various camping facilities here.

2. Savour the local food: Try staying at the Udhewadi village where there is no electricity but the solar panels help light-up the village. If it’s monsoon time, the solar panels might not work, and there can be darkness all around.

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