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.
Altitude: 12628 ft
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.
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
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
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
Easy to Moderate
Rajamachi Fort Treks
Area: Tansa Lake, Naneghat, Maharashtra
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.