Tso Moriri to Tso Kar
Ladakh’s high-altitude lakes are among the special delights awaiting the visitor. A trek between two of its lovely lakes, Tsomoriri and Tsokar, is a good way to throw adventure into the package but, as with all adventure activities in Ladakh, this is not a fly-in, fly-out kind of trek — you’ll need to be able to spare about 10 days, because doing this trek involves first spending at least a day in Leh, acclimatising to the higher altitude, followed by a 215km drive to Tsomoriri. Ideally, try to spend another day or so at the small village of Korzok on Tsomoriri’s shore before you begin your walk to Tsokar and this trek can be both easy and comfortable. Route Tsomoriri-Gyamashama-Rajungkaru-Nuruchan-Tsokar duration; 4 days. Grade - moderate. Contact: Dreamland Tours (01982-250784, www.dreamladakh.com
The Kuari Pass trek, popularly known as the Curzon Trail after Lord Curzon’s trek to this region in 1905, is one of the loveliest and most popular treks in the Garhwal Himalaya. The trail takes you through villages, rolling bugyals (meadows), dense forests of oak, pine and rhododendron, and to mountain lakes like Gohnatal. The main attraction is fantastic views of Nanda Devi and peaks such as Trishul, Kamet and Chaukhamba from different points en route. Altitudes on the trail range from 1,219m to 4,267m — giving you a chance to see a whole variety of Himalayan birds (the most special of which is the Himalayan monal). It’s worth climbing up to the highest point on the trek, the Kuari Pass, in time to see sunrise over the peaks. It’s also possible to make a detour to Roopkund, the ‘mystery lake’. People have been visiting it out of curiosity after a local forester discovered more than 300 skeletons in the lake in 1942. Route Ramni-Jinjipani-Pana-Sartoli-Dhakwani-Kuari Pass (3,640m)-Gorson-Auli; duration 9 days. Grade - easy.
Every trekker’s first major childhood trek, it’s still lovely. The Pindari Glacier in Kumaon takes you along the beautiful Pindar Ganga river. You pass many waterfalls en route, cross the river at several points, pass through the forests of the Pindar valley and camp under icy peaks. The final day brings you to the base of the breathtaking 5km-long Pindari Glacier, which lies between the Nanda Devi and Nandakot peaks. Route Loharkhet-Dhakuri-Khati-Dwali-Phurkia-Pindari Glacier; duration 9 days. Grade - easy to moderate.
This trek is known for its grand vistas; lofty mountains provide the backdrop and lush forests keep you company. There are small bridges to be crossed, slight slopes to be climbed and stunning views to be had. The trek is characterised by short easy walks. End the trek at Har-ki-Dun or extend it upto Ruinsara Tal, a clear lake at the foot of the mountains. Route Sankri-Bhida Ka Thach-Osla-Har Ki Dun (extension: Debshu Bugyal-Ruinsara Tal-Osla-Taluka-Sankri); duration 4-8 days. Grade - easy to moderate.
Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve
Dominated by Nanda Devi (7,800m), this Biosphere Reserve in Garhwal has a huge variety of Himalayan flora and fauna. After a gap of nearly 20 years trekking has again been allowed in its buffer area. The trek involves an ascent along the gorge of the Gori Ganga, and takes you to high plateaus which offer spectacular views. Route Lata village-Lata Kharak-Dharansi Pass (4,250m)-Debrugheta-Dharansi Pass-Hitoli-Tolma; duration 10 days. Grade - moderate. Contact: Wild World India (0120-4223012, www.wildworldindia.com)