Whether you’re an active vacation enthusiast or you simply enjoy the peaceful scenery of the outdoors, trail hiking in India is a magnificent way to take in the sights of India while remaining active. India is a hiker’s paradise, offering trails for those looking for short excursions as well as those who wish to hike for a few days.
Whether you plan to stay overnight or for an entire week, a simple hotel search helps you find India hotels so you can relax at the end of your hike without worrying about finding cheap hotels. You will find hotels for every budget easily throughout India, enabling you to focus on your hiking excursions.
1. Tiger Hill, Darjeeling
Darjeeling’s most popular station for viewing the Himalayan Mountains and Mount Kanchenjunga, Tiger Hill is a prime location for enjoying breathtaking sunrise views as you hike. During peak season, which falls between March and June, upwards of 1000 people per day arrive pre-dawn to watch as the sun paints the mountain peaks pink and purple, one at a time. Take a cab to the viewing station, then hike back 13 kilometers to the town of Ghoom for a scenic early morning walk past tea gardens and low-sloping hills.
2. Singhalia Ridge Trail, Darjeeling
Visit the Singhalia Ridge Trail during April, May or in the fall, after monsoon season. Serious hikers can sign up for a 3-, 5- or 6-day hike accompanied by a hired guide. The Signhalia Ridge trail winds along the ridges of the Himalayan Mountains, venturing briefly into Nepal, then back into India where rhododendrons are at their peak in early spring. Cheap hotels and lodgings provide rest and hospitality along the way.
3. Darjeeling to Kurseoung, via Old Military Road
The one-day hiking trail leading from Darjeeling to Kurseoung brings you directly past the Mag-Dhog Yolmowa Buddhist Monastery, built at the beginning of World War I in 1914 and the namesake for the road. Dozens of hikers follow Old Military Road as it winds around Senchal Lake. It’s easy to find hotels to extend your stay in this area.
4. Seven Sisters, Himachal Pradesh
The mountain peaks of the Seven Sisters, named for the surrounding seven states, offer the best hiking opportunity for beginners. With a summit of 4500 meters, you can view both the Kully Valley and Pir Panjal range.
5. The Grand Indrahaar Pass, Himachal
With its reputation as one of the best hiking treks in India, the Grand Indrahaar Pass attracts thousands of international hikers to Himachal each year. Leave your non-essentials in your India hotels and head out to enjoy the diverse scenery, ranging from flower-covered valleys to mini-glaciers and peaks.
6. Doon Valley, Garhwal
Enjoy a gentle hike through the Har Ki Doon Valley forests and winding trails past magnificent flower meadows. This hiking tour begins in Mussoorie with an option to raft down the Ganges River. Visit small villages and hike past pastures that are teeming with buffalo during the busy summer season. Settle in a nearby hotel to relax at the end of a memorable day in Doon Valley.
7. Municipal Garden, Mussoorie
Take a short 2 kilometer walk on Waverly Convent Road in Mussoorie. A small man-made lake offers boating for an enjoyable mid-day break, or you can enjoy a picnic amidst the scenic gardens. The local flora and fauna are in full-bloom between September and November, which is spring time in Mussoorie.
8. Clouds End, Mussoorie
Begin and end your hotel search with this resort area in Mussoorie. Surrounded by lush forests and panoramic views of the Yamuna River against a Himalayan backdrop, you can trek 8 kilometers from Library Bazar to the Clouds End resort area. The area is popular amongst international hikers and travelers, honeymooning couples and those who enjoy historical locations.
9. Manali, Himachal Pradesh
With so much to see and do in Manali, a short 3 kilometer trek to Hidimba Devi Temple is the perfect way to break up the day. Known as the “End of the Habitable World,” Manali is a place where hikers can view the Tibetan Temple, soak in the hot waters of the Sulphur Springs, then trek 5 kilometers from the main town to Arjun Gufa, named for a mythological character.
10. Heart of Annapurnas, Cental West Nepal
Customize a hiking tour through Central West Nepal to last between two and 15 days. You’ll find cheap hotels along the way as you trek in areas such as Kathmandu, Landrung, the Annapurna Base Camp and more. The grand beauty of the bamboo and rhododendron forests will surround you on your unforgettable hike.
A hiking excursion through any of these areas of India is sure to create memories that last a lifetime. The beauty and culture that exists amidst the mountains, valleys and local villages will entice you to return to India again and again.
This guest post was written and provided by Erica Gustafson who is a freelance writer, avid traveler to India and online digital media consultant for Expedia.