Are you a trekking enthusiast but don't know the good treks to embark upon in these peak monsoon months?
In this article, you will learn about the top seven treks in India that you can experience in the monsoon season. You will also know which regions of India are safe for trekking during this season and which are best avoided.
So, let's get started!
Treks of northern India
1. Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand
One of the most sought-after treks in India, Valley of Flowers is worth every effort to reach this place. The best time to visit the valley is in July when the flowers bloom. Witness a million flowers of every colour in bloom, covering every inch of the valley like a carpet. Marvel at nature's creation as you experience the spectacular beauty of this place.
The trek to Valley of Flowers is moderately difficult and takes about 4-5 days to reach as you stop and camp on the way to get acclimated to the height. The rain adds to the beauty of the place as you make your way to the top and is almost nil at the valley, letting you enjoy the sights.
In August, the flowers start to wilt, but the place nevertheless proffers its beauty with its snow-clad mountains and lush green surroundings.
2. Tarsar Marsar, Jammu and Kashmir
The prettiest trek, Tarsar Marsar, in Kashmir, is the most picturesque trek trail ever. Tarsar Marsar is where the trekkers get to witness three alpine lakes. The trekkers not only get to camp right beside the aquamarine, snow-fed lakes but also get to trek the entire perimeter of the Tarsar and Sundaresar lake, which offer mesmerising views true to the name given to this place 'Heaven on Earth'.
The magical Marsar lake remains hidden from view under a shroud of clouds and is only visible after trekking to an overhanging cliff where the lake is situated 600-700 ft below. Consider yourself blessed if you catch a glimpse of the grand lake and the sun rising on the horizon as the lake disappears within seconds once the clouds make their way and settle over the lake again. A truly magical sight to behold!
3. Hampta Pass, Himachal Pradesh
The Hampta Pass is a crossover trek in the Himalayas. A moderate to difficult trek, it takes approximately six days to reach the Pass, located at 14000 ft above sea level.
The Hampta Pass is known as the most dramatic crossover trek as on one side of the Pass is the lush green Kullu Valley with its green slopes and blooming flowers, while on the other side is the stark opposite arid and barren landscape of the Lahaul-Spiti Valley. When you stand on top of the Hampta Pass, you can see a world of difference between the terrain you left behind and the terrain that lies ahead.
Hampta Pass is also known as Himachal's Valley of Flowers as the landscape is very similar to that of Valley of Flowers in Uttaranchal.
Treks in Western India
4. Harishchandragad Trek, Maharashtra
The western ghats also offer some exhilarating monsoon treks that can test the strength and fitness of many. One moderately difficult trek is that to Harishchandragrad, a 6th-century hill fort.
A particular stretch of the trek known as the Cobra's Hood is one of the toughest climbs as it takes you straight to an altitude of 4900 ft above sea level. But once at the summit, the picturesque beauty of the place makes up for all the effort and strain put in.
The place offers a mesmerising view of the rain-washed green valley and the Konkan Kada, a cliff that is the major attraction at Harishchandragad. The cliff is vertical and over-hangs like the hood of a cobra.
When in Harishchandragad, do not miss out on visiting the stone-age Kedareshwar cave, home to a large Shivalinga, surrounded by waist-deep water (also considered the origin of the Mangalganga River).
5. Sinhagad Trek, Maharashtra
The Sinhagad Trek, near Pune, offers beautiful sunrise and sunset views over the western ghats, with the historic 17th-century fort serving as a backdrop. The rains also add to the place's lush green scenic beauty. A relatively easy trek compared to the Harishchandragad Trek, Sinhagad is at an altitude of 4,300 ft above sea level.
The fort also offers stunning views of the Khadakwasla Dam and the Torna Fort.
Treks in Southern India
6. Kumara Parvatha Trek, Karnataka
The Kumara Parvatha is the second highest peak in Karnataka, at 5,600 ft above sea level. It is home to the famous Kukke Subramanya temple, which makes the trek more popular.
The trek, though challenging, is quite picturesque. Stretches on this trek can be a little strenuous, but the scenic 14km uphill climb makes the entire journey worthwhile.
Embark on this scenic trek for an enriching experience, and keep an eye out for various Nandi idols along the way!
7. Chembra Peak Trek, Kerala
One of the most-enriching monsoon treks is the trek through Wayanad's vast and picturesque tea estates to reach Chembra Peak in God's own country.
Home to the famous heart-shaped Chembra Lake, the peak, being Wayanad's highest point at an altitude of 6,800 ft above sea level, offers a panoramic view of the misty valley and beyond.
Furthermore, trekkers also get the opportunity to camp beside the lake!
It takes approximately 2.5 hours to reach the lake, a relatively easy trek. September is the best month to embark on this trek when the rains are on their way out.
Treks to avoid in the monsoon season
Many trekking organisations offer treks round the year; however, proven expert trekkers like India Hikes recommend refraining from going on a monsoon trek to the following places:
• Most treks in Uttarakhand above 10,000ft (except for Valley of Flowers) should be avoided during this season as it rains heavily and the trails are unsafe and slippery.
• Avoid the North-Eastern treks offered in the country during this time, as this region receives the highest rainfall in the country.
Some other treks to be avoided in the monsoon are:
• Bhushi Dam, Lonavala
• Kalavantin Durg Trek, Raigad
• Mullayangiri Trek, Karnataka
We hope we have got you planning your upcoming trek to some of the safe and exhilarating places mentioned above. So, what are you waiting for? Get your trekking gear ready and embark on an experiential journey of a lifetime!