The adrenaline is rushing through the veins, the trekking gear is calling out to you from the attic and all you can think about is scaling some heights. For a person who loves trekking, a walk up the rugged steep terrain gives an altogether different kind of a high. The exhilaration experienced is unparalleled and it increases manifold if the terrain or peak is an off-beat one. Far from the crowd of tourists jostling each other to have a go at the trekking trail, the off-beat trekking locales in India are a true trekker’s delight. So move aside Kanchanjunga trek, for its now time for the underdogs to shine. Few of these have been hand-picked by us for the next time you feel the call of the mountains in your veins.
Nag Tibba Trek, Uttarakhand
If you stay in Delhi, then this one should be right up your alley, as this off-beat trek starts right from Mussoorie, taking you deep into the dense forest. The trail isn’t too tough on the trekker and gives you a splendid view of the majestic Himalayas. The snowy peaks, the smoke coming out from houses in the hamlets below, all are sure to remind you of The Shire from the movie The Lord of the Rings. You can easily see the Bandarpoonch peak, the Gangotri group of peaks, Kedarnath peak, Doon valley and the snow peaks of Changabang while on your trek.
• Altitude: 9,915 feet above sea level
• Duration: 2 Days
• Trek length: 16 km
• Best time to trek: Throughout the year.
• Difficulty Quotient: Easy
• Trek Route: Panthwari – Camp 1 – Nag Tibba Base – Nag Tibba Top – Panthwari
Japfu Peak Trek, Nagaland
The North East side of India has a lot of hidden wonders that are yet to be fully explored by the tourist community. This trail in Kohima takes you to the highest peak of Nagaland, the Japfu peak. A glance down while you are trekking would mesmerize you with a breathtaking view of the Dzukou Valley. The lush green carpet of nature is laced and adorned with colored splotches of rhododendrons and mountain flowers. Not to miss while you are on the trail is the tallest rhododendron tree of the world standing tall with a height of 130 ft.
• Altitude: 3048 m above sea level
• Duration: 4-5 Days
• Trek length: 17 km
• Best time to trek: October to May
• Difficulty Quotient: Easy to Moderate
• Trek Route: Kohima – Zakhama – Dzukou Valley – Viswema Village – Japfu Base Camp – Japfu Peak
The Phuktal Monastery Trek, Ladakh
Embark on this offbeat trek in the Himalayan range of Ladakh with a strong will, for the trek itself is too long. The trek to the monastery which is set around a natural cave will take you through the Lungtal Valley. After the trek, you can calm your senses and stretch your legs while meditating at the monastery.
• Altitude: 4000 m
• Duration: 7-9 Days
• Trek Length:65 km
• Best time to trek: July to mid-October
• Difficulty Quotient: Moderate
• Trek Route: Padum – Shilla Camp – Reru – Changpa Tsetan – Purne – Phuktal
Roopkund Trek, Uttarakhand
Getting its name from a lake that goes by the same name, this trek is not only for the adventurer but also for the spiritual believer. Roopkund Lake has an aura of mystery around it because of some skeletons found near and inside the lake. These skeletons are allegedly the remains of the people killed in a hailstorm way back in the 9th century. The lake is called ‘Mystery Lake’ owing to this legend. When the lake defrosts in summers, that is when the skeletons can be seen in its water. The snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas, mountain passes, glaciers and the alp trees add to the mystical beauty of the place.
• Altitude: 14,638 feet above sea level
• Duration: 7- 9 Days
• Trek Length:53 km
• Best time to trek: May to June and September to October
• Difficulty Quotient: Moderate to Challenging
• Trek Route: Loharjung – Didna Village – Ali Bugyal – Ghora Lotani – Bhagwabasa – Roopkund – Bhagwabasa – Loharjung – Bedini Bugyal
Bhrigu Lake trek, Himachal Pradesh
Another thrilling yet offbeat trek to be added to your wishlist should be this amazing trek in the Kullu District of the Himachal region. The trek commences close to Manali and has Rohtang Pass towards its western side. The trek enthralls the novice as well as the experienced trekker, with natural beauty encompassed at every step of the trek. Passing through the Manali Valley, the trek trail leads you to the holy lake. Perfect for a camp stopover, the place will literally invite you to spend some time sitting by the lake, simply admiring the beauty around you.
• Altitude: 4270 m above sea level
• Duration: 4 Days
• Trek length: 22 km
• Best time to trek: May to October
• Difficulty Quotient: Moderate
• Trek Route: Gulaba – Rola Khuli – Bhrigu Lake – Rola Khuli – Gulaba
Lamkhaga Pass Trek
Alpine meadows, Deodar, Pine, and Bhojpatra trees are the first things that you see when you get going on this trail. The trek is set in the Lamkhaga pass which connects north-east Garhwal at Harsil and Sangla in Himachal Pradesh. Taking you through some uphill and some downhill trails, this trek is one of the toughest treks in the Indian Himalayan region.
• Altitude: 5286 m
• Duration: 15 Days
• Trek Length: 115 km
• Best time to trek: Mid May to June and Early Sep to Mid October
• Difficulty Quotient: Challenging
• Trek route: Harsil-Kyarkoti-Lamkhaga Pass Base Camp- Gumdar- Dumti- Rani Kanda
Keri- Arambol Trek, Goa
Now, this one is as offbeat as it goes, for not even in your wildest of imaginations can you imagine Goa to have a trekking trail. All Goa brings to mind is the whiff of the sea and the taste of the Pina Colada. The trek is a little offbeat in the sense that it doesn’t take you up to a high altitude peak. Starting from Goa’s northernmost seafront, at the Keri or Kerim Beach, this trek takes you uphill and downhill traversing through splendid shores.
• Altitude: 45 feet
• Duration: Half to 1 Day
• Trek length: 10 km
• Best time to trek: Goa is fabulous in all seasons but Monsoons should be avoided for trekking
• Difficulty Quotient: Easy
• Trek Route: Paliem Hill- Arambol Beach- Keri Beach