Himalayas Travel Guide


Himalaya Mountains - Trekking Tours and Adventure Guide

Every adventure traveler should visit the Himalaya mountain ranges. This breathtaking site is a paradise that can only be described when you are at the place. The mountain ranges, which lie on the border of Nepal and India, are covered with white snow, and this makes the hill stations appear like precious gems on a crown. The Himalaya, which translates to “home of white snow”, is a must-visit outdoor adventure destination for every traveller. The Greater Himalaya is actually a collection of several ranges of mountains, all caused by the same geological event but very different in appearance. The Himalayas themselves run from Kanchenjunga on the Nepal/India border in the west to Nanga Parbat in Pakistan. It is a string of “Himals” or mountains strung out like a thin chain and included Everest and Annapurna, two of the most popular Himalayan trekking destinations. To the south of these lie several lesser ranges like the Pir Pinjal, taller than most other world ranges but dwarfed by the Himalaya themselves.

To the West of the main chain is the second most important range, the Karakorum. These are completely different in nature – dry, arid and jagged rock. They are the home to K2, the world’s second tallest peak. (In several million years time it will be the tallest as it is growing at a much faster rate than Everest!). These mountains were described by the famous explorer Eric Shipton as the “ultimate manifestation of mountain splendour” and you can see why. They make for dramatic mountain walking; treks are through an almost lunar landscape interrupted by islands of dazzling green where the local villages have used glacier water to irrigate parcels of fertile land.

To their west lies the Hindu Kush and its highest peak Tirish Mir. These mountains are cut by dramatic river valleys, crossed by beautiful alpine passes and home to hidden villages and shepherd huts glimpsed whilst trekking in the himalaya.

The final great range is the Pamirs, to the north of the Karakorum and much greener and more rolling in nature. A trekking ascent of Mustagh’ata, the great shelving peak in North-West China is a fantastic and exciting Himalayan trek for the experienced and adventurous

The Himalaya ranges have the highest peaks on the earth, with the ranges reaching up to 8,000 meters. There are 14 peaks that reach 8,000 meters while other hundreds reach over 7,000 meters. Travelers have a lot of ground to cover considering that the ranges stretch 1,700 miles. If you are looking for the perfect adventure on the Indian subcontinent, this is the place you should go. There are many attractions that are entangled with myths and legends, such as the Yamuna and the Ganga. Both the Brahmaputra and the Sindhu originate in the Tibetan Plateau.

Tourists from all over the world stop by the Himalayas every year in their quest to fulfil their travel desires. There are many exciting things to do and lots of scenic views to enjoy from the mountain. The area is characterized by diverse flora and fauna with the beautiful natural mountains dominating the sites. Apart from these, there are also tranquil lakes, gushing hilly rivers, green pastures and a barren cold desert to explore.

The most popular destination for trekking in the Himalaya is the mountain Kingdom of Nepal. Closed to outsiders until the early 1950’s it offers superb trekking holiday combined with a history and fascinating culture. The most famous trekking holiday it the trek to Everest Base Camp, situated at the base of the Khumbu Ice flow in the Sherpa peoples homeland of Khumbu. Another popular, if more demanding walking holiday, is to Gokyo lakes, also in the Khumbu. Many people stay lower down in the foothills on Himalayan treks enjoying the stunning scenery of terraced fields, small villages and thick rhododendron forests.

The most popular trekking area in Nepal is Annapurna, near to the small town of Pokhara. Here there are several trekking routes. The classic mountain trek is the Annapurna Circuit, a two week trek that follows first the Marsayandi River and then the Kali Gandaki river to circumnavigate the Annapurna Massif. The scenery is stunning and the culture is varied, visiting both Buddhist and Hindu regions. Another classic Himalayan trek is the Annapurna Sanctuary, a trekking tour that takes you into the heart of the Annapurna amphitheatre, surrounded by some of the world tallest peaks. Its name comes from the fact that the area was sacred to the Hindu deity Annapurna, the goddess of wisdom, and until a few decades ago all women were banned from entering. It is he only mainstream Nepal trekking trip that has an avalanche risk. There are also plenty of smaller treks in the foothills you can enjoy, many focusing on the village of Ghorepani, where a nearby vantage point called Poon (or Pune) Hill gives stunning morning view of the Himalayan chain.

Himalayan trekking holidays to Kanchenjunga are stunning. The area is much less visited although you need to be fit for trekking Himalayas as the river valleys here are deep, meaning that most days involve climbing down to a river crossing all morning, climbing up to a ridge all afternoon. Nearer to Kathmandu you can trek in the Langtang massif, ideal for those with little time not wanting to be hep hostage by the unreliability of Nepalese mountain flights.

It’s also possible to climb a Himalayan peak. There are several companies who offer commercial climbs f Everest if you have the necessary experience and money. On a lesser scale there are trekking peaks in Nepal, the most popular being Chulu East and Far East in the Annapurna region and Island or Mera peaks in the Everest. These can be climbed by people with les experience; normally a basic knowledge of ice axe, crampons and rope work is required. Permits are also easier to get than those for the higher peaks.

Trekking in Pakistan, mainly in the Karakorum Mountains, is another place to enjoy a different aspect of the Himalayan mountains. The Concordia trek is one of the Himalayan trekking classics. Soaring jagged peaks, rock, snow, ice, glaciers. The view at the end – at Concordia - where several glaciers meet is one of the most spectacular in the world, let alone just the Himalayas. Other destinations include Nanga Parbat, famous for its evil fairies that live on its summit and surrounding lower slope meadows. You can trek in the Hindu Kush.

Sacred Sites in the Himalayas

The Himalaya mountain ranges are also home to various religious sites of some of the Eastern cultures including Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus. Some of the famous pilgrimage sites include Kalimpong, Dharamshala, Mukteshwar, Haridwar and Rishikesh. Millions of pious indigenous tribes adorned in colorful wears visit the sites every year for a string of spiritual rituals and worship sessions. Other popular pilgrimage sites in Himalaya include Kendarnath, Badrinath, Gangotri, and Yamonitri, on which are located in the holy grounds of Chardham.

Adventure Sports in the Himalayas

The Himalayas offers all kinds of adventure sports for the outdoors enthusiast traveler. Some of the popular sports include mountaineering, hang gliding, heli-skiing, canoeing, skiing, kayaking, white water rafting, biking, hiking, trekking among others. These activities are especially fun when done with a group of friends. If you have traveled alone, professional tour guides as well as local volunteers will help you out.

If you are on the Indian side, some of the best places to go skiing or trekking are Darjeeling, Ladakh, Gulmarg, Aulli and Kufri. You may also be tempted by the gushing water from the hills to get into come canoeing action.

The Himalayas can simply be described as a trekker’s paradise and most tourists visit the place in a bid to conquer the rugged mountainous terrains on a himalayas trekking adventure.

Exciting Destinations in East Himalayas

The east side of the Himalayas is covered in sheer beauty and there are many exciting places to visit. Some of the top attractions on this side include the following:

Ladakh

There are many attractions that will fascinate you in Ladakh when on treks in Himalayas. You should begin your vacation b y touring the Buddhist monasteries in the area, with the most famous one being the Hemis Monastery. Then, make a point of stopping by the historical Leh Palace, which was built in the 17th century. You should not also miss the exotic wildlife and bird species in Ladakh. Notable wildlife includes the Snow Leopard, Ibex, Churu, Urial, Nyan and Yak. When you are done with sightseeing, enjoy some adventure sports including yak safari, camel safari, cycling, mountain climbing, river rafting and trekking.

Darjeeling

Darjeeling is located in the state of West Bengal and is full of natural beauty. The most famous attraction is its tea gardens. At the site, you will enjoy the scenic view of the world’s third highest peak: Kanchenjunga. Another attraction in the area is the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, which is one of the World Heritage Sites. Other attractions include Lloyds Botanical Garden, Happy Valley Tea Estate, Rangeet Valley Passenger Ropeway, and Tiger Hill.

Kalimpong

Situated on the foothills of the Himalaya Mountains, Kalimpong will capture your heart with its breathtaking views or the Himalayas ranges covered with snow. The destination lays 1,250meters above sea level and is dotted with numerous monasteries. There are also a variety of indigenous flowers spread all over Kalimpong that make it naturally beautiful.

Gangtok

Gangtok is an unforgettable destination in Northern India, ideal for treks Himalaya. The beautiful extravagant city is located in Sikkin and boasts of a salubrious climate, beautiful Buddhists Monasteries, lovely valleys, gorgeous greenery, and arresting views of the Himalayas. Honeymooners as well as holidaymakers love the destination and some of the famous attractions in the area include Khecheopaltri Lake, Phurchachu Reshi Hot Spring, Deer Park, Pemayangste Monastery, Rutek Monastery and Labrang Monastery.

Preparing for Your Himalaya Trip

Before you set of for the Himalayas, ensure that you are physically fit and can withstand a change in altitude. Carry a first aid kit with the basic medicines for coughing, sore throat, diarrhea, burns, constipation, fever and headache before you set off for the mountains. Also, include diuretic drugs, eye lotion and patches.

Your skin is bound to get dry during your outdoor adventure on the mountains Himalayas. Therefore, make sure you carry cold cream. It is important to research well on the internet on the specific places you would like to go before your trip starts.

The best time to visit for trekking in Himalaya is during the summer (July to August). At this time, the temperatures are warm due to the intense sunlight, the scenery is amazing and there are many local festivals. If you want to enjoy the winter attractions, schedule your trip between October and May. At this time, the temperatures range between 10C to 5C.

The Himalayas presents a perfect outdoor adventure destination for both summer and winter travelers. The hosts of activities in the area make it top holiday destination in the world.

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