: For those fascinated by the unexplored,
the mountain ranges of India offer breathtaking, enthralling
trekking routes. In the vast amphitheatre of the Indian Himalayas
and Karakorams, there are limitless possibilities for trekking,
mountaineering, skiing, and river rafting. Within this alluring
arena, the Garhwal and Kumaon regions, occupy the central
place, with special points of interest for the trekker.
The adventure season, which till recently, was confined to
the summer months, now covers almost the entire year, including
winter. This has been made possible by improved equipment
and transportation, and the availability of year-round bookings
in areas, hitherto, considered inaccessible. Moreover, winter
treks are gaining popularity as a means of 'getting away'
to relatively lower altitudes.
It is advisable to be medically examined before starting a
trek. The first aid kit for the trek, should include basic
medicines and bandages for cuts, burns, headache, nausea,
constipation, diarrhoea, and sore throat. Running water should
be used for washing, and washing should be done well downstream
of campsites. Keep a map handy, and set a comfortable pace.
Allow for time to enjoy the panoramic and magnificent sites
of the awesome mountains, rivers, flora and fauna.
Indian nationals need no permission for trekking in any area,
outside the Inner Line. For routes inside the Inner Line,
the local District Magistrate's permission, or that of the
Central Home Ministry is necessary. For foreigners, crossing
the Inner Line is not permitted. Treks upto 4900 mts need
no permission, and can be undertaken on tourist visas. For
treks above 4900 mts, prior permission is to be taken from
the IMF. Camera permits are also necessary.
A firm rucksack with broad straps, sleeping bag, foam mattress,
comfortable walking shoes, raincoat, torch, matchboxes, umbrella,
and water bottles are essential. Personal clothing including
woollen shirts, pullovers, T-shirts, feather jacket, longjohns,
toilet items, camera and film, should be included to suit
the duration and altitude of the trek, while keeping the overall
weight to the minimum.
This is possible through the standard insurance companies.
The IMF, Indian Air Force, and local authorities should, as
far as possible, be kept informed of the route.
Grading of Treks - The
treks described have been graded according to their level
Grade 1: Soft trek, round the year.
Grade 2: Seasonal / mild trek (April - November)
Grade 3: Tough, high altitude trek (seasonal)