Best 5 Treks for Beginners in Himachal Pradesh
Himachal Pradesh as many of you know is the ‘Land of Gods’, but what many of you may not know is that it is also famous for the Bara Shigri Glacier. As the name suggests Bara Shigri, literally means ‘big boulder’ covered in ice. It is one of the largest glaciers in Himachal Pradesh and is the source of water for the river Chandra.
The Bara Shigri is also a famous tourist destination, but this trek is not for beginners. This eleven-day trek leads you into lush green forests that offer majestic views of the distant Himalayas.
This trek requires one to be not only exceptionally trained and experienced, but also a great deal of focus. The elevation is about 16,070ft and the temperature can vary between 4 degrees Celsius to 18 degrees Celsius.
Nevertheless, this article is all about trekking for beginners who are about to begin on their adventures. I would also like to add that no matter the level of trekking, every trek is special in its own way and leaves a mark on you forever.
Trekking is an addictive sport and once you are hooked, the words “the mountains are calling and I must go” – by John Muir, come to life. Being able to scale any mountain, big or small, is always an achievement.
A sense of wonderment and humbleness envelopes you at the same time when you reach the summit. Himachal Pradesh is one such place, that offers you with picturesque views and challenging treks both at the same time.
Once you have sharpened you trekking skills as a beginner, make sure to first read every detail and then implement it. Now it is time for you to try your hiking journey towards the Chansal Pass Trek.
Here are the top 5 TREKS FOR BEGINNERS IN hIMACHAL PRADESH
PRASHAR LAKE TREK
For those of you who are extremely fond of nature, silence and stunning views – this is the trek for you. Ideally this trek should take two days to complete, but you can always take a break mid-way to soak in the silence and the fresh air. Situated at an altitude of 8,956ft, this trek is categorised as an easy level trek.
The best part about this trek is that it can be completed by two different routes, depending on your preference. One route goes through the Baggi Village and the other goes through the Jwalapur Village. To trek through Jwalapur, you will first need to head to Panarsa.
This is the point from where you will begin your magnificent adventures into trekking. The 25km drive to Jwalapur village is surreal and gives you time to soak in for what is coming up next. Once you arrive at the village, be sure to pack an extra pair of all your supplies, especially food and water, since this will be your first trekking experience.
Hydrate yourself well enough and do some stretching exercise to prepare your body for the walk ahead. Once you start trekking (walking), it should take about 4-5 hours for you to reach your destination.
You may feel slightly exhausted from your trek, but once your eyes feast on the crystal blue Prashar Lake and the clear skies, you will be absolutely mesmerised. Once you have explored the area to your heart’s content, head back the same route to end your journey.
KARERI LAKE TREK
Though this trek is classified as moderate, it can easily be done by beginners. Shiva devotees will especially enjoy this trek as there is a massive Shiva Temple that awaits them at the end of this trek. The Shiva temple reflection can be seen in the Kareri Lake as a mirror glass reflection.
Ideally the trek lasts for three days and the expected altitude is about 9,650ft. The starting and ending point of this trek is Dharamshala which allows you to prepare yourself well enough before starting the trek. As mentioned above, hydrate yourself and perform some light exercise to stretch your muscles. Pack all essentials, especially warm clothing and extra food and water.
The trek (walk) to Kareri village is nearly 25kms. Once you arrive at the village you will need to trek further for 6km and spend the night with the local Gaddi Tribe. The next morning, and you will walk through the luscious forests of rhododendron, pine and oak. After scaling a few steep mountains and crossing the wooden bridges you will arrive at your destination.
Take a moment to catch your breath and let your soul heal. It truly is a magical experience to spend a night in the lap of the Minkiani Pass. Head back the same way and end your journey in Dharamshala.
Almost everyone who has visited Kasol in Himachal Pradesh, has been to Kheerganga. As most of you know, ‘Kheer’ is a well-known sweet dish among all Indian households. Legend has it that Lord Shiva meditated here for many centuries. KheerGanga or Ganga river was known for its milky waters like the sweet dish mentioned above.
Though that is no more the case, the vastness and majestic beauty of this place is breath-taking. This trek is classified as easy and has an altitude of about 13,050ft. The duration of this trek is nearly two days and the relaxing hot springs on the way make this trip worth it.
To start your journey, you can easily reach Barshaini via bus, cab or flight from Kasol, Manikaran and Bhuntar airport, respectively. You can now begin your trek which is about 11-12kms. Ideally it should take 5-6 hours to cover this patch while adding extra time for breaks. On the way you will come across the Rudranag Temple located in the village of Nakthan.
The summit of KheerGanga awaits you with a natural hot water pool that will instantly make you forget your tiresome journey. Spend a night or two exploring the area before you head back to base and your hectic city life.
LAMA DUGH TREK
Classified as one of the easiest treks that Himachal Pradesh has to offer is the Lama Dugh trek. It takes just one day to complete this trek and is at an altitude of 9,900ft. As exciting as it is to reach the summit, so is the journey to Lama Dugh trek. You will complete this trek within seven to eight hours while walking through flowers like you have never seen before. Since you will be in the lap of the Himalayas, you will be accompanied with alpine meadows and tall trees till your summit. The vistas of this journey cannot be fully absorbed in 7-8 hours and you will be left wanting for more.
Once you reach the summit, you and your soul will be welcomed with the majestic views of the Deo Tibba, Bara Shigri Glacier, Indrasan Peaks and Hanuman Tibba.
To reach your destination you will need to walk a final path horizontally. This path leads you to a few small huts where you can spend the night or pitch tents under the starry night sky. After a tiresome trek and a good night’s rest, you will wake up to the most mesmerising sunrise you have ever seen accompanied with fresh smelling blossoms.
MOJI DUGH TREK
Last but not the least, I saved the best for last. The Moji Dugh trek is easy and can be done by almost anyone. It takes nearly two days to complete this trek and is located at an altitude of 10,500ft. Even though the start and finish point are the village of Kulang, you can always make your way back through Vashisht.
Vashisht is one of the hidden gems of Himachal and this trek lets you enjoy both treks in one trip. The Moji Dugh trek is essentially a pit stop for an even longer trek ahead. But that does not mean that this short trek is any less special. Depending on your preference of weather, you can either go for a trek in snowy winters or enjoy the lush wildflowers during spring or summer.
You will start your trek from Kulang village and walk-through luscious deodars, oaks and pines. Since this is a short trek you can spend more than two nights camping at this location and explore nearby areas. On your way back, take the route to Vashisht and explore another side of Himachal that you have never seen. Nevertheless, this trek offers a wide variety of landscape in just a few short hours.
Though there are many more simple and easy treks available in Himachal, the above-mentioned treks must be on your bucket list. If you are a wanderer at heart and don’t know where to put your exploring energy – Trek! Don’t think twice before walking for a few hours in immense beauty.
Not to forget, the mystical beauty of some treks that you might plan once you are no more a beginner, like the Trek to the Bijli Mahadev and Mantali Lake Trek.
These few short treks are strong enough to rejuvenate you and your soul, so you can go back to your daily life with a healthy mind. It is always a good idea to escape from the city madness and breathe in some fresh air. Since these treks are not very long, they can easily be completed over the weekend or a long holiday break.