Amongst the world’s mountain ranges, Asia is the abode of the largest, highest, and most inhabited mountain system – The Himalayas.
The Himalayas of Nepal
Owning nine of the world’s fourteen highest mountain peaks, Nepal is a true place for trekking in Himalaya. The Himalayas cover three fourths of the land in Nepal. It is home to some of the maximum, remotest, and most rugged and difficult trekking terrains in the world.
1. The Extravagant Everest Base Camp Trek
The Everest Base Camp trek is a famous challenging trek in Khumbu, Nepal. Mount Everest soars above the Khumbu, and is possibly the most iconic pictogram of challenge and adventure on Earth. The trek to Everest is famous for its lofty mountain peaks, the vast glaciers, and finely honed ridgelines of the Everest Himalayas, home of the world’s highest peaks. The Everest region is one of the most admired destinations for tourists in Nepal and of course, definitely not for people with altitude sickness! Many of the routes to the mountains are arduous, yet portray a quaintly mosaic vista in verdant meadows beneath the soaring peaks. Above Namche, the air grows thinner and the cultivation is meager as the towering peaks of Kantenga, Ama Dablam, Cholatse, Lhotse, Nuptse, and eventually Everest, loom above.
2. The Daunting Dolpo Traverse
The Great Himalaya trek is a network of electrifying treks and trails which together form one of the longest and highest walking trails in the world. Dolpo is a high altitude region in the mid-western Nepal and had been isolated from the world till 1990. Dolpo-pa , the original Tibetan inhabitants of Dolpo, are thought to have settled here over two thousand years ago. It was a forbidden land with an authentic Tibetan culture largely unchanged. It passes through the lush green valleys, parched high plateaus, magnificent landscapes and raw beauty of the land and innocence of the people. The journey dominates several high- passes into the seemingly endless remote villages, truly an unprecedented adventure. One will be thrilled to encounter nomads and yak caravans on the way and the whole trekking is a true delight.
3. Classic Manaslu Circuit Trek
The classic Manaslu Circuit is known for its isolated and most challenging trek, and is the eighth tallest mountain in the world at an altitude of 8163m from the sea level crossing Larkya La pass. The journey passes through one of the splendid mountain panorama, culturally fascinating vicinity of ancient Buddhist monasteries and undeniably challenging passes. This high altitude valley is one of those “Clandestine Lands” of pristine Himalayan ranges and definitely appeals to anybody who is looking for an audacious trek.
4. The legendary Nar and Phu valleys
Concealed by the eddy mountain mist from Kangla pass is the magnificent vista of Nar and Phu valleys of Annapurna circuit which was forbidden till early 21th century. Trekking the Annapurna circuit and the conduit leads over to the Maryland River to the sheer porches of the Nar and Phu valley system open up to a huge span of high snow-peaks, ancient and ethnically Tibetan villages and high altitude grazing settlements. These culturally enriched valleys are the remotest part of the circuit and are virtually untouched. The trek is only for authentically Himalayan addicts as the Kang La pass is physically taxing but the remote villages offer to explore the unexplored!
5. The Sacred Tsum Valley
Set alongside the majestic, milieu of the Ganesh and Boudha Himal ranges in the northern Gorkha district of Nepal, Tsum Valley seems solely serene and carries history of ancient Himalayan civilization styles; culture, art, tradition, mores and thinking. As you reach the first settlement in Upper Tsum, you instantly feel as though you have been elated to another world. This forgotten corner of the world, Tsum valley was opened to trekkers in 2007 and very few foreigners have made it to the top of this magical valley close to the Tibetan border. The highest pass here is Ngula Dhojhyag (5093 m). The area is home to fauna such as blue sheep, yaks, naks and chauris.
6. Langtang Valley – The Valley of Glaciers
Langtang is a narrow valley lying in the southern part of Tibet that lies between the main Himalayan ranges to the north and range of snowy gigantic peaks to the south. This region is considered the Nepal’s third largest trekking locale and is rightly called ‘the Valley of Glaciers’. The trek throws in ample amount of opportunity to explore the ethnic Tamang villages, to climb small peaks and to see the glaciers at a relatively lower altitude. Once you reach the valley, the mountain panorama looks exceptionally gorgeous. The Langtang trek also offers to get a glimpse of some of the oldest monasteries, vibrant Tibetan Buddhist culture and plenty of yak herds on the alpine meadows.
7. The picturesque ranges of Annapurna Circuit
The Annapurna circuit is a major trek route in the west of Nepal. The circuit traverses one of the most implausible mountains and glaciers of the Annapurna Conservation Area. The Annapurna circuit is popular as it allows the trekkers to pass through various terrains, from jungle to high alpine, and passes through villages dominated by Tibetan Buddhist culture and through the world’s deepest gorge of about 8,000-plus meter peaks. At one point, trekkers even have the opportunity to look into the greatly restricted Mustang Region, which extends all the way into Tibet itself. The trek also goes through Buddhist villages and Hindu holy locales, most notably the village of Muktinath, a holy site for both Buddhists and Hindus, and Braga, one of the oldest monasteries in the region.
8. The Mighty Mt. Kanchenjunga Trek
Mt. Kanchenjunga trek, a journey through wild high-mountain terrain is said to be a long and challenging walk and has been portrayed as the finest Himalaya trekking route in Nepal. The trek goes deep into the secluded mountain ranges of Nepal’s border with Sikkim and Tibet, in the vicinity that is less accessible than the Khumbu or Annapurna’s. The track explores the environs around Kanchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world. You will get to experience the Nepalese culture and life-style from Rai and Limbus to Tibetan Buddhist villages. The mighty rivers flowing down from the Himalayas offer top-notch rafting opportunities, and the terrain with jungle reserves that shelter some of Asia’s most exotic wildlife is indeed breathtaking.
9. The Majestic Lhotse Trek
Lhotse at 8511 metres, is the fourth highest mountain in the world, reputed to be Nepal’s “easiest” 7000 metre peak. The Lhotse route follows the Everest route to above the Yellow Band, then splits off to Lhotse Camp 4. Lhotse is a stiff climb, more difficult than Cho Oyu.
10. The Serene Grander of Helambu and Langtang Valleys
Helambu trek is popular among the trekkers for its scenic grander and sympathetic climate. The serene Buddhist monasteries, the enchanting landscapes and local traditional culture plug in to one’s heart. Located about 72 kilometers northeast of Kathmandu, it extends from north of Taramarang to the trek limit of the Gosainkunda Lake and lower slopes of Jugal Himal. The Helambu circuit is one of the most convenient short treks close to Kathmandu and is moderately a low altitude trek. The original inhabitants are chiefly Tamang with Sherpa people dwelling in the higher villages of Melamchi Gaon, Tarkegyang and Sermathang. Beyond Hemalu traverse a mountain pass through the lakes of Gosainkunda opens out into the valley of Langtang. Gosainkunda Lake is situated at an altitude of 4380m and is a sacred valley for Hindus.
11. The Solitaire Kathmandu Valley Trek
Many visitors who make it up to Nepal leave for the mountains a little too hurriedly and never enjoy the affluence closer at hand! Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal, offers ample amount of opportunity for short treks along the rims of Kathmandu Valley and tendering the view of snow-capped mountains and typical Nepali countryside life and ethnicity. Hiking here is one of the most fascinating activities on one’s to-do list. As the trail passes through Shivapuri, one can see the western mountains of Manaslu, Boudha Himal, Ganesh Himal, Langtang, Dorjeelakpa, Shisapangama and Gaurishankara mountain ranges. One can get to see the dazzling sunrise and sunset along the glorious mountains and Nagarkot (2020m) is the best vantage point for mountains and sunrise views.
12. The Rarest of the rare – The Rara Lake Trek:
Hiking in the magnificent Rara Lake trail on the north-western of Nepal offers the best panorama. Rara Lake is 28 kilometers to the North of Jumla and in the vicinity one can find the Rara National Parks, the smallest park in Nepal, where in turn the country’s largest lake, the Rara Lake can be found is hovering on a high ledge on the northern flank of Ghurchi Lekh. Rara National Park flourishes in coniferous forest and is the perfect habitat for the musk deer, Himalayan black bear and other faunae. The serene ambiance is enhanced by the reflection of Ghurchi Lekh in its azure waters. The trek is very much “offbeat” and affords glimpses of ethnicity and quaint villages very different from the rest of the country.
13. Humla – The Hidden Himalayan Expedition
Humla, a world in itself, continues to be at a tempo untouched by the world, is a part of Karnali Zone, a landlocked country of South Asia. The Northern part of Humla District is inhabited by Buddhists, originating from Tibet, whereas the South is mostly colonized by the Hindus. Beautiful, blissful, holy, all but forgotten by the rest of the world, is the isolated territory of Humla which offers vistas that are boundless and eternally beautiful. Accessing Humla is perilous, but for those who survive the journey is blessed with beguiling vista and can get to see few of the oldest monasteries of about 400 to 1000 years old! Humla is the newest trekking route into Nepal’s least-visited region and is certainly an incredibly stimulating heroic Himalayan experience.
14. Espying the Upper Mustang Trek
Mustang is one of those few places in the world that has survived a very close-niche life and that region was, until recently, was a forbidden land for outsiders. This isolation helped the people of Mustang to preserve their lifestyle and heritage that remained almost untouched for centuries. Hidden behind the majestic Himalayan ranges, Mustang is filled with beautiful trekking zones. The high desert rain shadow region of Himalayas receives scanty rainfall making this region dry and parched, similar to the bordering Tibetan Plateau. The Lo Manthang, capital of Upper Mustang, lies in the remote Himalayan desert behind the Dhaulagiri and Annapurna Mountain Ranges, is an antique Tibetan village, with rare medieval Buddhist arts and exotic culture.
15. The Pallid Dhaulagiri Circuit Trek
Dhaulagiri is the seventh highest mountain in the world, and is one of the most difficult treks of Himalayan expedition. This extraordinary route was first discovered by the 1950, following Marsyangdi Khola towards west. The route, roofed with snow and glacier, passes by French pass into the Hidden valleys, and then into the high passes and rivers of Kali Gandaki and Bheri and travers the best panorama of Annapurna and other 14 lofty peaks. This seldom itinerary starts in Pokhara and leads, through rice-terraces, up to Beni and farther up through the charming villages of Tibetan culture along the Myagdi Khola, to the very heart of the Dhaulaghiri massif. Dhaulagiri factually means ‘White Mountain’ which authenticates a magnificent peak rising as a giant shoulder of impeccable ice and snow.
16. Cho Oyu Trek – The Turquoise Goddess Trek
17. The Royal Trek
Down the foothills of Annapurna circuit, north of the Pokhara valley, is the Royal Trek route, a short trek following a shrub like path. It was so-named because HRH Prince Charles and his 90 person entourage had explored this route in the early eighties. This Royal Trek endows the opportunities for evocative cultural experiences with the diverse mix of people and culture that inhabit this region. The itinerary of Royal trek begins in the dazzling lakeside city of Pokhara passes through beautiful Gurung hamlets. The stunning views of the eloquently built hillside rice terraces, and the glorious Annapurna range, Machapuchhre [fishtail] and the Langtang Mountain views presents a perfect picture of uniqueness and allowing us the opportunity to immerse in the traditional lifestyles of the tribes whose ancient spiritual practices and mores have remained unchanged for thousands of years.
18. The picturesque holy lakes of Panch Pokhari
Moderately easy, but a high altitude trek to the holy lakes of Panch Pokhari are one of those many unexplored and unidentified trekking routes in Nepal waiting to be discovered. The trek follows a ridge track most of the way, which sheds out to a quite sturdy ascend in altitude in a short period of time. , Panch Pokhari area is one of the new and unspooled trekking destinations in Nepal that is named after 5 holy ponds of great religious significance in the north-eastern part of Sindhupalchowk district and is a famous Hindu pilgrimage site in Nepal. The trail offers picturesque vista, pristine Himalayan distinct villages and nature.
The Himalayas of India
The Indian Himalayan Region is a mountain range that spans across ten states of India,The region is the major source for many rives, providing water to a large part of the Indian subcontinent and contains varied flora and fauna. It is also the home of massive mountain system that includes the Karakoram, the Hindu Kush, and other lesser ranges that extend out from the Pamir Knot.
19. The Mesmerizing Markha Valley Trek
Trekking along the Markha River through ‘Little Tibet’, one of the world’s highest inhabited plateaus, which are secluded for months by snow of Ladakh and Zanskar ranges, remains one of the best places to experience the unique culture of the High Himalayas. Traversing the Ganda La and the Markha River, hiking through canyons, barley and mustard fields and picturesque Ladakh villages marks indelible impressions on one’s hearts. Exploring the gloriously illuminated peaks, one can enjoy incredible vista of the Karakorum, the Himalaya and Tibet.