6 Nice Alternate options to the Most Well-liked (Crowded) Himalayan Treks


Did you understand that out of all of the 35+ Himalayan treks that we run, there are simply 5-6 treks that steal all of the limelight? 

I used to be performing some learning and located one thing fascinating I wish to present you. 

Check out this chart. It exhibits you the rating of treks by their recognition. I acquired this from our web site stats, with over 2.5 years’ knowledge. So it’s a long-standing development. 

You’ll discover that on the proper facet, there are simply 5 treks hogging all of the limelight, constituting for a whopping 50.7% of trekker curiosity — that’s Kedarkantha, Brahmatal, Dayara Bugyal, Sandakphu and Deoriatal-Chandrashila

I have to admit, these are 5 treks with the longest seasons as effectively. They’re open round 7-Eight months a yr. Even then, the recognition is totally disproportionate. 

On the left facet, you’ll see the extra seasonal treks, that are accessible solely 3-Four months a yr — these are our larger altitude treks like Rupin Cross, Goechala, Buran Ghati and our monsoon treks like Kashmir Nice Lakes, Valley of Flowers and Hampta Cross

The upper you go on the left facet, you’ll see quieter treks showing — Phulara Ridge, Tarsar Marsar, Pin Bhaba Cross, treks that pique the curiosity of some hardcore trekkers and explorers.

What makes me unhappy is that there are such a lot of such terrific treks that trekkers lose out on as a result of they go along with the recognition development. The standards to decide on a trek has grow to be What’s popular” moderately than What’s a superb trek. This does extra hurt than good. 

Trails like Kedarkantha have grow to be so crowded that we shudder to look in that course now. Fortunately, at Indiahikes, we modified our Kedarkantha base camp and route completely to keep away from the gang. Trekkers have gone gaga over this new path! 

Whereas common treks have their place, trekkers are completely unaware that they are able to do treks which can be equally good, maybe higher, minus the gang.   

I don’t need you to make the identical mistake as others. 

Which is why I’m itemizing down nice alternate options to among the hottest (learn: crowded) treks.

These alternate options are as lovely if no more lovely than the favored treks.

So if you happen to’re planning any of the favored treks, simply shut your eyes and select the choice.

Look out for my private notes on this color, they’ll assist you to make a greater choice.

Keep away from Kedarkantha — as a substitute do the Phulara Ridge trek

What trekkers love about Kedarkantha is the sense of journey they get once they climb to the summit. It’s probably the most valuable moments once they attain the highest and get greeted to a 360 diploma view of the Garhwal Himalayas. They spend all however 20-30 minutes on the prime, at 12,500 ft, and begin their return.

“Think about with the ability to keep on the summit for 5-6 hours! You possibly can stroll together with that 360 diploma view for nearly a complete day’s trek. That’s what the Phulara Ridge trek means that you can do,” says Suhas Saya, who explored the Phulara Ridge trek in April 2017.

Unknown to many, Phulara Ridge is a sister trek of Kedarkantha. Once you stand on the Kedarkantha summit, there’s a ridge line that stretches all the way in which from the summit and heads within the course of the Swargarohini Massif. That is the Phulara Ridge. It’s a complete trek by itself, and it’s extraordinarily uncommon to come back throughout such lengthy ridge-walks in our nation. 

The Phulara Ridge trek is likely one of the rarest treks in our nation for its lengthy ridge stroll. It makes for a terrific various to Kedarkantha. Image by Oishy Halder

The path begins alongside the Kedarkantha path. The very best half is, simply as you are taking the deviation to Phulara Ridge on the path, you permit the entire crowd behind and have the complete path to your self. 

“I’d do the Phulara Ridge for the campsites as effectively. Earlier, I used to be mesmerised by the campsites on the Kedarkantha trek. However two campsites on the Phulara Ridge have blown my thoughts. That’s Bhoj Khadi and Phustara. I’m but to come back throughout campsites as lovely on different treks!” continued Suhas.

So if you happen to’re planning Kedarkantha, keep away from it. Go to Phulara Ridge as a substitute. Get a greater expertise, minus the mad crowds of Kedarkantha. 

Word: Phulara Ridge is open solely in Might and June. In April, the ridge can’t be trekked on. There’s an excessive amount of snow. So time your trek appropriately. 

Discover the Phulara Ridge Trek


Keep away from Brahmatal — as a substitute do the Ali Bedni Bugyal trek

Brahmatal has boomed in recognition over the previous two years. And trekkers like it for only one massive purpose, the jaw-dropping views of the mountains round — the alpenglow on Mt Trishul and Mt Nanda Ghunti throughout sundown, the 2 excessive altitude lakes, and the stunning ridge line connecting Tilandi to Brahmatal. 

What if I informed you, the Ali Bedni Bugyal trek gave you all this and extra? Frankly, the way in which I see it, Ali Bedni Bugyal is the mom of Brahmatal. For us at Indiahikes, it was the primary trek that launched us to those mind-numbing views of Mt Trishul and Mt Nanda Ghunti. It’s laborious to not really feel a lump in your throat if you’re standing at Ali Bugyal, staring on the Trishul massif in entrance of you. It’s a spot the place the mountains come to life and engulf you with inexplicable emotions. 

Ali Bedni Indiahikes
The view from Ali Bugyal. This trek is an excellent various to Brahmatal for its views and alpine meadow expertise. Image by Sandhya UC

However that’s only one spotlight of the trek. 

The Ali Bedni Bugyal trek takes you to among the most spectacular alpine meadows of our nation. It normally takes plenty of climbing to get to such meadows. However right here we’ve got Ali Bedni — only a day and a half of trekking, and also you’re on the meadows. You even get to stroll via the well-known meadows on Bedni. 

If trekkers love the sunsets on the Brahmatal trek, then the sunsets on the Ali-Bedni is much more spectacular.

When you ask me, I’d decide Ali-Bedni Bugyal any day over Brahmatal, for the range and the shortage of crowds.

Word: When you’re planning the Brahmatal trek for the rhododendron expertise in March-April, don’t fear about it. The Ali Bedni Bugyal trek goes via the identical forests and also you’ll be handled to the identical rhodos. 

Discover the Ali Bedni Bugyal Trek


Keep away from Deoriatal — as a substitute do the Kuari Cross trek

I virtually really feel unhealthy asking you to keep away from Deoriatal, as a result of it’s a trek very near my coronary heart. It was my first Himalayan trek! However the scenario is such that this trek is turning into increasingly crowded with time. Whereas the forest path remains to be remoted and pristine, the expertise in direction of the top of the trek is extra like a picnic. As you get to Tungnath, you begin seeing vacationers and never trekkers, some with loud music. There may be litter all over and at occasions unruly crowds. That’s an actual eye sore on this trek.

What trekkers love on this path is the view of the massive mountains proper from the Deoriatal lake. I have to admit, it’s laborious to come back throughout every other trek with such massive mountain views. However there’s one trek that stuns you with even larger mountain views. What’s extra you begin seeing them proper from Day 1. 

I’m speaking in regards to the Kuari Cross trek. 

“I’ve achieved virtually all treks on the Indiahikes listing, however I’ve by no means seen any trek with as up-close views of mountains because the Kuari Cross trek. I virtually couldn’t full the trek, as a result of I used to be rooted to each spot I stood at. Mt Nanda Devi, India’s highest mountain, could be very distinguished on the trek. Alternatively Mt Dronagiri, is all the time with you on the trek. It is likely one of the most aesthetic mountains I’ve seen. After which you could have Hati Ghoda Parvat, Mt Kamet, India’s second highest mountain. To not neglect Mt Chaukhamba. I haven’t seen every other trek with such views, even Deoriatal pales as compared,” says Dushyant Sharma, our senior most Trek Chief. 

The Kuari Cross trek is likely one of the greatest alternate options to Deoriatal, because it has one of the best mountain views all through the path. Image by Suhas Saya

Frankly, all of us at Indiahikes are vying to go to Kuari Cross. It’s an previous trek, wants no actual introduction, however hasn’t climbed up in recognition as a result of it was closed for over a yr. Now that it’s open, you must actually seize the possibility and go for this trek. 

Word: Kuari Cross is really a preferred trek. Nonetheless, it was closed for someday. Not too many individuals know that we’ve got reopened the Kuari Cross trek. As soon as the phrase spreads, discovering out there dates will likely be tough. So if you wish to trek to Kuari Cross, plan now.

Discover the Kuari Cross trek


Keep away from Buran Ghati — as a substitute do the Gidara Bugyal trek

It surprises me that Buran Ghati has grown so shortly in recognition, even overtaking its neighbouring trek with a legacy — the Rupin Cross. (I’ve a robust feeling it’s this video that has made it outrageously common.) 

The largest attraction of Buran Ghati is that it’s a grand buffet of all our greatest treks — it has the meadows of Kashmir, the journey of a pass-crossing like Rupin Cross, the cultural expertise of Har Ki Dun. Sadly, this trek has grow to be crowded too, virtually making a Hillary Step-like crowd on the move. It’s no enjoyable, climbing all the way in which to the move and ready in a queue at 15,000 ft to rappel down.

Right here, I’ve a stunning various for you — the Gidara Bugyal trek. 

Gidara Bugyal too, is a shocking combination of plenty of our nice treks. To start with, the meadows will instantly take you to the Satsar meadows of Kashmir. Some meadows are even paying homage to the untouched meadows of Warwan Valley in Kashmir. 

Gidara Bugyal Indiahikes
The untouched meadows of Gidara Bugyal will take you again to the meadows of Kashmir. It makes for a terrific various to Buran Ghati in June. Image by Nitesh Kumar

Unknown to most trekkers, the Gidara Bugyal trek additionally has a day-long ridge stroll, very similar to the grandeur of the Phulara ridge stroll. Moreover, it has up-close views of the Gangotri massif and the Yamunotri vary, one thing you get to see solely from Dayara Bugyal. The trek is difficult as effectively. It’s marked moderate-difficult. So, adventurists will love this trek. If that’s not sufficient, it’s a utterly secluded path, with few of one of the best campsites we’ve got. 

When you’re planning a trek in June, depart Buran Ghati. Go to Gidara Bugyal. You’ll come out thanking me for this suggestion. 

We don’t have too many dates out there to this trek. We had been simply in a position to allocate just a few dates to this trek. E book early to get a slot on this trek. 

Word: Don’t be fooled by the “bugyal” within the identify. Gidara Bugyal is a trek as difficult as Buran Ghati and requires an equal quantity of health. It climbs as much as virtually 14,000 ft, and can take a look at your endurance.

Discover the Gidara Bugyal Trek


Keep away from Kashmir Nice Lakes — as a substitute do the Tarsar Marsar trek in Kashmir

Kashmir Nice Lakes is a trek that wants no introduction. It’s the prettiest trek in our nation. The alpine lakes, the three mountain passes, the meadows, it’s laborious to search out every other trek that comes shut wherever within the nation. It could actually solely be one other trek in Kashmir that may come at par with it.

And so it’s! “After we explored Tarsar Marsar in 2015, we had been surprised. Right here was a trek, as rewarding because the Kashmir Nice lakes trek, but hardly trekked on! We noticed three gorgeous lakes, among the most charming flower-decked meadows and felt the journey of crossing two mountain passes as effectively,” says Arjun Majumdar, the founding father of Indiahikes, who explored the Tarsar Marsar trek. 

A trekker takes within the view of the Tarsar Lake, Kashmir. Image by Kishan Harwalkar

What’s extra is that, “you camp proper on the banks of two very picturesque alpine lakes — Tarsar and Sundarsar. Even on the Kashmir Nice Lakes trek you can not do this. I’ve seen trekkers sitting on a rock, beside the lake, studying a guide, or simply having quiet conversations. That type of luxurious is difficult to search out on the KGL trek,” says Sandhya Chandrashekharayya, our co-founder, who explored each the KGL and Tarsar Marsar treks. 

I don’t suppose I have to say a lot past that about Tarsar Marsar. The trek has had a little bit of unhealthy luck — out of 5 years of its presence, we’ve got been in a position to open it just for 2.5 years or so due to unprecedented conditions in Kashmir. However this yr appears to be the yr when we will run it easily. 

Word: Time this trek in August to see the astounding variety of flowers within the Jagmargi meadows. The expertise of strolling in these meadows is surreal! 

Discover the Tarsar Marsar Trek


Keep away from Hampta Cross — as a substitute do the Pin Bhaba Cross trek

Hampta Cross is a trek from the times of yore. It is likely one of the oldest trails in our nation. Sadly, it shot up in fame just a few years in the past, after trekking in Kashmir turned unsure. It instantly opened up a terrific risk for trekkers — particularly as a result of it may be achieved in the identical months because the Kashmir treks. As fairly as it’s, it has grow to be probably the most crowded trails of our nation. 

What trekkers love in regards to the Hampta Cross is the dramatic crossover from the greenery of Kullu to the stark desert colors of Lahaul, an expertise uncommon to search out in different crossover treks. However I’ve a 4K model of this trek for you instead — the Pin Bhaba Cross trek. 

Pin Bhaba is a mountain move that crosses over from the plush greenery of Kinnaur to the placing pink and purple deserts of Spiti. The distinction within the panorama is so huge and so sudden that your eyes take time to get used to it. 

As a move crossing, it’s additionally a terrific thriller. It takes you to an altitude of just about 16,000 ft, undoubtedly not a trek for these beginning out on trekking. You actually have to be very match earlier than you do that trek.

“For me that is simply one in all my prime Three treks,” says Arjun Majumdar. “It jogs my memory extra of Kashmir than even Kashmir does. The grasslands of Muling and Khara are very Kashmir-like. Then Day 1 of the trek within the forests above Kafnu is likely one of the greatest first days of trekking I’ve achieved. However the day I stood on the highest of the move and noticed a pink valley under me, not every other color, however pink, I needed to admit, I had not seen something like this earlier than!”  

Coming into Spiti after crossing the Pin Bhaba Cross. Image by Satyen Dasgupta

Culturally too it’s the most effective experiences, as you get to see the traditional tradition of Spiti. You finish your trek at Mudh, and drive via Kaza and Kibber, few of the remotest villages of our nation. 

All in all, if you happen to ask me to decide on a pass-crossing in Himachal, I’d all the time decide the Pin Bhaba Cross trek — such power-packed experiences are laborious to come back by. 

Word: Pin Bhaba Cross is significantly more durable than the Hampta Cross trek. Put together doubly effectively for the trek.

Discover the Pin Bhaba Cross Trek


That brings me to the top of my listing.

Frankly, I’ve many extra treks I want to cowl. So I’m simply going so as to add the whole lot in a desk under. It’ll assist you to get a fast look of fine alternate options. 

A Fast Look at some Nice Alternate options to Well-liked Himalayan Treks

All these treks are hidden gems within the trekking world. I hope you expertise them and treasure them as a lot as we do at Indiahikes. 

When you need assistance planning any of those treks, drop in a touch upon this web page.

I’ll depart you with that for now. 

Joyful trek planning! 🙂 

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