Stok Kangri Trek takes you above 20000 ft above sea level
When we were on our way back from Ladakh after the Stok Kangri’ Expedition, we stopped for lunch at a restaurant and this beautiful old woman was the owner. After lunch we sat with her for almost half an hour chatting. When I was leaving I asked her to pose for this photograph.
The arc-shaped Indian Himalayas extend along the entire northern boundary of India from the state of Jammu & Kashmir in west to Arunachal Pradesh in the east. The term “Himalaya” from Sanskrit meaning the “The Abode of Snow”. For centuries Indians have been fascinated by these mountains for pilgrimage in early days now for trekking and other adventure sports.
The Indian Himalayas cover a vast area along the northern frontiers of the country and span five Indian States — Jammu and Kashmir , Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh — from west to east. The true divisions of the Indian Himalayas are based on the mountain ranges rather than the state boundaries. From west to east, the Indian Himalayas can be divided into
Kashmir (Jammu & Kashmir)
Ladakh (Jammu & Kashmir)
Zanskar (Jammu & Kashmir)
Lahaul and Spiti (HP)
Arunachal (Arunachal Pradesh)
My Top Peaks in the Himalayas of India
Khangchendzonga / Kanchenjunga
Kanchenjunga gets its name from the the Bhutia and Tibetan languages which means “The Five Treasures of Snows” as it contains five peaks. Kanchenjunga is the third highest peak in the Himalayas and the world and the highest in India. Kanchenjunga stands tall with an elevation of 8,586 meters (28,169 ft).
Nanda Devi (25663 ft, 7824 m)
Nanda devi is the second highest mountain peak in the Himalayas in India. This is the highest peak (entirely) in the country, as Kanchenjunga lies on the border areas of India and Nepal. It was the highest known mountain in the world until 1808 when western surveyors discovered Dhaulagiri. The mountain stands tall at an elevation of 7824 meters (25663 ft). The Nanda devi peak is the part of Garhwal Himalayas and lies in the state of Uttrakhand.
Climbing is not allowed on Nanda Devi as it is declared as holy peak. During my discussion with Mr. Kushang Sherpa (Climbed Everest from all side including Kangshung face and other 8 thousanders) he said that Nanda Devi is the toughest to climb. A fabulous trek that takes you into the Nanda Devi Sanctuary is the Kuari Pass Trek.
Kamet (25446 ft, 7756 m)
Kamet is the second highest mountain peak in the Himalayas of Garhwal. It lies in the Chamboli District of Uttrakhand. It is the third highest peak in India (according to India however, the rank is much lower as it includes in its list of mountains all those in Pakistan occupied Kashmir).
Saser Kangri (25172 ft, 7672 m)
Saser Kangri (or Sasir Kangri) is the highest peak in the Saser Muztagh, the easternmost sub-range of the Karakoram range in India. This massif lies toward the northwestern end of the Saser Muztagh, at the head of the North Shukpa Kunchang Glacier, a major glacier which drains the eastern slopes of the group.
Mana (23860 ft, 7273 m)
Northeast of Badrinath is another impressive cluster of mountain peaks in the Himalayas. The mountains rise almost on the Indo-Tibetan border with Mana and Kamet as the principal peaks. Mana itself marks the eastern extremity of the Zanskar range. It lies between the pass of the same name and the Niti Pass.
Your first Himalayan Trek is one of the most exciting adventures you can take. There is so much to discover. Probably the biggest mysteries you unlock will come from within yourself. Indeed, many who embark on Roopkund, Dodital or the Kuari Pass trek return with a completely different view of their place on this planet.From narrow paths traversing deep gorges, to ice bridges, to the altitude adjustments in your body, there are real mental and physical feats you will have to face. When you return home after your first Himalayan trek, you will be a new person and want to celebrate and reflect.
Things You Need To Know (or need ) Before Your First Himalayan Trek:
Good Trekking Shoes- An old proverb says, “Your feet carry you forward in life, take good care of them.” Get a pair of trekking shoes. If you need help read our blog finding the best trekking shoes.
A Light Backpack- Every gram of weight you carry will feel like ten times more than you think after 2-3 days of trekking in the Indian Himalayas. It’s not just the climb, it’s also the lessening of oxygen as you get higher each day. So, start with a backpack that does not weigh much itself, and then pack as light as you can. We can take a look at this nice info graphic to guide you getting the correct backpack
Multi-Function Clothing- Wear your pants, shirts and socks as many days in a row as you can. Nobody really cares what you look like. Showers are or non-existent, but there are streams and small water bodies on most Himalayan treks, so use them and just keep your body as clean as possible. This will keep your clothes a little fresher. Avoid jeans or denim jackets. They are heavy, dry slowly, and not very flexible. Take neoprene or nylon clothes and be sure to have a fleece and some warm layers for underneath. Himalayan passes are freezing. You can go from extremely hot to extremely cold in the same day.Try to wear clothes in layers. To know how you can read our blog dressing in layers.
A Few Electric/Electronics-You need a flashlight (small), a camera, spare batteries, and that’s about it. Electricity is sparse on the rooftop of the world. Some villages do not have any electricity at all, and the ones that do are subjected to load shedding.Make you have charged back-up batteries for everything.
Never Trek Alone. As great as it seems to be out there experiencing nature in a meditative,quiet way too many people have gone missing in the last few years.If you don’t have a trekking partner go with a trekking company or reliable guide.
Get some cultural information before you leave. The various people of the Himalayas represent beautiful ancient cultures. Read up a bit on them so that your experience is more enriching.