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.
Layering is the tried and tested method used by Mountaineers for a long time. The beauty of this simple concept is that it allows you to make quick adjustments based on your activity level and changes in the weather.
We can divide our clothing into broadly three layers for your upcoming treks.
1. Base Layer – near the skin, manages moisture
2. Insulation Layer – protects you from the cold on upcoming treks.
3 Shell or Outer Layer – protects you from Wind or Rain.
This Layer is next to your skin and helps in regulate your body temperature by moving perspiration away from your body. Keeping dry is important for maintaining a cool body temperature in the summer and avoiding hypothermia in the winter. If you have ever used a cotton T under your rain cover while hiking or trekking, you will get wet not from outside but from inside.
Cotton is not a good material for this clothing layer instead synthetic fabrics like MTS, Capilene, PowerDry and CoolMax polyester or Silk are better alternatives for upcoming treks.
Insulation Layer – protects from cold
The insulating layer helps you retain heat by trapping air close to your body. Fleece vests, jackets and tights are classic examples of insulation ideal for outdoor activities and for more extreme conditions feather jackets are most appropriate. Down has a very good warmth:weight ratio, and can be packed down (squeezed) to take very little room but are very costly.
They not only trap air but are also made with moisture transferring fibers to help keep you dry.
Shell or Outer Layer – protects from Wind or Rain
The outermost clothes are called the shell layer, they block wind or water and have good mechanical strength. Ideally the shell layer clothes are breathable i.e they lets moisture through to the outside while not letting wind and water pass through from the outside to the inside. This layer is a must is your upcoming treks are in the monsoon like the Valley Of Flowers Trek.
Gore Tex is extensively used for outer layer and it is Waterproof and breathable made of the very strong fabrics. It is founded by W. L. Gore & Associates and they are best known for their this product which is used in various world leading brands.