5 Things To Keep In Mind Before Choosing Your Next Trekking Location

Posted By : Saheb Singh Chadha/ 74 0

Well, you’ve been working for a while now, and you think you need a break, and want to go for a trek. But which trekking location should you head for? Take the following factors into account, and we’re sure you’ll have your answer by the end!

1. Past Experience

How much have you trekked in the past?

If you’re an absolute beginner, something small or easy like Dodi Tal or Chopta-Chandrashila should be perfect.

The route to Tungnath-Chandrashila. Chaukhamba peeks out in the background.

 

If you’ve done a couple of treks, perhaps Har Ki Dun or Dayara Bugyal catches your fancy!

And if you have quite some experience, perhaps you should answer the call of Stok Kangri, Rupin Pass, or Goecha La.

The final trail before ascending Rupin Pass.

2. Fitness Level

How fit are you? Ideally, you should be fit for any trek. Work out a month in advance in order to make sure you’re prepared.

If you’re in good shape, then most treks can be undertaken by you. Even Kuari Pass can be done by trekkers who don’t have that much experience, yet are fit.

The winter trail to Kuari Pass, with Hathi and Ghodi Parbat in the background.

3. Weather and Season

Most Himalayan treks like Hampta Pass and Kashmir’s Great Lakes are doable in May and June, but there are some treks that are known for the particular seasons they thrive in. If you’re going in April, think of Chopta-Chandrashila. The rhododendrons are in full bloom at Chopta and the route to Tungnath, and you might even encounter some ice and snow near Chandrashila top!

The pink rhododendrons aka Buransh, at Chopta.

Come July and August, and the famous Valley of Flowers beckons you. The flowers are in full bloom, and monsoon treks hold a charm of their own.

The carpet of flowers in the Valley vary from month to month.

September, October, and November, though cold, are the best months for catching a view of the snow capped peaks. The skies are at their clearest, so I’d recommend Nag Tibba or Kuari Pass.

Kathian Campsite on the Nag Tibba trek.

 

Come December and January, and we have the classic winter treks, namely Kedarkantha, and the Chadar trek.

4. Number Of Days At Hand

How many days do you have? If it’s a long weekend trip, then something like Kheerganga and Bhrigu Lake may be more up your alley.

Bhrigu Lake in the Kullu Valley is as mesmerising a trek as any.

 

But if you have a good week to 10 days, go for a trek like Roopkund in Uttarakhand, or the Great Lakes in Kashmir.

Kishensar (Sar means Lake), on the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek.

 

For something in between, try Chandrakhani Pass near Manali!

5. Budget

If you’ve got a humble amount saved up, then Piang Neru or Khar Myundari may be just what you’re looking for!

Jhameer Campsite on the Piang Neru trek.

And if money’s not an issue, try Pin Parvati Pass or Pangarchula Peak trek.

Pro tip: The lesser the days, the cheaper it will be.

 

Well, we just offered you a variety of choices, and how to decide them, so are you any closer to making up your mind?

First Time Trekking Experiences At Hampta

Posted By : Saheb Singh Chadha/ 175 1

We recently interviewed Kratika Jain, a digital marketer from Ahmedabad. In a candid chat, she tells us about her first time trekking experiences to Hampta Pass in July. Read on!

Q: How did you start trekking?

A: Actually, this was my first time trekking, and it all happened rather quickly. Quite a lot of my friends were doing it, and I couldn’t handle their pictures, it was too beautiful, and I really needed a break from my job as well! The satisfaction of the mountains couldn’t be felt in a city like Ahmedabad, and I really wanted to get away. So I quickly opened up Google and started looking for a trek to do.

Q: How did you end up choosing Hampta Pass?

A: I simply searched which trek was popular during July, and Hampta Pass popped up!

Above Jobra Campsite

Q: What was Hampta Pass like, for you?

A: It was easy to moderate, even though it was my first time trekking, but the last two days were quite difficult(during the pass crossing and descending). Even the day we crossed Hampta Pass, we walked for 12 hours. I thought to myself, “Oh shit I’m killing myself !”, but looking back when we finished it, it was a really nice experience, and at that point, I realised that we(the group) had actually done something exciting in life!

Q: How did it feel when you reached the pass itself?

A: Actually, I wasn’t feeling that good, since there was still some portion of the trek remaining. When I reached the pass, I was jubilant, but then thought “Oh shit, abhi aur chalna hai(I still have to walk more!)”.
Then, on the final day, my feelings were the exact opposite and I was thinking “Oh damn, it’s the last day”, and then we felt like it was too short, we wished it was longer. Suddenly all my energy came back that day and we wished we could do it all over again!

Q: Sounds like it was quite a task managing the trek. What inspired you to keep walking?

A: You see so much natural beauty and variations in weather, which you would not get to see in a crowded city like Ahmedabad. The scenery is amazing and beautiful, sometimes it’s flowers, mountains, waterfalls, sometimes it’s rivers. It all inspires you to keep going!

Q: Speaking of rivers, how’d you find the river crossing at Jwara?

A: At first, I felt like not doing it, then I felt a lot of adrenalin during the actual crossing itself, and then I felt like doing it again! It was adventurous, but thankfully I was never scared.

Q: Once you cross Hampta Pass, you come to Spiti and Chandra Tal. How did you like those?

A: It was absolutely beautiful! I had never seen mountainous landscapes, especially since it was my first time trekking. My immediate reaction was “Why don’t they shoot Bollywood movies here? Why do people go abroad to countries like Thailand? Spiti is equally, if not more beautiful”. The truth is, Himachal is really unexplored. That is because of its inaccessibility. But it is this same inaccessibility that allows this region to remain peaceful, calm, and serene. By contrast, we saw Rohtang Pass on the way back, and wahan pe to mela laga hua tha!

Chandra Tal

Q: Being an Indian woman, was there any hurdle you faced while informing your family about going for the trek?

A: I just told my family, don’t wait for me, agar mai waapis nahi aayi! They were asking for a phone number to contact me in case of an emergency, and were shocked to learn ke waahaan pe signal hi nahi aata. They could not comprehend that there are still regions in this country jahaan pe signal nahi aata! All jokes aside, they were mostly fine, they just wanted me to stay in touch, since it was my first time trekking.

Q: Was there any particular event from the trek which stood out for you?

A: The truth is, I wasn’t in a good condition, and desperately wanted a break from my life. I wanted to move out of the city and go to the mountains. So this trek was a big break for me, and genuinely a life changing experience, which I felt I needed. So I would describe the entire trek as an event that stood out for me. To top it all, the Renok staff were really nice and supportive. The group members too were very cooperative. Some of the group members and guides are now friends of mine!

 

Q:Do you have any advice for first time trekkers?

A: What I witnessed on the trek was that people were scared of the altitude, saying “No, mujhse nahi hoga(I will not be able to do it), I can’t do this” etc. If we keep this sort of mindset, we will not be able to concentrate on the trek and enjoy it, enjoy the scenery all around. For those for whom it’s their first time trekking, I have to say this. We should soak in every moment, because every moment is unique, memorable and enjoyable, and we should not forget this in our tiredness!

Q: Finally, has this trek had any lasting effects on you?

A: Apart from being in touch with all the group members, I have realised a lot of things about the mountains.
Trekking is not boring, ever, and it probably won’t be for anyone. Anyone can go for it, people from all walks of life, age, etc., so everyone can disconnect from their individual backgrounds and connect together to the mountains. Trekking also helps you get to know yourself as a person, and nothing can be better than staying with nature.
I felt so much positivity when I returned from Hampta Pass, it’s been life-changing for me. Whenever I’m faced with a negative situation in life, I think of the mountains, and I channel positivity through them into me.
When I returned from Hampta, I kept telling my family and friends the tales of my trek, and now they’ve started to grow bored! Even now, I am in the same mood, dreaming of the mountains. Ab to keeda lag gaya hai(I’m hooked to the mountains now), to trek once or twice during the year.

 

It looks like Kratika had a gala time. Do you think Hampta Pass could be your calling too? Head on over here to find out!

25 Must-Have Songs For Your Travel Playlist

Posted By : Jai Govind Meena/ 70 0

Travelling is an uplifting activity. Be it a road trip with friends, or a solo holiday, listening to the correct music while travelling can make it all the more enjoyable.

So here are 25 songs that you should add to your Travel playlist today!

1. Leaving On A Jetplane – John Denver

“All my bags are packed, I’m ready to go” perfectly defines how all of us feel before setting out on our trips.

2. Khwabon Ke Parindey – Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara

Oho, kya pata, jaayenge kahaan

3. Born To Be Wild – Steppenwolf

Get your motor running, head out on the highway“… what could be more inspiring?

4. Mai Ni Meriye – Mohit Chauhan

Chambe jaana zaroor

5. Kashmire – Led Zeppelin

My Shangri-La beneath the summer moon, I will return again
This song is especially suited for a Kashmir sojourn.
Check out our Kashmir Great Lakes trek here!

6. Sab Bhula Ke – CALL

Sab bhula ke, fir bhi chala mai,
Duniya ki rasme bhula ke
Perfect for them angst-y solitary blues.

7. I Want To Break Free – Queen

God knows, God knows I want to break free

8. Yuhin Chala Chal Rahi – Swades

Kitni hasin hai yeh duniya?

9. Highway To Hell – ACDC

I’m on my way to the promised land, whoo!”

10. Banjarey – Fugly

Rabb hi jaane jo hoga aage.

11. Wanted Dead Or Alive – Bon Jovi

I’m a cowboy, on a steel horse I ride,
I’m wanted, dead or alive

12. Dil Chahta Hai – Title Track

With lyrics like “Dil chahta hai, hum na rahen kabhi yaaro ke bin“, this is the perfect song for a road trip with friends.
If road trips are your thing, check out our Ladakh Jeep Safari!

13. Born To Run – Bruce Springsteen

Tramps like us, baby we were born to run

14. Mast Baharon Ka Mai Aashiq – Mohammad Rafi

Mast baharon ka main aashiq
Main jo chaahe yaar karoon

15. Riders On The Storm – The Doors

Take a long holiday,
Let your children play
It’s a subtle message to all the parents out there 😛
Obviously, this song becomes all the more fun to listen to when it’s actually raining.

16. Hum Jo Chalne Lage – Jab We Met

With lyrics such as “Manzil se behtar lagne lage hai yeh raste“, it’s a reminder that we should enjoy the journey as well, apart from the destination.

17. Boulevard Of Broken Dreams – Green Day

My shadow’s the only one that walks beside me
Another one for them solo trips.

18. Ek Aise Gagan Ke Tale – Kishore Kumar

This song is filled with beautiful lyrics, all of them stand out.

19. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For – U2

The title explains itself. If you’re searching for something but you don’t know what it is, this is the song to listen to while doing it.

20. Ilahi – Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani

Shaame malang si.

21. Hotel California – The Eagles

You can check out any time you like,
But you can never leave
Once you’re in the mountains, your body may return to the city, but a part of your soul will always be there.

22. Freebird – Lynyrd Skynyrd

Cause I’m as free as a bird now,
And this bird you can not change

23. Mamma I’m Coming Home – Ozzy Osbourne

It hurts so bad, it’s been so long
For when you’re nearing the end of your trip, and home calls.

24. Take Me Home Country Roads – John Denver

Country roads, take me home
To the place I belong

John Denver gets a special second mention, since his songs are just so.. country.

25. Chhaiyyan Chhaiyyan – Dil Se

Yaar misaale os chale,
Paaon ke tale firdaus chale


Well, these were our suggestions.

Let us know in the comments what songs you like having on your Travel playlist!