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16 Best Offbeat Treks in Indian Himalayas: Exploring the Unknown

Trekkers and adventurers from all across the globe have been visiting the Himalayas to seek out new hiking routes; summit a new and unknown mountain; climb the impossible and this has resulted into exploration of the famous trekking routes. The Himalayas offer some of the most amazing hiking destinations in north India and is a major travellers’ hotspot in the country. Every valley offers offbeat adventure holiday places. Ranging from a weekend, short treks to extensive advanced mountaineering opportunities, Himalayas has something for everybody. If you are an offbeat traveller and looking for some amazing new adventure hiking places in India, then this blog here, gives you an insight on some offbeat treks in the Himalayas that are going to win your heart. So without further ado, let me take you on a virtual ride through some awesome offbeat treks in the Indian Himalayas.

List of Some of best offbeat destinations in the Himalayas are:

Hampta Pass Trek, Himachal Pradesh: The Tale of Two Cities

Hampta Pass Trek

Tales of two cities is how you can describe this trek. Starting from the Kullu Valley in Manali to climbing over Hampta Pass and then witnessing the beauty of Spiti Valley, this trek is every mountain lover’s paradise. The scenery changes within every hour, one hour you might be in the lush green meadows, the next hour you might be walking around the riverside near the snow line. Not one of the hardest treks in Himachal, Hampta Pass trek gives you a taste of two sides of the state. Also, if accessible because of weather conditions, you can trek to the enchanting Chandratal lake, the alternate to the Pangong Lake in Ladakh.

Starting Point for Hampta Pass: The Base camp for Hampta Trek is Jobra, 42 km drive from Manali.

Trek Route: Manali – Jobra – Jwara – Balu ka Ghera – Hampta Pass – Shea Goru – Chatru – Manali

Highlights of the Hampta Pass Trek: Changing Landscape and view of Spiti Valley.

Height of Hampta Pass: 14,035 feet

When to do Hampta Pass Trek?  – Mid June to Mid October

Duration of Hampta Pass Trek: 6 Days

Difficulty: Moderate

Also Read:

Kalicho Pass, Jammu Kashmir: The Trek Made for Only Few

Kalicho Pass

Before going over the pass you would need to take permission from the Banni Mata Temple and every year only three batches are allowed to cross this pass. The batches need to complete the trek within the given timeframe and all these rules are followed strictly. The rawest trek on our list, this trek will challenge your physical as well as mental strength. Do this for the satisfaction you’ll get once you cross the pass. One of the many unexplored treks in India, you would need prior trekking experience as it will come in handy in finding trails.

Starting Point for Kalicho Pass: The starting point of the Trek is Bhadra.

Trek Route: Dalhousie- Bharmour – Bhadra – Leundi – Bansar Goth – Alyas – Kalicho Pass – Alyas – Udaipur – Kelong

Highlights of Kalicho Pass: The sacred and gothic history makes it more thrilling.

Height of Kalicho Pass: 15,840 feet

When to do Kalicho Pass Trek? – Late July to early September

Duration of Kalicho Pass Trek: 6 Days

Difficulty: Moderate to difficult with extreme gradient in places. Not recommended without a guide since the trail is not always visible.

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Brahmatal Trek, Uttarakhand: The Other Roopkund Trek

Brahmatal Trek

A peak winter trek, Brahmatal is a trek for snow lovers. Not much hard in terms of physical exertion, the temperatures fall down to -5o Celsius during the winter night. Not many treks are accessible during winters but the Brahmatal trek is one of the best offbeat winter treks in India. Walking through the dense forest opening up to the snowfield, spread for kilometers. The end of trek takes you to the top of the mountain from which Mt.Trishul and Mt. Nanda Ghunti would seem within touching distance. You also get the view of the Roopkund Trek. Not many treks can boast a high-altitude lake but Brahmatal trek offers you the trekking experience of two high altitude lakes.

Starting Point of Brahmatal Trek: The base camp is at Lohagunj.

Trek Route: Lohagunj – Bekaltal – Brahmatal – Tilbudi – Lohagunj

Highlights of Brahmatal Trek: Snow laden meadows, view of Mount Trishul and Mount Nanda Ghunti and two high altitude lakes.

Height of Brahmatal Lake: 12,250 ft

When to do Brahmatal Trek? – December to March

Duration of Brahmatal Trek: 6 Days

Difficulty: Moderate to difficult (mainly because of low temperatures)

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Har Ki Doon Trek, Uttarakhand: Stairway to Heaven

Har Ki Doon

Taking the final step while listening to Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven is the right way to complete this trek. Referred as a stairway to heaven, Har Ki Doon trek is a trek like no other. No other trek is so steeped into Hindu mythology as this one. Believed to be the route which Pandava took to reach heaven via Swargarohini, the mountain overlooking Har Ki Doon Valley, the views you get on this trek are unique. A trek that takes you back into the time, you’ll come across various Garhwal Himalayas’ ancient village on your way, some being 3000 years old.

Starting Point of Har Ki Doon: Sankri is the base camp for the trek.

Trek Route: Sankri – Taluka – Puani Garaat – Kalkatiyadhar – Har Ki Doon – Puani Garaat – Taluka – Sankri

Highlights of the Har Ki Doon Trek: Ancient villages enroute, view of Mount Swargarohini.

Height of Har Ki Doon: 11,500 feet

When to do Har Ki Doon Trek? – April – June and September – December

Duration of Har Ki Doon Trek: 8 Days

Difficulty: Easy to moderate

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Sandakphu Trek, West Bengal: Be at Two Places at the Same Time

Sandakphu Trek West Bengal

If you ever wished to do cross-country trekking, your dreams have come true. Walking from India to Nepal, the Sandakphu trek offers the view of some of the world’s highest mountain peaks such as Mt. Everest and Mt. Kanchenjunga and the Sleeping Buddha. For the most of the duration of the trek, you would be walking alongside Sleeping Buddha. The trekking route is as geographically diverse as it may. Ranging from mountain peaks, ridges to dark alpine forests to Bamboo forests, the Sandakphu Trek offers one of the best trekking adventures in India. With a picture-perfect sunrise and sunset, your Instagram profile will get the boost you have been longing for.

Starting Point for Sandakphu Trek: Jaubhari is the base camp for the trek.

Trek Route: Jaubhari – Tumling – Kalipokhri – Sandakphu – Sabargram – Phalut – Gorkhey – Sepi

Highlights of Sandakphu Trek: Standing in India and Nepal at once, view of snow-capped mountain peaks like Sleeping Buddha, Mt. Everest and Mt.Kanchenjunga.

Height of the Sandakphu Trek: 11,950 feet

When to do Sandakphu Trek? – Accessible throughout the year, April is best for those who seek rhododendrons forests. Those who seek snow can opt for winter treks.

Duration of Sandakphu Trek: 7 Days

Difficulty: Moderate mainly because of the long distance one has to cover each day.

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Kashmir Great Lakes, Kashmir: The Most Beautiful Offbeat Trek in India

Kashmir Great Lakes

Kashmir great lakes trek is the undisputed champion of being the prettiest trek in India. Some trek comes may close to being equal but at the end of the day, Kashmir Great Lakes holds the crown. Taking you through the scenic beauty of Kashmir, KGL trek offers you five alpine lakes. It’s not every day that you get to witness the beauty of nature in its purest form, but this trek which is still untouched gives you a chance to delve into the tranquility of the beauty that is Kashmir. A photographer’s paradise, Kashmir will offer some of the most picturesque camping grounds and scenes for your wide-angle lens.

Starting Point of Kashmir Great Lakes Trek: The trek starts at Shitkadi.

Trek Route: Shitkadi – Sonmarg – Nichnai – Vishnusar Lake – Kishnasar Lake – Gadsar Pass – Gadsar – Satsar – Gangabal Twin Lakes – Narang

Highlights of Kashmir Great Lakes Trek: The view of 5 alpine lakes, picturesque Kashmir valleys.

Height of Kashmir Great Lakes Trek: 13,800 feet

When to do Kashmir Great Lakes Trek: July to September is the best time to visit as more snow can be spotted

Duration of Kashmir Great Lakes Trek: 8 Days

Difficulty: Moderate to difficult mainly because of continuous trekking.

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Rupin Pass Trek, Himachal Pradesh: A Tale of Romance with Himalayas

Rupin Pass Trek

One of the most classic and aesthetic treks in India, the Rupin Pass trek is full of unpredictable beauties. The trek seems to resemble an orchestra with going up and down with suspense and surprises at every corner. One of the best trekking trails in India, Rupin pass is still an offbeat trek. The Rupin River would be with you for a major part of the trek, leading up to the famous Rupin Waterfall. Once over the waterfall, it opens up to the vast snow field with various mountain peaks in the backdrop. The mesmerizing beauty of the trek ensures motivates and encourages you to take one more step forward. Best offbeat trek in Himachal, it is not for those who prefer short treks.

Starting Point for Rupin Pass Trek: Dhaula is the base camp for the Rupin Pass trek.

Trek Route: Dhaula – Sewa – Jiskun – Udaknal – Dhanderas Thatch – Rupin Waterfall Top – Rati Pheri – Rupin Pass – Ronti Gad – Sangla

Highlights of Rupin Pass Trek: Rupin Pass waterfall, Rupin river, snow fields.

Height of Rupin Pass: 15,250 feet

When to do Rupin Pass Trek? – Mid May to Mid-October

Duration of Rupin Pass Trek: 10 Days

Difficulty: Moderate to difficult, mainly because of continuous trekking.

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Indrahar Pass, Himachal Pradesh: The Next Level for Triund Lovers

Indrahar Pass Trek

Most of the trekkers start their trekking experience by trekking to Triund. The Indrahar Pass is the next step above Triund. The Indrahar pass lies in the Dhauladhar Range separating the Chamba Valley and Kangra district. The Dhauladhar Range is one of the most powerful areas in the entire Himalayas as it is ideally situated on the point where Eurasian and Indian subcontinent’s tectonic plate collide. Trekking through the mountains of Dhauladhar, you would get to experience almost all the ecological belts of Himalayas. Going through some of the most picturesque mountain beauties, Indrahar pass trek is ideal for those who want to take their Triund trekking experience to the next level. The panoramic view of the entire Dhauladhar Range would be an experience worth trekking for.

Starting Point of Indrahar Pass Trek: Starting point is Dharamkot.

Trek Route: Dharamkot – Triund – Laka – Lahesh Cave – Indrahar Pass – Chhata – Kuarsi – Hilling – Lamu.

Highlights of Indrahar Pass Trek: View of Dhauladhar ranges separating Chamba valley and Kangra district.

Height of Indrahar Pass: 14,245 feet

When to do Indrahar Pass Trek? – May to October

Duration of Indrahar Pass Trek: 9-10 Days

Difficulty: Moderate to difficult, mainly due to navigating through boulders.

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Bagini Glacier Trek, Uttarakhand: Mini Mount Everest of India

Bagini Glacier Trek

Bagini Glacier Trek is a walk amidst the breezy Himalayan Alpine fields. The trek starts and ends at Jumma Village. The route which takes you to advance base camps of summits of Changbang and Kalanka, the Bagini Glacier Trek gives you the feel of being on Mt. Everest. With less traffic on the trek, you can savour the taste of hardcore Himalayan trekking. It’s not just the scenic beauty of trek but also the close proximity of the glacier to some mesmerizing snow-capped mountains which invite trekkers every year.

Starting Point of Bagini Glacier Trek: Ruing village is the starting point of the trek.

Trek Route: Ruing – Dronagiri Village – Longatulli – Base Camp – Bagini Glacier – Dronagiri Village – Joshimath.

Highlights of Bagini Glacier Trek: Base camp of Kalanka & Changbang, glacier walking.

Height of Bagini Glacier: 14,816 feet

When to do Bagini Glacier Trek? – Pre monsoon May to mid-June & post monsoon September to early October.

Duration of Bagini Glacier Trek: 6 Days

Difficulty: Moderate to difficult, mainly because of glacial climbing.

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Panpatia Trek, Uttarakhand: Take the Road Not Taken

Panpatia Trek

One of the toughest treks on our list, the perfect offbeat trail in India, Panpatia Trek is the ridge between the two Hindu pilgrimage – Kedarnath and Badrinath. Believed to be an ancient route taken by sages to traverse between the two pilgrimages within a day, the route was lost in the mists of time. The exploration of the route began as early as 1934 but it wasn’t discovered till 2007 because of the extreme weather conditions. The story perfect adventure trekking tour which has battled against the determination of trekkers is not for everyone. One of the highest Himalayan passes, you would have to cross the Panpatia glacier and the freezing temperatures are of no help. You will be surrounded by the gigantic cold Himalayan peaks but there is something about this place that makes it feel like home to many trekkers. Words can’t describe the sense of achievement you’ll feel after doing this trek but it won’t be any less than summiting a major peak.

Starting Point of Panpatia Trek: The trek starts at Badrinath.

Trek Route: Badrinath – Shepherd Camp – Snout Camp – Moraine Camp – Parvati Col Base – Panpatia Snow Field – Panpatia Col – Sujal Sarovar – Kachni – Nanu Chatti – Ransi.

Highlights of Panpatia Trek: Walking into uncharted territory, Panpatia Snow field, Himalayan Peaks.

Height of Panpatia Glacier: 17,255 feet

When to do Panpatia Trek? –  Mid-May to October. Summers are pleasant with clear view of Himalayan peaks. Post monsoon, the serenity and solitude of this place is enchanting.

Duration of Panpatia Trek: 10 Days

Difficulty: Difficult with extreme weather conditions and long distance that are to be covered in a day.

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Kolahoi Glacier Trek, Jammu and Kashmir: Walking into The Source of Light

Kolahoi Glacier Trek

Ask any trekker and he/she would tell you that trekking in Jammu and Kashmir is an experience of a lifetime and it is different than trekking in other places. The Kolahoi Glacier, revered as Goddess of Light by the locals, is a major source to two major water body of North India, Jhelum and Liddar. Kashmir is known for its vast meadows and the Kolahoi Glacier trek takes you to some of the greenest pastures, alongside the flowing Liddar River. With its wide-open Himalayan valleys, alpine lakes, and green meadows, Kolahoi Glacier Trek is surely one of the best offbeat Himalayan escapes. Although the glacier is now shrinking at a rapid pace, places like these make you realize the damage we have caused to the environment.

Starting Point for Kolahoi Glacier Trek: The starting point is Aru Valley.

Trek Route: Aru – Lidderwat – Dudhsar Lake – Kolahoi Glacier Viewpoint – Satlunjun – Aru.

Highlights of Kolahoi Glacier Trek: Kashmir meadows, Dudhsar Lake and Kolahoi Glacier.

Height of Kolahoi Glacier: 15,400 feet

When to do Kolahoi Glacier Trek? –  March to October

Duration of Kolahoi Glacier Trek: 5 Days

Difficulty: Easy to moderate

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Siang Valley Trek, Arunachal Pradesh: The Far Side of Indian Treks

Siang Valley Trek

North-East India offers some of the most pristine trekking destinations and the Siang Valley Trek is one of the top things to do if you are in Arunachal Pradesh. Walking through the countryside of Arunachal, trekking up to the Tsangpo River that lies in Tibet, which meets the Brahmaputra River in Assam, is some of the best things to do during the trek. Arunachal, the most eastern state of India, is still untouched by travellers and tourists, hence you can still witness some of the original tribes of Arunachal and learn about their local traditions.

Starting Point of Siang Valley Trek: Silapathar would be the starting point of the trek.

Trek Route: Silapathar – Komsing – Karko – Pangi – Sisen – Ponging – Pasighat – Dibrugarh.

Highlights of Siang Valley Trek: Tsangpo River, Local lifestyle.

Height of Siang Valley: 6,500 feet

When to do Siang Valley Trip? – October – February

Duration of Siang Valley Trek: 5 Days

Difficulty: Easy to moderate

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Tso Lhamo Lake Trek, Sikkim: The Crown Jewel of North East India

Tso Lhamo Lake Trek

At the mighty height of 18,000 feet, Tso Lhamo lake is one of the height lakes in the world. The jewel of North-East India, Tso Lhamo lake is the testimony of nature’s marvel. Due to its extreme temperatures, the lake is inaccessible to the trekkers for the major part of the year. One of the lesser-known treks in India, the short 2-day trek of Tso Lhamo Lake is still an untouched and unexplored beauty for the rest of India. Do this for witnessing the highest natural lake in India, because an experience like this is very hard to come.

Starting Point of Tso Lhamo Lake Trek: Lachen is the starting point of the trek.

Trek Route: Gangtok – Lachen – Tso Lhamo Lake – Lachen.

Highlights of Tso Lhamo Lake Trek: High altitude lakes are very rare but you get to witness one on this trek.

Height of Tso Lhamo Lake: 18,000 feet

When to do Tso Lhamo Lake Trek? – October & November has the most pleasant weather conditions.

Duration of Tso Lhamo Lake Trek: 3 Days

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The Bhrigu Lake Trek, Himachal Pradesh: Secrets of Manali

Bhrigu Lake Trek

Planning a trip to Manali and thinking where to go, well we have got a hidden paradise of high altitude meadows right in the Manali Valley. Surrounded by some of the major Himalayan peaks, the green pastures of Himalayas would give you some of the best photos for your Instagram profile. As they say, it’s not about the destination but the journey you make and this couldn’t have been apter for the Bhrigu Lake Trek. The sight of horses grazing and green pastures spread over till the horizon will fill your heart with immense joy. An alternative to the famous Roopkund Trek in Uttarakhand, The Bhrigu Lake trek is the perfect destination for offbeat trekking in the Himalayas.

Starting Point of Bhrigu Lake Trek: The starting point is Gulaba.

Trek Route: Gulaba – Jonker Thatch – Rola Khuli – Bhrigu Lake – Rola Khuli – Gulaba.

Highlights of Bhrigu Lake Trek: Meadows of Manali Valley, Bhrigu Lake.

Height of Bhrigu Lake: 14,000 feet

When to do Bhrigu Lake Trek? –  Mid May- October but ideal time is before June or after July as chances of landslides are minimum during this time.

Duration of Bhrigu Lake Trek: 4 Days

Difficulty: Moderate

Also Read

Gwaru Pass, Himachal Pradesh: A Trek in The Solitude of the Himalayas

Gwaru Pass

A mountain pass might seem an ordinary thing for a non-traveller but reaching the pass is somewhat equivalent to summiting a major mountain. The trail of Gwaru Pass offers not one but two high-altitude mountain pass – Tentu and Gwaru. This trek route leads through some of the most mesmerizing views of Himalayas, going through Chandratal Lake. The trail offers one of the best campsites in Himachal, with trails leading alongside rivers and forests. The end of the trail is worth days of trekking as your eyes will get lost in the mesmerizing view of Pir Panjal mountain range. For those who love offbeat incredible trekking trails, with minimal human life around, this trek offers some of the most quaint and blissful experiences.

Starting Point of Gwaru Pass Trek: Barahazar would be the starting point of the trek.

Trek Route: Barahazar – Chikka – Seri – Chandratal – Seri – Gwaru Thach – Gwaru Pass – Bareh – Malana.

Highlights of Gwaru Pass Trek: Chandratal Lake, Pir Panjal and Malana.

Height of Gwaru Pass: 15,682 feet

When to do Gwaru Pass Trek? –  End of June to first week of August as it experiences best weather and better temperatures.

Duration of Gwaru Pass Trek: 7 Days

Difficulty: Moderate to difficult, mainly because of continuous 7 days trekking. Prior trekking experience will come in handy during the Gwaru Pass trek.

Also Read

Milam Glacier Trek, Uttarakhand: A Walk on The Field of Ice

Milam Glacier Trek

The pride of Kumaun district, Milam Glacier trek is the picture-perfect adventure tour. If walking on glaciers, passing through dense forests, gazing up the clear sky and enjoying the nature in its purest form is your idea of a vacation then the Milam Glacier trek is a match made for you. Closed to tourists for almost 3 decades for 1962-1992, this trek is now open and you can still find the traces of Indo-Sino war of 1962. With Mt. Trisuli (23,209 feet) and Hardeol (23,461 feet) within the touching distance, the efforts would be worth the reward.

Starting Point of Milam Glacier Trek: Munsiyari would be the starting point of the trek.

Trek Route: Munsiyari – Lilam – Bugdyar – Martoli – Ganghar – Pachu – Milam – Milam Glacier – Rilkot – Bugdyar – Lilam – Munsiyari.

Highlights of Milam Glacier Trek: Milam Glacier, view of Mt. Trishul & Hardeol.

Height of Milam Glacier: 13,612 feet

When to do Milam Glacier Trek? –  April-June & September-October

Duration of Milam Glacier Trek: 9 Days

Difficulty: Moderate to difficult, mainly because of steep ascent.

Also Read

Himalayas are filled with offbeat travel locations in India and each pass or glacier is beautiful than the last one. It’s a never-ending quest with nature. So, pack your bags, gear up and pick the location which suits you the most.

Well, if you’re looking for such adventure tours in offbeat places like these, you can contact us at Tour My India. You can call us at +91-9212553106 or send us your queries at and we’ll get back to you with the best travel packages where you can pick the one that suits you the most. For any queries, feel free to post your questions in the comment section below.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q.Which weekend destinations can be visited within 100 km from Chandigarh?

Following destinations are situated within 100 km from Chandigarh:

  • Parwanoo in Himachal
  • Kasauli in Himachal
  • Nahan in Himachal

Q.How to reach Himachal Pradesh from Chandigarh?

Chandigarh is well-connected to Himachal Pradesh by road. State-run and private buses ply regularly between many destinations of Himachal and Chandigarh. Cabs are also readily available. Flights to Shimla and Bhuntar are also available from Chandigarh.

Q.How to reach Uttarakhand from Chandigarh?

Chandigarh is well-connected to Uttarakhand by road. State-run and private buses ply regularly between many destinations of Uttarakhand and Chandigarh. Cabs are also readily available. Flights to Dehradun are also available from Chandigarh.

Q.What are the best weekend destinations for adventure near Chandigarh?

Rishikesh is one of the best weekend destinations near Chandigarh. Here, one can enjoy white water rafting, bungee jumping, flying fox, cliff jumping etc.

Published: 06 Nov, 2020

About the author


Born and brought up in the Lucknowi tehzeeb, Ashwini wishes to someday settle in a quaint little town in the Himalayas. If you do not find him daydreaming about his travel plans, you’ll find him exploring the vastness of Youtube and Netflix. A travel romantic and a cricket fanatic, he also wishes to try every cuisine ever made in this world.