Five hiking trails and destinations to add to your wish list in 2023

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Gayatri Mohanty, a renowned fitness coach, mountaineer, actor and model, has climbed three of the biggest trekking summits, including the Chadar trek in Ladakh, Nagar Shankh, and Kala Patthar, along with Mount Kosciuszko, Australia’s highest peak, to name a few… She gives TheGlitz an exclusive list of five of the best hiking trails and destinations to add to your bucket list in 2023.

India is known for its diversity of landscapes and the mesmerizing beauty of its mountain ranges. Right from North India, to the western ghats and all the way to the south, each region offers unique trails and some of the best scenic experiences ever. As the hiking spots across India get more and more popular, here is a list of the top 5 hiking trails you can plan for based on each season.

Chembra Peak
  1. Best Winter Trek – Chembra Peak, Kerala
    Distance – 7 km/4.3 miles round trip
    Time – 5 hours
    Level – Easy for beginners

Chembra Peak is the tallest summit in Kerala and its well-marked, charming trail is easy to follow and passes through dense forests, tea gardens, and fragrant coffee and spice plantations. Along the way, you’ll see a heart-shaped lake before reaching the summit which offers stunning views of the Western Ghats. This region is also rich in biodiversity, with over 300 different threatened species of plants and animals.

Dayara Bugyal Trek
  1. Best Spring Trek – Dayara Bugyal Trek, Uttarakhand
    Distance – 20-25 km/xx miles round trip
    Time – 4-5 days
    Level – Moderate

The Dayara Bugyal Trek takes hikers through some of the most beautiful alpine meadows in the Indian Himalayas. The vast expanse of rolling grassland here is a sight to behold, and during the peak trekking season, the meadows are covered with a variety of colourful wildflowers. One of the most mesmerising experiences is the spectacular mountain scenery in the Indian Himalayas.

Gaumukh Trek
  1. Best Summer Trek – Gaumukh Trek, Uttarakhand
    Distance – 36 km/22 miles round trip
    Time – 2-3 days
    Level – Moderate

The Gaumukh Trek is an incredible experience as it follows an ancient route. It begins with Gangotri glacier, which is the source of the Ganges River and ends at the Gaumukh, which is a cow’s mouth-shaped glacial stream and is considered the holiest place for Hindu pilgrimage. From the summit of Gaumukh, hikers can see an impressive panorama of peaks, including the famous Shivling, Bhagirathi and Meru peaks.

  1. Best Monsoon Trek – The Valley of Flowers Trek in Uttarakhand
    Distance – 15-20 km/9-15.5 miles round trip
    Time – 7-10 hours or several days
    Level – Moderate

The Valley of Flowers is a riot of colours during the peak trekking season and is a sight to behold. It spans through a beautiful alpine valley filled with a wide variety of flowers. The trek is also significant from an ecological point of view, as the Valley of Flowers is a protected area under the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve and is home to numerous endangered plant and animal species.

  1. Best Autumn Trek – Khaliya Top, Uttarakhand
    Distance – 30-35 km/20 miles
    Time – 5-6 days
    Level – Easy to Moderate

The Khaliya Top is located in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand, known for its scenic beauty and serene environment. The autumn season is particularly beautiful, with the forests and meadows turning a vibrant orange and red. The best part about this trek is that it provides an opportunity to escape the crowded tourist trails and enjoy the serene and peaceful environment of the Himalayas.

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