The Himalayas are amongst the youngest mountain ranges of the world, it comprises of over hundred peaks exceeding 7200 meters (22,838 feet) in height, including the world's highest peak Mt. Everest 8848 meters (29,029 feet).
The Indian Himalayan range covers 12 states in India : Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Mizoram, Tripura and, West Bengal. And all these 12 states highly differ in terms of religion and culture.
The Himalayas offer a lot of reasons to travel - the adventure sports, the enchanted beauty of the landscape, the treks, camps and numerous flora and fauna. Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and, Sikkim are known for the assorted places they offer for camping.
The Garhwal Himalayas seem to personify a supernatural genuineness beyond the universal precepts of man, a reputation that has gripped sages and pilgrims since innumerable centuries. The glory of Garhwal is its peaks of Nanda Devi (the second highest peak of India 7817 meters), Trishul and Kamet.
Wildlife in Kumaon
Kumaon area of Uttarakhand is much diversified in terms of wildlife and has six national parks:
- Corbett National Park,
- Nanda Devi National Park,
- Raja Ji National Park,
- Govind Wildlife Sanctuary,
- Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary and,
- Askot Sanctuary.
Corbett National Park is India's first tiger reserve, covering 520 sq km (approx.), established in 1936 in the foothills of Himalayas. It is a paradise for ardent bird lovers and wildlife photographers.
It was named after the legendary hunter Late Jim Corbett, for his help in setting up Corbett National Park.
Nanda Devi National Park attracts tourists with its awe-inspiring beauty with Nanda Devi Peak just next to it.
Himalayan Black Bear, Tiger, Snow Leopard, Musk Deer, Snow Cock, Brown Fish Owl, Himalayan Kingfisher, Brown Dipper and White-Capped Redstarts are the major attractions.
Rafting in Himalayas
The Himalayas offer us the thrill of White Water Rafting in Rishikesh; the most sought after destination in India for rafting. Himalayan rivers are extreme and untamed which makes them best rivers for rafting. River rafting locations in Himalayas are:
- Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir,
- Garhwal Himalayas in Uttarakhand,
- Beas River of Himachal Pradesh and,
- Teesta River in Sikkim
GMVN (Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam) in Uttarakhand offers a lot of courses for both amateurs and professional rafters.
Manali - Ladakh Jeep Safari
Manali to Ladakh jeep safari also known to people as Manali-Leh jeep safari is the one safari you cannot miss. The Great Tour offers you 22 beautiful hairpin bends through Lachulung Pass, magnificent monasteries, and the ever strange Pagal Nala, a mountain tributary that changes its course every monsoon.
The Manali-Leh road remains open only for a brief period of 3-4 months from June to September, but a trip to this Great Tour leaves you absolutely invigorated and enlivens you to proceed with your daily routine.
Treks in Ladakh
The Himalayas offer the most challenging treks in Ladakh region. Stok Kangri Trek is at a height of 6153 meters. The sight that engulfs you is the sun floating right above the peaks of the Karakoram and Zanskar; a vista worth the long trek to the peak of Stok Kangri. Apart from the Stok Kangri there is the famous Chaddar Trek on the frozen Tsarap River, known as Khado Sanglam to the locals.
The Nubra Valley from Phyang to Hunder at 18,830 feet takes you through the ancient Silk Route, monasteries and the colorful villages of Deskit, Khalser and Khardon.
Photo Source: Willylevassor
Other treks available in Ladakh are
- Markha Valley Trek,
- Kang Yatse Trek,
- Ripchar Valley Trek,
- Lamayur to Alchi Trek,
- Hemis to Padum Trek,
- Rumtse to Kiber Trek and,
- The Sham Valley Trek.
The Himalayas are a breathtaking, exhilarating mountain range that has more to offer than one could imagine. Be it flora or be it adventure sports it has a wide variety of everything.