The size and diversity of India means there’s a fantastic choice of different areas and scenery to walk in. Whether you want a wholly trekking-focused holiday or a trip that includes a gentle walk or two we take you on quiet trails away from the crowds to get closer to India’s landscape, her people and their living cultures.
All our treks and the vast majority of our short walks are private. Your own knowledgeable guide shows you the way, points out things of interest that you might otherwise miss, introduces you to the locals and explains some of their customs. There’s no need to worry about holding anyone up – or sprinting ahead and covering some distance – the pace is up to you.
Where to go
The Indian Himalaya covers a vast area along the northern boundary of India, spanning five states, and their awe-inspiring peaks form the backdrop to treks in beautiful valleys, forests and meadows:
In Kumaon you can hike far away from the noise and excesses of modern life in a place that, until very recently, the rest of the world forgot. Staying in sympathetically converted traditional houses, Shakti village walks are the ideal way to learn about the region’s culture and environment and bring benefits to local people in this unspoilt and remote area. A variety of day walks are also possible from remote lodge, a pared down luxury retreat with views to die for.
In the foothills of India’s eastern Himalaya we recommend pulling on your walking boots and stepping out into the tea plantations and beyond from a Raj era bungalow near the colonial hill station of Darjeeling. Or head to the rolling hills of neighbouring Sikkim to explore the former kingdom’s unique cultural mosaic and hike through a stunning landscape with views of the world's third highest mountain, Kanchenjunga (8598m).
With high altitude deserts, rugged mountains and turquoise lakes Ladakh must have some of the most stunning scenery on earth. Long on the map for backpackers we escape the masses by making day hikes between ancient Buddhist monasteries and tiny hamlets from stylishly renovated houses in untouched villages. In the Indus and Zanskar valleys you’ll hear talk of snow leopards and while they remain elusive, other wildlife is abundant in the mountains and you are likely to see blue sheep and ibex as well as birds of prey circling in the cerulean sky.
There are also many fabulous trekking opportunities along the great Escarpment of India in the south of the country:
In Kerala we arrange a variety of gentle walks and easy treks in the tropical jungles of Periyar with reformed poachers and explore the tea plantations around the hill station of Munnar. For more of a challenge our multi-day treks include heading up Meesapulimala (2635m), the second highest peak in the Western Ghats, for panoramic views forests, tea estates and the plains of Tamil Nadu before descending through mountain grasslands, spice plantations and tribal villages staying in simple tented camps.
When to go
October to April in the Kumaon and Sikkim, May to September in Ladakh and November to March in the Western Ghats. There are local variations and exceptions that we will be happy to discuss with you when planning your trip.
Where to stay
Numerous day and half day walks can be taken from a rural base, either with a local guide or house staff. In the Himalaya staying in village houses adapted for guests and trekking with a specialist guide gives privileged access to remote mountain regions. Simple lodges and fully supported camping open up a variety of trekking possibilities in the Western Ghats.
Contact us now to plan and book your private walking and trekking holiday in India.
Posted by: Andrea Hulme