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Seven reasons to trek the Indian Himalaya

Having led and promoted treks in the Indian Himalaya for the best part of 50 years and having written all five editions of Lonely Planet’s ‘Trekking in the Indian Himalaya’ I feel I am in a position to offer a few reasons why trekking in India is an attractive option.

· The Himalaya doesn’t end on the borders of Nepal - the West Himalaya extends across the mountain states of Uttaranchal, Himachal to Ladakh and Kashmir while to the east there are equally fine possibilities out of Darjeeling and Sikkim.

· Seasonality – the best time to trek in the West Himalaya and more specifically Ladakh and Kashmir is during the northern summer months when most of Nepal is under the influence of the monsoon.

· Cultural attractions – consider the deep seated Tibetan Buddhist heritage of Ladakh; the Moghul legacy in Kashmir; the traditional Hindu temples of Himachal or the ancient pilgrimage trails leading to the sources of the Ganges in Uttaranchal

· Beyond the crowds – in comparison to the crowded tea house trails in Nepal, the Indian Himalaya is comparatively peaceful. On a trek beneath the towering peaks in the Nanda Devi region in Uttaranchal you would be hard pressed to meet more than a handful of foreign trekkers.

· Service delivery – compared to the Sherpas of Nepal, the Indian crews are equally experienced and dedicated to ensuring that your time on the trail surpasses your expectations

· The mountains – India has no shortage of spectacular mountain ranges extending from Kashmir to the borderlands of Nepal, while in Darjeeling and Sikkim you gain incomparable views of Kangchenjunga the world’s third highest summit.

· The magic of Kashmir – OK I am biased but you would be hard to beat the incomparable views from the houseboats moored on serene waters of Nagin Lake that extend to the snow-capped ridges of the Pir Panjal.

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