By Nirvaan Mehra {with contributions by Editors}

The weather’s clearing up, and now is the season for adventurists and outdoor junkies alike. Ironically, now you have legit reason to actually leave the city. As waters freeze over, rivers come alive, and animals come out to play, newbie, amateur or professional, load up on gear from Adventure 18, and pick a trek to suit your mood. The crew at LBB tied up with Adventure 18 this season, to present 7 adventure trips in India, just waiting to happen.

Har Ki Dun Trek |

Har-Ki-Dun-Trek-Delhi-to-Dehradun-Himalaya-HillsLevel/ Grading: Moderate

Adventure Company: Aquaterra Adventures

About: The Har ki Dun is a good introductory trek for first timers, and requires an 8 day commitment. All you have to do is hop on an overnight train from Delhi to Dehradun; Aquaterra will have cars waiting to take you up to Sankri, and so begins seven days of treks. Each trek is a different duration, starting from 4 hours, and going up all the way to 6. You spend each night at a different campsite, surrounded by nothing but Himalayan forests, meadows, and rivers. Being part of the Govind Vihar Sanctuary, the area is rich in wildlife, and is paradise for avid bird watchers and nature loyalists alike. The inhabitants of the area claim to be direct descendants of the Pandavas and the Kauravas, so you can get an interesting history fix!

Best time to visit: Post Monsoon or Early Spring {March}

Find out more, here.

Dodital Lake Trek |

Dodital-Trek-Himalaya-White-Magic-AdventureLevel/Grading: Easy

Adventure Company: White Magic Adventure Travel

About: If you’re an absolute first timer, and holidays in the mountains have so far been restricted to bed and breakfasts, the Dodital Lake Trek might be your perfect first date with roughing it out. A classic Himalayan trek, you’ll be surrounded by pine and deodar forest, and the Dodital lake of course, right after you make the trek via a well established mule track {well stabilised with rocks, but quite steep in places}. You start out trekking through lush deciduous forests, and slowly make your way up to fir and deodar inhabited surroundings. You have the option of making a day-climb to Darwa Pass, where you’ll be able to see the snow capped peaks of Bandarpunch and Swargarohini. All sound the same to you? Lucky for you, they all also look the same; all equally breathtaking. This one will set you back 6 days.

Best time to visit: October, November, March and April

Find out more, here. 

Kali/Sarda River Rafting Expedition |

Kali-Sarda-River-Rafting-Expedition-Mercury-Himalyan-Expedition

Level/Grading: Moderate

Adventure Company: Mercury Himalayan Exploration

About: See you later Rishikesh; the Sarda river promises excitement for newbies and the more seasoned rafters. The river Kali originates in the Pithoragah district of Uttarakhand and forms a natural eastern boundary between India and Nepal, so you get a look-see of quaint Nepali and Kumaoni villages. Expect sandy beaches, thick tropical jungles, and the promise of a true wilderness experience. As for grades of rapid, they vary day to day, and can go up all the way to a grade 4. All in all, a 9 day trip.

Best time to visit: March, September and October

Additional Gear recommended: A good base layer {polypro}, quick dry hat/cap, warm mid-layers for camp {woolen jumper, medium fleece & light weight fleece}, good wind blocker and waterproof shell, cotton trousers or long skirts {for women these double up as port-a-loos}, a rugged pair of sandals {with straps} e.g; Tevas or Chacos, quick dry/boarder shorts {for raft}.

Find out more, here. 

Brahmaputra River Rafting Expedition |

Brahmaputra-River-Rafting-Expedition-Aquaterra-AdventuresLevel/Grading: Challenging

Adventure Company: Aquaterra Adventures

About: A near-perfect expedition into India’s tribal North-East, and then down the Brahmaputra. The expedition begins a few miles inside the line of control with China, and you get to travel through remote hillsides, complete with tribal settlements, surrounded by dense rain forests. Special mention to the cane and bamboo bridges built and engineered by local tribesmen. The entire trip spans 13 days.

Best time to visit: November and December

Find out more, here. 

Chadar Trek |

Chadar-Trek-White-Magic-Adventure-Travel-Ladakh-Himalaya

Level/Grading: Challenging

Adventure Company: White Magic Adventure Travel

About: Zanskar, a remote valley in Ladakh, is the fabled ‘Land of the Copper’ – a land of glaciers, extreme conditions, snow leopards and the ibex, black wolves, and the rare Himalayan blue poppy. At an average altitude of over 13,000 ft, the strange draw of the valley is that it has no entrance. Two rivers flow down and carve a gorge so deep and impenetrable, that one cannot enter or exit the region. Due to the rough terrain, the Zanskar gorge remains untrekkable during summer months, but come winter, it freezes over and forms a corridor of ice, which becomes the only way in and out of the Zanskar Valley. For the biggest adventure fix, and a badge of honour, this one is your pick, and it’ll take you 12 days to get all of the above.

Best time to visit: January through February

Find out more, here. 

The Dhauladhar Circuit |

7 lakes trek

Level/Grading: Moderate

Adventure Company: Geck and Co Adventures

About: Don’t cool your heels, this trek passes over two high passes – Indrahara Pass and Minkiani Pass. This one essentially covers 7 lakes, all set in high altitudes. You start out from Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh, and go on to visit 7 of the 22 high altitude lakes. The highest elevation you trek is 4350 meters above sea level. The entire trip, including travel to and fro, is 8 days long.

Best time to visit: October

Find out more, here. 

Markha Valley Trek |

Markha-Valley-Trek-Aquaterra-Adventures-Ladakh-Himalaya

Level/Grading: Moderate

Adventure Company: Aquaterra Adventures

About: If you’ve been planning to hit up Leh/Ladakh, this adventure trip will bring you up close and personal with all that’s stunning about it. One of the most popular treks in Ladakh, the proximity to Leh allows you to get a look at its terrain, inhabitants, and way of life, all set against stunning Trans-Himalayan landscapes. You also have the chance to spot some high altitude wildlife, if you’re lucky.

Best time to Visit: July through August

Find out more, here. 

Recommended Gear |

Sleeping bag {rated to 0 degrees Celsius}

Trekking boots {Quechua- provide good traction, ankle support, water resistance}

Trekking Poles

Good Shell jacket {water/snow resistant}

Fleece Jacket {light & warm}

Head torch {Petzl}

Hydration pack {not essential but a very useful piece of kit}

Fleece Gloves/Soft shell gloves

Trekking Pants {Quechua- necessary as they are quick dry, ensure freedom of movement and are rugged}

A sturdy water bottle {plastic or metal. Nalgene bottles are ideal as they are BPA free and even boiling water can be poured into them}

Trekking Socks {Technical socks – dry quickly, are anti microbial, and provide good support}

A good sturdy daypack to carry essentials such as water, packed lunch, other edibles and layers of clothing etc.

Woolen beanie

Buff {versatile – can be used as a beanie, scarf, wristband, or headband}

Quick dry/Polypro t-shirts or shirts

Quick dry cap/hat

Thermal Long Johns

A rugged duffle or rucksack is essential on all trips as regular luggage cannot be carried or stored as easily and will not be able to withstand the rough handling

Where: Shop gear at Adventure 18 at 16 Satya Niketan, or shop online here. 

 

This story is sponsored by Adventure 18 

Image source (Chadar Trek) : http://www.thrillophilia.com/blog/101-best-adventure-activities-to-do-in-india/
Image source (Markha Valley Trek) : http://www.thrillophilia.com/blog/101-best-adventure-activities-to-do-in-india/
Image source : http://www.thrillophilia.com/tours/kali-sarda-river-rafting-expedition