After traversing through bustling cities that you fancy, you will want to return to the lap of Mother Nature in search of that elusive peace. It is a place where you will experience love and forgiveness, a place where you may ultimately begin to find yourself. For those who seek such places, here are a few.
Valley of Flowers — Uttaranchal
The locals believe this place was inhabited by fairies until it was discovered in 1931. It seems like a child gone crazy with colours on a blank canvas. The valley is alive with innumerable species of flowers like Blue poppy, Cobra lily, Geranium and even the Edelweiss. Lie down on the grasslands and admire the snow-capped peaks.
Duration: Full day including the time spent in the valley.
How to get there: Take an overnight train or bus from New Delhi to Rishikesh followed by a bus ride to Joshimath and then Govindghat where the trek starts.
|Valley of Flowers|
Living root bridges — Cherrapunji
Cherrapunji receives the second highest rainfall in the world. Centuries ago, local tribes developed the skill of joining tree-roots to form bridges. The roots of trees along this trail have grown to form bridges strong enough to hold 50 people at a time. As if one bridge isn’t enough, there is also a double-decker bridge. Watch how the locals collect water and jump head-down into the natural swimming pools around Nongriat village.
Duration: Three to nine hours
How to get there: Fly from Kolkata to Shillong or take a train from Delhi to Guwahati. You can take a State transport bus from Guwahati to Shillong or drive all the way in your vehicle.
Sandakphu trek — West Bengal
The only trail from where you can see four of the five highest mountain peaks on this planet. Everest, Kanchenjunga, Makalu and Lhotse are visible with a sweep of an eye. Travel light and take breaks at small hamlets on the way, interact with local villagers and enjoy the beauty of pine trees, endless rhododendron fields and fluttering Buddhist prayer flags.
Duration: Six days
How to get there: Take a share-jeep from Darjeeling to Manebhanjan which is 58 km and approximately 1.5 hours away. The trek starts from here.
Chadar trek — Ladakh
The 70 km-long Chadar Trek takes you over the frozen Zanskar river. Encounter spectacular ice falls, wooden bridges and ancient routes which are still used by the people of Zanskar for trade. Camp inside natural caves and feast upon noodles and hot tea. Be prepared for extreme weather as the temperature plummets to 30 degrees below zero after sunset.
Duration: Nine days
How to get there: Take a flight from Delhi to Leh in winter or drive to Leh in summer followed by an additional 64 km-long-drive to Chilling from where the trek starts.
|Chadar Trek, Ladakh|
Green Lake trek — Dzongu, Sikkim
Discover mystic Dzongu, the once forbidden and sacred abode of the Lepchas, the aboriginal community of Sikkim. Live in a local Lepcha house and explore some of the most difficult-to-reach monasteries. Water from the sacred Green Lake, according to the Lepcha tribe, is known to fulfil personal wishes. It still remains one of the least explored trekking trails of North East India.
Duration: Nine days
How to get there: Take a flight to Bagdogra airport followed by a jeep ride to Gangtok and then Lachen. Alternatively, take a train to New Jalpaiguri station and catch a jeep to Gangtok. Trek starts from Lachen.
|Green Lake Trek, Sikkim|
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