As is fairly obvious, we are quite obsessed with the Himalayas. While we are intrigued by all bumps and corners of this magnificent range of mountains, off-late we’ve been experiencing a special pull towards the Northeastern Himalayas. Did you know that 70% of the landmass of Northeast India is hilly? The 8 states together own about 35% of the share of Indian Himalayas - especially Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. The highest peaks in the Northern Himalayas are spread out between these two states. You know what that means!? That means that they are quite a haven for all nature enthusiasts but especially more so for those who start their journey where the roads end. While all the 8 states of the northeastern end of the country boast of beauty of a unique kind, the thick wilderness and towering heights of Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh house some of the best trekking trails in the country.
While there are countless of them in the untouched Northeastern outback, here are five of our favourite trekking trails from Northeast India.
Did you know that a massive EIGHTY percent of the land-cover of Arunachal Pradesh is forests? Is there anything better than a high canopy of fresh green trees and a dense foliage to take sanctuary in when the sun gets overly passionate or when the winds pick up their pace? Maybe, but we think only a few things might come this close. The quaint high-altitude villages of Arunachal Pradesh flanked by deep jungles with snow-glittered mountains in the background are perfect for some downtime both in harsh winters and hot summers.
The Talle Valley Trek is the best introduction to this very feature of Arunachal Pradesh. Through a delightful forest, on unmarked trails to reach the land of the vanishing tribe is what Talle Valley is all about. If you want to explore the thick forests of Arunachal Pradesh and experience the beauty of its remote corners, it couldn’t get better than this trek.
This 6-day short trek is the least you deserve! We say bring that dusty backpack out and head on out to this exquisite jungle trail!
We bet you’ve heard about the Kashmir Great Lakes, but have you heard about the Great Lakes of Arunachal Pradesh? We wouldn’t be surprised if you hadn’t because they are pretty well-hidden in the rugged, high-mountain terrain of this high mountain state. It cannot get more offbeat than this trek along the Indo-Tibetan border in the heart of one of the most beautiful valleys in all of Northeast India – the Dibang Valley. The valley is so remote that it takes 3 days just to get to the trail head of this trek. Fortunately, that speaks to how untouched the beauty of the region really is.
The emerald green hills of Dibang Valley are home to the Idu Mishmi tribe who are known globally for their synchronous living with nature. They look to these forests for their medicinal and everyday needs as a way of living. If you have any more questions for them, you can ask them yourself because we also spend a night in their traditional homes on this trail.
This is probably one of the most popular treks in the Northeastern region and rightly so. The beauty of the Kanchenjunga National Park is truly one of a kind and very characteristic of the beauty of this entire region.
Burrowed deep within the leafy jungles of the Kanchenjunga National Park, the coveted Goechala trek takes you disarmingly close to the third highest mountain range in the world. What fascinates us most about this trek is how up-close and life size some of the celebrated peaks of the Himalayas appear on this trail.
There is a lot that is special about this trail and what’s even better is the way it changes its character in different seasons giving you a whole different experience each time.
While Goechala treks invites a fair number of trekkers on its trail each year, the Danphebir La Pass trek is a bit shyer in comparison.
Trailing right alongside the border, this off-beat trek in West Sikkim blurs the boundaries between Nepal and India. In the already less explored state of Sikkim, the trail to Danphebir La, the high mountain pass called the Pass of the Pheasant sitting at an elevation of 4,530M, remains fully untouched.
Trekking through thick forests, wide grasslands, patches of steep slopes, it offers a chance to camp next to THREE different glacial lakes. Situated in the west of Sikkim, once you hit the altitude of 4,000M, the trail, in fact, is peppered with more glacial lakes than you can count on your fingers. What’s even better is that as one of the least explored trails in Sikkim, the magnificence of the landscape is reserved just for you.
Arunachal Pradesh has a lot of secrets, this is yet another one of them. The Dree River trek takes you to some of the wildest and the least explored parts of Arunachal Pradesh along the course of Dree river.
Located deep in the mystical Mishimi hills of Arunachal Pradesh, the trek takes you through lush green forests and thickets of bamboo with craggy snow-clad peaks as a constant background. On this trek which involves minimal climbing and no steep slopes, witnessing the local traditions is something that makes it extremely unique apart from it being a naturalist’s paradise, of course. If you are looking for a jungle trail for a true jungle adventure, there’s nothing better out there than the Dree River trek.
This was all about some of our personal favourites from Northeast India. We hope to bump into you on one of these trails super soon!