The differing Indian terrain offers tourists and explorers a wide range of sites to go visiting. The placement of the Indian peninsular region makes it rich in diverse topography. The fact that it shares Himalayan ranges with Bhutan and Nepal, gives India beautiful mountainous Himalayan valleys with mind-blowing vistas ranging from Kashmir in the North to Sikkim in the East.
India has many beautiful valleys, nestled in its mountain ranges, which hold rare and rich flora and fauna. The Western Ghats covering Maharashtra’s Sahyadri mountain valleys and Kerala’s Nilgiri Mountains in the South are simply spectacular in terms of the experiences they offer.
Listed here are some of the most amazing places in India that give you a soulful trekking and photography experience.
1. Zanskar Valley, Ladakh
Located in the Kargil district of Kashmir, this valley is amongst the most beautiful places in India. The Zanskar river flows surrounded by towering Himalayas covered with snow all through the year. Popular amongst trekkers for its ‘Chadar’ trek (trekking on a sheet of frozen Zanskar river water) at an altitude of 12000-13000 feet, zanskar has mind blowing, picturesque views of the valley. April to June is a good time to visit the valley, though the chadar trek is usually carried out in the month of January & February, as ice is stable by this time.
2. Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand
The first sight of this valley and you will feel you are sitting in a bowl of myriad hues in the foothills of the Himalayas. It is sometimes difficult to believe that this wonderland is for real. Hordes of tourists, domestic and international, flock this place for its immense beauty. It is Mecca for botanists, butterfly conservationists, and people who love adventure. Located in West Uttarakhand, it is also a world heritage site marked by UNESCO.
3. Silent Valley, Kerala
Nilgiri Hills of the Palakkad district are famous for their rich flora and fauna, known as the Silent Valley. This valley, which is a part of the diverse Western Ghats, has been declared as a National Park in 1980. The Western Ghats are enlisted in the UNESCO world heritage list, which gives this valley an added edge with the presence of rare species of plants and animals, not to forget the pleasant views.
4. Kangra Valley, Himachal Pradesh
The abode of the mighty Buddhist guru Dalai Lama, the Kangra valley includes beautiful places like Dharamshala, McLeodGanj and Baijnath; all of which are well-known himachal tourist places. The views of the valleys are mesmerizing and sunsets are not worth missing. A ride on the UNESCO-recognised Kangra Valley Railway route will give you an opportunity to feel the vibrancy around.
5. Yumthang Valley, Sikkim
No less than the Uttarakhand’s valley of flowers, it has immense variety of flora around. Just 150 kms from Gangtok, it is located in northern Sikkim and is surrounded by the Himalayan Mountains. It boasts of around 24 species of Rhododendrons, a red shrub. Himalayan flower species like the Primroses, Cinquefoils, Louseworts and Cobra-lilies bloom up by start of the monsoon(June).
6. Nubra Valley, Ladakh
From June to August, Nubra valley starts bustling with enthusiastic tourists who come in to explore breathtaking views and special treks to enchanting monasteries though the Himalayan ranges. The Bactrian camel found here is another highlight of this valley that lies between Kashmir and Tibet.
7. Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh
With freezing temperatures throughout the year, this valley is actually a cold desert. It is lined with numerous Buddhist monasteries and is close to its fertile twin Lahaul Valley. Lahaul and Spiti valleys lie separated from the Kullu Valley by the Rohtang pass, which is at an altitude of more than 13,000 feet. It, therefore, receives very heavy snowfall during winter and gets cut-off from mainland Kullu during the extreme weather months.