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Geography

Geography of India

India one of the world’s most fascinating countries, as diverse as it is enormous, India is both marvellous and horrendous. An ancient and complicated culture which has spawned buildings and art of sublime beauty. Visitors have so much to see and experience, from the extraordinary monuments and exhausting bustle of Delhi, Agra, Kolkhata, Mumbai and countless other cities and sites, to the gentle backwaters of Kerala, the great deserts and palaces of Rajastan, the wildlife sanctuaries, and tea plantations of the Western Ghats – and, of course, the soaring beaties of the Himalayas; which form a natural border with Tibet to the north.

The Himalayan peaks and trails are in countries other than India, and long may that last, say India lovers. High, arid Ladakh, long known as little Tibet, opens the door to the idiosyncratic world of Tibetan Buddhism.  Sad to say, traditional Tibetan culture and religion are more intact here than in Tibet itself.

Many will struggle with the poverty and its juxtaposition with bling – at the same time as being moved and enchanted by India’s culture, people and deep spirituality. And likely moved and disenchanted by its germs: take care about eating and drinking.

India are defined largely by the Himalayan mountain range, where the country borders China, Bhutan, and Nepal. Its western border with Pakistan lies in the Karakoram range, Punjab Plains, the Thar Desert and the Rann of Kutch salt marshes. In the far northeast, the Chin Hills and Kachin Hills, deeply forested mountainous regions, separate India from Burma. On the east, its border with Bangladesh is largely defined by the Khasi Hills and Mizo Hills, and the watershed region of the Indo-Gangetic Plain.

The Ganga is the longest river originating in India. The Ganga–Brahmaputra system occupies most of northern, central, and eastern India, while the Deccan Plateau occupies most of southern India. K2, in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, is the highest point in India at 8,611 m (28,251 ft) and the world's 2nd highest peak. Climate across India ranges from equatorial in the far south, to alpine and tundra in the upper reaches of the Himalayas. the geographic view of India is pretty expository and vivid in the terms of area, mountains and relief.

So, India has things to fascinate everyone, children included. The variety of travel and tours you can make in India is as a result huge.

Walking, hiking and trekking in India

India  has some of the world’s best walks, hikes and treks, ranging from famous mountain hiking and trekking trails such as The Singalila Ridge and other trails in Sikkim and the Western Himalayas to the gentler but still fascinating wildlife sanctuaries and tea plantations of the Western Ghats . There are great pilgrimage routes in various parts of India, the best known the Chota Char Dam and others in the foothills of the Himalayas, which draw whole families and are lively and colourful events. So, walking, hiking and trekking tours and holidays in India are so varied that everyone’s taste and energy levels can be met. Walking in India isn’t just for hard-nuts, although there is plenty to get their juices flowing. The lazy and youngsters alike will be enthralled by what it offers:  India walking, trekking and hiking holidays and tours really can be for everyone.

See the list below for a (currently incomplete – please give us your recommendations!) list of the best walks, treks and hikes in India. Various of these are in our world’s Top 100 list.

Famous walking regions include:

Famously gorgeous Kashmir, in the NW Himalayas. Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand in the NW Himalayas. Relatively accessible valleys such as Kangra, Kullu, Sangla, Har ki Dun and the more remote and arid Spiti and Lahaul. Altitudes vary widely, from the 600m high Shivalik hills to well over 6000m. Ladakh, including Zansker, high and arid in the rain shadow of the Great Himalaya in Himachal Pradesh, and known as “Little Tibet” for good reason. These are very high and difficult to reach and some altitude sickness is quite likely if you fly in. Summers are short but pleasant and dry; winters are long and very harsh. Harshly beautiful walking and the fascination of its Tibetan Buddhist culture to boot. Uttarakhand in the NW Himalayas is a recently-created state which borders on both Tibet and Nepal. The youthful Ganga (Ganges) is the most important of several pilgrimage magnets, with the religious centres of Haridwar and Rishikesh the main gateways to the famous Garhwal Himalayas, which have many superb and lovely high altitude trekking options, including the Nanda Devi Area and the Kuari Pass (Curzon Trail) in particular.

You can also trek to the Source of the Ganges and on above or follow the famous Chota Char Dam pilgrimage route. The Kumaon to the east are less-visited and also offer magnificent walking, including the 6-day Pindari Glacier Trek.  Although little known, there are some high altitude treks here, as well as lower expeditions through forested valleys and with fine views of the high range. Tea–growing Assam has some lovely hill walks.

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