The annual holiday season is right at the corner and one has got many options to choose from. Adventure tourism in general and trekking in particular is always flavour of the summer vacations when it comes to youth. Youth Hostels Association of India (YHAI) has been a pioneer in India for economical group trekking in himalayas and elsewhere. This time around we are listing top ten summer national trekking/adventure expeditions of YHAI in India which one would love to join. Treks are open for everybody, but unless we rush limited seats might not be available in each group. Have a look meanwhile-
- Glorious Sar Pass trek
In the beautiful Parvati valley of Kullu District in Himachal Pradesh, SAR Pass is one of the most popular trails of the Shivalik range of the mighty Himalayas. Parvati valley abounds in natural beauty with snow clad mountains, perennial rivulets, streams and waterfalls, picturesque meadows in the midst of dense forests of Devdar and Fir trees, which beckon the young adventure lover to come and experience the serene and calm atmosphere of all pervading nature. 11 days and 10 nights SAR Pass Trail offers an opportunity to enjoy the exquisite beauty of the Parvati valley with Kasol, Tila Lotni, Biskeri and Manikaran as its beauty spots. Base camp Kasol is famous for its cool and pleasant climate and tall pine trees. Tila Lotni can literally be called the little ICE LAND, where one can experience the challenges of nature in full fury, during spine chilling cold nights. The splendid views of snowy peaks offer an endless feast to the eyes. Biskeri fascinates the trekkers with its sweet grasses, wild flowers and a variety of birds. Hot water springs of Manikaran, are bliss. A natural hot water bath at these springs relieves you of all the tiredness and rejuvenates the body, mind and soul with a new energy. Base camp Kasol is just 4 kms before Manikaran on the Kullu-Manikaran route.
Dates: 1st May 2015 to 10th June 2015
Fees: Rs. 4673/- Inclusive of Food, Boarding, Lodging, Equipments, Group Insurance, Forest entry, Trekking
2. Trekking in Har-Ki-Doon valley
Trekking Expedition route to Har-Ki-Doon in Uttrakhand was introduced in 2002 on a strong demand of a segment of YHAI members. Encouraged by the success and response of the last expeditions, this new adventure trail is being announced again. A nine days and eight nights trek with base camp in Sankri. The valley of Har-Ki-Doon falls in the Western Garwal Himalayas bordering Himachal Pradesh. The trek route offers a breathtaking view of snowy mountains, peaks, dense forest, waterfalls, bugyals (high altitude meadows), wildlife and rare himalayan birds. You can view the majestic peaks of Swargarohni, Bandarpoonch and Kala Nag from a close range. For ages, the land has been known for temples and shrines with sacred mythological attachments, Duryodhna, the eldest of Kaurvas, is worshipped here, This trek route is virtually a paradise for the botonists, bird watchers, photographers, nature lovers, foot loose trekkers and anyone interested in exploring and learning in an unconventional way, in short, the more you trek in this area, the more curious you get to know more which has not yet been written but only found in tales and lores.
Dates: 5th May 2015 to 30th May 2015
Fees: Rs.5250/- Inclusive of Stay & Food charges , Transportation (Mussoorie to Sankri), Group Insurance fees, Equipment charges , Entry fees, Guide fees
3. Everest view at Sandakphu
Sandakphu is the world famous trekking paradise, from where can enjoy the clear views of Himalayan Giants like Mount Everest, Kanchenjunga, Lohtse, Nuptse, Makalu, Pandim, Chomolhari, and many more up to Arunachal Pradesh. Only place in India to have a view of four of the world’s five highest peaks. For the tourists & trekkers, fresh from the sights of other lands, not only as a delightful surprise but as a variable relief from the hot & sultry weather from plains. The weather at this time of the year is Darjeeling best. Cool Languid days with hardly a cloud in a sky of clear and uninterrupted blue, near by slopes, a luxuriant green in the blue hills shimmering across the valley and the mighty Kanchenjunga range stands as a majestic background towering over everything. The base camp is at Youth Hostel Hotel Kadambari, near Darjeeling Railway Station, Darjeeling is easily accessible from any part of India by Air, Rail or Road, The nearest main line railway station is New Jalpaiguri and the Airport at Bagdogra being the links to the outside world. From there avail Bus/Jeep/Taxi services to reach Darjeeling (90 km.) in three hours. There is also a world heritage narrow gauge train from New Jalpaiguri to Darjeeling.
Dates: 26th April to 10th May 2015
Fees: Rs. 5250/- Inclusive of Accommodation, Nutritious Veg food, Insurance, Forest entry fees.
4. Beauty of Shivaliks at Chanderkhani
This route is of scenic beauty and cultural diversity. It has vast tracts of meadows and pastures lying across beautiful mountains. Chanderkhani, located at a height of 12,190 ft. provides an awesome and breathtaking view of some of the most beautiful snow clad mountain peaks like Tiger Thatch, Ali Ratni, Inderasan and Priyadarshini Range. Chanderkhani, one of the most popular trekking routes in the Shivalik Range. The trek route passes through dense forest with a variety of botanical species of thick and colourful foliage emanating enchanting fragrance, compelling passerby to view and appreciate the raw natural beauty. You may also meet simple Himachali folks who are proud of their land, culture and heritage. Malana is the only one village where residents still retains its 2000 years old traditions of a “Village Republic”. They have a distinct way of life, social customs, judicial system and ethics. Ten days and nine nights trek has base camp at Seobagh. Youth Hostel- Seobagh is 3kms from Kullu and on the left of the banks of meandering river Beas, near Jairu Mineral Water plant. It is linked by road via Ram Shila & Gamon Bridge, and commands a panoramic view of surrounding mountains. Regular bus services are available for Kullu from Delhi, Chandigarh & Punjab. The nearest Railway Stations are Ambala& Chandigarh & the nearest Airport is Bhuntar.
Dates: 26th April 2015 to 05th June 2015
Fees: Rs. 4515/- Inclusive of Food, Boarding, Lodging, Equipments, Group Insurance, Forest entry, Trekking.
5. Biking at Jalori Pass
For all those who would love biking more than trekking or who had enough of trekking and now want to try a hand on biking, there is an option of biking on high altitude Jalori Pass. National Mountain Biking Expedition, yet again, to give you memories for life (from Banala (Post Aut) to Jalori Pass and back to Kullu Valley of Himachal Pradesh). Biking at over 10 thousand feet is always an enjoyable and thrilling experience. For National Himalayan Mountain Biking expedition stretching to eight days and seven nights, base camp is at Aut, which is on the Kullu-Manali Highway. It is 28km short from Kullu. Direct bus services are available from ISBT Delhi, Chandigarh and other parts of Punjab, nearest rail heads are Ambala and Chandigarh. Such camps give exposure to greater adventure and to rough the rigours of plodding with a sense of love for nature and outdoor recreational activity aiming at promoting advent are in tandem with national integration.
Dates: 24th April 2015 to 5th June 2015
Fees: Rs. 3675/- Inclusive of Food, Stay, Equipments, Cycles, Training, Guidance & Insurance
6. Nature study at Dobhi
This is for the young ones. Combine adventure with education camp for 8 days in the beautiful Kullu valley-the abode of Gods in Himachal Pradesh, is being organised by the Youth Hostels Association of India. The nature study camp includes bird-watching, star gazing, (identifying satellites) rock climbing, trekking and first aid training. One may also photograph the panoramic views of the surrounding areas. Avail this opportunity of staying in the camp site amidst majestic snow peaks of Himalayas and meet the youngsters from various parts of the country. At night, sit around the camp fire after dinner for a cultural get together with a sense of love for nature and outdoor activity, aiming at promoting national integration. Base camp Dobhi is directly connected with Delhi (527kms), Chandigarh (226kms) by road. Regular bus services are available. The nearest rail heads for Dobhi are Ambala & Chandigarh. The nearest airport is Bhuntar. Youth Hostel Dobhi is 14kms on Kullu-Manali highway. The program is open to students of age group between 10 -15 yrs. Only junior members are allowed to participate. One teacher/escort accompanying a group of 10 students will be allowed complimentary in terms of participation fee. Any additional teacher/escort will be charged.
Dates: 27th April- 31st May 2015
Fees: Rs. 3675/- Inclusive of Food, Stay, Equipments, Training, Forest entry fee, Guidance, Insurance
7. Heritage trek in Kashmir
The Youth Hostels Association of India, J&K State Branch in collaboration with the Directorates of Education, Youth Services & Sports, Colleges and Tourism, J&K Government, Patnitop Development Authority & District Administration Udhampur is organizing the “National Heritage Trek” expedition through some of the most scenic and beautiful areas of Jammu & Kashmir. This seven days trek touches unique heritage sites, green meadows and pastures; lofty mountains; thick deodar forests; clear natural water springs; brooks and the holy river that flows just below the surface of the earth except at one location at Udhampur. The trek is a unique experience, providing trekkers with a glimpse of magnificent natural and built heritage of the state. The base camp Udhampur is well connected with whole country by means of road and rail mode of transportation. Udhampur is about 60 Kms from winter capital of J&K the Jammu city on Jammu –Srinagar National Highway. From Udhampur railway station ( 4 Kms from base camp) auto rickshaw is available.The nearest Airport is Jammu airport.
Dates: 1st May to 10th June 2015
Fees: Rs. 4725/- The fee includes simple vegetarian food, accommodation, supervision, expert guidance and equipment for 7 days.
8. Camping in Nilgiris
If you have had too much of Himalayan passes and want to go something milder then try a family camping at Nilgiris. Youth Hostels Association of India, Tamil Nadu State Branch is organises a family Camping in the beautiful region of Nilgiris. Ooty youth hostel is the site for the camping. The Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, which includes the Nilgiri Hills, forms a part of the protected bio reserves in India and is a part of UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves. The Upper and Lower Pykara falls have falls of 180 feet (55 m), and 200 feet (61 m), respectively. The best trekking seasons are April–June and September–December.
Dates: 25 April to 29 May 2015
Fees: Rs.7525/- Includes tented accommodation, guidance, equipment and 2days sight seeing – sight seeing to Ooty & Coonoor and sight seeing to Mudumalai Wild Life Sanctuary & Pykara Falls. Only Entry Ticket at tourist places to be purchased by the participants. Fees is for a family consisting of husband, wife and two children upto the age of 15 years. The fee shall remain the same even if no children accompany. Rs.1,750/- will be charged for more than two children, and children above 15 years, per additional family member.
9. Enjoy camping with family at Kullu
In 1995 YHAI introduced the Family camping Program for the families of volunteer camp leaders and other functionaries. Encouraged by the success of this adventure and, on the request of members it repeated this program in many years till 2013. In year 2015 again, YHAI is organizing the Family Adventure Camping Program in the picturesque valley of Kullu-Manali, Himachal Pradesh. This camps is for four nights and five days. Base camp is at 15 Miles, near end of Span Resort. Get down at Ballu’s Cafe – Baba Deluxe Dhaba on the Delhi- Kullu Manali National Highway. Regular bus services are available from Delhi, Chandigarh, Punjab to Kullu Manali. Nearest railheads are Ambala and Chandigarh. Nearest Airport is Bhuntar. One tent shall be given to each family. Mattresses, pillow and blankets shall be provided. Family should bring their own bed sheets. A well constructed pucca toilet-cum bathrooms block is available at the base camp. Morning tea, breakfast, packed lunch, evening tea (in the camp), and dinner and after dinner tea/coffee/Bournvita, shall be provided. Nutritious, vegetarian and good quality food shall be served at the camp.
Dates: 24th April’, 29th April, 4th May, 9th May, 14th May, 19th May, 24th May, 29th May, 3rd June, 8th June 2015
Fees: Rs. 4935/- Inclusive of Food, Accommodation, Guidance & Insurance for One Family(Husband, Wife & 2 Children upto 12 years)
10. Summer camping at Sulpaneshwar
Adventurous Three Days Two Nights in Sulpaneshwar Wild life sanctuary, the totally pollution free area.The participants will enjoy a splendid panorama of hills, refreshing water reservoir, beautiful landscapes, breath taking trees, The hilly trek of Sulpaneshwar wild life century provides trekking trails, some additional attractions like Repelling, River crossing, Burma Bridge, Boating, jeep ride, bird watching, and Photography. To be with the nature is the prime thing in our life, come and see what lies at –Sulpaneshwar wild life sanctuary. The Reporting camp Rajpipla is located on Vadodara-Netrang Gujarat State Highway. The nearest railway stations are Rajpipla, Ankleshwar (61 Km), Bharuch (65 km) and Vadodara (86 km.). State bus service is available. Direct bus service is also available from Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Bharuch, and Ankleshwar. Direct trains are available from Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad and major cities of India.
Dates: 11th, 13th and 18th April 2015
Fees: Rs.2500/- (Direct Reporting AT RAJPIPLA) which includes simple nutritious vegetarian meal, Boating, River crossing, Repelling, Burma Bridge, Star Gazing, Bird Watching, tented accommodations, Local Transportation, Forest entry fees, expert guidance, etc.