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Top 5 hiking destinations in India for your New Year trip

Mountaineering and hiking are becoming into some of the most fascinating adventure sports, and many individuals have started choosing them recently. The lovely pathways make it easier to slip away into nature and re-establish a connection between the mind, body and spirit.

"India has seen immense growth in the number of people interested in hiking activities. The country's rich landscape has multiple locations packed with some of the most mesmerising mountain ranges where aspiring adventurers and travellers can go for a hike. Hikers/mountaineers can opt for these based on their experience and slowly increase the level of difficulty," shares ace mountaineer and fitness coach, Gayatri Mohanty.

For those who are keen on planning their next hiking trail, here's a list of the must-visit mountains from beginner's level to advanced.

Triund trek, Himachal Pradesh

Distance - 11.5 km/7 miles round trip

Time - 6-7 hours

Level - Easy and perfect for beginners

The tranquil Triund Trek, one of the most well-liked treks for novices, offers a stunning view of the majestic Dhauladhar peaks on one side and the stunning Kangra valley on the other. This climb, which is only 18 kilometre from Dharamsala, offers breathtaking panoramic vistas all day long, including stunning sunsets. In the Kangra valley below, one can also take pleasure in stargazing.

March to June is the best time to visit as the weather has a balance and is cosy and comfortable. The hike is not available in January and February because of extreme snowy conditions. The path begins with Galu Temple in Dharamkot or you can also begin from McLeodganj. Although this is only a day trek, tents, sleeping bags and food are available at the camp summit so one need not carry extra luggage with them.

Tadiandamol trek, Karnataka

Distance - 12km/7.5 miles round trip

Time - 7-9 hours

Level - Easy and perfect for beginners

The Tadiandamol walk is situated in Karnataka's Kodagu district, which is well known for producing India's best coffee and is full of lush green landscapes. This hike gives breathtaking views of misty green hills painted by cloud swirls. Three hours from Mysuru, at Nalakunad Palace, one can start their walk. Travellers can see Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary along the way, a protected region with magnificent meadows, tinkling streams, and stunted tropical shola woods. It is easy to hike here without a guide from September to March, which is the optimum time to do it.

Nongriat Trek, Meghalaya

Distance - 7km/4.3 miles round trip

Time - 1 day

Level - Moderate

Nongriat Trek is the ideal climb to see the local indigenous culture because it is situated in the heart of Meghalaya's vibrant local population. The "suspended live root bridges" constructed by the Khasi villagers between secret valleys, natural ponds and waterfalls serve as a reminder of their great old engineering and draw numerous tourists all year long. The trail begins in the community of Tyrna, close to Cherrapunji, which is also recognised as the wettest place on earth by the Guinness Book of Records.

As it rains frequently in this area, one should bring raincoats, jackets, waterproof shoes and a bag cover. Also prevalent here are a lot of moths, insects and butterflies, so bring appropriate clothing.

Deoria Tal and Chandrashila Trek, Uttarakhand

Distance - 18-20km/11-12 miles round trip

Time - 2 days

Level - Moderate

The Deoria Tal and Chandrashila Trek, often known as "the bathing spot of the gods," is the greatest climb for viewing the winter landscape. The Deoria Tal path begins near the town of Sari, and it is accessible all year round. The trail is well-maintained and is straightforward to follow without a map. It is surrounded by rhododendron trees that bloom with vivid pink blossoms in the spring.

On the other hand, Chandrashila is the ridge that rises above Tungnath Mandir and is just 20 kilometre from Sari to the tiny settlement of Chopta, which also serves as the starting point for the pilgrimage trip to the tallest Shiva temple in the world. Look out for the vibrant Himalayan Monal pheasant, Uttarakhand's state bird, as you make your journey back down.

Goecha La Trek, Sikkim

Distance - 91km/57 miles

Time - 10 days

Level - Difficult

One of the best high-altitude excursions for explorers is the Goecha La Trek, which must be reserved through a trekking organisation. The old Buddhist kingdom of Sikkim and the breathtaking views, which include expansive panoramas of northeast India, are the main highlights. The trek starts out easy, but as you gain altitude, it gets harder and harder, therefore experienced hikers are required. The greatest seasons to visit are in the spring and fall in India. If you're lucky, you might see red pandas, musk deer, blue sheep, or blood pheasants on high-altitude portions of the trail while hiking.

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