10 Stunning Offbeat Treks in East India for your Next Adventure

Blessed with a stunning landscape that rises from the ocean shore to highest summits, the east of India is indeed paradise unexplored. The region is home to a number of beautiful mountain ranges that include the likes of Greater Himalayan Range, the Eastern Ghats and several small hill ranges.

The flora and fauna and indigenous tribal culture and groups in the jungles are what make the walks worthwhile. The climate of East India, although moderate, has its best seasons laden with natural beauty in the months of April to May and October to November.

The best way to see the virgin beauty of East India is to gather up your best buddies and head out! We understand that it’s quite a hassle to get everyone together and communicate; hence, Explara Communities- the one place for it all! You can create a community and keep posting updates about the trip. People who have joined will automatically be in the loop, saving you the hassle of endless chats and confirmations!

Let’s get started with the 10 best places to trek to in East India:

  • Sandakhphu Trek
Trekking in East India

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Undoubtedly one of the most popular treks in the Eastern Regions of India, Sandakphu is sure to delight you with its many spectacular sights. The trek stretches for an awe inspiring length of 48km and the peak towers at a height of 11,941 ft in the Darjeeling district.

It is also the only trail offering views of the tallest mountains in the world and will take you through lush paths and snowlines alike!

Getting There:

The easiest way to get to the base camp at Jaubhari is to arrange for a pick up cab or hire a local one from the Bagdogra airport or New Jalpaiguri Station.

Difficulty level:

Moderate

Things to keep in mind:

  • Some routes of the trek require permits which can be obtained at the trekking site itself.
  • Temperatures may fall below zero and thermal wear is highly recommended.
  • Mulkarkha Lake Trek
Trekking in East India

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Cosseted in the foothills of the Himalayas in North Bengal, Mulkarkha Lake is a stunning natural water body. The best part about this trek is that the terrain and grade of climbing is relatively easy, which means you can take even the non enthusiastic friends or the entire family along for trekking!

The reflection of the snowy peaks of Kanchejunga is a sight to behold and will stay fresh in your mind.

Getting There:

Located in Sikkim towards North Bengal, the easiest way to reach Mulkarkha is to take a bus or a local shared car to Lingsey.

Difficulty Level:

Easy

Things to keep in mind:

  • Although the trek grade is easy, the terrain is varied. Proper trekking shoes are recommended.
  • Mulkarkha also has an old Sanskrit school and some hot water springs in the area.
  • Book the homestay directly through the owners; this will save you time and hassle.
  • Phalut Trek
Trekking in East India

Towering to an altitude of 1,811 ft in the city of Darjeeling, Phalut is the second highest peak in the Singalila Range after Sandakphu. It is perfectly situated on the boundaries of Nepal, Sikkim and West Bengal and is indeed a great option to commence on after the Sandakphu trail.

The name of the peak itself translates to mean barren peak as the area is actually quite virgin and barren.

Getting There:

The base of the trek is same as Sandakphu i.e. Mane Bhanjang, which is about 92km from Siliguri and can be reached via road by a private car.

Difficulty Level:

Moderate

Things to keep in mind:

  • Carry water and food supplies from the village or Sandakphu as there are none on Phalut.
  • There are various trekker’s huts and army establishments where you can stay at on the way.
  • You will need permits to visit this place as well, which can be obtained at the Singalila Park.
  • Goecha La
Trekking in North East India

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Situated in Sikkim, Goecha La is perhaps one of the most popular treks of the region and is the Holy Grail for adventurers across the country. Attractive meadows, forests and the throes of the Rathong Chu River add a greater charm to the destination.

The Goecha La rises to a height of 16,000ft and the trail passes through immensely picturesque ways.

Getting There:

From New Jalpaiguri take a private or a hired transport to reach Yuksom, the base camp for Dzongri.

Difficulty Level:

Challenging

Things to keep in mind:

  • The trek grade can get challenging at times and is thus recommended for experienced trekkers.
  • Kurseong Trek
Trekking in East India

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There are various small and big trekking trails that you can explore while in Kurseong. The lush green pine forests, meadows, valleys and chestnut groves make it one of the most relaxing destinations to trek in. Some of these take only a few hours to traverse while some might take longer.

Ambootia, Dilarama and Mahanaday are just a few of the destinations you can explore while here.

Getting There:

There is no airport here. The nearest airport is at Bagdogra, 60 km away. From Bagdogra you can hire a cab to cover the distance to Kurseong.

New Jalpaiguri, 57 km, is the nearest railhead, though the town itself is a station on the Toy Train line between Darjeeling and New Jalpaiguri. Buses and taxis are available between Kurseong and the neighboring towns.

Difficulty Level:

Easy to Moderate

  • Singalila Trek
Best Trekking Destinations

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The Singalila Ridge located on the border of Sikkim, is perhaps the most diverse place where you can embark on a trekking experience. From scenic landscapes, tea plantations to the scenic views of Mount Everest, this trek has it all.

The hike is tedious; bit can be easily covered if you take in the natural beauty around you.

Getting There:

Gangtok to the Yuksom base camp travel can be easily arranged by a private cab or a taxi.

Difficulty Level:

Moderate

Things to keep in mind:

  • The everyday hiking can range from 6 -7 hours per day; high level of physical fitness is expected.
  • Malkangiri
Trekking in East India

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For those interested in trekking with an experience of ethnological diversity, the Malkangiri trek in Odisha is highly recommended. It is on this trail that you will get to interact with various tribes such as Gadaba, Dhurwa,Khond and Boya tribes.

The trekking trails are easy and not very taxing, but pas through the relics of a great civilization.

Getting There:

The nearest railway station in Koraput, from here you can ask the locals.

Difficulty Level:

Moderate

Things to keep in mind:

  • The area has witnessed some Naxalite activity in the recent past; it is recommended that you exercise extreme caution and get adequate information before travelling.
  • Kalahandi
AMBA

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Kalahandi located in the Kosa province of Odisha, is a truly unexplored and beautiful region of the east. Indigenous tribal civilizations, obsolete and yet effective methods of living, archaic languages, nature worship and relics of a prehistoric civilization all make their presence felt here.

Getting There:

The nearest railhead and airport is at Bhubaneshwar, 280km from Kalahandi. It is a remote area and local transport is the best way to reach.

Difficulty Level:

Moderate

Things to keep in mind:

  • Kalahandi is a remote and relatively inaccessible area, cell receptions are a negative.
  • Watch out for Maoist activity and heed the instructions of authorities at all times!
  • Parasnath
8

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One of the most important centers of worship in Jharkhand, the Parasnath Temple is situated at a height of 1350m and is amongst the highest hills in Jharkhand. The best part of the trek is the greenery that surrounds your path. As a part of religious pilgrimage the trek is supposed to be completed within a day.

Getting There:

Madhuban, the starting point of the trek is a well known spot on the Grand trunk road and buses and taxis are easily available from the station at Parasnath.

Difficulty Level:

Easy

Things to keep in mind:

  • There are palanquins available for those who cannot cover the entire distance on foot.
  • The total trail stretches to 27km, thus it is recommended that you start trekking really early in the morning before sunrise.
  • Green Lake trek
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A magical hinterland of the North East of India, Northern Sikkim is indeed one of the least explored destinations. It is here that you can embark on the Green Lake Trek near Lachen. The trek route is treacherous, but the sight at the end of is what makes the effort truly worthwhile.

Getting There:

The base camp of the trek is Lachen, which can be reached from Gangtok by jeep or hired transport.

Difficulty Level:

Moderate to Challenging

Things to keep in mind:

  • Foreign Nationals require a permit from the Govt. of Sikkim to visit the area.
  • Carry adequate woolens and trekking shoes that can be used in the snow as well.

By Amruta Ghate

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