Trekking in the Himalayas are as adventurous as anyone can get, it’s the adventure of a lifetime, and since the first Mount Everest successful ascent more than 60 years ago, it is one adventure that has become more accessible to explorers, travellers and voyagers. For many, the ultimate trek is across the Burma, Tibet, Pakistan, India and Nepal and as the Hindu scriptures point out, even in a hundred pages to the gods, nothing could do justice to the Himalayas.
In an area that as big as then times that of France, where should mere mortals begin, it is daunting and just getting there, is quite expensive. It is Mount Everest that is most in the headlines, although it is the Himalayas that are vase when the mountain ranges of Kush, Hindu, Pamir and Karakoram are included.
Stretching from Kyrgyzstan to Burma the 4,000km crescent is a geography of superlatives consisting of the deepest gorges, highest mountains, wild forests and the rolling high plateau of Bhutan and Assam in the Himalayan east. Some areas in the Himalayan are barely populated and wild, while there also is the cultures of incredible diversity that adapted surviving in an unbelievably beautiful yet exceptionally hostile environment.
What makes the area a bit more accessible is the new airports and road while it diminishes the appeal of the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal. What has also altered the horizons is the political change, unrest and visa restriction in Tibet makes travelling more challenging while the mountains along Burma’s northern border have recently, for the firm time in decades become accessible.
Walking the Himalayas is assumed only for the rugged types, but trekking has changed, that what was exclusively for the adventurers in 1953 when Everest was first climbed are now accessible to all. There are several ways to trek in the Himalayas, several luxury lodges offer enjoying these breathtakingly views with a bit of comfort, and nowadays treks are focussed towards both scenery and culture. For those who want to relax and get a glimpse of the Himalayan life, there is plenty of homestay in the new lodges.
But the walking is not difficult and apart from the altitude and the fears of hygiene, staying healthy is no more difficult than at home. For anyone used to walking there is nothing to fear, while the rewards are simply spectacular. In the eastern Himalayas, the summer monsoon is heavier as in the west, which makes it the most preferred trekking period in India. From April to October, the region east and Nepal is where the skies tend to offer a clearer autumn although it is cold. Trekking in the summer holidays is best in the west in Kashmir or Jammu that is north of the Himalayas and enjoy warmer weather from July to August.