If you're looking for some new places to hike in India, here are 10 perfect day hikes that will take you through scenic natural landmarks and some of the country's temperate forests.
1. Triund trek, Himachal Pradesh
2. Nongriat Trek, Meghalaya
3. Valley of Flowers Trek, Uttarakhand
4. Tiger Hill, Darjeeling, West Bengal
5. Khaliya Top, Uttarakhand
6. Kheerganga Trek, Himachal Pradesh
7. Deoria Tal and Chandrashila Trek, Uttarakhand
8. Indrahar Pass, Himachal Pradesh
9. Hiking in Manali, Himachal Pradesh
10. Nag Tibba Trek, Uttarakhand
The Triund trek is a beautiful day hike that you can do in the McLeodganj, Dharamshala region of Himachal. The hike is rated as easy, but it is a strenuous walk that will take you through dense forests and across rushing rivers.
The stunning views of the Dhauladhar range, the lush green meadows, and the peacefulness of the Himalayas make this one of the most popular treks in India.
The trailhead is just 9 km from McLeodganj and the entire hike can be done in a day. The trail starts from Galu Devi Temple and takes you through forests of oak and rhododendron before reaching the grassy meadows of Triund.
Best time to visit: Although Triund can be visited any time of the year, the best time to visit would be from mid-March to June. This is because the weather is extremely pleasant during these months and you can truly enjoy your hike without having to worry about too much heat or cold.
April onwards, the flowers start blooming in the region and make for a very beautiful sight.
If you are looking to avoid the crowds, then October to February would be a good time to visit as there are fewer tourists during these months.
How to reach: The best way to reach Triund is by taking a bus or taxi from the town of McLeod Ganj. The journey takes around 3 hours and is quite scenic. Another option is to take the Srinagar-Manali highway up to the village of Bhagsunag, from where it is a 2-hour hike to Triund.
The Nongriat Trek in Meghalaya is one of the most beautiful and rewarding day hikes in India. The trail takes you through some of the most stunning scenery in the country, including forests, waterfalls, and quaint villages.
The hike can be challenging at times, but the views are more than worth it. It is a moderate hike that takes approximately 4 to 5 hours to complete.
Trekking through the jungle to reach Double Decker Living Root Bridge. This incredible structure is made entirely out of living tree roots, and it spans a gorge that is over 30 meters deep. It's an amazing feat of engineering, and it's definitely worth the hike to see it up close.
Best time to visit: This trek can be done throughout the year. However, the best time do this trek would be from October-December. You can also choose to go for this trek during the monsoon season, when Meghalaya is it's finest glory. But due to rain, the trail is way harder than usual, but if you are looking for adventure, this trail is going to give you an adrenaline rush.
How to reach: Nongriat is a village in the East Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya, India. It is located about 26 km from Cherrapunji, 10 km from Jowai and 66 km from Shillong. The village can be reached by a trek through the Living Root Bridges or by a three-hour drive from Shillong.
The Valley of Flowers Trek is one of the most popular day hikes in India. It is a short hike that takes you through peaceful valleys full of amazing flowers.
Best known for its meadows of endemic alpine flowers and outstanding natural beauty, the Valley of Flowers is located in Uttaranchal's Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve. The trailhead begins from Govindghat, which is a 6-8 hour drive from Rishikesh.
This trek is perfect for people who want to see some of the most beautiful flowers in India. You will see fields of orchids, daisies, and lilies. The trail is also littered with blooms from wildflowers like lavender and monkeyflower.
Best time to visit: The best time to visit the valley of flowers is from July to September when the flowers are in full bloom. However, the best time to see the most flowers is during August. During this month, the valley is covered in a blanket of colorful wildflowers.
How to reach: The Valley of Flowers is located in the state of Uttarakhand in India. It is a popular destination for day hikes. The best way to reach the valley is by taking a bus or taxi from Haridwar to Joshimath. From Joshimath, you can take a local bus or share jeep to Govind Ghat. From Govind Ghat, there are several different routes you can take to reach the valley.
The Tiger Hill trail in Darjeeling, West Bengal is one of the most popular day hikes in India. It is a short but steep hike that leads to an amazing view of the tea plantations below.
This hike is best done early in the morning or late in the afternoon when the views are at their best. On a clear day, you can see all the way to Nepal and even get a glimpse of Mount Everest.
Make sure to get an early start so you can catch the sunrise over the Himalayas – it's truly an unforgettable experience. The trail can be busy during peak tourist season, so it is important to plan your trip well in advance.
Best time to visit: October-March is the best time to do this trek as the sky is clear during this time and you can experience a clear view of the Himalayas.
How to reach: From Siliguri, take a bus or cab to Darjeeling, then take a taxi or shared jeep from Darjeeling to Tiger hill. The hike to the top is just 15-20 minutes.
One of the most beautiful day hikes in India is Khaliya Top in Uttarakhand. The hike takes you through a forest of Rhododendron and Deodar trees and offers stunning views of the Nanda Devi mountain range.
The trail is around 4 kilometers long and can be completed in 2-3 hours. You will reach the summit after hiking through mixed forest and breathtaking views of the Rudraprayag Valley.
The hiking trail is well maintained and easy to follow, so you can be sure that you will have a great time while hiking this trail. The scenery will leave you speechless, and you will definitely appreciate all of the natural beauty that India has to offer.
Best time to visit: The best time to visit Khaliya Top is from October to March when the weather is cool and pleasant. The views from the top are stunning, especially of the nearby snow-capped Himalayan peaks.
How to reach: From Kathgodam railway station, you can either take a bus or a shared jeep to reach the starting point of the trek at Loharkhet. The journey takes around 2 hours. From Loharkhet, it is a gradual ascent of around 5 kilometres to reach Khaliya top. The trail is well marked and easy to follow. It should take you around 3 hours to reach the top.
One of the most popular day hikes in India, the Kheerganga Trek is a 10-12 km trail that takes you through some of the most stunning scenery in the Himalayas.
The trek starts from Barshaini, a small village in the Parvati Valley, and takes you through meadows, forests and eventually to the top of Kheerganga, where you can soak in hot springs and enjoy views of the snow-capped peaks of the Pir Panjal range.
Best time to visit: The best time to visit Kheerganga is from March to October. The weather is pleasant during this time and the views are beautiful.
How to reach: To reach the base of Kheerganga, take a bus from Kullu/ Manali to Kasol. From Kasol, take a shared jeep or a private cab to Barshaini. From Barshaini, it's a trek of 2-3 hours to reach the summit of Kheerganga.
Deoria Tal is a lake situated in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand, India. It is at an elevation of 2438 metres and is about 3 kilometres from the town of Chopta. The lake is surrounded by forests of pine and deodar trees.
Chandrashila is a summit of the Tungnath mountain in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand, India. It is at an altitude of 4,756 metres above sea level and is about 5 kilometres from the town of Chopta.
The peak offers views of the Himalayan ranges of Nanda Devi, Trishul, Kedar Dome and Chaukhamba.
Best time to visit: One of the best times to visit Deoria taal and chandrashila is in the springtime. The weather is usually cool and sunny, making it ideal for hiking. The flowers also start to bloom around this time, making the scenery even more beautiful.
How to reach: To reach Chandrashila, take a bus or shared jeep from Rishikesh to Ukhimath (8-10 hours, 230km). From Ukhimath, there are regular buses and taxis to Chopta (1 hour, 30km). The trek from Chopta to Chandrashila is a short but steep hike of around 3 hours.
The Indrahar Pass (9,236 feet above sea level) in Himachal Pradesh is one of the most breathtaking hikes in India. The pass is located on the Kinnaur-Chamba Highway, and it provides stunning views of the Himalayas from the top.
The 15 km hike takes you through dense forests and alpine meadows with stunning views of the Pir Panjal mountain range.
The hike can be done in either a day or a weekend, and it is easy to find information about the hike online. Hiking through the pass is a great way to spend a beautiful day out in India.
Best time to visit: The best time to visit Indrahar pass is during the months of April to June and September to November. These are the months when the weather is most favorable for hiking.
How to reach: To reach the pass, take the Dharamsala-Mandi highway till Telti and turn left towards Bharmour. After 40 km, you will reach the village of Banni. From here, it is a 6 km hike to Indrahar pass.
There are a number of different trails to choose from in Manali, so you can pick one that best suits your level of fitness.If you're looking for a challenge, try the Solang Valley trek.
This strenuous hike takes you through some of the most breathtaking scenery in the Indian Himalayas. The trailhead is located just outside of Manali, so it's easy to get to.
If you want a shorter hike with stunning views, head to the Old Manali Gompa. This monastery is perched on a hilltop, offering incredible views of the valley below. The hike to the gompa is fairly easy and can be done in a few hours.
Best time to visit: The best time to go hiking in Manali is from April to June, and from September to November. The temperatures during these months are moderate, making for comfortable hiking conditions.
How to reach: To get to Manali, you can fly into Kullu-Manali Airport or take a bus to Manali from Delhi. Once you're in Manali, there are plenty of taxis and rickshaws that can take you around town.
Nag Tibba Trek is one of the most popular day hikes in Uttarakhand. It is located in Raktang Valley and offers amazing views of the Himalayas.
Nag Tibba, which literally means 'serpent's peak', is located in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand. It is one of the best day hikes in India and offers breathtaking views of the Himalayan range.
The trail takes you through forests of oak and rhododendron, and meadows full of wildflowers. You can also see some rare wildlife like the barking deer and the snow leopard.
Best time to visit: The best time to visit Nag Tibba is between September and November, when the weather is cool and pleasant. These months also offer the best views of the snow-capped Himalayan range.
How to reach: To reach Nag Tibba, you can take a bus or taxi from Mussoorie to the village of Tehri. From Tehri, it's a two-hour hike to the base camp at Nag Tibba temple. From the base camp, it's another hour to reach the summit.
India is a country bursting with beautiful hiking trails. Whether you have time for a short stroll or an all-day hike, there are trails perfect for every outdoor enthusiast in India. Take a look at some of the best hikes India has to offer, and then start planning your next expedition!