T.Today I want to distract us from the covidivity around us. In all honesty, I’m so tired of all the bad news! I am sure that you are too. That’s why I’m here to take you to the mountains, 🙂
I will take you on our best monsoon hikes through some rare photos.
There’s a reason I chose Monsoon hikes for this photo story.
We assume that the Covid crisis will end in about two months and that we will be able to return to the mountains by then.
In contrast to 2020, there is a silver lining in our country for the vaccination campaign. We notice it in our registrations too. Trekkers fearlessly sign up for treks From June. The hikes I am sharing with you today are the best.
Our in-house photographer Jothi chose 12 great monsoon photos from our archives. Some of them are rare gems from our explorations. Some of them are recordings of invisible stretches of hiking.
In the photo story I take you from Uttarakhand to Himachal and then to Jammu & Kashmir. You will notice a nice change in the terrain, colors and landscape.
Note: Look in full screen mode (F11) to best experience these images!
1. The invisible forests of the Valley of Flowers
When you think of the hike to the Valley of Flowers, the first thing that comes to mind is a valley full of flowers. The hike is celebrated for this.
“But not many people recognize the other beauties of the Valley of Flowers,” says Sandhya UC, our co-founder who has a soft corner for this since VOF was her first Himalayan hike.
“The mountain landscape on this hike is breathtaking. Be it the forests in front of Ghangria, the extensive grassland on both sides of the valley, the beautiful Pushpavati River in between or the glacier that feeds the river at the end of the valley, ”she says.
A look into the subalpine forests on the first day of the hike. Since this is a monsoon hike, you will see the forest at its greenest. Image by Thanashyam Raj
2. The 8 km long valley of flowers
Here is another gem from the valley of flowers. This picture gives you a nice bird’s eye view of the valley. It’s your first glimpse of the Valley of Flowers when hiking from Ghangria.
The hike to the Valley of Flowers takes place in Nanda Devi National Park. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This picture really makes you feel like you are in a national park. This is especially the reason why the whole world wants to wander here.
When you climb over the tree line, your first glimpse of the Valley of Flowers opens up. From here you climb into the valley and walk among the flowers. From this point it is 2 km to meet the river again. Image by Kavya PS
3. The meadows of the Bhrigu Lake Trek
Lake Bhrigu trek has always been celebrated for Lake Bhrigu. But when the founders of Indiahikes stepped on it in 2017, they came back stunned in the grasslands. Nowhere in Himachal had they seen such pristine meadows, stretching for miles together. It was all the more special because of the easy access – these meadows are barely a day’s climb from Manali.
This photo is a glimpse of these manicured meadows. The constantly snow-capped mountains provide a great European backdrop.
A flock of sheep grazing in the manicured grasslands of Lake Bhrigu. The Pir Panjal areas watch in the background. Image by Parth Tiwari
4. Little people around Lake Bhrigu
I had seen this picture from Lake Bhrigu before. At first I didn’t think about it much. Then we zoomed in and found that those tiny black spots around the lake are people!
That was when the sheer size and size of the lake struck us. At an altitude of 14,000 feet with great views of the Pir Panjal range is this alpine lake that is frozen in June and full of flowers in August. It is a wonder that such a gem of a lake exists in the stillness, right above the hustle and bustle of Manali.
A view of Lake Bhrigu just as you approach it. The tiny black spots on the bank of the river are people. Image by Subhashi’s Pal
5. Balu ka Ghera on the Hampta Pass Trek
One of the most photogenic sections of the Hampta Pass hike is Balu ka Ghera campsite. This campsite is located in a river delta where the Rani Nalla spreads out gently and deposits the soft silt it brings down. You camp on this “bed of sand”.
Although we have seen several pictures of this campsite, it is rare that such an excellent balance between snow, green, light and shadow can be found in one photo. It is possible to see such bright colors only between the first and third week of August, where you will see both green and snow.
The sand bed at the Balu ka Ghera campsite. If you follow your finger up the narrow valley, you will follow the route to the Hampta Pass. Image by Prakhar Srivastava
6. Shea Goru, Hampta Pass
Shea Goru stands in stark contrast to the previous campsite. The Hampta Pass hike takes you from the lush Kullu Valley in Himachal to the desert-like terrain of Lahaul.
The contrast in the terrain is clearly visible in the two photos. It is hard to believe that you start in the morning in the green of Balu ka Ghera and in the early evening you are in the deserts of Shea Goru.
A look at Shea Goru, the campsite after the crossover. Note the browns and yellows on the mountain slopes with the rocky river bed. They are worlds beyond the greens of Balu Ka Ghera. Image by Ayan Das
7. The Karah campsite on Pin Bhaba Pass
Here’s another dramatic hike that any hardcore trekker will fall in love with – the Pin Bhaba Pass. One of our hikers took this picture in the lush green of the Kinnaur Valley. The exact location is the Karah campsite.
“If there is ever a debate about one of the most beautiful attitudes for a camp on our hikes, then the grasslands of Karah are just the thing,” writes Arjun Majumdar, founder of Indiahikes, who documented the hike in detail.
The cashmere-like environment of Karah campsite makes it one of the most beautiful campsites of all our hikes. Image from PR Photography.
8. Enter the dramatic landscapes of Spiti on the Pin Bhaba Pass Trek
There are few hikes that can leave hikers speechless. We saw hikers marvel at the landscape from across the Pin Bhaba Pass. Because that’s what the passport opens for.
After wandering through damp greenery for days, you suddenly step into another world. It’s a world where oranges, pinks, and purples dominate the landscape.
Two hikers take a break while hiking in Spiti after crossing Pin Bhaba Pass. Image by Dr. Jitendra Tanna
9. A bridge over the Lidder River, Tarsar Marsar
“Very few things come close to trekking in Kashmir,” says Arjun. Because of these picturesque sights, no other hike comes close. The gentle Lidder river, the poplars on the banks of the river, the little bridge that hikers cross …
You see this on the first day of the hike and it gets exponentially better as you will see in the next picture.
A small bridge over the Lidder River that hikers cross. This is the view on the first day of the hike. Image by Mohit Bhatt
10. The Tarsar Lake
Lake Tarsar will steal your heart. Take a look at the trekker to the right of the picture to get an idea of the staggering size.
“The icing on the cake is when hikers learn that they will be camping right on the shore of the lake for the night,” smiles Sandhya UC, who was part of the Tarsar Marsar exploration team.
Recognize the trekker in the picture overlooking Lake Tarsar. Image by Mahesh Dusane
11. In the shadow of Mount Harmukh
Mount Harmukh plays an important role in Kashmir. The K2 and Masherbrum peaks were discovered from Mt. Harmukh. “Mt. Harmukh is also bordered by the discouraging Karakoram chain,” writes Latika Payak in her article on trekking in J&K versus trekking in Himachal and Uttarakhand.
Hikers camp right at the foot of this mountain at the Gangabal campsite. This is one of the rarest pictures we’ve seen. It captures the mountain from bottom to top and shows the true proximity of the mountain. It was also shot in late September, early fall. That’s why you see such a clear, cloudless sky.
Hikers enjoy views of Harmukh Mountain from Lake Nandkol, a five-minute walk from the last campsite on the Kashmir Great Lakes Trekking. Image by Satyen Dasgupta
12. A mother horse and her young horse in the grasslands of Kashmir
Kashmir is one of the few regions in our country where wild horses graze with gay devotion. Especially on the Kashmir Great Lakes hike. You will hike through 75 km of remote Kashmir, through some of the most picturesque grasslands and it is truly heaven on earth.
Here is a maternal love where a horse and her foal graze in the lush grasslands. Image by Pradeep BR
So those were 12 of the rarest pictures of our monsoon hikes. It was not easy to select these from our archive of more than 10,000 images. We’ll have more of these soon.
In the meantime, I will leave details of each of these walks for you for easy access. Simply click on the links below to view the dates and details.
- Valley of flowers
- Bhrigu lake
- Hampta Pass
- Pin Bhaba Pass
- Tarsar Marsar
- Great Lakes in Kashmir
If you’d like to see other types of photo stories just leave a comment. We’ll see if our photo team can put it together!