Five treks that are also pilgrimages

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Five treks that are also pilgrimages

If you are an avid trekker, there are some pilgrimage routes with some amazing views that should be on your bucket list. Here are my top five picks:

1.Valley of Flowers:
Valley of Flowers
Images Courtesy : desk7.net
This trek allows you to club beauty and spirituality in one. The trek begins at GovindGhat and leads to Ghangria, a 13-km trek. Using Ghangria as the base you can trek to Valley of Flowers, a distance of 10 km, one way. Camping in the valley is not permitted you have to return to Ghangria. The next day you can trek to Hemkunt Sahib, the famous gurudwara with hot sulfur springs. It is a four-hour trek from Ghangria. Spend some time there and return to Ghangaria the same day.

2. Kailaish Mansarover Yatra:

kailash-mansarover

Images Courtesy : orissadiary.com
In the last week of June, the Chinese and Indian governments opened up a new route for the KaliashMansaroverYatra, via Nathu La Pass, cutting down the trip 12 to just 23 days. The Nathu La pass connects Gangtok to Yadong in Tibet. And most of the road up to the parikrama point has been made motorable. So instead of trekking for 12 -15 days, now pilgrims will only walk for the two parikarma days around Mount Kailash. The alternate route is trekking through Uttarakahnd, Nepal and on to Tibet via Lipukehi Pass. Disappointing for trekkers but good for pilgrims.

3. Vaishno Devi, Jammu:

This is one of the most popular trekking pilgrimages. Once you reach Katra, a 13 km trek will take you to the temple. The route is well-marked but is crowded with pilgrims. For the first 6 kms, the path is common with ponies and walkers but the next 6 km, has separate routes for ponies and walkers, making it convenient. The trek can be easily down in a day.

4. Amarnath Yatra:

amarnath
Images Courtesy : holidayiq.com
This is a five day high altitude trek that begins at Pahalgam. From here you can either trek to Chandanwari or reach by road. On Day 1, you leave Chandanwari for a 13-km trek to Sheshnag via PissuGhati and Sheshnag Lake. It’s a very windy place and you will need good down jackets and sleeping bags to keep out the cold. Day 2 begins with a trek via Panchtami via Mahagunas Pass. You can camp at Pachtami for the night. Day 3 you trek to Amarnath Cave, a 6 km trek. On Day 4, after darshan, you descend to Baltal. On day 5 you can return by road to Srinagar or trek some distance and then take a bus/cab.

5. Kedarnath Trek:

Kedarnath-temple
Images Courtesy : trekline.blogspot.com
This is a 16 km trek from Gaurikund, accessible by road from Dehradun. The route used to be well-paved for pilgrims. However, after the flash floods in 2013, the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering has been working on repairing this route and has set up a new route via the right side of the valley from Rambada and via Vasuki trail to the temple. There are alternate routes via Sonprayag (22 -24 kms) and via Guptkashi (33-35 kms) also join the Vasuki trail leading to the Kedarnath temple.

Featured Image Courtesy :treasureindia.com

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Vidya Deshpande has been a journalist for more than two decades and has worked with top newspapers and TV channels in the country. She is a freelance writer & blogger. Using her passion for travel, Vidya runs an experiential travel organisation for women, Soul Purpose Travel, in which she takes women on curated travel experiences.
  • vikas

    A very well written blog Vidya.

  • Jaswant Singh

    All these are awesome places for trekking and I think every trekking freak has these destination in their list.