Trekking season is here again: Pros and cons of trekking in peak season

Post monsoon, the national parks in northeast India are open again for trekkers. October to mid-December are the ideal months to trek in the eastern Himalayas before winter sets in and snowfall blocks all the trekking trails.

Two of the popular trekking trails in northeast India include the Goecha La Trek in Sikkim and Sandakphu Trek in West Bengal.

The Goecha La Trek runs through the Khangchendzonga National Park in north Sikkim. Some of the highlights of the trek include a closeup view of Mt. Khangchendzonga (the 3rd highest peak in the world), views of 14 other stunning Himalayan peaks, and the reflection of Mt Pandim on Samiti Lake early morning.

Goecha La Trek

The Sandakphu Trek trails through the Singalila National Park. On this trek, you can see the 4 highest peaks in the world: Mt. Everest, Mt. Khangchendzonga, Mt. Lhotse, and Mt. Makalu, which is not possible on any other trek. 4 other reasons to do the Sandakphu trek.

Sandakphu Trek

Pros of trekking during peak trekking season:

(1) Clear views: As the monsoon ends, the skies become exceptionally clear and provide uninterrupted views of the mountain ranges.

(2) Pleasant weather: With its close proximity to the eastern Himalayas, the northeast region experiences cold waves and frigid winters. Rain is also unpredictable throughout the year. October-mid November though has a pleasant climate, staying mostly cool throughout the day along with plenty of sunshine.

(3) Picturesque landscape: Autumn can be felt and seen in the changing foliage and pretty flowers unique to the Himalayan region dot the landscape.

Cons of trekking during peak trekking season:

(1) Crowded trails: As it’s the ideal season for trekking, the trails are crowded with many trekkers. If you’re looking for a serene trek, then you can kiss that goodbye.

(2) Fully booked stays: With no dearth of trekkers but limited stays, accommodations run out pretty fast. So if you haven’t booked your stay well in advance be prepared to carry a tent and camp outdoors.

If seeing the views during the trek means a lot to you (as they should), I suggest you plan your trek well in advance, making all the necessary bookings. However, if you’re trekking for a peaceful getaway in nature, then plan your trek after the peak season, which is still good enough, provided you can brave the cold.

Witness the world’s highest peaks on the Sandakphu Trek, Darjeeling

The Himalayas have held a surreal fascination for not just mountaineers but practically anyone anywhere in the world. One reason could be that it is home to the highest mountain in the world- Mount Everest.

What if you had the chance to see not just Mt. Everest but also the 3rd, 4th, and 5th highest peaks in the world (also a part of the Himalayas) on a fairly moderate trek that doesn’t require you to be fanatically fit and the altitude gain is no more than 12,000 feet?

The Sandakphu Trek promises such visuals and more and it’s in West Bengal, India.

The trek route can last between 3-7 days, depending on if you plan to walk all the way or take a ride on the Land Rovers designated on the route, and also the starting point of the trek.

The best time to trek is throughout the year with the exception of the monsoon season. Spring is ideal to spot wildflowers along the route whereas autumn and early winter are great to view the mountains across the clear skies.

If this trek fits right up your alley, TourGenie is planning fixed departures for this trek in October and November.

Dates: October 2nd, 9th, and 23rd; November 6th and 13th.

Priced at Rs 13,500 per person for 5 days 4 nights, the route starts from Maneybhanjang and ends at Rimbick Village. They are providing a discounted rate of Rs 12,900 for a group of 5 and above.

More details on Sandakphu Trek

Tour the stunning Northeast India

Northeast India is a region of high mountain passes, valleys, rivers, lakes, and forests. This varied terrain is hard to navigate, but over the years, new roads, bridges, railways, and airports have made it easier to travel between states.

If you’re looking to travel to a few northeast states at a go, you can club Mizoram, Tripura, Manipur, and Nagaland. You can discover the tribal crafts and culture of Nagaland, dwell in the beauty of Mizoram, feast on Manipur’s Loktak Lake with its floating phumids, and explore the princely traditions of Tripura.

An amalgamation of people, culture, food, language, crafts, beliefs, and more, Northeast India offers an experience like no other. Except for the monsoon season, and the winter months of December and January for some states that receive heavy snowfall, the rest of the year is perfect to visit. The stunning views of the Himalayas are a crowd-puller to this part of the country, and it’s a welcome alternative to the crowded tourist places of Himachal Pradesh.

From leisure tours and pilgrimage visits to adventure trips, Northeast India is the perfect destination for anyone looking to run to the mountains.

For immersive experiences, opt for homestays, village tours, participation in local activities, and volunteering for community services.

Things to note while touring Northeast India:

  1. Be respectful of religion places.
  2. Do not litter.
  3. Intermingle with the locals politely.
  4. Read up on the places you are visiting to stay knowledgeable.
  5. Keep ready cash as cards might not work due to poor network.
  6. Shop from local markets to support local business owners.

Note that many places need permits to visit, so make sure to arrange for them before leaving on your vacation.

Explore Northeast India for a refreshing break

The year-end months in India are usually marked with festivals. It’s a time for big gatherings, celebrations, and family holidays. If you’re looking for a relaxing break, northeast India is probably a good choice.

Fresh out of the monsoons, the landscape of these Himalayan regions is intoxicatingly vibrant and refreshing. Nature walks, hikes, treks, ropeway rides, jeep safaris, and mountain biking are just some ways to enjoy the scenery.

For a cultural experience, you can attend numerous festivals such as Pang Lhabsol in Sikkim, Hornbill Festival in Nagaland, and Majuli Festival in Assam that are eagerly awaited throughout the year. From dances to food, festivals are celebrated extravagantly here.

Close to the Eastern Himalayas, Northeast India enjoys a pleasant climate most of the year. Monsoons and winters can be harsh but enjoyable with the right activities and snowfall can be witnessed here from December-February.

Read all about tourist places in Northeast India to understand each state’s unique offerings before planning your trip.

It’s best to go through a travel agent to avoid the hassle of obtaining permits as some states lie close to international borders with numerous restricted areas.

Magical tour of Meghalaya

One of the wettest regions in the world, Meghalaya will enthrall you with its waterfalls, streams, and vegetation. The landscape is best explored on foot, and there are many hiking trails that take you to hidden and less explored places.

Meghalaya might be the only state that encourages people to visit during the monsoons. The waterfalls and play of cloud formations are unmatched anywhere in the country.

The local inhabitants–the Khasis, Garos, and Jaintias–bring in different cultural flavors to the state in terms of language, beliefs, food, and lifestyle. This can be observed during the festivals, which are celebrated with great fervor.

Meghalaya also offers immersive experiences through village tours and homestays. The living root bridges that are unique to the state are worth investigating.

Take a magical tour of Meghalaya this year for a rejuvenating break and cultural extravaganza.

Meghalaya

Plan a trip to Darjeeling this winter

Darjeeling is a year-round destination but Oct-May is the best time to visit this quaint hill station. October is a pleasant month with clear days and a cool climate. This allows you to make the most of sightseeing tours, enjoy the outdoors through nature walks and hikes, and stroll freely during the evenings. The festivals of Teej and Vishwakarma Puja are celebrated during this time of the year.

Interesting places to see include the Japanese Temple and Peace Pagoda, Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park, Himalayan Mountaineering Institute Museum, St. Andrew’s Church, etc. A ride on the Toy Train is a must.

From December onwards, the onset of winter begins. January and February are deemed the coldest months in Darjeeling. If you are really lucky, you can even experience a bit of snowfall during this time in the town itself.

Read about Darjeeling in all seasons, choose a comfortable time to travel, but don’t miss out on enjoying Darjeeling during the winter.

Sikkim: A destination for the immersive traveller

Sikkim wins hands-down as a happening tourist destination in Northeast India. With its charming natural beauty and rich history and culture, there is a lot to learn and explore in this once sovereign monarchical state.

Sikkim’s inhabitants are just as interesting, with 3 major communities (Bhutias, Nepalis, and Lepchas) living harmoniously for centuries. From food to religious festivals, each community brings a fascinating aspect to the table, offering a cultural extravaganza of sorts to the foreign visitor.

It’d be wrong to say that visiting one part of Sikkim is equal to understanding the entire state as each part of this hilly region is distinct from the other. Sikkim has flowering valleys in the north, religious sites and tea gardens in the south, vibrant city life and lakes in the east, and historical sites in the west.

Hence, a holiday to Sikkim warrants at least a 10-day visit or multiple visits for a truly immersive experience. Make sure you choose the best Sikkim holiday package that covers most of the popular tourist sites from a trusted travel company.

Darjeeling: A place for everyone

When it comes to planning a family vacation to a hill station, Darjeeling is without a doubt the ideal destination to take your family to.

The “Queen of Hills” is known for its refreshing weather, natural beauty, British colonial architecture, the famous Toy train, and a ton of sightseeing spots that are of interest to all ages. Then there are adventure activities such as rafting, paragliding, and rock climbing that add that extra spark of adventure to your holiday.

A good Darjeeling tour package covers all the usual sightseeing points including a sprinkle of activities. To make sure the package doesn’t miss out on any of the popular activities, read 10 fascinating things to do in Darjeeling, and get your package customized.

October is a great time to visit Darjeeling when the skies are clear after the rains, Mt Khangchendzonga is crystal clear, and trekking is open.

Visit Sikkim and Darjeeling this October

Sikkim and Darjeeling are two of the most popular hill destinations in India. However, the monsoon deters tourists from venturing into these places from June-September as rains create havoc on the roads and cause landslides.

Tourist season resumes in October, with the roads cleared up, the national parks open again, and the pleasant weather and clear skies beckoning everyone to enjoy the verdant outdoors.

If you’re planning to come to either of these destinations, it’d be a pity to miss the other one as they’re only 3 hours apart.

Sikkim is known for its lakes, national parks, and waterfalls while Darjeeling is known for the Toy Train, tea gardens, and colonial architecture.

The ‘Tranquil Sikkim and Darjeeling’ package by TourGenie encompasses all these highlights and more.

Sometimes it’s better to go through a travel agent for a hassle-free trip, especially to places like Sikkim where permits are required for some areas.

Birding- a hobby that takes new wings during the monsoon

Winter is the best time for birdwatching but did you know that monsoon season also provides a great opportunity to capture some beautiful birds?

The onset of monsoon is breeding season, and birds can be seen in colourful plumage trying to attract a mate. You can also capture the mother birds feeding their young. However, it’s advised to not disturb the birds by getting too close for a picture which can result in nestlings getting abandoned.

Northeast India is an apt place for birdwatching. The best places to visit are…read more