Off the tourist trail?

#1 Nov 2nd, 2012, 22:36
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  • indiaalex is offline
#1
I will be travelling in and around India for 6 months, starting in feb 2013 and am very keen on spending one of these months trekking with friends (2 or 3 others). I've done a fair bit of research but am sure that any route I've found is probably a bit 'touristy' (Classic Nepal treks and Ladakh for instance). I've also looked into trekking in the less visited Northeast States, but visas seem to be a real issue.
I'm a budget student traveller who wants to sample the Himalayas and her people without being on the tourist trails. I've been to Ladakh monasteries before and would love to see more too.
So, does anyone have any 'off-the-beaten-track' Himalayan advice? Where, when and maybe how?
Any feedback would be much appreciated!
#2 Nov 2nd, 2012, 23:50
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  • aarosh is offline
#2
You could try the Spiti region in Himachal some time after March-April.
#3 Nov 3rd, 2012, 00:35
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  • sidch is offline
#3
The Manimahesh Kailash trek from Bharmour is pretty off beat and is awesome. However this doe sget crowded when its yatra time, so avoid those months (August/Sep)
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#4 Nov 3rd, 2012, 07:23
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#4
Tons of stuff in Ladakh if you want. The great thing about it now is that most tourists stay to a jeep safari ( riding in a taxi dressed in Goretex.......) and no-one goes trekking. Its a bit snow bound till say June but after that the possibilities are endless. If you go to the ladakh range or round Tso Moriri you will be (un)lucky to meet more than a tourist a day. As aarosh says Spiti is good - 14-17 days off piste from ladakh over the range to Kibber. Come back if you want concrete suggestions
#5 Nov 3rd, 2012, 10:24
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  • vsathyanarayan is offline
#5
There are hundreds of treks which are off the tourist-trail and can be done in a budget-friendly fashion. Suggestions can be given provided you share the exact period (at least month) of your trek. It would be even better if you narrow the area. The connotation of "touristy" in India vs "touristy" in Nepal wrt trekking trails (esp popular ones like EBC/Annapurna Circuit/Langtang) are very different. I have almost always found no tourists while trekking in the Indian Himalayas or even if you find trekkers it may be 1 or 2 individuals/groups in a day. Read through my blog (in my signature) to get some ideas...

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#6 Nov 3rd, 2012, 11:15
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#6
Look at Uttaranchal, specially the remoter regions in uttarkashi and Chamoli. There are hardly any tourist in these area specially in Feb March through April. THe weather is beautiful not very cold and you can either do a long trek, or shorter day treks. The area is very off the beaten trail.
He that would live in peace and at ease must not speak all he knows or all he sees. - Benjamin Franklin
#7 Nov 3rd, 2012, 20:33
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#7
Thanks for all the advice everyone! It's great to have such a variety of suggestions that I can narrow down. The likes of Annapurna or Everest basecamp, beautiful as they are, is something I'd definitely regard as 'too touristy'. I'm not against seeing tourists in these regions but I know the whole experience will be much more enchanting if I feel I'm not a couple of hours from a mars bar the whole way!
The likely time period I'll be looking to go trekking will be April/May time (probably dependant on the thaw). From what I understand, this is when some passes esp. in Ladakh start to open? Think I'll narrow it down to NW India as I'm likely to be around there at that time.
Another query - I know the cities in central Nepal have lots of trekking gear to hire/buy, would there be similar facilities if I were to start a trek from a less popular trek destination (some of the places you've recommended?)
Thanks again!
#8 Dec 10th, 2012, 21:06
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  • crystalpalace is offline
#8
Mate,
I have got to chip in with my two bobs worth.
The bloke who suggested doing the Manimahesh pilgrimage would probably not have noticed that the entire lake and pilgrimage area is like a giant garbage dump. Indians just cannot see mess and rubbish ,somehow.However, I think he is not too far off the track as far as finding a good area of India to go walkies.The Chamba district is much less exploited , whilst having some extremely beautiful valleys. Any of the valleys which go up towards the main range, the Pir Panjal would be worth your while. Some of them contain relics of a civilisation that goes back more than a 1000 years.The problem is always that these far out places do not have a local shop selling tents and boots!! You will find very little useful gear outside Manali and such places, which were delightful 30 years ago, but now have traffic jams and all the things you are trying to get away from. Because the locals are very hospitable and friendly it is possible to travel through with very little gear unless you are going over the passes. The Pir Panjal peaks are around the 15,000 ft mark i.e. you do not go up there unless you have the gear.There are trekking guides/porters available from Brahmour . I have used shepherds who made the whole walk so much more fun, and were a total inspiration demonstrating incredible hardiness, not to mention strength and fitness!!I will attach a pic of us crossing Drati Jot in 1981.These guys were just going the same way as us so we tagged along, another cunning plan for getting there .
#9 Dec 10th, 2012, 21:13
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#9
the pic I was talking about was in a previous post of mine: Attention KINNAUR Lovers

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