Top 5 Trekking Destinations in India for Older Travellers
Trekking is a dynamic holiday experience that knows no age barrier, but as we get older we may no longer be able to tackle treks of the length and difficulty that we were able to undertake in our younger years.
However, this does not mean we cannot still enjoy the natural beauty of this breathtaking world. There are still many treks that can take us into the lap of Mother Nature and be enjoyed by senior travellers. Here are five of the best short-distance treks in India that are ideal for travellers who have seen more than fifty springs in their life.
Prashar Lake trek
Let’s begin with an extremely awe-inspiring trek in the Himalayas – the Prashar Lake trek. This can be done during winter or summer. As the name suggests, one needs to reach this lake in order to complete the journey. When you reach the lake in its ultra-picturesque mountaintop location, the soul begins to relish a most memorable moment of life.
➢ Location: The trek is a part of the majestic Kullu Valley of the Himalayas in Mandi district, Himachal Pradesh.
The trek can be completed in a couple of days. It’s a trek at the upper end of the scale as far as fitness requirements for older travellers are concerned because the lake is located at an elevation of 2,730 metres (nearly 9,000 ft). There is a 13th century temple located alongside the lake and floating island made of vegetation inside the lake.
The trek begins at Panarsa, which is about 60 km from Mandi. There are a number of fascinating places on the trekking route where trekkers can sit and relax. The sheer silence of the trail is soulfully disturbed by the music of numerous waterfalls. The beauty of this trek never lets one realise how tired the trekker might be.
Devkund Waterfall trek
At the opposite end of the scale in terms of fitness requirements is the Devkund Waterfall Trek. This is a physically unchallenging journey to a place of extreme delight. At the end of the trek, trekkers will reach the Devkund Waterfall that offers complete tranquility in its cool and calm water. Most of the trek’s path passes through dense forest. The cascade is mostly unexplored, making it a primary reason to visit Devkund.
➢ Location: The Devkund Waterfall Trek is located about 150 km from Mumbai in Maharashtra.
Set your dates and plan a journey to this amazing hidden treasure of the Western Ghats. The trekking path is probably the most fascinating in Maharashtra. Senior travellers can easily complete the journey since there are hardly any rocks or mountain areas to negotiate. The trekking time is about two hours each way to the waterfall.
As the trekking path to the Devkund Waterfall is through dense forest, it is a local requirement that trekkers take a guide to ensure they don’t get lost. The trek is best done in the winter when there is no rain as there are several river crossings to negotiate on the trekking path. In the monsoon season the river crossings become impassable, so the trekking path may be closed for several months.
Triund has to be the favorite of those trekkers who love diversity. People from all over the world come to witness the magnificent scenery of the Dhauladhar Range in the Himalayas. It is one of the finest examples of what India has to offer for trekking with charm and delight.
➢ Location: The North Indian trek of Triund is located in Dharamshala in Kangra district, Himachal Pradesh. It is a part of the Dhauladhar range of the Himalayas.
Although one can complete the trek in a single day, it is recommended to spend a night in the embrace of the sacred mountain. This trek is suitable for much older people who need to rest frequently along the trail as they will find shops at every 500 metres or so. They will also get to meet people of similar age groups to talk to along the way.
There are, however, a number of steep ascents along the Triund trek, so although much of it is easy strolling, a reasonable level of fitness is still required to tackle the steeper sections. This would be classified as an intermediate trek for seniors.
Turn your way towards god’s own country with this longer trek to experience thrills and excitement. Reaching the Chembra peak is not just a trekking experience but also an inspiring journey. For the average adult, it won’t take more than 4-5 hours, although 7-8 hours may be required for older travellers to reach the top.
➢ Location: This trek, which will be filled with lots of splendid memories, is located in Wayanad district, Kerala, in South India.
Trekking through the astonishing paths of the Chembra valley is a fine opportunity to come closer to nature and enjoy the verdant vegetation of this district. In addition, a trek to the Chembra peak can be combined with visits to other inspiring places in the heaven of Kerala.
One of the most breathtaking Western Ghats’ treks, Kudremukh is a site of enormously mesmerising experiences. The highest point of the trek is about 1,900 metres above sea level. Be a witness to the soulfulness of the tea plantations in the valley while exploring the tremendous beauty of this area. Kudremukh means a horse’s mouth in Kannada.
➢ Location: The incredible village of Kudremukh is located in Chikkamagaluru district in the state of Karnataka.
Beautiful streams, small cascades and bamboo holts are the major source of the trails’ delight. These scenic highlights make the trek an amazing place to be in. Trekkers can meditate in the midst of extreme peace and tranquility at numerous places along the trail. Also, the trek is not a physically taxing one, so very suitable for older travellers.
Wherever you are trekking in India, you should do so with at least two other people or in a group. That way if you experience any health problems on the trek, someone can go for help whilst someone can stay with you.
For those who have been able to maintain a good level of fitness enabling them to do longer treks with overnight camping, it’s best to go with a group and a guide. I’ve used Bookmountain Tours for trekking in both India and Nepal.
However, most of the guided tours offered by trekking agencies are for people who can maintain a reasonable pace, so if you want to organise a trek at a much slower pace, consider putting a group of similar aged travellers together and then organising a guide through one of the trekking agencies.
That way you can still do one of the longer treks they offer, with all the highlights included, but stretch it maybe by one or two days to enable you to cover a lesser distance each day to avoid over-exerting the oldest members of the group.
Header image: Aniket Das | Dreamstime