THE WORLD’S HIGHEST MOUNTAINS OFFER THE CHANCE TO EXPERIENCE SOME OF THE MOST DRAMATIC SCENERY AND WILDERNESS ADVENTURES ON EARTH.
The stark beauty of the Zanskar and Indus Valleys that cut through the high altitude desert of the Tibetan Plateau in Ladakh, dotted with towering Buddhist monasteries, isolated ancient settlements and oases of swaying poplar trees is literally breathtaking. The panorama of mountains that surround the Vale of Kashmir are perfectly reflected in the mirror calm water of Dal lake where lazy days can be spent staying on a traditional wooden houseboat. The pine forests and terraced fields between traditional villages of the foothills can be explored on walking treks and horse safaris and the high passes to the ‘moonscapes’ of Ladakh on a road trip riding a classic Royal Enfield motorbike. There are even winter treks here for those prepared to brave the cold in search of Tibetan wolves and the elusive snow leopard. Even further off the beaten track there are treks through the rugged sparsely populated landscape of Spiti where spectacular mountain top Buddhist monasteries and isolated villages of whitewashed mud-brick villages appear like mirages clinging to steep sided river valleys. For an intimate experience of rustic mountain culture village treks can be made through the more populated fertile valleys of Kumaon in the shadow of Nanda Devi. To the east lies the evocative Raj era hill-station of Darjeeling surrounded by rolling tea estates, the sub-tropical valleys of Sikkim with stunning views of the world’s third highest mountain Khangchendzonga, and the jungles of Kaziranga National Park in Assam where tigers, elephants and the Great-One-Horned Rhinoceroses roam.