If you are looking for some adventure and nature exploration this summer, you might want to head to Uttarakhand. The state's forest department has announced that it will open 15 less-explored jungle trails for trekkers and visitors from April onwards. These trails will offer some unique and diverse experiences, ranging from dense coniferous forests to stargazing and geological wonders.
What are the jungle trails?
The forest department has identified 15 different sites in the state's forests where people can trek. These sites include little-known places like Naada, Konain, Kudog, Daragad, Budher, Jakh, Deoban, Mundali, Kahtiyan and Kanasar. Some of these trails are seldom visited by outsiders and have no human habitation. They are situated in very dense forests where visitors can also experience staying in British-era forest rest houses.
The trails vary in length and difficulty level. Visitors can choose the trails depending on their choice and vacation duration. They can opt for routes that involve trekking 2.5 km in a day to 65 km-long treks lasting a week. In six such routes, trekkers can avail of homestays and stay in nature camps.
What are the attractions?
The jungle trails offer a variety of attractions for nature lovers and adventure seekers. Some of the highlights are:
• Thadiyar March: This is a 65-km-long trail that was developed by the British to educate young forest service probationers about forestry nuances. It will be modified and opened to the public in April. The trail traverses picturesque hills with elevations ranging from 542 m to 3,067 m in the Chakrata area. Chakrata is famous for having Asia's oldest Deodar woodlands, archaeological sites and diverse avian population.
• Molta: This is a place where visitors can enjoy stargazing at night. The site has clear skies and minimal light pollution. It is also home to some rare wildlife species like leopards and Himalayan black bears.
• Kharamba: This is the highest point of Doon valley at 1,000 ft above sea level. It offers a geological excursion where visitors can see various rock formations and fossils dating back millions of years.
How to book?
The forest department will soon launch an online portal where visitors can book their slots for the jungle trails. The portal will also provide information on the availability of guides, porters, camping equipment and other facilities along the routes. The booking charges will vary depending on the trail length and amenities provided.
The forest department hopes that opening these jungle trails will boost eco-tourism in Uttarakhand and create livelihood opportunities for local communities. It also aims to raise awareness about conservation and biodiversity among visitors.
So if you are ready for some thrilling adventures in Uttarakhand's forests this summer, don't miss this opportunity to explore these hidden gems.