Summer is a good time to plan a trek. It not only takes you away from the hurly burly of everyday life, it makes you healthy and fit too.

Nagalapuram

Nagalapuram Hills in Chittoor district is calm and serene, and an ideal place for a trek. The lush green forest is inviting while the lake is tranquil. The climb is arduous and you have to fight your way through thorny bush, ward off bees and insects and climb rocks. Aim for the Picnic Pool and waterfalls. Make sure you take a dive at the first pool. Continue your trek and once you have crossed the Dead End pool you arrive at your destination.

Best time to visit: Throughout the year the place is shady and there is abundant water in the streams

Distance: 80km. Two hours from Chennai

How to get there: Chennai - Uttukottai - Pichatur - Aree village - start walking from the dam on a trail along the stream

More info: www.ChennaiTrekkers.org

Courtesy: Chennai trekkers

Darjeeling-Sandakphu Trek (Himalayan Region)

The trek begins at Manebhanjang, a small village inhabited by Buddhist Sherpas. The first camp at Tonglu is 11 km from Manebhanjang through dense forests and hillsides covered with wild flowers. You get a breathtaking view of the Kanchendzonga and its neighbouring peaks. In another three hours you arrive at Gairibas. The trails here leads you through bamboo glades and farmlands with quaint little villages. You will pass through rhododendron forests. From Sandakphu which is about 58 km from Darjeeling you get to Phalut — one of the loftiest peaks in the Singalila Range. The trail descends through virgin forest of chestnut, pine and hemlock till it reaches the confluence of two streams, Gorkhey Khola. It's a picture postcard place. One can enjoy a wash and resume trekking to Rimbik and back to Darjeeling.Destination covered: On road from Darjeeling to Manebhanjang - Tonglu -Gairibas - Kalipokhari - Sandakphu – Phalut - Ramam - Rimbik

Best Time: March-April and September - November

Best way to Reach: Air to Bagdogra; Train to New Jalpaiguri

Check out:

Uttarakhand-Himachal; Best time : Pre and post monsoon

Ladakh-Zanaskar; Best time : June to September.

Trek along this trail as you pass Haridwar, Rishikesh and Tungnath. Watch out for the crystal clear lake, snow capped Himalayan peaks, cavernous gorges, murmuring waterfalls, lush green meadows and mountain goats. This trail is ideal to get to know the ancient culture of the local people. One of the highlights is the view of the Chaukhamba and Kedarnath peak. The Chandrashila trek is popular and can be undertaken round the year but in the Garhwal Himalayas, avoid December and January because of the heavy snowfall. Chandrasila summit is a rock face above the temple of Tungnath, the highest of all the temples in the Himalayas. You will pass through Deoriatal and get to see an amazing sight of hillsides covered with rhododendrons, wild flowers and ferns.

Train: From Delhi to Haridwar

Road: Buses from Delhi to Haridwar

Season: Round the Year

Courtesy: Peak Adventure and tours.

The Karla mountains

In Karla mountains, dating back to 160 BC, nestle the largest cluster of Chaitya caves. One can also get to Bhandardara which has the most beautiful lakes in the country surrounded by majestic hills. You can go off on long treks around the hills like Ratangadh, a favourite fort of Shivaji or Kalsubai, the highest peak in Maharashtra, to the sprightly Randha falls or to Amriteshwar, a 1200 year- old temple. Forts in the Sahyadris also provide a good base for trekking activities. Forts around Pune like the Sinhgad, Lohagad, Visapur, Shivneri, Purandar, Rajgad and Raigad are some of the others options.

Do's and don'ts while trekking

Do not take anything from the forest

Do not litter on land or in water.

Collect the waste in a disposable bag and take it back with you to dispose.

Do not buy wildlife products.

Do not make any noise. It disturbs the birds and animals.

When trekking or riding bicycles, stay close to friends and avoid causing damage to crops or other vegetation.

Do not bathe in streams and waterfalls using chemical soaps and shampoos. Many villagers drink the water from the streams. And the water is the source for the food consumed by the locals.

Day trek

Light, breathable t-shirt (wear 1 + carry 1 extra)

Long, light, dry-fit pants (for walking on grassy hill slopes)

Light, shorts (for walking along stream/boulders, swimming in pools/falls)

Breathable shoes (dry easily when wet)

Compact back pack (max 25-30L)

Light towel (good protection against sun when hot)

Sun screen

Camera

Reusable PET bottle(s) (to fill water when leaving stream)

Overnight trek

Mat for sleeping comfortably/warm on rough terrain

Light blanket for sleeping (summer) or sleeping bag (winter)

Bowl and spoon for soup, dinner, tea

Torch for walking after sunset and campsite