May 31, 2023

Not too long ago there was a information report that Rhododendron cures “that” virus that has been haunting us for 2 years. This was in all probability one other clickbait merchandise and the information died down quickly. However, what was amusing is to see folks lapping up the information cluelessly. Even some Assamese newspapers reported concerning the “magic plant” that grows in Himachal and Uttarakhand, with out realizing that they will get it in elements of Arunachal, barely 5-6 hours from Guwahati. This has to do with our childhood spent in rote-learning that deracinated syllabus (Even I had no clue about them until I began trekking).   

Anyway, it’s that point of the yr once more. I’ve talked a lot about them over time that my common readers could get irritated seeing this put up. Nevertheless, I feel it’s a good time to make this listing. 

Do notice that it may be discovered all around the Himalayas and adjoining ranges. So, there will be actually a whole lot of treks on the market. I’ve solely picked treks or areas which are better-known and simple to succeed in. Most of those, besides a few them, will be carried out solo, and on a finances.  

Do notice that prime Rhododendron season is March and April. It might begin blooming from the top of February and final until early Could.

Chopta and Round

Chopta Rhododendrons 19

There’s little question that Chopra-Tungnath is one of the best rhododendron trek in North India. Despite a sudden spurt in fame and resultant vacationer influx, Chopra has retained it’s attraction. There are numerous shorter hikes within the area comparable to Deoria Tal, Kartik Swami, Anusuya Devi-Atri Muni and all these routes are lined with blazing rhododendrons. I’ve written greater than sufficient about this space already. You can begin with this Complete Information on the Chopta Area.   

Rashol Trek

Rashol 34
Fecund Spring in Parvati Valley

There’s no dearth of Rhododendron Treks in Himachal however the shortest and sweetest one might be Rashol. It’s not that far, it begins from Kasol however the rhododendrons grow to be seen solely after you permit Chalal. You may also keep in Rashol Village on the finish of the trek, as a substitute of coming again. You’ll be able to learn my Rashol Trek put up.

Triund & Remainder of Kangra

Sidhpur Zen Valley 18
Spring Delights at Sidhpur Kangra

Sadly I’ve carried out this trek throughout autumn solely. So, I by no means received to see the rhododendrons in its full glory right here. However once more, Triund Trek is among the most well-known quick treks within the Himalayas appropriate for everybody and it was the earliest trek I ever did in Himachal. It’s been some time since I even visited Mcleodganj! You’ll be able to learn my outdated Triund account right here.  You’ll be able to have expertise in different elements of Kangra area too, like you possibly can see within the picture above

Nice Himalayan Nationwide Park

Tirthan Spring Colors
Rhododendron blossom at Rolla

.The Nice Himalayan Nationwide Park and its ecozone villages are an amazing place to identify rhododendrons. These embrace the likes of Tirthan Valley, Sainj Valley, and adjoining areas with scores of small villages and trails. I’ve many posts about this area. I noticed good blossoms even within the fundamental GHNP Gate trek from Gushaini to Rolla. You can begin with my GHNP Information, Tirthan Information, or Sainj Valley Information.

Munsiyari & Round

Munsiyari 9

Kumaon is once more an amazing area for rhododendrons. For a greater expertise, skip the decrease hill stations and go a bit larger to Munsiyari. You’ll be able to strive the quick hikes on this space comparable to Khaliya High. I visited Musniyari as soon as in spring. Nevertheless, troublesome climate denied me good views. You can begin with my Munsiari Travelogue.

Binsar Mahadev Trek

I’m intentionally together with this lesser-known trek. Do notice that this Binsar shouldn’t be the identical because the Binsar close to Kasar Devi. It is a totally different one which goes from a spot referred to as Thalisain. You’ll be able to take a prepare to Kotdwar and discover a bus from there. I as soon as made a failed try right here in 2014 and by no means talked about it once more. 

Barsey Rhododendron Trek & Goecha La

barsey 15
Barsey Panorama

West Sikkim has many good areas the place you possibly can spot rhododendrons. Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary Trek, the identify itself makes it clear what I’m making an attempt to say. I intend to do it quickly. Additionally, if you wish to go additional, you possibly can cross Pelling and attain Yuksom and go for Goechala or Dzongri trek. Right here’s my Yuksom put up

Singalila Ridge

This space in Darjeeling bordering Nepal is a wonderful place for Rhododendron hikes. The well-known Sandakphu Phalut trek lies on the sting of Singalila Nationwide Park and this may be an effective way to benefit from the rhododendron blooming season for anybody.

North Sikkim: Yumthang Valley

Sikkim 18
Entry Gate: Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary

Yumthang Valley and Singba Rhododendron Sanctuary, because the identify suggests, is a Rhododendrons goldmine. Sadly, I visited it in winter when it was buried in snow. I did discover it. The opposite drawback with Yumthang is that it has a motorable highway quite than a trek. So, it tends to get too crowded. Nevertheless, it’s attainable to hike across the space if yow will discover the suitable guides. Moreover, Dzongu may be choice for such hikes and it’s nearer from Gangtok too. Begin with my Yumthang Publish

Shergaon & Round

Because the common readers of this weblog will know, the Shergaon Rupa circuit is an underrated Rhododendron goldmine. Go for a brief hike to the Choskorong waterfall is lined with rhodos. I did it final yr together with the Rhododendron Pageant of all issues. Go forward and browse my Shergaon Information as nicely the account of visiting the Shergaon Rhododendron Pageant

Dirang & Tawang

Geshela 4
Spot these rhodo bushes within the foreground and picture them in spring.

Whereas most common guests fail to acknowledge them, your complete Dirang-Sela- Tawang route is stuffed with rhododendrons and so are varied detours rising from that route comparable to Geshela and Mandala Naga GG. The tragedy of this route is that Autumn and Winters are thought of peak season right here when a lot of the bushes merely get denuded and coated in snow. For this space, and for anything in Arunachal, buy my book.

Higher Dibang Valley Treks

Emuli Grasslands, Anini
Emuli Grasslands, Anini

Higher Dibang Valley within the north-eastern frontier of Arunachal Pradesh has a number of the hardest treks in India together with the famed Anini Seven Lakes Trek and plenty of different up and coming treks. Though I did it final yr that was after the blooming season. However, I can vouch for the truth that it is a sense rhododendron forest and also you’ll get greater than you possibly can think about right here.

Nagaland & Manipur

The Patkais hills do have lots of rhododendron forests which are but to be absolutely explored. I haven’t seen Rhododendrons in Dzukou itself however close by Japfu Peak apparently has them. Additionally, the extra distant and better Saramati Trek will give you nice rhododendron forests. Equally, the hill areas of Manipur comparable to Ukhrul have rhododendron forests though they’re but to be documented in that method. 

Extra Suggestions

Rhododendron flowers are edible and are used to make juices. Nevertheless, not folks from each space use it as such. I’ve discovered processed juices simply out there in Uttarakhand whereas I even seen a man making and promoting juice on pushcart like they promote sugarcane juice in Himachal. However such indicators aren’t all the time seen elsewhere.

IMG 20180317 125107
Regionally produced Rhododendron (Buransh) juice on the market in Uttarakhand

*I’ll maintain including extra treks as I maintain discovering and exploring them.