Finding a dependable guidebook on treks in the Indian Himalayas can be a frustrating experience. There are a plethora of cheap and up to date quality guidebooks on Himalayan treks in Nepal readily available. But when one looks for the same for Indian Treks, only a handful of them stand out from the rest.
A Trekking Guidebook has to inspire a sense of self-confidence and knowledge among its readers. If it only gives an overview of various treks and has little details on how to navigate the trail, then it is not serving its purpose.
A lightweight and compact handbook is easy to keep while trekking. Many publishers tend to cram the book with non-essential content and glossy print. It only adds to the unnecessary weight.
Keeping this in mind, here are Five guidebooks on the Indian Himalayas to consider.
1. Trekking in the Indian Himalayas by Garry Weare, Lonely Planet
A descent Guidebook is the best one you can find on treks in the Indian Himalayas. Garry Weare, the author, provides a concise narration of 30 treks. The trek description is brief but adequate. The maps and trail information gets you through with doing the trek.
The book is surprisingly compact for the treks it features. It covers most of the popular trails in Himachal Pradesh, Uttrakhand, and Ladakh.
Kashmir and Sikkim and the North Eastern States barely gets a mention.
The book retails at about $15 to $20 or about INR 1,000 – 1,300 Rupee, making it the most expensive Guidebook.
The book is ideal for the needs of a beginner to average trekker looking for information.
2. Trekking and climbing in the Indian Himalaya by Harish Kapadia, New Holland Publishers
Harish Kapadia name is synonymous with the prominent voice of trekking and climbing in the Indian Himalayas. An explorer and author of numerous mountain travel publications, this is the first illustrated Guidebook from his desk. The book benefits from the technical inputs from Victor Saunders, a known name in climbing fraternity.
The book is an interesting mash of 25 best treks from the Indian Himalayas done by Harish Kapadia. The layout of the book is elegant. The cartography and the maps are consistent. The pictures are breathtaking.
With an addition of brief information on 12 climbing peaks with topographical photographs, adds value to the book.
However, the book is bulky and designed as a mid-size coffee table Guidebook. You probably will think twice taking it along a trek.
It is a book you would want to consult before going on a trek. Independent trekkers looking for trail navigation tips should look elsewhere.
3. Trekking in Ladakh by Charlie Loram, Trailblazers Publications
Trekking in Ladakh by Charlie Loram is one of the most comprehensive and updated Guidebook available. Trailblazer guidebooks are the best one for Independent trekkers looking for navigational trail details (facts and maps).
The book is written keeping in mind of the need of an independent western trekker. With 72 detailed trail maps, you can hardly go wrong in losing your way.
It is compact, near perfect Trekking Guidebook to have. It is a pity it only comes in Ladakh region only.
4. Trekking Holidays in India, Outlook Traveller
Outlook Traveller Guide is the cheapest and most readily available Trekking Guidebook in India. You can pick it up online at a ridiculously low price of INR. 200 Rupees only.
The book packs a series of short essays and trail guide. It covers 85 treks all over India, something unheard off.
There are about 45 Himalayan Treks included in this Guidebook. The trek description is brief and adequate for the needs of an average trekker.
5. Trekking guide to the Western Himalayas by Depi Chaudhry, HarperCollins
With just over 215 pages, Depi Chaudhry’s guidebook on the Western Himalayas is the most compact Guidebook you will ever find.
The book benefits from the author’s innovative use of digital maps. The infographics are smart. The book has very brief trail description, which may not be useful for independent trekkers.
Depi covers some of the very best 43 treks in Western Himalayan states of India. Pick this book for occasional reference and its digital rendition of trail maps.