During the 2020 lockdown myself and a few volunteers mapped the Indian Western Himalayas in detail. We mapped 2000+ passes, 400+ hiking routes (approx. 5000km), 1000+ peaks, 2000 glacial lakes and 30+ thousand remote human settlements across the Western Himalayas creating a true treasure trove for the independent, alpine style hiker.
We also digitized 2 lakhs+ kms (!!!) of potential hiking trails from various legacy maps which are yet to be explored, accurately GPS recorded (if still existing) and mapped into OSM. This is an ongoing project – currently around 5% has been mapped.
Above data is accurately geo-referenced and captured in Open Street Maps. The information can viewed through various OSM map viewers and mobile navigation apps.
Mapping the Himalayas
High-resolution maps of Himachal, Uttarakhand, Ladakh and Jammu & Kashmir showing major rivers (valleys) and 2000+ mountain passes are available over here.
High resolution maps of 47 Himalayan districts showing mountain passes, peaks and alpine lakes are available over here.
The Waymarked Hiking Trails web site gives an excellent overview of all hiking routes defined in OSM. It shows intercontinental, national, regional and local routes as you zoom in and out of the map. As of now 400 GPS (5000 km) GPS recorded routes have been uploaded for the Western Himalayas. You can click on each route to see an elevation profile and download a GPX file for navigation.
To be explored…
Digitized map trails from legacy maps still to be explored are uploaded in OSM (osm.org) as public GPS traces. Enable “Public GPS Traces” in the Layers icon to view these trails. A lifetime is insufficient to explore these 2+ lakhs kilometers of potential hiking trails across Uttarakhand, Himachal, Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir. Note that these manually cartographed maps are not very accurate and some trails might no longer be in use / existing.