Fri 23rd February 2024
- Fri 8th March 2024
14 nights/15 days
Earlier this year we joined Sheetal from Rainbow Journeys for an incredible journey through the lower Himalayas of the Kumaon Region of India. To walk through the lush,vibrant forests and stop to have tea,or share fresh fruit,with local villagers was something unique and very special. We saw leopards, elephants, heard tigers and a myriad of birds.We ate amazing fresh local food and drank a juice made from red rhododendrons that nourishes the heart. This is for those with a good level of fitness and ready for an incredible adventure. In the words of a well travelled guest “ This was a unique holiday,a real adventure and not for the faint hearted. I absolutely loved every minute of it”
Dates: Friday February 23rd to Friday March 8th – 14 nights
Guide: Lead English-speaking woman Guide from our partner Rainbow Journeys. There will be local male trek guides and specialist naturalists for some days working with the lead woman guide.
Walking Grade: 2 Goats with walks being between 5 and 15km with the highest altitude of 2200m. It is advisable to have had some experience of walking at this altitude and to be prepared for being in remote areas and away from wifi. Days are long and wonderful walking! We do have some long drives as we explore this expansive area of India – we want to give you the chance to visit , walk and explore as much as possible.
Base: We trek through the lower Himalayas staying in a range of accommodation to give you the full flavour of life in India. We begin at a 4 stay old traditional Indian hotel to give time to relax after travelling. There is a pool and spa facilities. We then stay in local village accommodation and in remote hotels in wildlife sanctuaries. It is a very special experience.
23/25 Feb DEHI THE CLARIDGES 02 nights
25/27 Feb BINSAR SANCTUARY GRAND OAK MANOR 02 nights
27/28 Feb GAUNAP VILLAGE IDYLLIC HAVEN HOMESTAY 01 night
28/29 Feb JAGESHWAR VAN SERAI FOREST LODGE 01 night
29 Feb-02 Mar SUPI VILLAGE VILLAGE WAYS HOMESTAY 02 nights
02/03 Mar RANIKHET CHEVRON ROSEMOUNT 01 night
03/05 Mar JIM CORBETT NP. VAN GHAT ECO LODGE 02 night
05/07 Mar RISHIKESH GLASS HOUSE / SNOW LEOPARD 02 nights
07/08 Mar NEW DELHI THE CLARIDGES 01 night
We suggest arriving in Delhi on the morning of Friday February 23rd to give you a few days to rest before we travel. If you would like to rest a little longer before the hike starts then we can arrange to stay longer. Also we can arrange additional trips if you would like to stay longer.
Price £3540 per person for a solo occupancy room. We are walking in remote areas so accommodation is scarce and we have chosen accommodation that supports the local communities we pass through. The price is £2750 if you share a room.
- All accommodation and breakfast
- 7 lunches – 05 in restaurants and 2 Packed. Others can be bought locally.
- 11 dinners. 3 free evenings at own cost
- Mineral Water whilst travelling and boiled purified water on the trek
- Airport Transfers for arrival and departure from Delhi
- Local transport required, including an internal flight Dehradun to Delhi, a train journey in executive chair class from Delhi to Kathgodam and all other travel between places.
- Sightseeing activities including white water rafting on the Ganges
- Woman Tour Leader for a holiday with the support of local guides
- Yoga teaching on 2 mornings
- All equipment on the trek is carried for us.
- Ponies and Porters to carry guests’ rucksacks up to 15kg.
- All permits required for walking in this area
- Personal travel insurance, which is mandatory
- Cost of Visa required for India – this is a straight forward online process which you can do a few weeks before departure.
- Any tips for trekking staff, drivers,guides,hotel staff etc
- Any Kit such as walking poles
- Any fees for camera use
- Anything not mentioned above
We are very excited to bring you another guided hike by Sheetal Thakur of Rainbow Journeys. The area we trek through is in some of the richest forests of the Western Himalayas. You will explore the Oak and Rhododendron forest of Binsar sanctuary & Supi valley and the hike takes you through remote, traditional villages of this area. The self-sufficient sustainable hill villages still have hidden treasures and many lessons to offer to the modern world. Manual farming and cattle-based communities will enrich your experience with ancient cultural practices, which have almost been lost in many parts of the country. During the tour, we will visit Jageshwar, a unique architecturally 7th century group of Shiva temples, followed by a couple of nights at Saryu Valley, tucked away in Kumaon, where we’ll visit local village craftsmen and interact with women. The tour will continue to Jim Corbett national park, Asia’s first National Park, known for its highest Tiger density and diverse flora and fauna. You will explore its Sal dominated broad-leafed forest, riverine, and the Shivalik range of the Himalayas. This will include a day hike in the buffer area with an experienced naturalist.
The last leg of your journey will take you to Rishikesh, where you’ll stay in a lodge next to the Ganges and experience the thrill of White water rafting and at the same time, calmness of Yoga by the beach and visits to Ashrams and Temples.
Trip Style: A trek Adventure Level: Moderate/out of your comfort zone
Highest Alt: 2200m Area: Kumaon, Uttarakhand
ITINERARY – subject to change at the discretion of our guide and dependent on the weather
DAY 01 / 23 Feb: ARRIVE NEW DELHI
The group will be met on arrival at Indira Gandhi international airport by our representative. The group will be transferred to the hotel, rest of the day at leisure. Free afternoon, giving you the chance to take in the sights and sounds of bustling Delhi or simply for rest and relaxation at the hotel.
We can arrange for a local sightseeing of New Delhi. Otherwise, the day is at leisure.
Accommodation: The Claridges Meals: No meals as you are free to settle in.
DAY 02 / 24 Feb: NEW DELHI
After breakfast, proceed for sightseeing tour of Jama Masjid (anrchitectural extravaganza of Shah Jahan). It’s one of the largest mosques, used as house of worship for Muslims. You will walk in the narrow lanes of Old Delhi to experience the hustle and bustle of an ancient Mughal city.
After your visit to the mosque, you will continue your walk through narrow lanes to a tucked-away Haveli of Lala Chunnamal (1848), in the heart of Chandni Chowk. This haveli is three stories high, with 128 rooms, and spread over an acre of land- a must-visit historic buildings.
The present generation of the family that owns it still lives here! We will have tea/coffee with the family and savor the Indian snacks that are prepared locally, while listening to their stories of the by-gone era. It really is like stepping back in time and a unique experience you will rarely find on any other holiday to India programme.
Accommodation: The Claridges Meals: B/fast Only. Optional Dinner together as a group that you pay for yourself)
DAY 03/ 25 Feb: DELHI / KATHGODAM / BINSAR WILDLIFE SANCTUARY
Take an early morning train to the Foothills of the Himalayas, Kathgodam. Board awaiting cars and drive into the Kumaon hills. This is an all day journey where the experience is breakfast on board a train as you savour the India countryside with a fascinating car journey to follow stopping for lunch with the Himalayas in the distance. Last year we saw a leopard as we arrived at our destination!
The beautiful Kumaon region is also known as ‘Dev-Bhumi’ or the Abode of Gods. This is the land of rich cultural heritage, age-old temples, views of majestic Himalayan peaks and picture postcard terraced fields.
Next two nights you will be staying at Binsar Sanctuary (2200 m), in a dense oak and rhododendron forest at an old British bungalow, once home to the British commissioner of Kumaon and once again feeling like you are back in time. Waking to the views of the snow capped Himalayas is truly breathtaking.
This evening take a walk to the highest point of the sanctuary through the forest, with spectacular views of the Greater Himalayas.
Overnight at the retreat.
Please be prepared for a long day for getting into the foothills of the Himalayas.
Accommodation: Grand Oak Manor Meals: B/fast + Dinner Only
Travel Duration: Train: 5 hours / Drive: 4-5 hours Altitude: 2100m
DAY 04/ 26 Feb: BINSAR WILDLIFE SANCTUARY
You will wake up with the chirping of birds. Later in the day we set out to explore the sanctuary. We descend through a mixed coniferous forest. On a clear day, get a panoramic view of the Himalayas—from Nanda Devi to the five snow-capped peaks of Panchachuli. Walk down hill for about couple of hours till you reach the quaint little village of Dalar. Soak in the village life and visit a traditional house. After spending some time at the village, we will hike back to the retreat.
Overnight at the retreat.
Accommodation: Grand Oak Manor Meals: B/fast + Lunch (packed) + Dinner
Hike Duration: 5 km/ 3-4 hours
DAY 05/ 27 Feb: BINSAR WS / GAUNAP
After breakfast we will check out from the retreat and start our hike to Gaunap, via Katdhara. The hike goes through Oak and Rhododendron forest. In Spring, the trail is laid with red Rhododendrons, like a carpet. At some places the moss on Oak trees shows the density of the forest. The initial climb will be steep till Zero point, the highest point of the Sanctuary. From there it’s a gentle hike downhill that will take us to the village of Katdhara, a quaint village in the middle of nowhere. We will have lunch at a local home here and interact with the villagers. Gaunap is couple of hours walk from here.
Our night stay will be at a village homestay at Gaunap.
Accommodation: Idyllic Village Homestay Meals: B/fast + Lunch + Dinner
Hike duration: 10 km / 5 hrs Altitude: 1886m
DAY 06/ 28 Feb: GAUNAP / DHAULCHHINA / JAGESHWAR
Post breakfast we will visit the local families in the village and carry on with our hike to Dhaulchhina. Today’s walk through meandering paths , mixed forests of Pine, Cedar and Oak. It’s an easy hike that offers great views of snow-clad peaks and terraced fields.
Once we arrive Dhaulchinna, we’ll have picnic lunch at the view point. After lunch, a short hike to Anandmayee ashram, a serene place with great Himalayan views and a birders paradise.
Board awaiting car and drive to Jageshwar. We will spend the night at an Eco lodge, surrounded by lush Cedar forest. It’s built in a traditional Kumaoni architectural style and offers quiet and serene environment. It also offers meditation on the property.
Later in the afternoon, we will walk a short distance to the cluster of 200-odd temples (many of them dedicated to the Hindu god, Shiva) built from 7th to 12th century AD.
Accommodation: Van Serai Eco Lodge Meals: B/fast + Lunch + Dinner
Hike duration: 12 km / 4-5 hours Altitude: 1840m
DAY 07/ 29 Feb: JAGESHWAR / KAPKOT / SUPI
Today’s drive to Supi via Bageshwar should take about 5 to 6 hours. We shall start immediately after breakfast and reach Kapkot by afternoon. From there we’ll take a short hike to Supi Village.
Supi is a remote village in Saryu valley. Check into a humble homestay at the village and spend the rest of the evening exploring the serene surroundings of the village.
(The Supi community has renovated a traditional Berklay house into an attractive four-bedroom guest house, complete with simple en-suite bathrooms. They aim to develop a sustainable form of tourism and introduce the visitors to local people, culture, walks and wildlife).
Rainbow journeys will be organizing the stay and walks in SUPI in collaboration with VILLAGE WAYS.
Overnight in Village Homestay. Campfire dinner.
Accommodation: Village Homestay Meals: B/fast + Dinner
Travel Duration: Drive: 109 km/ Hike: 45 minutes Altitude: 2100m
DAY 08/ 01 Mar: SUPI
We will go on a village walk in the morning – visit the local temple, walk through terraced fields, mingle with the village folk and visit the local craftsman. After a sumptuous lunch, we set off on a hike to Bhadratunga – a temple situated by Saryu river, in a neighbouring village. The walk should take about 3.5 hours.
Accommodation: Village Homestay Meals: B/fast + Lunch + Dinner
Hike duration: 04 hours Altitude: 2100m
DAY 09 / 02 Mar: SUPI / RANIKHET
After breakfast we will bid goodbye to our host family and walk to the road head to board the awaiting cars and drive to Ranikhet, a cantonment town in the hills, evoking images of India’s colonial past. We will stay at an old British era bungalow, located in the middle of Oak and Cedar forest. We’ll get a beautiful view of Mt. Nanda Devi (7816m), the part of greater Himalayas.
Enroute we will visit an NGO empowering women in the Kumaon region- UMANG. It’s a collective of self-help group of a network of women entrepreneurs, producing different products. Its main mission is to empower the women of Kumaon with sustainable employment.
Later in the evening, we will meet a women entrepreneur living there and training the village women for Hand knits and Hand weaves.
Accommodation: Chevron Rosemount Meals: B/fast only
Travel duration: Drive: 100 km/ Hike: 45 minutes Altitude: 1870m
DAY 10/ 03 Mar: RANIKHET / JIM CORBETT NATIONAL PARK
In the morning we will take a short walk in the Cedar forest around the Lodge.
After breakfast, we will drive towards Shivalik range of the Himalayas, to Jim Corbett National park, named after conservationist and hunter, Edward James Corbett.
We arrive at the National park and hike for 40 minutes to reach our Eco lodge, nestled deep in the awe inspiring Ramganga valley. This walk through a village and riverine forest is an excellent introduction to the valley. It’s a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts, anglers, birders and nature lovers. The location of the lodge affords long walks in the wild country and unexplored territories.
Check into the lodge. Evening nature walk alongside Ramganga river.
Accommodation: Vanghat Eco Lodge Meals: B/fast + Lunch + Dinner
Drive duration: 80 km / 3-4 hrs Hike duration: 2 km + 3 km/ 2 hours
DAY 11 / 04 Mar: JIM CORBETT NP
After a relaxed breakfast we will hike in the buffer area of Corbett park. The hike takes you through dense forest, villages and river. Chances of spotting wildlife and birds are high in this area. We will carry a packed lunch with us for you to enjoy at a scenic spot, whilst soaking in the sounds of the jungle. Return to the camp by late afternoon. Vanghat echo’s with alarm calls of prey species at twilight hours, indicating the presence of carnivore.
Campfire dinner and overnight at the lodge.
Accommodation : Vanghat Eco Lodge Meals: B/fast + Lunch (packed) + Dinner
Hike duration: 6 km / 4 hrs Altitude: 1870m
DAY 12 / 05 Mar: JIM CORBETT / SHIVPURI DRIVE:
After breakfast, we will head towards the road head. It’s the same walk of 2 km that we did while coming in. Board the awaiting vehicles and drive towards the holy city of Rishikesh. We continue towards Shivpuri, situated along the Ganges.
Check into a Lodge / Luxury Camping for next two nights.
We’ll take a short walk to the beach to enjoy the calm and pristine Ganges.
Accommodation: Glass House Lodge / Snow Leopard Camp
Meals: B/fast + Dinner
Drive duration: 260 kms
DAY 13 / 06 Mar: SHIVPURI
Morning Yoga & meditation session on the beach, followed by breakfast.
It’s going to be a leisurely morning today. Spend the time at the campsite or walk along the Ganges.
Optional activity for morning: Zip line across Ganges. (At an extra cost)
Post lunch, after a thorough safety briefing for white water rafting, we drive for about 20 minutes to the put-in point for an exhilarating rafting experience on the mighty river Ganges. (2 ½ hrs duration). You’ll be provided with life jacket, helmet, wet suit and paddles. Each raft will be accompanied by experienced guides and a safety kayak. We’ll be going through grade III & IV rapids. You can opt out if you prefer not to do this activity.
The rafting session will end at Rishikesh, where you’ll be provided with a changing tent & hot tea/coffee.
We’ll walk in the most pious and celebrated place in Hindu Mythology – Rishikesh. We visit the Ashrams and marvel at the Sadhus and Monks who have made this heavenly place their holy abode. We attend the “Ganga Aarti” the reverence to the holy Ganges.
Drive back to the camp for bonfire dinner and overnight stay.
Accommodation: Glass House Lodge / Snow Leopard Camp
Meals: B/fast + Lunch + Dinner
DAY 14 / 07 Mar: SHIVPURI / DEHRADUN/ DELHI
Morning Yoga & meditation on the beach.
After breakfast, we check out of the camp and drive to Jolly grant airport to board our flight back to Delhi.
Check in at Delhi hotel.
Afternoon is free for some final shopping. There are bargains galore to be found in the shops and markets close to the hotel. The Group Leader will arrange a ‘last supper’ where you can look back over the trip.
Accommodation: The Claridges Meals: B/fast + Dinner
Drive duration: 33 km
DAY 15 / 08 Mar: DEPART DELHI
You will be given a departure transfer to International airport to board your flight back home.
Meal Plan: B/fast only
CALL 01784 664063 – EMAIL CONTACTUS@WALKINGWOMEN.COM