Fri 24th February 2023
- Tue 7th March 2023
11 nights/12 days
At WalkingWomen we seek out women led travel companies like ours to work with. We are very excited to be working with Sheetal who runs her own hiking company in India. Together we bring you a walking trip to the Lesser Himalayas. A 12 day holiday with 6 days of hikes exploring the Kumaon region. Our accommodation gives us the full experience of the area from dome tents, village stays , jungle lodges and a British bungalow. With a little luxury either side in 4 star hotels in Delhi. This trip can easily be extended and we can help plan a longer trip to experience more of the sights and sounds of India. Costs for add on trips are available on request. Travellers need a tourist visa for India so the sooner you apply the better - in the UK online visa applications are back. 3 PLACES LEFT.
Dates: Friday February 24th to Tuesday March 7th 2023
Guide: Lead English-speaking woman Guide from our partner Rainbow Journeys. There will be local male trek guides for 3 days working with the lead woman guide. Ginny from WalkingWomen will be on this trip.
Walking Grade: 2 Goats with walks being between 5 and 15km with the highest altitude of 2200m
Base: We stay in 4-star hotels in Delhi – The Hans on the 1st night and the last 2 nights at The Claridges to end this wonderful India trip. On our hike, we stay in various accommodations to get the full Lesser Himalayas experience – 1-night village homestay, 2 nights dome tents, 2 nights forest/eco-lodges and 1 night in one of the old British Commissioners homes that is now a hotel.
We suggest arriving in Delhi on the morning of the 24th Feb . Currently, flights are between £400 and £700 return.
Price:£2,400 person includes:
- All accommodation and breakfast – two sharing. There is an option for single rooms for 9 nights at an additional cost of £500
- Packed lunches on 2 hiking days. On other days we will buy locally
- 9 dinners with 2 dinners 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 train journey and sightseeing in Delhi
- Woman Tour Leader for a holiday with the support of local guides
- Woman Yoga Instructor for Yoga and Meditation for 5 days
- Old Delhi Bicycle Tour
- 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 – you need to make an appointment with the Indian Embassy in your country or via online applications, which have now reopened in the UK.
- Any tips
- Anything not mentioned above
- Any Kit and sleeping bags, and walking poles
- Any fees for camera use
Please watch our webinar for more information about this holiday..
We are excited to bring you this trip – a first working with Rainbow Journeys run by Sheetal who was introduced to us by one of our WalkingWomen guests. We love to expand our holidays by working in partnership with other women like us. This year we have already been connected to women all over the globe wanting to bring great experiences to you so watch this space!
This trip starts in Delhi where you will have time to get to know some of the city life. We then take a train to start our guided hike in some of the richest forests of the Western Himalayas. You will explore the Oak and Rhododendron forest of Binsar sanctuary, where the hike takes you through remote 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. The hike ends at Jageshwar, a unique architecturally 7th century group of Shiva temples, followed by couple of nights at 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 on the last leg of your journey. This will include a day hike in the buffer area with an experienced naturalist.
Trip Style: Hike Adventure Level: Easy
Highest Alt: 2200m Area: Kumaon, Uttarakhand
ITINERARY – subject to change at the discretion of our guide and dependent on the weather
DAY 01: ARRIVE DELHI
The group will be met on arrival at Indira Gandhi international airport.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.
For those that want it a local sightseeing of New Delhi can be arranged.
Dinner together with the WalkingWomen group .
DAY 02: 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. 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.
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.
DAY 03: BINSAR WILDLIFE SANCTUARY
You will wake up with the chirping of birds. An invigorating wake up yoga session followed by breakfast. 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 until you reach the quaint little village of Katdhrara. Soak in the village life and visit a traditional house. After spending some time at the village, we will hike back to the retreat.
In the evening you will have an hour session of yoga & meditation – a restorative meditative sequence to wind down with guided relaxation.
Overnight at the retreat.
Hike Duration: 5 km/ 3-4 hours
DAY 04: BINSAR / GAUNAP
Start your morning with a Yoga session (1hr), followed by a relaxed breakfast. We will check out from the retreat and start our hike towards Gaunap. The hike goes through Oak and Rhododendron forest. In Spring, the trail is laid with red Rhodoendrons , like a carpet. At some places the moss on Oak trees shows the density of the forest. It’s a gentle hike downhill that will take us to the village of Satri, from where we will climb up to Gaunap village. We will reach our campsite by afternoon and will have lunch on arrival.
Later in the afternoon, we will hike on the forest trails of Gaunap. Come back to the camp and have a yoga session. Witness the sun disappear into these never ending valleys.
PLEASE NOTE: SINCE THERE ARE ONLY 04 ROOMS AT THE VILLAGE HOMESTAY, ACCOMMODATION WILL BE ON TWIN SHARE BASIS.
Overnight at Village Homestay.
Hike duration: 15 km / 4-5 hrs Altitude: 1886m
DAY 05: GAUNAP / DHAULCHHINA
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 beautiful rolling meadows, is an easy hike that offers great views of snow-clad peaks and terraced fields.
Towards evening, hike to Anandmayee ashram, a serene place with great Himalayan views and a birders paradise. Overnight is Alpine tents. Campfire dinner.
Accommodation: Alpine tents
Hike duration: 13 km / 4-5 hours Altitude: 1840m
DAY 06: DHAULCHHINA /SHAUKYATHAL
Easy 9 km trek on an almost-flat trail to Shaukyathal near Vriddh Jageshwar. The trail mostly passes through villages & pine forest, except the last half hour where it’s through a lovely broad-leaf forest. In the evening trek to Chandidhar view point from which one can see all the places covered during the hike.
Overnight in Alpine tents. Campfire dinner.
Hike duration: 9 km / 4 hours Altitude: 2000m
DAY 07: SHAUKYATHAL / JAGESHWAR
After breakfast, set off on the route to Jageshwar. Walk up to Vridh Jageshwar , 1.5 km on a metal road and then take the downhill trail to Jageshwar that passes through lovely pine forest, with the last km through the cedar forest.
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 and massages 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.
Hike duration: 05 + 03 km / 4 hours Altitude: 1850m
DAY 08: JAGESHWAR / JIM CORBETT NP
We will drive towards Shivalik range of the Himalayas, to Jim Corbett National park, named after conservationist and hunter, Edward James Corbett.
Enroute we will visit an NGO– The Hans foundation. It’s main mission is to empower the women of Kumaon with sustainable employment and to create quality handwoven textiles. It is a women’s weavers group established in 2005 as a women cooperative. It began with a vision to employ the women from the villages.
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.
Drive duration: 160 km / 5 hrs Hike duration: 2 km + 3 km/ 1.5 hrs
DAY 09 JIM CORBETT NATIONAL PARK
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 echoes with alarm calls of prey species at twilight hours, indicating the presence of carnivore.
Campfire dinner and overnight at the lodge.
Hike duration: 6 km / 4 hrs
DAY 10: JIM CORBETT NP / NEW DELHI
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 to Delhi, which will take around 5 hours.
Once you arrive Delhi, check-in at the hotel.
Evening at leisure.
Hike duration: 160 km / 5 hrs
DAY 11: 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 a 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 building.
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.
Evening 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.
DAY 12: DEPART DELHI
You will be given a departure transfer to the International airport to board your flight back home.