AN ODYSSEY TO KUMAON
- Reviews 0 Reviews0/5
- Vacation Style Holiday Type
- Activity Level Fairly Easy
- Group Size Medium Group
Splendor of Panchchuli through every window, Glistening calm water flowing in every brook.
Shankadhura, steeped in a history of being along an ancient trade and pilgrim route with a present which is uniquely rural and rich in both cultural & natural diversity, is a small village in Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand. Set amidst the majestic towering Panchachuli peaks, on the banks of Gori river and located close to the tri-junction of the international borders of India, Nepal and Tibet, the village offers a unique frontier flavor.
The village home stays encourages the traveler keen on a deeper experience, to interact with the place and the people, with nature and culture, as an insider. You can either chose to be a quiet observer and enjoy your time with us soaking in the rural ambiance, or you are welcome to join us in a number of activities- some guided and structured, and others which are more organic and free flowing, in rhythm of the daily lives of the mountain community and the imperatives of the seasons. Families welcome you to share your cooking skills, cook with fresh ingredient and get 'back to the basics' for those so inclined. Or learn to weave with wool on traditional looms, basket weave with a montane bamboo- crafts that are seasonally engaged in and are integral to a community that is highly dependent on its forests and rich natural heritage.
Pahadi Homestays: Stay in a beautiful spacious home stay with a Kumaoni family, where they will happily invite you inside their kitchens and pamper you with lip smacking traditional food. Our rooms will be private and updated with all the basic modern amenities.
Majestic Panchachuli Peaks: Get possessed by the breathtaking snow-clad Panchachuli Peaks.
Village Forest Management: Learn how the the village communities and ecosystem depend on forests in their day to day life. And how these forests are managed collectively by the village community and forest department to ensure the ecological integrity.
Farm Walk: Understand their organic agricultural practices. Pluck some fresh cucumbers, lemons, corns, carrots and taste them. Feel free to pack some samples to bring them home.
Organic food: We will be served fresh organic meals, during our stay in the village. Kumoani ladies pluck home-grown vegetables from their farms, for every meal.
Bird Trek: The region has 326 recorded bird species. Be ready to spot some beautiful and rare birds that will make you fall in love with nature once again. Therapists say that bird sounds work as a brain spa, so be ready to be left rejuvenated after the trek.
Community get-together: This is the time when we’ll have some fun moments with our whole village family. We’ll have lunch with community and dance to Kumaoni beats with villagers.
- Day 1 Day 1:
We will reach Haldwani/Kathgodam at around 5 AM after an overnight journey from Delhi, and will start our journey to our host village in a Traveler van. The journey enchants you with a picturesque view of old mountain towns of Nainital, Almora, Seraghat, Berinag and Thal, and Kalamuni Pass (~9000 feet above sea level). We will finally descend into the Gori valley and reach village by early evening.It’s a beautiful drive as you drive past the Kosi River near Almora, Sarayu at Seraghat, and Ramganga at Thal, and finally, enter the Gori Gangawatershed. We will make stops on the way for refreshments and meals (breakfast and lunch) at nice food joints, with breathtaking views all over the place.We will be welcomed by our hospitable hosts and splendid Panchchuli peaks. To rejuvenate you, we have arranged for twin sharing rooms (in the homes of native people) with clean fresh linen and duvets, and attached western bathrooms with running water. All the rooms are comfortable and quiet with a view of majestic Panchchuli peaks. We will end the day with a freshly prepared organic dinner with our hosts or in private as per your wish.
- Day 2 Day 2: Exploring the Kumaoni mountain village
We will start the day with introductions, introducing ourselves to each other and the village folks, discussing briefly about the Gori valley and the life there. We will walk around the village understanding the region’s seasonal farming practices and interacting with the village communities. The guided tour through the village will tune us to the seasonal agricultural practices. This will give you an insight on how the locals have stuck to the methods of organic farming, despite harsh conditions, and still live a content life.Post lunch, we will visit Tribal Museum which is founded and managed by Mr. S. S. Pangtey. The museum is his life’s work and dedication towards preserving and protecting the local Bhotiya Tribe (a scheduled tribe that used to trade with Tibet). A half-day visit to this museum will give you a glimpse of the old Bhotiya culture which once flourished in the region.In the evening, there’s an optional visit to Munsiari Bazaar, Nanda Devi Mandir and Danadhar. The Bazaar is set between three villages and is a one-road Bazaar. Seek the blessings of the local goddess in the temple and get a bird’s eye view of the Gori valley from the vantage point of Danadhar.
- Day 3 Day 3: Forests and Conservation
Today, we start the day with a guided tour of the village and get to understand the Village Community more closely. As we walk around, we will visit few homes of various social and caste groups, understand the cultural and architectural aspects, witness the traditional weaving on looms with wool (maybe try it as well) and learn about the civic amenities such as water sources and innovations in the use of solar power.Women are the powerhouse of this village. Alongside managing the home stays and working in fields, they also run an enterprise “Maati Sangathan”, a collective that run across 50 nearby villages. We will visit Maati Sangathan where you’ll get to interact with the village women to know about the functioning of this enterprise, and can also shop locally produced handicrafts including finely woven pashminas and other woolen wear, furnishings, and locally grown organic food products.Post lunch, we will have a small get together with the village communities. You’ll get a chance not only to get familiar with the local folk music and dance forms, but also experience them.
- Day 4 Day 4: Bird Trek / Natural History walk
We will spend the day leisurely with nature, walking on the stony pathway with a stream running along to the Mesar Kund (a pond nestled in an old Oak forest). Mesar Kund has a very interesting folklore associated, which will be described during the walk. On the way, just before the ancient Mesar Kund, the village community (with their bare hands and efforts) has built another pond, also known as the Mesar Kund (the new one) to keep the water stream running through the village throughout the year. With every step, view of Panchchuli will take our breath way, and it keeps getting better and better!We will continue the walk to Budgair Dhar above Mesar Kund and those fit enough can walk up to the Bugyals (meadows) of Lalsingair at around 10,000 feet. You can easily notice the richness of Flora and Fauna in the valley, comprising of over 326 recorded bird species, 36 mammals, and 2,200 flowering plant species.
- Day 5 Day 5: ADIEU
Today after the breakfast, we will say goodbye to the village and our wonderful hosts, and trace our steps back toward Haldwani/Kathgodam. We will reach Haldwani/Kathgodam around 8 pm. Then board the Uttarakhand Roadways Volvo bus or train to Delhi.
Rs. 19,000/- from Delhi to Delhi
Each family will serve two freshly cooked vegetarian meals (breakfast and dinner); along with a packed lunch so you can be free to follow your own rhythm through the day.
The group size will be limited to a maximum of 14 people: 12 participants + 2 facilitators and a minimum of 7 people: 6 participants + 1 facilitator.
Don’t forget to pack good warm clothes with you. It’ll be mostly sunny during the day if it does not rain or snow, but the weather will be cold in the evening and the night.
Following fee will be deducted upon cancellation –
- Before 60 days trip departure date: 10% of the trip cost
- Between 60-46 days before trip departure date: 25% of the trip cost
- Between 45-30 days before trip departure date: 50% of the trip cost
- Between 30-15 days before trip departure date: 75% refund
- Less than 15 days before the trip departure: No refund
If you find a replacement for yourself, then there won’t be any cancellation charges and we will refund your payment in full.
- All travel from Delhi to Delhi.
Accommodation in simple and comfortable homestays on twin-sharing basis. If someone is in a group of 3, all the three can be accommodated in a same homestay, but this must be conveyed to us while booking. Couples will be accommodated in the same homestay.
All meals(breakfast, lunch and dinner) in the village. Only vegetarian.
Expenses of guides during our stay in the village.
All the meals not listed in Inclusions i.e. during Volvo journey from/to Delhi and Traveler journey from/to Haldwani, will be at actuals.
Any items/services which are personal in nature like toiletries, sun protection creams, chips, soft drinks, laundry, STD calls, etc.
Any extra expenses due to delays arising from bad weather and unforeseen circumstances.
Any medical expenses.
Any other expenses of any nature not included in the INCLUSIONS section.