Trip Duration: 05 Nights / 06 Days (EX DELHI)
Trip Style: Offbeat Trips
Adventure Level: EasyThis is the 'easiest' of our trekking adventures. A moderate level of fitness is required and a flexible, open-minded approach is essential. There treks are shorter in duration and at lower or up to 3000 m altitude. You may be hiking up to 5- 6 hours a day.
Highest Alt: 2412 mts
Area: Kumaon, Uttarakhand
Best Season: October – March
The remote hills of Kumaon in north west India, far removed from the hustle and bustle of the modern world, the clear air, wide open spaces and absolute peace will put a spring in your step and an eagerness to explore. Gentle hikes in the Kumaon afford outstanding views of magnificent snow-capped peaks and by staying in local houses you get to experience village life in the foothills of the Indian Himalaya.
With a private guide to take the lead and porters to carry your bags you dictate the pace but with so much to see and enjoy along the way a steady amble allows you to soak up the scenery and immerse yourself in rural life.
Finish each day with a refreshing sundowner as you watch the sky turn orange and pink over the peaks and listen to the chatter of mountain life echo around the hills
Highlights & Itinerary
Take an overnight train from Delhi to Kathgodam and drive to the Almora area. Spend three or four days walking on quiet paths across fields, through forests and villages in the Kumaon foothills of the Himalaya with your guide. Spend each night in a simple but comfortable Kumaon village house.
- Hiking through terraced, wooded foothills.
- Views of snow-capped Himalayan peaks, including Nanda Devi.
- Insight into Kumaoni village life.
- Chance to see and learn about local cuisine.
- Visit to the 8th-century temple of Jageshwar.
Day 01 : Delhi to Kathgodam
This evening you will be collected from wherever you are staying in Delhi and taken to Old Delhi Railway station in time to board your train.
Depart: Old Delhi railways station on the Ranikhet Express (air-conditioned sleeper class) at 21h55, arriving in Kathgodam at 05h40.
Day 02 : Kathgodam / Binsar / Dalar
Max Altitude: 2412 m
Driving Distance: 110km
Trekking Distance: 2km (1 hr)
On arrival in Kathgodam (the last station on the line), you will be met and driven to the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary (5 hours away), where the hike begins. The sanctuary encloses an area of 47 sq kms. Home for leopards, ghorals, wild boar, Indian red fox, jackals, pine martens, Himalayan black bears, and porcupines. In addition to this, it also host to more than 200 species of birds that are of both resident and migratory.
There are 5 villages inside the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary. Dalar is one of these five villages.
Get set for an exclusive adventure for the Himalayan connoisseur – a journey that takes you into the heart of Kumaon, its people & its riches. Take a guided walk along forested slopes, enjoying the regions rich bird life as you make your way to the Dalar village.
Day 03: Dalar / Katdhara
Altitude: 1900 m
Trekking Distance: 6km (2-3 hr)
The first part of today’s walk takes you through chir (cedar) forests, crossing streams and fields as you go. You begin by walking down through various villages, past meandering streams and valleys, and traversing around the hills of pine forests, to reach the village of Katdhara.
Day 04: Katdhara / Gaunap
Altitude: 2187 m
Trekking Distance: 4km (2 hr)
After Breakfast , leave for the village stay at Gaunap which is a beautiful hamlet situated at about 7000 ft. in the oak forest on the North face with sweeping views of the himalaya. Lunch at Guanap, followed by an afternoon of getting to know the village people and understanding their ways of life. Over night stay at Gaunap village.
Day 05: Gaunap / Binsar / Jeolikot
Driving Distance: 110 km
Altitude: 1320 m
Trekking Distance: 5km (3 hr)
Today’s trek will be a bit challenging as it takes you through forest and villages. We climb uphill for couple of km and later the path descends to the road head. Here you are met by your driver who takes you to Cottage at Jeolikot.
Located in a quiet corner of the little hill-town of Jeolikott at 4,000ft, “The Cottage” offers a perfect blend of Kumaoni tradition, style and comfort. After a sumptuous & traditional Indian home-prepared meal with your host, Bhuvan Kumari, settle into your room for a goodnight rest.
Day 06: Jeolikot / Kathgodam / Delhi
Today we’ll have an early start with packed breakfast. Drive to railway station at Kathgodam, to catch your train back to Delhi.
Met on arrival at Delhi railways station. Car will drop you to your desired destination.
Driving Distance: 48 km
Train : Dep : 0850 hr / Arr: 1520 hr
Accommodation is in traditional simple village houses where you’ll be treated as an honoured guest by hosts with genuine warmth and hospitality. There are no tvs’ or hairdryers and your bathroom is in an outdoor wash house, but you’ll be served delicious Kumaoni cuisine, snuggle up to a hot water bottle in a clean room and wake in the morning to glorious views.
You don’t have to be super fit. Each day you will walk for four to five hours between each village, across terraced fields, pass through oak, pine and rhododendron forests, stop to visit local temples.
All meals and drinks are included. Lunches are packed picnic-style meals; dinner and breakfast are prepared by your village host over a wood fire.
WHEN TO GO?
The village walks operate all year except June to September, and the various seasons offer different experiences:
October to mid March is the classic ‘mountain season’, with the best visibility of snow covered peaks . Nights can be cold in midwinter (December to February) – sometimes as low as 5C – but daytime temperatures are a comfortable 25C and provide perfect walking conditions.
Mid March to May is warmer but is still a wonderful time to visit: the rhododendron bushes are in full flower along the tracks, their red blooms providing a stunning contrast to the lush green terraces and blue skies. In mid-May visibility begins to get hazy and daytime temperatures reach 30-35C, bringing pre-monsoon downpours.
June to early September is the monsoon season, with lots of rain and flies / mosquitos in the villages, so the walks don’t operate at this time.
HOW FIT DO YOU NEED TO BE TO WALK IN THE KUMAON?
High levels of fitness are not required to walk the routes between the village houses and lodges we use. However, you need to be in general good health, take regular exercise at home and be used to walking. You will need to wear broken in walking boots and a trekking pole can come in handy. We can tailor your trip to include almost as many days as you like, but to get the most out of the experience and because it requires quite an effort to reach the area, we suggest a minimum of three nights. Walks are guided over terraced foothills, across fields and through pine forests, up and down hills – some of them fairly steep. You only need to carry what you need during the day. The walks generally average 10km per day over five to six hours at altitudes of 1400-2200m.
Children above the age of 8 with strong sense of adventure are accepted on these hikes. These trips encourage children to understand the interconnectedness between humans and nature.
Children under 12 sharing their parents’ room receive a discounted price. There are no babysitting facilities along the route, but extra bedding and special dishes can be arranged with advance notice.
Best for: Teenagers (over 12 years)
Family friendly accommodation: Extra Beds Available