Splendor of Kumaon

Trip Duration: 07 Nights / 08 Days (EX DELHI)

Trip Style: Overland Journeys

Trekking Level:  EasyA moderate level of fitness is required and a flexible, open-minded approach is essential. These trips have easy hikes ranging from 2-3 hours . Maximum Altitude we reach is around 2500 m

Highest Alt: 2412 mts

Area: Kumaon, Uttarakhand

Best Season: October – April   

Overview

Imagine
 a 
land
 of 
rolling 
green 
hills 
covered 
with
 thick
 forests 
of 
Pine 
and
 Rhododendron,
 orchards
 of 
peach, 
plum, 
apricot 
and 
apple
 and 
crystal
 clear
 lakes 
seeped 
in 
mythology.

Kumaon in north west India, lies at the feet of some of the tallest mountains in India, where forests and wildlife have still to unfold their mysteries.  Local religious customs and ancient traditions are very much alive here.  The itinerary covers both the cultural and natural aspects of the region.

Its 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.

Highlights & Itinerary

Highlights

  • Hiking through terraced, wooded foothills.
  • Views of snow-capped Himalayan peaks, including Nanda Devi.
  • Insight into Kumaoni village life.
  • Binsar Sanctuary – It is a Birders paradise which consists of around 200 species of birds.
  • Visit to the 8th-century temple of Jageshwar.

Itinerary

DAY 01: DELHI- KATHGODAM OVERNIGHT TRAIN (DEP: 2300 HR / ARR: 0530 HR)

Late in the evening, departure transfer to railway station to board overnight train to foothills of Himalayas – Kathgodam.

Meal Plan: B/fast only


DAY 02: ARRIVE KATHGODAM- SITLA ESTATE SURFACE 83 KM

Arrive Kathgodam and drive to Sitla , which will take you two hours.

Vikram Maira’s Sitla Estate is the best place to stay. Vikram has converted an old English Bungalow into a hotel with all modern amenities without losing the quaint charm of the place. The Estate has a lovely garden, orchards on the slopes of the hill and woods at the base which merge into Corbett National Park. Do not miss the bench in Vikram’s orchard that is situated at the perfect spot for a panoramic view of snow-covered peaks. 

Meal Plan:  B/fast + Lunch + Dinner


DAY 03: SITLA ESTATE- BINSAR SANCTUARY SURFACE

Perched at an elevation of 2,412mts above sea level, on top of Jhandi Dhar hills, Binsar is situated amidst Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary – an ideal destination for writers, nature & adventure lovers. The dense Binsar Sanctuary homes 200 bird species, Barking Deer, Himalayan bear, leopard, fox, musk deer, porcupine, jungle cat etc.

Binsar is famous for its 180 degree view of Himalayan peaks like Nanda devi, Shivling, Kedarnath peak & Trishul.

Our accommodation here will be in a Bunglow / estate of British era which was home to the commissioner of Kumaon , Sir, Henry Ramsay from 1856- 84.

Overnight stay at the estate.

Meal Plan:  B/fast +  Lunch + Dinner


DAY 04: BINSAR- GAUNAP TREK 3 KM, Max Altitude: 2187 m

There are 5 villages inside the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary. Gaunap 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.

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.

Meal Plan:  B/fast + Lunch (packed) + Dinner


DAY 05: GAUNAP- BINSAR TREK 5 KM

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 back to Binsar estate.

Overnight at Binsar Sanctuary

Meal Plan:  B/fast + Lunch (packed) + Dinner    


DAY 06: BINSAR- JIM CORBETT NATIONAL PARK DRIVE  180 km

Set beneath the Himalayas, the jeep ride to Corbett National Park today takes about 4 hours, journeying along winding mountain roads before you gradually head down towards the River Ramganga at the Gangetic plain. Corbett was the first national park to be established in India and remains one of the finest, abounding in flora and fauna. Originally called Hailey National Park, in 1936 it was renamed after Jim Corbett, a man who did much to conserve the wildlife of India. Although seeing tigers can never be guaranteed, the chances here are relatively high. Even if you do not spot a tiger, you may see wild elephant, sambar, chital, hog deer, barking deer and maybe even leopard.

Upon arrival on day seven, you’ll have a guided nature walk for your first chance to spot these animals before taking to jeeps the following day; an excellent way to see wildlife.

Dinner & Overnight stay at the resort.

Meal Plan: B/fast + Lunch + Dinner


DAY 07: JIM CORBETT NATIONAL PARK

Rising early you set off into the towering hardwood forest in search of wildlife. Your guides are experienced trackers; they easily spot animals amongst the tall elephant grass and birds hiding in the trees. Whatever the time of year, come prepared for a chilly start to the morning; these are generally cold and misty! Daytime temperatures rise quickly and you rest when it is hottest. As the sun gets lower you enter the park again. The tiger population is static (approx. 124) and a sighting is not uncommon though, as ever, a degree of luck is needed.

Meal Plan: B/fast + Lunch + Dinner


DAY 08: JIM CPRBETT NATIONAL PARK- DELHI DRIVE 230 KM

Today the long drive of around seven hours skirts fields of sugar cane and cotton, with villages and a variety of people lining the roadside – rural India at its best.

Arrive Delhi by Evening.  Check-in at a hotel on arrival.

Overnight stay at the hotel.

Meal Plan:  B/fast Only

********************************************TOUR ENDS*****************************************

Gallery

Trip Notes

LODGING

Accommodation will be in old British bungalows now converted into hotels. During the hike your accommodation will be in traditional simple village houses where you’ll be treated as an honoured guest by hosts with genuine warmth and hospitality. You’ll be served delicious Kumaoni & Indian cuisines.

FITNESS

You don’t have to be super fit. We will be driving for 2-3 hours daily in jeeps / cars. During the village hike 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 etc. On a whole it’s a leisure trip with easy adventure activities.

WHEN TO GO?

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 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.

AVERAGE TEMPERATURE

While on the trek the temperatures expected during the day are as high as 18º to 20º Celsius and average night temperatures expected are 4º to 6º Celsius. Except during bad weather when the temperature can go as low as sub – zero.

MEDICAL & FIRST AID

This tour goes into the Kumaon  region , where government hospital is available at most of the places.  Through the safari very basic professional medical help will be available. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in good health and physically & mentally fit to join the trip.

The tour guide, though not qualified medically, has done first aid course from NOLS (national outdoor leadership school), UK and is competent to give first-aid if and when required. In case you have an existing medical condition, like heart problem or disability you must consult your doctor before making a booking with us.

There will be basic Government hospitals available at Almora , Binsar & Jum Corbett .

DELAY & UNEXPECTED HINDRANCE

Delays are expected on account of roadblock & weather conditions. Our effort will be to continue with the trip as per the schedule & make you as comfortable as possible. But in such situations we may have to compromise on the campsite / hotels & adjust to these situations then & there.

KIDS

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

Map

Map

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