Village Walk in the Kumaon Hills

At a Glance

DELHI – ALMORA – DEORA VILLAGE – PALIU VILLAGE – SOKYATAL VILLAGE – ALMORA – DELHI

Village walks in the Kumaon Hills. The village walk operates from October through to the end of April. The trek starts in the region of Almora, which is the first British hill station in 1815 in Kumaon Uttaranchal in the western Himalayas. Each season has its own magic. Spring: Blue skies, fruit trees in blossom, the forests flaming red with rhododendron flowers. 

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Autumn: Golden sunshine, the hills dotted with cosmos flowers and the wild cherry trees in bloom. Winter: Dec. to Feb. Crisp and clear, the sweet scent of the mimosa filling the air. Himalayan views normally throughout Oct to Apr, maybe a little hazy towards the end of Apr. The best spectacular views are had in the winter season.

The tour covers both the cultural and natural aspects of the region. This charming village walk takes you past waterfalls, along terraced fields, pass waterfalls and streams, through cedar, oak and rhododendron forests. Almora and Kumaon lie at the feet of some of the tallest mountains in India. Situated between Garhwal to the west and Nepal to the east Kumaon offers a natural environment where forests and wildlife have still to unfold their mysteries.

Local religious customs and ancient traditions are very much alive here. The walks vary from gentle to slightly steep and take you between 1450m to 2250m. Walking on the old village trails, you pass through several villages where the houses have wonderfully carved doors and windows. This gives you a realistic impression of Kumaoni local life, where the old traditions and culture are still part of their routine daily lives. You pass villages where the castes are strictly segregated, walk through terraced fields then along traditional irrigation channels.

As everywhere in the Kumaon the people are friendly, curious in a childlike manner and more than happy to answer questions and be photographed. The walks take you en route to ancient Kali, Vishnu and Shakti temples (1000 years old), past ancient flour mills, where you can stop and see how they work. The Himalaya and panoramic valley views along the ridges are magnificent.

Our MD Sharon Evans has firsthand experience of this village walk, in fact, its one of her favorite locations in India. “I love being in the foothills, particularly the Kumaon region with the Himalayas as a backdrop, it’s so peaceful. Walking through theses hills and valleys meandering from one village to the other, local people invite you into their homes for chai; you may even witness a local wedding. Indeed, a Shangri-La moment with the ground shining silver and gold underneath you feet due to the local mica, strolling past streams and waterfalls and forests of rhododendrons, my heaven on earth.”

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Starting from £3435.00

International flights & VIP meet at aircraft door included - more Special Value inclusions listed below

MAKE A RESERVATION

ASK A QUESTION

Tel: 0207 931 8273

OR

Freephone: 0800 1777 770

Special Value

  • A gift when you book your trip with us, a DVD film called ‘Mystic India.’
  • International flights included
  • A useful gift given to you on arrival
  • Private arrival and departure transfers
  • Private car & driver for all road transfers
  • Snack Hamper, with juice and water in your private car
  • Mobile phone to use while in India to keep in contact with our local office and your driver
  • Meals as per itinerary (BB = breakfast) (HB = breakfast, lunch or dinner) (FB = breakfast, lunch & dinner)
  • Private guide for sightseeing in all major cities
  • Entrances to all monument and places of interest included
  • Guided walk in Old Delhi
  • Experience Indian domestic train journey
  • Kumaoni Village Walk to remote areas
  • Full Board while in the Kumaoni region
  • Meet local villagers and experience their way of life
  • Beautiful views of the Himalayas
  • Walk through Rhododendron forests
  • Underfoot mica shining gold & silver as you walk through the valleys
  • No cars in the valleys, nothing but bird song, very peaceful
  • Learn the way of life of remote village people
  • Live in remote local communities for 3 nights

Our Tour features the following locations

DELHI: The largest mosque, the biggest temple, honky auto-rickshaws; it’s easy to distinguish Delhi. The city has been at the centre of the Indian civilisation for centuries and a major seat of power ever since the Mughals built their capital here. Modern Delhi presents a mix of colonial-era architecture, Mughal forts, and mausoleums, ancient bazaars, glitzy malls and world class restaurants. It often feels overwhelming, but given a chance, it always grows onto you. Be sure to visit Humayun’s Tomb, a 16th-century Mughal wonder inspired by the iconic Taj Mahal and Lodi Gardens, the best spot for sunsets in Delhi. There’s also the Hauz Khas Village, a throbbing hub that gained popularity with its Open Nights when those narrow alleys are transformed into cultural wonders, adorned with lights and decorated with streamers. There really is no better place to discover Delhi’s rich culture and mingle with its locals.

ALMORA: Almora burst into prominence as the summer capital of the Chand Rajas of Kumaon in the year 1560. A magical land awaits you at Almora where romantic fruit blossoms, clear blue skies, and lush greenery engulf you in their beauty, presenting the most beautiful experiences. Your adventure starts on an exciting walking tour where you stay in villages overnight; witness terraced fields, hidden waterfalls, fiery rhododendron forests (which look even better during Spring) and the pedestrian-only Lalal Bazaar. Local customs are a big part of Almora and walking past old village roads bring you closer to the local way of life where ancient traditions are still very much alive where song, and cultural beliefs dominate everyday life. Almora is as quaint and serene as it gets, but it is also a fascinating place to shop and explore the Indian culture.

DEORA, PALIU & SOKYATAL VILLAGES: The village walks lead through picturesque villages along terraced fields, waterfalls, along a winding stream and pine, cedar, oak and rhododendron forests. (If you can make it between mid Feb. and Apr. you will be rewarded with the lovely sight of the rhododendron flowers in bloom – a blaze of color).  The walks vary from gentle to slightly steep and take you between 1450m to 2250m.

Walking on the old village trails, you pass through several villages where the houses have wonderfully carved doors and windows. This walking tour gives you a realistic impression of Kumaoni local life, where the old traditions and culture are still part of their daily routine lives. You pass villages where the castes are strictly segregated, walk through terraced fields then along traditional irrigation channels.

What our clients say

The village walk was fantastic a real rural experience. We were invited to a local wedding in one of the village communities, which appeared to be such a treat for the locals to have some foreigners attending. The walk was not too strenuous more a relaxing stroll through the valleys each day. We just loved meeting the community in each village and the dancers laid on for us on the last night were a real treat. Thank you for recommending this as a very different experience.

Valerie & Graham – London

Village Walk in the Kumaon Hills

Village Walk in the Kumaon Hills

DAY 01 – DEPART FOR DELHI
Depart you chosen airport today bound for Delhi, arriving tomorrow.

DAY 02 – ARRIVE DELHI
Arrive Delhi today. VIP meet at aircraft door, assistant through baggage control, then outside the airport to meet our local representatives, where you will be meet at the arrivals door then transferred to your hotel.

Rest of the day is at leisure to relax after your flight.

DAY 03 – DELHI (B)
Today, after breakfast, you will enjoy a full day private guided sightseeing tour of New & Old Delhi taking in all the major sights.

This afternoon explore the famous Chandni Chowkh Bazaar. For lunch today, you can experience the famous street food here, in fact, Chandni Chowkh is often called the food capital of India.

DAY 04 – DELHI TO ALMORA (FB)
Early morning, board your train to Kathgodam 0600-1140 (Alternatively we can arrange a flight to Pantnagar located 4 hours from Almora 1500-1600.

On arrival, transferred to Almora (3.5 Hr), after check in you are then at leisure to relax after today’s journey

DAY 05 – ALMORA (FB)
Today visit Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary, walk up to Zero Point through dense oak and rhododendron forests. At an altitude of 2400m, enjoy the extensive view and hike downhill towards the Shiva temple. From there trek initially further downhill and then follow the western Binsar ridge towards Kangarchina. A very scenic walk with good views of the Himalaya on one side and the terraced valley on the other side. Enjoy a packed lunch on route.

DAY 06 – ALMORA (FB)
This morning take an easy walk to the village of Chitai. The Chitai bell temple is dedicated to Golu Devta, the god of justice and is unique to Kumaon. The temple is covered with hundreds of bells of all shapes and sizes brought by grateful devotees. During marriage season, the temple complex is thronged by families for marriages. The trekking route starts from the resort and leads through Chir pine and cedar forests with wonderful views into the valley and Himalayan range. After temple visit, walk back through the forest stopping for a scenic picnic lunch on the way.

DAY 07 – ALMORA TO DEORA VILLAGE (FB)
Begin your village walk today. The Village Walks end at a different village each afternoon where you will stay with a different family. The village locations are Deora, Palliu & Sokhyatha.

Explore the countryside of Kumaon region, covered with greenery and mountains.

After breakfast start the village walk from the resort itself which leads you through picturesque villages along terraced fields, waterfalls, along with a winding stream and Chir (pine) forests. This gentle walk through valleys then takes you up to the village of Deora. Before reaching Deora, you visit the 1000-year-old temples of Kali and Vishnu.

Overnight at Deora. A lovely village with wonderfully carved doors and windows overlooking the valley and ancient temples. Freshen up and enjoy a welcome drink while the host cooks a traditional and delicious Kumaoni dinner. Guests are welcome to watch! Relax, chat with the locals and listen to tales from the past.

DAY 08 – DEORA TO PALIU VILLAGE (FB)
Continue the walk through the countryside.

Today you continue your walk along the old village trails passing through several villages which give you a fantastic impression of Kumaoni local life, where old traditions and culture are still part of their routine daily lives. The walk takes you past ancient river stream run flour mills where you can stop to see how they work. You pass villages, through terraced fields then along traditional irrigation channels and finally climb to Paliu village. As everywhere in the Kumaon the people are friendly and more than happy to chat and be photographed.

DAY 09 – WALK TO SOKYATAL VILLAGE (FB)
Continue the walk through the countryside.

Walking through chir pine forest, along terraced fields, and past a few scattered small villages the path now climbs steadily up to Sokyatal, amidst forests of oak and rhododendron. (If you can make it between mid Feb. and Apr. you will be rewarded with the lovely sight of the rhododendron flowers in bloom, a blaze of colour). The Himalayan and panoramic valley views from the top of this ridge are magnificent. The grand finale is the setting sun covering the Himalayan peaks with fire. Stretch out with refreshment in the quaint, stone courtyard looking down into the Jageshwar valley.

DAY 10 – SOKYATAL TO ALMORA (FB)
Walk from Sokyatal down to Jageshwar through terraced fields, villages and magnificent cedar forests. At Jageshwar, you visit the ancient temple complex built by the Chand and Katyuri rulers between 8th and 12th. Century A.D. A cluster of 124 Shivalingas, this is also home to one of the Jyotirlingas from the Hindu religion. Just 2 km further down the road along a narrow hill stream through dense cedar forest are also two temples known as Dandeshwar. On the 1 hrs drive back to the resort you can also stop to see the prehistoric rock painting at Lakhudiar.

Later arrive back at Kassar Jungle Resort and check-in at your hotel.

DAY 11 – ALMORA TO DELHI (B)
Today you will travel back to Kathgodam for your train back to Delhi 1535-2105, on arrival meet and transfer to your hotel. Alternatively, you can take a flight from Pantnagar, which is located about 4 hours from Almora, the times currently are 1500-1600 (we will also arrange a train reservation for you as sometime this flight is cancelled last minute)

Check-in at your hotel, then at leisure.

DAY 12 – DELHI HOMEBOUND (B)
Today India bids you farewell with your transfer to the international terminal.

Village Walk in the Kumaon Hills

Village Walk in the Kumaon Hills

Hotels

Our from price based on the following hotels twin/double share. Single supplement, triple share reductions or for alternative hotels, contact us to discuss your requirements further. We can design a tour just for you, based on your style and budget.


Deora Village House

The village houses have been partially renovated and toilets and bathrooms added without spoiling the ambience. After a day’s walk you can freshen up with a hot bucket bath. Food is cooked hygienically and mineral water is provided.

Palliu village house

The village houses have been partially renovated and toilets and bathrooms added without spoiling the ambience. After a day’s walk you can freshen up with a hot bucket bath. Food is cooked hygienically and mineral water is provided.

Jawalabanj village house

The village houses have been partially renovated and toilets and bathrooms added without spoiling the ambience. After a day’s walk you can freshen up with a hot bucket bath. Food is cooked hygienically and mineral water is provided.

Village Walk in the Kumaon Hills

Village Walk in the Kumaon Hills

Extensions

Here are some examples of extensions you can add to this tour. For other ideas and to discuss your requirements contact us. We can design an itinerary for you, based on your dates, duration, style, and budget.


Drop in at Ramgarh Bungalows near Nainital for a few nights. In the foothills of the Himalayas, The Old Bungalow (1830) and The Writers’ Bungalow (1860) are located in the fruit basket of the Kumaon region.

Village Walk in the Kumaon Hills

Village Walk in the Kumaon Hills

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