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Walking down a mountain at twilight in Kumaon. Snow peaks in the distance, an owl sitting on a branch above, we come across a small forest temple, an expression of simple sanctity in a natural setting. My guides, Shivraj and Kundan from Walk to the Himalayas, remain quiet as golden light sifts through the branches. All I can hear are bird songs among the branches and the crunch of pine needles beneath my feet.
Soon we reach a scattering of wooden two-story houses. They are each painted different colors — deep forest green, ochre yellow, sky blue — and have views out across the Kosi Valley. The hillsides and fields, level with the river below, are a study in pastoral beauty, all greens, and golds. This is a village in Kumaon, and there are many like it, running one into another, with no clear boundary between them.
- Food and drinks
- Tours mentioned in the itinerary
- English speaking tour guide
- Any personal expense
- Flights/ train tickets
Day 1: Arrive in Kathgodam.
We will receive you in a private chauffeur car followed by a road trip to Bhimtal. Arrive by evening. Rest of the day is at leisure.
Day 2: Village life experiences
- Guided tour - Village walk in traditional Kumaoni village.
- Depending upon the season, get involved in sowing or harvesting with the locals.
- Dairy farming experience.
- Vegetable farming and cooking experience. Bring back your own collection of vegetables from the farm, and learn a few recipes of Kumaon.
- Horse riding in the evening.
Day 3: Adventure experience
Guided tour – Full day trek of medium difficulty with packed lunch.
Day 4: Bhimtal - Binsar
Arrive by evening with the rest of the day available at leisure.
Day 5: Binsar
Binsar was once the capital of Chand kings who ruled over this region between the 11th and 18th centuries. It was later established as a conservation project for broad leaf oak. The sanctuary is home to mammals such as leopard, musk deer, Himalayan goral, jungle cat, wild boar, grey langur, macaque and flying squirrel. You also see many bird species such as parakeets, kalij pheasant, monal, woodpeckers, eagles, Eurasian jays, forktail and blackbirds.
Guided tour – Walking safari with a naturalist.
Day 6: Binsar – Jageshwar – Binsar
Jageshwar is a historic site of a group of 7th century Shaivite temples made of stone. Many smaller stone temples are dedicated to Lord Vishnu, Shakti and Surya traditions of Hinduism. It is surrounded by stunning and massive deodar trees.
Self-tour – Visit the Jageshwar temples and surrounding smaller temples.
Day 7: Binsar – Kathgodam
Drive to Kathgodam for onward journey.