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In The Footsteps Of The Anwals.

11 Nights, 5 Days Walking

Last Shepherds of the Himalayas.

Holiday Highlights

Discover one of the most extraordinary aspects of traditional village life in the high valleys of the Indian Himalayas, as you enjoy a unique opportunity to witness the inspirational life of the ‘’Anwals.’’ These are the last remaining transhumance shepherds, who, in April each year, move from the lower altitude villages to the lush, green, higher alpine pastures with their flock, returning with the onset of autumn. Anwals have been making these journeys for many generations, and it is a tough life up on the mountains, but one that carries much prestige. Sadly, as farming practices change, the transhumance traditions, as elsewhere in the world, are slowly dying out. Our partner communities are delighted to arrange for our guests to travel to meet the shepherds, in the company of our local guides.

Spend two days with the Anwals as they begin their transhumance journey from the Saryu and Pindar Valleys. Enjoy wonderful walking in beautiful surroundings and get to know the local stories of the shepherds.

Find out more about the amazing life of the Anwals – read the full story told by Tara S Takuli, the local Village Ways field co-ordinator, in Supi.

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Itinerary | Day by Day

We look after you from the moment of your arrival at Delhi airport. Your holiday includes transfers and rail journeys to the hills, accommodation in the village guesthouses and at Khali Estate with all meals provided and your own guide through the hills. We have devised each of our holidays to provide a good balance between activity and relaxation; please feel free to tailor your holiday to your exact requirements.

DAY 1 | Outward Journey

Welcome at Delhi airport, transfer to guesthouse for overnight stay.

DAY 2

Early morning transfer to Delhi station for a day train into the hills. Arrive at Kathgodam station and road transfer (4hrs) to Khali Estate, a family-run hotel. Overnight stay at Khali Estate, double room garden bungalow.

Day 3 | In the Valleys

After breakfast continue your journey to your starting point in the Saryu Valley – by road 5hrs, lunch en route. Walk from the road-head to Supit village. Relax and dinner, meet your guide to discuss the days ahead. Overnight in the guesthouse.

Day 4

Spend a full day in Supi, with local village walk if you wish. Get to know the local traditions and relax in the comfortable guesthouse.

Day 5

Walk with your guide to your next village homestay. Walking in Saryu and Pinder can involve some long and steep gradients, and remember you are at altitude, but the terrain is good and the views are incredibly rewarding. You walk on averge 4-5 hours per day.

Day 6

Today you walk to Patlakhod, where you join the Anwals as they prepare their flocks for the months ahead. Stay in standard dome tents, set up by local porters. Get to know the shepherds and learn about their journey through the hills.

Day 7

From Patalkhod, many Anwals move to the open meadows near Jaikuni, where the local communities have set up a splendid tented camp with walk-in tents. Choose to walk with the Anwals, or for good walkers, take a detour via Pakhwa Top, where you will have extensive mountain views on a clear day, re-joining the Anwals at Jaikuni. Overnight at Jaikuni camp, with panoramic mountain views.

(For guests who wish to spend more time with the shepherds, we recommend adding a second night at Jaikuni in order to enjoy the views and take a walk to the nearby Chilta Temple.)

Day 8

It is worth waking early at Jaikuni to see the sun rise over the hills. From Jaikuni, you leave the Anwals and walk with your guide into the Pindar Valley, to the village of Dhurr. Overnight village guesthouse.

Day 9

Your final day’s walk takes from Dhurr to the village of Karmi and back to Dhurr for the final night in the villages.

Day 10 | Homeward Journey

After breakfast walk to the road-head and return to Khali Estate for another night’s stay.

Day 11

Transfer to Kathgodam to catch the day train to Delhi. Meet at New Delhi station, transfer to Delhi guesthouse for overnight stay.

Day 12

Transfer to Delhi airport for homeward flight.

Footsteps of the Anwals Holiday

11 Nights
£ 990 per person
  • All meals at Khali Estate and in the villages
  • B&B in Delhi Guest house
  • Guide and Porter services
  • Picnic lunches
  • GST
Popular
HOLIDAY PRICES per person
SEASONS
PARTY 2-3
 PARTY 4-6

15/09/2022-15/12/2022 

£1,380

£990

"One of our personal highlights was meeting all the local people in the Binsar Sanctuary. Everyone at Khali estate, our guides and all the local villagers were extremely welcoming, generous, kind and informative. We felt extremely well looked after, with no shortage of amazing food and tea. Meeting all these people really made the trip an amazing experience for us."
5/5

Moderate walking

Mixed Terrain

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Where In India?

ABOUT THE BINSAR SANCTUARY AND THE VILLAGES

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Binsar lies in the Himalayan foothills at the centre of the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand State. It lies about 20 km from the district capital of Almora. Binsar is named after the Bineshwar temple. Binsar comprises sequence of steep, pine-clad and terraced hills with picturesque villages clinging to their sides. Elevations range from around 1,200 m in the main valleys, rising up to 2,500 m at the ‘Zero Point’ summit. Binsar is overlooked by the great snow-capped, majestic peaks of Nanda Devi, Trisul and Panchachuli. Binsar occupies a special place in Village Ways history. It is where, from 2002, we developed the concept of establishing community- based holidays in partnership with villagers in the neighbourhood of Khali Estate. In 2003-04 five villages joined Village Ways in this pilot project: Risal, Gonap, Satri, Dalar and Kathdhara. A sixth village, Matkanya, joined later in 2012.