making meaningful connections
In The Footsteps Of The Anwals.
11 Nights, 5 Days Walking
Last Shepherds of the Himalayas.
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.
Itinerary | Day by Day
DAY 1 | Outward Journey
Welcome at Delhi airport, transfer to guesthouse for overnight stay.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
Your final day’s walk takes from Dhurr to the village of Karmi. Overnight village guesthouse.
Day 10 | Homeward Journey
After breakfast walk to the road-head and return to Khali Estate for another night’s stay.
Transfer to Kathgodam to catch the day train to Delhi. Meet at New Delhi station, transfer to Delhi guesthouse for overnight stay.
Transfer to Delhi airport for homeward flight.
Wonderful Himalayan walks, spectacular scenery
Visit the hospitable mountain villages of the Saryu and Pindar Valleys, walking from village to village across wide meadows and through forested paths, with spectacular Himalayan views. Stay in village-owned guesthouses and explore this dramatic landscape with your own guide.
With the Anwals
Spend two nights camping beneath the stars and meet the Anwals as they prepare for their epic journey. Walk with them between the bhugiyals (meadows) at Patalkhod and Jaikuni and listen to their local tales. Choose to add an extra walk up to Pakhwa Top for wonderful views of the peaks of Nanda Devi and the Pindari glacier.
Mountain villages in Spring
This holiday runs for a limited period between April and May, when the Anwals are stationed in the meadows around Patalkhod and Jaikuni before moving even higher towards the highest mountains. This is a wonderful time to visit the Himalayas, as the hillsides are covered in bright rhododendron and villages are buzzing with activity at harvest time. Early morning is the ideal time for glimpsing the high Himalayan peaks towering above the meadows and forests, and days are warm and pleasant – ideal for walking. Alternatively, visit during October and November, when the shepherds are returning from the higher ground.
What our guests say
Footsteps of the Anwals Holiday11 Nights
All meals at Khali Estate and in the villages
B&B in Delhi Guest house
Guide and Porter services
HOLIDAY PRICES per person