Himalayan Hiking between dreamy mountain country lodges

A wonderful way to blow the cobwebs away in some of the most breathtaking scenery on earth – go trekking in the Himalayas

Himalayas

Travel deep into unknown territory where we show you the most wonderful side of India known to only very few.

N.B. This itinerary is a guide only. You can add time and places to this and upgrade, reduce, or change travel and accommodation with us to make this a truly personal journey. Just click ‘enquire’, submit your own personal itinerary request at the end, or simply phone us.

PHONE: 01202 030443, click ‘enquire’, or just fill in your preferences below

Your journey starts from Thanedar, the birthplace of apples in India and, not surprisingly perhaps, an orchard town.

enquire-1The Banjara retreat amidst the orchards is a serene place, perfect for unwinding. From Thanedar, you’ll reach one of the most beautiful valleys of Kinnaur; Sangla, known for its massive towering mountains on all sides (remains of a moraine) and the beautiful Baspa River with good opportunities for trout fishing.

From one amazing destination to another, you’ll drive past the deep gorges of Gandah Nallah to reach Sojha, at the head of Jalori Pass. Tall Silver oak trees, filling the roadside with Blue Iris, are a sight to behold as you walk through stunning scenery to nearby lakes and forts.

If you’re fit and healthy you’ll love this Himalayan Heaven
INDIAN HIMALAYAS (HIMACHAL PRADESH) – THANEDAR – SOLANG – SOJHA – SONAUGI – MANALI – CHANDIGARH

14 NIGHTS / 15 DAYS  – JEEP & HIKING SAFARI 

map

 

Day 1: Arrival Delhi
Assistance on arrival, followed by transfer to the hotel. Check In & overnight at your hotel.

Day 2: Delhi

After breakfast, you’ll receive a tour briefing by our ground staff, followed by full day city tour of Old & New Delhi. In addition to its Historic interest and role as the Government center, Delhi is a major travel gateway as the hub of the North Indian travel network and a stop on the overland route across Asia. Whilst you might be keen to get into the fresh mountain air we think you’ll be interested to set the scene of Indian history with some time in and around Delhi’s sights, such as…
• Raj Ghat
• Jama Masjid
• Qutub Minar
• India Gate
• Drive past the Government buildings lining Janpath

• Red Fort (closed Mondays)

Bangla Sahib Sikh Temple 1

In between times take a ride on a local rickshaw around the old market before heading out in the evening to visit the Sikh temple, Bangla Sahib and involve yourself in a little community work.

Return for an overnight at your hotel.

 

Day 3: Delhi/Chandigarh (flight)/Shimla (drive)
DISTANCE: 115 KMS; 03 HRS DRIVE

After breakfast,  transfer to the airport to connect with your flight to Chandigarh. From Chandigarh you’ll be driven to Shimla (around 1.5 hrs), where you’ll check into your hotel for night.

Shimla is one of India’s most spectacular hill stations, Also called the Queen of Hills, Shimla is situated at 2,130 meters above sea level. In 1819, the British decamped from Delhi to make it their seat of government during the hot and wet summers of the plains, due to its perfect weather. Shimla is named after its local Goddess Shyamala. Its green valleys, the beauty of its Pine, Oak and Deodar trees and its beautiful weather in summer attract people throughout the year.

In the evening walk down to the mall – the main promenade that runs along the top of the ridge – that’s also a busy shopping area with old colonial buildings, souvenir shops and restaurants. At the top end of the Mall is Scandal point, a large open square with a view of the town – a favorite rendezvous for visitors and local people.

Overnight at your hotel.

Day 4: Shimla/Thanedar
DISTANCE: 85 KMS; 03 HRS DRIVE

ShimlaAfter breakfast you’ll check out from your hotel for the drive to Thanedar via Narkanda. On reaching Thanedar you’ll check into your hotel, where, depending on your travel time, you will be able to see either apple blossoms or apples. Settle in before spending the evening around a bonfire.

Thanedar unfolds a magnificent panorama of mountains. The farthest of them are cloaked in snow, others are deodar clad or draped in a soft blue haze. In a gorge, some 6,000 feet below and clearly visible to the naked eye, flows the River Sutlej. The slopes of Thanedar (part of Shimla hills) are studded with apple orchards and prosperity in this area because of them is legendary. In these parts apples are not only eaten fresh, off trees and from cases but slices of apple are also dried on rooftops to be munched as a sweet in winter. Every year tens of thousands of cases of apples leave Thanedar and Kotgarh for different parts of the country and abroad. This accounts for the unbroken line of trucks that ply these roads during harvest time, from July through September.

Meals & overnight stay in Banjara Orchard Retreat – Full Board

Banjara 2 Banjara 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 5: Thanedar
After breakfast you’ll visit the Tani-Jubbar Lake (2400M) which is famous for its Nag-Devta temple. From there, drive to the Hatu Peak which, at 3,352m offers a panoramic view of the snowline of Shrikhand Mahadev Mountain. You could also hike up to Hatu peak instead of driving, by which time you’ll be more than ready for your picnic lunch at Hatu peak. Once again yu’ll retun to the hotel for another evening around a bonfire before collapsing into bed.

Meals & overnight stay in Banjara Orchard Retreat – Full Board

Day 6: Thanedar/Sangla
DISTANCE: 165 KMS; 06 HRS DRIVE APPROX
Leave for Sangla after a leisurely breakfast and drive down towards the Sutlej River. Drive along the river till Karcham from where once again, you’ll start climbing up the mountains to reach Sangla; reaching Banjara camps ahead of Sangla, early in the evening. Check-in on arrival and after a cup of tea, you could go for a short guided 1 km walk to the lovely little Batseri village before returning for dinner and evening around another bonfire.

Banjara 3

Sangla – at a height of 2,700 mts, Sangla town is surrounded by towering mountains on all sides and is set on the banks of the Baspa River that surges through the valley. Walks to discover the amazing fauna and flora of the valley, treks to view snow covered Himalayan peaks, experiencing some of the local culture and traditions, rock climbing, rappelling and river crossing are only some of the delights that are on offer. Surrounded by apple orchards, the campsite has cosy tents and rooms with attached, tiled bathrooms and running hot water. The Retreat (situated right beside the campsite opened to guests in May 2009) – a two storied stone & wood house in rustic style has large, comfortably furnished and tastefully decorated rooms.

Meals & overnight stay at Banjara camp and retreat. Full Board

Day 7: Sangla
A day visit to the Chitkul village. This is the last village on the old Indo-Tibetan trade route. From here, you can hike up to Nagasthi, the last border outpost that civilians are allowed to. It is a lovely 2.5 kms walk along a stream. Lunch alongside this glacier fed mountain stream before driving back to camp in the afternoon. The rest of your day is at leisure, or you could  try your hand at rappelling, rock climbing or river crossing. Evening around the ubiquitous bonfire.

Meals & overnight stay at Banjara camp and retreat. Full Board

Sangla 2 Sangla 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 8: Sangla
Today, we go for the signature walk of the valley. Firstly you’ll be driven to Rakcham village where we cross the river and begin our hike back to the camp. This is a 6-7 kms hike through thick forests, open skies, streams and alongside the river. You’ll reach camp in the early afternoon for a late lunch. Once again, you can rest after lunch or else try your hand at Rock climbing, rappelling or river crossing. You could also go for a short walk in the surrounding hills.

Meals & overnight stay at Banjara camp and retreat. Full Board

Day 9: Sangla/Shoja
DISTANCE: 194 KMS; 07 HRS DRIVE APPROX
ShojaAfter breakfast, you’ll leave for Shoja, driving back to Rampur Bushehr (along the Sutlej River) and then crossing over the river to start climbing to Kullu hills. This is one of the most picturesque and lesser known routes of Himachal. The drive is along the Kandah Nallah gorge (more like a river than Nallah). In summer, the Silver Oak forest along the road is full of blue Iris. Cross over the Jalori pass and into Sojha village (2700M). Guess what – you’ll spend the evening around a bonfire!

Shoja. The thickly wooded mountainside, densely populated with conifers, deodars and toosh characterize the beauty and uniqueness of Shoja. With unending slopes of emerald forests, verdant and pristine, nature is at its most alluring. Located in Seraj valley, Shoja is a breathtakingly beautiful place. The mornings in Sojha are particularly invigorating. One can just stroll around, walk up to the meadows or perhaps take the pathway into the jungle. Nature lovers can enjoy the thick wooded hill slopes that extend as far as one can look.

Meals & overnight stay in Banjara Retreat – Full Board

Day 10: Shoja/Serolser Lake/Sojha  
The hike to Serolser Lake is a beautiful one, offering many different vistas of the Himalayas. A well-defined trail takes one to the lake. After a few hundred meters on the trail  you’ll enter the Oak forest where the sun rays filter through the tree cover and the blue of the sky is glimpsed through the foliage. The ups and downs of the trail, an occasional sight of a bird, a clearing showing huge green vistas cascading down to the Sutluj valley, all of this and more will keep you enchanting company all the way to the lake. The lake makes up in crystal clear clarity what it lacks in size. The local belief is that no one has ever found a leaf floating in the lake, though leafy trees surround the lake itself. You’ll take lunch near the crystal clear waters of the Lake before hiking back to Jalori pass and driving back to the retreat. You can guess where the evening is spent.

Meals & overnight stay in Banjara Retreat – Full Board

Day 11: Dhoja/Sonaugi 
04 HRS DRIVE APPROX
After breakfast, drive to Sonaugi. From Kullu, you take a short road to reach Sonaugi, where on arrival you’ll check into your room. Later, go for a hike to Jana village and further or hike to Beas River.

Sonaugi 2 Sonaugi 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sonaugi: Banjara Homestead- This is another lovely little place close to Kullu. Its a small 5 bed room property, which doesn’t have a working website yet but we can vouch for it. The Sonaugi Homestead is a home in the jungles of Kullu. It is open to folk that don’t want to rush,  who would like to escape for a few days from their busy lives. Just languish, recharge, re-think, re-align, meditate, chill and hang-out. Come with friends, family and significant others to make this a fulfilling time. The place is not a resort – it is not a hotel. It is a home from where many gentle directions may tempt you into walking to nowhere in particular. It’s an unusual piece of land – gets the first rays of the sun and sees the last of them at the very end of the day when the place is lit under a gentle glow. It’s on the side of a mountain, therefore the gradient is a little steep – probably the reason for it having been missed by land sharks who made a beeline for the Kullu-Manali hills. Sonaugi was the farm land of the villagers in Janna, Dhamma and Archandi. There are no locals living here – so you’ll have virtually no neighbors within earshot other than your own party.

Meals & Overnight stay at Banjara Homestead -Full Board

 

Day 12: Sonaugi
After breakfast go for a hike to Jana village and further, or hike to Beas River. Have a leisurely picnic lunch there before heading back to Sonaugi in the evening. Meals & overnight stay at Banjara Homestead. Full Board

 

Day 13: Sonaugi/Manali
After breakfast drive to Manali, en route visiting Jagat Sukh Temples where you will visit one of the ancient temples of Gayatri Mata. The vehicle will wait for you before setting off towards Manali Town. En-route, why not enjoy a local traditional lunch with a local family in the village.

Evening free at your leisure.

Meals & overnight at Green Mountain lodge Manali – Full Board

 

Day 14: Manali (full day hike)
After breakfast you’ll set off on a full day hike from Prini village to Bhanara Village. During the hike you’ll visit some ancient Hindu Temples in various villages in this valley. Start walking from Prini Village with your first visit to Naag Devta Temple followed by Jamdagani Rishi temple; after that continue walking to Bhanara Village en-route visiting Sarver Mata temple in Shuru Village. During the day’s hike you’ll get opportunities to stop and experience some interesting activities, like tasting the local Salt Tea and Rice Beer at a local family house of the valley.

HadimbaAfter visiting Naag Devata temple in Bhanara Village, walk down toward Jagat Sukh where you’ll visit one of the ancient temples of Gayatri Mata (Hindu Goddess) where your vehicle will be waiting for you to continue the journey towards Manali Town via Hadimba Temple.

Hadimba Temple: Hadimba or Dhungiri temple in Manali is one of the most important temples in the region.

This four-story wooden temple is located in the middle of a forest called the Dhungiri Van Vihar.

Return to your lodge for meals & overnight at Green Mountain lodge Manali.

 

Day 15: Manali/Chandigarh (drive)/Delhi (flight) 
After breakfast, an early morning check out from the lodge will find you driving to Chandigarh (Approx 08 hrs drive). Upon arrival at Chandigarh airport you’ll board your flight to Delhi and connect with your onward international flight..

 

enquire-1Himalayan Trek – Price guide – from £1700 pp

(Based on two people sharing travel and accommodation exc. International and internal flights)
BEST TIME TO VISIT: MID MAY – MID NOVEMBER

The above itinerary is a guide only and can be adjusted to meet your exact requirements (phone us on 01202 030443, click ‘enquire’ or submit your own personal itinerary request at the end)

Itinerary includes:

• Delhi arrival / departure transfers + one full day city tour

• Vehicle for all intercity, en route and local visits from Chandigarh Airport on day 03 till drop at Chandigarh railway station on day 15 including all sector drives and local sightseeing.

• Services of local English speaking guide during  full day sightseeing in Delhi.

• Services of local English speaking guide during hike/walk & local visits in Thanedar, Sangla, Shoja, Sonaugi & Manali.

• Services of local English speaking guide on Day 15 pick up from Manali till drop at Chandigarh airport.

 

Some of the small print:
Price as per current conversion rate of pound sterling (£) If variance is more than 3% (plus or minus) at the time of invoicing, we will make adjustments accordingly.
The price is subject to revision if any additional taxes or price increases are introduced by government or suppliers.
Cost is provisional and subject to change depending on the season and hotels confirmed. The exact cost will be confirmed after hotel reservation confirmation.
Hotels proposed in the itinerary/quote may not be available at time of booking, in this event suitable alternative accommodation will be offered.
Food & Hygiene:
Food is a mixed range from vegetarian/ non- vegetarian meals with a choice of Indian, Continental & Chinese food. All meals are buffet meals. There is no room service.
Fitness:
You should be in decent health if you wish to hike. We advise jogging and breathing exercises beforehand. Please note that you will have to climb down about 90 steps to reach the retreat in Thanedar. The retreat is at 7500 ft. and we will travel up to about 11000 ft. There is a doctor in the towns. A basic first aid kit is available. If you have any illness of any sort, please do inform us in advance so that we can take the necessary precautions.

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