The Himalayan Eco Lodge in Sursingdhar (www.himalayanecolodges.com/sursingdhar.php) has a marvellous view of the Himalayas, as you step out into the balcony of your cottage. Cloud filled valleys and the white peaks piercing through them greet you, first thing in the morning. The rooms are spacious and well-furnished and photographs of the Himalayan region. The sunny private sit out is a favourite with guests.
At the Himalayan Eco Lodge in Kund (www.himalayanecolodges.com/kund.php), the highlight of the brick walled mountain lodge is its location in the mystical Mandakini Valley and the views of the snow clad Kedar peak and the contrasting lush green of the mustard fields. Chopta, a short drive from the lodge gives one access to sprawling green meadows, earning itself the moniker of ‘Mini Switzerland of India’, the emerald green waters of the high altitude lake at Deoriatal is a serene sight worth travelling any distance to see, the highest Shiva shrine in the world at Tungnath and the panoramic view of the big Himalayan peaks from the summit of Chandrashila are some of the treasures that are interspersed in this beautiful area. Comfortable, cosy and tucked away from the usual tourist trail, the privacy of the Kund mountain lodge is its biggest charm.
The campsite at Deoriatal would probably qualify as one of the most beautiful in the Himalayas. Your comfortable all-weather trekking tents are set up on the banks of the lake with the towering Himalayan peaks overlooking the campsite. There are basic dry pit toilet toilets set up for your comfort and privacy. Our team of guides, cooks and helpers will ensure that the campsite is a perfect blend of adventure and comfort during camping. Piping hot food and help with setting up the camp is available here.
The Jayalgarh riverside camp lies at the edge of the Alaknanda River (www.himalayanecolodges.com/jayalgarh.php). This is the only deluxe campsite here, cut off from the rest of the basic tented accommodations that line the sandy banks of the Ganga closer to Rishikesh. A row of deluxe tents sits on an elevated level, while a short walk down to the river lands you in a private spot to bask in the sun. Comfy lounge chairs dot the beach. Another vantage spot to enjoy the river view is the dining pavilion, which doubles up as a lounge area – perfect to catch up on a book as the river rushes past you.
The food served in all the lodges/camps is home-cooked and tinged with local produce. Find plenty of greens in the menu along with a host of Indian vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes with a Continental/Chinese dish for variety. While on the trek, there would be an interesting array of food keeping in mind the terrain and the need for good nutritious food.
Air/Rail: Use Dehradun as your base if you are landing by air or if travelling by train Haridwar would be the better option. We will arrange for comfortable vehicles to accompany you on the rest of the trip.
Self-Driven Holiday: For the all the hill driving junkies, if you plan to drive through the trip in your own vehicle, we would recommend a driver to assist you as for some of the activities you will need to be dropped in a different spot and picked up from a different spot. With early notice, we could arrange for a driver for your vehicle if required. You will be given detailed directions to get to all the required spots on your trip.
A hearty lunch greets you at Sursingdhar. After settling in, the trip leader takes you through a small briefing on what to expect during the trip, about your surroundings and some safety tips. The afternoon is reserved for an easy introduction to the local flora and fauna with our expert naturalist; he is particularly good with children, ensuring that the walk is not only educative but a fun experience. Even though the activities are optional, it is highly recommended to join in for the rope course activities conducted by our climbing expert. Imagine manoeuvring past small rocky patches with deftness and agility – this is certainly a new outdoor experience you will cherish. As the sun descends behind the mountains, getting the bonfire crackling is your duty – and to get that perfect fire going is quite an art. Some fire secrets whispered into your ears and you will know just how to get one going, through your life. With that, comes the onus of a successful barbeque. While you become the master of the grill, we give you tips from the side-lines. The day ends in stories being shared around the fire in the backdrop of light music and finally retiring to the snug cottages after dinner.
Activities for the day: Nature Walk, Rappelling, Getting a bonfire started, and Barbeque.
The day begins with warming your hands on a warm cup of tea, while a stunning row of Himalayan peaks emerge slowly from behind the clouds. The view is mesmerizing, often ushering guests into a state of speechless bliss. Hiking, navigation and a cookout in the wilderness is the order of the day, with our trekking. We take you through a short-pine filled forested trail to hone your navigational instincts with our Orienteering activity (a navigation-based exercise) – a skill that will take you a long way in the outdoors. Later in the day, a loop around the mountains on a cycle (along with a backup vehicle) keeps you in touch with the crispy mountain air. This is an easy ride, besides the backup vehicle is always there to hop on if your legs give up. The day continues to be packed with instructed outdoor games for children. After an active day in the hills, the only thing one needs is a private karaoke set up to let your hair down.
Activities for the day: Orienteering, Mountain Biking, Outdoor Games at the Camp and Karaoke.
It’s time to leave Sursingdhar, for your next stop, the scenic village of Kund. A drive of 5-6 hours through the winding hilly roads and we are in the Mandakini Valley. After lunch and some relaxation time, it’s time to hit the Mandakini River with our water activities team. Under expert guidance, bridge slithering and river crossing feel less daunting. The day closes as you soak in the success of your tryst with the river.
Activities for the day: Scenic drive into the Mandakini valley, Bridge slithering and River Crossing.
After breakfast we set out on the hike to the beautiful Deoriatal Lake. Based on your inclination to hike, we pick from a shorter trail of 2.5 km (2 hr) or 8 km (6 hr). Village life, wooded trails, lush flora and the backdrop of the Chaukhamba peak keep you company through this trail along with tips from our expert. We will arrive at the lake for lunch and spend the evening in the riveting natural surroundings. The edge of the still waters of the lake and a brilliant 300-degree view of the Himalayan ranges in the distance make for a perfect camping spot in the woods. If you want, there are basic forest rest house rooms that can be used, though, we are sure that you will not want to miss the camping experience. Your expert helps you through campsite selection, technique of setting up tents, building a fire and safe guarding the campsite. This skill is essential for an outdoor enthusiast; something you can boast of through your life. A small games session keeps the energy level of the group amped, until it’s time to sleep under the stars.
Activities for the day: Hiking, Nature Walk, Camping and Outdoor Games.
It’s back on the trail next morning after clearing up the campsite, to Sari village (1 hr from Deoriatal). From here, we drive (45 mins) to the famous ‘Mini-Switzerland of India’, Chopta, known for a variety of avian life. We spend a large part of the day here, either relaxing in the meadows or hiking up to the Tungnath temple, which takes about 4-5 hours to and from the temple. For those of you who like an extra challenge, you can also trek up to Chandrashila, which is another hour from Tungnath temple. Tungnath is the highest Shiva temple in the world. Estimated to be more than 1000 years old, it is rife with history; it is said that the Pandavas of Mahabharata visited the region centuries ago. In the evening, we drive for 75 minutes to reach the mountain lodge in Kund.
Activities for the day: Hiking and Day picnic in the meadows
The last morning at Kund, calls for an absorbing bird watching session with an expert. Both amateur and long-term bird watchers will be awed by the different varieties of avian life near the lodge. This area is home to one of the largest varieties of endemic species of birds and is an absolute delight. After this, we drive down to the Jayalgarh camp, about 2-3 hours from Kund. This day is reserved for all things water – think river rafting, kayaking, duckie rides, cliff jumping and body surfing. All this will be done with our experienced river guides. After an exhausting day in the crystal clear waters of the Alaknanda, a hearty barbeque fare will be perfect to close. Live music keeps you company as the night sky takes over.
Activities for the day: Bird Watching, Rafting, Kayaking, Cliff Jumping, Duckie Rides and Body Surfing.
The trip comes to a close after breakfast, as you prepare to check out. Transfers will be arranged as per prior booking to Haridwar/Dehradun.
Activities for the day: Bird Watching, Rafting, Kayaking, Cliff Jumping, Duckie Rides and Body Surfing.
Your transport (if arranged by us) would be in a comfortable vehicle of your choice and can be arranged from Delhi or Haridwar/Dehradun. Your transport costs (that are mentioned above) are inclusive of all fuel charges, driver charges, state taxes, tolls and permits and are planned as per the itinerary of the trip. In case of any additional usage other than the itinerary there will be additional charges.
As mentioned, you also have the choice of bringing your own vehicle on the trip. It is advised that you have a driver come along as this would let you also enjoy the trip fully rather than worrying about driving from place to place. Also having a driver makes it comfortable to go and return from activity spots as in some cases the drop and pick up points tend to be different. In the lodges/camps, your driver would be provided with stay in a separate tent and can use the staff facilities and they would be provided with the same meals as you at an extra expense of Rs. 1000 per night.
Rishikesh – The cathartic city of ashrams and yoga, Rishikesh is just round the corner on this trail. In fact, it is the gateway into Garhwal – it works as a brilliant starting point for the Char Dham yatra and an adventure trail in the lower Himalayas. Plan ahead to add a day or more here. Feeding flour dough balls to the fish from Lakshman and Ram Jhoola bridges, eating at the famous Chotiwala restaurant or watching the evening aarti at the Parmarth Niketan Ashram, this detour is worth your while. If you are not on a spirituality quest, then just hang out at the riverside cafes with a relaxed bohemian vibe. It won’t be long before you are drawn to one with the sound of a didgeridoo.
Haridwar – Another mystical spiritual city on this trail, is Haridwar. The many temples by the river, a dip at the holy ghats and the evening aarti are the highlights of the city. Try the Udan Khatola (cable car ride) to Mansa Devi and Chandi Devi temples, apart from the hundreds that are strewn in the periphery. There are a number of ashrams if spiritual travel is on your list. Of the many, the most popular ones are Shanti Kunj, Prem Nagar, Maa Anandmayi Ashram and Saptarishi. Haridwar serves as the closest rail head into Garhwal.
Mussoorie – A hill station that is synonymous to well-known author, Ruskin Bond, Mussoorie is perfect for a short detour. Roam on the Mall road, watch the evening lights of Dehradun come on and if you are lucky, see the famous orange winter line that segregates the blue evening sky and the deep dark valley in the evening. Mussoorie is rife with hill station favourites like horse riding, scenic viewpoints and shopping for colourful woollens on the Mall Road. Our favourite thing to do here is to drop into Cambridge Bookstore on Mall Road, on Saturday evenings, when Ruskin Bond comes down to sign books for an hour. Also, do drop in at Lovely Omelette Centre and Chick Chocolate for some mouth-watering goodies.
Rajaji National Park – To be ushered into a world of more than 500 elephants, 12 tigers, 250 panthers and other jungle occupants like spotted deer, sambhar, wild boar, barking deer, goral, bears and a large species of birds, do not miss a chance to visit the Rajaji National Park. Safaris are available at specific timings that can be booked ahead. Even if you do not want to stay here for a night, the safaris are time well spent.
Corbett National Park – As one leaves the plains and heads towards the meandering hills of Kumaon, an assuming and inconspicuous little village welcomes you to one of the most significant wildlife destinations of India. The Jim Corbett National Park spreads majestically for over 500 kilometres from the village of Chota Haldwani, home to the hunter turned conversationalist for decades. His erstwhile house, which was later turned into a museum, is a charming reminder of the achievements of Jim Corbett, as he abated the village from the threat of man eating tigers, a species, far from endangerment at that time. Legendary tales emanate from the pictures and books in this simplistic but charming reminder of that marvellous era. The national park is one of the most widely visited destinations by nature enthusiast and educationalists. Safaris, trekking trails, bird watching and wildlife appreciation are the most significant offerings made by the park authorities.
Mountain/adventure travel requires one to be adequately equipped with the right kind of personal gear. Since one is travelling in the wilderness there will be hardly any opportunity to buy anything once you start the trip so we urge you to carefully pack everything into your bags.
LOADS OF ENTHUSIASM!! AND A PLEDGE TO LEAVE NO TRACE
Carry your stuff in a duffel bag, soft shoulder bag or a rucksack. Avoid suitcases, trolleys or any other hard luggage. As you will be walking long distances carrying a rucksack, avoid bringing unnecessary items on the trip. Please avoid carrying expensive watches, jewellery and electronic items on the trip.
Great Indian Outdoors (P) Ltd. takes utmost care to ensure safety of its clients. However in the case of any unforeseen mishaps, Great Indian Outdoors (P) Ltd. will not be liable for any injuries caused or for loss of life. All disputes rising due to the above are subject to the jurisdiction of the courts in New Delhi/Delhi only. All participants would be required to sign an Indemnity Form before the start of the program, without which they would not be allowed to take part in the trip/program/activities.
7Days | Jan-Jun, Sep-Dec | Sursingdhar + Kund + Deoriatal + Jayalgarh | 5 Families
DAY 1: SURSINGDHAR [Nature Walk, Rappelling, Getting a bonfire started, and Barbeque]
DAY 2: SURSINGDHAR [Orienteering, Mountain Biking, Outdoor Games at the Camp and Karaoke]
DAY 3: SURSINGDHAR KUND [Scenic drive into the Mandakini valley, Bridge slithering and River Crossing]
DAY 4: KUND DEORIATAL [Hiking, Nature Walk, Camping and Outdoor Games]
DAY 5: DEORIATAL CHOPTA KUND [Hiking and Day picnic in the meadows]
DAY 6: KUND JAYALGARH [Bird Watching, Rafting, Kayaking, Cliff Jumping, Duckie Rides and Body Surfing]
DAY 7: DEPARTURE [Bird Watching, Rafting, Kayaking, Cliff Jumping, Duckie Rides and Body Surfing]
This trip ushers you into the world of the lower Himalayas quaint villages, deep green valleys, stunning view of rough craggy peaks of Nanda Devi, Neelkanth, Kamet, Trishul, Chaukhamba, Kedarnath and Banderpoonch, bright green vegetable fields, gurgling rivers and local life. While Sursingdhar boasts of magnificent views and proximity to the intriguing emerald waters of Tehri Lake, Kund is steeped in the spiritual vibe of the Mandakini Valley. In Jayalgarh, its all about unwinding by the river. Though the atmospheric destinations engulf you in their relaxed vibe, the activities planned are the biggest takeaway for an active vacationer! Look forward to treks, nature walks, rafting, cliff jumping and much more.
|Region||Uttarakhand - Garhwal,Uttarakhand|