Rustik Travel

Kumaon Experience

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  • Kumaon Experience
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  • Kumaon Experience
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While Garhwal region of the Himalayas is known for its tremendous beauty at high altitude, Kumaon is known for its beauty at lower altitudes thanks to the lush and unbroken greenery, tall oak and pine trees and dense forests. That makes is a perfect getaway for a weekend or short durations. Mukteshwar is perfect because it isn’t too remote, yet feels almost like you have the entire landscape to yourself. The apple orchards and in the distance, views of some of the most prominent ranges in the greater Himalayas are a stunner- Mt Trishul, Mt Nanda Devi, Mt Pancha Chuli form a beautiful backdrop.

Just living is not enough…one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.

Hans Christian Andersen

Overview

  • Destination: Uttarakhand
  • Location: Binsar, Mukteshwar, Kumaon
  • Nearest City (Airport): Pantnagar
  • Nearest City (Railway Station): Kathgodam/Haldwani
  • Dates: On request
  • Level: Easy to Moderate
  • Guide: Available
  • Price: On request

Experience


There are many offbeat options in and around Mukteshwar. Stay options include local homestays in the village that will give you a very authentic local flavour. You can also opt to stay in a local family run resort that is in the middle of an apple orchard, the family have now started organic farming as well, so whatever you eat there has been freshly and organically grown at that orchard itself.

TREKS:

Binsar:

1) Short Hikes
a) Leopard Cave (2 km): This is a nearby leopard cave where sometimes leopard can be spotted using a good binoculars or a camera.
b) Raut Village Walks (7 km): This is a beautiful village uphill, from where the Himalayas Peak could be seen clearly. Tourist can stay or eat in the village as guest.
c) Jandidhar – Britishers flag peak (6 km): This is a peak which was frequented by the Britishers and hoisted a flag and hence, Jhandi(flag) dhar(peak). Himalayas and Nepal range can be explored atop this peak.

2)Long Hikes
a) Jageshwar hike (13 km): This is a most beautiful hike which passes through dense deodar forests up to the Jageshwar group of temples. Around 5 small villages fall on this hike with beautiful old Kumauni styled houses and the community is guest welcoming too. Tourists could stay as guest in their houses and experience a lifestyle of real Kumaun.
b) Ghodiya Top (26 km): This again is a beautiful hike amidst forests and small villages. As it take too long to be covered in a day, we usually camp in the forest or stay in the villages as guests for a day or so. This is beautiful peak from where tourist can explore Himalayas and Nepal ranges.

Mukteshwar:

1) The trek to Thakoor top(2,450 m/8,100 ft) which is the highest point in the region and is naturally a beautiful vantage point (Please refer the itinerary).
2) There is also the option to trek to a 1200 year old Shiva temple- this trek goes through very dense forests and has very beautiful stone carvings.
3) There is also a short trek to Bhalugaad waterfall.
4) These can also be done as evening/night trek.

Pindari Glacier Trek:
One of the most scenic treks in the Kumaon region. Popular amongst kids and first time trekkers (Please refer the itinerary).

PHOTOGRAPHY, BIRD WATCHING AND STAR GAZING:
The landscape and its flora and fauna and clear night skies also make it a great place for photographers, bird watching enthusiasts and star gazers. The orchard has a purpose built observation point for this.

CYCLING:
Ranging from simple trails through villages to more serious ones through forests. Ranging from 10 km to 30 km trails in the vicinity.

CULTURAL IMMERSION:
a) Village walks: We have arranged village walks to sensitize tourists about the Kumaun villages and their culture by attending local fairs and ceremonies.
b) Traditional Music and dance: We also arrange traditional music ceremonies at night both on our resort and in the villages according to the tourists need.
c) Basi: This is a local shamanism still prevalent in this society which could be attended by the tourists. It involves bon-fire, music, dances and a lot of praying.
d) Chachri: This is a local group dance with songs sung by the female to the male counterparts expressing their emotions and the male counsels his female counterpart with a reply through a song.

VOLUNTEERING:
We can also arrange volunteering work in the villages nearby. Those interested can help villagers in the farms or be of some assistance at local schools. All this to add to the authentic Kumaon flavour.

Some of the Volunteering Activities:
a) Hill Organic farming: Tourists help the local hill farmers in their farm works during cultivation and harvesting season. This again is a musical affair as women sing songs while working in the farms in groups.
b) Share the skills: Tourists can teach their skills to the nearby government primary or secondary school. This is a positive impact as these schools are always short on appointed school teachers.
c) Cooking lessons: We believe recipes and the food says a lot about the culture and environment of the place. Therefore, we have open kitchen to teach unique Kumauni cuisines to the tourists with local ingredients and learn their cuisines as well to develop new recipes.
d) Sustainable construction: Our property is always building something or the other and we ask our tourist to join the recent construction work or create something sustainable on their own to work on by all of us like mud houses, bottle houses, kitchen spaces etc.

Itinerary

KUMAON TREK ITINERARIES

ITINERARY 1 - Thakoor Top Trek: 4D/3N / Total Trek Distance : 16 km. Level: Easy
A perfect Kumaoni trek with lots of greenery and variety of trees throughout. Very much untouched and unknown for being too good to be a short trek. Meant for those who love walking in very dense forest and pure wilderness. The feeling of adventure and thrill is there throughout with some challenging ascents on the summit day. Variety of mushrooms can be found in this particular trek during right season. This trek is meant for any first timers in trekking who would experience about this outdoor activity for the first time, across age groups. One could shorten or extend the trip as per your convenience. The starting point of this trek is a beautiful town named Chaffi which is a 30 km drive from very popular railway station Kathgodam via Bhimtal.
Day 1 / Chaffi (1,400 m/4,600 ft)
Arrive at our camp by evening. A short walk to the village nearby. Enjoy Camp and river. Bonfire followed by Dinner. Overnight stay at Chaffi.
Day 2 / Chaffi - Aghan (1,707 m/5,600 ft). 8 KM/6 hrs
After Breakfast trek along Kalsa river for quite some time then you walk through beautiful pine forest and later through oak and rhododendron forest gradually ascending and descending. Have packed lunch near Kalsa river. Aghan is a beautiful place in the mid of a jungle. Where Mr. Chintamani and his father stays… one can enjoy their stories during the Bonfire. You can see Thakoor top from here. Overnight stay at Aghan.
Day 3 / Aghan - Thakoor Top (2,450 m/8,100 ft.) - Chipa (2,133 m/7,000 ft.) 8 km/Trek 7 hrs. 8 kms drive to Resort in Mukteshwar (2,210 m/7,250 ft)
You will start early today. Enjoy the wilderness and calmness in the midst of the forest as you trek through beautiful rhododendron and oak forest. There some section of very narrow trails and after crossing last strenuous stretch you will reach Thakoor Top. Magnificent astonishing views welcome you at the top. You get to see the major section of the trail you have been walking through from last two days but of course you can’t see the trail while walking because it’s covered with very thick forest. However, you will be able to spot the campsite at Aghan, which will appear a speck. From the top you can spot major towns of Kumaon and you will be able to see the major peaks of Garhwal region - Nandadevi, Maiktoli, Trishul, Nandaghunti, and many more. You would also be able to spot mountains of Panchachuli range which lies in the Uttarakhand and Nepal border. After spending sometime at the top you will descend to Cheepa. From here you will be driven to the resort in Mukteshwar.
Day 4 / Depart
ITINERARY 2 - Pindari Glacier Trek: 8D/7N
Pindari glacier is found in the upper reaches of the Kumaon Himalayas, to the southeast of Nanda Devi, Nanda Kot. The glacier flows to the south for about 3 km and gives rise to the Pindari River. The glacier trail provides for a 90 km round trip trek that can be done in 6-7 days easily . The main peaks near the glacier are Nandakot (6,880 m), Nandakhat (6,611m), Pawalidwar (6,663 m), Balijuri (5,922m) and Changuch (6,322 m).
Day 1 / Bageshwar (1,004 m/3,293 ft)
Drive from Kathgodam to Bageshwar.
Day 2 / Bageshwar to Loharkhet (1,565 m/5,135 ft): 40 km by car, 3 km trek
Day 3 / Loharkhet to Khati (2,210 m/7,293 ft): 19 km trek
Khati is the largest village on this route and is situated on the banks of the Pinder Ganga.The people here are extremely hospitable and legend has it that they are the descendents of the race who provided shelter to the Pandavas during their exile.
Day 4 / Khati to Phurkia (3,206 m/14,300 ft): 16 km trek
Along the way there are many a waterfalls and long bridges to be crossed. As you cross Dwali, the barren icy peaks seem to be your only companions for the day.
Day 5 / Phurkia to Zero Point (3,900 m/12,870 ft) – Dwali (2,575 m/8,498 ft): 12 km trek
Today is an early start as it is a 7 km trek each way. reach zero point from where the Pindari glacier can be viewed in all its magnificence. Visit Pilot Baba's ashram along the way. The Pinder valley is also prominent with its patches of lush greenery over the stark white landscape.
Day 6 / Dwali to Dhakuri (2,680 m/8,844 ft): 19 km trek
Day 7 / Dhakuri to Bageshwar (14 km trek, 40 km by bus)
Day 8 / Depart

Inclusions

Inclusions

  • Accommodation & meals with a local flavour.
  • All meals with a local flavour. At the orchard, all vegetables are grown fresh and organic within the orchard itself. Food & Beverages during the trek: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Tea etc. (Multi cuisine veg/non-veg prepared by well trained cooks).
  • Activities including trekking, cycling, volunteering.
  • Camping & Trekking equipments including tents, sleeping bag, carry mat, dining tent, toilet tent, hot water bottles, gas heater (when needed),
  • Personally trained professional guides, cook, porter/ponies to carry equipment as well as personal luggage.
  • Forest entry and permits wherever needed.
  • Ground support from an experienced team of adventurers.
  • Comfortable trek facilities.

Exclusions

  • Transport- arranged based on your budget and transport mode preferences.
  • Any medical expenses, evacuation etc.
  • Any kind of Insurance.
  • Any cost of personal nature, tips etc.
  • GST.
  • Items not mentioned in the inclusions.

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