The local communities surrounding Nanda Devi hope to conduct tourism in the region following the social responsibility and sustainability guidelines set down in their historic declaration of October 14, 2001. We hope that our small efforts will set an example for the rest of the Himalayan region in placing social justice, environmental balance, and cultural enrichment at the centre of the tourist trade.
Below you will find some of the sample packages that are being developed by Mountain Shepherds. Please contact Sunil Kainthola to plan your trip or to suggest other ideas for special treks.
You and your thoughts, a couple of hundred sheep and Himalayan meadows
Have you ever wondered where the warm woolens you slip into when it gets cold outside come from? They could have come from sheep that graze in the high meadows of the Niti Valley. For centuries shepherds from these villages have taken their flocks up into the mountains to graze on sweet meadow grass. For $10 a day, you can share this unique experience. To understand the delicate precision of herding hundreds of sheep over several kilometres, the special care of the fluffy white lambs tucked into jacket pockets and shoulder bags, to be part of the gentle rhythms of centuries of movement… could be the experience of a lifetime.
May to September
You would have to register with us in advance to enable us to assign you to a group of shepherds. Not more than two visitors are permitted per group. Pick up from Joshimath by the shepherd.
The Nanda Devi Temple Trail
You know how it is when you come up to the mountains, how sometimes your perspective changes and how humbling it all is? How small and insignificant man appears and how massive and endless the mountains and the rivers seem. Our Shradha package is the passage to a new consciousness. To maybe understand these mountains better ad glimpse the life they give sanctuary to.
The Nanda Devi temple in Lata is several hundred years old. We invite you on a special trek where you will bathe in hot sulphur springs, walk through miles of forests, and be blessed by our local deities.
Pick up at Joshimath
Ponies available upon request.
Bicycling at 12,000 feet in the remote Niti Valley
With every muscle straining and the only respite the cool breeze in your face you finally clear the gently uphill climb. Everywhere you look is a carefully composed frame, the composition is just so, the light just that golden and the air crisp and keen. You stop for a while and then you’re on the road again. What looks like the end of the road ahead is just another bend and as you take it another panorama unfolds and just as you thought it couldn’t get better than that last frame, this one takes your breath away. You get off your bike again, just for a few moments, you promise yourself and then you’ll make it to that village some miles away…
Our Footprints on Wheels package offers you the rare opportunity to combine the good old-fashioned exercise with a holiday in the extraordinary Himalaya. It is an adventure of sunrises and bird song, snow capped mountains and deep valleys. You can take as many days as you like.
THIS ITINERARY IS IN THE PLANNING STAGE.
The route will be from either Joshimath or Tapovan to Malari.
Joshimath to Malari, 4 days
Tapovan to Malari, 3 days
Your return journey can be by bicycle or by conveyance arranged by Mountain Shepherds.
An invitation to discover our Nanda Devi
For us Nanda Devi is much more than a peak… These mountains are sacred, a land of fairies. And like Nanda who is the daughter of the Himalaya, we consider ourselves the children of these mountains. We would like you to accompany us on our jungle paths on a special expedition — for a good long look at Nanda Devi. Then Nanda we see when we look out over our valleys and see her, pure and luminous white. Revel in her mellow benevolence and feel her magic, the magic that is our strength and our inspiration. The Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve is rich in flora and fauna. Experience its unique biodiversity on this special pilgrimage that takes you right up to the boundary of the core zone.
Pick up at Joshimath
|Day one||Joshimath to Bhelta (at 8,000 ft)|
|Day two||Bhelta to Lathi Kharak (at 12,400 ft)|
|Day three||Lathi Kharak to the vantage point (at 14,500 ft)|
|Day four||Back to Lata and Joshimath|
Tents and sleeping bags on an individual or sharing basis.
Walk with Gaura Devi
You are a woman and you have a mind of your own. You stand up against what is wrong and stand with what is right. Your ideals match our own — you share our history. And we have an exclusive invitation for you — to be our special guest. There is no package, there are no deals. You can come when you want and stay for as long as you want. Your safety is our promise. This is the land of Gaura Devi. She was the quiet inspiration behind the Chipko movement and is the enduring strength of our community’s many struggles. We invite you to discover her, somewhere along the banks of the Dhauli Ganga, or in a brilliant sunrise or in the soft light of the stars. Or maybe in you.
Every roadside village is geared to meet your requirements. Private rooms will be available in traditional stone and wood houses. Special care has been taken to ensure your comfort.
Spend a day or a week in a rented mountain home or even a whole village
A unique feature of the Niti Valley is that most of its occupants live in at least two villages at various times of the year. In summer they leave their lower villages, still at an imposing 5,000 to 6,000 feet and make their way up with their cattle to their homes in the high alpine pastures. For many months these beautiful villages remain empty. Our Reaching Higher package offers you a Bhotiya home or even an entire village on hire. The spirit of sharing that has allowed the Bhotiya community to flourish despite overwhelming odd over the years might inspire you and your team to reach new highs.
Options for corporates include:
Refresher courses or retreats