North India Cultural Tour – Villages, Wildlife, Artisans, & Himalayan Homestays

Cultural Tour

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    This tour is provided by

    The Folk Tales

    The Folk Tales

    We know the villages and communities we work with inside and out. We have done the tours multiple times before, ensuring that you get an enjoyable experience, and make the best use of your time. Quite naturally, many travelers return to India many times to travel with us.

    We have created lasting relationships with the communities and have gathered many interesting stories that we are happy to share with you on the tours. The experiences we design for you are unique, affordable, and meticulously planned.

    • 11 Days
    • Max people: 15
    • Kathgodam

    This custom tour of the Himalayan foothills takes you around the Kumaon region, often called the fruit bowl of the Himalayas for its orchards of peach, plum, apricot, apple and wild berries that are local to this region. While you travel to offbeat locations, we ensure that you are safe, have a comfortable stay in the homestays with the families, and get memorable experiences whether you are solo, couple, family, a small group or seniors.

    Itinerary

    Day 1Arrive Kathgodam

    Experience the charm of travelling in an Indian train. Your train departs early morning and breakfast is served on board. Sit back and enjoy the ride as you zip past beautiful farms and small towns that already begin to get you a flavor of India outside of its big cities.

    Your private car at Kathgodam will receive and take you to your onward destination – Bhimtal. Arrive at the heritage bungalow surrounded by farms, oak trees and a river down the valley. Rest of the day will be available at leisure.

    Activities –

    • Guided walk in a Himalayan village with storytelling on local cultural beliefs.

    Meals: B, D | Stay: Homestay

    Day 2Cultural experience – Farming, and local dances & songs

    Wake up to the birdcalls and dew drenched leaves. Spend the day today working in an organic farm with the family. Activities –

    1. Learn about the organic farming practices in this region.
    2. Depending upon the season, get involved in sowing or harvesting with the locals.
    3. See how dairy farming is done with production of cheese.
    4. Bring back your own collection of vegetables from the farm, and learn a few recipes of Kumaon.
    5. Evening with the local musicians as they sing Himalayan tunes.

    Meals: B, D | Stay: Homestay

    Day 3Bhimtal – Chaukori

    Drive to Chaukori for overnight stay. You will already begin to the see the lofty snowcapped peaks, to the north of which lies Tibet.

    Meals: B, D | Stay: Homestay

    Day 4Chaukori – Munsiyari

    Drive through the roads less travelled and see beautiful confluence of Himalayan glacier fed rivers as you approach Munsiyari situated at the base of Panchchuli hills. Arrive by afternoon with rest of the day available at leisure to settle down with the family or explore the neighborhood on your own.

    Meals: B, D | Stay: Homestay

    Day 5Munsiyari

    It is a joy to wake up with the snow peaks looming up and visible from your bedroom window, and tea brewing up over wood fire. Spend the day today knowing how the communities and forest depend on each other. Activities –

    1. Natural history tour with local flora and fauna.
    2. Visit a women co-operative.
    3. Tour of the houses with local architecture called the ‘Likhai craft

      Meals: B, D | Stay: Homestay

    Days 6 & 7Munsiyari

    We involve you with the daily lives of the locals where you support a family in their work. The activities may completely depend upon the season or the festival calendar followed in this part of the world. Activities –

    1. Bamboo basket making.
    2. Weaving of carpets from wool.
    3. Juice making from flower petals.
    4. Cattle rearing.
    5. Helping a family with cooking or weeding in a farm.
    6. Fodder and firewood collection.
    7. Wood carving demonstration.
    8. Community gathering with music and storytelling.
    9. Local festivals or community celebrations such as Holi (Indian festival of colors).

    Meals: B, D | Stay: Homestay

    Day 8Munsiyari – Binsar

    Drive down to the Binsar wildlife sanctuary which is home to only five villages with few houses each. Arrive by evening. The British once used Himalayan foothills as their summer holiday destinations. There are many old British bungalows in the region which are now owned by Indian families. During the next few days, experience living in once such bungalow in the Binsar wildlife sanctuary. Today, you arrive by evening, with rest of the day at leisure.

    Meals: B, D | Stay: Homestay

    Day 9 Binsar

    Binsar was once the capital of Chand kings who ruled over this region between 11th and 18th centuries. It was later established as a conservation project for broad leaf oak. The sanctuary is home to mammals such as leopard, musk deer, Himalayan goral, jungle cat, wild boar, gray langur, macaque and flying squirrel. You also see many bird species such as parakeets, kalij pheasant, monal, woodpeckers, eagles, Eurasian jays, forktail and blackbirds. Activities –

    1. Walking safari of the sanctuary with a naturalist.

    Meals: B, D | Stay: Homestay

    Day 10Day tour of Jageshwa

    Jageshwar is a historic site of a group of 7th century Shaivite temples made of stone. Many smaller stone temples are dedicated to lord Vishnu, Shakti and Surya traditions of Hinduism. It is surrounded by stunning and massive deodar trees. Activities –

    1. Guided tour of the Jageshwar temples and surrounding smaller temples.
    2. Visit the festivals during monsoon and Mahashivratri for traditional celebrations.

    Meals: B, D | Stay: Homestay

    Day 11Departure

    Drive to Kathgodam for onward journey.

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