Trip Type : Group Tour
Monument of Delhi Temple-india-4051748-1920-P

Eco India- Group Tour

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Travel Style: You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level: Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level: 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
9 days
From: $ 3,253 $ 361 / day
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Overview

Highlights

  • Wander the verdant jungles of Binsar and identify different bird calls.
  • Sit under the stars and swap stories around a bonfire in the Himalayan wilderness.
  • Stay at eco-friendly lodges and learn the farming lifestyles of local communities.

Short Description

This 9 day group tour is especially designed for an eco-friendly, low-impact visit to some of the most pristine and undisturbed areas of the magnificent Himalayas.

Groups are between 25-60 people, typically ~30-40. Usually there will be many opportunities to split off and enjoy meals and excursions in smaller groups. This is the most economical way to travel, saving up to 40% versus booking the same itinerary yourself.
Trip Type Group Tour
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Lodging Level Premium - 4 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City Delhi
End City Delhi
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Itinerary

Day 1: Delhi

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Jaypee Vasant Continental

Arrive at Delhi airport and transfer to hotel

Welcome to India! You will be met by our guest ambassador at the arrival area of the airport after you clear the immigration and custom formalities.

Leave the airport and be privately transferred to your hotel, where you will check in for your stay.

Delhi stands as the capital of Modern India. Here you can see the mingling of the Old and New India, the ancient and the modern. Delhi is made up of seven ancient cities, spanning the period from the 11th to 20th centuries. Delhi has seen the rise and fall of many emperors, which has left behind a plethora of monuments that commemorate the grandeur and glory of bygone ages. Very few cities in the world can express such a profusion of architectural styles.

Day 2: Delhi

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Jaypee Vasant Continental

Half day eco-tour of Delhi (group)

This walking tour is an engaging exploration of the ‘garden-to-table’ concept, within the throngs of a fast-moving capital. Begin with a foraging experience in the heart Delhi; the concept may seem startling amidst a dusty capital, but Lodhi Gardens are a widely revered sanctuary of green gardens, open pathways and breathtaking trees- a true succour to the urban eyes. Here you will learn about the edible produce in the area, and forage in the plant nursery. A plethora of herbs and vegetables are devotedly tended to by dedicated and experienced gardeners. After this, you will continue to 'Perch'; this is a sustainable restaurant where chefs will prepare a family style meal for you, using the freshly harvested ingredients and tantalising regional spices.

Afternoon half-day sightseeing tour of New Delhi (group)

Spend a fascinating afternoon visiting various New Delhi landmarks, many of which tell the story of recent history. Firstly, Qutub Minar, a historical minaret tower dating back to 1199, then onto Humayun's tomb. This tomb, built by emperor Humayun's wife (who is buried on the grounds) is regarded as an example of the early Mughal architecture. The structure is the first of its kind - the combination of white marble and red sandstone was a great influence on later Mughal architecture. It is generally regarded as a prototype of the famed Taj Mahal of Agra.

Your drive takes you along the ceremonial avenue, Rajpath, past the imposing India Gate - standing 42m high it is an "Arc-de-Triomphe" like Archway in the middle of a crossroad. It commemorates the 70,000 Indian soldiers who lost their lives fighting for the British Army during the First World War and bears the names of more than 13,500 British and Indian soldiers killed in the North-western Frontier in the Afghan war of 1919.

Next onto President House. The palatial building built on an area of 330 acres has a private garden designed by the illustrious Lutyens, as the official residence of the Viceroy of India during British reign. It is is now the official residence of the First Citizen. Finally, the Parliament House, which is a symbol of Indian democracy.

Day 3: Binsar

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Accommodation: Grand Oak Manor

Train transfer from Delhi to Kathgodam

Hop aboard a train which will take you from Delhi to the Kathgodam city, right at the foot of the stunning shivalik hills.

Estimated journey time: 6 hours and 30 minutes.

Transfer from Kathgodam to Binsar (group)

You will be welcomed at Kathgodam railway station and driven up to the highlands of Binsar.

Estimated journey time: 4 hours.

Bird watching at Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary (group)

This is one of the few wildlife sanctuaries in northern India that offers enchanting safaris on foot, accompanied by staggering panoramic views of the Himalayas. Steeped in dense forests, this haven is home to century old oak and pine trees, blooming flowers and verdant rhododendrons. The forest boasts over 250 species of birds and varied animal life; it is a true getaway for those who are seeking to connect with nature and experience it up close.

Visit the Panchachuli Women Weavers (group)

Stop over to the meet the Panchachuli Women Weavers of Kumaon, who knit premium handloom products that the area is known for. Traditionally, the inhabitants of this high-altitude region were trans Himalayan traders and had socio-economic ties with Tibet. The matriarch of the Johar Sauka community, Rukmini Devi, inspired the women living in the lowlands near Almora to learn the fine art of spinning and weaving. Years of intensive training followed by reviving the trade with Tibet resulted in the formation of a 350-women-strong NGO. Today, the NGO is helping bring positive change to the lives of women in the area with this traditional craft form.

Dinner under the stars of Binsar

When evening comes around, you'll have likely worked up quite the appetite! Tonight, you'll eat a traditionally cooked feast around the crackling bonfire under a starry night sky. Exchange stories with fellow travellers with the nocturnal calls of the jungle surrounding you. The food is organically grown and cultivated from nearby gardens, making these provincial flavours all the more appetising. Following the meal, enjoy a peaceful rest back at the jungle retreat.

Day 4: Jageshwar

Meals included: Breakfast and Dinner

Accommodation: Van Serai Forest Lodge

Walk to the ancient Jageshwar Valley (group)

After a fortifying breakfast amidst the beautiful woodland of Binsar, gear up for an unforgettable hike to the Jageshwar Valley. You'll be retracing an ancient pilgrim route, passing through verdant forests, luscious green terrace farms and beguiling local villages. The trek itself is predominately downhill, totalling to about 4 hours with a break for lunch too. On the way you may even spot deer, porcupines, pine martens, and monkeys, alongside woodpeckers, eagles and vultures.

Reaching Jageshwar Valley is an experience in itself, and you can empathise with the soul-stirring feeling that Shiva pilgrims have on their arrival. This spiritual place is home to one of the oldest temples in human civilisation. The 10th century temple complex in the village boasts dizzying views of a sculpted valley and Himalayan mountain tops ahead. You will rest in a stunning eco-lodge, set amidst dense cedar and pine forests, and a beautiful example of traditional Kumaoni architecture.

Day 5: Jageshwar

Meals included: Breakfast and Dinner

Accommodation: Van Serai Forest Lodge

Yoga in the Himalayas (group)

Start your morning with a revitalising yoga session. You'll be positioned by the tranquil Jata Ganga stream, which flows through Jageshwar valley. Stretch and breathe to the calming sounds of the water and forest, and gaze at the staggering views of the mountains.

Visit a herb garden and Archaeology Museum (group)

Spend the whole day exploring the emerald valleys, dotted with natural pools and ancient caves. The chiseled lowlands and cascading streams are a delight to discover. You'll encounter a quaint herbal garden, and gain an insight into the indigenous varieties of rare herbs and wild medicinal plants. Continue to the fascinating Archaeology Museum, which shelters ancient idols from Jageshwar Dham. The artifacts are dated between the 9th and 13th century. The museum is a must-see for historic iconography buffs, however, even if this isn't your specialism, you will be mesmerised by the intricately carved statues. On the deities and hill people, there is considerable refinement and human emotion. All have been well preserved over time and offer a compelling contextual backdrop to the valley itself.

Day 6: Bhimtal

Meals included: Breakfast and Dinner

Accommodation: Juniper Homestay

Transfer from Jageshwar Valley to Bhimtal (group)

Enjoy a land transfer from Jageshwar Valley to Bhimtal; on the way you'll be treated to splendid mountain scenery.

Estimated transfer time: 3 hours and 30 minutes.

Visit the Butterfly Man of India (group)

This engrossing session is spent with Peter Smetacek, otherwise known as the ‘Butterfly Man of India’. His much adored butterfly museum and research centre houses a captivating collection of unique butterflies and moths; he has committed much of his life to the conservation and investigation of Lepidopteran communities and forest ecosystems. After wandering around the centre, you will be lead by Peter into the surrounding area; spot radiant species of butterfly and learn more about their biodiversity.

Day 7: Bhimtal

Meals included: Breakfast

Accommodation: Juniper Homestay

Full-day visit to a Himalayan farm (group)

In the morning, you'll head out to the nearby village, Jangalia Gaon, which is perched at an altitude of 5500 feet above sea level. One you reach the village farm, you'll get your hands dirty and delve into some farming! Gain a first hand insight into the rural life of this small Himalayan hamlet as you help a family with their daily chores, like fruit plucking, tending to the cattle, or ploughing the fields in the traditional way – using bulls and a wooden plough.

Leave your 'Green Mark' in the Himalayas by planting a tree in the village, which has suffered a negative impact of deforestation caused by economic burdens. Lunchtime is a real feast today. You'll be served simple yet delicious Kumaoni cuisine made with organic produce sourced from the farm itself. There's nothing like tasting the food of the land around you, cooked traditionally.

Post lunch, lounge around the farm or go for a light stroll, keeping your eye out for rare Himalayan birds. The farm also shelters a brilliant social project, Himalayan Hamlets, which strives to bring about socio-economic progress for the locals through Responsible Village Tourism initiatives. We recommend spending some time understanding and studying the working model of this great initiative, and asking questions along the way.

Day 8: Delhi

Meals: Breakfast

Accommodation: Jaypee Vasant Continental

Transfer from Bhimtal to Kathgodam railway station (group)

Enjoy the drive from Bhimtal to Kathgodam railway station.

Estimated transfer time: 1 hour.

Train transfer from Kathgodam to Delhi

Enjoy a scenic train journey from the Himalayan foothills of Kathgodam to the bustling capital, Delhi.

Estimated transfer time: 5 hours and 40 minutes.

Transfer from Delhi train station to hotel (group)

This is a quick transfer from Delhi train station to your hotel.

Estimated transfer time: 40 minutes-1 hour, traffic dependant.

Day 9: No Locations for This Day

Transfer from Delhi hotel to Airport

After breakfast, check-out from your hotel and enjoy a timely transfer to the airport, and board flight for onward destination. Our local experts will ensure you arrive in plenty of time.

Estimated transfer time: 30 minutes- 1 hour, traffic dependant.

Availability

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Price From $ 3,253
Price Per Day: $ 361 per day
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Eco India- Group Tour

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an amazing tour of India

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It's been a few months since we returned from an amazing tour of India. Thanks to Nutan and the folks at Travel Local/Story of India our trip was spectacular. Our first rate tour guides were friendly and knowledgeable about the sites we saw. The company even helped us when travel got tricky, and we needed to change from a train to car ride. It was a great experience from planning just the right places to visit beforehand, to the time in the country. I would recommend Travel Local to all my friends, it was a great experience. Thank you TravelLocal!
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We had an amazing 2 week honeymoon in India

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We had an amazing 2 week honeymoon in India travelling around Delhi, Agra and Rajasthan. TravelLocal helped us plan the itinerary with their local contacts and ensured it was tailored to the type of trip and accomodation we wanted. They also made many good recommendations about the trip as we were travelling in the low season where temperatures can be high at times. The actual trip was perfect and everything ran like clockwork making our travelling and sightseeing a breeze. The accomodation was amazingly luxurious and a highlight was a homestay they recommended staying with an Indian family and becoming part of their family for a few days. A once in a lifetime trip that was perfectly planned and executed with the help of TravelLocal. Thank you.
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We travelled to India with TravelLocal. We had a great experience of both booking and the holiday itself. I love the concept of having a local tour provider advising us on itinerary and looking after us when we were away. They were so professional and knowledgeable. It was important to feel that the company was approved by TravelLocal - otherwise we wouldn't have known where to start. The price was extremely competitive and the service was outstanding. We had a great time and I would definitely use TravelLocal again.
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The accomodation was amazingly luxurious and a highlight was a homestay

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We had an amazing 2 week honeymoon in India travelling around Delhi, Agra and Rajasthan. TravelLocal helped us plan the itinerary with their local contacts and ensured it was tailored to the type of trip and accomodation we wanted. They also made many good recommendations about the trip as we were travelling in the low season where temperatures can be high at times. The actual trip was perfect and everything ran like clockwork making our travelling and sightseeing a breeze. The accomodation was amazingly luxurious and a highlight was a homestay they recommended staying with an Indian family and becoming part of their family for a few days. A once in a lifetime trip that was perfectly planned and executed with the help of TravelLocal. Thank you.
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We had an amazing experience

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We had an amazing experience travelling through Vietnam and Cambodia organized through Travellocal. It was the best possible experience having local guides... They made the trip! Our tour manager really made an effort to get to know us through emails while in the booking/ organizing process; therefore we had the perfect, tailor made trip. The payment process was easy as well.
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Details

Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Group Size:

Intimate Group - 12 max

Accomodations

Jaypee Vasant Continental

The five star Jaypee Vasant Continental hotel is a tribute to the cosmopolitan culture of New Delhi, conveniently located near the capital's places of interest. It is considered one of the finest boutique hotels in the city, offering a perfect place to rest and rejuvenate. The grounds are marked by sweeps of greenery and beautiful gardens, which provide considerable tranquility amidst the hustle and bustle of the city outside. There are 119 spacious and well appointed guest rooms, all designed with a luxurious finesse. They come with modern amenities such as central air conditioning, high speed wifi, chic en-suite bathrooms, complementary toiletries,  safe deposit lockers, mini fridges, tea/coffee makers, and much more. There is round the clock and attentive room service.

Make the most out of the top class facilities and your stay will be truly opulent: indulge in a therapeutic massage in the on site spa, take an invigorating dip in the heated pool or eat incredible cuisine in one of the five restaurants. The 'Tapas' lounge bar boasts an impressive beverage list, including delicious cocktails, mocktails, wines, and aperitifs, combined with an unique selection of snacks and international Tapas. Whilst Paatra showcases a fine selection of dishes from Amritsar to Lahore Indian cuisine, complimented by live music in the evenings. If you fancy something more low-key, pop your head into the charming Patisserie and sample a range of oven fresh breads, cakes, pastries, chocolates and other sweet meats.

Grand Oak Manor

The Tree Leaf Grand Oak Manor is nestled in the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary, deep within the Kumaon hills. The 17th century colonial house was purchased by Rai Bahadur Harkishan, and renovated by the family to welcome guests. The beautifully maintained hotel offers a taste of old world charm, warm hospitality and luxury. The nine rooms boast breathtaking views of the cloud filled valley below, with antique furnishings on the interior and spacious en-suites.  They are laid out along high corridors, with wooden furniture, bright bedspreads and rugs, and cosy, fireside armchairs, reminiscent of a genteel age. 

Being here is all about the outdoors. Crisp fresh air, blue skies, the chirping of birds, and snow capped peaks- this is nature at it’s best. There are no TVs and the wifi can be patchy- which brings you all the closer to your surrounds. A special mention must go to the sunrise and sunset views, which accompany the lush green forest that blooms red with  Rhododendron trees.

There is a cozy lounge overlooking the lawns, with a comforting fire place which is ideal to curl up with a good read. The sunset lounge is on the first floor and is equipped with indoor games and a large veranda. The staff are welcoming and attentive, bringing a family touch to your stay. The meals are cooked fresh and served at Acorn, an all day dining restaurant. There are Indian and continental options, not to forget the exquisite ‘pahaari’ cuisine- all to be enjoyed against the backdrop of mountain vistas. They make their own jams and freshly baked cakes.

Van Serai Forest Lodge

Van Serai Forest Lodge is a cosy cottage, just one kilometre away from the stunning Jageshwar Temple. Van Serai was lovingly built over a period of two years and was inspired by charming local Kumaoni architecture. Every detail of the lodge has been carefully selected to create a homely escape. A serene ambience is created for yoga, meditation, nature walks and birding. Enjoy homemade traditional Indian food from the Kumaon Kitchen throughout the day.

The eco-lodge has six rooms with open verandas, overlooking the greenery of the hills. The overall design of the lodge allows maximum airflow and energy efficiency. The rooms are not air-conditioned as the weather remains cool even in summer. In winter, room heaters are provided, alongside hot water bottles and extra blankets. Due to its remote location, it is recommended water is used judiciously. The power supply is 220V and the plug size is standard English; the power supply can be erratic at times as the government has a load-shedding system, so there may be periods of no power during your stay. Rest assured this does not detract from the splendour of your surroundings. Internet does not reach such a remote area, making your stay all the more magical.

Trip ID#:

EcoIndTra

Meals Included:

8 Breakfasts and 4 Dinners

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