Banjar Valley Village Walk
Trip Code: AITBVW
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Off the well-trodden tourist trails but within easy reach of Delhi and Shimla, this walking tour offers an unforgettable experience of the remote Banjar Valley.
Located in the south east of the Kullu Valley, Himachal Pradesh’s ‘Valley of the Gods’ – it is a region of spectacular scenery – snow-capped mountain ranges, alpine meadows and conifer forests – and of remarkable religious monuments, vibrant cultures and welcoming people.
This unique journey allows you to amble through unspoilt remote villages and interact freely with local people, giving you a taste of the traditional life and culture of the Banjar Valley. Easy daily walks of between 3 and 5 hours, along village to village mountain trails, cover distances of about 10 to 12 kms; they are suitable for all ages and fitness levels. Accommodation is provided in clean and comfortable village houses.
Day 1 Sairopa
Fly from Delhi to Kullu, where you will be collected at the airport for the 45 km drive to Sairopa, a small hamlet in the wooded Banjar Valley – the entrance point to the Great Himalayan National Park. The drive through the valley is a wonderful introduction to this trip, with its stunning scenery and glimpses of hill life.
Day 2 Sharchee
Begin your walk today with a gradual climb up to Sharchee via the villages of Baddal and Sheer Shiadoo. Baddal is famous for its ancient temple dedicated to the Goddess Mata Gara Durga. Pass by apple and plum orchards and through a forest of towering cedar trees. Following a 2 hour climb from Sheer Shiadoo, arrive at the village of Sharchee with its Rishi Jamdagani Temple set in a vast meadow.
Day 3 Basheer
This morning climb up to the high altitude village of Basheer, situated close to the tree line. Cross a forest to reach Thane Gad – the old fort of the Thakurs, the oldest inhabitants of this region. Continue on, crossing Sindha and Salwad meadows, to reach Basheer. The village’s houses – constructed of wood, stone and mud, with large upstairs veradahs, arched facades and slate roofs – are amongst the best examples of hill architecture in the region.
Day 4 Sarthi
Set out for the village of Sarthi this morning – a walk of mixed descent and ascent. On the way pass through the villages of Miyagi, Chaini, Khun and Salanu. All these villages are set in the hills and away from road heads; they each have a temple and community ground. There is ample opportunity today to view village life, interact with the villagers and catch those unique experiences on camera.
Day 5 Khanaag
A densely forested trail leads to the small village of Khanaag, which contains a Forest Rest House built by the British. On the way visit the small temple of Bhudi Nagin situated on the banks of Seolsar Lake. Every year at the beginning of the winter season a fair is held at this temple and all the villagers from the surrounding areas come to pay a visit.
Day 6 Shimla
Drive to Shimla today, via Behna, Ani and Narkanda. The Banjar Valley ends at Luhri where the road joins the Hindustan Tibet road. On the way stop at Behna to see the ship-shaped temple of Lord Shiva. This 600-year old temple is constructed entirely of wood and is decorated with colourfully painted wood carvings. [Image: Vincent Desjardins].
Day 7 Shimla
A hill station located amongst forested slopes, Shimla was the summer capital for the British in India and it has retained a lot of its colonial charm. Today is free for relaxing, enjoying the views, exploring the local area, or sightseeing – you may like to visit the Jakhu Hill Temple, the state museum, Viceregal Lodge and other places of interest here. [Image: Rohit Chhiber].
Day 8 Delhi
Transfer to the airport to board a flight to Delhi.
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