Hills, valleys and temples
Your stay starts and ends with nights at Khali Estate, steeped in the rich history of modern India. From Khali head through the pine-forest to experience the individual character and warm hospitality of the Binsar villages, with plenty of time to relax and immerse yourself in village life. You also have the opportunity to visit the vast and impressive Shiva complex of temples at Jageshwar before returning to Khali.
On average, you walk for four hours a day, however the walking in the Binsar Sanctuary is flexible and your experienced guide will tailor the walking routes to suit your needs. Choose whether to stretch your legs and take in the ridges and high points of the Sanctuary or to take the winding footpaths at a gentler pace.
Staying and playing
On the days you spend in the villages, you have the opportunity to join in and learn about the local customs and the work of the communities. Many of our guests have told us this participation has been a highlight of their Indian experience. Each village of Binsar gives its own special welcome, and each has its own personality - but all are the home of mountain people, hardworking, stalwart, warmly hospitable.
Authentic village life
At the villages you may wish to watch or help harvest the fruit, tend the buffalo or work in the fields, or relax on the terrace with a cup of hot chai. Enjoy helping to prepare traditional dishes using the day's harvest if you wish. There is a wonderful diversity of produce; from coriander, buck wheat and rice, to cocoa yams, sweet lemons and pomegranates. After dinner you may be invited to join in the village games of gooli-dandia or cricket.
We look after you from the moment of your arrival at Delhi airport. Your holiday includes transfers and rail journeys to the hills, accommodation in the village guesthouses and at Khali Estate with all meals provided and your own guide through the hills. We have devised each of our holidays to provide a good balance between activity and relaxation; please feel free to tailor your holiday to your exact requirements.
Day 1 Welcome at Delhi airport, transfer to Delhi centre before your onward journey from Old Delhi station to catch the overnight Ranikhet Express to Kathgodam.
Day 2 A road transfer takes you from Kathgodam to Khali Estate, for a relaxing stay in, a double room garden bungalow.
In the Binsar Sanctuary
Day 3 - Day 10 After breakfast meet your own private guide who accompanies you for the rest of your stay. You visit and stay in each of the six Binsar villages and in two of them for two nights: Dalar, Risal , Satri, Gonap, Kathdhara and Matkanya. Each day you walk in the company of your local guide with your luggage carried by village porters. The community owned guesthouses offer simple twin bedroom accommodation. All meals are included throughout your stay, with picnic lunches taken when walking.
Day 11 From Matkanya, visit the temple complex at Jageshwar, before a road transfer takes you back to Khali Estate for another night's stay.
Day 12 Return by road to Kathgodam to catch the day train to Delhi. You will be met at the station and transferred to Delhi centre, and will spend the night in a Delhi guesthouse.
Day 13 Transfer to Delhi airport for homeward flight.
We ask our guests to make their own arrangements for international travel to India. For Village Ways holidays in the foothills, the nearest airport is Delhi. Travel information for India can be found here.
The suggested itinerary can be extended if you wish to spend more time exploring the Himalayan foothills, or shortened if your time in India is limited. Our knowledgeable staff will be delighted to help fashion the holiday to suit you.
Stay in Delhi
Delhi is a fascinating and vibrant city. It epitomises the huge leaps forward that India is currently undergowing whilst reflecting the country's great history. A new metro is being built but much is still moved around on overladen cycles and bullock carts. The shopping opportunities are excellent, particularly for textiles. Why not add a night's stay in the city to your holiday?
Guest-house accommodation We work with some very comfortable and hospitable guest-houses in the heart of Delhi. We can arrange overnight stays for you, or a day-room to freshen up after a night flight. We can also arrange an upgrade from a guesthouse to a hotel if you prefer.
Driver & car One of the best ways to get around and across Delhi is by car. We offer carefully selected drivers to look after you for the day. On call for you, they will be able to take from shops to India Gate to the Red Fort and out to dinner - or wherever you choose.
From Delhi to the hills
Included in your holiday to and from the hills is a journey on the overnight Ranikhet Express from Delhi to Kathgodam. Included accommodation is in 2nd class, air-conditioned carriages - 2 tier, open plan with curtains around groups of berths. Trains open for reservation 3 months before departure. As soon as reservations open we will be able to confirm your rail journey to you.
Upgrade to 1st class You can upgrade to 1st class where the berths are in air-conditioned compartments of four or two. There is only one 1st class carriage which can be get booked very early on.
From Delhi to the hills by car You can also choose to travel up from Delhi (or return at the end of you holiday) by private car.
Extra nights during your holiday
Extra nights at Khali Estate
All holidays to Binsar include at least one night at Khali Estate, a marvelous place to relax and unwind. Many guests have added an extra night here at the beginning or end of their stay in the hills. If your journey here has been by night flight followed by overnight train it could be good idea to catch you breath with a quiet day here.
Extra nights in the Village Guest-houses
You may wish to prolong your exploration of the wonderful hill villages in Binsar. There is so much to learn and appreciate about village life and the host communities would love to keep you for a day longer.
For many guests, a visit to India would not be complete without a visit to the Taj Mahal, regarded by many as one of the wonders of the world. Whether you wish to make a day trip by train, enjoy an overnight stay with time to explore more of Agra, or whether you wish to be transferred by car, we can arrange a visit to suit you.
Jaipur is the capital of Rajasthan, hosting some incredible architecture and seeped in history. Not to be missed are the Jantar Mantar observatory and the renowned Amber Fort. Add a visit here to complete the Golden Triangle of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur.