India - Himalayas Binsar

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 Glittering Diwali/Colours of Holi

Experience the festivals in the Himalayan Foothills – small group holiday

* Special small-group holiday  * Guided walks from village to village  * Colourful village festivals  * 10 nights, 4 days walking, 2 days village culture

This special small group holiday offers fascinating insights into life in the foothills together with the opportunity to join in with traditional celebrations. Experience the bright colours, music and dancing as the festivals of Diwali (October) and Holi (March) are celebrated in the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary. Stay in charming mountain villages, enjoy some wonderful walks and experience the traditional, joyous festival celebrations. Perfect for single travellers or couples who wish to travel in company.

Please note, this holiday has a fixed departure date of 27th October 2016 or 7th March 2017.

Forests and Festivals

Guests with guide in Binsar, IndiaExperience the thrilling celebrations of Diwali or Holi festival in the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary. Your stay starts at Khali Estate, a wonderful old residence, where your rooms are in stone 'round houses' amidst the surrounding trees. From Khali head through the pine-forest to experience the individual character and warm hospitality of the Binsar villages. Enjoy some wonderful guided walking through pine forest and teraced field, nestled inagainst the backdrop of the majestic Himalayas.

 

Glittering Diwali

threshing corn, Binsar, India

Our special Diwali group holiday departs in October 2016, to coincide with the wonderful festival of light. The festival spiritually signifies the victory of light over darkness or good over evil, and is a time of hope. You can be sure of a very special welcome as you experience being at the heart of traditional village celebrations for the festival, with homes decorated with rangoli and alight with lamps. This is a perfect time to visit the Binsar Sanctuary for many reasons – crystal-clear views of the Himalayan mountains, pleasant temperatures and abundant wild flowers!

 

Colours of Holi

Walking in the Binsar wildlife sanctuary

On 13th March, the Hindu festival Holi marks the beginning of spring - a season of hope, joy and new life. This Festival of Colours is celebrated across India with bonfires, singing, dancing and bright colours to signify the end of Winter and to welcome the new season. Holi is one of the most colourful and joyous festivals of India, when our rural communities in the warm foothills of the Himalayas are at their most hospitable. Immerse yourself in the spirit of festivity and fun, as you stay in beautiful guesthouses hosted by the local communities.

Holi bridges the social gap as caste, class and gender rules are abandoned. It is a time for great excitement and celebration as people gather together in the spirit of the festival. People throw colourful powders and perfumes on each other, exchange sweets and celebrate together. Bring an old white shirt with you and we will provide a special hat to enable you to enter into the spirit of the day.

 

This holidays has a fixed departure date; day 1 of the itinerary is 27th October for the Diwali holiday or 7th March for the Holi holiday.

Outward Journey

Day 1

Meet and welcome at 12pm at Delhi guesthouse. The afternoon is yours to meet the group or explore the city at your leisure. Night in Delhi hotel.

Day 2

An early morning train takes you to Kathgodam, from where you have a road transfer (4 hrs) to Khali Estate for dinner and overnight stay in twin room garden bungalow.

In the Binsar Sanctuary

Day 3

From Khali enjoy a trip to the nearby town of Almora to explore the markets, alive with colour for the festival. Spend a second night at Khali.

Day 4 - Day 8

Meet your guide who accompanies you for the rest of your stay. From Khali head through the pine-forest to experience the individual character and warm hospitality of the Binsar villages. You stay in four of the five villages and in one of them for two nights, and enjoy some wonderful walking with splendid views. You stay in simple twin rooms in the village guesthouses with breakfast, picnic lunch and dinner. You walk between villages in the company of your local guide with your luggage carried by village porters. Get to know the communities and experience the traditional festival celebrations.

Day 9

Walk back to Khali Estate for another night stay.

Homeward Journey

Day 10

A road transfer (4 hrs) takes you to Kathgodam to catch the day train to Delhi. Overnight Delhi guesthouse.

Day 11

Transfer to Delhi airport for flight home.

You meet the rest of your party in Delhi and travel up to the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary together. Your holiday includes rail journeys to the hills, accommodation in Delhi, the village guesthouses and at Khali Estate with all meals provided and throughout your stay in the hills.

A transfer from the airport to the guesthouse at the start of the holiday is not included- we will be happy to arrange this for you at a supplement. As the guesthouses provide simple twin bedroom accommodation, this holiday is offered to single travellers on a shared-room basis.

As this is a group holiday, it is not possible to add extra nights during your stay in the hills. If you wish to add an extra night in Delhi before or after the itinerary, this can be arranged.

Flights

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.