The Saryu and Pindar Valleys

Short breaks for guests based in India

Deep in the Kumaon hills of Uttarakhand you find Saryu where charming, traditional communities spread along the valley towards nearby Tibet. Beyond the villages and terraced fields there are valleys, waterfalls and snow-covered peaks. Stay in guest-houses created from beautiful terraced 'berklays' with white-washed walls and stone roofs. Add a night or two in the splendid tented camp on the ridge of a high 'bhugiyal' meadow.

Neighbouring the Saryu Valley is the astounding Pindar Valley, whose river draws its water from the great Pindari Glacier. There is such a sense of space here, close up to Tibet, with mountains on a grand scale and great trekking in an open, green landscape.

The area lies in the middle Himalaya region, in the Bageshwar district of Uttarakhand. The Saryu and Pindar valleys are some 5 hours' drive (or about 70 km) beyond Almora and Binsar. The Saryu Valley ranges in elevations from 1,500m by the river to 3,150m at Supi Chilta.

Spectacular Scenery

Saryu ValleyThis region offers some great trekking in the Himalayas, with your own guide, in dramatic landscapes. With close-up views of the magnificent high Himalayan peaks, a short escape in the Saryu and Pindar valleys will delight. Stay with charming village communities and enjoy some superb trekking through open pastures and rhododendron forest against the backdrop of the mountains.

The Village Communities

The villages of Saryu are spread out along the gentle middle slopes of the upper valley, high above the Saryu river. A steep mountain ridge, with forest and alpine pastures, rises to the north, beyond which lie the snow-capped peaks of the main Himalayan massif. In Pindar, the charming hill-side villages of Karmi and Dhurr are surrounded by terraced fields, waterfalls, rhododendron forest and lush open pastures, Pindar is closer still to the high Himalaya, with unrivalled views of the snow-capped peaks. 

Trekking the hills

tented camp and Himalayas

Your own, local guide will trek with you between the villages in the Saryu and Pindar Valleys, while your luggage is carried by porters, leaving you to enjoy the walks and mountain views.  A typical day might involve 4 to 5 hours of walking, through steep mountain pastures and more gentle forested paths, with picnic lunches taken at picturesque spots along the way. You will also have time to get to know the mountain way of life in the villages and discover the traditional farming and handicrafts (ringal bamboo weaving, honey production, woollen carpets), as well as spend a night in a magnificent tented camp, waking to see the sunrise over the snow-capped peaks.

Grand Old Houses

The village buildings are almost entirely of traditional design. There are many impressive terraced 'berklays', with white-washed walls, stone roofs and intricately carved doorways. The guesthouses offer simple, comfortable twin bedroom accommodation. All meals are included throughout your stay, with delicious home-grown vegetarian food and picnic lunches taken when trekking.

In Saryu, the community of Supi has renovated a traditional Berklay house into an attractive five-bedroom guest house, complete with simple en-suite bathrooms and individual upstairs sitting rooms. Further up the valley in the beautiful villages of Khal Jhuni and Jhuni, similar guesthouses have been completed (Jhuni’s with help from the regional government agency UPASaC), each with three twin en-suite guest bedrooms. 

In the Pindar Valley, the community of Karmi offers accommodation in two converted houses at the top of the village, overlooking the village and valley below. Dhurr has three village guesthouses, one converted and two newly constructed by the community enterprise with local government aid. The houses in Karmi and Dhurr have separate, outside toilets and showers. 

Tents with a View

During the summers, shepherds take the goats and sheep up to the grazing areas in the high hills (bhugiyals), returning in October.

One such bhugiyal – Jaikuni Bhugiyal - provides a stunning balcony view on to the range of the Indian Himalayas. Here the communities have established a tented camp on the ridge for the autumn and spring seasons, removing it in time for the grass to be ready for summer grazing. It is comfortable, with accommodation tents along the lines of safari tents but more substantial for the mountain conditions.

Twin-bedded tented rooms, a dining tent and washing and toilet facilities are provided, with plenty of solar-charged lanterns. The washing and toilet arrangements are clean but very simple - this is a small concession to make for such a privileged position. The food is excellent but please remember that water is short at the camp, so please use it sparingly. A stay here is a real highlight of our trips to the Himalaya.

Travelling to Saryu & Pindar

Khali Estate

Your Village Ways holiday includes return road transfer from Kathgodam train station to Khali Estate and the villages. From Kathgodam a scenic road journey takes you through the Himalayan foothills, via the hill town of Almora, to Khali Estate in the Binsar Sanctuary, where you spend a night before continuing your journey into the hills. All meals are provided at Khali and in the villages; meals during your journey are at your own expense.

We can also make arrangements for you train travel from Delhi or elsewhere in India if you wish.

Tailor-made holidays

Our holidays are tailored to your exact requirements, allowing you to make the most of your time in the villages of the Saryu and Pindar Valleys. A typical stay might include 2 nights at Khali Estate, 3 nights in the villages and a night at the tented camp, to provide a good balance between activity and relaxation. We can customise a trip to suit you. Why not add extra days in the villages, or add on a visit to Corbett Tiger Reserve? Our specialised team are happy to talk you through the options.

Contact our bookings team

We put together carefully-selected, customised itineraries that allow our guests to make the most of their time in the Saryu and Pindar Valleys. A typical stay might include 2 nights at Khali Estate, 3 nights in the villages and a night at the tented camp, to provide a good balance between activity and relaxation. All of our holidays for guests based in India are priced in INR and can be tailored to your exact requirements - please contact us to create your ideal trip.

Call us on:
+ 91 9920882409 or +91 9869005642

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Booking enquiries: 01223 750049