Himalayan Village Walks

The beautiful Kumaon region is also known as ‘Dev-Bhumi’ or the Abode of Gods. This is the land of rich cultural heritage, age-old temples, majestic Himalayan peaks, picture postcard terraced fields and tempting fruit orchards.

To experience this stunningly beautiful region on foot is truly inspiring and rewarding. Itmenaan Himalayan Walks and Treks take you through the unspoilt villages of Kumaon and help you to experience it from close quarters. The programme allows you to walk around freely and interact with the local communities, exchange stories with the elderly people over a cup of ‘chai’ or help villagers working in the fields.

Charmingly, you also get to stay in restored traditional village houses which are stunningly located and have been touched up (and added on with attached bathrooms, etc) and converted into cozy cottages to provide very comfortable lodging without compromising on the authenticity.

As interests and capabilities vary, the walks are customised according to your needs. You may choose to stay-put at one location and explore the surrounding area. Alternatively, walks can also be organised that take you from one village to another and each night is spent in a different village location.

Accomodation

Itmenaan has done up 2 traditional Kumaoni village houses and carefully renovated them without compromising the architecture or the sensitivity of their surroundings. Each village house has 2 tastefully furnished bedrooms with excellent quality linen and mattresses, attached bathrooms, a small sitting-dining area and a fully equipped traditional kitchen. A cook and a service staff is on site at all times. Meals are prepared fresh using locally available ingredients.

Thikalna Village House

Deep in the oak, rhododendron and pine forests with uninterrupted awe-inspiring views of the Himalayas, lies Thikalna Himalayan Retreat. Located on a cliff with 180 degree view of snow clad Himalayas and splendid valley, this small retreat is ideal for long vacations. If you have dreamt of staying a few days in perfect mountain solitude, miles away from civilization in a village setting, then this house is just for you. The house has been renovated, bathrooms attached to each of the two bedrooms, to ensure that the stay is comfortable. 

Jhakersm Village House

Jhakersm Village House, in the midst of oak, rhododendron, pine, and deodar forest is a painstakingly renovated old house converted into a boutique homestay. Enjoy the delectable food, explore the forests on a guided walk, go for beautiful bird watching, understand the rural way of life on a leisurely walk to the nearby village, experience the scenic views of snow-capped peaks or just do nothing and relax in the serenity; Jhakersm village house offers everything a nature lover urges for.

Day 1 : Arrive Kathgodam – Drive to Itmenaan Estate

You will be met at Kathgodam Railway Station and driven (3.5 hours) to Itmenaan Estate.

Set in a peaceful rural setting in the Kumaon Himalayas, the 10-acre estate includes virgin pine, oak and rhododendron trees; terraced fields laden with seasonal fruits and vegetables; and to top it all, a small private perennial natural spring. The estate offers panoramic views of the Himalayas including the majestic Nanda Devi.

The 100-year-old traditional Kumaoni style stone house on the estate has been painstakingly restored and offers 3 tastefully designed en suite bedrooms. There is also the newly built Deodar Cottage. In and around the house are abundant places for you to unwind and relax – the courtyard overlooking the mountains and verdant valleys, the semi open-air dining area, numerous nooks and corners perfect for reading or for fulfilling your spiritual quest.

At Itmenaan Estate you may choose to just ‘do nothing’ – laze around or read a book, admire mesmerising valleys and snow clad peaks, enjoy the warmth of bonfire, gaze at the countless stars in night time. Those who are looking for some more walking within and around the estate you may trek to the highest point for enchanting views or roam the beautiful oak and rhododendron forests.

Walk Duration: 20 minutes
Accommodation: Itmenaan Estate
Meals: Lunch, Dinner 

Rustic view during one of our Itmenaan Himalayan Walks

Day 2: Itmenaan Estate – Almora - Thikalna Village

This morning after a leisurely breakfast, you will walk to the road head (20 minutes). On the road you will be met by our car and driven 1.5 hour to Almora.

En route to Almora, stop over briefly at the charming Chitai Temple, which is located just outside Almora town. The Chitai Temple is dedicated to Golu Devta, who is considered to be the God of Justice. As one approaches the temple, the first thing that strikes you is hundreds of bells hanging at the entrance. People come to the temple to make a wish to Golu Devta; those who are not able to personally visit the temple, write letters to Him seeking justice. Once a wish is fulfilled people come and hang a brass bell on any of the temple walls, and hence the sea of bells all over the temple.

After visiting Chitai temple continue to Almora town. This picturesque hill station is situated in the Kumaoun region of Uttarachal state. Situated at an altitude of 1650 metres, it is among the few hill stations of India, not created by the British. In fact, it is an ancient town, and some 400 years ago, it was the capital of the Chand Rajas of Kumaon. It has an interesting bazaar and good views of the mountains.

Walking duration: 1-2 hours 
Accommodation: Thikalna Village House
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Thikalna to Jhakersm village house

After a leisurely breakfast, walk along the ridge towards Saukiyathal temple and Jageshwar temple complex with beautiful views of the Nanda Devi range on your left. Nearing Jageshwar in a valley you will notice the pine forest now change to thick Deodar (Cedar). The temples at Jageshwar are believed to have been constructed between the 8th century and the 18th century. The architecture belongs to the Nagara style of North India, characterized by a tall curved spire surmounted by an amalaka (capstone) and a kalasha crown.
After visiting the temple complex, you will be served a picnic lunch nearby. The next stretch of walk will take an hour where you walk through a mix of rhododendron and pine forests, occasional uphill and downhill stretches.

Your uphill walk to the villages of Kot Naikana begins. The end of the walk will bring you to the village of Kotnaikana where you will spend your night at Jhakersm Village house. You will be taken to the sunset point which is a 15 minutes’ walk from the property. The evening may be spent at leisure by a bonfire.

Walk duration: 4-5 hours
Accommodation:Jhakersm village house
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Jhakersm Village house to Itmenaan Estate

After breakfast you will walk towards Jhakersm temple, and then you will be driven to ganghet village, 10 minutes distance from Jhakersm Temple. You will be served a picnic lunch when you reach the bottom of the valley. From here a two hour uphill trek will bring you to Itmenaan Estate.

Walking duration: 6.5 hours 
Accommodation: Itmenaan Estate
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Itmenaan Estate – Kathgodam

After a leisurely breakfast you will be taken to onward destination.

Walking duration: 20 minutes
Meals: Breakfast

Enjoy the calm and serene environt at Itmenaan Estate

Visit Us

  • Itmenaan Estate, Village Naugaon, Tehsil Bhanoli, District Almora, Uttarakhand
  • [email protected]
  • +91-9818705508
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