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Himalayan Explorer

Binsar, Saryu and Pindar in northern India
Start in vibrant Delhi before exploring the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary and mountainous Saryu and Pindar Valleys on privately guided walks (with luggage transported), gaining insights into rural life. Stay at the historic Khali Estate, a ridge-top camp and welcoming guesthouses.

Holiday information


A guided walking holiday in the Himalayas

Where better to start this wonderful adventure than amid the hustle and bustle of noisy, colourful Delhi, which contrasts hugely with the calm and serenity of the mountain communities of the Himalayan foothills in northern India? Discover the tranquil villages of the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary hidden away in the remote Kumaon Hills, before travelling further north to explore the more Tibetan-influenced Saryu and Pindar Valleys. With your own local guide, you walk from village to village, becoming immersed in the lives, traditions and culture of your welcoming hosts, with plenty of time to linger in the forests, where waterfalls cascade from the snow-covered peaks all around you. As you walk from the Saryu Valley to the villages of Pindar, you have an added adventure when you stay overnight in a comfortable tented camp at an altitude of 3,000 metres. This is highly rewarding experience which offers remarkable and truly unforgettable views, most particularly at sunset and sunrise.
The walking in our two chosen areas may offer a markedly different experience, but common to both regions is the splendour of the backdrop – the far-reaching views are awe-inspiring. Enticing footpaths in the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary wind through forests of pine and oak, linking pretty villages while offering tantalising glimpses of little farms that nestle on the steeply terraced hillsides. Bird and animal life is rich and diverse, including eagles and vultures soaring on thermal updrafts, their sharp eyes scouring the dense forests below where deer hide and leopards lurk. In the higher Saryu and Pindar Valleys, there is a greater sense of space, with more energetic routes leading up slopes and across meadows beneath the snow-capped peaks of Nanda Kot and Nanda Devi.


We are currently unable to take new bookings for this holiday, but hope to be able to do so again soon.


We provide you with your own local guide who accompanies you on the walks and acts as interpreter. Because it's privately guided walking, you get to set the pace, and can pause as often as you like to take photos, look at the wildlife and admire the views. 
  • Arrival in Delhi
    You are met at the airport and taken to your accommodation.

    Night 1: at Colonel’s Retreat (where you spend one night). 
    As your first night's accommodation is on the day of travel, Day 1 is your first day of exploration.
  • Travel to the Khali Estate
    After a short transfer to New Delhi Railway Station, you take the early morning train to Kathgodam, a 6-hour journey in a first-class, air-conditioned carriage (breakfast is included with your ticket). At Kathgodam, you are met by a driver who will take you to the historic Khali Estate (4 hours). You are warmly welcomed and introduced to your own, friendly guide before having time to acclimatise, relax and enjoy the splendid views of the mountains.
    View of the Himalayas from Khali
  • Village-to-village walking in the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary
    You enjoy four days of village-to-village walking in the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary, perched on top of the Jhandi Dhar Hills, at 1,800 metres above sea level. Walking on forest trails beneath mighty oak, cedar and pine trees, and through groves of colourful wild rhododendron, your guide will point out the diverse flora of the reserve and lead you to places where you may get to see wild boar, deer, monkey, black bear, porcupine, mountain goat, red fox, jackal, pine marten and even leopard. This may be a protected area, but it is also home to many forest people, and you will come across them engaged in their age-old practices as you walk through the broad cultivated terraces that surround each village.

    Each night, you stay in a village-run guesthouse – the villages include Risal, Satri, Gonap, Kathdhara, and Dalar – where you can get to know the villagers who look after you and who prepare vegetarian dishes such as aloo ka gutka, bhatt ki churdkani or gulgula for you.
    Within the Binsar Sanctuary
  • Travel to the Saryu Valley
    Leaving Binsar, there is a short walk to the road-head, before a winding 5-hour jeep transfer through forests and farmland to the Saryu Valley, stopping en route at Bageswar to explore the colourful market. When the road peters out at Munnar, you leave the jeep for a fairly strenuous two-hour walk through the trees to reach the village of Supi, where you will be made to feel instantly welcome and enjoy a generous serving of simple, vegetarian food. You stay in a traditional, two-storey ‘berklay’ house, from where there are views along the extensive Saryu Valley towards the imposing peaks at its head.
  • Village-to-village walking in the Saryu and Pindar Valleys
    You have five days to explore the Saryu and Pindar Valleys, with a number of exciting options.

    If you wish, you can venture out with your guide into the tranquil countryside surrounding Supi, marvelling at the majestic scenery which is almost Alpine, yet on a far grander scale. Broad panoramas encompass tidy terraced fields bordered by lush green forests beneath the omnipresent Himalayas. Alternatively, you may prefer simply to relax in the village and immerse yourself in the lives of the villagers.

    On your first itinerant walk, you set out from Supi with your guide and porters, ascending through sweet smelling pear, peach and lemon trees, past a wayside temple dedicated to the goddess Bhagwati, to reach the ‘Path of a Thousand Steps’ that leads to the captivating village of Jhuni, where you stay the night in another beautiful ‘berklay’ house. Depending on availability, you may stay in the nearby village of Khal Jhuni a short walk away. Arrangements – and the welcome – are the same.

    From here you take the scenic ‘high route’ over the ridge, following your guide up to the summer grazing pastures of Jakuni Bhugial. At an altitude of 3,000 metres, your efforts are rewarded here with truly spectacular views over the forested foothills and great peaks of the Indian Himalayas. You spend a night at a tented camp, your own ‘balcony under the stars’. From the camp, you continue to the Pindar Valley the next day.

    Closer still to the Himalayan peaks, the villages of Karmi and Dhurr offer the opportunity for more challenging walks that reward with far-reaching views. Karmi is situated at 1,800 metres, while Dhurr is a lovely mountain village of stone-roofed buildings at 2,000 metres. During your time in the Pindar Valley you can explore the area with your guide, or spend time relaxing in the villages, watching the menfolk lead ox teams to the fields while chattering women pass by with huge loads of grass, oak leaves or firewood on their heads.
    Walking from Supi to Jhuni
    Near Jhuni
    Path above Jhuni
    Walking up to the tented camp
  • Travel to the Khali Estate
    Today, you return to Binsar for a night at the Khali Estate, reflecting on your discovery of the village ways of Northern India.
  • Travel to Delhi
    In the morning, you are transferred to Kathgodam (4 hours) to catch the afternoon train to Delhi (6 hours), travelling in a first-class, air-conditioned carriage. On arrival you will be transferred to Colonel’s Retreat for a final overnight stay. 
    Humayan's Tomb, Delhi
  • Flight home
    You are transferred to the airport for your return flight to the UK.


Please bear in mind that your accommodation is much simpler than on other Inntravel holidays, and although the facilities are not what you might expect to find in Europe, this is more than made up for by the uniquely welcoming atmosphere.

In each village you will be welcomed as honoured guests. In the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary you stay in four of the five villages listed below. In Saryu, you will typically stay in two of the villages listed below, depending upon availability, plus the tented camp at Jakuni Bhugial, followed by stays in Karmi and Dhurr. The tented camp provides a stunning balcony view to the Indian Himalayas and is often cited by customers as one of the highlights of the holiday.

Your accommodation is in simple village-run guesthouses where you will sample the tasty local vegetarian cuisine and experience the rhythm of village life as few see it. The guesthouses are typically of two floors, with a kitchen, storeroom, guest rooms and guides’ room, on the ground floor; plus a Western-style WC and a shared shower room with sink. The upper floor houses a large and comfortable sitting and dining area, where there is stove and open fire, which is lit on cool evenings. There are further twin bedrooms here, too. The lighting and hot water are powered by solar panels.

Occasionally, due to availability, we may offer an alternative hotel in Delhi. You will be informed of any change to the usual hotel (along with any price implication) prior to us confirming your holiday to you. We also offer an upgrade option in Delhi. Please indicate your preference at the time of booking. Whichever hotel you stay in, we thoroughly recommend extra nights in Delhi to further explore this lively, and often startling, city.

Extend or shorten your stay

If you don't have quite as long to spare, we offer a 11-night version of this holiday which doesn't visit the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary, while another 10-night option omits the Saryu and Pindar Valleys. Alternatively, for a longer adventure, why not add a visit to India's iconic 'Golden Triangle' cities?
What is included
  • 14 nights
  • 12 dinners
    10 lunches/picnics
    14 breakfasts
  • own local guide
  • all transfers
  • return rail Delhi to Kathgodam

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We are keen for as many customers as possible to review their holiday. To make it easier to do so, we include a specific review section on our post-holiday questionnaire, and this is what we publish here, unedited. Read our full review policy >



If you have any questions relating to this or any other Inntravel holiday, our friendly travel experts will be happy to help. You might also find our General FAQs section helpful.
  • If your holiday plans go awry because of Coronavirus, rest assured that we’ll do right by you. Since the start of the pandemic, our flexible booking policy and prompt issuing of refunds to customers who prefer not to defer their holiday have earned us high praise in the national press.
  • In some ways, walking with your own guide is no different to walking independently – it is you who sets the pace and decides when to pause. Of course, you don’t have to worry about route-finding, leaving you free to focus on the views and the fascinating insights into the local flora and fauna, customs and language offered by your guide as you walk. The guide is there to ensure you get the most from your holiday and arrive back safely at your base, and they act as your friendly interpreter throughout your stay. If you would prefer more or less walking, then don’t be afraid to let them know.
  • After a quick chat with your guide about the day’s route, you set off along an inviting trail carrying only a few essentials for the day. A prompt start means you have plenty of time to pause to take in the views and admire the wildlife that your guide points out to you. When you’re ready for some refreshments, your guide finds the perfect spot to sit down, and you might swap notes about life there and back home, or what lies ahead on the second part of the walk. Suitably rested, you continue on your way, perhaps passing farm workers tending the crops or transporting produce.
  • We provide you with very detailed, up-to-date documentation before you go away so that you will know what to do and where to go throughout your holiday. As well as giving you insights as to what to expect in terms of customs, climate, cuisine and conditions, we also offer advice on visas, currency and language.
  • All British citizens require a tourist visa to enter India.
    An E-visa system operates for tourists requiring a visa for stays of up to 60 days. You must apply for the E-visa no earlier than 120 days prior to arriving, but also a minimum of 4 days prior to your arrival in India. The visa will be valid for 60 days from your date of arrival. Your passport must be valid for a minimum of six months from your date of arrival in India and have two blank pages. You can apply for the visa here:
    If you are travelling to India for more than 60 days then visa applications are submitted and processed by post; we advise that you allow up to 3 weeks to obtain your visa by this method. You can find full details and obtain an on-line Visa Application Form by visiting If you or any member of your party is not a British citizen or holds a non-British passport, you should check passport and visa requirements at
  • The TravelHealthPro website gives a general outline of the immunisations you are likely to need, though you should seek advice from your doctor or practice nurse in good time before your holiday for more tailored information. There are no reciprocal health agreements between the UK and India. It is therefore all the more important that you have comprehensive travel insurance to cover you in the case of illness or an accident. You will need to take sensible health precautions while travelling in India, and we will send you full details with your holiday documentation.
  • From October to mid-December, and again from March until May, days are usually dry, clear and warm (usually above 15°C, reaching 25°C in May), although nights can sometimes be chilly. Daytime temperatures are cooler (5-12°C) from mid-December to February, with colder nights and very occasional snow, but the visitor is rewarded with blue skies and the clearest of views which are enhanced by the blanket of snow covering slopes above 2,500 metres. The climate is generally consistent, although the weather can change fairly rapidly, especially on the higher terrain. Heavy rain is unlikely, but you should bring light waterproofs and/or an umbrella as well as warm layers to wrap up in once the sun goes down. Sunscreen and sunglasses are also essential.
  • English is widely spoken in Delhi and Mumbai, but much less so in the rural villages where the local dialects are most prevalent. Most villagers will be delighted to try to communicate with you, while your guide will act as interpreter and even instruct you in the rudiments of the local dialect of Hindi spoken in Madhya Pradesh, Kumaoni (Himalayan foothills), Marwari (Rajasthan), Malayalam (Kerala) or Kannada (Karnataka)!
  • India is five-and-a-half hours ahead of GMT all year round, and is therefore four-and-a-half hours ahead of BST.
  • We can book a wide range of routes from the UK with a variety of airlines (but not, currently, with Ryanair). As well as being more convenient for you to book all elements of your holiday together, it also means that we’ll accept liability for your travel arrangements, so if things go wrong, such as the airline going bust, we’ll make suitable alternative arrangements for you. For Europe, there’s a £35 booking fee per person (£15 for children aged 2-11). For India and Nepal, the booking fee is £60 per person. More information on flights >
  • We can’t book flights that originate outside the UK, but if you wanted to book your own flights to London (or elsewhere in the UK), we can make all onward travel arrangements (including flights) from there. Alternatively, if you are booking your own flights to an airport in continental Europe that’s appropriate for your holiday, we can book onward rail travel and/or taxis. More information about how we can tailor holidays for customers outside the UK >
  • Once you’ve decided on your exact itinerary (our travel experts will be happy to offer advice), you need to provide us with your party’s details, either by phone or via our booking form. At this point we also ask you to pay a deposit so that we can secure a room for you immediately on confirming availability with the hotel(s). If it turns out that we can’t secure the accommodation for the holiday you’ve requested, or offer an acceptable alternative, we’ll refund your deposit promptly and in full. After booking your accommodation and other key elements, we'll then book your travel (or you can do so if you’re making your own arrangements) and send you a Booking Confirmation and Invoice.

    More information about the booking process >
    Information about accommodation, general practicalities and more >
    Booking conditions >
  • Yes, it’s something we insist on, even for holidays in the UK. The vast majority of holidays go smoothly, but when things go wrong, it can be expensive to put them right. Buying a new pair of walking boots after your suitcase is stolen mightn’t seem so bad, but the bill for being airlifted down from a mountain with a broken leg or flown home while still recovering from an illness or accident can cost tens of thousands of pounds.

    You don’t have to take out our recommended travel insurance policy (if you live outside the UK you’ll definitely need to make your own arrangements, as the policy is only for UK residents), but you do need to make sure that you’re covered for medical emergencies – including falling ill with Covid-19 while on holiday – and repatriation. We also recommend that you are covered for other eventualities, such as cancellation and loss of luggage and passports.

    We'll ask you for the details of your policy (insurer, policy number and medical emergency phone number) so that we can help out if the worst happens while you are on holiday. It's up to you, though, to check that your policy covers the activities you'll be doing on holiday and that it is adequate for your own individual needs; we don't check alternative policies.
  • The UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) provides up-to-date, country-by-country travel advice, as well as information on security, local laws, passports and visas for UK citizens.
    If you live outside the UK, see our essential travel information page for a list of relevant websites.
  • You are the best judge of your child’s/children’s capabilities. We are happy to take bookings for families of older children/teenagers if they walk regularly, love the outdoors and are comfortable with the distances and ascent/descent involved. Please note that the bedrooms at most of the accommodation we use will normally only sleep a maximum of 3 people, and sometimes only 2.
Last fetch time is : 10/25/2021 11:13:34 AM