Banjaracamps
Hidden Treasures of the Himachal Himalayas
Hidden Treasures of the Himachal Himalayas
Duration 4 nights 5 days
August 14 to 18 & Sep 28 to Oct 02

This short escape takes you to little-known and still pristine regions in the Himachal Himalayas. You start off with the apple and cherry orchard draped hill sides of Thanedar in the farthest reaches of the Shimla Hills and then embark on a thrilling drive to the incredibly thickly forested mountainside around the tiny hamlet of Sojha in the Seraj region. From here another picturesque drive will bring you to Sonaugi – a place that hushes the din inside you as you enter its strong, silent air to look in the eye the spectacular white ranges of the Dhauladhars up above the Beas River. The astounding landscapes & magnificent scenery that you will see would be more than aptly complimented by the hospitality experiences at each property you would be staying at. Hikes on trails less trod upon & visits to local villages have been woven into the plan to make for an immersive travel experience.

    <b>AUG 14 / SEP 28: CHANDIGARH RLY STN / AIRPORT – THANEDAR</b> (2350 M / 7700 ft) 198 km / 5 ½ hrs drive

    Day 1: AUG 14 / SEP 28: CHANDIGARH RLY STN / AIRPORT – THANEDAR (2350 M / 7700 ft) 198 km / 5 ½ hrs drive

    Reach Chandigarh by the morning Shatabdi from Delhi or by a flight that reaches around 1100 – 1200 hrs. Drive via the hill towns of Barog – we will stop here for lunch, Kandaghat, Shimla and Narkanda to reach Thanedar in the evening. Check into rooms at our retreat, freshen up and spend the evening relaxing beside a bonfire. Overnight stay in the Banjara Orchard Retreat.

    <b>THANEDAR – SOJHA</b> (2735 M / 9000 ft) 95 kms / 3 ½ - 4 hr drive

    Day 2: THANEDAR – SOJHA (2735 M / 9000 ft) 95 kms / 3 ½ - 4 hr drive

    Early morning we do the Saroga Forest Hike – a 2 hr hike on a forest trail that introduces you to the rich flora of the inner Himalayas. The forest is full of Blue pine, Silver Spur, Christmas tree, Spruce, Oaks, Rhododendron and Taxus Himalayana (the tree from which Taxol is derived and used for curing cancer). After breakfast check out and do an exciting drive along the Ani & Gandah Nullah gorge to reach Jalori Pass – this pass links the Shimla & Kulu hills. A staff member from our property in Sojha will meet you here carrying packed lunch and after a short break you begin the hike to Raghupur Fort – about 3 ½ hrs to & fro ( do remember to keep your Hiking boots handy in case you aren’t already wearing them on the drive). From the pass it is a level walk in the open for about hundred meters towards Sutlej Valley before it heads straight into the forest on a well-defined trail. Half a kilometer later, a short steep climb takes one to a small meadow that offers a photo-op. A short rest and off you go into the Oaks and Rhododendrons forest slowly climbing up and then shifting gear for a final steep climb of 15 to 20 minutes. Here the tree line finishes and we move into a lush green meadow. A little up and we are rewarded with a 360 degrees view of The Himalayas, Dhauladhar and Kinnaur ranges, all of them in one sweeping glance. All around you are swathes of lush green meadows that gently descend into the oak and blue fir forests. Walk back down to the pass, your vehicle would be waiting here and a 10 minute / 5 kms drive will bring you to Sojha village and our retreat. Evening at leisure around a bonfire. Overnight stay in the Banjara Retreat & Cottage.

    <b>SOJHA – SONAUGI</b> (1917 M / 6300 ft) 90 km / 3 ½ - 4 hr drive

    Day 3: SOJHA – SONAUGI (1917 M / 6300 ft) 90 km / 3 ½ - 4 hr drive

    We leave around 0700 hrs on a walk of about 1 ½ hr through thick Himalayan forest to an enchanting spot called Waterfall Point and then down to Sojha Village. The locals make colorful shawls and Puleh (a kind of footwear), watch them weave these. Be back at the retreat for breakfast. Leave after a leisurely breakfast and drive down to the base of Kulu Valley and then ascend towards Manali; we leave the main highway to go towards Naggar and the up into the hills to reach Sonaugi. Check into your rooms at The Homestead. Freshen up and enjoy a hot meal. Rest of the day at leisure to relax and enjoy the lush tranquility all around you. Early evening do a short but delightful walk (about 20 mins each way) through Cedar lined paths to the Beas River flowing down in the valley. Rest of the evening besides a bonfire. Overnight stay in our Sonaugi Homestead.

    <b>SONAUGI</b>

    Day 4: SONAUGI

    Post breakfast leave on the Janna Village hike - about an hour; Janna is among the oldest villages of the valley – although most of the residents have moved down to Arcchandi on the left bank of the Beas. Enjoy a traditional meal in a local village home. Your vehicle will await you at the village and we then drive down to Naggar to see the Castle and The Roerich Art Gallery. Be back at the Homestead by early evening and enjoy the rest of it by a bonfire. Overnight stay in our Sonaugi Homestead.

    <b>AUG 18 / OCT 02: SONAUGI - CHANDIGARH RLY STN / AIRPORT</b> 300 km / 8 hrs

    Day 5: AUG 18 / OCT 02: SONAUGI - CHANDIGARH RLY STN / AIRPORT 300 km / 8 hrs

    Leave with packed breakfast by about 0700 hrs and drive via Mandi & Bilaspur to reach Chandigarh – en route stop at a restaurant / dhaba for lunch. Get dropped at the railway station in time to catch the evening Shatabdi to Delhi or at the airport to catch a late evening return flight.

Trip Cost On Request.

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