I am remarkably excited to be offering this journey. The Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP) is nestled in the remote Western Himalayas just to the West of Nepal. This is one of the most pristine enclaves in the Western Himalayas, perhaps even in all of the Himalayas and threfore in the world.
Our destination is the Kullu Valley - known throughout India as the "Valley of the Gods."
How rare to find such lush and vibrant beauty in a land increasingly over grazed, denuded of precious timber and trampled by throngs of tourists. But not here. Here the magical mystery and immense magnitude of life is evident with every step you take. It cascades down off the high mountains, it grows rich and green beneath your feet, it fills the horizon with the luscious color of giddy flowers, it fills your lungs with air as rarified as the beaming smiles of the local villagers.
And the really beautiful thing is...
The operational model for this park is designed to develop and sustain eco-tourism in a way that is beneficial to the land, the wildlife AND the local poulations.
Your Trekking Area:
The Great Himalayan National Park, is undoubtedly the most pristine mountain landscape in the Western Himalayas… and perhaps the planet. From the Andes to Nepal and Tibet, to the mountains of Eastern Europe and Western China - the pressures of a growing human population have left the landscape - even so-called 'national parks' - overgrazed, denuded of timber, devoid of wildlife and covered with signs of animals and their shepherds. Ironically, here in India, home to over a billion people, it is still possible to find vast virgin forests and endless fields of wildflowers and ranges of un-named, unclimbed summits. Blue sheep, Himalayan Thar, even bear and snow leopard abound.
The Kullu Dusshera Festival is a highlight of this year's program. We have timed this trip so that we may experience the festival at the height of activity and pageantry.
The Kullu Dusshera festival is one of the most unique festivals of India where all the Gods (over 360) of the Kullu Valley converge to pay homage to the chief deity "Lord Raghunathji." We will have a personal meeting with the King of the valley presiding over the Dusshera Festival. Dusshera is also important trade fair. Hundreds of stalls are set up to sell food, religious items, famous Kullu Valley woven woolen shawls, hats, scarves, socks, and consumer goods from the plains. The maidan is packed with exhibits, local delicacies, and Sadhus (holy men), palm-readers and snake-charmers. After witnessing the unique Kullu Oracle we will visit the home of famous early 20th Century Russian mystic and artist, Nicholas Roerich.