Still Water Travel


Trip Overview

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Still Water Travel Testimonials
Himalayan
Explorer

Described as "Like Nepal 40 years ago" the Great Himalayan National Park, in the far northern reaches of India, provides us with a pristine environment untrammeled by tourist influences.

This is a true journey back in time to a place of profoundly open hearts, deep and genuine warmth, the kindest of smiles and incomparable generosity.  You will be deeply touched by this experience and I promise that you will come home a very different person than the one who stepped forth to undertake this adventure.

"This is a place where wild nature in its most extreme expression may still be found. Where you can experience the highest mountains, the deepest solitude, the wildest and varied expressions of plant and animal..and drink the water from every stream you cross.

"Valley of the Gods, India - That is really what this place, the Kullu Valley, is known as.

Mists shroud snowy summits, hanging in the deep pine valleys above the roaring river. Beams of light break from the heavens, illuminating an emerald-green valley and the ancient houses of stone and hand-carved beams that line it. It could be Switzerland but for the small brown ladies in headscarves and long skirts, adorned in red dots on their foreheads, bright bangles on their wrists chasing their animals up the road."

Jeff Salz - GHNP Explorer




Trip Dates:

Charter journeys available for September - October

12 passenger max for this journey

Synopsis:

  • 16 days from day of departure to day of return.
  • 5 Star Luxury Hotel, local mountain resort and tent camping
  • Trip is rated as physically difficult and demanding.
  • 3 nights in hotels, 11 nights camping

The Experience

It is the tradition of Still Water Travel to turn ordinary travel into an intimate journey of discovery.

Our trip leaders are professionals in the skills of guiding, facilitating group dynamics, and supporting personal transformation.

  • All of our programs incorporate processes of self discovery and awareness. These are not typical tours or travel programs and we will be inviting you to celebrate and discover with others during our shared journey.
  • Above all we respect your choice to participate at the level at which you feel most comfortable. We travel and explore together to celebrate life, expand our horizons and ultimately to have fun!

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.

"...I heartily recommend for anyone to take another trip with you, for the warmth and care that went into making this trip special really came through clearly at every step of the way."

Our Ground Operator in India: Sunshine Himalayan Adventures was founded in 1996 and is an approved Tour Operator in the Northern Indian State of Himachal Pradesh (HP) and the only one permitted to offer journeys in the pristine wilderness of India’s newest National Park - The Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP). SHA is dedicated to responsible Eco-tourism principles and tour products that are environmentally sustainable and economically beneficial to the local people.

Our Mission: Creating a New Model for Responsible Ecotourism:
SHA has a unique and exclusive relationship with the regional Kullu Valley organization, SAHARA (The Society for Scientific Advancement of Hills & Rural Areas) operating under its guidance. SAHARA’s activities include promoting visits of friends from foreign lands to create a better understanding of the Western Himalayas, its people, religions and culture. The ecotourism program continues developing a paradigm wherein local villagers actually benefit from having their ancestral lands turned into a wilderness preserve. Part of the plan is to train local youths in eco-tourism and trekking so that more resources become available to them than ever in the past while wild nature is preserved for posterity. A plan of simple elegance and sweeping implications!

 

 

The journey
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Your Guide

Chess Edwards is a professional expedition leader, Adventure Travel Photographer, Corporate Team Development Trainer, Personal Life-balance Coach and Motivational Speaker. Trained in Wilderness Leadership and Outdoor Programming, Chess is skilled in the art of managing group dynamics and promoting personal growth. Chess has guided sea kayaking, natural history, Himalayan trekking, cultural exploration & personal growth programs for over twenty years. Chess owns and operates Still Water Travel and personally guides all of our travel programs.


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