For all of you who have always been fascinated by the mystically beautiful landscape of the Himalayas, but could never plan a trip for whatever reasons, here is another opportunity to experience the divine mountains. Himalayan Shepherd is a new Himalayan adventure tourism company which offers a wide selection of tours to suit different styles of travel.
For motoring enthusiasts like you and us, the good part is that the company also offers 4×4 safari tours, motorbike excursions and downhill cycling trips. So you can enjoy the barren beauty of the Himalayas while also engaging into the activity you enjoy the most – driving, riding or cycling. The Shepherds have their own Hotel, several camping sites and they offer a variety of activities which include Yoga sessions in the valley, rafting, kayaking, a variety of treks and meditation retreats.
For all these activities, the Himalayan Shepherd offers customizable itineraries made carefully for young and old alike. The adventure company standardizes each trip with only a very limited number of guests in order to make it an enjoyable affair.
Himalayan Shepherd specializes in adventure holidays to Spiti Valley, but their motorized adventure trips traverse a much bigger landscape. The company claims that they insist on the highest standards of safety and hire professionally trained local guides who are fluent with all mainstream languages with special training in first aid and crisis management. Willing customers just need to give them a call with their ideas the company would design a trip to suit their needs and budget.
The Himalayan Shepherd offers a variety of packages for interested tourists, ranging fromRs 3500 to Rs 15,000 and above. Each trip is customized and the core members of the team like to speak with the interested tourists directly. They also claim to respond to inquiries within a maximum of 24 hours.
To book a trip, or for any other enquiries, you can email Himalayan Shpeherd at [email protected] or contact them by phone at +91 9530570649. A sea of information about the company and the activities they offer is available on https://himalayanshepherd.co
Behind the new venture is our old friend and a former motoring journalist Karanbir Singh Bedi and his Olympian partner Skalzang Dorje. Karan is a passionate traveler and a three time national record holder in adventure sports. One fine morning, during his days as a journalist, he woke up to the beautiful sound of rain, hungover (from the night spent drinking with strangers he’d met while travelling with only rum in his boot). He felt dwarfed by his profession, and decided it was time to quit his job and follow his heart- to travel and experience life to the fullest till his last breath.
Skalzang on the other hand has traveled a dozen countries representing India in archery. His deep belief in Buddhism’s philosophy of past life seeds and impression is what he credits for him to become one of the best archers to have come out from India. Today Skalzang lives in Kaza working in projects to encourage children of this valley to take up sport and better his achievement. An avid trekker with a mind as sharp as his arrow, Skalzang’s love for Spiti and the outdoor is his reason for starting Himalayan Shepherd with Karanbir.
While the Shepherds offer a huge variety of activities, being a motoring site, we are listing out the things that you can carry out on wheels with the Shepherds.
4×4 Safari Overview
On their jeep safaris in the remote parts of Spiti and the Himalayas, the Shepherds often make their guests stay at home stays which not only benefits the local communities directly through tourism, but also allows the guests to directly experience a well preserved and thriving indigenous way of living allowing them to get a deeper understanding of the region that they travel in.
May through mid October is the ideal time for jeep safari in Spiti and the rest of Himalayas.
21 days Himalayan Odyssey
Day 1: New Delhi to Chandigarh (transfer by train)
Day 2: Chandigarh to Manali (We start driving from Chandigarh)
Day 3: Manali to Jispa
Day 4: Jispa to Leh (longest driving day of the expedition)
Day 5: Leh
Day 6: Leh to Kargil
Day 7: Kargil to Padum (Zanskar valley)
Day 8: Padum – karcha – Padum
Day 9: Padum to Kargil
Day 10: Kargil to Dahanu Valley
Day 11: Dahanu Valley to Leh
Day 12: Leh to Diskit (Nubra Valley, visit to Panamik too)
Day 13: Diskit to Leh
Day 14: Leh
Day 15: Leh to Tso Moriri Lake (Camp site)
Day 16: Tso Moriri Lake to Keylong
Day 17: Keylong to Kaza (Spiti Valley)
Day 18: Kaza- Komic – Darcha – Kaza
Day 19: Kaza to Nako
Day 20: Nako to Sarahan
Day 21: Sarahan to Chandigarh
Day 22: Chandigarh to New Delhi (by train)
The company also organizes shorter itinerates starting from one week to ten days
Personalized motorcycle tours across Spiti Valley
The road from Chandigarh to Kaza (capital of Spiti) and then to Manali never lets you down in terms of the sights, sheer adventure and of course the challenge that it presents to the biker. 800 kms (add 200kms more for a ride into Pin valley) of pure adrenaline and a bikers delight. Crossing passes at a height of 16500 feet on what can be best described, as unpaved roads require in equal part determination and skill. The journey over the lofty Himalayas can take anything between 6-7 hours – time enough for you to take in the magnificence of the area.
The Shepherds offer three different routes across the Himalayas. One would cover the Lahaul Spiti, the other through regions of Ladakh and the third would be covering both the regions of Lahaul Spiti and Ladakh.
ROUTE 1- LAHAUL SPITI
Day 1. New Delhi to Chandigarh (by train)
Day 2. Chandigarh to Narkanda or Rampur
Day 3. Narkanda/Rampur to Nako
Day 4 Nako to Pin Valley
Day 5 Pin Valley to Kaza
Day 6 Kaza
Day 7 Kaza to Chandertal Lake
Day 8 Chandertal Lake to Manali
Day 9 Manali to Chandigarh or New Delhi
Please note that this itinerary is flexible and there is an airport both in Chandigarh and Manali.
Route 2 – LADAKH
Day 1 New Delhi to Chandigarh
Day 2 Chandigarh to Manali
Day 3 Manali to Jispa
Day 4 Jispa to Sarchu
Day 5 Sarchu to Leh
Day 6 ,7,8 Leh
Day 9 Leh to Kargil.
Day 10 Kargil to Srinagar
Day 11. Srinagar
Day 12 Srinagar to Pathankot
Day 13 Pathankot to Chandigarh
Day 14 Chandigarh to New Delhi
ROUTE 3 – THE HIMALAYAN ODYSSEY
Day 1. New Delhi to Chandigarh
Day 2 Chandigarh to Narkanda
Day 3 Narkanda to Sangala
Day 4 Sangla to Nako
Day 5 Nako to Kaza
Day 5,6 Kaza
Day 7 Kaza to Jispa
Day 8 Jispa to Tso kar lake or Sarchu
Day 9 Sarchu or Tso kar lake to Leh
Day 10,11.12,13 Leh
Day 14 Leh to Kargil
Day 15 Kargil to Srinagar
Day 16,17 Srinagar
Day 18 Srinagar to Pehalgam
Day 19 Pehalgam to Pathankot
Day 20 Pathankot to Chandigarh
Day 21 Chandigarh to New Delhi
The trip would be planned in such a way that the individual expectations are met.
Downhill Mountain Biking Overview
MOUNTAIN BIKING FROM THE WORLDS HIGHEST VILLAGE
For the monks living at the Komic monastery the road from Komic to Kaza is the only connection between the world’s highest village to the outside world. The road down to the Spiti valley from Komic is an adrenaline junkie’s delight and the descent from the monastery at Komic to Kaza is more than 1000m.
The mythical road, the ever-present danger, the dizzying elevation and the beautiful landscape means that it really is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Downhill mountain biking is an extreme sport like bungee jumping and skydiving. The difference here is that there is no expert guide controlling your propulsion and you are completely on your own. The rider at all times needs to judge the difficulties that can be involved in continuing a descent. You can reach speeds of over 75kmph on the high speed sections of the road and on entering the Spiti valley you would realize why Rudyard Kipling called Spiti “a world within a world”.
MOUNTAIN BIKING IN SPITI VALLEY TO LADAKH
Mountain biking is a sport which consists of riding bicycles off-road generally over rough terrain using specially adapted mountain bikes. This is perhaps the perfect way to see the exotic sights of Spiti where you enjoy the timeless culture and distinct flora and fauna. Ride through rarely visited rural villages to experience a well preserved and traditional way of life. The expedition is planned so you can keep in contact with the local people while enjoying the indescribably beautiful region.
To say that mountain biking into Spiti valley is scenic is an understatement. Starting from Shimla, the group bikes down to the roaring Sutlej River through a gorge on the Hindustan Tibet Highway before entering the arid Spiti valley. The altitude gets higher and this is as challenging as it can get especially when we get on the main Manali – Leh highway.
Depending on the tourists’ fitness and time at hand, the Shepherds offer day trips and multi day expedition style trips. Firefox and Trek mountain bikes are used for the expeditions and the camping equipment used is either North Face or Mountain Hardware.