While you are in India, exploring its varied culture, cuisine, history, and terrain, there are some of our great short tour options to take as extension trips from Delhi, ranging from three to five days of experiences, which can give you a very different perspective of the country, its people and add flavour to your existing travel plans.
The Himalayan Sojourn – 3 nights extension programme from New Delhi
After a great Introduction to the vibrant country steeped in history on the Golden Triangle tour or a colourful Rajasthan itinerary soaked in culture, take a short flight or a comfortable train ride to the Western Himalayan region of Kumaon to head out to the ‘Lake District of India’ – the Nainital region for a couple of days of Himalayan bliss!
Dotted with crystal mountain lakes the region has numerous small and big Hill Resorts, some of them are more touristy than others and some can be described as the Hidden Gems of Kumaon – one such place is a small Hamlet near Bhimtal (a popular Hill Resort) called Jangalia Gaon (the name literally translates into – The Wild Village due to the large forested area its nestled around).
Rustic life in the Jangalia village home – return to mother nature!
While in Jangalia, the most interesting place to stay is the Jangalia Village Home and Farms perched at an altitude of 1700 mts., in a small hamlet called Jangalia Gaon (literally translating to “Village of the Forest”), a working organic farm which is run by Lakshmi and her family who have been living here for generations. The farm is dotted with fruit trees, vegetable gardens, and terraced farms of small patches of paddy, not to forget the cows, who are almost a part of the family! To house very limited and discerning guests, there is a quaint village house and a few comfortable tents, which give one the real feel of the place!
Get your hands dirty and get into some real farming- the Indian way – get an insight into the rural life of this small Himalayan hamlet, help Lakshmi and her family with their daily chores at the farm like fruit plucking, tending to the cattle, or plough the fields the ancient way – using bullocks and a wooden plough. Call it anointment of the sins, or giving back to nature, help in making the planet a little greener by planting a tree and offsetting some of the carbon emitted on your journey even if it is a tiny bit – it’s surely a Green Mark!
Organic food and a lush green lounge in the lap of nature
For daily lunch and dinner, feast on the simple yet delicious Kumauni cuisines made from organic produce majorly sourced from the farm itself, post-lunch one could enjoy lounging around the farm or go for a small walk spotting the rare Himalayan birds. Conclude the day with a roaring bonfire under the clear blue star-studded Himalayan skies.
On the second day, you could set out to explore the region or meet ‘The Butterfly Man of India’– Peter Smetacheck who runs an incredible Museum of Butterflies and the Butterfly Research Centre. You shall surely be mesmerized by the amazing world of butterflies, which Peter brings to life through his engrossing talks and on a short walk around his premises. Later settle down for lunch at Peter’s residence, which is over a century-old colonial bungalow.
Further explorations could take you to the Naukuchiatal Lake (the Lake with Nine Corners) to soak your senses in pristine environs through a gentle but engrossing session of Kayaking on the lake or you may choose to indulge in some game fishing on its calm shores.
Conclude your journey by taking a return flight, train or surface transfer back to Delhi. Do not miss this offbeat trip to the Himalayas when in India as it gives a treat for the soul!