- Season : April – mid May, October – Mid Nov
- Altitude : Low – Max – 10,500ft / 3097m
Penelope Chetwode, was the daughter of Field Marshal Lord Chetwode who commanded the Indian Army from 1930 – 34. In 1936 she trekked from Shimla to Kullu with her mother and chose to return later regularly leading groups. Her experiences are narrated in her best seller Kullu – The End of the Habitable World. She passed away here in 1986, in an area she loved so much. This tour is dedicated to her memory.
The trek takes one to a bygone era. En route you camp in gardens of rest houses, built in a different age, trek through terraced fields passing inquisitive villages, and dine by candle light under starlit skies. At night the chirruping crickets lull you to sleep while the music of the birds wake one in the morning. The trek ends at Shimla, the former summer capital of the British Raj. Mock Tudor and Gothic buildings, churches, schools and the Gaiety, which is Asia’s oldest theatre, all bear testimony to a long gone Edwardian world.
Day 01: London / Delhi ( suggested airlines are Jet or Virgin ) On arrival meet and transfer to the hotel. After lunch half day sightseeing of Delhi. OVERNIGHT : The Colonel’s Retreat
Day 02 DELHI / KULLU ( 1hr ) After early morning breakfast, transfer to airport for the flight to Kullu. This is apple country, the fruit saplings having been imported from Devon by two British army officers in 1846. One of them, Capt AT Banon married a local girl and settled down in the valley with the 6th generation Banons still living here. Before the 50’s, Manali, at the head of the Kullu valley was a trading post where Tibetans came to barter goods.
On arrival meet and transfer to hotel which was built by Col Johnson of the Gurkhas. He married and settled down here and his son still exports the fruit all over India
OVERNIGHT : Johnson’s Orchards
Day 03 KULLU Day to acclimatise and get over jet lag. OVERNIGHT : Johnson’s Orchards
Day 04 KULLU / BANJAAR After breakfast drive down to Banjar, which is the trek head. Picnic lunch at Larji which was one of the old fishing lodges built during British days. OVERNIGHT : BANJAR REST HOUSE
Day 05 BANJAAR / JIBBE ( 5hrs / 7500ft ) After breakfast start trekking for Chani Temple. (6500ft) The climb is steep and at times hot. You reach the 500 year old and 250 feet tall temple tower after about 3 hours. Relax in the shade of the mighty cedar trees and after packed lunch, walk down to Jibbe Camp (8000ft ). There are lovely all round views from the camp in the valley floor.
OVERNIGHT : JIBBE REST HOUSE
Day 06 JIBBE / SHOJA ( 3hrs / 8000ft ) Trek to Shoja ( 8000ft ). It is a short day, trekking up through deciduous forest and reaching camp surrounded by cedar trees. From camp there are magnificent views of the distant Himalayas. After lunch ample opportunity to walk around or bird watch in the evening
OVERNIGHT : SHOJA REST HOUSE
Day 07 SHOJA / TAKRASI ( 6hrs / 7500ft ) Walk to up to the Jalori Pass ( 10,280 feet) through dense cedar forests The views are superb as you get higher. Not a long walk to the top of the pass After a brief rest and a cup of hot tea, walk down to Takrasi situated in the midst of a cedar forest
OVERNIGHT : TAKRASI REST HOUSE
Day 08 TAKRASI / KHANAG ( 3hrs / 8000ft ) Trek along a forest trail to Khanag. In the distant the snow covered Himalayas can be seen.
OVERNIGHT : KHANAG REST HOUSE ( Stone erected here )
Day 09 KHANAG / TARALLA ( 7hrs / 8000ft ) Start with a steep climb through cedar and birch forest till the top of a small pass ( 9200ft ) here some ruins of a fort can still be seen. Then down hill through rhododendron forest, and terraced fields to camp.
OVERNIGHT : TARALLA REST HOUSE ( She died here )
Day 10 TARALLA / MARGI ( 6hrs / 8000ft ) Steeply out to the top of the ridge and then circumvent through the forest and downhill to the campsite which is in the middle of a forest.
OVERNIGHT : MARGI REST HOUSE
Day 11 MARGI / SHILLA / SHIMLA ( 7500ft ) Trek from Margi to Shilla, again about 5-6 hrs. The walk is initially down through the cedar forests and through thick deciduous woods, where clematis grows wild and Langoors ( baboons ) spring from tree to tree. Bird life is plenty. Reach Shilla by mid day.
OVERNIGHT : SHILLA
Day 12 SHILLA / SHIMLA After breakfast drive 6hrs to Shimla and check into a Maharaja’s summer resort still run by members of his family.
OVERNIGHT : OBEROI’S CLARKES ( breakfast & dinner )
Day 13 SHIMLA Shimla was the summer capital of the British Raj. Visit the Viceregal Lodge, the Mall, which is the main shopping promenade, the Gaiety, Asia’s oldest theatre and other remnants of the British rule.
OVERNIGHT : OBEROI’S CLARKES ( breakfast & dinner )
Day 14 SHIMLA / DELHI After breakfast drive 4hrs to Chandigarh, the city beautiful built by the French architect Corbusier. On arrival proceed to the airport for the flight to Delhi. On arrival meet and transfer to hotel
Overnight : COLONEL’S RETREAT ( breakfast )
Day 15 DELHI / AGRA / DELHI ( optional ) Early morning transfer to the railway station, for a day trip to Agra to see the Taj Mahal which was built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan. He built this poem in marble, in memory of his wife who died tragically. Also visit Fatehpur Sikri, the now abandoned capital, built by the Emperor Akbar. This city at one time exceeded London in population and glamour
Late evening return to Delhi. On arrival met and transferred to hotel Breakfast & Dinner on board the train.
Overnight : COLONEL’S RETREAT
Day 16 DELHI / LONDON After breakfast transfer to the airport for the flight back home