Outdoor Monks

Uttarakhand

Uttarakhand-based Outdoor Monks is a small experiential adventure travel outfit offering a range of activities and tours primarily in the state, along with a few tours in Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh. 

Employing only local staff, from guides and cooks to porters, Outdoor Monks also restricts trip group sizes to a maximum of 14 people. The outfit offers trekking, cycling and camping based tours and these range in duration from overnight trips to 14-day expeditions. 

The treks include all the popular ones like Har Ki Dun, Nag Tibba and Dayara Bugyal. There are then the longer expeditions, like the Adi Kailash and Om Parvat tour. Known as Chota kailash, Adi Kailash is more accessible than the Manasarovar tour as the former lies in Indian territory though close to the Indo-Tibetan border. The 14-day trip is a combination of driving and trekking, with participants climbing up to a height of 4,350m. The trip has it all—religious sites, snow covered peaks, pristine lakes and lush green alpine meadows.

Outdoor Monks also offers weekend getways that are perfect for those seeking a quick, but activity-filled break in the mountains. They offer short weekend treks like the Kheerganga trek in Himachal. The tour starts in Kasol, where a guide from Outdoor Monks will take you by vehicle to Bharsaini in the beautiful Parvati Valley, which is the starting point of the trek. The strenuous 12km trek is through dense forests, across wooden bridges, past majestic waterfalls and past some beautiful small villages. At the end of the trek, you can treat your aching muscles to a dip in the hot springs at Kheerganga, enjoy dinner under the stars and turn in for the night in your tent. The next day you trace your footsteps back to Bharsaini before going back to Kasol.

It also offers pure camping breaks in scenic spots. Like the Kanatal Weekend Getaway—you drive to Kanatal, check into the camp that offers great views of peaks like Bandarpunch and Nanda Devi, enjoy al fresco meals and take part in activities like ziplining and skywalking.

Price: Depends on the tour. For instance, the camping-only 2D1N Kanatal Weekend Getaway is priced at Rs 1,300 per person, which includes accommodation in tents on quad sharing, meals and refreshments during the stay and some activities. The 14-day Adi Kailsah and Om Parvat trip is priced at Rs 45,000 per person and includes accommodation in guest houses or tents, services of professional guides, meals and refreshments, services of porters, permits and transport.

Read more: https://outdoormonks.com/


Slow Travel

Outdoor Monks is a socially and ecologically responsible travel company and ensures it employs local guides, trek leaders, cooks and various other staff for all activities. Local homestays are prioritised for guest accommodation. Their ‘CleanATrail’ initiative encourages trekkers to carry a bio-degradable garbage bag (provided by the outfit) to pick up anything plastic while on a trek. The outfit hires a porter on most treks to carry back the waste collected from campsites. Under ‘PlantATrail’ initiative, Outdoor Monks provides seed balls to trekkers on specific treks to help disperse seeds of carefully selected local flora. The outfit is transitioning to become 100% plastic-free. It also organises regular medical tours to remote villages of Uttarakhand, focusing mainly on Women and Child Healthcare.