6 things to add to your travel bucket list in 2022

A village walk in Kumaon
Mountain stations aren’t the coolest cubbies they used to be. Sun-stricken travelers who once fled the plains are now fleeing the hill stations. Offering them sanctuary are remote rural idylls that live and breathe the true Pahadi air. Kumaon has some nice trails. One is a five-day trot on its northeast flanks, led by the brave people of Itmenaan Estate, near Almora. Winding upwards from Kathgodam, through the villages of Thikalna and Ganghet, where traditional houses have been renovated to receive guests, the village walk comes to its final stop, the century-old stone house of Itmenaan, pampered by ten acres of flowering pines, oaks and rhododendrons.

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The Great Ladakh Road Trip
Kashmir and Ladakh both make compelling arguments for long-distance driving holidays. But if fear of being stuck unaided (in case the car breaks down) has kept you from pressing the pedal, here’s your chance to roll around the corner. Adventures Overland has planned a 14 day trip to Ladakh via Manali. En route you will find Nubra Valley, Khardung La, Thiksey Monastery, Pangong Lake, Tiger Hill and Golden Temple, as well as the many rivers and high passes that make this one of the best routes in the world.

To learn more, see here.

Art in Kangra
A few weeks of Tibetan language lessons, or a mahamudra meditation spot, or learning calligraphy or ikebana in the green mountains of Kangra. Does this sound like a perfect, dignified summer vacation? You can do all this and more at Deer Park Institute in the small town of Bir in Himachal. Created in 2006, Deer Park is a project of Siddhartha’s Intent Society. It offers a multitude of artistic and cultural courses throughout the year completely free of charge (donations are however appreciated). From readings of ancient Tamil Buddhist literature to acting out Marathi folk tales, there’s hardly a dull moment, and you can even go paragliding or trekking in the Dhauladhar range.

To learn more, see here.

Hit Up Trail’s Pass
Of all the hundreds of possible treks in the Himalayas, arguably the best are those that cross the Himalayan range itself. And there are few as challenging or spectacular as the Traill Pass in Kumaon, which connects the watersheds of the Pindar and Gori Ganga rivers. A technical climb through the bergschrunds and ice cliffs of the Pindari Glacier, this pass is named after British administrator GW Traill, who crossed it in 1830 in an attempt to open a new trade route with Tibet. Watching Nanda Devi, Nanda Kot and a host of other Himalayan giants, Traill’s Pass, or Pindari Kanda, is a classic Himalayan trek. Aquaterra organizes this trek from July.

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A Tibetan art workshop

They have nine workshops including thangka painting, statue making, thangka applique, wood carving, applique, wood painting, sewing, weaving and screen printing. You will learn directly from masters and apprentices who specialize in these ancient art forms. They also have three guesthouses and two restaurants. Around the institute, you will find a multitude of cafes, restaurants and shops.

To learn more, see here.

Bike trip to Spiti


Wide spaces and a sturdy saddle are old friends. But when the road ends at Spiti and the peloton is led by Helmet Stories, the combination has plenty of torque. The outfit customizes luxury trips to several Himalayan outposts and the Western Ghats. But the journey to Spiti is one of a kind. The trail winds around Sangla and Kalpa in the Baspa Valley, stopping at Nako Lake before ending at Tabo, Dhangkar Monastery, Kaza and finally Tandi, perched at the confluence of the Chandra and Bhaga rivers. The final 100km stretch runs along (and often on) the riverbed, making it the perfect terrain for adventure motorcycling.

To learn more, see here.

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