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For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni
For other destinations and types of holiday, visit Kuoni 

Things to do in India

Tibetan culture and mountain life: the Naddi village walk

I’m from the Gaddi shepherd tribe who live in Naddi village, so I’ll tell you all about life here in the mountains…

By Sanjay Kumar
Tour guide with Himalayan Saga, Alfred&'s partner in India

Discover Himalayan village life and Tibetan culture on this morning walk. We start at 8.30am with a drive to the Tibetan Children’s Village, a boarding school that was set up by the eldest sister of the Dalai Lama in 1961. A member of staff will show us around and talk about their inspiring work educating nearly 1,600 Tibetan kids who wouldn’t otherwise have access to education.

Then we make our way on foot to Naddi village, which lies about 2,000 metres above sea level, surrounded by the mountains – people just love the views. I’m from the Gaddi shepherd tribe who live in Naddi, so I’ll tell you all about life here. Traditionally, we’re semi-nomadic and travel with flocks of sheep and goats according to the seasons. It’s a tough life up here, crossing high passes and travelling long distances. If you’re lucky, there might be a wedding or festival on in the village, with women dressed in their finest outfits.

The walk continues through a pine and cedar forest, where you’ll find hidden caves and temples where monks come to meditate. We’ll stop at one called Golu Mata, where locals come to worship daily. There’s time for a tea break at a café before we make our way down the other side of the mountain to Dharamkot. This is home to the Vipassana Centre, which offers courses in meditation and yoga based on Tibetan Buddhism. Guests tell me they enjoy getting an insight into rural life in the mountains.

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Alfred & Sanjay Kumar

Sanjay Kumar hails from Dharamshala, his family are part of the indigenous Gaddi tribe. After completing a trekking and guiding course at the Mountaineering Institute in Dharamshala, he joined Himalayan Saga in 2011. Sanjay enjoys leading guests on culture, religion and trekking tours of the region.
Sanjay Kumar, Naddi village guide