India, “a code word representing the letter I, used in radio communication”.
Communication is the basis for understanding one another, both culturally and spiritually. Sarju is a person who knows no strangers, and therefore the gift of communication is fluid within him. The patient adaptation of this gift allows for the intimate discovery of the people around us, and in this case our trip to Northern India. For about a month Sarju expertly navigated us though the most dangerous roads, and most remote areas in India, the northern reaches of Himachal Pradesh. You cannot buy this trip from the commercial vendors because it does not exist.
I could talk endlessly about the experiences that we had in the Himalaya’s, but the pictures of the trip amply fulfil that task. Suffice to say exquisite comes to mind.
Throughout the entire trip Sarju captured each opportunity of discovery by striking conversations with the locals and bridging the gap from us, the inquisitive tourists, and the locals. We received the usual remuneration from the landscape and ambiance that the culture purveys. But what made the experience truly unique was the personal interaction and conversation with the monk at a local monastery, or an invitation for tea from an elder in a remote village a 13,000 feet. This fell out from Sarjus’ patient nature and knowing of when to speak and what to say. Over and over again, Sarju presented these opportunities and more importantly allowed the group to capitalize from them.
Some things are beyond words…. You just have to experience them to understand…
Be ready for the unexpected… dusty, twisty, narrow, high mountain roads, a rock slide that may alter your travel plans, shortness of breath while high elevation hiking, fabulous photo opportunities, authentic food, being up close and personal with the local inhabitants. This is personalized, adventure travel. Sarju’s local knowledge and personal contacts provided an authentic experience in a part of India most people will never experience.
Journey to the Himalayas is a trip I would recommend to any adventure traveller AND I would highly recommend Sarju. In fact, I could not see doing this trip with anyone else, it is really that unique. If you are considering this trip, please feel free to contact me and I will provide you an overview of my experiences.
Thanks Sarju for your planning, organization, flexibility, compassion and honesty.
Our trip to the Himalayas was one of a kind. It is a very unique cultural experience that would not have been the same without Sarju’s knowledge of the area and the people. We were introduced to many locals, who Sarju knew from the communities. The northern India people were very kind, generous, and willing to share their homes, tea, and food with us.
Seeing the Yaks, and the monkeys was interesting. The roads in northern India are and experience in them self. Beautiful scenery, steep cliffs, winding roads. Truly death defying. We were very thankful for the amazing drivers we had, who were familiar with the roads in the area.
Delhi is busy vibrant city and very different from the north. My favorite part in Delhi was going on the auto rickshaw’s, scooting amongst the traffic.
I WOULD RECOMMEND THIS TRIP FOR A ONE OF A KIND EXPERIENCE!
In early 2016, I was fortunate to learn about Sarju’s excursions to the Himalayas from a friend who knew Sarju and who highly recommended his adventure tours. Based on that recommendation, I contacted Sarju who personally addressed all my concerns and provided all the information that I needed to be prepared for my adventure of a lifetime. I quickly booked for a tour in September of 2016 and it was fabulous!
This is not your average commercially available tour. Sarju likes to guide small groups, in our case six people, so that he can provide that personal touch. We visited areas that were very remote and we took the time to get to know the local people and focus on the culture of the region. The small group size allowed us to adjust our itinerary to suit the group and enabled us to share meals and experiences with the local people. Sarju may have started out as our guide, but we quickly became friends!
Sarju is very knowledgeable about northern India as he grew up in the area. He is a very experienced guide who works diligently to provide the best experience possible. He has a great network of contacts that enable him to efficiently plan accommodations, transport and meals. Sarju was very organized with respect to all the travel arrangements, accommodations and food. Everything was arranged in advance and everything was great. We had incredible meals, lots of laughs and all manner of accommodations, from five star hotels to tents at 15,000 feet!
The Himalayas are very different from the India that we usually think of, with small isolated villages, a relaxed lifestyle, and incredible mountain views. Sarju is very dedicated to providing a unique experience that would be very difficult to find anywhere else at any price. His tours are great value and he is a great friend! I would highly recommend Journey to Himalayas to anyone with a sense of adventure.
A trip to the northern part of India including the Himalayan region was never on my bucket list. But when a close friend of mine mentioned that he was planning a trip with few other friends and Sarju as a guide I considered it. I had some concerns travelling to this part of the world as I had never done any adventurous travelling before but after a phone call from Sarju my mind was put at ease and the trip was on.
It was amazing. Sarju met us at the airport and from that moment there was no anxious moments to be had. Sarju had carefully and meticulously planned and organized everything. We experienced great and authentic meals and accommodations, interacted with host families and with villagers, met with some amazing locals who are trying to make a difference, had incredibly experienced and personable drivers who had to drive on roads that made you hold your breath. Sarju was always making sure our needs were met from having enough bottled water, snacks, time for photos, breaks from driving to making sure we were acclimatizing properly.
He had an extensive knowledge of the area, customs and language and was so very enthusiastic to share this with us. His love of the area was definitely contagious. We met with some wonderful personal friends of Sarju that shared their home and food with the group. Something that would never have happened on any bus tour.
I had the experience of a life in India with Sarju as a guide and give him much thanks and gratitude for that.
Thank you Sarju.
The idea of taking a guided group trip has never appealed to me. I have always enjoyed traveling for the sense of adventure and spontaneity. This trip surpassed all of my expectations. The breadth of different scenery and culture we saw in such a short amount of time was amazing. Looking back on it it’s actually hard to believe how much we experienced.
Sarju’s specific experience, connections, and know-how of the region allowed for us to experience things a normal tourist would have never gotten to see or do. Everything was taken care of for us with plenty of room for each individual to explore and make the trip his or her own experience. We were provided with excellent services all around whilst maintaining what felt like a true local grass roots experience. This trip would not be for someone without a sense of adventure, but I could not think of a better way to experience a taste of the real Indian Himalayas.