As the Operations Manager for India and Asia at Charity Challenge, I’ve had the amazing opportunity to venture into the Himalayas on trails only trodden by Charity Challenge trekkers and the local Tibetan Community. Being the Operations Manager of the Dalai Lama Himalayan Trek, I know that the Himalayas are a very sought after trekking destination, especially with the spiritual element of a visit to the home of the Dalai Lama. This popularity can sometimes make the Himalayas appear to be a crowded place, but many of our participants come back from the challenge and write to me saying how quiet and exclusive their trek was, and how much more they loved it for this reason! So I decided to head out to India and experience the tranquility for myself.
Those that don’t know much about India, apart from the overwhelming crowds of people, not to mention the usual clichés of, crazy roads jam-packed with vehicles, tuc tucs, cows and dogs walking along the roads and pavements, and the sheer extremes of poverty and riches, may be surprised when I tell you that I felt free from the hustle and bustle of London and enveloped in the peace and tranquility of India!
I trekked our most exclusive and secluded challenge, the “Dalai Lama Himalayan Trek”, and whilst trekking in the shadows of the world’s highest peak I found myself stopping and listening to the silence and taking in the awe-inspiring scenery of alpine forests, beautiful meadows back-dropped with snow capped mountains, and small Tibetan villages hidden in the rolling hills.
If you are new to the life of Tibet and the movement into India following the Dalai Lama then you will find this challenge as fascinating as I did, as you start in Dharamsala with a ‘clockwise’ walk around the Dalai Lama’s Temple. You will learn about Tibetan Buddhism and the issues it faces today, and see how Tibet is preserved in India through the practicing of traditional Tibetan arts and crafts at the Norbulinka Institute.
I will have to apologise to you now, as after just a few days I have learnt so much and realised how little I knew about India, and I won’t feasibly be able to share with you all the amazing experiences and revelations I’ve had so far! However, I can say with certainty that if you want a challenge where you will trek the mountains with tribal Tibetan nomads and their goats, learn all about why cows are head of the household, be greeted by the friendly faces and smiles of the Tibetan/Indian people and see how you can help Charity Challenge give back to the communities of this area, then you should definitely check out our September and November 2013 departure dates for our Dalai Lama Himalayan Trek. Click here for all the info!