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Sunday, March 19, 2006

Chess Edwards' trek tour to GHNP.

In September 2006, Chess Edwards is taking trekking tour to Great Himalayan National Park. Here are few details from his site:

Described as "Like Nepal 40 years ago" the Great Himalayan National Park, in the far northern reaches of India, provides us with a pristine environment untrammeled by tourist influences.

This is a true journey back in time to a place of profoundly open hearts, deep and genuine warmth, the kindest of smiles and incomparable generosity. You will be deeply touched by this experience and I promise that you will come home a very different person than the one who stepped forth to undertake this adventure.

The Great Himalayan National Park, is undoubtedly the most pristine mountain landscape in the Western Himalayas… and perhaps the planet. From the Andes to Nepal and Tibet, to the mountains of Eastern Europe and Western China - the pressures of a growing human population have left the landscape - even so-called 'national parks' - overgrazed, denuded of timber, devoid of wildlife and covered with signs of animals and their shepherds. Ironically, here in India, home to over a billion people, it is still possible to find vast virgin forests and endless fields of wildflowers and ranges of un-named, unclimbed summits. Blue sheep, Himalayan Thar, even bear and snow leopard abound.

The Kullu Dusshera Festival is a highlight of this year's program. We have timed this trip so that we may experience the festival at the height of activity and pageantry. The Kullu Dusshera festival is one of the most unique festivals of India where all the Gods (over 360) of the Kullu Valley converge to pay homage to the chief deity "Lord Raghunathji." We will have a personal meeting with the King of the valley presiding over the Dusshera Festival. Dusshera is also important trade fair. Hundreds of stalls are set up to sell food, religious items, famous Kullu Valley woven woolen shawls, hats, scarves, socks, and consumer goods from the plains. The maidan is packed with exhibits, local delicacies, and Sadhus (holy men), palm-readers and snake-charmers. After witnessing the unique Kullu Oracle we will visit the home of famous early 20th Century Russian mystic and artist, Nicholas Roerich.

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