Gushaini, Teh. Banjar, Dist. Kullu, HP

The work of Himalayan Ecotourism, a social enterprise in the Himalayas

Working as a social enterprise !

We believe that to achieve sustainaible development in remote rural areas the local community needs to be socially and economically empowered. That's why we have encouraged the people of the ecozone of the GHNP engaged in tourism activities to come together to establish their own society : "The GHNP Community-Based Ecotourism Cooperative".
We, the cooperative members and a couple of other professionals/supporters work together as Himalayan Ecotourism for organizing your treks and travels.
We have set the rules so that everyone has a larger benefit being a member of the cooperative rather than working as an individual. Each members have at least one share in the company. It means that your trekking staff do not work as simple daily-based wage earners but as shareholders of the company.
Himalayan Ecotourism is the company of your staff ... That's why they care so much about you, their customers, and very soon their friends.
So our cooperative model is not only good for the locals, it is very good for your travel experience as well.
The cooperative has become the instrument of the locals to raise their voice, to claim for their rights and to envison a growing path.
It has greatly enhanced the social, economic and even politic empowerment of the local community.

Our actions for sustainable development

We dedicate a part of our profits to undertake various projects locally :
  Women empowerment. Formation of Women Self-Help Groups and training them for making value-added products
  Green technologies. We develop, manufacture and sell green technologies appropriate for the Himalayan context : non-polluting wood stoves and solar cookers.
  Stop Forest Fires. We mobilize the local community to address to serious problem of intentional forest fires.
  Promoting sustainable development With the help of volunteers, interns and researchers we work for encouraging a better waste management, reducing deforestation, introducing organic farming, offering better healthcare and more.

Feel free to check and subscribe to our Youtube channel for any update about our work, treks and eco-travel in the Himalayas :
Our Youtube channel

You could also follow us on facebook :
Our Facebook page

We need your support for fighting destructive forest fires in the Himalayas :
Our crowdfunding campaign

Our work in photos

waste management in the Tirthan valley, GHNP

Cleaning riverbanks

Collecting trash for raising awareness of the locals about waste management.

Women empowerment

A meeting of a women Self-help group at our Gushaini office.

Value addition in the Tirthan valley, GHNP

Value addition

Demonstrating jam making in a village of the ecozone of the GHNP.

Training the women in the Tirthan valley, GHNP

Training the women

French interns giving a training on making of felted wool.

Value addition

French interns giving a training on making of apricot jam.

Ready to market in the Tirthan valley, GHNP

Ready to market

This is a bag made in felt by the women during the training.

Cooperative meeting in the Tirthan valley, GHNP

Cooperative meeting

In Gushaini. There are 65 members in the GHNP ecotourism cooperative society.

Sustainable tourism

Opening treks outside the GHNP for restricting the number of trekkers in the park.

Clean stove in the Tirthan valley, GHNP

Our clean stove

Demonstration of our smaller clean stove in the ecozone of the GHNP.

On field work in the Tirthan valley, GHNP

On field work

Our field team for promoting green technologies in the ecozone of the GHNP.

Our clean stoves

Our advanced clean stoves for show at our office in Banjar.

Our café in the Tirthan valley, GHNP

Our café

Deepika serving a soup made on our clean stove at our Life Lovers café.

Marketing local products in the Tirthan valley, GHNP

Marketing local products

A delicious chili garlic sauce for sale at our café in Banjar.

Handmade soaps

Our handmade soaps made of apricot oil by trained local women.

green tech in the Tirthan valley, GHNP

Sharing our technology

Our stoves have been shared with students of IIT Mandi for their research project.

Seed bank in the Tirthan valley, GHNP

Seed bank

Promoting the concept of seed bank in a village in the ecozone of the GHNP.

Organic farming

Sharing innovative practices of organic farming in a village.

reporting forest fires in the Tirthan valley, GHNP

Reporting fires

We report most of the larger forest fires in the Tirthan valley.

Awareness raising in the Tirthan valley, GHNP

Awareness raising

About the adverse effects of intentional forest fires in the Himalayas.

Our documentary

We made a documentary to raise awareness of the local about the need of conservation.

Stop Forest Fires in the Tirthan valley, GHNP

Stop Forest Fires

Our facebook page to create a social movement in the ecozone of the GHNP.

Our work in video

Video about the work of Himalayan Ecotourism

Our work around the GHNP

Stephan, co-founder of Himalayan Ecotourism, shows some of the work undertaken by Himalayan Ecotourism.

Our documentary to create a community movement against forest fires

To wake, Buddhi

Our documentary to create a community movement against forest fires

Video about the work of Himalayan Ecotourism

Awareness raising

An important step for fighting forest fires in the Himalayas.

Our achievements


The onset of a community movement

  With the support of the "Friends of the GHNP", Himalayan Ecotourism starts interacting with the local men engaged in tourism activities. The core team of the GHNP Community-Based Ecotourism Cooperative is formed. We decide to gather a maximum of local guide, cook and other trekking assistants before registering the Cooperative society.
  Himalayan Ecotourism plans to work with the women folk in the ecozone of the Great Himalayan National Park. Most of the villages of the Tirthan valley are reached by our team to brainstorm with the women and understand better their point of view, their problems and their expectations.


Everything comes into place

  65 villagers from the ecozone have joined the movement. The Society is regitered in Kullu under the Cooperative Act as "The GHNP Community-Based Ecotourism Cooperative". With the support of the cooperative the GHNP is nominated as a World Heritage site by UNESCO. We organize a trek to Rolla for the two founders of the "Friends of the GHNP", Sanjeeva Pandey and Payson Stevens to celebrate the nomination.
  We take dozens of groups on trek in or around the GHNP. They are all very happy with our services. It is the beginning of the successful story of our social enterprise "Himalayan Ecotourism".
  Himalayan Ecotourism welcomes 14 interns and volunteers to work on capacity building of the cooperative members and to mobilize & train women for launching their own micro-enterprise.
  Two women Self-Help Groups are formed in the village Pekhri. They are trained to make felted wool, hand-made soaps and fruit jams.
  We decide to address the issues related to energy in the ecozone of the GHNP. We mobilize funds and researchers to start the development of green technologies.


Resistance and development

  Sadly we had to acknowledge that some of the local powerful people (economically and/or politically) do not wish to see the villagers, the mass, to get aware, mobilized and empowered. The cooperative is being first ignored by them and then attacked in very unethical ways. But the sense of unity that has emerged within the Coop has brought them enough confidence to stand against these intimidations. They have resisted and came up with greater awareness of their democratic rights. That's real empowerment !
  Himalayan Ecotourism welcomes 18 interns and volunteers to work on reinforcing the business structure of the cooperative, to further mobilize and train women, and to participate in the development of an advanced wood stove.
  Training of selected guides to winter treks.
  Mobilization of the women in the villages Pekhri, Kulthi, Tinder and Bandel in the ecozone of the GHNP. They are assisted in forming their women Self-Help Groups.
  Some members of the cooperative who learned felt making in 2014 have organized training for the women. The know-how is shared within the community. A very good omen for our social movement.
  Some of the women are engaged in production of apricot oil, jams, soaps and body balm. They launched their own venture called "Himalayan Eco-Creations". The products are sold to the visiting tourists.
  Prototyping of the wood stove that gradually turns into a clean multi-fuel and multi-utility stove.
  Himalayan Ecotourism has organized several tours in Lahaul & Spiti and Ladakh. A great experience for the cooperative members and our guests. College groups are taken on trek.


Maturity of our projects

  The cooperative has taken up the next challenge : to establish itself as the main genuine ecotourism operator in the area.
  Symbioz is established as the daughter organization of Himalayan Ecotourism for designing, producing and selling of green technologies in the ecozone of the Great Himalayan National Park.
  We have taken several initiatives to raise awareness of the people in the entire Kullu valley about the adverse impacts of forest fires.
  We have open our main office in Banjar to be closer to more local people. The front part of our premises have been arranged in a café. The café business in entirely in the hands of women. The café is named "Life Lovers" and it is frequented by the locals so that they can know about our work and can get involved.


We are Himalayan Ecotourism

  Himalayan Ecotourism is recognized as a unique concept and initiative in the Himalayas. We are a 4.9 out of 5 stars trek & tour operator. We have the heartly encouragment from leading figures from the non-profit sector, forest department and many other like-minded personalities/organizations.
  We have upgraded our trekking plans to "Everest" and "K2" thanks to the a second import of excellent camping equipment. We are unbeatable on the comfort and hospitability offered during our treks.
  We are initiating a huge local community movement to fight against intentional forest fires around the Great Himalayan National Park.
  More women are joining our women empowerment program at the Life Lovers café. We are making hand-made soaps, body cream and balm, fruit jams & pickles. All natural, made locally by women with local ingredients. This is available for the tourists visiting us.

© 2018 Himalayan Ecotourism, All Rights Reserved