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The Kumaon Himalayas

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You would expect any region of the Himalayas to have pristine mountain vistas. Hugged up against the Nepalese and Tibetan borders, the Kumaon Himalayas does so in spades, and as long as the weather is clear mighty snow peaked giants are a constant backdrop. But what the region also overflows with is charming, Kumaon villages. Small groups of pretty painted houses are dotted all over the mountains - many set around a series of terraces, often inaccessible by vehicle. People tend their land as they have done for centuries, while children walk up and down for miles and miles to attend the nearest school - always looking smart in their school uniforms and cheerfully shouting out greetings.

A great way to explore some of these villages is to do some walking in the area. Altitudes and terrain are such that you don't need to be a mountaineer to do so - as long as you are relatively fit then you'll cope fine, though expect to be overtaken by wizened looking locals laden down with goods! There are simple but charming places to stay, making it possible to do a walking circuit of three or four days which can be as gentle or as challenging as you like.

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