Gushaini, Teh. Banjar, Dist. Kullu, HP
About Himalayan Ecotourism

About Himalayan Ecotourism


In short

Himalayan Ecotourism is community-based social enterprise offering treks and other outdoor activities in Himachal Pradesh.
We are located in the ecozone of the Great Himalayan National Park where we operate from the Tirthan valley.
We function as a joint venture between a local cooperative society and qualified professionals to deliver top-notch ecotourism services.
Himalayan Ecotourism stands for sustainable development in the Himalayas by promoting conservation and empowerment of the locals with a focus on women.

A cooperative-based model of enterprise

Himalayan Ecotourism is a social enterprise based in the Tirthan Valley, Kullu District of Himachal Pradesh. We offer treks and other nature-centred activities in and around the Great Himalayan National Park.

Conservation of the Himalayas and empowerment of the local community, with a focus on women, is our mission.
Offering ecotourism services is a way to meet a certain level of financial independence to work towards our social/environmental objectives.

We have chosen a cooperative model to function as a social enterprise.
65 locals who were employed on daily wages basis as trekking staff earlier have joined the “GHNP Community-Based Ecotourism Cooperative society” that we promoted.
They are all shareholders of the society.

Himalayan Ecotourism is a joint venture between the cooperative and a firm taking care of management and marketing.

Working and growing collectively

When locals work together within one organization with the same rules and regulations for everyone, the unhealthy competition between neighbors evaporate.
Moreover, a substantial part of our income goes directly to the capital of the cooperative, and hence, all the members, shareholders, grow in a collective way.

This means that our business is arranged in such a way that individualistic behaviour is discouraged in favour of collective efforts and actions.
We believe that doing so, we are preparing a fertile soil for the seeds of conservation and sustainable development to grow.

Management of natural environment has better chance of being sustainable if performed in a collective way, right ?

Tourism for enjoyment and conservation

In addition to the social structure being organized we advocate a vision of tourism where anyone who benefits from tourism business create his/her own debt towards the environment and the local community.

Practically, at Himalayan ecotourism, it means that ecotourism is not only bringing joy to our guests and offering employment to the cooperative members. We see any new customer as an opportunity to pursue our mission by generating the required finances to implement our current social/environmental projects and to prepare the next ones.
Thank you for chosing us ! :)

You get more than what you pay for

Our way of functioning is relatively more costly. Hence, compared to other operators in our area, we are a bit more expensive …
So, why our customers chose us ?

  1.   Most of our guests are environment and local community-conscious. They understand that caring for social/environmental causes has a cost that others may not have to bear. They do not mind paying a little more knowing that their visit brings a positive change.
  2.   We strive to be different, in a better way, not only on the social plane, but we also offer better quality ecotourism services, focusing on hospitality, comfort and safety.
  3.   The cooperative members, being the owner of the society, care about you like no other trekking staff. We have built a strong reputation in that respect, and so, people recognize us for the exceptional care and for the lovely interactions with the locals that you will enjoy.
  4.   We give a special attention to the ones who are usually neglected or seen as less fit for outdoor and adventure activities : women, senior and physically challenged persons.

Our ecotourism services 2018
Click here

Our company profile
Click here

Working with volunteers, interns and researchers

Responsible tourism is inherent to Himalayan Ecotourism as our price barrier keeps the "disrespectful" mass away. But it doesn’t mean that a right-minded tourist on a budget can’t travel with us.
We offer very affordable stay to those who wish to participate in our actions for conservation and empowerment of locals. They are our volunteers, interns and researchers, they play an important role within Himalayan Ecotourism.
Since we dedicate a large part of our income to social causes, we are left with less money to hire professionals. And so we do everything ourselves, from marketing (like this website) to social work. Therefore, the help of our volunteers, interns and researchers is vital.
Wanna get involved with Himalayan Ecotourism ? Check here.

What projects have we done so far ?

Beside supporting the Cooperative and its social movement, we have been actively working for :

   Fighting intentional forest fires. Raising awareness of the locals by placing posters and road signs, educating the children in their schools, making of a documentary for locals in Hindi, organizing discussions with the villagers and creating a social movement called "I am a defender".
   Women empowerment by promoting formation of women Self-Help Groups and offering them training for making of value-added local products (hand-made soaps, innovative woollen products, jam, pickles and chutney).
   Development of green technologies appropriate for the need and the cultural traits of the local community : three models of clean wood stoves and a model of solar cooker.

Read more about our work here.
Video about the work of Himalayan Ecotourism

We are a social enterprise

Stephan, co-founder of Himalayan Ecotourism, shows some of the work undertaken by Himalayan Ecotourism in the ecozone of the GHNP

Where are we ?

map location himalayan ecotourism

In the heart of the Himalayas

Himalayan Ecotourism is based in Himachal Pradesh, India.
We are located on the outskirts of the GHNP (Great Himalayan National Park) established in 1999 and inscribed as a World Heritage by UNESCO in June 2014.
We are close to the major tourist hubs in Himachal Pradesh – Spiti, Shimla, Dharamshala, Kullu-Manali but we remain far from their crowd. We are easily accessible from the main road linking New Delhi and the Indian plains to Ladakh, Zanskar and Lahaul Spiti via the Rohtang Pass.

Stephan Marchal

'Tintin in the Himalayas'
Managing Director and Eco-development specialist

Keshav Thakur

of the cooperative

Avneet Mangat

Product Development
and IT Director

Sanju Negi

of the cooperative

Mohan Thakur

of the cooperative

Tara Chand

of the cooperative

Tek Singh

Alias 'Teku Pekhri'
Member of the cooperative

Tek Singh

Alias 'Teku Tinder'
Member of the cooperative

Hema Devi

Customer care

Anjali Thakur

Manager of trekking equipment
Social project

Binti Mehta

Making of local products

Neha Thakur

Making of local products
Trekking staff for women group

Photo credits

We are very grateful to all our members, guests or friends who have kindly shared their photographs. We proudly display some of them on this website. Our photo contributors :

Avneet Mangat
Stephan Marchal
Rolf Leurink
Denis Harle
Anup Kulkarni
Simon Keizer
Mihir Mohit
Mohan Lal
Partha Mudgil
Saurabh Ganguli
Sanjeeva Pandey

Many thanks ! :-)


A social enterprise needs friends to succeed ! We are so much grateful to :

Avneet Mangat
for being heartily with us from the beginning. The professional skills of Avneet have greatly contributed to the story of Himalayan Ecotourism. His IT skills but also marketing and planning skills helped us to find our way in the ruthless business world. We need to mention that his generosity and selflessness probably lies at an even higher level !
Thierry Leneveu
for having being a crucial supporter of our organization when we were just trying to emerge. The quality we can offer you today as a trek operator would never had reached such high level without the immense contribution of Thierry.
Payson R. Stevens
for his continuous guidance. He offered us his experience as environmental scientist, businessmen and community-lover. Together we could give a concrete shape to our company as a social enterprise.
Sanjeeva Pandey
for his care and support to our fresh grassroot movement in the ecozone of the GHNP. He helped us going through all the troubles automatically coming with a local empowerment effort.
Vinay Tandon
for his astonishing goodwill towards Himalayan Ecotourism. Although we feel that his love for the Himalayan forests eclipses ours, we agree on some essential principles on which, in the present context, social entrepreneurs striving for conservation should rely for devising their strategy. Women empowerment is one of them !

Follow and suppport us

Follow us on Facebook
Our Facebook page
Support our "Stop Forest Fires"
Our crowdfunding campaign
Follow and read our blog
The Janisha Foundation
Janisha foundation
Follow our Google+ page

Contact us

Contact us

Gushaini, Teh. Banjar, Dist. Kullu, HP, India

  info@himalayanecotourism.com     +91-9816-091-093