Gone Camping in India with the Ultimate Travelling Camp
India probably isn’t the first country in mind when the word ‘glamping’ is mentioned. Let the modestly-named The Ultimate Travelling Camp (TUTC) change your mind, with its mobile-tented luxury camps in India that are only erected and operated when the weather is best.
At Chamba Camp in Thiksey, Ladakh, the 18 air-conditioned tents are set on a plain with a majestic view of the Thiksey Monastery, a hilltop gompa located at an altitude of 3,600 metres. Itineraries at Thiksey include a game of polo – the sport of Ladakh royalty, a raft ride down the River Indus, picnic lunches by quiet riversides and trekking through remote villages and monasteries. The remoteness of the setting is stark, making one appreciate the wifi and cappuccino machines at the camp all the more.
At Chamba Camp in Diskit, the terrain gets a bit jagged, with tents set in the village of Diskit in the Leh Valley of Ladakh, where two ancient rivers – Nubra and Shyok – meet. Here in Ladakh, India does not feel like India, being closer in culture to Tibet, where Buddhism reigns and saffron-robed monks blow ceremonial horns. From here, a glamper can explore windswept sand dunes, soaring cliffs and cobalt blue lakes under the shadow of the mighty Himalayas.
When winter falls and the passes of Ladakh become engorged with snow and festooned with ice, TUTC moves east to the state of Nagaland, setting up its tents in rolling hills and verdant rainforests that border Myanmar. Here, in this little-travelled part of India, are the 16 proud tribes that form the Naga people, who still retain much of their traditional heritage, which include vestiges of headhunting. Kohima Camp Nagaland is set up to coincide with the ten-day Hornbill Festival, where all 16 tribes come together in a vibrant pageant of culture.
Chamba Camp Thiksey runs from May to October 2016, while Chamba Camp Diskit runs from May to September 2016. Kohima Camp Nagaland runs from November to December 2016. TUTC camps vary by year, and other planned camps include Hampi Camp in Karnataka and Karan Mahal Camp in Srinagar.