Did You Know?

Villagers have planted willows in cordoned-off areas to help the greening process in the region and create a healthier environment.

Homestays Maps are available for sale at bookings offices in Leh. They are interpretive maps on flora, fauna and culture with detailed daily itineraries and trekking routes.

TOURISM WITH A DIFFERENCE

“If local people benefit from tourists, they will definitely help in the conservation process.”

Although Himalayan Homestays came to the fore in 2002, the idea started taking shape some 10 years ago. Locals in Ladakh had expressed their interest in generating income from the increasing number of visitors passing through their villages. In what way could they be involved in a tourism experience that would benefit visitors, hosts and the environment? Himalayan Homestays was subsequently initiated to help locals generate income and simultaneously conserve wildlife and the environment’s natural resources.

The Snow Leopard Conservancy-India Trust (SLC-IT) and the Wildlife Department of J&K has trained more than 90 participating locals at 15 sites in Ladakh and Zanskar in the art of tourist hospitality, thus providing locals with the opportunity to earn, interact with guests and learn about hygiene, tourism and conservation techniques.

The first fully sustained livestock insurance scheme was initiated in Ulley. The majority of the village’s large, able-bodied livestock have been insured against predatory animals and other accidents.

10 percent of all Homestays proceeds are spent on community-led conservation drives, such as the restoration of cultural heritage, garbage management, banning the sale of plastic bottles, fencing of tree-plantation areas and setting aside traditional pasture areas for wild ungulates.

The construction of predator-proof corrals directly benefit local families and prevent incidents of multiple predations.

Many Ladakhis have been trained as nature guides to identify and show visitors the rarest of flora and fauna.


Parachute Cafés:
These tented cafés run cooperatively by village women practice good garbage management and use natural gas and kerosene for cooking. They also sell pressure-boiled, filtered water and minimize the use of plastic bottles.


Predator-proof Pens:
The SLC assists herders to predator-proof their livestock pens. For every pen that’s reinforced in this manner, between two to five snow leopards are saved.


Solar-boiled Water:
Spring water freshly collected from the mountains is boiled in
a solar cooker. It’s pure, hygienically prepared and 100 percent safe to drink; what’s more, it doesn’t waste nature’s precious fuel resources and also helps reduce litter – no excess plastic bottles!


Solar Showers:
For a steaming, eco-friendly shower along your trek, be sure to stop at these unique attractions along trekking routes, in Sku Kaya and Ulley. Donated by tour operators Snow Leopard Trails & Overland Escape, these showers are a wonderful alternative to bathing in the river, which pollutes the water for those using it downstream.

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