Gagangir Roots Tour – Kashmir

On this Roots programme, we embark on an experiential journey into the lives of the Kashmiri Gujjars and Bakarwals of the Gagangir village in Jammu & Kashmir state. Wrapped with snow-capped mountains from all sides, Gagangir is a beautiful village rejoicing in its own scenic beauty. The village is situated very close to Sonmarg and here the Sindh river resumes its southwesterly direction, the valley becomes more open resulting in spectacular views of the surrounding mountainscape with emerald meadows and meandering streams.

The Gujjars and Bakarwal community of Gagangir are a semi-nomadic sheep and goat rearing group, who move between the high and low altitudes in the mountains, lands, and valleys of Jammu & Kashmir state. They mostly stay in makeshift houses made of logs and stones which are again shared by four or five families and sometimes their livestock too! The locals of the village are very friendly and will often invite you over for a hot cup of the tasty kahwa tea and freshly baked bread from their kitchens.

Through this Roots programme, The Western Mountains presents to you an opportunity to experience the daily lifestyle of the Gujjar and Bakarwal community – participate in the daily activities in their farms and modest houses, immerse yourself into the rich Kashmiri culture, indulge your taste buds in the native cuisine, contribute to preserving their heritage and treat yourself to the wonderful hospitality of the host families. We also have few activities that allow you to go the traditional tourist route and visit some of the natural wonders near the village.


Day 1

  • Assemble at Gagangir village by 6 pm. If you are unsure of traveling to Gagangir on your own, The Western Mountains can arrange for cabs to pick you up from the Srinagar Tourist Reception Centre (TRC) at 3 pm at an additional cost.
  • The Western Mountains personnel will receive you at Gagangir to transfer you to the guesthouse, where you can freshen up and will be served refreshments.
  • Spend the evening getting to know your fellow travelers and soaking in the sights and sounds of the neighborhood.
  • Meals: (Tea& Snacks, Dinner)


Day 2

  • Assalam Alaikum! Today you will be relocated to one of the quaint huts of a Kashmiri Gujjar. You get to bask in the warm-hearted hospitality of your host family and savor native cuisine at the house for the next five days!
  • Following a sumptuous breakfast, get a glimpse into the ethnic and tribal heritage of the Gujjar community with our local partner as he/she accompanies you on a walk through the village and showcases their architecture, their livelihood, cultural functions, etc.
  • Post lunch, it’s time to get those creative cooking juices flowing! Attend a workshop on the local cuisine of the village where you not only get to watch and learn but also get some hands-on experience and take home recipes.
  • An Angling expert are ya? Get geared up for a fishing challenge in the evening as we try to catch the ever elusive Himalayan Trout in the streams nearby.
  • Meals: (Breakfast, Lunch, Tea& Snacks, Dinner)


Day 3

  • An exciting morning ahead as you help the host family in tending their livestock, which is their primary livelihood. We are talking cleaning sheds, milking goats, shepherding them et al. You will repeat this activity for the next 2 days.
  • If you ever fantasized having a meal on a farm under the cool shade of a tree with the snow-capped mountains in the background, you get to fulfill that fantasy today! You will be spending a day at the local farm understanding the nuances of their livelihood and participating in the daily farming activities.
  • The Gujjar clothing – the pheran, kamarbandhs, pathan suits and caps – are a very important part of the Kashmiri identity. In the evening, you get to indulge and look dapper in some of these traditional outfits.
  • Meals: (Breakfast, Lunch, Tea& Snacks, Dinner)


Day 4

  • Nestled alongside the river Sindh, which turns into a sparkling blue as it approaches the village, Gagangir has the best picnic spots in the Post breakfast, you will set out on an overnight hiking trip to one of these scenic spots.
  • You will participate in all activities surrounding the camping – carrying ration, collecting firewood, setting up tents, cooking of meals, etc.
  • At night, gather around the bonfire under the stars to exchange stories, share experiences, listen to local legends and learn folk songs of the region.
  • Meals: (Breakfast, Lunch, Tea& Snacks, Dinner)


Day 5

  • Taking the traditional tourist route, we explore some of the neighboring natural and economically important splendors around the village – Thajwas Glacier, Zozi La pass, and Drass. You will get an opportunity to mingle with the traders at these spots and learn about their livelihoods. You can also pick up souvenirs for your loved ones back at home.
  • The Thajwas glacier at an altitude of 9,180 feet is a spectacular sight of white snow against emerald green meadows and clear blue sky. Bring out the child in you and jump in for some snow fights with the Gujjar kids or indulge in snow sledding!
  • Termed as one of the five most dangerous roads in the world, the drive up to the Zoji La pass at a whopping 13,000 feet is an adventurous and exciting one!
  • Meals: (Breakfast, Lunch, Tea& Snacks, Dinner)


Day 6

  • On this day, we give back to the beautiful community that has played host to us for the past few days by taking a survey for medical requirements and arranging for a preliminary health camp for the elders and kids.
  • Bring joy to the kids of the village through art. Watch the young ones faces lit up as we take out the coloring supplies and sit down with them to paint charts, postcards, etc.
  • In the evening, let your hair down and get together around the campfire for a celebration with the local youth. Dance to the local tunes, dress in the local clothes, learn new customs and pamper your taste buds with the local drinks and savories.
  • Meals: (Breakfast, Lunch, Tea& Snacks, Dinner)


Day 7

  • The Roots programme organized by The Western Mountains ends today. If you chose to stay back, we can organize accommodation and activities at an additional cost.
  • For those who have to leave for their homes, the Sumo cabs to take you to Srinagar can be arranged on request and traveler sharing cost to leave Gagangir by 10 am.


Regional Facts

State                                  Jammu & Kashmir.

Languages                       Kashmiri, Hindi, Gujari, Pastun & English

Best Season to visit      April – November. Weather    : 5°C to 25°C.

Altitude                             7900 feet.

ATMs                                  None.

Mobile                                 Airtel, BSNL, Vodafone.


Cost: Send Inquiry


Cost Inclusions:

  • Accommodation on a twin sharing basis in Homestay/ Guesthouse. On the overnight camping trip, the stay will be in dome tents (2/3 per tent).
  • Meals mentioned in the itinerary on a fixed menu/ buffet basis.
  • Transfers and sightseeing as per itinerary
  • All charges for guides and permits.


Cost Exclusions:

  • Travel to and fro Srinagar.
  • Airfares, airport taxes and anything not mentioned in the inclusions and itinerary.
  • Meals, tea, coffee, mineral water, tips, transfers not mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Doctor, telephone, laundry and other personal expenses.