Welcome to Ladakhi Women’s Travel Company, a travel agency owned and operated by Ladakhi women. Founded by Thinlas Chorol, Ladakh's most experienced female guide, our agency specialises in organising homestay treks, providing trekkers with female guides and porters. Read more about our staff here.
Our aim is to encourage the women of Ladakh to show their abilities and skills, particularly in the more remote areas. Through homestays we give the women in the villages a chance to meet new people and new cultures. You in turn can learn from them.
A homestay means that you are staying in a real Ladakhi home in the villages you pass on your journey. These homes are always run by the women, while the men are out earning the family’s income. By using the homestay system, we help the women to achieve the same status as the men. It also encourages people to remain in their villages instead of seeking employment in the cities. Homestays are also the most eco-friendly way to discover Ladakh as the system puts a lot less pressure on natural resources, since the need for ponies and donkeys is not as great. Ponies and donkeys are necessary if you are camping and cooking out, but they tend to eat the limited grass available, depriving local wildlife and domestic animals of their food supply.
In addition to helping women by means of homestays, our agency employs only women for organizing and running our treks, a policy which serves as a unique example to all women in Ladakh and we are as yet the only agency using only female guides. We believe in providing quality and good service. Our most senior guide and founder is one of the few Ladakhis to complete a comprehensive course in wilderness skills and leadership at the National Outdoor Leadership School, and an advanced mountaineering course at the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute in Darjeeling.
As well as helping women in the villages, we also aim to support the preservation of Ladakhi culture. Our guides are highly knowledgeable about the places you visit and history behind them, and are more than happy to tell you about the real Ladakh. When using the homestay system you will get a closer look at the traditional Ladakhi way of life in a way you could never experience in a guesthouse. If you wish, you may even get the chance to try working with Ladakhis in the fields and in their homes. While trekking, you will of course observe the local Ladakhi flora and fauna, which our guides are always willing to tell you about.
Find out more online about Ladakhi Women's Travel Company and Thinlas:
- BBC News, 17 March 2016
- India's The Hindu, 12 March 2015
- A blog by Green Eileen, an initiative of Eileen Fisher Inc., 2 October 2014
- Vikalp Sangam article about SECMOL graduates, inc. Thinlas, 18 September 2014
- India's The Telegraph newspaper, 21 April 2013
- The UK's Financial Times, 7 January 2012
- The UK's Guardian Travel section, 4 November 2011