Hello world! I along with my brother run a responsible travel outfit based in Kargil region of Union Territory of Ladakh, India. Started in 2014, We work out of a small travel cafe/office space and are team of 5 super chilled and outdoorsy people. We are all born an brought up in Kargil. Through the year we organize treks, camps, creative travel workshops, wildlife tours and cultural tours all over Ladakh. We deeply believe in being conscious and responsible travelers and are passionate about giving back to the community. Since last few years we have initiated various projects in Kargil to promote responsible tourism and heritage conversation. Through these projects we are trying to bring tangible change in the lives of the local people and conserve both cultural and natural heritage of the region. More information can be found online or can be made available via email.
Kargil region of Ladakh has largely remained unexplored for tourism due to its Geo-political location and its war history, the most recent being the Indo-Pak conflict of 1999. Even after peace being restored 15 years ago, Kargil remains unknown and misrepresented. Our vision is to bring Kargil on the world responsible tourism map and change people's notion of Kargil as a war ridden garrison town. Our mission is to help travelers see and explore Kargil beyond its war history.
This year in 2022, we are starting a new hostel/B&B in Kargil town for travellers, backpackers, bikers and climbers.
DIY and building projects
Help with Computers/ Internet
Kargil is a unique Himalayan region with a multi-ethnic culture and history. As an important stop on the ancient Silk Route, kargil is now home to 6 different ethnicities each having their own unique language, culture, history, food and art forms. With the Nun-Kun massif standing high at 7135m and 7077m respectively, (the two highest peaks in the Ladakh Himalayas), Kargil also offers some of the most beautiful yet untouched landscapes ideal for outdoor sports and activities such as trekking, hiking, mountain biking, rafting/kayaking, bouldering, rock climbing, mountaineering, alpine and cross country skiing, ice hockey, night/astrophotography to name a few. All in all, with all the amazing people that you are going to work and chill with, and the plethora of adventure activities to be a part of, this experience most definitely will be for keeps.
So it would be a great opportunity for a creative individual who is looking to explore a new culture and landscape at the same time contribute to the local community and bring positive through meaningful design.
Anyone with one or all of the following skill sets could reach out to us
1. Barista/Restaurant manager: Working on our cafe station as the barista and managing the billing counter. If you are skilled in working with coffee, brews and baking that would be a great plus.
2. Front desk and and guest coordinator: Manage our hostel front desk and interface with the guests seeking accommodation or any other travel related help/information.
3. We have social media handles where we keep in touch with people and update everyone about our upcoming projects/events etc. Therefore, we are looking for someone who can manage our Instagram as well.
Previous work experience will definitely matter.
We maintain a small volunteers quarter with two rooms and a common bathroom, common self-cooking kitchen and dining area close to our hostel. You will get a room to yourself but incase of other volunteers coming around the same time, you will have to share the room. Rooms have two single beds with mattresses and clean bedding (sheets, pillow and pillow cover, quilt/blanket). You can bring your own sleeping bag if you like (always comes in handy during any of our weekend hikes/campouts etc). In the bathroom there is hot running water, the commode is Indian Style.
The kitchen will be equipped with a gas cooking stove, utensils and crockery but you will have to cook on your own. Food will also be prepared in our hostel kitchen for the staff. Typically, when we have volunteers, the team ends up eating together during lunch/dinner atleast 2 to 3 times in a week or sometimes even more (we either make something in the cafe or go out and eat) If you are a good cook, then you ll have lot of "hangry" people to feed.
- A shared room to sleep
- Clean bedding
- Shared bathroom with hot water
- Self-cooking common kitchen
- Transport if travelling locally for work
- Windows work station with Photoshop, Illustrator, Premier Pro (If you are a Mac user, make sure you bring your laptop along)
- Bicycle (when required)
- Books to read
- Authentic Himalayan hospitality
- Local knowledge
- Local cuisine
- Great friends to chill with and great outdoors to be in
We do not provide:
- Your airfare
- Road transport to reach and leave Kargil
- Travel/Medical Insurance
- Travel and other expenses for travelling within Ladakh outside of work
Kargil is a quaint mountain town situated equidistant between Srinagar (Kashmir) and Leh (Ladakh), both at an approximate distance of 220kms along the National Highway 1. One can reach Kargil from Srinagar by a road journey of 6 hours via the Zojila Pass at an altitude of 11200ft, also known as the Gateway to Ladakh. It takes same of less amount of time from Leh to reach Kargil via Fotola and Namkila pass. While the route from Leh remains open throughout the year but route from Srinagar remains shut for almost 4-5 months during the cold winter months and is operational from May to Nov/Dec. There are daily shared taxis from both Leh and Srinagar to Kargil.
Our workspace comprises of our studio as well as the cafe. It is equipped with wifi, kitchen, books, stationary, work station, washroom etc. You can work out of the studio/cafe or out of your room or wherever you like as long as we stick to the deadlines. We appreciate people who can take charge and ownership of their roles and is able work under minimum supervision. You must be ready to get out of your comfort zone sometimes while visiting local homes in villages, using traditional Ladakhi toilets, living without internet or electricity, walking for longer than you would normally do living in a city.
We require you to commit for a minimum period of one month in Kargil starting from May 2018. We are open to extending your stay beyond one month based on the work. Our main working season is from April to September. While we continue conducting tours till November and even some treks in the winters but May to August are our busiest months.
Kargil town is situated at an altitude of 8500ft with an average elevation of 9500ft which can go upto 15000ft in some areas. The weather in summer are pleasant ranging from 25 to 35 degrees in the day to 10 to 15 degrees in the night. We can guide you on clothing depending on which month you are coming.
Fitness is an important aspect we look at when we call volunteers as the landscape and the activities requires you to be physically active sometimes. It is always advisable to do a fitness check up from a medical practitioner and study about Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) before coming to Ladakh. Remember your safety is in your hands. Dont take AMS lightly!
Over the years we have hosted young volunteers from all over India and the world ranging from designers, architects, researchers, artists, doctors, physiotherapists, usually in the age group of 20 to 35. They have been involved with us in various projects are some have even made multiple journeys back to Kargil.
As far as things to do and see while in Kargil, there are plenty of options from day/weekend hikes to glacial lakes and ancient fort ruins, cycling, trekking and bouldering in Suru valley, visit and stay at monasteries in Wakha and Mulbekh, village homestays and cultural visits in Henasku and Aryan valley, wildlife and birding, apricot farming and harvesting, visit the local Munshi Aziz Bhat Museum (that preserves the silk route heritage of Kargil), visit the three ancient 7th century rock cut Buddha statues (they are from the same period of the Bamiyan Statues which were destroyed by the Taliban), weekend trips to Leh. In the summer we also love going out camping and fishing so you are most welcome to join us. If you are into night photography you are in for a treat as Ladakh offers the cleanest and clearest skies. You can also plan a trip to Zanskar valley which is one of the remotest regions of Ladakh at a distance of 10 hours drive from Kargil. We can help you plan this trip in detail. These are some of the many things that you can do during your stay in Kargil. On a usual day you will find yourself chilling and hangout with our crazy friends at the cafe trying to do some food experiments in the kitchen. New and fresh ideas on how to make our cafe menu interesting are always welcome!
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
We have beautiful lounge and workspace area where digital nomads can work in peace. We have good WiFi internet connection and 4G mobile connectivity also works with decent speed.
Cats and dogs.
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week,