Gurudongma was founded by retired Indian Army General, "Jimmy Singh" in 1992, together with Catherine Pradhan. The idea was to provide a "total experience". We believe that this must involve an understanding of the people, their lifestyles, and their interaction with nature. We are convinced the nature and ethnic culture, must be preserved. We started with operations in Sikkim Himalayas and North East India. Today we have crafted exiting tours to all the interesting parts of India.
We operate on the basis of "small is beautiful". We like to cater for individuals, couples, and small groups, so that we tread softly on the environment. It also helps us in building a rapport with our guests. Conversations, varied cuisine, carefully chosen accommodation, knowledgeable and caring escorts, interesting itineraries, local involvement, and reliability, are the basis of our personalized service. We offer Nature & Culture in comfort and Adventure in style. No wonders, we are the preferred choice of those who desire a different kind of experience.
General "Jimmy" Singh, has spent most of his Indian Army service, in the Eastern Himalayas, having commanded a Mountain Brigade in Sikkim, a Mountain Division in Arunachal Pradesh, and a Mountain Corps responsible for the defence of Sikkim and Bhutan. Having walked to almost every pass on the Himalayan Watershed, he was responsible for deploying large bodies of troops in virgin terrain upto altitudes of 18000 feet. Whilst in command of the counter Insurgency School in the tribal state of Mizoram, he extensively interacted with the tribal population in Manipur, Nagaland, and Mizoram, and learned the values of living in harmony with nature. He has an abiding interest in history, geopolitics, ecology, culture, religion and lifestyles of people living in the remote regions of India. He is dedicated to introducing people to our heritage. Our tour itineraries are selected and updated by the General, based on his experience, ground reconnaissance, and interaction with people.
The General offers two properties around Kalimpong – Gurudongma House, and Samthar Farmhouse, for use by his guests on the concept of home stay, The Samthar Farm House, has been converted from an old Lepcha Farm House, into an Eco Lodge, in a remote area.
Catherine Pradhan Lobo, was the co-founder of Gurudongma Tours & Treks along with General Singh. She was the moving spirit in setting up the Samthar Farm House, as an Eco wilderness lodge. Over eight years she has build up invaluable ground experience. Dynamic, charming and a "hands on" worker, she loves to interact with people. Her concern for her guests, efficient management of tours and hospitality, and the ability to perform a wide variety of functions, encompassing house keeping, kitchen operations, and tour operations, has been instrumental in building our reputation, leading to many repeat guests. Catherine has done extensive research in local recipes, and created a special range of interactive cuisine, which makes dining at the Farmhouse, an experience to remember. Catherine manages hospitality and operates our jeep adventures and car tours. She is also responsible for training local village folks as our house staff.
Lt Colonel Uthaya is a native of Coorg. During his service with the Indian army, he served in the remotest parts of the country, indulging in his passion for adventure. He owns and operates his own estate "Four winds", growing coffee, pepper, cinnamon, ginger and vanilla. An ardent naturalist, he has explored the remotest corners of Coorg, walking the wild mountains and forests He joined the Girudongma team, determined to establish Coorg as a destination for nature lovers. Uthaya personally operates, homestays, treks and tours in coorg and assists us in operating tours to other destinations in South India. Our guests to Coorg have been overwhelmed by his hospitality, amazed with the natural wonders of Coorg, and enthralled with his knowledge of the envoirnment. His passion is the distinctive traditions of his people and the preservation of nature.
General "Shandy" Gupta was born and bred in Rajasthan. His experiences with the Indian Army span over 30 years of soldering in the remotest corners on India . He has been deputy divisional commander in Nagaland, and commanded a division in Kashmir. Later he served with distinction with the "Black cat" commandos of the National Security Guard. He has extensive experience in the Western Himalayas and Rajasthan, and has been operating quality tours and treks, and home stay holidays based at Delhi, for the last eight years. Our guests remember him for his efficient service, absolute reliability, charming personality, and helpful attitude. He operates GURUDONGMA NORTH at Delhi, and is responsible for, tours and treks in Delhi, Agra, Rajasthan, Varanasi, Khajuraho, Ladakh and Himachal Pradesh. He also takes care of transit arrangements through Delhi, air lines bookings, and transportation.