|About Gurudongma Tours & Treks
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 exciting 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.
Retired Lt General "Jimmy" Singh, Founder; 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 in Sikkim.. 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.
The General is based at the Samthar Farm House and is the Mentor and tour consultant for Gurudongma Tours and Treks. He conceptualizes our tour packadges and keeps them updated based on his experience, ground reconnaissance, and interaction with people. He also corresponds with all our clients personally to finalize all tours and treks.
The General offers two properties around Kalimpong – Gurudongma House, and Samthar Farmhouse, for use by his guests on the concept of home stay, He has initiated an Integrated Village Tourism project at Samthar. Called Awake & Shine, which aims at empowering the village community through value added tours and village homestays, and handicrafts. It also provides for Community lifestyle improvement, and support for vocational trades.
Catherine Pradhan Lobo, Co - founder. She was the moving spirit in setting up the Samthar Farm House, as an Eco wilderness lodge. Over 15 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 contributed towards 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 now runs Gurudongma Tours and Treks focussing on operations, and manages hospitality at Gurudongma House. She is also responsible for training local village folks as our house staff.