February  5 — 11, 2023

Woman’s Heritage Walk

Cherishing the past to inform our best future

What’s included:

  • Each Walking Adventure Varies but is Deeply Infused With Culture and Heritage, Mentally and Physically Challenging, and Creating a Global Sisterhood Within a Wellness Community, Teaching us Respect and Empathy.
  • 12 Weeks of Wellness Training
  • Weekly Wellness Prompts
  • 6 Zoom Meetings Reinforce Bi-Weekly Goals That Create Special Bonds Even Before We Meet Face to Face. It is Also Time for Questions and Answers or Contemplations.
  • All Meals and Lodging
  • 1 Hour of Wellness Coaching
  • Support of the WHW Team of Organizers
  • Event T-shirt
  • Celebrations Of Success
  • Lifetime Membership in a Unique and Supportive Group of Adventurous Women

SPONSORSHIP:

We are forever grateful to the individuals, companies, and businesses that believed in the strength and tenacity of women and supported this challenge. Click here to see what sponsors have blessed us since 2016. 

Walks in and around:

  • Korean Park (Koregaon Park)
  • Osho Park
  • Sarsbaug Gardens
  • Parvati Hill
  • Singagad Fort
  • Tekdi
  • Bhai and Karle Caves 

Historical Visits to:

  • Zapurza Museum
  • Pune University
  • Tata Motors
  • Iyengar Institute for Yoga
  • Karve Stree Shikshan Sanstha
  • Bhaje and Karle Caves
  • Indian Classical Dance

Lectures by Experts on:

  • Women and Hinduism
  • 7,500 Years of Mrarashian
  • Renowned Women of Pune
  • Ayurveda
  • Significance of Sinhagad Fort
  • Traditional Indian Diet
  • Iyengar Yoga

Meet the team

Manjiri Khandekar loves learning and has a degree in Ancient Indian Culture and History from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai, a Post-Graduate Diploma in Mass Communications from the Sophia Polytechnic, Mumbai, and a Master of Philosophy in French from the University of Pune.

A collaboration with the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, started her career at the University of Pune after authoring a textbook in French language acquisition. Her professional trajectory culminated two decades later with a project at the Montpellier University in France, where she presented two Marathi films subtitled into French with a team of students and teachers. She recently retired after twenty years of teaching French at the Master’s level.

In May of 2007, Manjiri launched her own company: Heritage India Communications Pvt. Ltd. The focus is to create a heightened awareness of India’s rich and vast heritage. In addition to scholarly publications, Heritage India organizes teacher and student workshops, quiz competitions, heritage tours, and multiple online courses on various aspects of Indian heritage for a global audience.

Punyakatha – Pune’s Story of a Million Years, published by Manjiri in October 2021, is a children’s book but serves as a family encyclopedia of the treasures of the region of Pune. She became involved with the Women’s Heritage Walk in July 2022 and is proud and excited to showcase her country in this unique Walk with women from across the globe.

Manjiri Khandekar – [Managing Director]

Anuradha is the Admin and Accounts Head at Heritage India Communications Private Limited. She has been associated with the organization for over a decade and is very closely involved in the day-to-day activities of the organization.
She has completed a bachelor’s degree in science and a bachelor’s in journalism from Pune University.

Alongside her career, she has a keen interest and is involved in various philanthropic activities, as demonstrated by her association with the Rotary International Club Pune. Projects related to generating electricity in tribal areas and creating awareness about women’s health, to name a few. She also helmed the position of the President of the Rotary Club of Pune, Sinhagad Road, during 2021 – 2022.

Anuradha Kale – General Manager [Admin & Accounts]

Vandana is responsible for digital marketing and assists with the operations of Heritage India. Being the wife of an Army Officer, life taught her multiple life lessons. She learned coping mechanisms when dealing with adverse situations, nurturing younger wives and families, and administration during challenging times. Vandana worked in the field of education for twenty-five years, during which she spent eight years as a school principal. She acquired skills in digital marketing at the age of fifty-nine and joined Heritage India to look after the company’s digital marketing. She is keen to help the company scale greater heights in its mission to take India’s rich heritage far & wide.
Vandana Bolakhe - General Manager [Social Media]

Namrata has been an integral part of Heritage India Communications Pvt. Ltd. from its inception, handling the marketing and distribution in the early years to handling the website and other digital aspects of the company, even as she moved to Canada.

Namrata has a Bachelor’s from Fergusson College Pune in Economics and Université de Paris 2 in Mass Communications. She also has a Master’s from École Supérieur de Publicité with Certification as a Manager of Communications agencies. She enjoys working with children and being an active part of the community. Alongside Heritage India, she enthusiastically volunteers at her children’s school and is a part-time substitute teacher.

A mother of two active boys, in her free time, she tries to stay fit through dance and sports and explores places and cultures through books.

Ruma Ghosh is an adventurer with a curious mind. She is an extroverted, independent woman who loves outdoor activities. She has lived in three countries and traveled to twenty-two fascinating countries. Ruma enjoys learning about different cultures.

She and her husband lived in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, and walked in the Women’s Heritage Walk in 2020. She loved both the training and the challenge. This unique was a lifetime experience to walk 120 kilometers in the sand with 50 ladies from different nationalities for five days. This Walk was a challenge to me physically, mentally, and emotionally. I also learned a lot about the UAE culture and heritage.

After living twenty-two years abroad, she returned to her native India. Ruma realized she had yet to explore her homeland with the same enthusiasm as in other countries and made it a goal to learn more about her culture and heritage. She met Manjiri Khandekar through her organization Heritage India in Pune. She is delighted to volunteer as an administrative assistant with the Women’s Heritage Walk. She will assist Manjiri in showcasing some heritage sites in Pune and Mumbai during the upcoming Women’s Heritage Walk India in February 2023. This international project is exciting for her, and she is proud to be involved in this project.

Ruma is happily married and living in her hometown. Her son continues to live and work in Dubai. She is excited about this new adventure and is looking forward to welcoming friends to her beautiful hometown of Pune.

Namrata Khandekar-Boileau – [Founder & Director]

FAQS India

What is the fitness level required for the Walk.

Trekking in the mountains of Bhutan for 12 days, including passes of 13,000 feet, is a physically demanding and challenging adventure, and a good level of fitness is required. Here are some things to consider when determining if you are ready for this level of activity:

Cardiovascular fitness: Trekking at high altitude for 12 days, including passes over 13,000 feet, requires a good level of cardiovascular fitness. This can be achieved by regular aerobic exercise such as brisk walking, cycling, or running, as well as by gradually increasing the altitude you are training at.

Endurance: Being able to trek for several hours at a time and at high altitude requires a good level of endurance. Building up to this level of activity can be done by gradually increasing the duration and intensity of your training over time.

Strength: Trekking at high altitude for 12 days requires good leg and core strength to help you maintain good posture and to carry your gear. Regular strength training exercises such as squats, lunges, and leg press can help to build leg and core strength.

Flexibility: Trekking at high altitude for long periods of time can be hard on the body, so flexibility is important to reduce the risk of injury. Stretching and yoga can help to improve your flexibility.

Training: It’s important to train for this level of activity by gradually increasing the distance and altitude of your training over time.

Acclimatization: As you will be trekking at high altitude, you will need to allow yourself sufficient time to acclimatize before starting the trek.

Altitude sickness: Be aware of the symptoms of altitude sickness and know how to prevent and treat it.

It’s essential to consult with your doctor before attempting this level of activity, particularly if you have any health concerns or haven’t been physically active in a while. A medical clearance is required as part of the application.

It’s also important to note that, as you will be trekking at high altitude, it’s essential to be well-prepared and to have a plan in case of an emergency, including knowing how to prevent and treat altitude sickness.

In addition to physical fitness, it is also important to have a positive attitude and good mental preparation for the trek. The trek will be challenging, and it’s important to be prepared for this, both physically and mentally. The 12 weeks of Wellness will help you to prepare. With proper preparation and training, you can increase your chances of having a successful and enjoyable trek in the mountains of Bhutan.

What will be the weather during our journey?

Bhutan has a diverse climate due to its varying elevation, with different regions experiencing different weather patterns. In general, October is considered the pre-winter season, and the weather can be cool and dry.

In the lower elevations, the temperature ranges from around 15-20 degrees Celsius (59-68 degrees Fahrenheit) during the day and around 5-10 degrees Celsius (41-50 degrees Fahrenheit) at night. The higher elevations can be much cooler, with temperatures dropping below freezing at night. It’s also possible to have some rain, as it is the tail end of the monsoon season, but it’s usually light and not that frequent.

Given that your journey is planned between October 11-23, it’s not possible to give an accurate forecast as the weather can change depending on the location, altitude and the year.

What should I bring, how should I pack for such a journey?

Here is a list of essentials that you should bring and how to pack for a journey in Bhutan in October:

Clothing: Pack comfortable and breathable clothing that can be layered, including a waterproof jacket and pants, thermal underwear, a fleece or down jacket, a hat, gloves, and a scarf. Pack enough clothes to last 12 days and be prepared for varying weather conditions.

Footwear: Pack a sturdy and comfortable pair of hiking boots or shoes with good grip and support. Also, pack a pair of lightweight shoes or sandals for camp.

Sleeping gear: Pack a good quality, lightweight sleeping bag, and a camping pillow. We will provide comfortable warm sleeping mats.

Daypack: Pack a good quality, comfortable hydration backpack that can be worn for long periods of time amd hold all your day gear, such as water, snacks, camera, and extra layers. Your non-daily essentials will be moved forward to the next campsite. Pack at least 2-3 liters of water capacity and a water purification system.

It’s also important to pack a lightweight and waterproof rain cover for your backpack in case of unexpected rain.

Food: Pack high-energy snacks such as nuts, dried fruits, and protein bars

First-Aid kit: Pack a comprehensive first-aid kit, including bandages, pain relievers, anti-inflammatory, and antibiotic ointment.

Headlamp or flashlight: Pack a headlamp or flashlight with extra batteries.

Personal hygiene items: Pack personal hygiene items such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, wet wipes, and hand sanitizer.

Sun protection: Pack a wide brim hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and lip balm.

Cash and cards: Pack enough cash and credit cards for emergencies.

Travel documents: Pack your passport, visa, and any other important travel documents.

Additionally, it’s important to consider the cultural customs of Bhutan, and pack clothes that are appropriate for the temples and monasteries you will be visiting. Avoid wearing revealing or tight clothing and bring clothes that cover your knees and shoulders.

Finally, it’s a good idea to bring a small amount of cash in local currency, as many places in Bhutan do not accept credit or debit cards.

Overall, the key is to be well-prepared, comfortable and keep it minimalistic, so you can focus on the journey and enjoy the beautiful scenery of Bhutan.

What is the food like? Will it be vegetarian or non-vegetarian?

The food in Bhutan is diverse and flavorful, and it is heavily influenced by traditional Tibetan and Indian cuisine. The staple food is rice and chili, and dishes are often prepared with a variety of locally grown vegetables and herbs.

Bhutanese cuisine is known for its use of chili peppers and cheese, which are used in many dishes. The traditional Bhutanese diet includes a lot of red rice, buckwheat, and wheat, as well as vegetables and meat.

The Bhutanese people are largely Buddhist, so there is a significant number of vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. There is a strong tradition of vegetarianism in Bhutan, and many Bhutanese people avoid meat, especially on religious days.

Vegetarian options include dishes such as Ema Datshi (chili and cheese), Jasha Maru (spicy chicken), and Kewa Datshi (potatoes and cheese). Non-vegetarian options include dishes such as Phaksha Paa (pork with chili), Hoentoe (buckwheat noodles with meat) and Goep (tripe).

If you have any dietary restrictions or preferences, it’s important to communicate them in advance with us to ensure that suitable food options are available during your journey.

What type of accommodation will be provided during the trek?

Charming, unique hotels when in Punakha, Para, and Thimphu.

During the mountain trek, you will be sleeping in traditional tents used by Yak Herders. They are specially designed to give you an old world feeling and to be light enough to be carried on horseback to the next location. We know you will enjoy them.

What do you mean by acclimatization and altitude sickness?

Acclimatization is the process of adjusting to the decreased oxygen levels at higher elevations, which is necessary when trekking or traveling to high altitude regions such as Bhutan. When you ascend to elevations above 2,500 meters (8,200 feet), your body needs time to adjust to the lower levels of oxygen in the air.

The best way to prepare for high altitude is to allow your body time to acclimatize. This can be done by gradually increasing your elevation over time and avoiding rapid ascent. The general recommendation is to spend a night at an altitude of 2,500-3,000 meters (8,200-9,800 feet) before moving on to higher elevations.

Other things that can help your body acclimatize include:

Drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated

  • Eating high-energy foods
  • Getting enough rest and sleep
  • Taking it easy on the first few days and avoid overexertion and using oxygen supplements if needed

Being aware of symptoms of altitude sickness and knowing how to prevent and treat it.

It’s important to note that not everyone will acclimatize at the same rate, and some people may be more susceptible to altitude sickness. If you are experiencing symptoms of altitude sickness such as headaches, nausea, fatigue, and shortness of breath, it’s important to descend to a lower altitude and seek medical attention if necessary.

In summary, acclimatization is an important process that helps your body adjust to the lower levels of oxygen at high altitudes, and it is essential for a safe and comfortable journey in high altitude regions like Bhutan.