Gold Awardees

Sarmoli Village, Uttarakhand

- Description

Sarmoli Village has been recognized as the Best Tourism Village 2023 in Gold Category.

Sarmoli is situated in the first rise of the Greater Himalayas, rounded by the picturesque snow-capped mountains.

Sarmoli is the perfect tapestry of nature and culture depicted through the vibrant wildlife and charismatic culture.

Sarmoli showcase the unanimity between the local community, NGOs and State Tourism Board which can be seen through the empowered rural community and the increased opportunities for the society.


Sarmoli Village, located in the Munsiari region of Uttarakhand, India, is a picturesque destination nestled in the Western Himalayas. It boasts an altitude of 2300 meters above sea level and offers breathtaking views of the Greater Himalayan mountain range. Sarmoli is renowned for its vibrant rural community, rich cultural heritage, and unique blend of traditional and modern elements. With a population of around 1000 adults, it has become a thriving hub for both domestic and international tourists, attracting 25,000 domestic and 5,000 international visitors annually. The village offers various types of accommodations, including 27 homestays, 11 lodges, and hotels, totaling 38 units with 224 beds. Sarmoli's proximity to natural attractions like Mesar Kund, Khalia Trek, and the Nanda Devi Temple enhances its appeal as a tourist destination.


The theme of Sarmoli Village's tourism is "Responsible Rural Tourism and Cultural Conservation."Sarmoli focuses on offering tourists an authentic rural experience while conserving its rich cultural and natural resources. This theme encompasses cultural immersion, sustainable tourism practices, conservation of biodiversity, and equitable economic development. Sarmoli's tourism is deeply rooted in the local culture, traditions, and natural beauty, making it a unique and responsible destination.


1. Mesar Kund: Located within the Van Panchayat of Sarmoli village, Mesar Kund is known for its folklore, the annual Mesar Forest Festival, and its Cultural Ecosystem Services. It is a popular tourist destination, offering a unique blend of culture and nature.

2. Khalia Trek: The Khalia Trek is a trekking route known for its scenic beauty and natural landscapes. Tourists can explore lush forests, meadows, and enjoy breathtaking views of the Himalayan peaks.

3. Nanda Devi Temple: This temple is dedicated to the goddess Nanda Devi and holds religious significance. It attracts pilgrims and tourists who wish to experience the spirituality and architecture of the region.


● Himal Kalasutra Village Festival: This annual festival celebrates the unique wool craft, folk music, dances, storytelling, film making, and yoga of Sarmoli. It aims to showcase the traditional and modernizing dimensions of the village, bridging the urban-rural divide.

● Homestays: Sarmoli offers a range of homestays that provide culturally immersive experiences. Tourists can participate in local festivals, craft and cuisine workshops, and cultural expeditions while staying with local families.

● Sarmoli is a hotspot for birdwatching and natural history expeditions. Trained local guides lead visitors on birding tours and treks to explore the region's biodiversity.

● Mesar Forest Fair: An annual event around the folklore of MesarDevta, this fair features folk dances, music, local cuisine, film screenings, games, and exhibitions showcasing cultural and natural heritage.

● The village continues to practice agriculture alongside tourism, including the cultivation of Rajma, which has a Geographical Indication (GI) tag.


● Cultural Preservation : Sarmoli's tourism model has helped preserve the authentic Himalayan culture and identity, resisting market-driven changes that erode tradition.

● Local Ownership : The emphasis on local ownership and control of natural resources through the Van Panchayat has safeguarded forests and ensured that tourism benefits the local community.

● Economic Sustainability : Tourism has provided dignified livelihoods to local residents, with direct earnings from tourists and revenue-sharing models that keep 98% of revenue within the village.

● Environmental Conservation : Sarmoli's commitment to environmental sustainability includes afforestation, water body conservation, responsible waste management, and promoting self-owned entrepreneurship tied to conservation.