This new green pit stop on Leh-Manali Highway to become an art and cultural hub

On a mission to aid sustainable tourism and community development in the Himalayan region, this halt provides a unique and enriching experience for travellers while supporting the local community…
Camp Kharu
Camp Kharu

Overlooking the Zanskar range and the Indus River, Royal Enfield’s inaugural Green Pit Stop in Ladakh — Camp Kharu — is strategically located on the Leh-Manali highway, serving as a blend of community, culture and conscious travel.

As part of the motorcycle brand’s social mission, the new establishment aims to work with 100 Himalayan communities to bolster their resilience against climate change.

Situated in the Kharu market, just a short drive from Leh city on the Leh-Manali highway (NH3), the camp is en route to popular tourist spots like Pangong, Tso Moriri and Hanle.

The facility is managed by six selfhelp group (SHG) women from the Kharu village, aged between 37 and 55, selected with support from the village panchayat. These women have received comprehensive training in areas such as entrepreneurship, hospitality, bookkeeping, facility management, cooking and baking. They were also taken on exposure visits to Mumbai and Goa and mentored by established chefs like chef Prateek Sadhu, who is heading Naar.

The camp features a two-storied — 1,500 sq ft structure designed by architect Sandeep Bogadhi of Earthling using rammed earth architecture, an ancient and sustainable construction practice that results in a resilient and low carbon footprint structure. The facility is fitted with solar panels, designed to remain cool in the summers and warm in the winters, even in temperatures below 25 degrees.

It includes water refilling stations, free Wi-Fi and charging points for visitors. It is a joint initiative between Royal Enfield Social Mission, the Rural Development Department/Leh Development Authority, Kharu Nambardar and the local community. Addressing the longstanding need for public hygiene facilities in Kharu, the initiative has developed this pit stop that is run for and by the regional community.

On the ground floor, the facility includes a lounge and community space for visitors, a cafe serving authentic Ladakhi dishes made from locally sourced ingredients, commercial and exhibition spaces and public convenience facilities.

The upper floor features a dedicated exhibition space to spotlight Ladakhi intangible cultural heritage, textiles and local produce. The camp also hosts workshops and community learning activities.

Camp Kharu is an ode to sustainable architecture, community initiatives and avenues for cultural exchange to show the way for mindful exploration. The Green Pit Stop is meant for slow travel, making one savour local experiences.

Camp Kharu
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