Ranikhet And Kausani : Himalayan Meadows – Part II (Cottage Stay)

During numerous sojourns to the Himalayas, we often dream of a stay in ‘real’ mountainous solitude – perhaps a cottage, an independent abode entirely to ourselves, ‘far from the madding crowd’. Since this holiday cottage was made of what we had always dreamt of, I devote this section to our stay there. The owner has assured that tourists willing to stay there can always check on its availability.


Perched majestically on slopes of a ridge, this Tudor style cottage overlooks ravines filled with pines. Look further and you have the Himalayan ranges, with Dunagiri at the foreground to snow clad peaks of Kamet, Nanda Devi, Trishul. Snow peaks were visible on two of the three days we stayed there.

The fully loaded, newly built cottage comes with a large drawing room (elegant upholstery, wooden flooring and a fireplace that actually works), equally large open kitchen with all and sundry utilities including a microwave, coffee maker, gas stove, full set of cutlery, potable water arrangements and complete set of utensils to indulge in unencumbered culinary adventurism. That is, in fact, what Sharmi and her father did (both being cooking freaks as against me being ‘God-help-me-from-entering-kitchen’ freak).

The expansive, well outfitted drawing room extends into a cosy bedroom with a styled bathroom on one side and a generous balcony on outer side. A set of wooden stairs leads to the hanging wooden gallery overlooking the drawing room. The gallery houses a TV (with a range of Tatasky channels), which I consider superfluous (not my daughter though), a modest library (which has coffee table books, maps on local area/Uttarakhand, Jim Corbett’s Kumaon collections, informational stuff on local flora & fauna, etc. apart from travel magazines) and a comfy seating space. The gallery leads into another bedroom on first floor with its own bathroom. All the rooms have large front and rear balconies, glass doors and a tasteful bedding/ upholstery. Bathroom have modern amenities including 24/7 water and geyser. This being a private house meant for personal use, there is an unmistakable homely flavour all around.

The caretaker also needs a mention here; an affable local guy in his twenties (name..hello..missed), who is available almost round the clock to guide us through the motions. He can get grocery from the nearby market, provide information about the local area, does cleaning of utensils and willingly prepares tea/coffee/other regular stuff if one wants so. He took me down to a village some 2 kms along the trail, quite happily.

The Majkhali market is about 5-minute walk away and stuff needed for regular cooking can be easily sourced from there.

One touching aspect of our stay was provision of a transistor (remember? – the good old source of our collective joy – sadly on its way to extinction because instead of carrying them fondly on their shoulders, pahadi folks now-a-days are seen more often with mobile phones stuck to a side of their heads, while trailing through the curves of Himalayas) !!! Imagine, us sitting on the balcony after dinner, lights switched off, eyes catching up on visions of star-filled sky; and this All India Radio powered transistor churning out yore days melodies;

(na yeh chaand hoga….
na taarey rahengey ….
magar hum hamesha…..
tumhare rahengey);

I am tempted to translate it thus –

When the moon ceases to exist,
Stars having perished long by,
My heart would still go on –
Beating for you……

Another heartening presence was that of a Carrom-Board (my daughter reminded me of this)!! She and her grandfather were aggressively engaged with the board for a major portion of time we spent in the house.

Contact.
The Delhi based owner can be contacted at his email himalayananchor@gmail.com. The tariff structure is Rs 2000/- for a day, Rs 5000/- for 3 days and Rs 7000/- for 5 days, for the entire cottage. Tea/coffee/LPG/uses of utensils/bedding etc. are included in the tariff. Exclusions are shopping expenses for grocery/ vegetables during the stay. Ghumakkars may ascertain details directly from the owner before settling for the deal.

The fare structure (my opinion) is kept that way to encourage people to stay longer ☺.

One should keep in mind another point that the cottage is located about 100 mtrs away from the parking. The kachcha (unmetalled) path after parking point goes down half the way, after which it moves up till the cottage. Elderly people thus may have a little difficulty in accessing the place. For the record, however, Sharmi’s father, in late sixties and never much of an outdoor man, was with us in this trip and he managed movements on this patch on his own without much difficulty.

Access

For self driven vehicles, one should directly reach Majhkhali, Ranikhet, get in touch with the caretaker and he takes care thereafter.

For bus/train travellers, Kathgodam is the nearest train station. From there you have frequent share taxies to Ranikhet, which take 2.30 hrs and charge around Rs 75/- per head. From Ranikhet, local vehicles are available for Majhkhali.

So go ahead, indulge in this exclusive ‘cottage stay’ and enjoy Himalayas from a different perspective.

On to next part on Ranikhet (Part III)…….

Cheers..

31 Comments

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    • AUROJIT says:

      Hi Sandeep,

      I get your point. But remember – there are TWO independent DOUBLE BEDROOMS in the cottage
      – so in effect price per room is Rs 1000/-.

      It further reduces to Rs 700/- each room, in 5-days package.

      Not to mention high-grade kitchen/drawing/gallery/balcony set-up, which are difficult to come by in a hotel.

      In fact, I feel this is a superb package – especially if you are with family.

      My views, they are of course.

      Enjoy

  • Aurojit,
    Excellent post with nice pictures.
    @ Sandeep – ????? ???, ??? ???? ??? ??? ???? ?? ??? ????????? ?? ????? ???? ?? ?? ????? ???? ????? ??? ?? ?? ???? ???? ???? ?????? ?? ?????? ???? ??.

  • Sanyukta Mishra says:

    House looks spacious and inviting with its woody gallery and cosy beddroom . Will definitely plan a trip with my family to this interesting abode.

    • AUROJIT says:

      Hi Sanyukta,

      Thanks for going through the post.

      Yep – an abundantly spacious abode – elaborate wood works adds that unmistakable hilly flavour. Kids would surely enjoy (remember – TV, books and carrom board etc)

      Worth a try indeed.

      Auro.

  • jaykakarla says:

    The place looks very inviting.Iam only worried out landslides in rainy season with the house at the edge or am I being too careful

    • AUROJIT says:

      Hi Jaykakalra,

      Thanks for liking the post.

      My advise – whenever you are in a hill station, there is always a ridge/slope on one side – and so there is always a chance of that particular piece of land sliding down onto you –

      But it will be a pity if we forsake our trips to Himalayas fearing that ‘ Made for me with love from God’ landslide; when we know that God never really cared about us.

      So go ahead and enjoy ridges and slopes of Himalayas.

      Auro.

  • Raghu says:

    Looks like a perfect place to spend a relaxing weekend. the loft on top of the kitchen is beatutiful….wish I could have the same in my house in delhi (wish ful thinking ……if pigs could fly :))). Great write up …waiting for Part III

    • AUROJIT says:

      Raghu,

      Thanks.

      Wishes – yes that’s wishful.

      Our wish is slightly more ‘less flighty’ – we are thinking of creating a house in some nook of Himalayas – with loft-shoft et al.

      Can it happen (the pigs thing, I mean) ?

      dreaming the wishes

      Auro.

  • maheh semwal says:

    As most of the people said , the place looks very inviting upar se aap ka calculation “like a true sales person”

    Pictures are too good :-)

    • AUROJIT says:

      Hi Mahesh,

      Thanks for going through the post. Place is enchanting, really.

      ‘My calculations like a sales-person’ – please; I am neither selling this cottage nor any other.

      ‘Salesmanship’, if you ask me, is the bane of our lives (or its remnants which slips away from us like sand in watery palm) because this is directly related to corporatism… consumerism…. need to create and maintain bottom lines- at cost of anything -:) Yes! Debatable.

      Thanks again for going through the post,
      Auro

  • Nandan says:

    I liked that loft/gallery thing. I am in the queue for the little-cottage thing in hills. If all goes as planned, may be by end of year, there would be a adda in Nainital Belt for Ghumakkars to stop by and have a tea. :-)

    • maheh semwal says:

      @ Nandan – Its a good new !!!!!

    • AUROJIT says:

      Hi Nandan,

      Count me in – firstly in the queue to visit this place again and again,

      and also in ADDA on this belt… actually any adda in any belt is a natural attraction for any bong, we being no exception.

      Thanks

      Auro.

  • Manish Kumar says:

    Just wondering how beautiful night shot will be from balcony during a moonlit night !

    • AUROJIT says:

      Hi Manish,

      Couldn’t agree with you more.

      Though the thought never occured to be while there (perhaps lack of ‘eye for exquisites’ coupled with photographer’s knack of capturing the moment).

      Thanks.

      Auro

  • Amit Kumar says:

    The cottage is looking so tempting. Thanks a lot Auro to take us there. I would love to visit this place sometime. I can imagine those moments in night with such a beautiful location and melodious music of old songs. I am totally jealous now :-)

    Thanks again for this wonderful post.

  • Amit Kumar says:

    @ Nandan. Its a great news. Congratulations. I too wish something like that… wondering one day pig could fly!!!!!!

  • Virag Sharma says:

    Nice place to be. thanks for sharing info. Will echo most of thing Amit said :-)

  • pb says:

    Hi,
    Nice info about the cottage. I am planning for honeymoon trip to nainital, ranikhet & kausani for a 5 days trip. Can you tell me whether KMVN rest houses in Nainital & Kausani will be good choice for the trip or not. If not then please suggest me any alternative specially in Kausani. Thanks in advance.

  • Biswajit Ganguly says:

    Dear Aurojit,
    What a depiction? just wondering how could I miss such a wonderful place, although travelled twice in 2005 and 2008 from the same route to magical Kausani. I have no words to show my gratitude for showing us the glimpses of Pahadi divinity, life style and culture. You have really made it very easy for me to confidentally take my family to these fabulous locations since we do love to live with the true spirit of the saying “Jungle mein Mungle”. Somehow I always feel very homely and secured while travelling in the remotest places of H.P, but always felt bit apprehensive of travelling so freely in Uttaranchal (not because of the people, but non accessibility to basic needs). Can you please provide the Delhi contact no. of the owner with his name for booking purpose of this heavenly house. Regards and best wishes

  • AUROJIT says:

    Hi Biswajit,

    Thanks for liking the post (was it my post you liked more or the cottage ? – hope it is the first one) :-)

    You can contact the owner at his gmail as mentioned above [ himalayananchor@gmail.com ].

    Keep travelling

    Auro.

  • Biswajit Ganguly says:

    Dear Auro,
    It was certainly the presentation and the detailing which was so delightfull and inspiring making me bother you for the address and contact of the owner. Auro lacs of people do undertake lot of travelling which includes very interesting and unknown places also but putting those experiences on paper is certainly not everybody’s forte, god has been very kind to you by gifting you such wonderful flair of writting. (getting too personal ?) God bless you for introducing the beauty of our unexplored and blessed countrysites to lacs of people.

  • AUROJIT says:

    Hi Biswajit,

    I am extremely grateful for your nice words.

    But I would say that travelling is the cause, to which every traveller lays equal claim. Description of the travel is mere effect.

    Thanks,
    Auro.

  • Shashwat Jain says:

    Kindly send me contact no as we need it for next week , and exact location too.my no is 9810789894

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