Himalayan Getaways From Delhi: Experience The Serenity Away From City Life

 

“Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting.

So… get on your way!”

– Dr. Seuss

 

The hustle, bustle, and fast-paced working life of a city is no one’s favourite; cities of Delhi’s ilk, with their soaring temperatures, make it even harder to like city life. With summer at its peak and schools and colleges closing for vacations, families routinely seek refuge from the city in the hills to the north, and invariably converge on the oft-visited hill stations. This tendency replicates the city — blaring horns, cars jostling for parking space on narrow, winding mountain roads, and rampant commercial activity — at such popular destinations as Shimla and Nainital. To the rescue, #DSSCRecommends six unexplored destinations in the Himalayas that make for perfectly peaceful getaways, sans the constant city noise.

 

Holm Farm Heritage Resort, Ranikhet

Image: rakshaparadise.com

Built by a British officer in 1869, Holm Farms is an exquisite example of colonial architecture. Encompassing a 13-acre orchard, it boasts of a museum-like lobby with a pinewood floor and ceiling, hand painted wallpaper from a century ago, and an antique piano. The resort also offers an Ayurvedic detox program. One can head to Majkhali, a small hamlet located 13 km away, and enjoy the splendid vistas of Mount Trishul and Nanda Devi. The 800-year old Sun Temple at Katarmal lies 25 km away; one can admire the intricate carvings and magnificent architecture of the temple. The Ranikhet area is also a haven for those seeking thrill by way of activities such as paragliding, jungle trekking and camping, and mountain biking. The Upat Golf Course, maintained by the Indian Army, is merely 5 km away from Ranikhet, and is perfect for those who like teeing off on vacation.

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Jilling Estate, Padampuri

If you seek a break from run-of-the-mill hill stations experiencing an ascendance of commerce, head to the pristine Jilling Estate in Padampuri, situated 30 km above Nainital. This homestay is made unique by the estate owner’s deliberate and painstaking efforts to ensure its obscurity. The estate is not connected to road for about 2 km; one ought to either embark on a 40-minute hike or mount a pony to arrive at this 120-acre property populated by oak, rhododendron, four sparsely situated cottages that guarantee each resident’s peace and privacy, and a stunning view of the snow-capped Nanda Devi. The area is surrounded by forests that are home to a wide variety of wild birds and animals. This place offers, for small groups of 8–15 people each, guided trekking tours, visits to historical temples and caves, and hiking and fishing tours.

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The Himalayan Trout House, Tirthan Valley

Image: tripshelf.com

The secluded heaven of Tirthan Valley in the Kullu district is dotted with quaint hamlets such as Chalogi, Mungla, Nagini, and Ghushaini. The word tirthan literally translates to “gift of the gods”, and this place is indeed a gift that keeps on giving. The sleepy town of Ghushaini houses one of the most popular homestays in the valley, Raju Bharti’s Guest House, where guests arrive to be one with nature in silence or simply to lounge on a hammock after a sumptuous breakfast of hot coffee and Himachali puris. If you seek an activity-based getaway, look no further than the Himalayan Trout House in Nagini where one can partake in fishing, nature walks, temple walks, rock-climbing, and rappelling. The place also offers several ways to unwind and relax with a well-stacked reading area, a studio for painting, pottery and sculpture, and a children’s play area. However, the Great Himalayan National Park takes the cake for the dynamism it offers. One can indulge in an intensive 17-day trek to the national park and camp out on some of its majestic mountains.

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The Chalets Naldehra, Shimla

Image: travology.in

The Chalets Naldehra cater to a taste for both hard and soft adventure. Built with Scandinavian logs, the property is warm and welcoming, housing a bar, a restaurant, spa, swimming pool, and an activity centre. With Naldehra at the base, you can step out to cover the nearby areas of Kufri, Fagu, and Baldian on a trek that guarantees riveting and picturesque vistas. At a distance of 11 km from Naldehra is Mashobra, whose enchanting trail takes one through the forest to apple orchards, gardens, and an old church. Chail, the summer capital of the erstwhile Maharaja of Patiala, is 45 km away and is accessible by motor vehicles. A trip to Chail’s cricket ground, which is one of the highest in the world, is highly recommended. For the bravehearted, Tattapani, 30 km to the north, offers the opportunity to raft down the rapids of the Sutlej. Head here for a memorable experience in the mountains.

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Country Cottage, Palampur

Perched at 5,000 ft, Country Cottage is a tea garden resort and naturopathy centre surrounded by 50 acres of tea plantations, orchards, and forests. Palampur, the tea capital of north India, is as famous for its tea gardens and paddy fields as it is for its temples and colonial architecture. The Dhauladhar Ranges and the slopes of Kangra Valley provide for picturesque sights from Neogal Park, which is just one kilometre from the estate. Visitors can also take a tour of Palampur Cooperative Tea Factory to witness the entire production process, from the plucking to processing of the tea leaves, and also partake in paragliding that is widely popular in the Kangra Valley.

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Deodar Manor Heritage Boutique Bungalow, Khajjiar

Image: wikipedia.org; SriniG CC BY-SA 3.0

Deodar Manor is a luxury heritage bungalow overlooking jagged snow-capped peaks of the Dhauladhar Himalayan Range. Tucked away in the woods, just a 5 minute walk from Lake Khajjiar, this homestay is the perfect refuge from noisy city-life. Visitors can enjoy picnics, paragliding, zorbing, and horse-riding near the lake, and enjoy breathtaking views of Mount Kailash. Nestled between Lake Khajjiar and Dalhousie is the Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary, drained by small tributaries of the Ravi, where one can, on a hike, spot gorals, bears, langurs, jackals, and leopards. The nearby peak of Dainkund is one of the most beautiful and highest places in Dhauladhar Ranges from where one can see even more snow-capped peaks. Visit the Deodar Manor for a serene experience.

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All work and no play makes one a dull person, so pay heed to Dr. Suess and plan your vacation!

 

Featured Image Courtesy: phototravelings.blogspot.com