I am sitting amidst starry fairy lights and soothing sufi music in my sister’s beautiful home in Delhi as I write this. Looking back fondly at the last week, which we spent traveling together through Uttarakhand.
Although I have travelled through Uttarakhand various times before, it never ceases to amaze me with all it's beauty and charm. Last week we set out on a monsoon journey through the state to explore more of it's unknown trails and to find some calm and shanti.
Our destination in Uttrakhand was Gagar - a quaint village about 10 kms from Ramgarh and 30 kms from Mukhteshwar.
After a 7 hour dive from Delhi, we reached Gagar with beaming smiles as we got out of the car. The small village welcomed us with soothing rain, happy locals and ladybugs! :)
Our host for the night was a charming independently run two bedroom cottage, perched on a hill, a 5-minute walk from the main road. The pathway was short, but quite steep, decorated with tress on both sides. Walking in the refreshing mountain mist, we knew that we were on the right pahari trail.
On reaching the cottage, the caretaker Mohan greeted us, then showed us around the charming house and took us to the sit-out, which became ‘the hang-out spot’ for the next few days. The moment I sat there, I felt such calmness and serenity, and I knew then, that this would be a beautiful experience for us.
The cottage is a small, cozy space, with 2 bedrooms on the first floor and a living and dining area on the ground floor. All the windows in the house open up to views of the majestic green mountains.
The décor is simple and homely with tasteful accents. Every corner of the house is warmly accented with beautiful art themes.
A really calm vibe runs through the house, making the space perfect to just chill-out and reenergize.
We spent our days conversing with locals, wandering through forests and getting drenched in the rain.
On one of the days, we took off to explore the surrounding mountain village of Dhanachuli, home to another beautiful mountain retreat that I visited last year. Just as we reached there, the cloudy sky began to thunder, the mountains got covered in mist, and sweet rain showered us again. Hours passed as we sat in the charming tearoom, just watching the rain that left us drenched and so happy.
Eager to return to our hang-out spot, we said bye to beautiful Dhanachuli and returned to our cottage. We spent our last evening meditating amidst the mountains and star-gazing till 4 am, when it was time to trek back down to the car and make our journey back to Delhi.
I love that my work allows me to travel to such unseen and unique places in India. It fills me with perspective, mission and happiness. What is even more fulfilling is that I get to share these beautiful places with fellow wanderers, helping them open their eyes and arms to a quainter, more beautiful side on India.
Inspired to plan your journey through a quainter part of India? I'm here to help :)
Some more images from our journey through Uttarkhand. Thank you Kanika Batra (my wandering sister) for contributing some beautiful photographs!