That’s what I said to Madhur ‘you live in heaven’ and his response ‘what do you have to do to get there?’…….. and we all know the answer ‘DIE”.
Life is not easy for them, but they greet you, serve you, trek with you, eat with you; and on and on and on…… all with a smile. Ambika’s laughter is so infectious and resounding …… like bells, jingling.
THE MISTY MOUNTAINS. I yearned for over a year to be there, before we (my husband and I) actually made the trip. I would visit their website atleast once in 15 days and read visitors’ reviews again and again and my expectations were sky high. And believe me when I say “Not an iota of disappointment” at all, on stepping down from the taxi. It was more beautiful, serene and even closer to heaven than I had dreamt of. Only, it was a cloudy afternoon and no snow caps visible; but we knew that such weather would not last; one rain and things would change.
Setting out on the 7 hour long drive from Naukuchiatal in Gopal’s Bolero (taxi arranged by Madhur – not advisable to take a new driver to that terrain) was the beginning of our 4 day adventure into heaven. Gopal and his taxi were there well before time. We left around 7 am and had breakfast as expected at Dhaulchina around 10:30 am – hot hot aloo parathas and coffee/tea.
Wow what roads we traversed. What breathtaking curves, the valley view and the hills and the constantly meandering river that we drove along crossing from one side to the other over a dozen times, it was great and my adrenaline was rushing. AND, to top it all, the last 3 km or so just one way traffic, no way two jeeps could cross the path; but all well arranged. When we started our upward journey, no way you would meet someone coming down!! Now and again, Gopal would point to a hill across and say “that is where we will go”.
Madhur was there with a full face smile to welcome us. Guided us to our rooms where we freshened up and ready for Lunch (2 pm). Just stepped out of our Suite room (upgraded courtesy Madhur) and there was Ambika, warm and fresh; really a very pleasant person; they make a lovely couple. Lunch/Dinner as we had read from many a review was yummy. The oil free vegetables, paneer, rice, dal, fresh rotis accompanied by homemade pickles (atleast 6 varieties) and never to miss ‘dessert’. One day we were served parathas made from some mountain grains; wow was that heavy on the stomach. Felt stuffed for the rest of the evening, but the weather got me hungry well in time for dinner. The non-vegetarian pallets were given a special treat for Dinner, daily. Let me put in a word about the meal I always enjoy the most – Breakfast. What a lavish treat that used to be!! Stuffed Parathas with thick curds, Pooha, Upma, Eggs to order, toast, butter and Homemade Jams – my favorite apricot and apple/cinnamon, etc., etc., etc.
That evening we just relaxed talking to our hosts and other guests, getting used to the cold. After dinner, we tucked into bed which was lined with an electric blanket. Oh, how cozy that was; on for just 30 min. and off we were; dreaming. (Madhur had warned us not to run it too long – Dehydration)
The next morning, up and about at 6.30 Birding. That is one of the many reasons we were here. Madhur took us to his favourite birding spot and he & my husband went click click and click; while I just followed the bird hop at the speed of light from branch to branch; my binoculars of no use. I really admire the patience of photographers and the speed at which they can focus. Some of these pictures I am sharing with this review.
Then a good breakfast and the hot bath that followed was a treat to my cold - old bones. As there was a little problem with the hot water, it was Madhur himself running up and down getting things sorted out and in all this rush he slipped and had a good thumpy fall too. This is not a complaint but a compliment to our host, who attended to our every need, personally.
Then off to the ridge for a long walk. Boy was I tired at the end of it. Never thought I’d make it. Thanks to my husband who pushed me along; the view from the top was just great – 180 Deg. The picture of the resort from the ridge tells it all. Back only around 3 pm. So a late lunch and a good long nap; followed by dinner and chit chat.
Nearly end of day 2 and yet no sign of the clouds clearing out. And, there it was, the cracking thunder and pitter patter of the rain on the roof top. And did it get cold. If we though the previous days were cold, this was freezing. We pulled up the extra comforters from the other bed room and fell asleep, knowing well that the next day would be gorgeous.
Awake the next morning, from 4:30 am and peering out of the glass windows to see the snow caps but it was only much after 5:00 that we were able to get our first view of the magnificent Himalayas. The temperature - 5 Deg. C. Brrrrr - Covered with all the woolies we had carried we were out in the garden with camera and all. Click, click and click. The Himalayas in all its hues with the changing light of dawn. Then there are these few special photographs. One of the reflection of the mighty Himalayas on the room window and another taken of the mountains, from inside the room with droplets of condensed water. These are very special to us.
That morning after lots of photography of the mountains and a good breakfast went off on our own for a walk and birding; on the trail as instructed by Madhur. Good long 3-1/2 hrs. walk and back hungry as hell ready for lunch. Again in the evening off for a walk in another direction which has a small water hole. Just about saw the backside of a shying off deer and rustle of the Khaleej Pheasants in the bushes. Clicked many a pictures again of birds and butterflies and of course the Himalayas in the light of the setting sun.
The last 2 evenings it was too cold for outdoor dinner buffet and hence served in the club room. Thank God for all the walking we did all the days or I would have put on much more than just 2 kgs. that I did; hogging 3 large meals daily.
Those of you who love peace, quiet, nature, serenity, and off-beat destinations…. Go for this beautiful location!!
Those who love shor-sharaba, hustle-bustle, discos-loud music and dance, TV addicts…. Stay away!!
We have already confirmed plans that we shall be there again in the Diwali of 2015. Madhur, keep the same lovely suite room booked for us.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Misty Mountains is an Offbeat Destination in Kumaon (near Chaukori and Patal Bhuvaneshwar). It has a unique location and stunning himalayan views. Its surrounded by thousands of acres of untouched forests and the nearest neighbour is a kilometer away. Its owned and managed by my wife Ambika, and I. It should be your choice -1) If you are looking for an Offbeat Destination in Kumaon that is untouched by commercial tourism. Its a destination where you can spend quality time with your friends and family.2) If you are looking for an extended stay at a complete destination in itself. It offers great location, clean and comfortable stay, peace, activities and home like food.3) If you are looking to explore the remoter parts of offbeat kumaon like Munsyari Abbot Mount, Binsar, Chaukori or Kausani. It can be part of your kumaon tour.4) If you are looking for something like an extended homestay where you can be yourself and stay comfortably for 4-5 days. ... more less