A Kumaoni Affair @The Pahadi, Uttarakhand

7th Jan 2019
Photo of A Kumaoni Affair @The Pahadi, Uttarakhand by Fine Trails

I’ve always had a knack for boutique stays and experiential properties. From staying in a traditional Kumaoni house to a home completely made up of wood and glass to cottages in the middle of nowhere to a tree house, I’ve experienced it all. But this time around I chanced upon a property in Uttarakhand that guaranteed a complete Pahadi experience, from the food to stay to explorations and hence I jumped at the opportunity to make it one of the most memorable experiences of my life.

Views from The Pahadi

Photo of The Pahadi, Restaurant, Chiliyanaula, Uttarakhand, India by Fine Trails

If you’re looking for a weekend getaway with family and friends and intend on doing nothing but unwind then The Pahadi is your place to be at! The sprawling fourteen-acre property dons’ luxury rooms each with a private balcony sit out facing the valley below. It also houses an organic farm, a play arena, a separate bonfire place and various activities to keep one engaged throughout the trip.

Location: The Pahadi

Photo of A Kumaoni Affair @The Pahadi, Uttarakhand by Fine Trails

On a cold January morning we started from Delhi for The Pahadi. Much of the drive consisted of plains lined by wheat farms but as soon as we entered Ramnagar, a winding single lane track shadowed by the canopy of trees greeted us. You know you’re nearing the mountains when the air becomes cooler and the sun crisper, occasionally we were greeted with rivulets too. And after much contemplation we arrived at The Pahadi. The structure stands right on the road and is breathtaking-ly beautiful from a distance.

A warm smile greeted us at the reception and well we were lucky enough to meet the host, Mr. Chetan Rawat an alumni of NIFT Hyderabad but now a hotelier. A conversation with him is what one should look up to while at the hotel. He’d not only be glad to assist you personally throughout the stay but also will go out of his way to make it a comfortable one for you.

The Stay:

The entire property has been built from wood and stone. While the exterior of the ground floor is done with stone, the entrance is made up of wood and has been carved out by single-handedly by one of their craftsmen. Art lovers are in for a treat because the entire property is covered in carvings with great intricacies. The rooms too are completely done with wood. The bedroom comprises of a plush double bed, a neat and tidy bathroom that is separated by a frosted glass and comes equipped with toiletries and 24-hour hot water supply. For the digital nomads, they have free wifi facility, the room is equipped with a television set, a refrigerator and tea coffee maker and replenishment's that keep flowing in. a table for two graces a corner of the room for the one’s who do not wish to leave the comfort of their room for meals. Well my most favorite part of the room is the private balcony that overlooks the valley below and on clear days provides with unperturbed views of the mountains faraway.

Room Balcony At The Pahadi

Photo of A Kumaoni Affair @The Pahadi, Uttarakhand by Fine Trails

Room Interiors

Photo of A Kumaoni Affair @The Pahadi, Uttarakhand by Fine Trails

The Food:

Sure the folks at The Pahadi have tried to inculcate the pahadi feels in the architecture of the property but one thing that I think sets The Pahadi apart from any other mountain hotel is its food. Given the fact that they have four in house poly houses most of the vegetables and fruits are harvested from there, hence the farm to table meals concept. The only aim is to introduce the guests to the traditional tastes of Kumaon and promote a healthy lifestyle. Also, Mr. Ranjeet Rawat, the owner makes sure that the food is entirely cooked on Chulha (traditional ways of cooking food on wood fire). Also if you love to see your food being prepared then you’re in for a treat at The Pahadi because the kitchen and restaurant is separated by a glass wall only. From Madue ki roti to Aloo Muli ki sabji to Mutton Surua and Bhatt ki Chudkani all of the dishes that I savoured at Pahadi were relatively new to me in terms of its popularity as well as taste. Starters during the bonfire session is what I really looked forward to at The Pahadi. From a variety of roasted and barbequed meat and vegetables tempered in their special Pahadi salt and spices to the freshly prepared soups, everything tasted so good that I felt I went into a food coma. Lastly, desserts play an important role in my meals, give me a yummy dessert and I’m sold. I tried their Madue ki baadi which is a dessert made out of finger millet, coconut, milk and jaggery, yes they use jaggery as a sweetener in all the dishes.

Photo of A Kumaoni Affair @The Pahadi, Uttarakhand by Fine Trails

Lunch At The Pahadi

Photo of A Kumaoni Affair @The Pahadi, Uttarakhand by Fine Trails

The Activities:

The play arena at The Pahadi has a variety of adventure sports activities to keep one entertained thoroughly. While the most exciting activity was the ATV ride for me, there were various others such as Zip Lining, Burma Bridge, Paintball, Bungy Trampoline, Monkey Rope, Rappelling and swings to chose from. The lobby too is equipped with fitness machines and massage chairs for the guests to relax.

Picture clicked while returning from Sunrise Hike.

Photo of A Kumaoni Affair @The Pahadi, Uttarakhand by Fine Trails

Off Beat Experiences:

During my stay at The Pahadi I came across experiences that I’d cherish for a lifetime. From the traditional Choliya dance performance during evenings to the sunrise and sunset hike, every experience seemed straight out of a fairy tale. The Choliya dance is a traditional Kumaoni war dance that was performed by the locals during one of our BBQ & Bonfire evening. Besides, the team at The Pahadi also whisked us away for a breakfast in the wilderness on a cold winter morning. I’ve had the most luxurious and choicest of breakfasts with views to die for but this one shall be a favourite for a long time. I dipped my feet in the cold water as the crisp winter sun provided that perfect amount of warmth, the tiny droplets from the cascading falls that caressed my cheek and hair further added to the beauty of the moment. And obviously the traditional breakfast that comprised of Chou and Gaderi ki Sabji with Mooli Raita made kit even more special. But the most mesmerising experience was witnessing the beautiful sunrise and sunset. The folks will drive you down to a location situated at an hours drive from The Pahadi and after a decent 25 minutes hike the landscapes that greet you are sure to sweep you off your feet. How beautiful is it to witness the sun go down one evening with a freshly brewed cup of chai and to see it light up the horizon again following morning with the same set of friends and cup of chai but with a new hope to shine.

Kumaoni Breakfast By The Waterfall

Photo of A Kumaoni Affair @The Pahadi, Uttarakhand by Fine Trails

Sunset Hike with The Pahadi. Picture Courtesy: Chetan Rawat

Photo of A Kumaoni Affair @The Pahadi, Uttarakhand by Fine Trails

Warming up at the Bonfire for a chilly night ahead

Photo of A Kumaoni Affair @The Pahadi, Uttarakhand by Fine Trails

So, I’d say if you’re looking forward to that long pending family getaway or whisking your loved one away for a date then The Pahadi is your place to be at because travelling has never been about luxury only but also experiences and sure Pahadi would give you tons worth cherishing for a lifetime.

How to get there:

By Road: One can drive down to The Pahadi from Delhi which is approximately 360kms and takes a period of 6-7 hours

By Train: There are two trains that run from Delhi to Ramnagar which is the nearest station. From Ramnagar one could hire a cab till The Pahadi which is about 35kms

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