Itmenaan Lodges: Perfect Retreat To Unwind In The Lap of Himalayas

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Photo of Itmenaan Lodges: Perfect Retreat To Unwind In The Lap of Himalayas by Disha Kapkoti

Our Post-Trek Plan

We were on our way back from Pindari Glaciar, a surreal trek on the upper reaches of the Kumaon Himalayas. My brother and I decided to give ourselves sometime of absolute rest to put our tired feet up, lie down and forget about the previous five days of relentless exhaustion.

I heard about Itmenaan Lodges from friends who described it as a ideal home in the hills. Looking at the map, guiding us from Bageshwar to Chalnichina where it is located, we figured that we have to drive through a major stretch of the Binsar Forest Range to reach there. For someone new to the hills, the echoing silence of pines could be haunting but we knew where to stop for hisalus and kafals (wild seasonal berries) or prank about a bear attack and keep each other entertained.

Photo of Itmenaan Lodges: Perfect Retreat To Unwind In The Lap of Himalayas 1/1 by Disha Kapkoti

We reached Chalnichina just at the right time to witness the beautiful sunset. There's a steep downhill 15 minute hike to reach the lodge from the road. The lights shining out from the solitary cottage at a distance offered a sight that made all efforts to reach here worth it. We were welcomed by a fresh glass of Rhododendron juice, followed by the much-desired pahadi chai.

Surrounded by the oak, rhododendron and pine forest, the chirping of the birds on the trees at sunset beckoned us outside to witness the gorgeous sunset. Itmenaan faces the surreal Himalayan range where the play of colors at the sunset cannot be missed.

Photo of Itmenaan Lodges, Jageshwar Range, Uttarakhand, India by Disha Kapkoti

The best mornings are when you get woken up by the chirping birds. When I asked a staff member about the birds, he said, "Ye keh raha hai Kaafal Pako-Kaafal Pako. (The bird says the kaafal fruit is ripe)." I love the mysterious way in which the people of the mounatins talk. In this quiet setting it's quite obvious that people from here have learnt the language of the birds, trees and the winds too.

The Property

Oak and Kaafal Rooms: In the villages of Kumaon, traditional bakhali homes are quite popular where one massive structure houses multiple families in different quarters. A bakhali-style house has been meticulously re-styled with all modern furnishings and transformed into 3 luxury suites. The stone architecture, mud walls and manicured creepers and climbers remind you of old charm of the hills. Outside the roses and the wild flowers bloom in the garden where birds visit all day long. On the ground floor there's a games room where various indoor games are stacked for visitors. What more do you wish for on a relaxing holiday?

Photo of Itmenaan Lodges: Perfect Retreat To Unwind In The Lap of Himalayas by Disha Kapkoti
Photo of Itmenaan Lodges: Perfect Retreat To Unwind In The Lap of Himalayas by Disha Kapkoti
Photo of Itmenaan Lodges: Perfect Retreat To Unwind In The Lap of Himalayas by Disha Kapkoti
Photo of Itmenaan Lodges: Perfect Retreat To Unwind In The Lap of Himalayas by Disha Kapkoti

Deodar Cottage: A short walk away we were put up in a double-story Deodar Cottage that overlooks the nearby village. Beyond this view the clouds, mountains and the hills somehow merge in the horizon to offer a perpetually changing shades of blue. The high and wide windows enable you to relish this view lying on the bed itself. There's a modified fireplace that can be used during winters. What amazed us the most here is the attention to detail in terms of interiors and the stone house structure.

Photo of Itmenaan Lodges: Perfect Retreat To Unwind In The Lap of Himalayas by Disha Kapkoti
Photo of Itmenaan Lodges: Perfect Retreat To Unwind In The Lap of Himalayas by Disha Kapkoti
Photo of Itmenaan Lodges: Perfect Retreat To Unwind In The Lap of Himalayas by Disha Kapkoti
Photo of Itmenaan Lodges: Perfect Retreat To Unwind In The Lap of Himalayas by Disha Kapkoti

How to reach

By Car: Kathgodam is the gateway to the Kumaon hills of Uttarakhand. Once you have reached Kathgodam, here's the route to follow: Kathgodam> Bhowali> Almora>Barechhina>Panwanaula>Artola>Saukhan>Chalnichina

By Train: The closest rail head to Itmenaan Lodges is Kathgodam from where it's a 117 km drive to Chalnichina. Private taxis have to be hired to cover the distance which are available from outside the railway station.

By Flight: Pantnagar Airport at a distance of 152 km is the closest airport. Flights from Delhi to Pantnagar are available on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Photo of Itmenaan Lodges: Perfect Retreat To Unwind In The Lap of Himalayas by Disha Kapkoti

Food at Itmenaan Lodges

Come dinner time and you're beckoned to this wonderfully decorated stone walled hall. Before I could get lost in books stacked closeby, the aroma of fresh greens invited us to the table. Food orders were taken in the evening itself and fresh tomato soup followed by the home-styled chicken with mixed vegetable was served.

The support staff here operates brilliantly and offers relishing meals with minimum instructions. We were again surprised by their service the next day on the table when the breakfast platter offered almost everything we desired from freshly cut fruits, omelettes, crisp toasts to fresh fruit juices.

Photo of Itmenaan Lodges: Perfect Retreat To Unwind In The Lap of Himalayas by Disha Kapkoti
Photo of Itmenaan Lodges: Perfect Retreat To Unwind In The Lap of Himalayas by Disha Kapkoti
Photo of Itmenaan Lodges: Perfect Retreat To Unwind In The Lap of Himalayas by Disha Kapkoti

Things to do in Itmenaan Lodges

• Go through the collection of books here that you can read.

• Sit back, relax and enjoy to view of the snowcapped mountains.

• Hike to the nearby waterfall early in the morning.

• Go for a village walk to Naugaon.

• Visit the famous Jageshwar Temple on a day trip.

• Visit the Ghantika Temple on half a day trip.

• You can also opt for multiple day village walks organised by Itmenaan Lodges that give you a chance to stay at different village houses each day and hike around to know the region better. Click here for more information. You will be accompanied by one or more staff members for these hikes.

Photo of Itmenaan Lodges: Perfect Retreat To Unwind In The Lap of Himalayas by Disha Kapkoti
Photo of Itmenaan Lodges: Perfect Retreat To Unwind In The Lap of Himalayas by Disha Kapkoti
Photo of Itmenaan Lodges: Perfect Retreat To Unwind In The Lap of Himalayas by Disha Kapkoti

Tariff

Kafal Room: Double Occupancy for Rs 5500 per room per night including breakfast,

Oak Rooms 1 & 2: Double Occupancy for Rs 6800 per room per night including breakfast

Deodar Cottage: Double Occupancy for Rs 7800 per room per night including breakfast

Lunch or Dinner: For children upto 12 years Rs 350 per meal and for 13 years onward Rs 600 per meal

Photo of Itmenaan Lodges: Perfect Retreat To Unwind In The Lap of Himalayas by Disha Kapkoti
Photo of Itmenaan Lodges: Perfect Retreat To Unwind In The Lap of Himalayas by Disha Kapkoti

Have you found a perfect home in hills that you'd like to tell me about? Hit the comments section below and tell me about the most gorgeous place you have stayed in the hills and share you experience.

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