Time freezes in the hills. The first rays of the sun burst out of the clouds, shattering the darkness; the morning paves way for a hazy day and sometime when the clocks strikes 7, the darkness gently creeps in again. It is like one endless continuum which has no beginning and no end, just transition.
The soul finds solace in the hills. Far away from the maddening noise of the cities, there is a beautiful music in the silence of the hills. In this absolute silence, one can listen to the birds and the insect's chirp, the gush of the wind and the croaking of the frogs. This is nature's music and the soul finds solace in it.
The senses burst out in the hills. From the sight which cannot fathom the beauty of the sparkling snow in the distant mountains to the tongue whose taste buds run amok with flavors of fresh produce; from the nose which takes in beautiful fragrant delights to the sensation of holding a flower petal, all humanly senses come alive in the hills.
The moment I stepped outside the cab after a rickety bus ride, in the tiny hamlet of Peora in Uttarakhand's Almora district, I knew I had just stumbled upon a little piece of heaven. Tucked away in the lower Himalayas, this Kumaoni hamlet is surrounded by dense pine forests and covered with tiled rooftops over mud clad stonewalls. Sparsely populated with an agrarian people, the days are as lazy and hazy as they come. As someone wanting a quick getaway from Delhi's urbane insanity and scorching heat, I found this hamlet to be the perfect getaway for a quiet, soulful weekend and landed straight in Peora.
The Dak Bunglow, my abode for the weekend, is an old British inspection Bungalow, made in 1905 in Peora. After a century of dilapidation, it was restored by Mr Pradeep and Mrs. Shubha Gupta as a homestay. The bungalow still retains its original colonial heritage in its chimneys, spacious verandas and old world charm. It overlooks beautiful orchards of pear and plums, patches of steppes farms and a panoramic view of valley. The lovely couple also run an NGO called Arohi which works at the grassroots level in the education, health and livelihood sector.You can spend your days visiting the NGO, walking on nondescript roads, gazing at the farms with a book in hand. The nights can be spent sipping on delish fruit wines and gazing at the star studded night sky.
How to get there: From Delhi, you can take a bus or Shatabdi Express to Kathgodam and take a bus/cab to Peora.
Budget: Rs.4000 all inclusive.