Woodnotes Foreststays: A Perfect Springtime Escape In The Orchards Of Kumaon

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Photo of Woodnotes Foreststays: A Perfect Springtime Escape In The Orchards Of Kumaon 1/1 by Disha Kapkoti

March proved to be quite a hectic travel month for me. After visiting Spiti and Sikkim within a span of twenty days, I wanted to be at home. Home for me is Uttarakhand. I'm blessed to have been born in the hills and these views of the Kumaon and Garhwal Himalayas behind the swinging tree tops of deodars is one view I love to return to time and again. So I came back home for spring this time because there's no better time to explore the famous orchard belt of Kumaon around Mukteshwar, Ramgarh and Hartola. For this little escape I found a gorgeous home in the hills too where I can take my friends along for a short trip.

Woodnotes foreststays is a wonderful boutique hotel that sits atop a ridge in a small village called Loshgyani. Loshgyani is close to Bhalad and Nathuakhan, the better known villages among travellers in this region. To reach this village usually you have to board a private taxi from Kathgodam. Sambit and I were thankfully escorted to the property by our lovely host, Chetan, who spent the next two days with us at this gorgeous boutique hotel.

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Photo of Woodnotes Foreststays, Hartola Rd, Nathuwakhan, Uttarakhand, India by Disha Kapkoti
Photo of Woodnotes Foreststays, Hartola Rd, Nathuwakhan, Uttarakhand, India by Disha Kapkoti
Photo of Woodnotes Foreststays, Hartola Rd, Nathuwakhan, Uttarakhand, India by Disha Kapkoti
Photo of Woodnotes Foreststays, Hartola Rd, Nathuwakhan, Uttarakhand, India by Disha Kapkoti

The Room With A View

I've been mesmerised with this region for the longest time. Often I would drive through Malla Ramgarh and Mukteshwar region and stop here for the uninhibited views of the Kumaon-Garhwal ranges spread across the horizon at a distance. Overtime I've infact understood the reason for my fascination with this place. This region promises some of the best views of the highest Himalayan peaks after a comparatively short drive. On a clear day you can see the mighty Trishul, Nandaghunti, Nanda Devi, Mrigathuni, Channguch, Nandakot, Nandakhat and the Panchachuli Ranges across the unending valley. On clear mornings even the ranges of the Nepal Himalayas are visible from here.

Here at Woodnotes, a similar view awaited us but this time we could see it all from a comfortable spot inside the room. Through massive glass windows, you can see the highest ranges of the Kumaon Garhwal Himalayas as you sit on your bed and sip a cup of delightful pahadi chai.

Photo of Woodnotes Foreststays: A Perfect Springtime Escape In The Orchards Of Kumaon by Disha Kapkoti
Photo of Woodnotes Foreststays: A Perfect Springtime Escape In The Orchards Of Kumaon by Disha Kapkoti
Photo of Woodnotes Foreststays: A Perfect Springtime Escape In The Orchards Of Kumaon by Disha Kapkoti

Oh how the spring makes all things beautiful!

The Ramgarh- Mukteshwar belt is better known as the fruit bowl of Uttarakhand. Mostly peaches, plums, apricots and pears grow here. Some distinct variety of apples are also grown in this region but the harvest is now less compared to the past. If you're planning to visit, spring is just the ideal season when the pink and white flowers of the peach, pear and apricot trees blossom and colour these terraced fields in lovely hues.

In the wild, the rhododendrons cook up a distinct play of colours. During our walks out in the forests around the property, the monotony of the the green oak and deodar trees was often broken by these bright red rhododendron flowers that deck up the trees and are often strewn on the forest pathways, transforming it all into a sight to behold.

Photo of Woodnotes Foreststays: A Perfect Springtime Escape In The Orchards Of Kumaon by Disha Kapkoti
Photo of Woodnotes Foreststays: A Perfect Springtime Escape In The Orchards Of Kumaon by Disha Kapkoti
Photo of Woodnotes Foreststays: A Perfect Springtime Escape In The Orchards Of Kumaon by Disha Kapkoti

Get introduced to the Delightful Kumaoni Cuisine

I've been keen to bring my friends to the side of the mountains that I call home. Sambit has travelled along with me to numerous hotels and homestays around Uttarakhand but never have I ever had a chance to introduce him to Uttrakhandi cuisine like the way our hosts at Woodnotes did.

From Palak ka Kaapa to Thatwani, we got to taste the best of Kumaoni cuisine during our stay here. For a food culture that relies of heavily on the real ingredients that are grown and used in Uttarakhand only, it was refreshing to see our hosts take time to explain each dish to the guest who was new to the Kumaoni culture.

Photo of Woodnotes Foreststays: A Perfect Springtime Escape In The Orchards Of Kumaon by Disha Kapkoti

Village walks around Woodnotes Foreststays

For all of you who are planning to visit in region, let me tell you all that it's a quiet area where you will not find the stereotypical hippie cafes of the mountains. The joy of travelling in the mountains is not to go there with a list of places to see or things to do. The Kumaon hills are for the quiet souls to travel for a meditative experience. during your stay at Woodnotes, the hosts will however help you chart out a plan for the day to go out on walks around the region and explore the nearby villages. I can list out some of the plans here.

1. Drive to Shitla for gorgeous sunset

2. Walk around the peach and apricot orchards in Bhalad Village

3. Go for a hike to Hartola

4. Visit Mahadevi Verma's literary museum

5. Hike to Dokane Waterfall

Click here to read about my visit to Dokane Falls.

Photo of Woodnotes Foreststays: A Perfect Springtime Escape In The Orchards Of Kumaon by Disha Kapkoti

Best time to go

The best time to visit this region is from March to June which the surrounding orchards blooms and are slowly get ready for harvest by June. You can also visit this region from September to November when the weather is pleasant and the views of the mountain ranges before you will be the clearest.

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>Ramgarh> Nathuakhan> Loshgyani

By Train: The closest rail head to this property is Kathgodam from where it's a 60 km drive to Loshgyani near Nathuakhan. 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 95 km is the closest airport. Flights from Delhi to Pantnagar are available on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

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