Be footloose this summer | A handy guide to exploring cottages and estates in Almora, Binsar, Nainital and more
Itmenaan Estate | Almora | A 100-year-old stone home at a beautiful altitude with striking views, relax, take a stroll behind the house, carry some snacks and lose yourself for a bit. You can visit the ancient temple complex of Jageshwar to view the spectacular stone work and enjoy some deadly paranthas at the local dhabas perched over the river.
Altitude: Approx. 1650
Nearest Railway Station: Kathgodam, 55km
Nearest Airport: Pantnagar, near Kathgodam, 135 kms
By road from Delhi: 375 kms from Delhi.
Approx cost for 2 (per night): starting from Rs 6630
Mary Budden’s Estate | Binsar | At this altitude, the air is so crisp and refreshing that just sitting on the veranda, with a good book, and treating your lungs with the rich air is something you can do all day. But not taking some walks in breathtakingly beautiful Binsar is blasphemy. The magnificent peaks ofKedarnath Peak, Shivling, Trishul and the majestic Nanda Devi, are all here. This option is a little steep, but the comfortable luxury and the Binsar’s spectacular splendour are well worth it.
Altitude: 8000 metres
Nearest Airport: Pantnagar, 155 km
Nearest Railway Station: Kathgodam, 120 km
By road: Delhi, 418 km
Cost for 2: Rs 17,000 onwards
Cottage at Jeolikot | Nainital | Located on the side of the road to Nainital, the first glance presumes a certain awkwardness to it. Its hardwood floors, charming English quilts, and hand-picked antique window frames are truly delightful. There is a lot to take in, from the Killbury forests nearby, to bird-watching in Pangot, to a round of golf in Nainital at the oldest golf course in India. We recommend books and board-games, a drive and day out at Thandeshwar, short of Jageshwar.
Nearest airport: Pantnagar 56km
Nearest railhead: Kathgodam 18 kms
By Road: Approx. 290 kms from Delhi
Cost for 2: Rs 4500 onwards
Taradale Cottage | Ramgarh | Cradled in the Himalayas, Taradale, with its stucco façade, colonial furniture and wooden floors and ceilings, is a throwback to the gorgeous summer houses of British India. Stroll through the verdant peach, plum, apricot, apple and pear orchards. You can also do a half day trip to the famous Shiva temple of Mukteshwar, close to the overhanging cliffs of Chauli-ki-Jali.
Altitude: 1729 mts
Nearest airport: Pantnagar, 85 km
Nearest railhead: Kathgodam, 45 km
By Road: 317 km from Delhi
Cost for 2: Rs. 6000 onwards
Jungle Lore Birding Resort | Pangot | Pangot is a short distance from Nainital and not too far from Corbett. Glorious mountain meadows invite you to bask, all day long, amidst the songs of the birds. Our recommendation is walk to China peak that some people, wrongly, call daunting. If you are lucky and discreet, you may see some interesting wildlife along the way. Perched on top, is a Rudyard Kipling-esque forest department cabin.
Altitude: 1830 meters
Nearest airport: Pantnagar, 75km
Nearest railhead: Kathgodam, 40km
By Road: 305 kms from Delhi
Jilling Terraces | Matial | An 80-year-old home, set amidst 100 acres of untouched forest. Need we say more? On a clear day the views of Nanda Devi are jaw-dropping. You could spend days strolling around the 100 acres and lolling under trees in a happy daze. Not the slightest sound of a vehicle. The interiors are authentic and, in fact, we have not seen something so different and original in a while.
Altitude: 7000 ft
Nearest airport: Pantnagar (65 km approx.)
Nearest railhead: Kathgodam (24 km Approx.)
By Road: Approx. 300 kms
Cost for 2: Rs. 8500 onwards
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