Spring is in the air. Reason enough, should you need one, to pack those bags, update that playlist, and head out to make some vernal memories. Pick any of these notable stays in Kumaon for a spot of Himalayan quiet before summer vacationers flood the roads and resorts in the months ahead. From idling to bird-watching, nature hikes and temple runs, they’ve got it all covered.
Fagunia, Faguniakhet – Nainital
A charming valley-facing stone house surrounded by farmland, Fagunia is an idyllic escape for this time of the year. It waits invitingly at the bottom of a foot path that skirts pretty village homes and winds through terraced fields carpeted with garden vegetables. It is no wonder that the home-style nosh they serve is remarkably delicious. Their cosy, book-strewn rooms are equipped with private sit-outs and delightful mountain views. Besides, how often do you chance upon a place named after the season you’re visiting in?
Also Read: A guide to Bhutan
Himalaica, Shyamkhet – Bhowali
Searching for a sun-drenched bric-a-brac speckled chintzy conservatory to ring in Spring? Look no further than the efflorescence-engulfed Himalaica–a six-bedroom cottage with landscaped grounds bordered by deodar-cloaked mountains. Expect to be joined in the sun-soak by three friendly resident canines. Large picture windows allow unobstructed views of the beautiful outdoors even as you relax in their stylishly furnished rooms, while the in-house chef rustles up your choice of Indian or Italian treats. Located just off the Bhowali-Ramgarh highway, its easily accessed stone-wood-glass elegance makes it the perfect getaway, especially for dog-lovers.
Juniper B&B, Jangalia Gaon – Bhimtal
Juniper B&B is your answer to a leisurely spring-break, its tranquility interrupted every now and then by welcome birdsong. A sophisticated Himalayan home ministered by a fastidious and hospitable caretaker who also doubles as a magician in the kitchen. If snaring sunrises float your boat, the flower-pot lined verandah overlooking the bucolic vale would be an ideal spot for this indulgence, coupled with countless cups of tasty tea. Several Bhimtal attractions, including the Butterfly Research Centre, are a short drive away from Juniper.
Kot Naikana, Jageshwar – Almora
Kot Naikana, a born-again Kumaoni home, is an atmospheric four-room mountain retreat in Jageshwar, an hour’s drive from Almora. Getting to this spur-side structure requires visitors to walk the last mile (kilometre actually) along a mostly even village path through an oak, pine and deodar forest. Spring in these parts means azure skies, clear views of snow-capped mountains, and rhododendron trees awash in a riot of colours. Its rural setting and rustic exterior notwithstanding, Kot Naikana offers comfortable rooms, spacious bathrooms, modern amenities and unforgettable meals.
Misty Mountains, Jhaltola – Pithoragarh
An intriguing back-story, and a to-die-for panorama of the Nanda Devi cluster bookended by Trishul and the Panchachuli peaks, is what ups the oomph at the remotely placed Misty Mountains. Located on a large forested estate owned by the family of Rai Bahadur Kishen Singh Rawat, one of the famed Pandits (19th century spy-explorers) who assisted the British in the Great Trigonometrical Survey, it offers eclectic accommodation, drool worthy homey food, and a host of on-site activities. Misty Mountains is best suited for nature lovers seeking solitude and slow travel.