The golden sun rays were making their way through the beautiful pine trees. The earthy smell of soil was enticing. The sound of wind and the chirping birds created a musical rhythm in the surrounding. And I was driving high on the mountains with those multi- layers of hills.
Life cannot be better than this when you wake up in a place surrounded by gorgeous valleys, breathtaking landscape, narrow zigzag road and people who are simply beautiful. Yet, another destination has been ticked off from my bucket list. Situated almost at a height of 8500 feet from sea level, Kanatal is the jewel in Garhwal region of Uttarakhand, which will make you spellbound with its scenic beauty.
I believe that every hill station has its mystic character and a unique story which is mostly unheard and unexplored. So, whenever I travel to offbeat destinations, the very feeling of exploring something new about the place just excites me every time. I was going through the same emotion while traveling in those twisted roads.
It was almost 9.30 a.m. when I entered the main gate of “The Terraces”. The very first impression about this luxury resort was overwhelming.
I was welcomed by the lovely staff with a local drink, which was quite refreshing. Soon I was handed over the keys of my room. As soon as I stepped into my room, I was awe stricken. The interior of the room was simply gorgeous.
From the wall painting to a table lamp, everything was hand-picked and has an elite class in itself. It has almost everything to pamper you during your stay. But the best was yet to unfold. The moment I opened the door of my balcony, I was in another world. I stood still for some time. It was like a Room with a View. All I could see were those layers of hills beyond my horizon.
The Terraces, a boutique spa resort spread across 5 acre plot with a spectacular view of Himalayan range. Beautifully located amidst the Pine, Deodar and Rhododendron forest, The Terraces offer luxury at its best.
The Terraces offer a wide range of rooms in three different categories. It has 8 deluxe rooms, 12 premium rooms and a suit with a private lawn.
I was amazed to know that this property has three different kinds of café and restaurants based on various cuisines. Not only that, it has a bar called Collective Energy where you can have a lovely conversation with your companion over a drink. To my surprise, I was taken to the Spa called Spa Esensia where luxury is redefined in the hilltop.
As I was heading towards the other room, what caught my attention was the Jacuzzi. A space where you can indulge in luxury with a great view of the mountain.
Do you want anything else on your holiday?
My Beyond Terraces experiences
The best thing about The Terraces is that in spite of having the reputation of being one of the luxury properties in Kanatal, they have introduced a unique concept called Beyond Terraces where they allow their guests to experience the rustic feel of the place. They organize village walk, trekking, nature walk, Home stay, Jungle safari and night picnic as well. I believe that this is a fantastic idea to let the guests connect with the people, experience the local culture and observe their lifestyle closely. I was really impressed by this initiative as it also promotes responsible rural tourism.
And, I was privileged to experience a few of them during my stay……
The best ways to connect to a place is to stroll around and explore the surrounding. Being a traveler, exploring the villages, meeting locals, having local food and most importantly, living a few moments with them to experience the lifestyle always excites me. So when I got to know that the Village walk was part of my itinerary, it brought a big smile to my face. Though taking those twists and turns in an undefined path was not an easy affair for people like us who live in the cities, but the very idea of connecting with nature and its people made me get going.
You are exhausted, tired, feeling breathless sometime and still trying hard to crawl up the mountain to reach your destination. For me trekking is not just an adventure activity, rather it is liberating. It brings me close to the nature as well as allowing me to celebrate my life amidst the nature. Well, after trekking almost 4 KM, I finally reached the destination (Home stay) where I was treated with mouth-watering food. I loved the idea of having my lunch with the local people in their house. I sampled the local food prepared by the family. I was floored by the hospitality and simplicity of the people.
Jungle Safari &Night Picnic in Kodia Forest
Located just a few kilometers away from Chamba, it takes you deeper into the forest unfolding the surrounding with beautiful valleys, hills and if you are lucky then may be a little bit of wildlife as well. I was excited while driving through the dense forest . Since I have never experienced jungle safari at night, the idea of exploring the forest at night sounded very adventurous to me. Though I did not spot any wild animal, but the journey towards the dense forest was exciting.
The surprises were yet to be unveiled. The moment I stepped out of the car and headed towards the picnic spot right in the middle of the forest was the epic moment of the trip. The jaw dropping set up in the middle of the forest where the narrow path was lit up with Mashaal, like our own Bollywood movie. I inched forward and found out a Bar right next to my left and a few steps ahead the whole set up of Bonfire and Food Stall. To my delight, I was informed that there was a singer with his guitar to entertain us.
It was like a dream come true for me. I could not have asked for more than this. I was mesmerized. Sitting under the star studded sky with a bunch of like minded people, when you enjoy the bonfire with mouth-watering food and on top of it if someone dedicates a song to you, life seems to be perfect.
Visit to Saur Village
It was 10 a.m when I headed towards Saur village. A small village approximately 18 KM away from Kanatal located in the Tehri district of Uttarakhand. One of the most picturesque villages in Garhwal region, one can enjoy the breathtaking landscape, terrace fields, and have a slice of rural life in the hills.
So I reached the Saur cottage which was another attraction of the destination. A rustic looking mud house restored well and now turned into a Home Stay. A perfect getaway if you are looking for a quiet and exclusive holiday.
And I decided to explore the nearby villages to capture the essence of the place through my lens. By the time I was back to the cottage, the lunch was ready on the table.
Lunch by Satyun River
Well, after spending 2 beautiful nights with handful of unforgettable experiences, it was time to pack my bags and head towards the chaotic city life. But to my surprise, the journey was yet to end. After traveling few kilometers away from Kanatal, when I stopped at this destination, I was floored by the arrangements.
Tables were set a few inches from the water, food was well spread on the table and spectacular valleys to your delight. I was so amazed looking at the whole set up that I stood still for some time. Having lunch by Satyun river was one of the most unforgettable moments of the trip. The Terraces has truly redefined the luxury on every level during my stay.
I would like to thank Mr Ravi Molhotra, the man behind The Terraces for hosting us. Being a traveler and a true visionary himself, he has tastefully arranged every single thing which made me spellbound each time during my stay. Not only that, I am really impressed by his effort to encourage rural tourism at the same time. I would also like to thank Ritesh Bhateja from Comdez for inviting me to be a part of this Bloggers and Journalists Meet 2015 and also cheers for the very well organized and detailed itinerary for the trip.
Life seems perfect when I am surrounded by hills far away from the city life. Hills give me the kind of happiness that can’t be expressed in few words. And when you are in a place like Kanatal which is still unexplored and unheard, where people are Living their life rather than Existing, where you can spend hours after hours just by staring at the hills, where time slows down suddenly, where gazing at the stars become a favorite activity and where your heartbeat is louder than anything else, that is what I call truly, “A Paradise on Earth.”
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