As the sun blinked through the floating clouds, the fainted Himalayan peaks somehow started to sparkle. The fearlessly flying chirping birds and their enchanting chorus announced the morning glory in the hills. As I opened the window to soak in the busking sunrays, I let the wind play with my hair as I breathed in the fresh air. While holding my freshly brewed cup of coffee, I sat on the bench, overlooking the uninterrupted view of the valleys; I celebrated the sound of silence, away from the concrete jungle and otherwise confusing lifestyle of mine, in Gagar, located in Uttarakhand.
The ecstatic feeling translated into a smile as I knew that the next couple of days would be serene, peaceful and blissful at The White Peaks, a perfect abode in the lap of Himalayas.
My endless love for the mountains, especially for Kumaon region of Uttarakhand is the most treasured affair of mine for many reasons. It not only affirms my preferred option when it comes to hills and beaches, rather it confirmed my vision of life after my very first visit to Mukteshwar, a few years back. So every time, I land up in the Kumaon hills, the boundless excitement of living a few days in the hills, meeting locals and just the feeling of being in this place makes me euphoric.
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As I was driving high up in the mountains, everything seemed familiar to me. The innocent faces of the kids running in the marketplace, the most humble people selling local vegetables or just the earthy smell of the place made me nostalgic about my very first visit to Kumaon hills. It was hardly one and half hour drive from the Kathgodam station; I got down on the main road, just next to the signboard “Gagar”.
Home away Home
The moment I stepped out of the car, I met the charming Mohan and Pawan, who greeted me with a big smile. I asked them about the exact location of “The White Peak”, and Mohan Replied, “Thoda sa upar hain, walk karna padega”. I followed him on the curled up steep road which led me to the boutique homestay. As I was panting already, the watchful dogs in the neighborhood started barking, while I exchanged smiles with the owner of the dogs. After five minutes of walk on the meandering trail, I finally reached the Himalayan home. The very first glance of the homestay, parched on the hilltop, surrounded by the thick oak forest, left me mesmerized. It felt as if I had conspired to be here and my wish had been fulfilled.
As I stepped inside the aesthetically designed living room of the cottage, each and everything, from the hand-picked showpieces, cozy furniture, lampshades, carpet, wall paintings to the fireplace, simply won me over. The stack of books and magazines give you all the reasons to indulge in digital detox during your stay.
It is commendable how Aparupa Ray Ganguly and Abhijit Ganguly ( The Proud Owners) have converted the house into a charming little Himalayan home with such intricate details.
As I climbed up the stairs towards the upper floor of the homestay, I was guided towards the rooms. The cottage has two beautiful rooms, separated by a tiny balcony, from where you can enjoy the picturesque and unhindered views of the Himalayan peaks. I instantly fell in love with my cozy room with a view.
The mindfully designed, minimalistic yet artistic décor with the books and the lamps in the corners added to the much-needed charm to my little abode for next few days. I could not stop smiling from there on as if I had found my long lost home in the solitude.
What I loved the most
The feeling of being at home was something I generally don’t find during my travels. The simplicity, the warmest hospitality by the caretaker Mohan and the peaceful yet fulfilling aura of the place gives this boutique Himalayan home a unique identity. My blissful morning of having a cup of tea, sitting ideally in the sun-drenched courtyard, lazing around and doing nothing was the perfect way to spend quality time in the cottage.
Admiring the layers of hills, watching the changing colors of the sky and moving clouds, I can spend the entire day just sitting there.
The colorful flowers from the garden of “The White Peaks”
Unperturbed by anything, when you have the luxury of getting lost in thoughts for hours, clouded with new ideas and the need of the hour is a pen and paper to write down your thoughts, that’s when you find a perfect abode for the creativity.
The White Peaks surely provide the space for creative inspirations for people like me who find the voice to their thoughts in places like this.
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“When the mountains whisper in solitude, many untold stories find its voice”
– Parnashree Devi
It was probably the first time in my life when I refrained from stepping out of my peaceful abode. Sitting next to the warm fireplace, having delicious Maggie and reading a travel book with my favorite playlist, I could not have asked for anything else to make my evening a perfect one in the hills.
Sometimes it becomes a necessity to spend time with yourself, maybe having a conversation within and not with anyone else. I did exactly the same that evening.
You can’t help but relish each meal prepared by Mohan. Whether it is the breakfast, lunch or dinner, each dish is delectable and gives you the home-cooked taste every time you sample it.
The food is served with so much of love and smiles that it feels like home. I loved the Maggie, Ginger Garlic Chicken, Daal and the Aloo Paratha the most during my stay. He is undoubtedly an excellent cook, a humble human being, and an amazing caretaker.
Mohan & Pawan posing for my lens
As I packed my bags to return to my chaotic abode in the city, I fell madly in love with this beautiful home in the Himalayas. This is exactly the kind of home I was searching for since a long time. A place that inspires you to pen-down your best memories, the creative ideas and those random thoughts that travel through your mind every now and then, but you never get the right place and time to convert it into a sentence.
As I waved back at Mohan and Pawan, I secretly wished to come again to live a few moments in absolute solitude at The White Peaks.
I was invited by The White Peaks on a press trip .
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