Farmstay with locals in Kumaon
Kumaon is one of the two regions of Uttarakand, a mountainous state of northern India. It includes the districts of Almora, Bageshwar, Champawat, Nainital, Pithoragarh and Udham Singh Nagar. It is bound on the north by Tibet, on the east by Nepal. On the south by the state of Uttar Pradesh, and on the west by the Garwhal region. The people of Kumaon are known as Kumaonis and speak the Kumaoni language. They are very simple and happy. Live their lifestyle for sometime to detox your mind and body in the farm of mango and lichi.
History of Kumaon
Historically ruled by the kings of Katyuri and Chand Dynasties. The Kumaon division was formed in 1816, the British reclaimed this region from the Gorkhas. They had annexed the erstwhile Kingdom of Kumaon in 1790. The division initially consisted of three districts, Kumaon, Terai and Garwhal. And formed the northernmost frontier of the Ceded and Conquered Provinces in British India. Later became North Western Provinces in 1836, United Provinces of Agra and Oudh in 1902, and United Provinces in 1937.
Important towns of Kumaon are Haldwani, Nainital, Almora, Pithoragarh, Rudrapur, Kashipur, Pantnagar, Mukteshwar and Ranikhet. Travellers can experience comfortable farmstay in all the villages of Kumaon. Take a short break for 3 days if nature photography is your hobby. And visit two villages Gugukhan and Syat. Your can explore wildlife and nature’s beauty on the way.
Here is the beautiful Kumaon Itinerary curated for Nature’s Lover
Day 1:Arrival at Kathgodam Railway Station (51 km /1hr 45min)
Start your Kumaon Trip from Haldwani. Reach early morning at Kathgodam Railway Station from your hometown. A drive of 51 km will take you to the Gugukhan village crossing zig-zag mountain roads. On the way you can see Himalayan viewpoint. The village is few kilometers away from nainital and situated inside the Naina Devi Bird Reserve. Reach Gugukhan village in the afternoon and check in to beautiful cottages in farm. You can view panoramic beauty of mountain from your cottage window. Delight in taking a sip of hot tea watching mountains and hilly farms.
In the evening go for village walk, interact with locals. Breathe pure air to regain the energy of the body. After sunset temperature drops down quickly, keep your body warm sitting in front of bonfire. Hot and tasty food is served in the dinner.
Day 2: Gugukhan Village–Naina Devi Bird Sanctuary – Nainital – Kota Bagh, 59 km (1 hrs 52 km)
Wake up early morning, do some yoga and meditation. Eat delicious organic breakfast made by local villagers. Drive into Naina Devi Bird Conservation reserve. Birds include species like the hill partridge, chukar partridge, koklass pheasant, kalij pheasant and goldcrest, rufoussibia, red-billed leiothrix, black-chinned babbler. Other birds seen here are chestnut-bellied nuthatch, black-throated tit, rock bunting, green-tailed sunbird and yellow-breasted greenfinch. Some endanger birds like the bearded vulture and Himalayan griffon are also seen here.
Mammals, which are regularly sighted in this sanctuary are barking deer, yellow-throated marten, stoat, mountain weasel, yellow-bellied weasel. Himalayan goral and some types of pika are present at higher altitudes. Most commonly seen mammals in this wildlife sanctuary are several types of bats and Royle’s pika of the family Ochotonidae. This is the best place for bird watcher.
Pictureseque Journey to Kota Bagh
On the way to Kota Bagh visit Nainital. Lunch enroute and in the evening reach Syat Village. Check in to farm stay in self-discovery village, after evening tea and snacks explore Kumaoni culture. Here you can rest under Mango tree and can pluck mangoes to eat directly. Kota Bagh farmers are very progressive. With the help of local bodies they have managed to turn their farms completely organic. Organic vegetables comes directly from farm and cooked freshly for guest.
You can experience the real taste of Kumaoni dishes at dinner table. Local food serve to guest are Bhat ki Chutkani, Bhang chatni and Gaderi Vegetable with Mandva ki Roti. Kumaoni food is consider most healthy food that contains all nutrients required by body.
Interact with Progressive farmer in Syat Village
Here you meet Nand Singh Bisht one of the farmers who has contributed for the development of organic farms and tourism. He is a man of Honour who has many awards of participation and contribution.
Listen to his story and fights over the period for the development of Syat Village. Gopal Singh Bisht is another farmer in village whose hospitality and care is unforgettable. Away from home you feel like home, happy faces of people bring happiness in your life too. Houses are old Himalayan style and gives different experience of traditional lifestyle of the region. Over night stay in tents or villager’s home at the farm.
Day 3: Kota Bagh- Corbet Falls – Kathgodam railway station 44 km (1 hrs)
Open your eyes early morning feeling fresh, staring at sunrise. Spend few hours in front of sun, meditate listening chanting of Agnihotra. Take sip of hot tea enjoying traditional Pahadi Breakfast.
Leave the village to walk at Boar canal for bird watching. And visit Corbet Falls, small scenic waterfall nestled in forest setting. Taste local food with a glass of buttermilk in self-discovery village, Chhoti Haldwani. After lunch relax for an hour and drive to Haldwani. Drop to Kathgodam railway station.
Note: One can enjoy various activities in this region. Like Day Hiking, Bird watching, Jungle walk, Canal walk, Cooking, Meditation, Plantation, Farming and teaching children. Best time to travel in this region September to May
Suggestion: Wherever you travel, try to stay with locals to know their culture and lifestyle. Contribute little by paying them cost of maintenance of homestay, food and guiding. Help them to increase their earning. It is always safe to take local guide with you to walk inside the jungle. This way you can be part of sustainable tourism. We are working towards reverse migration, your contribution in any form will be appreciable.
To know more about Self-discovery Kumaon Trip whatsapp at +91 9619155532 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org