My 3 Days Escape from City Life to Stay with Locals in Gugukham Village

Gugukhan Village

When you feel completely drained out working inside the four walls of your office,  the very moment leave the work. Pack your bag go for a break at a place where you can get connected to your basic self. Last month I was in the same situation and travelled to Uttarakhand. I booked late night AirIndia flight for Delhi, took rest at airport lounge that charges on hourly basis. Next day morning I had 6:00 am Shatabdi train from New Delhi Railway station to Kathgodam station. I covered 5 hours journey to reach Kathgodam station, from there took local cab.

After covering 20km distance reached Naina Devi Himalayan Bird Conservation Reserve. I searched place to stay near by and landed at beautiful village named Gugukham. There I saw old style Himalayan house at farmland. The farmer had made beautiful homestay for traveller that looked hygienic and comfortable, so I decided to stay there. They served me home made Himalayan food that was very different from the food we regularly eat in North India.

A perfect place to enjoy healthy food

Lunch included Bhat Dal, Bhang Chatni, Mandva Chapati, and big bowl of Salad. When I finished my lunch, they gave me a glass of butter milk that is considered good for digestion in every part of India. I still remember the flavour of Bang Chatni.

After lunch I went to farm, saw many variety of farming there and got to know about few plants. Fruit trees like apricot, walnut, plum were blossoming with flowers. Farmer told me how they try to use only organic pesticides in their farms and use 6 types of decomposing. They try to serve food to their guest as healthy as possible. That is northern side of Nainital, it was very cold at the month of March. So I was enjoying sunshine and cold breeze together.

I spend my evening roaming around the village interacting with locals and listening their hardship of daily life in hills. Few elders of villagers said although of hardship they are happy with their life in villages. Only thing worries them that glamour of city life attracted youth in past decade. They have migrated to Delhi or other metro cities of India and slowly generation is leaving farming. I felt very bad listening to this and started wondering if farmers will stop growing food then who will produce food for us? My own thought scared me that moment and asked one of the villager that how could we stop migration in the village?

What worries local Villagers in Gugukham?

Villagers said few of the youth wants to come back but they don’t have multiple earning sources in villages to maintain their modern lifestyle. Only solution is increasing various sources of income generation in villages to attract youth for reverse migration. What an irony of today’s world! We don’t have space in cities but we want to stay here even we have to compromise health. On the other side villages are surrounded with magnificent mountain in Himalayan region but we don’t want to live there.

I myself escaped from hectic life and travelled to that place but do I really can quit city life permanently and settle to any of the villages! Since then trying to get that Answer from myself. I have come back from vacation where discovered that the kind of life living in Mumbai city does it worth of living! After staying in Gugukham Village for 3 days, felt like I had lived there for a year. Still remember the freshness of the air, breeze that was touching my face every morning. The music of the bird, smile of the children going to the school and many other things were pure and natural. As of that was the real life I was living that moment.

My Self-discovery

Everyday travelling 3 hours, seating continuously in front of our laptop, no time for food. Food that we eat does it really give any benefit to body? Do we really happy in the chaos of city life? Here starts my self – discovery……………….

Whether I will managed to leave city life and settle at countryside one day or not but learnt following things in this trip:

  1.  Always go to place that is less popular
  2.  Stay with locals instead of booking hotel that save our money too
  3.  Talk to locals of the place to understand their lifestyle
  4.  Try to contribute to village economy in any form

Why you must visit Gugukham Village in Lifetime!

One should visit this part of region once in lifetime. On the way from Kathgodam railway station to Gugukham village you can visit Nainital & Bhimtal lake. There enjoy the pleasure of boating. If you love birds and photography then my suggestion is take out more time for vacation like seven days to visit this place.

Gugukham village is part of Naina Devi Himalayan Bird Conservation Reserve. This reserve forest is located in Kumaon region of Uttarakhand and placed inside Nainital forest division. The Reserve include Bird species like the hill partridge, chukar partridge, koklass pheasant, kali pheasant, goldcrest, rufoussibia, red billed leiothrix, black – chinned babbler, chestnut-bellied nuthatch, black-throated tit, rock bunting, green-tailed sunbird and yellow-breasted greenfinch. Mammals in this sanctuary are sighted barking deer, yellow-throated marten, stoat, mountain weasel, yellow-belied weasel and Himalayan goral.

This place is also worth for trekkers, there are many trek routes that local villagers can tell you. Stayed there for 3 days only, didn’t able to go for long trek. I will be definitely going there next year to spend long vacation to explore this place more.

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