Make Kathgodam, nestled in the foothills of the Kumaon Division of the Himalayas, your first stop from Delhi this weekend. If you don’t wish to drive the 275 kilometers, you could take the comfortable Kathgodam Shatabdi Express that departs from the capital early in the morning. An hour away from Kathgodam Railway Station lies a beautiful mountain getaway called Jilling Terraces. Ensconced in the uphills of Matial Village, and inspired by the beautiful flowers and mouthwatering berries of the region, the Chestnut House of Jilling Terraces gracefully blends a contemporary look juxtaposed with modern-day luxuries.
The rooms of Chestnut has no televisions but surprisingly it will never bother you. All you have got to do is swipe away the curtains and admire nature’s drama unfolded through the window. Watch clouds slide into the valley, tree branches sway in the breeze and birds spreading sweet melodies. On clear mornings, the snow-capped peaks of Nanda Devi glisten in the sunshine. An old-fashioned aura drapes the Jilling’s mighty deodars and red rhododendron flowers.
As travel enthusiasts and silence seekers from different corners of the country plan their visit, they ask in anticipation that what kind of recreational activities Jilling has to offer and that how can they get the best of this mountain getaway.
No wonder the place has enough reading material and games to keep you busy. Books occupy every niche, flat surface, or cozy corner, and there’s also a room with an eclectic collection but once you reach there, you will find yourself admiring the nature’s marvel. You can make the most beautiful memories, by just being there and feeling your mind declutter.
Seeing the awe-inspiring vista through the viewfinder, you will find yourself driven by the urge of capturing the magnificent panorama in your camera. You might run helter-skelter, throughout the space trying to get the best shot but eventually, you will find yourself milking the art of stillness as you will gulp down the coffee or relish the hot piping paranthas cooked with love by the warm and hospitable staff of Jilling Terraces.I Very quickly you will become accustomed to the serene beauty of the place: languid days spent soaking up the meagre sunlight, finger-licking meals served hot from the stove and the quiet warmth of the locals.
Walking around is the best way to explore Jilling. The forests surrounding the house comprise apple orchards, rhododendrons, oak trees and tangy Himalayan berries. A number of popular trekking trails to Kanarkha , Panyaliand Gaula River begin here. There is a sweet silence in the wooded forests, broken only by a waterfall or two or by the sweet cacophony of the birds.
Click here to know about Jilling Terraces.
*Sukriti Khandelwal is a lifestyle blogger, with a demonstrated history of working in the arts and travel industry. Her interest lies in reading, writing and watching films. Find more of her writings here.