How to reach : The way to experience real India is to be away from the chaotic tourist towns and pages of the usual guide books. This real India : inspires and humbles, is artistic yet genuine, simultaneously incredible and heartbreaking and surely takes a little effort to find. One such place is the quaint little town of Pithoragarh. It is located in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand and is a seven hours tortuous journey from Nainital, passing through the picturesque hills of Almora.
The typical ‘Indian’ tourist, who once wanted to visit every place given in a travel guide, is now evolving. It is not about ticking off things in a list anymore, but to find a place where you can get some much needed “me” time and places like Pithoragarh are perfect for that.
Here is a glimpse of this beautiful town followed by snapshots of two of the must see places :
Kamakshya Temple : Sun-kissed peaks and a panoramic view of the entire city is what you get from here. The temple has a unique history and was set up by a soldier of the Indian Army and it is still being looked after by his family.
On The Rocks Cafe : This mountain cafe surprised us as we did not expect such quirky decor in a small town eatery. Loved gorging on the delectable chinese food with views of the valley.
So this was part one of our Pithoragarh itineary, more to come in the second part! Remember it is only when you go off the beaten path that you encounter such uninterrupted views of Nature. Cherish every bit of it.
Travel is more than the seeing of sights- it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.
So this was my first sojourn in the North East, a long awaited trip with my bestie. We took a SpiceJet flight from Jaipur to Guwahati, which is the quickest and the most comfortable way to reach. From Guwahati, prepaid taxis are available to Shillong for two thousand rupees.
About the property : Since it was just the two of us, we wanted a hotel which is a like a mini hill station in itself . Based on the reviews and images on Goibibo, we booked Tripura Castle . It is located on a hilltop and offers a panoramic view of Shillong. The property is beautiful and the plush wooden interiors give you a vintage vibe. The property is managed by female staff and Shillong is essentially a matriarchal society.
The best part is that the property blends in very seamlessly with the natural surroundings. It felt like living right in the middle of a forest with all the comforts you need. And you can witness the entire town of Shillong right from the room’s window overlooking the valley. In the evening, there are bonfires and musical performances to add warmth to the otherwise chilly weather. Sun sets very early in Shillong and by 5 pm it is all dark, a very different and quaint way of life.
Dining options : Food was something that didn’t impress me much, more so because I am a vegetarian which is not a great thing to be in North-East 😂. So, it was definitely a struggle finding decent vegan options. There’s a lot of variety for non vegetarians.
For day one, we stayed in a room located in the main building while for day two we opted for a treehouse cottage which was a fascinating experience. The pricing varies from five thousand rupees to seven thousand rupees depending on the season. Here are pictures from day 1 –