Chirping Valley View

Chirping Valley View

Near Urgam

The valley consists of group of villages Dumak,Salnam,Lyari, Devgram, Urgam village being the biggest of them.
Starts from Rs 900/ Night

The Shri Ram Homestay is located in the Devgram village of Urgam valley. The valley consists of group of villages Dumak,Salnam,Lyari, Devgram, Urgam village being the biggest of them. It is a picturesque village, and you will catch yourself gasping at the colourful houses against the backdrop of thick forest as you proceed closer to your destination. The village has a character as each house is coloured in distinctive bright colours. The road to the village is a bit rough, and could get inaccessible during rains, but the warm hospitality of the hosts and villagers makes the journey worthwhile. The village is also enroute 'Kalpeshwar' temple which is one of the five panch Kedars of Uttarakhand where the matted hair (jata) of Lord Shiva are prayed under a stone cave. The temple sits amidst a thunderous waterfall and a furiously flowing river, and the road leading to the temple is very scenic.

The accommodation is in his ancestral home, in the heart of the village. There are two rooms – one on the upper level, accessed by a wooden staircase, and the other on the lower level. The occupancy of each room is of two people. We, at NotOnMap believe in preserving the lifestyle, and the traditional reasoning associated with it, as we invite them to collaborate with us. This is the reason the washrooms are built outside the house. The ShriRam homestay lies in the middle of the village and living there would let you witness the daily lives of the villagers. The house was built by his father, and is a traditional house built in mud, wood and stone. These materials act as thermal insulators, enhanced with the thickness of the walls. They keep the house cool in summers, and warm in winter months. The angan (courtyard), or common gathering space is sandwiched between the rooms and the village path, making it very interactive and lively. Dinesh ji is a lover of birds, and has bags full of food grains which bring hordes of birds to the house everyday. They perch on the rooftops, on the balcony railings, and create a happy atmosphere of chirping sounds. The room interiors are not tampered with much, and the bright linens will create a westernized fusion in the rural mud-lipayi wall and floor plaster. The whole aura of the room is rustic, yet equipped with all modern needs of adequate lighting, plug-points etc. The doors are made of decade old wood, and look like antiques themselves! They are low in height, to prevent cold air from entering the room, so watch your head everytime you walk inside!

They say that you feel hungrier in the hills, and the hosts seem to be aware of it. This is the reason that you will be served delicious, whole-some, home-made food. They have farms outside their house, and in the vicinity – agriculture being their primary occupation. Needless to say, all the food is organic, and cooked on the ‘chulha’. This cooking technique makes the food get a slightly charred taste, which is different from the food we usually cook on stoves, at home. There are creepers of Karela plant, Kidney beans (rajma), and plantation of potatoes, peas, eggplant, pumpkin in their farms. Dinesh ji’s wife can’t recall having a memory of buying vegetables from the market, since months! The guests will be served simple meals, cooked with love.
The breakfast comprises of Parathas, roti sabzi (curry), bread dishes, along with tea and coffee. The lunch is simple, with roti, sabzi (curry), dal, chawal along with fresh salad. The dinner follows the same format. If you are a food enthusiast, request the host to make some of the local cuisines of their specialty. The food can either be served inside your room, for you to savor it binging on your favourite TV show, or with your family. Or you can sit in the angan, and have them serve you hot rotis right off the chulha! The kitchen is designed separately as it gets smoky sometimes, but you are welcome to sit in the kitchen and eat with them, too.

Urgam is one of those places which will make you feel belonged, immediately. The valley is so picturesque that every turn in the village is going to be a frame. Most of the travellers and tourists come here to visit the Kalpeshwar temple, one of the five panch-kedars in the region. It is the only one which is accessible throughout the year. The temple is an hour trek (mild) to the temple, and you will witness layers and layers of mountains fading behind eachother, walking to your destination. There is a massive waterfall too, near the temple. Marveled at the furiously rushing rivers from the Himalayas running at the base throughout the journey? This is where you can also walk down to the river. For those of you with a wanderlust soul, Urgam has mystical treks taking you across grassland and pine forests. One such trek is to ‘Banga Pani’(curve water). As the legend goes, Lord Krishna was once playng with a snake on the top of a hill, at Bansi Narayan. As their play grasped momentum, they continued to come down till a clearing, which is now called Banga Pani, and left the traces of their presence for the generations to come. The clearing has a foot-wide canal of water which occurs in a curvy manner. This symbolizes the snake, they say. If you have a drone, do take shots from the top! It is also said that the level of this flowing water remains the same throughout the year. It is advised to take a guide along with you, as you could get lost in the mountains, and also becasue there are many quicksands throughout the area. Other places to visit are the old college in Urgam, and the Bansi Nrayan temple. Taking a walk in the village is also an experience, with it’s old world charm and intricately carved wooden houses. Take some time off, and visit Dharam Lal ji, who is an expert in wood carving, and would love to show you some of his work. His work is revered, and also published. There is also a 1000 year old ‘Kalpavruksha’, which stands tall and can be viewed from anywhere in the village.
After a long day of trekking, come back to the homestay for a homely dinner under the stars, to cozy up in your bed later. As all the houses are facing the east, do wake up to catch the sunrise, right off your balcony! Do visit Urgam valley and Dinesh ji’s homestay for an unforgettable experience!

By Air: The closest Airport to Urgam valley is Dehradun Airport, or Jolly Grant airport. There are direct buses from Dehradun to Joshimath, or you can hire a car to reach Joshimath and then another share car (Sumo) or your private car towards ‘Helang’. Helang is the stop from where you change direction, and hail another car towards Urgam, or Kalpeshwar temple.(In case people aren’t aware about Urgam). The journey should preferably be made during morning hours, or before 3PM, else the chances to get a car from Helang get sparse. The Shri Ram Homestay is in a village called Devgram in Urgam valley. As the homestay is in the interior of the village, it is best advised to call the host and ask him the directions to the homestay. There could be reception problems in the area, so another (better) option is to ask the locals the way to his house. If you are visiting during the monsoon season, the road which leads to the Devgram village could get muddy and inaccessible, so you might have to walk about 1 KM to reach his house. Having said that, one view at the colourfully vibrant houses in the valley are sure to make you forget the mild uphill walk!
The closest railway stations are Dehradun station, or Haridwar station. From there, catch a bus to Joshimath, and follow the path as mentioned above. It is best advised to book your bus tickets in advance. The jouney usually takes 8-10 hours, depending on the weather and road conditions.

Dinesh ji is a humble, shy Garwali man. He decided to collaborate with us and extend his home to the many travellers who come to visit the beautiful Urgam valley, or pilgrims who have come to the Kalpeshwar temple. As soon as you enter the village, you will come across his tea shop, which happens to be a good vantage point to sip some tea with Maggie and look at the sunset. Dinesh ji is a religious man, and if you strike a conversation with him about the matter, he can recite countless mythological tales. He has a quirky sense of humour, and after you get to know him better, you’ll be laughing endlessly on his jokes. Looking at him, you wouldn’t be able to guess that he is actually 60 years old! He has grown up in the village, and is very proud of the heritage that it holds. If you are visiting, do let him know your schedule as he’ll help you plan your itinerary, including all the lesser-known gems of the area–which you will otherwise not find online! If he accompanies you to one of your one-day treks nearby, he is a natural at talking about Ayurveda, the trees and birds as you pave your way through the wilderness. Get ready to be amazed, as he can make bird sounds, and claims to communicate with birds in the forest! He says that the homestay gives him an opportunity to not just earn extra income but also have a chance to interact with travellers from metropolitan region, and exchange knowledge and experiences.

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You can also call us for inquiry at +91 84 48 445 502


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