MOUNTAIN STUDIO

MOUNTAIN STUDIO

Near Manoti

The house is a bit secluded from the other houses, and is connected by a narrow concrete path branching out from the main path which connects all the houses upslope.
Starts from Rs 1,500/ Night

The homestay is a very old property of Nitin Sehwal ji, who is a reporter for a local newspaper. He is a middle-aged enthusiastic man who loves to host, and has his own house few paces from the homestay, where he lives with his family. The house is a bit secluded from the other houses, and is connected by a narrow concrete path branching out from the main path which connects all the houses upslope. Syncing to the rhythm of the neighbourhood, the house blends in with it’s rugged earthy look, while having a rustically rich ambiance inside, suiting to the needs of an urban nomad. The site cannot be accessed through a vehicle, and one has to walk (read as mild trek!) for about 25 minutes to reach – but the added incentive to make this walk are the Apple trees, Hazelnut trees, and Plum trees which make the walk totally worth it! The setting in which the homestay sits, is of quiet and peace – ideal for solo travellers to halt before their expedition, for those who want to recharge their creative energy, or couples who want a getaway from their metropolitan lives. It is a humble hut, which suffices all needs – with two beds, a study table, and a small pantry. The property, like all its neighboring properties overlook the mountains, their views framed by canopies of lush green coniferous trees. One of the unmistakably striking features of the house is the continuous sound of water which flows in next to the house. This is a place specially crafted for those who want to spend quality time with themselves or their loved ones.

The homestay is a single hut studio apartment–two single beds, a modest kitchenette, a desk and chair, and some shelves built in the walls. It is a great place for a single person – an author or a painter, to get his creative juices flowing, or a couple wanting to cut off from the world. The homestay sits at the edge of a cliff, and creates mesmerizing vistas. Cook your own food, or enjoy food cooked by the hosts on their chulha, pluck freshly picked vegetables from farms nearby, take the half an hour trek to the town of Joshimath, and make the space your home! The house has an earthy feel to it, with un-plastered walls and the faint yet distinctive smell of lipayi on the floor, enhanced by the beautiful paintings. There is a Ringal wood partition in the hut, creating dynamism of space and a separation between the cooking and sleeping spaces.
The older traditions and lifestyle had the washrooms outside the house, as opposed to the cities. Adapting this spirit, the washrooms are provided adjacent to the rooms, on the ground floor, accessed by a separate staircase.

There is a pantry provided in the room, with an induction. One can cook using all the fresh farm produce, and buy other ingredients from the Joshimath town, which is a downward trek from the property. Otherwise, the facility for food is provided by the owner. Aartiji, the host’s wife, is an amazing cook, so do ask for her famous green chutney whilst your stay!

An ideal day for a traveler staying in the homestay would be waking up to a magnificent view of the sun rising from behind the mountains, while sipping hot ginger tea. As the porch overlooks the pathway to Joshimath, it is a pleasant sight to see local children huddled together going to school. Have a warm and homely lunch, in the afternoon, over a conversation with the locals, giving you an opportunity to understand better the life in mountains. Before the sun begins to set, wander in the village, and as all houses are spread out without any fences or boundary walls, take this opportunity to make some new friends! As the day comes to an end, enjoy a moment of peace with yourself, watching the sunset. It is said that some sounds are tranquilizing in nature – and the property sits in the perfect location to experience that. The homestay has a stream passing right across the path connecting it, and the guests enjoy their stay with a backdrop of the soothing sound of moving water, throughout the day. One can hear very faint noise of traffic, from the town that lies downhill, keeping the guest sub-consciously connected to the world outside the homestay!

By Air: The nearest Airport to Manoti village is the Dehradun Airport, also known as the Jolly Grant Airport. From the Airport, you can either hire a private vehicle, or take a bus to take an 8 hour journey to Joshimath. From Joshimath, take another cab/bus/continue on your vehicle to Auli, and look out for a TV tower. Stop about 100 paces before the TV tower, you will come across cemented steps taking you downslope, to a village called SUNIL. Follow the signage and tread your way downstairs (about 300 m) to locate the homestay. The homestay is on a lesser accessed path, so give a call to the hosts, as they offer to pick you, and guide you from any point onwards.
By Rail: The nearest Railway Station is the Dehradun Station, from where you take a bus/cab/private vehicle to Joshimath, and then continue in the direction to Auli. Find the homestay as mentioned above.
By Road: Joshimath is well connected by NH7, which passes through the town. It is a 9 hour drive, if traveling on road from Rishikesh side. Follow the route as mentioned above, after reaching Joshimath.
NOTE: The hosts request the guests to reach before sunset, so it’s easier for them to walk the downslope to the house.

Nitin Sehwal is a reporter for a local news channel. He is a travel lover, and has extensive knowledge about the area. He is well versed with the local stories and myths, and would love to accompany you on your travel. He could appear to be shy and quiet initially, but once you strike a conversation with him, he will tell you the most amazing stories about himself, his journey, and the village. He will help you get guides, or book cabs if you want to visit places like Auli, Badrinath etc.

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