Travel Stories for everybody by anybody

The Tranquil (re)Treat

Only if you were in heaven would the clouds come to wish you Good morning as soon as you open the windows to your room. Or, if you are too lazy to go to heaven, you could take the 14 hour train journey from Delhi to The Misty Mountains Retreat in Jhaltola, Uttarakhand with a stoppage at Kathgodam. I visited this retreat with a huge group of friends and was taken aback by the warmth of the staff, in complete contrast to the cool ambience of the place! This retreat is a quintessence of tranquility.

The Misty Mountains Retreat offers you a perfect view of the mighty Himalayas on one side and the forests on the other. On days when you are very lucky, you can spot a leopard on the rocks near the retreat. An offbeat location, the retreat is a perfect getaway from the hustle bustle of the daily life. As you walk through the dining hall from your cottage, towards the innovatively designed auditorium, you can hear the breeze singing in your ears. Be it adventure sports like rafting/ rappelling, the discovery of the rich flora and fauna of the Kumaon hills, the Patabhuwaneshwar Temple and the Jageshwar Temple or simply the intent of reading a book from the small library in the star shaped hall, you can count on the retreat to offer you that!

While you wake up to the site of cotton clouds floating beneath your waist, the dimly lit houses below you resembling fireflies in the night can just make you gaze at them for hours. If you are an early riser, you might want to look out for the bench in the retreat which provides a perfect view to the pristine sunrise. Well, if you are not, the sunset point is not so far away! Well, there is no point going there expecting a full – fledged continental menu which provides you with bizarre choices you cannot choose from. With a menu decided at the discretion of the guests, the hosts take extra care of your hygiene and food standards. And if you are lucky like us, you might also experience cooking your own Himalayan Maggi and eating it from the huge cooking pot!

At a minimum cost of Rs.1250/- per person per night (including breakfast, lunch, dinner and an occasional ride to nearby places by the owner himself), the retreat in its own unassuming way provides you the perfect rejuvenation that one looks for after a long, tiring weekday. So, if you are in the mood for a combination of nature, adventure, fun, and introspection, Misty Mountain Retreat should be your pick!

Contributed by – Akanksha Mittal

I believe in exploring the myriad aspects of life and the world through poetry, painting, travel and well, writing about things that I find worth sharing. My explorations take me to different places, sometimes in the inner realms of my mind and sometimes the not so known destinations. When I want to do something important, I head out into the city of Delhi, trying out the little eateries in the nooks and crannies, the monuments, art galleries and museums littered around in places. A mathematics enthusiast who wishes to own a house on a beach and have a boat of my own, that’s me.