A Soulful Weekend at Te Aroha, Dhanachuli
Tell your problems to mountains. They are good listeners. Do that during sunrise as nature paints the best at dawn. I, therefore, never miss it when on a holiday. I feel sunrise builds a soulful connect with the place. And this one, here at Te Aroha, is special. I sit and admire it from the balcony of my room (coincidentally called Morning Sun) with my list of problems and a cup of coffee in hand. [I was later shifted to Master’s Bedroom suite — a spacious room with a lovely balcony, where I spent better part of the day.]
Silence speaks loud at Te Aroha, a beautiful weekend getaway from Delhi. It’s that kind of place where cacophonies of life vanish and silence offers solace. It’s the kind of place you cherish the best with a loved one you enjoy talking to. May be I am romanticizing it too much, but then it is the kind of place that has such an effect on you.
Located amidst the picturesque mountains of Dhanachuli (near Nainital), Te Aroha is more than just a resort. What sets it apart from the rest is the passion of the owner, Sumant Batra, behind every brick and stone that has made Te Aroha. Sumant fell in love with these mountains during one of his explorations of the Himalayan foothills of Uttaranchal. So intense was the romance that he decided to own a piece of land on a hilltop and built a summer home, which he converted into a resort three years ago. He fittingly called it Te Aroha, meaning a place of love in Maori language. He has (and continues to) put in a lot of passion to build this getaway. The proof lies in the various stories in every corner. His love for books, an eye for rare findings, and his varied interests — all speak volumes about his passion.
Don’t visit the place if your idea of holiday means vegetating in front of the tv or posing at touristy sites. But do not miss the experience if your idea of a weekend getaway includes enjoying conversations (and a lot of it) with yourself and nature or may be reading a book or two. There are no televisions in the rooms (just one in the common room). 12 distinct rooms that make Te Aroha include six suites: Long House, Master’s Bedroom, Guest Bedroom, Family Cottage, The Attic, Three Steps Down and five rooms: Black Roof, Morning Sun, Deck Room, Single’s Bedroom, and Front Room. The food is simple yet delicious; enjoy a meal or two sitting outside the restaurant, looking at the mountains.
I highly recommend the place for some alone time or quality time with a loved one!
Check the pics here:
What to do at Te Aroha
– Sit and talk to yourself/companion
– Revive childhood memories playing ludo, carom, table tennis, badminton, etc
– Meet nature during Nature Trek or Village Walk organized by the resort
– Read, read, and read
– Listen to the sounds of nature (music of birds, rustling of leaves, sound of breeze)
– Enjoy Kumouni cuisine (other options include Continental and Indian)
– Enjoy tea at Tea Room
– Take a peak into Sumant’s passion at Chitrashala Museum that pays tribute to Indian graphic arts
– Sit by the bonfire during winters
AT A GLANCE
How to get there: Shatabdi from Delhi to Kathgodam (from Anand Vihar station) takes five and a half hours; hired cab from there take 2 hours and Rs 1500.
Food: Kumaoni (local), Indian and continental. The food is non-spicy and simple.
Rooms: Don’t come here looking for TV or A/cs. You don’t need either of them here. Deluxe rooms are cozy. I loved my stay in Morning Sun for a night and Master’s Bedroom (suite) the other.
Tariff: Rs 6500 onwards for Deluxe Room
Caution: There might be a problem if you have trouble climbing stairs. There are lots and lots of them.
Read more about Te Aroha and Sumant Batra in Wedding Vows magazine July issue.