Our heritage homestay series discovers homestay options that allow you to explore the historical side of India. The Cottage, in the valley of Jeolikot has an illustrious history relating to Swami Vivekananda. This homestay in Nainital is estimated to be up to 700 years old and provides an unforgettable homestay experience.
Different levels of the house form an amusing labyrinth, leading you from one ornate space to another. The décor is an amalgam of thoughtful gifts given by prestigious artistes and visitors as well as artifacts picked up over the years by the hostess. The property extends downhill leading to an orchard full of juicy fruits and part of the land has been reverted back to the forest to keep benefit the natural flora and fauna. Barking deer, birds and wild fowl roam freely in the vicinity.
Swami Vivekananda, became known as India’s spiritual ambassador in America following his participation in the ‘Parliament of Religions’ held in Chicago, Illinois (USA) in 1893, at which he represented Hinduism. His vast knowledge of Eastern and Western culture as well as his deep spiritual insight, made a great impression in Europe and America. Vivekananda did spent some time in Nainital and he is known to have have meditated under a tree which stood now where the sitting area of The Cottage begins.
In the local area a visit to the neighbouring tea shop is enjoyable, which can be the perfect final course to a delicious meal. A crackling bonfire in the sit-out on a chilly night is the perfect way to see an enchanting and rare sight – the distant lights from Nainital making an ‘Aum’ sign.
Mrs. Bhuvan Kumari is the heart and soul behind The Cottage. It was her childhood dream to open a homestay like this in the valley of Jeolikot. And towards this endeavour she passionately scouted for the perfect home. Finally, this 200-700 years old typical Kumaoni home caught her fancy and it became The Cottage, which was started 15 years ago. With the essence of the old village house intact she has overseen the meticulous restoration of The Cottage.
FACILITIES AND PRACTICAL INFORMATION
- Five large and sunny bedrooms all with cheery bathrooms decorated by bright paintings
- Internet access in your own room by request
- Pick up, drop and assistance with sight-seeing available on request
- The weather in Nainital is pleasant throughout the year except the winter months. The best time to visit the place is between April to June and then again in September and October. The months of January to March are marked by snowfall.
- Travelling by road Nainital is connected to all the major national and state highways. From Nainital the following places are directly connected by regular bus service to Agra, Almora, Badrinath, Delhi, Dehradun and other important places.
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