Kumaon, Uttrakhand Getaways, Hill stations in Kumaon, homestays in Uttrakhand, homestays in uttranchal, Weekend getaways from New Delhi, Innisfree Kumaon, Places to visiti in Kumaon, Offbeat stays in uttranchal, Offbeat places to visit in Uttranchal

Fall in love with the Sunrises and Sunsets of Kumaon Himalayas all over again.
Lat and Julia, hosts at Innisfree, Hawalbagh

“A hearty welcome to our humble abode in the Himalayas! We offer you solitude, peace, breath-taking sunrises and sunsets, views of endless rolling hills, a gentle murmur of the river and a chance to be part of our family’s royal Kumaoni and Burmese heritage.””

~ Lat and Julia, hosts at Innisfree, Hawalbagh


Please email us at untravel@indiauntravelled.com to plan and book your travels.

Innisfree, Hawalbagh Innisfree Hawalbagh is the adopted home of Lat, a descendant of Kumaon’s royal Chand Dynasty and a Burmese princess. Together with Lat’s Latvian wife Julia and their mother Aunty Kiran, they warmly welcome travellers into their home and lives. This is a family full of love, laughter and stories of the days of yore. The moment you take a small detour from the main road to reach this beautiful hamlet settled in the midst of clouds, mountains and temples, you experience the exhilarating feeling of being free in the mountains. The fragrance of wild flowers & mountain trees next to the Kosi River is a scent that can be unexpected, momentary and fleeting, yet it will conjure up memories of your childhood summer. The Old Bungalow has come alive with the hosts and their warm hospitality. The place is a paradise for butterfly watchers!

Please email us at untravel@indiauntravelled.com to plan and book your travels.

Bungalow was built by local stone by the British in 1780 at Hawalbagh The Bungalow was built by local stone by the British in 1780 at Hawalbagh, located 15 kms from Almora. It is now converted to a cozy home-stay with beautiful broad view of Kosi river valley and further hills. If you are looking for a peaceful time away from the hustle bustle of the cities, this is the place where you belong. The Bungalow has 2 suites, which can accommodate 3 and 4 adults, respectively and a double room. All rooms have attached bathrooms with hot/cold water and both Western and Indian style WC.

Both Suites and bathrooms are very spacious with super high ceilings - A legacy of old times!

Please email us at untravel@indiauntravelled.com to plan and book your travels.

Food and Drink You can feast on milk, butter, cottage cheese and yoghurt from the milk procured by the local village cows, home-made or locally made jams and fruit-stuffed pancakes, eggs made to order, local Pahari and fusion dishes made with veggies and herbs, and mouth-watering deserts that have travelled all the way from Latvia with Julia!

Please email us at untravel@indiauntravelled.com to plan and book your travels.

Swimming and Picnic at the river

Activities:

  • Day trip to Almora - Former capital of Kumaon (30 min drive)
  • Day trip to Ranikhet (1.5 hrs drive). Golf session can be arranged.
  • Visit to Katarmal Surya Mandir - a beautifully restored temple complex of 13th century. (20 min drive and a short walk).
  • Day trip to Jageshwar Dham (1.5 hrs drive) - An 8th century magnificent temple complex situated in thick Deodar forest.
  • Pleasant local walk to a nearby ancient Shiva Mandir and picturesque waterfall.
  • For trekkers there is day-long trek to Kesar Devi Temple and back. The trek goes through pine groves, meadows and villages.
  • A 3 day walk from Hawalbagh to Jageshwar with 2 night stop-overs in local pahari houses.
  • Swimming and Picnic at the river (10 mins walk).
  • Bonfire in the evening.
  • Lessons in Local and Latvian cooking.
  • The region is perfect for butterfly watchers. They are many different ones here!

Please email us at untravel@indiauntravelled.com to plan and book your travels.

A stay at Innisfree Hawalbagh is priced as mentioned below:

Suite: INR 3000 on twin sharing including breakfast

Extra Adult: INR 1200

Extra bed for a child:INR 850

Solo Traveller: INR 2250 including breakfast.

Meals at the homestay are priced at INR 450 per person per meal.

Please email us at untravel@indiauntravelled.com to plan and book your travels.

Location

Hawalbagh is located a scenic 3 hour drive from Kathgodam, which is the nearest railway station. The town of Almora is about 15 Kms away. The nearest domestic and international airport is in New Delhi.

Best time to visit:

  • All year round
  • Summer / Spring / Autumn (March to June and September to November): Pleasantly warm and Sunny days, fresh nights, clear sunsets, great time for swimming in the river.
  • Winter (November to February). Comfortable Sunny days, Cold evenings, crisp occasionally misty mornings.
  • Monsoon (July – August): Moderate rains, spectacular clouds and endless greenery around. Dramatic skies and sunsets.

Things to note

  • Fitness: The homestay is a perfect getaway for people of all ages and fitness levels – you can make your stay as relaxing or as active as you like.
  • Cash and ATMs: Only cash is accepted at the homestay. The nearest ATMs are in the towns of Kosi (4 Kms away).
  • Bathrooms: Each room comes with an attached bathroom, fitted with hot water geysers, showers and both Indian and Western style toilets.
  • Electricity: Like in most mountain regions in India, power cuts can happen. Please carry torches and spare batteries as needed.
  • Phone, Internet and TV: There are no TVs in the rooms, but there is plenty of natural beauty and Books in the Library to keep you entertained. Most phone networks work well here.
  • Pets: Not allowed. The family has several pet dogs and cats!
  • Alcohol: Not provided. Guests can carry their own. Soda / soft drinks can be provided on request and are chargeable. Ice cubes can be provided.
  • Driver’s Accommodation: Driver will be given an accommodation and meals at extra cost.

Checklist

Many of us have pre-conceived notions about rural India. Leave them behind, travel with an open mind, and you'll be pleasantly surprised with what you find.

  • Sunscreen, sunhat
  • Walking shoes
  • Warm jacket, woolen cap, gloves in winter
  • Umbrella, raincoat in the rainy season
  • Insect repellant if you are prone to mosquito bites
  • Books to read and write, stationery to paint and draw - anything you love to do and never get the time for
  • Binoculars for bird watching
  • Cosmetics you need
  • Prescription medicines, if any
  • Camera and batteries / charger

Please email us at untravel@indiauntravelled.com to plan and book your travels.


Reviews

“Our offbeat weekend stay at Hawalbagh started and got over on the note of warm hospitality of Julia & Lat. Everything in between comprised of fresh homemade delicacies, beautiful sunrise and sunsets, long meandering walks, great valley views, a swim in the rivulet close by and enchanting conversations with the lovely couple over hot coffee.

The idyllic Hawalbagh dak bungalow built in the late 1700s is pleasantly tucked away from the madding crowds with rooms which are spacious and comfortable. Local attractions like the famous Katarmal Sun Temple, Almora town etc. are well within reach. Food is definitely a thumbs up with Julia surprising us by whipping up delicacies in a jiffy.

Overall, a picture perfect setting to unwind and rejuvenate your body and soul, guaranteed!! ”

~ Saurav Negi, travelled with family in April 2016


“I have known Lat and Julia since I visited their house at Nathuakhan last year.I had had a great time, and that is when I decided to make it an annual thing of visiting them and ended up at their new homestay in Hawalbagh this year. I like exploring new places, so I was already excited. This is surely the place for those travelers who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and scout around. Wake-up everyday to sunrises; and enjoy the evening watching the sunset. You also have the bonfire at the night while watching the moon rise.. (Yes! the moon rise) There's also a river nearby; so go have a dip or a splash or enjoy fishing with their son.

Innisfree at Hawalbagh is truly a home away from home.. And I received the same warm welcome from Julia and Lat which I had received a year ago. Julia pampers you with some really scrumptious food. Must haves: Pahadi daal, Lat's egg rendition, Chocolate Mousse & Caramel.

Daadi (Lat's mom) is truly a lovely person who knows a lot about the places nearby, particularly the historical aspects. They have an amazing team of K9 (canine) guyz and cats, playing with them was a stress buster.

I am already looking forward for my next annual trip..! :) ”

~ Subodh Gurjar, travelled in March 2016



To feature your review / testimonial, please write to untravel@indiauntravelled.com.





Please email us at untravel@indiauntravelled.com to plan and book your travels.

The hosts Julia and Lat belong to the mountains of Kumaon. On moving to Hawalbagh they have already taken several initiatives to make the Bungalow and surrounding environment friendly. They are making efforts to get the place on tourist map and creating more work opportunities for young people to prevent (to a certain extent) their migration to big cities.

The region had faced thoughtless cutting of trees in the past. One of the few things that they have done as soon as they moved here was to plant trees. They have planted several trees in the last few months and are nurturing them with utmost care. Any activity causing harm to the nature and the fishes in the nearby river are reported immediately by them.

Also they encourage the works of local artists by decorating the house with their creations (Aipan work on the verandas and wall pictures inside the rooms).

Below are some tips to travel responsibly while in Hawalbagh:

  • Carry a good water bottle. Filtered water is available at the house for refilling your bottle. Refrain from buying numerous plastic mineral water bottles.
  • Pack your bags with environmentally friendly things. Carry as little plastic as possible.
  • Do not litter or leave behind any non-biodegradable waste. Carry it to the cities where better waste management systems are in place.
  • What you wear has an impact. Dress appropriately, especially when you walk into the villages.
  • Respect the local culture and refrain from physical intimacy in public places.
  • Experiment with local and fusion food served from the host kitchen, or prepare your own in your farm cottage’s kitchenette. Ask for modifications in the food according to your taste, instead of wasting it.
  • Avoid excessive consumption of alcohol, especially in public places.
  • Seek permission before photographing people, so as to respect their privacy.
  • Please do not pluck any plants and flowers, and do not disturb the wildlife.