July 13, 2010

Comfort and Bliss, In the lap of Himalayas

I've got to write about our honeymoon trip in October last year. This place was so amazing that not writing about is outright unfair. But, writing about the honeymoon trip can be very difficult, as you can imagine :) We went to this very beautiful resort, Kalmatia Sangam Himalaya Resort or just Kalmatia, perched on a mountain in Himalayas, at least 10 kms from any town or village and 100s of kms away from any metro. There were just about a dozen cottages there with no swimming pool, no tvs in the cottages and no multi-cuisine restaurants nearby - all the features to keep cities' clubbing noise loving crowd away.

Mornings in Kalmatia
Kalmatia resort and the estate surrounding it are owned and managed by a couple - Dieter Reeb (a german photographer) and Geeta Reeb - who live here for the love of the valley and the mountains. No rich Delhiite running a business remotely to milk the tourists. I guess that makes lot of difference. You can see and feel the passion and love that has gone into running this place in a beautiful, "organic" and environment friendly manner.

View from our breakfast table
We could not have gone to a better place for the honeymoon, I guess. It had everything - comfort, nature, beautiful views of the mightiest peaks in the world from the huge 6 windows of our octagonal shaped cottage, bird chirping in the mornings and evenings just outside our door, and full privacy. In fact so much privacy that each cottage had its own access (no passers by ;). There was a porch outside our cottage overlooking the himalayan peaks where we used to have our morning and evening teas. It was just beautiful staying there. Food was awesome too. Carefully cooked food to go easy on your stomach and invigorate your taste buds at the same time. My wife Disha loved the food which was a great relief as she is little choosy about the food and you don't want your wife to not be happy on your honeymoon :)

We were there for 6 days. We made three day (or half-a-day) trips from there. First one was to the Jageshwar temple - one of the only 12 jyotirlings. We had hired a car from our hometown Hasanpur for the whole trip. We took the same car to the Jageswar temple. It was a serene place (except for the annoying Pandas who incessantly kept asking for money - to illuminate the ever alight lamp there). We had the food that we had got packed from Kalmatia - aloo n gobhi parathas with pickle and curd, and some fruits, along with some hot chai.

Next we went to Binsar. My old love. I had gone there before, in Dec 2006, with Pankaj. I absolutely loved that place and always wanted to go back. I loved that place for the great unobstructed himalayan views that you get there, and the lack of any kind of pollution including light pollution - yes, there was no power supply there so no lights for a long long distance.

My wife and I decided to do a small hike, of about 5 kms, in Binsar wildlife sanctuary. It was the very first hike for Disha :) The plan was to do a circuit (or rather half circuit) - starting from KMVN resort to zero point (highest point there) and from zero point, by another trail, to the twin temples on the Kalmatia-Binsar road. We saw few people on the trail, till zero point. But after zero point it was just us and the forest. We didn't see any human or animal (thankfully so) except few birds. We sure heard some animal sounds though. Trail got ambiguous at places and we had to make guesses based on the direction we were supposed to go in. It was a little scary to be honest but it was fun too :)  Luckily, we reached our destination just fine. Our driver was already waiting there. We had our lunch in the green meadow by the twin temples before leaving back for Kalmatia.

Our next day trip was to the one of the only two sun temples in India - Katarmal sun temple near Almora. This place was rather unique. It's as old as 12th century (or 9th, I am not sure any more. But it was at least as old as 12th century). It was being renovated and as a result not all of the temple is that old - some parts have been constructed recently. We saw some very very old statues there - none of them very intact of course. It was an awesome feeling to be at a historic site, almost hidden from the world. We had to track for about 4 kms to get there (and same to come back). Disha was not very keen to trek again (come on, who takes his wife for back to back trekking - first Binsar, now this - on their honeymoon). But it was not entirely my fault :) We were told that we'll have to trek only for 2 kms. But the road that goes till a little closer to the temple was in a bad shape and we had to start much earlier. Anyway, once we reached she was glad that she came there. That place had some power in it - effect of centuries of existence and reverence, I guess. We felt soothed after reaching there. All our weariness was gone. We had our food on the way back to Kalmatia.

Our days at Kalmatia were really blessed. We enjoyed being there. May be we'll go there again.


  1. Excellent post Manu!... Loved it.

  2. Very well written Manu!


  3. Cool way to introduce your wife to the world.


  4. Awesome post Manu, the place looks must visit for a nature lovers. Reading your post excite me as well for a visit to this place ...

  5. Wow!! Nice write up on splendid time that we had in Kalmatia. Loved reading it... :)

  6. U really very well enlightened us from ur feelings to b with ur love one in lap of d nature… Great ……


  7. nice post jiju..seems to b very beautiful and mst visit place.

  8. @nishtha: Thanks Nishtha! :)

  9. @Mukesh: Thank you bhaiyya!!