Jhaltola -An unexplored offbeat destination
in the Himalayas, and a spy explorer’s home that time forgot….
Jhaltola is a land that time forgot. A 1000 acres of pure solitude, bliss and natures’ blessings. It is a 1000 acre privately owned estate with the descendants of Pandit Kishan Singh Rawat. He was among the famed explorers of the 19th century, who worked for The British Trignometric Survey and explored the forbidden regions of Tibet and Central Asia under disguise. His most famous expedition was Darjeeling – Lhasa – Mongolia Expedition (1878-1882). For his exemplary feats he was awarded the title of Rai Bahadur.
More information on him can be seen at this wonderful blog here – http://legends-of-johar.blogspot.in/2010/11/rai-bahadur-kishan-singh-rawat-1850.html
He chose Jhaltola as his home in his later years. Initially it was maintained as one of the earliest Tea estates in India and also had significant fruit orchards till the 1970’s. It was almost abandoned for almost 3 decades between 1970’s and 2005 and is now being restored by the descendants. It has a thick forest cover teeming with oaks, rhododendrons and kaafal. A female Leopard is resident in the forests here. She is the queen of a healthy forest with wild boars, barking deers, pine martins, porcupines, monitor lizzards and over 150 recorded types of birds. It boasts of a truly rich flora, fauna and avi fauna, spectacular himalayan views, and a solitude so pure that it will touch your soul. Some 5 acres of the estate have been converted into a Himalayan forest retreat – The Misty Mountains.
For The Misty Mountains Retreat, Jhaltola, you travel almost 190 kms from Kathgodam (100 kms from almora via Barecheena OR 100 kms from Binsar via gairad bend). It is as offbeat as it gets with the nearest neighbour living a kilometer and a half away. The roads to reach us are motor-able and we transfer you in our jeep for the last 3 kms of a dirt track after parking your vehicle at our parking. You are amply rewarded for the effort though. You would see fabulous Himalayan views as the only thing between us and the Himalayas are undulating valleys. Please see picture below for reference.
The peaks you see are – Hathi Parwat, Gauri Parwat, Nanda Ghunti, Trishul, Mrigthugni, Maiktoli, Panwali Dwar, Nanda Devi east and west, Nanda Khat, Nanda Kot, Nanda Bhanar, Lapsa Dhura, Changuch, Rajrambha, Panchachuli, (Api and Nampha ranges in Nepal are also visible though not seen in this picture). The Misty Mountains Retreat is nestled in a 1000 acre estate with 80% forest cover. It would suit you if you would like to stay in the middle of nature without compromising on creature comforts, and if you enjoy good home like food.
So , you can consider The Misty Mountains Retreat at Jhaltola if –
1) You want to travel venture on the road less travelled to a place untouched by commercial tourism. Its an experience reserved for a chosen few and we intend to keep it as such.
2) If you have been to visit offbeat destinations like Binsar, Mukteshwar, Ramgarh and are looking for a new place to explore. Jhaltola is like still pure an untouched by virtue of being a little away from the regular tourist circuits.
2) You are visiting Kumaon and would prefer to stay at offbeat places.
3) You are travelling to Munsyari and are looking to stopover a few days while going up or coming down. Do note that Munsyari is 120 kilometers/ 4.5 hours from Jhaltola.
Also note that The Misty Mountains Retreat is a suitable option only if you have more than one night to stay in this area, and if you are looking for more than just a hotel to sleep in.
For more information you can write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Kavita at +91 86 07 750974.