Great discoveries are made by chance; we were staying at Kalmatia Sangam Himalayan Resort at Almora – when its manager, Narendra Ji suggested us Dunagiri Retreat over Kousani and Mukteshwar. We are happy that we took his suggestion and drove to Dunagiri via Kosi - Someshwar – Binta. The route was a revelation of the natural beauty of Kumaun. Someshwar to Binta the road was in a valley with paddy fields on both sides – lush green during the Monsoon showers of August. From Binta to Dunagiri the forest range is too beautiful to describe in words. The road, the paddy fields and the jungles won our heart even before we reached Dunagiri.
Dunagiri Retreat is on a vast estate with fruit trees, vegetable farms and also a free English teaching institute that the owners run for village children. We visited the retreat in August, which is good time to see the greenery and to walk on clouds. Unfortunately it also means you have to sit in the room waiting for rain to stop and you can’t even pluck and fruit from the trees. Despite the seasonal hang, we thoroughly enjoyed our time and that’s because of awesome service that the staff provides.
The Retreat has a very personalized touch – it may be because the people working there are simple, innocent locals, happy with the fact that they have a good enough job without being forced to move to nearby towns. The kitchen in charge, Panditji is an awesome cook & serves with so much love. We cherished whatever he cooked. To top it he prepared awesome Kumaoni cuisine that my wife requested. The other guys Manoj doubles us as helping hand in kitchen, guide – if you want to go out and also guard during the night. His innocence & readiness to serve us for anything simply won our heart.
It’s just 2 weeks since I came back and I am already planning to visit Dunagiri again early next year – partly because I loved the Dunagiri retreat and its service and partly because I have fell in love with the place.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A Nature Retreat in a lush hill forest setting overlooking a dramatic rural landscape. At Dunagiri, you are completely in harmony with nature - distances seem infinite and heaven close. Silence speaks in a thousand tongues here - all calm, joyous and serene. Very few places are left on our planet where we can enjoy tourism experiences in such pristine, tranquil and calm environment amidst ancient forests. A spot of stunning natural splendor, being one with nature is easy to do at Dunagiri Nature Retreat. Its greatness lies not merely in its fascinating history and captivating beauty, it is rather the peaceful and spiritual atmosphere of this place that strikes the mind and brings peace to the soul. Known by various names such as Drongiri, Dronagiri and Doonagiri - a visit to Dunagiri is a holiday like no other; it is a journey into the innermost recesses of the soul, a re-discovery of the essence of being. Go for nature walks, treks in hills and wilderness, visit Cave of Mahavatar Babaji of Kriya Yoga mentioned in An Autobiography of a Yogi. ... more less