Dunagiri Retreat

Dunagiri Retreat

Near Mahavatar Babaji's Cave, Chari 263653 India
The Retreat, view from a highger ground
Traveller (77)
A picture postcard Sunset
Room & Suite (20)
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About

4.5
#1 of 1 small hotel in Chari
4.9 of 5 bubbles
Location
4.6 of 5 bubbles
Cleanliness
4.7 of 5 bubbles
Service
4.5 of 5 bubbles
Value
Nestled amidst the breathtaking Dunagiri Mountains in the serene beauty of Uttarakhand, Dunagiri Retreat stands as a beacon for spiritual seekers. Founded in 2005, this eco-spiritual sanctuary transcends the typical yoga retreat, offering a profound journey into self-discovery. Revered for its proximity to the legendary Mahavatar Babaji's Cave and the sacred site of Dunagiri Temple, our retreat serves as a gateway to the transformative teachings of Kriya Yoga as expounded by Mahavatar Babaji and elucidated in Paramahansa Yogananda's 'Autobiography of a Yogi.' At Dunagiri, spirituality and sustainability seamlessly merge. Our eco-friendly accommodations and organic gardens are set against the backdrop of the Himalayan splendor, creating a tranquil space for meditation retreats and fostering a deep connection with nature. Immerse yourself in the spiritual essence of the holy river and the divine energy of Devi temples nearby.
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Property amenities
Free parking
Free wifi in the business centre
Yoga classes
Free breakfast
Patio
Walking tours
Kids stay free
Children's playground
Secured parking
Yoga room
Sauna
Breakfast available
Kids' meals
Outdoor dining area
Kids club
Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Airport transportation
Conference facilities
Open-air bath
Steam room
Baggage storage
Concierge
Newspaper
Outdoor furniture
Butler service
First aid kit
24-hour check-in
Laundry service
Ironing service
Room features
Blackout curtains
Desk
Room service
Seating area
Wardrobe / wardrobe
Coffee / tea maker
Electric kettle
Bidet
Kitchenware
Walk-in shower
Bath / shower
Complimentary toiletries
Room types
Mountain view
Suites
Good to know
HOTEL STYLE
Quaint
Languages Spoken
English, Hindi

Location

Near Mahavatar Babaji's Cave, Chari 263653 India
74Reviews2Q+A15Room tips
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Detailed Reviews
shudhi wrote a review Jun 2012
New Delhi
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Our journey to Dunagiri (26-30th May'12) turned out to be a mixed bag of good and bad.

Dunagiri is a religious place with peace and tranquility. But it was sad and disheartening to see that there seems to be an organised setup opearting putting jungles on fire.

For the 4 days we were there, We could see no Himalayas. Only jungle fires here and there and lots of smoke and suspended particles making haze around.


The heat was predominant and we could only get some cool breeze (main reason for going to mountains) only in the nights.


The main places to visit there are Baba Maha Avtar caves, Dunagiri Ma Temple and Sukha Devi Temple. Unfortunately, we could not visit Mansa Devi temple, which requires 7 KM jungle trek one way up the hill.

Unfortunately, Dunagiri Retreat is the only place available which is reasonably OK with a good host. Mr Piyush provided us with bigger accomodation and tried to make our visit confortable.

But the place is not at all equipped to deal with the heat we observed.
There are no fans in the rooms and the kitchen does not have any refrigerator!!

The service providers and attendants were only few.
Only Punditji was the main care taker who is basically a cook (a very good one at that).
With the help of one part time attendant (Kailshgiri) he tried his best to serve us good food of all that was available. The Manager (Mr Gopal) was mostly missing, only coming for 1 hr every day. He was suppossed to take care of regular food supplies, room cleanliness, water availablity, electricity etc. which he conviniently delegated to Kailshgiri who is good guy but obviously not well trained. Puditji himself was not keeping very well.

So we were left to kind of fend for ourselves with Punditji and Kailash and no one else!!
When we questioned Mr Piyush (on phone) about the state of affairs, he expressed his inability to serve us and suggested we leave earlier in case we are not satisfied. He argued that his entire staff wants to go on strike because of my atttude!!

I do not know which staff he was talikng about? All we had there were one and a half men!

So fianlly we decided to leave the place one day (on 29th May'12) earlier then planned 4 days and I requested the driver who had braught us from Kahgodam to Dunagiri to take us back to either Bhim Taal or nearby and help us search an acomodation for 29th-30th (without reservation or advance booking).


Fortunately we could get accomodation at Lake Resort, Naukichyataal which was a blessing in terms of care and accomodation with fans in the rooms, plenty of service providers, pleasant weather and an excellent manager as a host!

We read so much about Dunagiri Retreat and its hosts, but I tell you that without Mr Piyush himeslf available to manage (which he was not during our stay) the place is not equipped to handle the heat and noboldy seems incharge.

I have travelled maximum no. of times in these mountains of Uttrakhand. I hope Uttrakhand again retains its glory and we keep dreaming of visiting these mountains again and again.

take care.
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Date of stay: May 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Infinite_Spaces, Owner at Dunagiri Retreat
Responded 12 Jun 2012
Dear Shudhi, Thanks for your review on TripAdvisor as it gives me an opportunity to express my views and those of my staff. At the outset, all of us feel sorry for the holiday experience you just had. However, betweeen Gopal, Panditji, Kailashgiri in front of you, Leelaram and Harishram working 175 meters away from you on our Musician's Cottage, and me available to you 24x7 on phone, none of us are really sure exactly how much of each of us is included in your count of "one and a half". I am also not sure how many people were you expecting to serve the two and a half of you that were visiting us. By the way, you forgot to mention Tarun, Gopal's 21 year old son who walked several kilometers of hilly jungle treks so you could visit Mahavatar Babaji's cave that you wanted to visit. Or perhaps you took him too for granted, an attitude which might explain how people go missing from your counts :). One and a half we might have been, but we did indeed cater to your need and demand, however reasonable or unreasonable at any hour of the day. Even if it meant you calling Gopal at 9 pm demanding to be supplied more water. This was when the 2 and 1/2 of you had consumed a full tank of 1000 liters within the previous 8 hours!!! Perhaps it never occured to you that at the time you were visiting the hills, 99 percent of human beings around you did not have water even to drink, such are the highly unusual hot and dry weather condition this year, even if we forget about the animals and birds that are dying of thirst. Of course it is these very conditions that have led to forest fires which you had indeed noticed; however you obvisouly were unmindful of the scores of people gathered around the few remaining water sources, because they cannot afford to "buy" water which very very few of us can. Yes, we DO NOT have any fans, airconditioners and refrigerators - and this is by choice not ignorance. If you are advocating the use of such devices and 1000s of liters of water per person per day within remote, pristine oak forests at 8000 feet facing snow peaked Himalayas, then I am afraid you are indeed unsuitable to be visiting such places in all seasons when you need such devices. My staff had called me (there was more thn one person who called me to say this, and believe me there was no "half" among them) - I quote them verbatim - "we may be poor but even then we have self-respect. We will rather quit than being talked to in this degrading manner by someone whom we are supposed to treat like a visiting house-guest. Our house-guests do not behave like this". This of course hurt me immensely as my endeavor at Dunagiri has always been two-fold: 1. To provide a comfortable stay to our guests 2. To provide employment with dignity to my staff. These staff are my friends, not my servants. How can I possibly rob one objective for the other? Even then i called the 3 villages around us for replacement staff to serve you for the remaining one day, but by then word of your behaviour had spread around and nobody at all was ready to come. The straw which had broken the camel's back was your threat of taking away livelihood of 15 village families who are directly or indirectly employed by us - when you said you will not LET ANYONE visit Dunagiri Retreat ever again!!! Once all of them had walked, out even if I was personally present it have been of little use to you! Finally, when first your husband then you called at 8.30 at night to complain to me about our staff, i had been already trying to make peace the whole day as i tried to resolve this crises that you had created. Though i was "all the way in delhi" and though you might not be counting me now as even half a person :), trust me we were all trying our very best to serve you so you could have a good holiday, which you were apparently refusing to have. It was then that with a heavy heart i had to suggest you leave, first time ever we have had to do so, of course giving you a full pro-rated refund for the unused portion of your stay. In the end, let me again say sorry to all concerned for the experience we have had to go through. I do thank you for following my suggestions of leaving a day early, else the conditions that got created were such that somebody would have had to request you to do the same. Regards, Piyush.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
sisyphustoo wrote a review Jan 2011
New York City, New York
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Stayed for several nights at Dunagiri Retreat....amazing locale, pleasant rooms, good food, excellent service....a very reasonable cost for being able to stay in such a serene place and for being treated so very well by the owner and staff. Retreat operates with very thoughtful approach to local environment and conservation. Would reccomend it for anyone!
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Date of stay: April 2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Indra Laxminarayan wrote a review May 2017
Bengaluru, India
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Dunagiri Retreat is just that - a retreat for tired bodies and souls who seek peace and tranquility from their usual hectic stressful sides.

It's pretty at first glance there is definitely tremendous energy that envelopes you. This is the place where we were first introduced to the Mahavtar Babaji known to have passed on Kriya Yoga to his disciples. One needs tremendous enthusiasm and a never say die spirit for that hard climb up to the cave where he is supposed to have first appeared. Once there you are glad - the cave is peaceful, cool and one automatically gets into a meditation mode no matter how ordinary a mortal you feel you are. We enjoyed the walk up to the shrine behind the retreat, visiting the famous Dunagiri temple and would have loved a forest walk if we had more time

Piyush and Katy are genial hosts they can converse on anything that interests you. A lot of retreats are held here. There was Sufi whirling by a group from Singapore while we were there.

Accommodation was disappointing.. The rooms need a total face lift. Half the things don't work. With just one major domo Manoj running all over the place cleanliness is a big issue. Our room got a cursory sweeping and the bathroom was not cleaned during our entire stay of two nights. Disappointing if you look for basic human comforts. Food can be far far better and adequate enough to fill growling stomachs constantly hungry in the mountain air, hygiene definitely needs to be paid attention to in the kitchen. Flies feasting on the salad is not a pretty sight.

Remember the reason you go to Dunagiri Retreat for then no physical discomfort should matter
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Date of stay: May 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
hkvyas wrote a review Jun 2015
Aurangabad, India
5.0 of 5 bubbles
the best place to re energize yourself.. All hotels provide service but very few provide service with love and hearty caring nature, dunagiri retreat is one of them, during stay felt like homely caring atmosphere with privacy and suitable for any age group of person.Thanks once again to entire Dunagiri retreat team.
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Date of stay: June 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Devotee_Prue wrote a review Feb 2013
Sydney, Australia
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dunagiri was the last stop of a pilgrimage, made by me and a group of friends from Australia, to a number of sites sacred to SRF/YSS devotees. I cannot thank Piyush and his wonderful crew enough for taking care of us so completely, so sweetly. Dunagiri is simply appointed. Minimalist yet very comfortable. We were two to a room in Trishul cottage and there was plenty of space. The service and cleanliness are excellent, and the service and friendship I experienced were humbling. When Piyush learnt that I can't eat wheat, he had Pandaji and others make roti and puri from buckwheat especially for me (buckwheat is a seed, not a grain). Out of this world! Piyush is a wonderful guide to the local area and was so helpful in our getting around locally. Dunagiri is an ancient and blessed place. I can't wait to go back and meditate there, and climb up to Pandu Kholi again. Or to spend more time with the students at the English language school that Piyush runs for local children. My friends and I each treasure the blessings of our time and Dunagiri. And we're planning our return trip.
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Date of stay: December 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Anon3773 wrote a review Jul 2012
London, United Kingdom
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We spent 8 wonderful days at Dunagiri last month. The Retreat is everything that somewhere by that name should be – an escape from the pressures of everyday life, set in breathtaking surroundings, with the warmest of welcomes and excellent service, and numerous picturesque walks and interesting day trips. Every day we were treated to a series of delicious dishes, many cooked with home-grown ingredients, and the owner – Piyush Kumar – was the kindest and most generous of hosts.

But Dunagiri is much more than that. Piyush has created somewhere that is a part of the village in which it sits – it was built by the villagers, they work at the retreat and local children visit every afternoon for extra classes. For those who want to understand places that they visit, Piyush offers a wealth of information about both the people and spirituality of Dunagiri.

We have missed the Retreat - and the people we met – since we left and hope to return one day. We travelled a long way from London for a week’s holiday but it was not too far and we left regenerated and happy. We would recommend Dunagiri unreservedly.
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Date of stay: June 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Nupur0103 wrote a review Jun 2012
Ghaziabad, India
5.0 of 5 bubbles
My family had been planning a trip to dunagiri since quite a few years and we finally managed to make it in June, 2012. We were quite impressed by the reviews we'd read and the pictures posted here as well as on the retreats website. The retreat was everything we had imagined it to be. Very quaint but incredibly spacious, it was a delight to live in the retreat, with good home-cooked, predominantly organic local food and excellent service. I'd like to specially mention the bathrooms!! They were done up so well and so artistically! The overall planning off all the cottages was done very well, ensuring each guest had the maximum amount of peace and privacy possible.
Our trip happened to be at an excellent time with respect to the fresh produce. Fruits hung abundantly on the trees and one could just pick them out and eat them. Piyush is also running a free school for the local kids in the afternoons which indicates how a retreat can integrate itself with the local community.
The most popular sightseeing destination nearby is pandukohli, and despite being a slightly tiring trek, it was definitely worth it.
Having visited chaukori before coming to dunagiri, the dunagiri retreat was a very welcome change. Hotels in chaukori put us off with their commercial attitude. In contrast, Piyush ensured a very personalised and homely stay.
I would definitely recommend the dunagiri retreat to those looking for a nice, relaxed time in the mountains.
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Date of stay: June 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
ShubhendraRao wrote a review Jun 2012
New Delhi, Delhi, India
5.0 of 5 bubbles
When I started searching for places where I could get away from the hectic city life for at least 3 weeks with my family, I looked at tons of options that are available these days. Wrote to many people, spoke to tons of them but everywhere I was disappointed because it seemed that everyone was only interested in the money but not in who I was or what I was looking for. A friend directed me to www.dunagiri.com. The first look at the website gave a positive feeling and I wrote to the name mentioned in the website, PIyush. I received a prompt reply from him and soon we realized that he lived in Delhi too. We met up a few times, spoke for hours about what my expectations were. Being musicians, both my wife and me were looking for something deeper than just a beautiful place. We also wanted our 7yr old son to understand village life in India, integrate with the local people there and basically, have a good time. On 2nd June, we drove down to Dunagiri escaping the heat and dust of Delhi to be welcomed by nature at its best.
Mr.Piyush Kumar reached there a few hours later and honestly, the next 3 weeks there was just heavenly. People who visit such places should not expect 5-star conveniences like TV, Wifi or room service but the beauty of this place is the coming together of stories from the Hindu mythology, spiritual energy, simple and beautiful people around and their love, their rustic lives and of course, the temples on top of the mountains. Mr. Piyush Kumar also runs a sort of the school on the premises where the village children are taught English language for an hour every day. On any given day, there are about 30-40 kids who are benefited by this school ( totally non-intrusive for people who are looking for silence and solitude). The very first day we were there, we were taken in by these boys and girls and the villagers as being a part of their own homes. After that, there would be at least 20 children playing cricket with my son and another 20 girls and boys with my wife learning how to sing or draw or paint. The last evening of our stay, we had a small party of toffees, biscuits and chips for the the whole gang and the look in their eyes is something that we shall cherish always.
Our treks to visit the nearby Babaji's caves and the Ashram on top of Pandukholi were indeed a memorable ones. The energy we felt in both these places cannot be explained. Surely each person has his/her own feeling but one should go to such places as a "seeker" and surely, you can get everything and more here.
A few words about the staff:--Yes--there are minor problems sometimes but is there any place on this planet where is is absolutely no problem? Just because one goes there with more money than the villagers does not mean that we have to lord over them. Every single person who we encountered there had only love for us and this love, no money can buy it. Be it the beautiful young boy, Manoj or the cook or the helpers, Kailashgiri and Pramod, each person went out of their way to make us comfortable.
Lastly about the owner, Mr. Piyush Kumar. This retreat was his calling and he has managed to create heaven on earth. A lovely human being and wonderful person to have a deep conversation with.
As I said, go to this place as a seeker. 21 days of heaven and our trip back to Delhi brought us back to the real world, leaving behind tons of great memories, wonderful friendships and a deep desire to go back again and again.
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Date of stay: June 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
RajiPrakash wrote a review Jun 2012
New Delhi, Delhi, India
5.0 of 5 bubbles
My friends and I landed up at Dunagiri quite by chance - we were taking a break after almost a year, looking for a lot of silence, quiet, with some walking trails and the agenda of being able to "do nothing much". After speaking to Piyush, we left Delhi early one hot Friday morning in my trusty Scorpio. Yes its a little far - 12 hours or so by road.

The beautiful wild flowers (daisies?) that lined the road leading up to the Retreat gave us the first hint of the magical view lying in wait. A glimpse of the mountains in the distance (they play hide and seek in this season), flowers on the hillside, a distant temple bell, birdsong.....the sheer quiet wrapped around us like a comforting blanket. We snuggled in.

Panditji welcomed us with herbal tea and cooked up a storm (I think he was disappointed that we were unable to finish the spread he set before us). The beds were comfortable and the rooms were large and airy. The bathrooms were lovely (I am finicky about bathrooms). Hmmmmmm......pine scented bathing water. Wonderful. Watched birds build a nest in the verandah and eager children from the village learn English in the backyard.

Read, lazed and ate some more. And took on something a little more energetic... we huffed and puffed our way up to Mahavtar Babaji's cave. Spent time in quiet contemplation and then chai with Meena, a local village woman, who lent us walking sticks for the walk up. The evening saw us at the Dunagiri Devi temple learning about the history of the temple from the Pandit.

We had a wonderful 3 days despite Piyush not being around - plan to go back when he is there to see how much more magic he can add.
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Date of stay: May 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Goyal_Anupam wrote a review Jan 2017
Noida, India
5.0 of 5 bubbles
The Dunagiri Retreat, run by Piyush Kumar, is a small place up and away in the Kumaon Himalayas. A wonderful place, to have got away from the city, and spent time during the monsoons. What a sight with the clouds and mist coming in and the views of the mountains and valley when it clears.

This place is not for everyone though. No TV, no newspaper, and mobile works occasionally or at certain places only. the food is vegetarian and strictly no booze.

Wonderful treks through the forest. You may be lucky to spot a leopard here.

Any weather is a good time to be here.
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Date of stay: September 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
ritu s asked a question May 2018
Dwarka, India2 contributions
Is it available for 14-17 th June 7 rooms
Answer from Infinite_Spaces
Dunagiri, India1 contribution
Yes, Please contact on 9690132425 or via whatsapp on 9810267719. Regards, Piyush Kumar Dunagiri Retreat
Discover17724434400 wrote a tip Mar 2024
5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Must stay at this place!"
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Edith V wrote a tip Sept 2023
3 contributions2 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Prepare your taste buds for delicious meals."
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Krishnan Swaminathan wrote a tip Nov 2017
Mumbai, India71 contributions16 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"All rooms have the Mountain View"
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Miles802 wrote a tip Nov 2016
Munnar, India3 contributions1 helpful vote
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"All rooms are great!"
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Sunita K wrote a tip Jul 2016
New Delhi, India1 contribution4 helpful votes
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Rooms on the highest level have the best view, one on almost same level as main hall is also good, all are OK really."
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PRICE RANGE
₹11,640 - ₹14,152 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
LOCATION
IndiaUttarakhandAlmora DistrictChari
NUMBER OF ROOMS
23
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DUNAGIRI RETREAT (Chari) - Hotel Reviews, Photos, Rate Comparison - Tripadvisor