Mir Bahay – A dream home in Kumaon
The twinkling of bells hanging from the pine tree is a memory that would stay in my mind for long. It was the sound of calmness in the mountains, a sound of being at home. Away from the city life, its heat and rush, gazing at sunset in mountains, I am contemplating how a dream home should be like? I think it should be something like ‘Mir Bahay’.
Almost 14 kms away from Almora, nestled in the valley called Sundar Nagar , which stands true to its name, I found my dream home. Mir Bahay is everything, which you would want to dream about in a mountain holiday home. Surrounded by tall pine trees, the colonial style cottages are crafted carefully with love and perfection. There is plenty of open space in the property, where the mountain birds are regular visitors. The other interesting visitors are grass grazers who you could follow all day, if you wish to.
There is a main villa, which is also a living room, activity and dining room, it also has a great collection of books to choose from. I picked up the huge World Travel coffee table book to read and dream about the countries to visit next while sipping my perfect ginger tea. The décor of rooms and the main villa is an epitome of perfection.
There is also an open bar and a bon-fire area, which I hope to use in my winter visits. Pritish, who is an avid traveller himself, knows the nerves and souls of travelers. Talk about hassle-free service, genuine care about your stay and comfort or fresh food, everything is arranged to make you feel at home.
Mir Bahay is a perfect place to relax, unwind and spend time with family and friends, or just go solo to embrace nature around. However for an itchy feet like me, I found a great resort to spend my morning and evening experiencing the rural life of mountains. Just 10 mins walk down in the valley, there is a whole other world waiting for you. Explore terraced paddy fields and experience the charm of rural life. I met some of the most adorable people and ended up sharing a meal or two with them as well. Their love deserves a separate post, how waving good-bye to them melted by heart.
There are hidden gems spread all over the place, if you would like to hike around, schools at the edge of mountains, some of the unknown stone temples in the Pilkha village and also the famous ‘Kasar Devi’ temple is almost an hour away. Kasar devi has a panoramic view of Almora and has been a famous place among foreigners for last many years. Binsar wildlife sanctuary is also close by, though I loved spending my time at ‘Mir Bahay’ and nearby villages gazing the Himalayan peaks of Trishul, Nanda Devi and Nanda Kot and walking in the fields.
Mr. Deepak who is a care taker, a cook and I guess a genie who ensured I got everything I needed. I was pleased to know secretly that I am the only guest, as the other cottage was not occupied for a few days. Deepak is a very heart-warming host ; he shared his incredible story of his journey from being a waiter in a resort in Corbett to taking the leap of becoming a chef. He was always interested in cooking and just by watching TV he learnt cooking different cuisines. And I was glad; that he became a cook or else I would have missed some real good food in life. Each meal was worth appreciating, and we ended up discussing a lot about food and sharing our recipes.
Reaching Mir Bahay is pretty straightforward. Kathgodam is the base station and it takes almost 3 hours from a private taxi, which costs around 1500/-. You can also opt for a shared taxi or bus to Almorah and then another ride to Sundar pur for the cheaper options.