If you are looking to escape the crowded hill stations and head to a peaceful yet stunning holiday home then start planning your trip to Parvada Bungalows right away! Parvada Bungalows gets its name from Parvada Village which is situated in the South Gola Range of Nainital district. Located just 20 minutes before Mukteshwar and two hours away from Kathgodam Railway station, Parvada Bungalows offers a holiday to remember. I tell you why Parvada Bungalows is the perfect getaway to rekindle romance – with nature and your loved ones.
The minute I stepped out of the car, I could feel the change in the air. As I was getting hold of my hair strands that were blowing away from the cold breeze, I saw the manager – Caron walking towards me. She greeted me with a huge smile on her face and asked if I had a comfortable trip. Behind her was a server holding my welcome drink. Taking the drink in my hand and without having to wait – I checked in to my room.
The drink served – Buransh was made from Burans (Rhododendron Tree) found abundantly in the hills. The homestay has five rooms at present and soon two more rooms will be constructed making it a total of seven rooms. Vasudha Sondhi – the owner of the homestay explained that even though they have immense space to build more rooms, they do not want to make this homestay a crowded space. The whole purpose of escaping to the hills is to be around nature and enjoy the calmness surrounding it and that is exactly what one can do at Parvada Bungalows.
The rooms are strategically named after the trees that are seen growing in front of them. My room was the Wild Fig Room and the other two room categories are – Oak and Pine Cottages. I stayed in a wooden duplex room where there was a king size bed and a couch on the right next to a huge window. On top of the bed I could see a beautiful peach crochet shawl and a note that said that this shawl was handmade by the local residents of the village.
As I moved from the bedroom section, on my right was the staircase and straight ahead was the walk-in-closet and washroom on the right. I moved upstairs to see two single beds, huge windows with stunning views of the South Gola Range and a washroom. This room category is apt for couples with children or even two couples could stay in this duplex. My room had all the necessary amenities and the best part was that there was no television in the room! So on this vacation you will interact with each other, admire nature and rekindle romance.
After resting in the room for some time I was hungry so I went to the dining room where Caron was waiting for me. Soon after we were served katori chaat, mix vegetable sandwiches, Banana Cake, pakodas and hot tea. The food was an absolute delight and I was shocked to know that the chef who had prepared the food was a localite!
After hogging so much food, I was ready to take a tour of the property. Caron first took me to the Yoga room where guests can begin their day with Yoga sessions. The instructor especially comes all the way walking from Mukteshwar to take the class. The Yoga room also converts as a television room in the evening.
We walked downstairs to the Victor Lounge. This is a perfect place for book lovers as they can take their pick between fiction and non-fiction books. This room is also for children and adults who love to play board games while enjoying the views of the hills from the window.
By the time we wanted to see the other room categories it was dark and the dinner was served. I was so happy to see that the chef had prepared pizza and spaghetti for dinner. For starters, I had Pumpkin soup with freshly baked breads. The preparation was outstanding! Everything on the table was delicious and I just couldn’t stop praising the chef. I crashed in my cosy room for the night and was excited for the next day as there was a lot to do on the itinerary.
I began my day by walking around the estate with Caron telling me about the trees and fruits that were grown in the orchard. I could see peaches, apricots, figs and several herbs that were used from this orchard in the kitchen. The breakfast in the morning was simple and quick. I ate upma (thick porridge made from rice flour) with a cup of coffee and was ready to leave for sightseeing. We were headed to the Jageshwar Temple which was three hours away from Parvada and is near Almora.
After the temple we stopped on the way to have lunch. The next place that we were going to was Chauli Ki Jaali which is also the place where you can sit eating Maggi and watching the sunset. Before leaving for sightseeing, the chef had asked me what I’d like to have for dinner and I told him Chinese would be great! So when I got back to the homestay I was happy to see mushroom soup, fresh buns, noodles, sweet and sour vegetables and tangy potatoes ready on the table.
Seeing all vegetarian food on the table for all meals now, I asked Caron why there was no non-vegetarian food served. She then told me that there is a Ganesha temple in the property premises and as a respect to the God, we don’t cook non vegetarian food here. Me being a non-vegetarian couldn’t be happier to eat freshly prepared food that tasted just so good!
On the second day, I had an option of either going to Bhalu Gaad or Dhokaney Waterfalls. I chose the latter as I had already been to Bhalu Gaad during my last trip to Mukteshwar. Dhokaney Waterfalls was again 3 hours away from the homestay and the entry ticket is INR 100 per person. On returning from the waterfalls, I was welcomed with the local Kumaoni thali. The thali was huge but I managed to finish everything as it tasted amazing. There was dal, rice, aloo ki sabzi, bharta, curd and kheer along with chappatis.
In the evening, there was a singing event arranged especially for me where the localites were going to sing native songs and explain the meaning as well. To my bad luck the rain played a spoil sport and the plan to sit around the born fire listening to the melodious songs was ruined. Nonetheless, on the table today was pasta in white sauce with brownie for dessert.
I wasn’t ready to leave Parvada Bungalows yet. Just before checking out, I was told that that I can learn the recipes of the items that I liked. I quickly told the chef that I wanted to learn how to make the Banana cake and the buns. We prepared both items in 45 minutes. Just as I sat in the car bidding adieu to the amazing time I spent at the homestay, I saw the chef coming running towards me to give me the Banana cake that I baked wrapped in a foil paper.
How to reach Parvada Bungalows
- From New Delhi you can book Shatabdi Express Train to Kathgodam.
- From Kathgodam you can book a taxi to Parvada Bungalows or request the manager for a transfer that will be chargeable.
- You could also take busses from Delhi to Kathgodam.