&ldquoRemember that you and I made this journey and went together to a place where there was nowhere left to go.&rdquo
When pristine white flowers growing wild line the path of the area that you walk on, it&rsquos hard not to think philosophically about life. The crisp air, the bird sounds, and the gradual awakening of your subconscious to the quietude of a place allow you to ponder &ldquoEven if life seems unreasonable at the moment, it&rsquos still growing and growing beautifully.&rdquo
To appreciate even the smallest yet significant insights, you need to step out of the chaos and the din of city life. The chaos, make no mistake, is your comfort zone, and stepping out of it requires a lot of courage, commitment, and a willingness to move forward, no matter how broken you feel inside.
Waking up to the pristine view of the mountains, to a sunrise that&rsquos otherwise impossible to see in the concrete jungles of the metro cities, could just be the sort of meditative moment that will prompt you a little closer towards a mindful way of living. You take in the dawn&rsquos magic that unfolds in front of your eyes&ndashwispy clouds that form patterns that can be stitched like a Kantha quilt in your imagination the symphony of the birdsong that seem to gloriously sing songs of, who knows, lost love the trees that, even from a distance, urge you to rise and shine day after day. And then there are homes, which seem like tiny dots in the distance to complete this breathtakingly amazing landscape these would have people who are stories in themselves&ndashsurvivors who are waking up to another day that&rsquos bright, brimming with hope, opportunities, challenges.
A two-night, three-day stay in the luxurious Avalon Cottage in Kanatal, a hill station in Uttarakhand, has several moments of memories and truths that come rushing as you sit and drink a hot cup of chai. In listening to nature&rsquos sounds and experiencing the simple pleasures of viewing the hills and mountains around you, there&rsquos a realisation much like the majestic dawn that unfolds in front of your eyes, everything in life (the good, the not-so-good) will eventually set so it can rise again the next day in a magical way.
A Magical Stay
The 15-room property with a mix of suites, villas, and domes or igloos, for glamping, as we&rsquore informed, is immediately warm and inviting with brilliant woodwork, soft lighting, artefacts, décor, and areas where you can curl up with a book in your hand. You can choose a nook and read, or you can play cards and board games that have been thoughtfully kept at the property to spend quality time with your loved ones. You&rsquore assured of a good night&rsquos rest, what with carefully selected mattresses, pillows, and bedsheets. The interiors reflect a sense of luxury that&rsquos elegant with a warm colour palette, paintings, statement light fixtures (art statements), and artefacts that are carefully curated.
While the interiors of the property are inviting, the elegantly done-up exterior of the villa, when seen from a distance, seems to rise up strong to be one with the skies. The bright blue skies, the warmth of the wooden exterior, and the green of the fruit trees and shrubs all of these elements add to the overall charm of the stay. As the colours of the dusk scatter across the skies, the handsomeness of the exterior is even more evident, almost like a watercolour canvas that&rsquos framed to perfection.
The real luxury of Avalon Cottage, which opened barely three months ago, however, can be experienced through the attention given to the smallest of the details&ndashthe simplicity of food that&rsquos wholesome, nourishing, and delicious the last-minute farmaish of snacks to complement the cool evening the warmth of the bonfire, its embers rising to quieten the chatter of the mind while you relax and unwind with a drink and songs sung with friends the quiet gazing of the stars&ndashelusive in the brightly lit and polluted cities&ndashleaving you contemplative, soothed, and completely at ease.
The Journey To A Discovery
As it&rsquos time to leave the mountains, there&rsquos a renewed energy that seems to flow in your veins. What changes you&ndasheven if temporarily, but still quite profoundly&ndashcould be a simple act of doing everything mindfully. The hike in the nearby Kaudia forest, then, becomes an exercise in understanding just how you have the capacity to overcome obstacles&ndashpuddles, stones, boulders, slippery areas&ndashto bring you closer to a destination that&rsquos yours to understand and yours to savour. The hike, much like the journey of life, is a reminder&ndashof the paths or choices that you make to reach. Sometimes there&rsquos no map, no board, no sign of a road, but you decide to trust a fellow traveller, going along with his instinct, knowing that you will reach where you&rsquore meant to be.
In Kaudia forest, the hike is a meditative pause to appreciate nature and her ways. When old leaves fall from the tall, majestic trees, almost making a carpet to walk on, you know at that moment that life&rsquos purpose can continue for as long as you wish to. That simple hike becomes a lesson in appreciating your life, celebrating the knowledge that you are fine just as you are, and all it takes to know yourself is to take one more step forward no matter what happens.
How To Reach
By Road From Delhi via Haridwar to Dehradun to Kanatal takes roughly 7-8 hours
By Air Several flights reach Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, from where cabs can be taken to reach Kanatal
By Rail Trains can be taken from New Delhi to Dehradun or Haridwar, from where cabs can be taken. Dehradun Shatabdi, which leaves early from New Delhi Railway Station, is a good bet
Where To Stay
Avalon Cottage, Kanatal A 15-room luxury property with a mix of rooms, suites, and domes starts at Rs 16,999/- plus taxes with breakfast and one meal. The 5-room villa accommodating 15 people costs Rs 64,500/- plus taxes with breakfast and one meal. Book here.
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