I had to do some work in the funny little town of Kathgodam on Saturday. Kathgodam is like Dehradun in that it's at a bit of a height, but not much, and has a view of the mountains but the feel of a grimy city. I spent six hours with my friend Preeti visiting the organisation we had come to assess and then she returned to Dehradun and I drove on up into the hills to a place I have always wanted to visit: Jeolikote.
I think it's a good policy to go to new places prepared to fall in love. I was determined in advance that I was going to adore this place and I was right.
I found the little guest house where I stayed on the net and it couldn't have been sweeter. The rooms were beautiful:
and furnished for comfort as well as visual appeal.
The house is a treasure trove of the most exquisite carvings, paintings and artistic details,
including bathrooms painted bright orange, bright yellow and bright pink, with freehand golden birds sailing across the walls, just reminding you of all the real ones sailing across the sky right outside the window:
And the views! Spectacular, and in all directions:
with beautiful flowers and local people thrown in as extras:
But I think the nicest part of this holiday (one day! too short!) was the charming and impeccable staff at the guest house. An amazing group of lovely people who knew just when to do what.
Bhuvan Kumari runs the place with elan and panache and it's worth the trip just to meet her. Do yourself a favor and make the effort.