The Cottage, a charming, family place gives you
wonderful insights into some of the finest elements of Kumaon craftsmanship. At
the centre stage are antique carved wooden panels, doors and windows (unique to
these hills) that owner has personally retrieved from the woodpiles left to rot
by the local residents who were on a binge of "Modernization"
The Cottage is part of what used to be the
Vergomount Estate. Till Independence , together with the main house, a
Scotswoman and her daughter ran it as a hotel. Both Sri Aurobindo and Swami
Vivekananda would halt here before the long haul up to Almora.
The eight acres of
land around the cottage are a tangle of fruit bearing trees, seasonal flowers
and sweet-scented shrubs. Avocado, pears, plums and peaches transport you to a
Mediterranean wonderland of nectar-doped bees, songbirds, scented breezes and
moonlit nights. Pace your drinks amidst the song of the crickets and the snap of
the bonfire on cool, fragrant nights. Else haul yourself up to the nearby
observatory to cruise the skyways. Explore the wooded hills peppered liberally
with tiny shrines and ancient temples. Let your feet lead you to the tiny
bungalow that used to belong to a direct descendant of Napoleon Bonaparte. The
locals narrate how he fell in love with a native boy and stayed on.
The Cottage is located in Jeolikote. It is just
15 kms before Nainital on the Kathgodam - Nainital Road.
By Air :
Nearest airport: Pantnagar (56km/1 ¼ hrs)
Linked to Delhi by Jagson Airlines on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
A taxi to Jeolikot costs Rs 600.
Nearest railhead: Kathgodam (18 kms/30 mins) Taxi
to Jeolikot is Rs 300.
Jeolikot is 18 kms ahead of Kathgodam on NH-87.
At Kathgodam, continue straight along NH-87 to Jeolikot via Ranibagh, on the way
to Nainital. Once you turn left from Rampur for the last 1.5 hrs along the
forested NH-87 via Rudrapur, you'll be accompanied by golden sun-flower fields,
mango groves sighing and hundreds of monkeys.
The 9 p.m. deluxe bus from Delhi's ISBT Anand Vihar to Nainital stops at
After the Moradabad by-pass fly-over, take the
largely forested road to Bazpur, which will take you to Haldwani via Kaladungi.
From Haldwani (a large town which has joined up with Kathgodam), take the
Nainital route to reach Jeolikot. Most Delhi motorists prefer this route.
The Cottage has 5
beautifully done rooms. Each with its own distinct style and warmth. All rooms
have attached toilets with hot and cold running water, generator backup,
pickup and drop services are provided on advance notice. The kitchen is fully
equipped and the cook excels in delicious & hygienic meals.