Every year, so many northern hill stations become regular tourist fairs. Hotels are overbooked, transport is crowded. And you cannot take one good picture without someone photobombing it. But if you are a true mountain lover, who wants to escape the crowded din to revel in the natural beauty of the Himalayas, then here is a secret hamlet just for you.
Located amidst the famed Nainital hills, 40 km from Kathgodam is a small Village called Banlekhi. The offbeat village is a small hamlet located in the lap of rocky mountains, gushing waterfalls and expansive meadows.
Image Credit: tripadvisor
This is one of the best hamlets to explore the Kumoan culture. The people are sweet and welcoming. It has maintained its rustic charm intact, so far away from other touristy distractions.
Image Credit: tripadvisor
You can also unwind at the gushing Bhaalu Gaad waterfalls near the village. Just take a short hike to the waterfall, carry a small picnic to enjoy the day. You caneven take a dip in the crystal clear waterfall. If you are lucky, you can make your own skinny-dipping story. This is also a great spot for birders.
You can take a day’s trip from Banlekhi to Mukteshwar, where you can watch the sun rise over the Nanda Devi Peak. The mountain holds the distinction of being the second highest in the country and Mukteshwar is easily the best place to spot it.
Image Credit: flickr
You should also be able to enjoy the local cuisine at Banlekhi. You can try the traditional Kumaoni dishes such as ‘kappa’, ‘sisunak saag’, ‘aloo ke gutke’ and ‘rus’ amongst others.
Image Credit: thebetterindia
Banlekhi enjoys a pleasant weather almost throughout the year. You should only go in monsoon if you are someone who loves torrential rains in the mountains. Else, summer and winter are good times to plan a visit here.
Image Credit: instagram
Delhi is connected to Banlekhi village through NH9. It takes about 9 hours to cover this distance of 325km. The alternative route is to take a train to Kathgodam, which is the nearest railway station to Banlekhi.
You can hike around the village, or use public transport. There is very little in way of private transport in this remote village.
So, if you want to escape the crowds and enjoy some me-time in the mountains, Banlekhi awaits you.
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