TGV Hideout, Kumali offers a chance to truly recluse oneself away from the noise and strains of the traditional tourist trail. Kumali is sparse: there are few houses, less than a dozen, and fewer distractions from focusing on doing nothing, or, whatever it is that helps you relax.
Jai Prakash Bamola, or, Bamola Ji, as we call him, hosts the Hideout situated at Kumali village in Uttarkashi. The village is comprised of orchard workers who have their own land and concerns, which fills the hills with a distant energy of occupation but enhances the splendid comfort and solitude of the Hideout.
Bamola Ji is a retired Government School teacher. After giving 36 years to his teaching service, Bamola Ji didn’t just want to relax but instead he thought of dedicating the rest of his life to confronting the major problems in Rural areas of Uttarakhand, Reverse Migration. “What I came to acknowledge is that people want to do farming, but the farms are spread across a large area and whatever they are producing doesn’t earn them a sufficient income as well as incurs a huge loss, which is what lead to their Migration.”
To tackle the existing situation and play his part in making Reverse Migration possible, Bamola Ji bought a piece of land in Kumali and started Herb Farming on it. With a lot of positive efforts and with the consultancy of team Green People, Bamola Ji decided to develop their village in a way that would attract more and responsible tourists and generate more agriculture and horticulture based employment opportunities for the locals. Bamola Ji went to Nag Tibba, took training under TGV personnel's and converted their place into a TGV Hideout.
“What I have learnt from TGV concept is how producing products rich with Nutritional value and practicing Ecologically Responsible Tourism can be a source of Income, without causing any harm to the environment.”
Guests can easily do nothing here. Enjoy the mountain landscape from any patch of earth in the valley. There is ample space to sit and sip chai in the courtyard outside the house with the blessed company of fruit trees, cattle, a goat, and Michael (the dog). Eventually, daylight retreats behind the ridge above Nyuri as stars advance to occupy the entire sky, unadulterated by any light pollution.
Simply walk out the door and trek into the forest of dense pine and oak trees, otherwise, across the valley to the east stands the peak of Kharthara, which can be hiked in a single day without too much difficulty.
Should guests find themselves with fidgety green fingers, surplus energy, or other such inspiration, then the orchards need daily attention, but there is no pressure. Bamola Ji will accept you as you are; Hideout as you wish.
Our culture had embraced “Atithi Devo Bhavah” in real terms when friends, families and sometimes perfect strangers used to visit our homes, enjoy non pretentious hospitality and give something heartfelt in some form or the other, as per one’s capacity - as a token of goodwill gesture. The culture is on the brink of extinction so are we as compassionate humans. With ‘Pay What You Like’, we are making a small but honest attempt to revive this practice in our village tourism destinations. You don’t ask us what you need to pay - you be our guest – Evaluate the degree of contentment you have achieved with the regional meals and then Pay What You Like; in the drop box with your name and feedback, in an envelope provided to you at the time of departure.
Catch an early morning bus from Dehradun to Barni Ghat, which is 80 Km (approx 3.5 Hrs). From here, catch a taxi (shared or private) to Deval Bend, which takes a little over an hour. Here the road stops and you must complete the last 1 km of the journey to the house on foot, although it is possible to hire a mule for ~ 500 INR which will take your luggage.
1)Clothing: April to Dec: Cottons with light woollens; Dec to March: Heavy woollens. If you want to enjoy the snowfall, we suggest you to pack a windcheater and snow boots.
2) As you may need to hike a bit, we suggest you to pack light.
3) Carry your own towels, soaps and other toiletries.
4) Please carry a handy flashlight/torch with extra batteries as there is no power back-up.
5) You’ll be amidst wilderness while hiking or exploring around. Do carry insect-repellent ointments, oils or creams to stay protected from seasonal bugs.
5) Trekking shoes, water bottles.
5) Handy flashlight(s).
We look forward to having you with us in the lost lands of the Himalayas. Please write to email@example.com for any reservation related queries or call +91 8476033336.
We are operating without electricity and we don't serve gourmet meals. We live and promote the philosophy of 'smart minimalism' and we are an 'absolute no', if you are seeking conventional hospitality.
We coexist with nature and these areas are prone to wild mammals, insects and snakes so one needs to be careful and one is responsible for one’s own safety.
Content contributed by Hugh and Kate, volunteers from the United Kingdom. The pair graduated from University in 2017 and they have since travelled and worked in different European countries, including the UK, Switzerland, Austria, and Greece. Whilst exploring India they have continued to pursue their passions of social work and writing. They joined Green People in May 2019 and toured the new Hideouts, researching and writing about these experiences while also offering the hosts a practical experience of what hosting will entail. Both are freelance writers and volunteers and can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com.