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Natural, secluded and steeped in history, Oak Chalet is built on ancestral land known as Gahana Orchards. The property is spread over several acres of mountain terrain and is located close to the beautiful little hill-station of Mukteshwar. It was built by ADC (Aide-de-Camp) Bacchi Singh Mehra, who was the right hand man to the Maharaja Jind of Patiala before the independence of India and until 1966. Oak Chalet is now run by Bacchi Singh’s grandson, Manoj Mehra. The property is a fine example of the blend of traditional and modern craft. It was built by local artisans using the fast disappearing arts of traditional Kumaoni stone masonry and carpentry. Experience that feeling of being lost in the midst of nature at this offbeat, family run, eco-friendly forest lodge.
Cuisine: Local, Multi-Cuisine
Summer – Min 15°C, Max 25°C
Winter – Min 0°C, Max 15°C
Monsoon – Min 13°C, Max 25°C, heaviest rainfall in July and August
By Air: Pantnagar Airport (100 kms, 3-4 hrs)
By Rail: Kathgodam Railway Station (65 kms, 2-3 hr)
By Road: Delhi (325 kms, 8-9 hrs)
THINGS TO DO
Trekking & Hiking: Oak Chalet is also the starting point of Vagabond Treks to the upper reaches of the Himalayas. Get up close and personal with the natural beauty of Uttarakhand. They organize 4-16 day treks through green valleys, along bubbling rivers and snow covered peaks to the Himalayan glaciers of Kafni, Pindari, Milam and Sundar Dunga. See the beauty of the Nanda Devi Biosphere unfold in front of your eyes. Treks are also organized to the Valley of Flowers, Darma Valley and to the serene alpine meadow of Bedni Bugyal en-route to the mysterious skeleton lake – Roopkund.
Adventure Activities: Go Rock Climbing, Rappelling or Jumaring to test your nerves and strength at the famous Chauli ki jali rock face. Go Zip Valley Line Crossing on the nearby hill.
Nature Walks: Within short walking distance of the property, you will experience the panoramic views of the Himalayan peaks of Trishul, Nanda Devi and Panchachuli, considered by many to be the best in Uttarakhand. A sunrise walk on a clear, crisp morning will offer you a sight you will never forget. Explore the rich flora and fauna of the region along the jungle trails that run through the hill villages of Sargakhet and Gahana. Night walks around the property are also organized.
Wildlife & Bird-Watching: The dense forest around Oak Chalet is home to wild cats such as the elusive Himalayan leopard, macaques, langur monkeys, the sambhar and karker deer, wild boar, porcupines, pine martens, and various mountain birds including chakors, magpies, mynas, jungle fowl, babblers and whistling thrush.
Yoga: The peaceful surroundings at Oak Chalet make it a perfect setting for yoga and meditation. They also organize yoga treks, which entail trekking in the mountains for 2-3 hours per day and specially designed yoga and meditation classes at sunrise or sundown as the Himalayas are bathed in the orange hue of the setting sun.
Kumaoni Culture & Fesitvals: To join in the Kumaoni way of life, visit nearby homes and villages with the local guide for an unforgettable experience. Visit during the local festivals of Gugakhtiya (crow festival) in January, Phool Dehi (flower festival) in March or Harela (harvest festival) in July to see how important these have remained to the Kumaoni people. Make friends here, and you will no doubt be invited to a traditional Kumaoni wedding, with its traditional colourful costumes, bagpipe music, dancing and sword-fights.
Mukteshwar Temple: The dwelling god of Mukteshwar Temple is Lord Shiva. This sacred shrine holds immense importance among the people of Uttarakhand state. Located 5 kms from the property, Mukteshwar temple is situated on a slope from where the vistas of nature are dazzling.
Nathuakhan: About 20 kms away from the property is Nathuakhan, an appealing town located on a hillock 6,365 feet above ocean level, encompassed by pleasant timber-lands, lavish green valleys and sloping landscapes.
Day Trips: Other popular hill stations nearby include: Almora (50 kms), Nainital (45 kms), Ramgarh (25 kms) and Ranikhet (80 kms)