After Kausani (Read: Sight-seeing in Kausani), our next stop in the Uttarakhand road trip was Pokhari. Perched on the high hills of the Chamoli district, Pokhari is a little village…..
Drive from Kausani to Pokhari
It took us quite some time to reach there – almost 140 kms away, the drive was through hills, hills and more hills all the way up to an altitude of 1550 meters. Quite a bit of a climb that was. The roads were mostly good other than a few stretches here and there where they were on an expansion mode. Leaving immediately after breakfast, we took the Karnaprayag-Bageshwar-Almora-Nainital road with the crystal clear Pindar river flowing by our side on the right. The drive being long, we stopped a couple of times for tea and snacks break.
…as I said, Pokhari is a little village. Right on top of the hills; hills on all sides, so high that you feel you must have reached the heaven; bathed in sunlight; little houses here and there; orange/keenu trees in almost every house, laden; down there, somewhere an airstrip for little planes to land; the road winding sharply just as school children make their way back home; you, fighting an urge to hop out of the car and walk like them, kicking a pine cone along the way till you have reached your destination….there was sun after all, in the December’s severe crispness…making you feel like a queen….
We did go into the hills after having lunch…trekked up to where the last bit of the west sun shone, and came down immediately after the sun dipped into the horizon.
Homestay in Pokhari — Bird Song Villa
We had signed up for a cute little homestay in Pokhari — the Bird Song Villa. While the first part of the name is true, Bird Song, it is nothing like a villa. Good for that. Who wants a lavish house in this little village? Bird Song was more like a little cottage, just perfect for two families, with an inhouse cook and house-keeper. The rooms, spread across the ground floor and the first floor, were warm enough considering we were there in end Dec. The beds had electric blankets in them! Basic and clean, the only major problem with the place was that the ground floor bedroom did not have an attached bath. We stayed up until quite a bit, playing dumb charades and looking up at the sky we felt we could touch and bundle up all the stars in our bags….they were so close and so many of them….
Dawn is particularly beautiful in this house. I had slept with the curtains pulled to one side, so that I could see the dawn break while lying in bed. An early riser, I woke up with the chirping of the birds and the sound of the distant temple bells from the valley down below. And just as the stars melted away, the silhouettes of the Himalayan peaks turned violet from dark blue, to fuchsia, to red, to pink, to a warm glow…nothing can be more rewarding than waking up alone to watch the colourful dance of the skies rejoicing the birth of another day…..
For the complete Uttarakhand Winter Roadtrip itinerary, where to stay, what to see and what to buy, read — An Uttarakhand Roadtrip Last Winters
(P.S: We have chronicled the summer road-trip in Uttarakhand in a separate series. Should you want to plan a similar trip, here’s help with itinerary, stay suggestions, shopping tips and food tips! Read — An Uttarakhand Road-trip This Summer)