uttarakhand 6


“Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt,” these words by the Scottish-American author and naturalist John Muir are the mantra of every hiker, adventurer and traveler. To explore and breathe in the scent of the forest, feel the morning forest dew and cozy up under the stars, surrounded by the wilderness; is the dream for a hiker. And the state of Uttarakhand, with its woodland pine forests and towering mountains, is one of the best states in the country to experience nature at its best. Thankfully, a team of enterprising folks have made it easier and cheaper to stay in Uttarakhand by opening the first hiking hostel, HOTs Hostel. ALSO READ: 15 photos of Uttarakhand that prove it is the most scenic state in India! The valleys of Uttarakhand are a playground for all kinds of adventure, and the Heart Of Travellers (HOTs) hostel in the Patwa Dunga region lets you explore the region without burning a hole in your pocket. This is supposed to be the first hiking hostel in the country, offering you the opportunity to go out exploring and also meet and bond with like-minded people. From here, you can go paragliding at Naukuchiatal and visit the Haidakhan Babaji temple in nearby Ranikhet. Nainital lies around 4-5 km from the place, and dorms here cost around INR 399 per night. The hostel is part of a 150-year-old building built during the British Raj, and you need to trek a little less than a kilometer to reach the place. From here, you can enjoy incredible views of the Patwa Dunga valley and explore the nearby trails. Apart from mixed and males-only dorm rooms, the hostel also offers twin rooms and suites. There is a cafe, a kitchen and lots of open space for guests to breathe in some fresh mountain air and mingle with the rest of the backpackers. Harshit Kandpal, one half of the duo that started this hostel, says that it already sees fully booked-out weeks even though it has just been 2-3 months. Harshit and his partner Devendra Singh Digari run the operation. While Harshit brings in his experience in hospitality gleaned from working with the Oberoi Group, Devendra owns the property. Harshit said that he was motivated to start the whole place to offer a budget-friendly option for backpackers, much like the hostels and home-stays in Kasol or Manali. HOTs also does its part for the community by recruiting young people from the state itself. Apart from Harshit and Devendra, HOTs is also run by Priyanka Chanana, Amit Attri and Vivek Dhanik. NOW READ: 7 lesser explored hill stations in Uttarakhand perfect for your winter vacation! Have interesting travel photos you’d like to share with us? Send photos from your travels to travel@corp.india.com, don’t forget to mention where you’ve shot the picture and get a chance to be featured on our website! So what are you waiting for? Hurry! Have something to add to this story? Post your comments in the discussion board below; we will be thrilled to hear from you! Also Read - Reel Life Ram Arun Govil Watches Ramayan Along With His Grandchildren, Picture Goes Viral

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