The quote by English poet Ralph Hodgson “Without a wish, without a will, I stood upon that silent hill, And stared into the sky until, My eyes were blind with stars and still, I stared into the sky” stands true as you face the hills on sunny afternoon in Saur Village.
Saur village, in the Tehri district of the Garhwal region, had the reputation of being a ghost village (where housing infrastructure exists but there are inhabitants) as most have migrated to Jadipani ( a more established town). However, thanks to entrepreneur Sushil Ramola and his community based eco tourism who has taken the task to restore these 1930’s ‘pahari’ houses and today we get to stay at the beautiful DueNorth Saur Cottages
All excited like a kid as always I packed me and was all set for hitting the road again. It’s always true that the journey is more tempting than the destination and it always true for me. Sitting next to the driver seat I was one Enthu-cutlet trying to hold every flower that I cross and kiss every cloud that I pass.
And in no time I found myself in Rishikesh. The Ganga land has always attracted me. After a nice Indian breakfast of parathas I was all charged up for the next leg. Almost woke up to find myself close to Devprayag. We had taken the wrong road but yes often these wrong roads lead you to the right places.
With an extra fun of one and half hours we hit the from Chamba main market- Rifleman Gabbar Singh Chowk, from there the Chamba – Mussoorie State Highway and in 20 minutes you would notice a signboard saying Saur Village on the left. The 11km stretch till you reach your destination is filled with pine trees and then a small little board saying “DueNorth Saur Cottages” welcomes you. ( Be careful, there are most chances that one might miss the board. It falls on your right)
This time my destination was DueNorth Saur cottages, a rustic little Pahari mud houses wrap amidst the mountains, a perfect example of eco-tourism. All houses here in this region are identical. DueNorth Saur Cottages are a perfect combination of tradition and modernity. I had booked a small little hut for myself and that was my own little world for 2 days. Made are made of bamboo, wood, and mud these huts are totally updated with any and all kinds of any modern amenities. Facing the terraced farms, lush greens mountains, birds chirping, the Himalayan landscapes were nothing less than a dream.
Two smiling faces Dinesh, Sanjay and Rahul were prompt enough to serve fresh Malta juice. One of the most refreshing drink I have had in years. As I watched the sun, setting the clouds took over giving a taste of chill in the evening. This mountain gateway along with the picturesque village is pristine and untouched. Away from those horns and random noises, I would already feel the calmness inside me. As I flipped through the pages of a book the calm cool breeze passed kissing me.
The next day I decided to take a walk around the villages with houses scattered all over the valley. With a bit of drizzling here and there, the curious cat that I am I took a chance to peep rather enter few homes. Cooking in chulhas (mud stove) is still prevalent there. Aimlessly roaming kids, every face had a smile made me wonder what is that we are running after every day, when life can actually be so simple and beautiful. Pinched by the reality bug I was brought back to the real world.
And yes if you think what about Food, you need not worry as you are the disposal at seasoned cook Sanjay. He made sure right from pahadi dal, to pahadi mutton to some kurkure bhindi I have it all and second serving was one thing I always made sure I took.
Reality bites and I felt like waking from a dream when it was time to head home and be a part of the maddening world again.
Since the most exciting, challenging and significant relationship is the one you have with yourself and if, you are your best company then Saur village is always your last-minute getaway for that ME time that one always looks for.
The beautiful little cottage also has a small little gift shop from where you can bring back memories of a great vacation. With dried pine needles in abundance, most the handicrafts products like table mats, dolls, ear-rings coasters etc are made using this stuff. The dolls are beautifully dressed in local traditional garments. Serving as a two in one purpose this also gives employment to the locals in that area and the craft too gets its much-desired appreciation.
MAP FOR REFERENCE