India, Luxury, Offbeat, Reviews, Unique Places to Stay, Uttarakhand, Weekend Getaways
Comments 40

Te Aroha Dhanachuli: Under The Yellow Rooftops.

Te Aroha Dhanachuli, hill station in Uttarakhand, Delhi weekend getaways

In the Kumaon Himalayas, my experience at Te Aroha Dhanachuli – a unique boutique hotel in Uttarakhand.

Every stone in Kumaon has a story. It speaks of the fierce spirit of the Kumaoni people during India’s freedom struggle. It carries the whiff of tea gardens that once flourished on this land. It looks humbly upon mighty Himalayan peaks that sit in the distance. This is the story of some such stones, erected by Sumant Batra back in the nineties. Stones that became my abode for a rainy July weekend.

His love affair with travel started while he was still a child. Much like anyone who’s travelled in Kumaon, he was captivated by the charm of the lower Himalayas of Uttarakhand. In his late twenties, he fell in love with the small, obscure village of Dhanachuli. There were terraced valleys here. Verdant mountain slopes covered with apple orchards, forests of pine and rhododendron, gushing rivers, small streams and waterfalls, and no development or tourism infrastructure to speak of. The locals were friendly, nay, full of warmth, and the food was delicious. Who wouldn’t fall in love?

Also read: Awe-Inspiring Uttarakhand Homestays: Tune Out of Life and Tune Into the Mountains

hill station in Uttarakhand, Delhi weekend trips, Kumaon hill station
The verdant, terraced valleys near Te Aroha Dhanachuli.

Not very rich but very much in love, he took it a step further than you or I would. He bought a piece of land on a hilltop in Dhanachuli, found an architect, built a summer home. Te Aroha, “a place of love”, named after Mount Te Aroha in New Zealand.

Under the yellow rooftops in this place of love, we peeped inside room after room. “The Long House”, true to its name, stretched in shades of peach, with a rustic fireplace in one corner and a bathroom whose grandeur resembled something of a doll house. “Three Steps Down” literally sat three steps down in cheerful colors, with huge glass panels overlooking the mountains. But it was “The Attic”, with an old wooden staircase leading up from the bedroom to an attic with wooden floors and glass windows that immediately felt like home for the next three days.

Also read: Discovering Life in the Garhwal Himalayas of Uttarakhand

Te Aroha Dhanachuli, Uttarakhand hotels, Uttarakhand resorts, Delhi romantic weekend getaway
Te Aroha Dhanachuli: My humble abode, with a wooden staircase leading up to the attic.

I sat for hours in my attic, watching the clouds descend to kiss the mountains that stretched before us. They descended further into the valley below to reveal the most stunning Himalayan sunsets I’ve ever witnessed. Forget writing, I was inspired to pen poetry.

Also read: My Journey from the Cubicle to the Road – Now in a Book

Te Aroha Dhanachuli, Te Aroha India, Delhi best weekend getaways, hill stations near Delhi
Te Aroha Dhanachuli: Inspired to write poetry in my attic!

Little touches were everywhere. Wooden decks. Antique beds and armchairs sourced from all over India. A small library with a wide range of books and a green scooter! Quirky collections of matchboxes, miniature sewing machines and audio cassettes. Carved old wooden doors. A poker room with glass panels. A bird house (without birds) dangling on the terrace. Curious animal-shaped vases.

Also read: Incredible Eco-Lodges Around the World – Indulge Yourself and Spare the Planet

Te Aroha hotel, Te Aroha Dhanachuli, poker room
The poker room at Te Aroha Dhanachuli.

We treated ourselves to juicy apples and pears that grew all over Te Aroha and in the valleys beyond. And reveled in blood-red rhododendron juice. On our last day, when we requested the kitchen staff for a traditional Kumaoni meal, there was an unmissable glow in their eyes and a wide smile on their faces. It’s true, this is where Te Aroha, the place of love, belongs. And though born and brought up in the lower Garhwal region of Uttarakhand, it is in Kumaon that my soul belongs.

Kumaon Himalayas, Himalayas sunset, hill stations in Uttarakhand
A stunning sunset from Te Aroha Dhanachuli.

Practical Information

Getting there

Te Aroha is located in the village of Dhanachuli. Take the Kathgodam Shatabdi from Delhi to Kathgodam, from where Te Aroha is two hours by car.

Costs

Room prices range from INR 6,500 – 10,500 for two.

Te Aroha Dhanachuli, hill station near Delhi, Dhanachuli, Uttarakhand resorts, Uttarakhand hotels
Not a painting, that’s the view from my attic at Te Aroha Dhanachuli at dusk!

Best time to visit

The monsoon season is an excellent time to visit, for stunning views like on my trip in July.

Dhanachuli to Nainital

About a 1.5 hour drive by car.

Would you like to visit Te Aroha Dhanachuli someday?

*Note: Our trip was sponsored by Te Aroha. It was easy to fall in love!

te aroha dhanachuli, dhanachuli uttarakhand

Get my latest article in your inbox!

Join 21,075 other subscribers

If you enjoyed reading this article, I would love for you to share it!

Shivya Nath

I quit my full-time job in 2011 with a dream of travelling the world. Two years later, I gave up my home, sold most of my possessions and embraced a nomadic life. I'm passionate about going off the beaten path, solo travel, sustainable travel and veganism. Let's connect!

40 Comments

  1. greaky says

    What a wonderful place and a beautiful narrative. Your story is a real inspiration. Maybe someday I will realise my dream of being a constant traveller. Till then I shall sigh at your travel stories.

    • Thanks Sameer! I hope that someday is soon for you. Till then, I’m glad for your virtual company in all my travels 🙂

  2. Beauty..such exotic locations exist in India..Unbelievable…And amazing clicks….So when is the poetry created at attic coming out 🙂

    • Thanks Sunil! What’s unbelievable is that it’s so close to Delhi. Really thought photos like these were photoshopped, but now I know better. Haha, that poetry is for my eyes only 😉

  3. Pradip says

    views from the room look stunning but room rents are on the higher side…also wud prefer something more rustic and elementary…lanterns/murphy radio/charpoy…

    • I guess the luxury of the place is in line with the costs. But there are many more rustic places in and around Kumaon to choose from 🙂

  4. “beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder”… Many visit these places, though few have the will , and further few the skill to pen their travels.

    The beauty of both Kumaon and Garhawal beckoning. And true, you do fall in love with it. Though right now, I am more in love with the pics of your room . Reminds me of my room back home.

    • You have a room like that back home, with an attic overlooking the mountains? Whoa. When can I come stay? 😉

  5. Uttarakhand has special place in my heart because it’s my birthplace! I have Garhwali roots, thus, mountains naturally appeal to me. Thanks for bringing out such a wonderful story! Shivya, you always delight! Keep shining!

    • Thanks Renuka, happy to hear you liked reading it 🙂 I was born and brought up in the mountains too, so absolutely identify with your love for them!

  6. This sounds like such a fantastic place to stay, Shivya! 🙂 We will definitely plan to stay there for a couple of days whenever we are in Delhi next! Thank you so much for the thumbs-up!

    And, yes, lucky you! 🙂

  7. Pingback: Contest: Win 2 Nights at Te Aroha, Dhanachuli! | The Shooting Star

  8. Aks says

    Just love it, it look so magical! Thanks for sharing this 🙂

  9. Pingback: 6 Offbeat Monsoon Weekend Getaways From Delhi. | The Shooting Star

  10. Pingback: My 13 “Incredible India” Moments in 2013. | The Shooting Star

  11. Hi Shivya,
    First of all thanks for this wonderful and beautiful post here. How beautiful your pictures are ! No wonder you’re born and raised in the hills that why you know the humility the locals possess. I have been dying to read something like this. I have been reading the travel blogs about Almora and realized that many foreigners who come here perceive the local people as unfriendly, thanks to some taxi drivers and hoteliers who try to charge exorbitant fees. I have never been to those foreigner’s place and don’t know how people are like there. Been living in Delhi made me realize how friendly people are back there.
    you are an amazing writer and a great photographer too..!!!!!

  12. Richa Malhotra says

    Hi Shivya,

    You have described the place so wonderfully. I am planning to visit it this month. Can you tell me if there are cabs available from Kathgodam station to Te Aroha? Let me know whats the best way to travel from station to the resort.
    Hope to have an amazing and peaceful stay there.

    Thanks
    Richa

    • Thanks Richa! Lucky you to be visiting it this month 🙂 You can easily get a cab from Kathgodam train station to Dhanachuli, or else ask the Te Aroha folks to arrange a pick up for you. Cost wise, it works out to almost the same amount.

  13. Pingback: Sikkim: The Lost Kingdom. | The Shooting Star

  14. Pingback: The Shooting Star | World Explorers

  15. Pingback: Travel Contest: Win a Stay at My Favorite Places in India! | The Shooting Star

  16. Ravish Jha says

    Hey Shivya…thanks a lot for sharing this. I was at my sister’s place and was discussing about your blog and how you have chosen your own path. Truly inspiring I must say. Very few have the guts to follow the heart and set it as an example for urself and others.
    In regards to this article, definitely very impressive. Stunning pictures and nice write-up. We can’t wait to go there. Hope to visit the place soon.

    Thanks again.
    Ravish

  17. Love the pictures and I and Priya went to DanaChuli after reading your story about it and loved it.

I'm waiting to hear your thoughts on this post:

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.