Introduction to Khali Estate
Mountain Resort popularly known as Khali Estate is situated in the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary in the Almora district of Uttarakhand.
It is located on top of a hill surrounded by dense oak and pine forests. Khali Estate was discovered by a Britisher, 6,600 feet above sea level.
The drive to Khali is picturesque and I remember every minute of it even today. Oh what a breathtaking place!
I had heard about this place long before I actually visited it. My parents had been there years before when there were no newspapers and hardly any electricity there. They had lost contact with the world for a few days. What an experience that would have been!
When I finally visited that place, I was awestruck. It had a different and unique old world charm to itself, secluded from the world. There were a few wooden double decker circular cottages with spacious and cosy rooms for accommodating the tourists, each having its own view of the Himalayan Ranges.
There was library adjacent to the common dining hall. The library provided books of various genres including the likes of Indira Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. It had a beautiful fireplace, around which every evening all the children and young adults would gather and the caretaker of the property would indulge us in the stories of the pre– independence and post independence era of India.
They would even take us for treks in the adjoining villages right before sunset. The population of the villages would merely be 10 people. They would show us their fresh produce and let us try it too.
I distinctly remember the size of their lemons being as big as the palm of our hands!
The walls of the dining hall were decorated with different kettles. The meals were simple and were cooked on wooden logs. The food was delicious and made us feel like home.
The property was located on a vast land that it even consisted of a full badminton court.
Rain, Fog, Hail Storm and Mountains
We lived there for 4 days. The day we arrived, the atmosphere was filled with fog and chilly winds. Due to the fog the vision was unclear and we were unable to see the view.
The second day the weather turned worse. It rained all day with the temperature dropping very hour. While our parents were safely in the cottages, all the children were stuck in the library sitting around the fireplace, making sure the fire kept us warm and safe.
Right before sunset, the temperature dropped drastically and all of us got to experience our first Hail storm.
Since our childhood, we had never been this excited in life and we went berserk. We thought it would be fun to step out of the library and experience the hail storm only to later realise how hard the ice hit and how painful it was. The caretaker, seeing us freaked out and sent us back indoors.
The third day was the most memorable one. The weather had calmed the temperature back to normal and the sky as clear as ever. We woke up to the view of the beautiful and majestic snow clad mountains of the Central Himalayas. They looked splendid and we were in awe. It had sent our hearts leaping!