Pristine, serene and majestic! These are the adjectives that completely define this place.
Pinewood Cottages Kasauli is a place to be. Located in the outskirts, these cottages are situated with village on one side and jungle on the other. The deep valley, the curvacious narrow lanes, the abundant greenery makes for the picturesque beauty.
We planned to visit this place over a weekend. Provided, the stay was short, we had an amazing time. With me was my spouse, his friends and my pet. Yes, this place is pet-friendly and to my relief there were no other visitors than us, and my dear Labrador, named Dollar, had the best time of his life. We were not untouched with all the magnificent beauty of this place. The silence was overwhelming. Our senses could now unwind to a completely non-polluted hill station.
The Journey Began
We left at 5 in the morning from Delhi on a Saturday and reached the destination around 2 PM. We booked a tempo traveler that cost us around 14 grands, but gave us ample space to even lie down and keep our bags. It was a smooth journey throughout. With a halt at Sukhdev Dhaba, Moorthal in Haryana where we had rich and most famous parathas served with excessive white butter. They were even more delicious when followed by tea. Without any other major stop, we finally reached Pinewood Cottages in Kasauli. The last 4 km stretch was a bumpy ride, as there was no pakka road.
Beauty of the Cottages
On the right hand, I saw some varnished cottages. These cottages were looking all the more beautiful because of the sun rays, which made them look golden in color. There was abundant greenery and huge pine trees, the spiky needle like leaves shined splendidly. On these trees were found cones scattered here and there. These brown cones added to the beauty and I badly wanted one of them to take back with me as a memory. Unfortunately, these pine cones were too high from our reach and I could only bring back the ones I found lying underneath.
There were around six cottages including the tree house. Each one of us picked the cottage and dumped the luggage. The rooms were neat, made of wooden logs, including the furniture. There were lights and a fan, but no electricity. The washrooms were clean and spacious, but the water was freezing cold. Since, there was no electricity, no point of expecting a hot water bath.
It was sunny at the time we reached this place, but with the setting sun the temperature fell down considerably and we had to put on our woolens. We sat on the front lawn where there were chairs for us and demanded for a bonfire arrangement. The two caretakers Inder and Ganesh arranged it for us and we were highly pleased with Inder; he was spontaneous. However, later to our surprise we were told that there was no milk for tea and no food. Each time we would ask for something, they would go to the market in main Kasauli and get it for us. And, it took them almost one to one and a half hours each time they went uphill to the market. There was always a probability that we would have had to stay without food. We were lucky enough to have stayed only without tea. Of course, we drank tea; without the milk.
As it went dark and cold, we were at our best. The bonfire kept us alive under the open sky. Oh! That reminds me of millions of stars I saw after ages. The last I saw them was on one of the camps I stayed in Rishikesh, some two years back. It was marvelous. Imagine the soft cushion like grass under your feet, cold breeze caressing your cheeks, fire to warm the place and snacks and beverages to accompany you in your chit chat session with friends. Right in front of us was a valley and little farther, a mountain with trees symmetrically arranged that looked pitch black in the night.
Finally, we had dinner, which the poor chaps had arranged from the market. The food wasn’t excellent, but good to satiate your stomach pangs and taste buds.
The only drawback was that we could not charge our mobile phones, which were completely dead by then.
Inder was an extremely benevolent and humble being, who had been on his toes throughout. He made the best arrangements to his capacity and told us stories about leopards that visited the cottages late in the night. He added to the thrill as the place was pitch dark, the only light we had was of the bonfire which was sure to die. He also promised to take us to the waterfall early morning. With this, we left for our cottages to wake up early morning.
We all managed to sleep soundly.
We woke up in the middle of the night to look out for leopards without stepping out of the cottages as instructed by Inder, till we saw the morning light.
The sun rise was splendid. The beauty of the sun cannot be ignored at the time of dawn. The sun rose beautifully behind the mountains and spread its redness, near and far to its circumference just like a deep red dye spreads across a white fabric–deeper towards the center and lighter towards the periphery. The pine trees in the front, still looked black, but distinct.
We planned to go to the waterfall, but it was nothing but a stream of water and we came back a little disappointed. On our way back we met the villagers and local people. They were quite welcoming and had a warm smile on their faces.
We then decided to go down the valley, which were the farms of the villagers, their bread and butter. We must have touched almost the end of the valley and found a variety of plantation. Some of them were the citrus fruits, red hot chillies, ripe tomatoes, radish, bamboo shoots, cucumber and lots more. After the trekking to the valley plantation, we decided to rest a while and eat breakfast.
We also went to the market in main Kasauli to curb our tea cravings. Tea was exceptionally sweet for people like me who do not have a sweet tooth.
There is nothing much to see in Kasauli. Despite the drawbacks like lack of basic amenities and poor service, we enjoyed our stay because we were on our own. It was an overall thrilling experience to stay in the wooden cottages amidst forest.
Far from the maddening crowd
Pinewood cottages are worth a shot if you are in a large group of friends and family. The best you can do is to keep a backup for everything, be it torch, lighter, extra water bottles and food or snacks to munch. You’ll enjoy this place completely if you wish to while away with the traffic, honks and fast life. The beauty of vicinity, the silence of the mountains, cottages amidst deep dense forests would make up for all the shortcomings. Try it out!
One Night Room Tariff Only
Deluxe Cottage : Rs.3600
Super Deluxe Cottage : Rs.4200
Duplex Cottage : Rs.5400
Tree House Cottage : Rs.6000
Child 5-10 years : Nil
Child (10+) / Adult : 500
– without extra bedding
– except in Deluxe and Tree-House