I thought I was yet to see a more picturesque landscape than the fruit season in Himachal Pradesh’s remote Kinnaur Valley. But a week-long stay in a mud hut within a fruit farm in Renh village, at the edge of the Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP), changed everything. The lush environs recreated the heady beauty of nature’s bounty at a more accessible distance from Delhi, especially during the rainy months, and the homey warmth of my Himachali hosts, along with meadow picnics and treks through sacred forests, made it a charming stay.
My journey there took me up an abruptly climbing kachcha road from Sainj town, a motorable stretch of eight kilometres, which opens up to a valley with rolling farmlands, ensconced by mountains. The last few hundred metres to the village had to be undertaken by foot. The lodging, known as Highgarden Hut, boasted absolute solitude placed inside the bower of a dense orchard; the bridle path leading to the hut from the host family’s house trailed under the weighty canopy of apples of the Golden and Royal variety, as well as some pear trees.
Read the full feature in the print edition of National Geographic Traveller India January-February 2022.
Paloma Dutta works as an editor in a publishing house for her bread, butter and bus ticket (more often than not to the mountains). Travel makes her believe in serendipity, essential kindness of the human heart and the power of Bollywood to build instant friendships anywhere in the world.