The villa Himalaya Secrets of The Himalaya

Perched beside the River Sind and surrounded by forests of pine, fir, beech and sycamore, and with towering peaks lying all around, Sonamarg is a scenic mountain resort where travelers have often likened it to the Swiss Alps and the Canadian Rockies, but once they set their eyes on the town and its street, they realize that this is a place unlike anywhere else.

When it comes to planning a picnic for your loved one, the more attention to detail, the more memorable an occasion it will be. Picking a wonderful location is essential and luckily you are spoilt for choice Sonamarg which is home to some of the world's most incredible and beautiful meadows and rolling hills. Get a little lost in a green dream, surrounded by peace and tranquility. There's never a problem finding a quiet spot for your picnic blanket to be spread at Naranag, 8 kms from Kangan, it has abundance of lush green countryside. An impressive array of flora and fauna awaits you with mighty mountains in the background standing like a sentinel, keeping a watch on the pristine beauty. When the sun is shining, there is no better family activity than a picnic. Here there are lots of walks and hike trails. Steeped in history, Naranag boasts great hiking and trekking trails. While you settle down for the perfect unwinding, relaxing and spending quality time with your loved ones, the kids can just run around the place burning away that extra burst of energy while the adventure seekers among you can go for trekking in the nearby mountains, which are desolate, apart from the local people who take their farm animals to nibble on the porches. As you climb, there is serenity and even the hum of river evaporates at several places. Once you get to the top, you'll have worked up an appetite so find a smooth, warm rock and enjoy the panoramic view For the less adventurous ones, can walk down to two groups of temples, both dedicated to Lord Shiva. Lalit Aditya Muktapida king of Kashmir in eighth century raised the temples at this place. The picnic lunch hamper by Hotel The Villa Himalaya, a boutique property in Sonamarg, will comprise of traditional Kashmir cuisine to be served in a picnic-style basket will be a meal with a difference. The Kashmiri cuisines primarily non-vegetarian with of course some exquisite vegetarian dishes on offer are mostly influenced by the cuisines of the Kashmiri pundits and the Mughals. Rogan Josh, Yakhni, Modur Pulav, Dum Olav, czhot etc will be part of an unforgettable gourmet delight. The day comes to an end with sipping a piping hot cup of Kahwa and watching the sun setting behind the horizon is an equally gratifying experience. Now it is time to bid goodbye to Nature's absolute brilliance. Now You know that you have really found the absolute picnic spot where you would love to come back again and again. While on your way back do give a thought to ways of preserving the environment.
Here I am, standing on the balcony of my deluxe room, one of three, at the Villa Himalaya, in Kullan Sonamarg,15km short of the main town of Hotels in Sonamarg, in Kashmir. It took us less than 2 hours to get here from the summer capital, Srinagar. A beauteous sight greets me. A gushing, crystal clear, mildly grey-blue river, frothing white as it encounters boulders strewn along its way. Crashing against some, flowing over some, or simply circumventing around some. Flowing with a roaring sound. Loud enough to drown out all other sounds. However, the musical notes of the whistling bird, manage to penetrate through the continuous, almost deafening sound. The resort, Villa Himalaya, standing on one shore of the Sind River. Farm houses with their sloping, corrugated tin roofs, glinting under the mild sunshine, set amidst irrigated land sloping up to the main road, on the opposite. Lift your head to see the green painted mountains, dotted with pine trees, looking rather forlorn. Each distancing itself from the other in a deathly, silent and still way. But, between the ranges, a delightful sight to behold! The heaven touching apex of the overlapping mountains, dusted by powdery snow, like icing on a chocolate cake.

Villa Himalaya, is an eco boutique resort. It has 3 deluxe rooms with balconies, overlooking the River Sind, and 7 deluxe rooms. The rooms are comfortable with beds, the furniture and the flooring made up of wood, so there is a flow of the 'natural' from out to in, or whichever way you look at it. The powerful heaters warm up the room in a cosy, comfortable way. And better still, the electrical heating pad will ensure that you have a blissful sleep as you feel warm and snug like a 'bug in a rug'. The television, however, is a modern intrusion especially when you want to get away from the conveniences of city life and for a short while atleast, enjoy the sights and sounds of nature. There is an electrical kettle with herbal infusions to sip on through cold days. The bathrooms have a continuous flow of hot water. Basic amenities like toiletries, bathroom slippers and the very welcome hair dryer.

The only multi cuisine restaurant, aptly named, 'The Sind', serves mouth watering Indian and Chinese. The traditional Kashmiri Wazwan, has to be ordered 24 hours in advance as also the trout. However, our request for a trout meal was fulfilled at a short notice. It turned out to be delicious! Perfectly cooked with an accompaniment of sauted vegetables and mashed potatoes.

Weather permitting sit on the grassy lawn enjoying the arresting beauty of Mother Nature. Start a book you had been meaning to read, or finish an incomplete one. Pull out your paint brushes or pen down a poem.

The little touristy shop on the ground level sells an assortment of the famous craft of Kashmir, papier mache.

The resort's website makes mention of various activites to indulge in during the course of one's stay. These include must visit places such as the Zojila Pass,23 km away. The Thajwas Glacier at a distance of 12 km. The Narang Temples located 45km away. Their nature activites list, The Forest Walk, The Village Walk, Horse Riding and Fishing. A minimum of 24 hours is required to confirm the logistics. If you plan on visiting Sonamarg, vistas of meadows, streams, glaciers and lofty mountains will greet you.



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