Offbeat hidden hamlet near Delhi – Banlekhi Resort

How I got to know about Banlekhi Resort is a little strange story. We got connected through Instagram. Connected with Praveen Ji (owner of the property) on call and he was curious to know why few destinations are on top of the travel blogger’s list while some don’t get their attention. The conversation was interesting and Praveen Ji asked how he should introduce Banlekhi Resort to people who have no idea about it etc. etc.
(****fast forward****)


That’s how I landed at Banlekhi Resort.

I always search for places that are lesser known and offbeat. That’s my idea of travel. Without wasting time, let me tell you the details about Banlekhi Resort.

About the resort:

A true hidden gem, there is this small remote village – Padampuri which is between Bhimtal and Mukteshwar. It’s in the state of Uttarakhand. Perched at a height of 2000 meters, there is Banlekhi Resort, which apparently is the highest peak of Padampuri. Overlooking the sublime beauty of Kumaon hills and surrounded by dense pinewood forests, the resort is built just on the top of the hill. It’s a 10 mins walk from the main road.

The exterior structures such as the entry gate, the open-air fireplace, and the supporting stone walls are inspired by the traditional architecture of the hills. The property also has a live barbeque and a dining hall with a panoramic view of the surrounding hills.

Know your Hosts:

Banlekhi Resort is the brain child of Mr. Praveen Nagpal and Mrs. Deepti Nagpal. They both are travelers by heart and i got to hear the story about how they landed up at Banlekhi randomly and decided to build their dream house there. Oh, not to miss, they both are full time working in Gurgaon and manage to go Banlekhi on weekends. They have plans to quit their jobs and move to the mountains permanently.
The couple is very warm and hospitable. And if you ask me why i liked the place so much? It’s because of the passion and dreams these two have. I could connect to it and it’s so inspiring to see them working so hard. I mean, family, kids, full time job, resort etc. Wow. That’s some real hard work. Totally appreciate it.

Plus, they are equally concerned about the local community in Banlekhi. During our conversation, he mentioned so many times that he wish to do something for the education there in the village. I hope he finds some solution to it. Inshallah!

In frame: Mr. Praveen and Mrs. Deepti (and me in left picture in black t-shirt)

The Cottages:

There are 6 cottages made of pinewood. The cottages are built in traditional style with sloping roofs, all with attached washrooms and with a crazy valley view. There is one double bed and there is enough space to put one extra bedding. All the cottages are quite spacious and the best part is the little balcony attached.
The feel of the place is rustic and the décor is close to nature, with minimalistic but cozy interiors. Simple yet tasteful.

Approx. cost of one cottage: 4500 INR (with breakfast) (for 2 pax)

Facilities:

  • Electric Kettle
  • Toiletries
  • Towels
  • Tea/Coffee Bags
  • Room Heater
  • Hot/Cold Water 24*7
  • Attached Washrooms
  • Internet
  • Valley Facing Rooms
  • Pet Friendly Stay

Food:

Apart from the structure, the food also includes the local recipes made with vegetables and fish sourced from nearby farmers. Chef, Mr. Hemu, is a wonderful cook and takes really good care of your demands. He is a locale and has mastered the cuisine of his homeland, Uttarakhand, and his signature dishes are Aloo ke Gutke and Sisunaak Saag as well as roasted trout fish caught from local streams.
All meals (Three) are provided to the guests and the menu is decided based on request and season. Also, there is a provision of snacks on request and barbeque set-up at a nominal additional cost.

Oh, I forgot to mention that there is a separate small and cozy dining area that can accommodate 15-18 people. Or you can enjoy your food in the mountains facing balconies outside cottages.

Things to do in & around Banlekhi:

  • Nature walks
  • Bird watching and photography
  • Barbeque & Bonfire
  • Bhalu Gaad Waterfall (12 kms)
  • Nainital Lake (38 kms)
  • Naukuchiatal lake (29 kms)
  • Bhimtal Lake (24 kms)
  • Mukteshwar (29 kms)
  • Ghorakhal Temple (30 kms)
  • Kainchi Dham (35 kms)
  • Sattal (30 kms)
  • Tibetan Market (42 kms)
  • Tiffin top (Dorothy’s Seat) (42 kms)

How to Reach Banlekhi (from Delhi): 379 km / 8-9 hrs:

By Road:
Delhi is connected to Banlekhi village through NH9. One can take a bus till Haldwani or Kathgodam and after that, you can take a private taxi. Or, you can drive down. Roads are pretty good.

By Train:
There are daily trains that connect New Delhi to Kathgodam, the nearest railway station to Banlekhi. It takes about two hours to get to Banlekhi from Kathgodam Railway Station in a local cab (65km).

By Air:
One can also catch a flight from New Delhi for Pantnagar, the nearest town with an airport to Banlekhi. These flights start at ₹4,500. Upon getting down at Pantnagar Airport, hire a local cab to reach Banlekhi in about 3 hours (100km).

How to book?

Address: AkshodA Village Po Padampuri, Tehsil, Dhari – Bhatelia Rd, Uttarakhand – 263136
You can book it here: https://www.booking.com/hotel/in/banlekhi-resorts.en-gb.html?
Or at Make My Trip:
https://www.makemytrip.com/hotels/banlekhi_pura_stays-details-mukteshwar.html
Phone: +91 9650595152
Website: http://www.banlekhi.in/

Checkout the location map here:

Best time to visit:

Since Banlekhi enjoys pleasant weather almost throughout the year, one can easily plan a trip in both summers (March-June) as well as winters (October-March). It is only during the months of July to September that the region experiences torrential rains, making it an unsuitable time to visit Banlekhi.

My Verdict:

I am very happy about the fact that I found a beautiful hill station which is just 8-9 hours from Delhi and the best part is, the weather is extremely pleasant.

Food: 4/5
Location: 5/5
Rooms: 5/5
Value for money: 5/5
Hygiene: 5/5
Hospitality: 5/5
Wi-fi: Yes
Parking facility: Yes
Approx. cost of one cottage: 4500 INR (with breakfast) (for 2 pax)

Who should visit this property?

  • Families
  • Couples for a romantic getaway
  • A group of friends who wish to enjoy with a tint of luxury.

P.S. Don’t expect loud music or booze scenes here. I mean, obviously, you can enjoy both but with certain limitations and responsibility 🙂

You can checkout Banlekhi Resort’s Instagram, Facebook, and Tripadvisor for more information about it.

I hope you like this blog. Do check out my Instagram and Facebook for regular updates of my trips and events. Also, don’t forget to share your feedback about this blog in the comments Section. See you in the next one!
XOXO

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