Drop Your Heels & Trek The Hills! We Have Checked-In To India’s 1st Hiking Hostel.
- IWB Post
- May 30, 2017
A small scenic hamlet situated in the lap of mountains surrounded by thick jungle is India’s first ever hiking hostel, Heart of Travelers.
An all-time-ready travel junkie that I am, a lover of both beaches and mountains, my dream at the moment is to build a house by the beach and on the mountains. Whenever I read or write about travel destinations, I get teleported to that place until I am shaken up by my colleagues and brought to reality.
Well, today I trekked to Patwa Dunga in Uttarakhand. There I met Harshit Kandpal, who introduced me to the Heart of travelers (Hots). He told me how he and two of his friends Amit Attri and Vivek Dhanik, came across a 150-year-old rustic building while trekking and today proudly call it their safe haven!
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85 Likes, 3 Comments – HOTs Hostels and co-work space (@hots_hostels) on Instagram: “Travelling is not only about places you go, its about the Experience you get!. #travelling…”
Do you guys often go on treks together?
Oh yes! I am an avid hiker. Together we go on short treks when we take our guests. In fact, we came across Hots while trekking. It was sad that such a beautiful place amidst jungle was left to dust. We contacted the owner and took charge of the place. We opened the hostel on 25th March this year.
Since one needs to trek a distance close to 800m to reach your hostel, how safe is it for solo woman travelers?
Ohh it is totally safe for women travelers. So, when we were opening this hostel, we got queries from three different women solo travelers. That’s when we decided that we will have a room exclusively for women and one for women travelers who’d like to bring their friends as well. It is on the first floor which makes it a separate section for women.
Also, we never interrupt our guests once they reach their rooms. We have specially designed the rooms in a way that there is nothing but a bed and balcony. We don’t want our guests to spend much time in the rooms. We want them to make the most of the 8000 square feet area that we have around the property.
Whoa! 800 square feet is a lot! And I must say that idea of not putting anything in the rooms is great! So how do you keep your guests entertained?
Since we have trees bearing fruits around the property, our guests have the options of plucking fresh fruits. They can also do organic farming. We take people on small treks, including night treks as well. Apart from this, we’ve got a café and library at the hostel. And what’s interesting about the two is that everything in the library and the café is 150 years old.
Also, we have an outdoor sitting area in the middle of the jungle where we play movies on the projector as per our guests’ wishes.
We are soon going to open our co-working spaces in the middle of the jungle. So there’ll be cabins made out of bamboo where travelers can sit and work!
Ohh that’ll be really crazy! *current wish*
Share with us your favorite guest story.
There are so many in these last three months that it’ll be unfair to choose one.
Okay, so there was a hiker from the U.S, who came to our hostel just to spend the night because he had to travel to Rishikesh the next morning. When he woke up in the morning, he was so mesmerized by the view that he decided to extend his stay for five more days. After five days he extended it for another 10 days.
So this guy who just had to stay overnight stay for some good twenty days.
How does one reach to the Heart of Travelers Hostel?
The last railway station to reach our hostel is Kathgodam. After that one has to travel 25kms uphill. We provide pick and drop services, or one can take a sharing cab too.
Need not worry about the stay, because it comes at a shoestring budget of Rs399/night.
One traveling tip you’d like to share.
I’ll only tell people that do not travel to tick mark places. Make your own itineraries and design your travel according to your wish. Stop visiting places to click pictures, but to create memories. Cut off from the world and enjoy the place, connect with yourself more often.
What is the best time to visit your property?
Monsoon, the month of June and July are the best time when one can see wild blooming flowers and lush greenery all around.
What are the other places that one can visit around Patwa Dunga?
Lots of them! To name a few, Nainital is only 18 kms from here. Bhimtal is approximately 30 kms, and Ranikhet is 80.
What are the eco-friendly practices that you have incorporated at your hostel?
We have a rain water harvesting system in place. Also, we don’t use generators or inverters when the light goes off. We want people to disconnect from the world and have the taste of life all of us once used to have.
Is yours a family place or a youth preferred one?
We generally prefer youth. Since we are situated in the middle of the jungle, not many families find it convenient.