Four simple cottages spread out amidst acres of mountainous oak and rhododendron forest. A 90-min hike (or pony ride) up from the nearest road; no TV, no generators. Charming hosts, tasty homely food


Location On a hill in the Kumaon Himalaya across an altitude of 6,000- 7,200 ft, 38 km from Kathgodam

When to go Throughout the year. Best in summer. Cold in winters. During monsoon (July to mid-August), roads suffer, but the hills are at their greenest. Sept- ember-October best for mountain views


Steve Lall

Jilling Estate, PO Padampuri

Dist Nainital, Uttarakhand

Mobile: 09758755704, 09412383348,


Email: jillingnandini@yahoo.com

Website: jilling.net

Accommodation 4 cottages with 6-7 bedrooms

Tariff Rs 1,700 (sgl)-Rs 3,400 (dbl), with all meals and morning tea

How to book Phone/ email. Payment in cash on arrival. Confirmations ensured with payments by bank transfer/ DD/ cheques on par

Facilities checklist

Room service, dining hall, laundry, library, parking, railway station transfers, sightseeing, games, babysitting

TV, credit cards, forex, Internet, bar, swimming pool, spa


Rail Nearest railhead: Kathgodam (38 km/1 ½ hrs). Ranikhet Express from Delhi is convenient, and arrives at 5.45 in the morning. Taxi to Matial costs Rs 700-750. From Matial, it's a 11/2-hr climb to Jilling Estate; optionally hire a pony for Rs 250

Road The drive from Kathgodam to Matial is via Ranibagh (turn right), Bhimtal, Khutani (turn right at tri-junction) and Chanfi. From Delhi it takes about 10 hrs (306 km) to Matial via Hapur Bypass, Moradabad Bypass, Rampur, Rudrapur, Haldwani and Kathgodam. If going by your own car, park at Matial and walk up to Jilling on foot, or by pony It's best to discuss parking arrangements beforehand with your hosts


There are 4 cottages with 6 to 7 bedrooms, spread across the Estate. Our favourite is the Mountain Eyrie, which is closest to the highest point of the hill, the beautiful ridge and the forest. This has a double bedroom and another room with fire- place and an extra bed. The feeling of being entirely away from the world is unparalleled. A brisk S-min climb below the Eyrie is the family bungalow, which offers 2 doubles and 1 single. The main kitchen where they prepare the food is here. Another S-min climb downhill and there are 2 wooden cottages, relatively new, with 2 doubles each and excellent for families. One of them has an extra drawing, dining and kitchen space. All cottages have piped water. Hot water, using immersion rods/ geysers is avail- able. Fireplaces are an added attraction.

The meals are delicious and fresh. A lot of ingredients come from the little bit of farming that is done on the Estate. We still remember their incredibly tender and sweet peas. Food can be served in the family bungalow's dining room, or can be sent, well packed, to your cottage



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