Category: Resorts

Fabulous Tented Accomodation : Chunka’s Camp, Hunder, Nubra Valley

Chunka's Camp, Nubra

Chunka’s Camp, #Nubra

Tucked in the Nubra Valley in Ladakh, Chunka’s Camp is a great budget accommodation. Clean, comfortable and warm, friendly staff, Chunka’s is a must stay.

Last week, me and my friends, did a 8 night/9 days trip in Ladakh. Now, if you’ve travelled Ladakh, you would know that its one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world. The scenery changes with every turn and leaves you speechless with its splendour. Along the journey in this region, you will come across, many small towns that are a story unto themselves. One such town is Nubra. About 5 hours away from the main city of #Leh, Nubra is an oasis paradise. With sand dunes, double hump camels and lots of greenery, Nubra is a sight for the sore eyes.
We left our hotel in Jispa (transit town enroute from Manali to Leh) early morning and reached Nubra around late noon with couple of stops in between for tea breaks etc. It was a long journey and we were quite tired. All we were hoping for, was good accommodation and hot food! We had gone through series of experiences (some not so good), so we werent sure.
My first impression of Nubra valley, as we entered, was that of awe – a tiny, pretty oasis in the middle of the cold desert, Ladakh. Wow. Soon enough, we are down from the mountains and into the valley, where we stopped at our camp. The camp was well known in the vicinity, so locating it wasn’t an issue. Mobile networks dont work in most of Ladakh, so you have to rely on local guides and tips.
The stunning Nubra valley
Double hump back Camel rides at Nubra

Double hump back Camel rides at Nubra

As soon as we entered the Camp, the staff was ready and waiting for us. They quickly allocated our tents to us, which I have to say, were very nice (not the rickety type tents). These were built on cemented platforms, had proper wooden beds, thick beddings and an attached bathroom! I was quite impressed at the detailing including the extra blankets provided because Nubra can get really cold in the night.
We ordered for tea and it came quite fast and helped us stick to our schedule of checking out the sand dunes and camel safari. We spent a good amount of time at the Dunes and returned to the camp. The Camp staff had dinner ready (mostly Indian cuisine as we had requested) and the desset, a local Indian delicacy made of rice and milk called “Kheer” was awesome.  With a happy stomach, we carried on with our chatter and finally dozed off in the warm, comfortable beds. Most tented accomodations in such areas, dont provide wooden beds and thats really uncomfortable, so the wooden beds were definite contributors in us sleeping well.
Tented accomodation with wooden beds

Tented accomodation with wooden beds

Central dining room

Central dining room

Camp grounds, sit out for tea, coffee

Camp grounds, sit out for tea, coffee

At our request (we had to head onwards), we got breakfast and tea at 7.00 am sharp – all ready and tabled. A mix of cornflakes for health concious and aloo parathas for ones like me, who have to have a palate satisfying meal 😀 (aloo parathas are an Indian food item with potato and lots of frying)
Everything was perfect, except the fact, that you get hot water in a bucket  (so you have to wait a bit) and there is no network because of the region. You will have to get a BSNL number if you want calls/ data (BSNL is a government owned, telecom operator and the only operator in the region due to security reasons – Ladakh shares boundary with China)
Overall, its a great place to stay and its pocket-friendly too. You can get a tent with meals at about Rs 1000 to 1500 or even lesser, if you book in advance or negotiate. We stayed just one night but I would recommend staying in Nubra at least two nights. There’s a lot to see, its definitely a photographer’s delight and with camel riding and adventure sports, you can spend 2 to 3 days easily in this little paradise. Camp does not provide liquor, so you may need to carry your own (there are small shops in Nubra town but they may or may not have liquor)
My rating:
1. Location & scenery : 4.5/5
2. Camp aesthetics : 3.5 to 4/5
3. Service & staff quality : 4.5 /5
4. Food: 4/5
5. Accessibility (wifi, networks etc) : 2/5
Overall : 3.5 to 4/5
FYI : Chunka’s is on tripadvisor too and is easily reachable for bookings (via telephone).
I am definitely going back (with my book and songs playlist on the phone). Such bliss 😀
Keep traveling!
Cheers
Megha

Quick Review: The Writers Cottage, Ramgarh, Uttarakhand

Main Building

With spectacular views, the Writers Cottage is a delight and a must visit for those looking for a quiet, peaceful holiday.

Writers Cottage Room

Writers Cottage Balcony

The Writers Cottage by VResorts is not your typical hustle bustle holiday destination. Hinged on a hill, in the small town of Ramgarh in Uttarakhand, this humble, poignant cottage is a treat for those looking to enjoy serene, quiet surroundings of a hill station.

While the resort has four rooms overall, the Writers Cottage is by far, the best room/ cottage to stay in. The Cottage has one very large room and an attached bathroom. It’s set aside from the other building in the resort which has three rooms, a dining area and a patio which is quite nice too but my vote goes to the Writers Cottage which is quite spacious and offers undisturbed quality time to chill out and enjoy the landscape.

Dining area in main building

Main Building

Pic of another room in main building

Rabindranath Tagore

Seating area in main building

View from balcony Writers Cottage

In addition to the spacious room, the Writers Cottage has an unparalleled view of the mountain range from its balcony. It’s a view to die for and will make you want to stay in the balcony all day long. In the night, the blinking lights of the local town will make you feel like you are walking among the stars – what an amazing feeling. The silence of the night will echo in your mind, mildly interrupted by jungle crickets making noise ever so often. Just perfect.

It’s fair enough to say that the resort folks are also committed to you enjoying your space and me time. Service and food is excellent (veg & non-veg) and only provided when you ring the bell to ask for it. Not the modern, electronic jarring bell, just the simple hand bell that you find in temples and monasteries which you ring from the balcony of your room and the resort guy comes sprinting around. Loved the bell concept – a minor detail but so appreciated. Meals at the resort are in main dining hall (of the other building) but tea/ coffee is served in rooms if required. The resort folks also happily make an exception if you are traveling with someone who needs extra care.

Although the cottage and its views are good enough to hold you captive all day long, you can also choose to take a stroll around the resort. The resort has its own plum and apricot orchard and you can pick a few to carry home. You might also bump into a few monkeys on the trees but they are interested in the plums, so no need to worry. Of course, the Cottage has a nice big television but these holidays are best spent without any electronic interference.

Apart from its spectacular views, which you will see in the pictures below, the Writers Cottage holds yet another golden feather in its cap – the Cottage is a heritage cottage and a living tribute to Rabindranath Tagore, Nobel Laureate and India’s most famous Poet. Apparently, Gurudev, as he was widely known, used to stay in the Cottage often and also penned lines for his poem “Shishu” here. (Shishu means baby). Close by to the resort, is also the spot, where he spent hours in the company of nature and wrote his poems. Wow and not sure why I hadn’t heard of it before.

PS: For those not too familiar with India’s literary heritage, Guru Rabindranath Tagore (1861 – 1941) was a Bengali polymath who reshaped Bengali literature and music, as well as Indian art with Contextual Modernism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. A Nobel Laureate, Rabindranath Tagore or Gurudev as he was widely known, was most famous as a poet and penned many popular poems such as Manasi, Sonar Tari and Gitanjali among others. Besides these, he wrote musical dramas, dance dramas, essays, travel diaries, and two autobiographies, one in his middle years and the other shortly before his death in 1941. Tagore also left numerous drawings and paintings, and songs for which he wrote the music himself.

Overall, the stay at the Cottage was great and I recommend it highly to everyone who wants to do the solo kind of holiday or with a partner /spouse. You can also come and stay with the family but I suggest it as a perfect destination for me-time. The Writer’s Cottage stay is INR 9000 per night inclusive of all meals. Tea and snacks are extra but not too expensive. You can book the Cottage in advance at Vresorts website (www.vresorts.in). The resort chain has a fabulous range of over 50+ properties across 12 cities, so you may want to check out other properties when you have the time.  Twitter handle: @Vresortschain

Finally, the most important bit – the travel part. You can drive to the resort/Ramgarh in your own car or in a taxi (6.5 hours from Delhi via Nainital and Bhimtal) or take a train to Kathgodam, near Nainital and take a taxi to the resort. GPS works great and is pretty accurate. You can visit the resort website and see directions as well.

I’ve included quite a few pics, hope you enjoy them and do share your feedback :)

Keep traveling!

Cheers
Megha

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