Patlidun is a Kumaoni village (in the Himalayan state, Uttarakhand) sitting atop a ridge overlooking a narrow forested valley. The village is 33 km from Ramnagar, the rail head for Corbett National Park.
Neeraj Aggarwal, born and brought up in Ramnagar, the rail and road head to Corbett National Park, felt this need to go that extra mile and make travellers to his region want to return over and over again. He was moved by this spirit to create a real Kumaoni jungle experience just outside the protected forest.
He knew he needed to create jobs for his fellow locals, where they would proudly deploy their natural instincts of hospitality and handicrafts. His idea created entrepreneurs from the men and women of the village, bringing prosperity to a virtually unapproachable place.
All resorts have their entry on the road, and a tail that slithers down to the river Kosi. Enter Patlidun to relish the difference. First drop your car at the resort base parking at Mohan, get into an open four wheel drive, and say goodbye to roads and mobile signals as the jeep negotiates sharp turns on a narrow, near-vertical, rocky, and sometimes treacherous path, made even more exciting by the rivulets sculpted out by the last rains.
Each cottage has its own private backyard pool, strategically placed for maximum privacy. Lay out on poolside mattress benches, or better still, cosy up on a woven rope bed.
Nature Walks are led by experienced Naturalists and give you a taste of all the thrilling adventures the forest has to offer. The 3 hour Nature Walk takes you on a hike through thick jungle undergrowth, past icy-cold, gurgling brooks and under dangling creepers and vines.
At Patlidun, wild bush and shrubs grow with abandon. The raw beauty of nature finds its place. Sustainable building techniques ensure that electricity consumption is minimal. Used water and waste are recycled. It is so natural that elephants continue to pass through the property as if it was still part of the forest.
Every dish is crafted to perfection, with love. The same stuff, done differently and tastefully. Pickles are made in-house from herbal ingredients gathered on-site. The food is designed to be healthy, enticing, and sure to bring in repeat visits.
When Neeraj started building his forest retreat, he wanted to bring economic opportunity to his village. Arrival of the tourist rupee has resulted in Patlidun women forming a cooperative enterprise. Several locals found employment at the resort, the women found customers for their beautiful bags and lip smacking pickles.
EXPERIENCE THE NATURE
Treks, bird watching, safari drives and nature walks are in. Guides with local knowledge can make an extraordinary experience out of an ordinary walk in the woods. Learn to follow a paradise flycatcher to a tree with honey bee hives. Find herbs that forest denizens know, for cures to afflictions. There is so much to learn for eager learners with willing guides, so much to awaken and enthrall the naturally inquisitive mind.