Chanch- Come Back Richer
Tucked away in a serene corner of the Himalayas in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, Chanch is a little haven for anyone wishing to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Located in the Kumaon region, this is a sight for the city tired, sore eyes. The little village of Chanch is home to only a few hundred people but abundant natural beauty, both flora and fauna. There isn’t much human inference around, and one can sit and enjoy the planet, as nature intended us to.
Few destinations in India promise of a completely refreshing vacation, and Chanch is one among them. It is a small village perched amidst the quietness of hills in the district of Almora. Once the journey up the hill starts from Ramnagar through Jim Corbett National Park, it immediately awakens the adventurer inside you.The village of Chanch is about 2 hours scenic drive from the extraordinary Jim Corbett National Park and one can make a day trip to the park, if one can manage to tear oneself away from the beauty that lies within the village.
One of the best parts about Chanch is its relatively small population of about 300 people who’re ever willing to guide you around the best spots in the Himalayan foothils. And if you’re a foodie, you’re bound to find here different yet all amusing flavors. The homestays offer great deals on weekend and longer stays. You can camp all night around a bonfine, and hike, trek, climb the mountains, go for a walk in the wilderness or go bird watching or looking for tigers at the Jim Corbett National park. The homestays are prepared for most sort of climbing and hiking equipment you might need, but if you have something specific in mind, it is best to go prepared. Cool and misty in the morning, pleasantly warm in the noon, then the evening breeze sets in.Make sure to bring extra clothes though, for both summery and cold weather, shoes, and plenty of socks, as the weather can change unpredictably, accompanied with precipitation. Even though the village is equipped with a basic dispensary, it’s best to bring your own first aid kit as well.
The village boasts of producing engineers, doctors, lawyers, writers, teachers and businessmen, but the village itself is like a beautifully restore simple house on a hilltop with a tempting trail leading to a forest. Small, quaint, and delightfully footfall free. The town feels straight out of a Ruskin Bond novel. The only things that will invade your privacy are little puppies or the occasional wild cub or two that ventures your way.
Some adventures lay beyond the trodden paths of popular claims, made of discoveries new and roads not tamed, and the village of Chanch will give you just that. And you can take a detour anywhere your heart says so, and end up at a place probably never explored before. No traffic, no honking, no WiFi, no network, no mail, no calls, no mall and nothing to shop. Wake up to a morning as fresh as a dewdrop, and sleep off to a night as beautiful as your fondest dream. Things you won’t find at Chanch are people and the luxury of a five star meal. What you will find is inner peace and calm and the comfort of a hearty, home cooked meal from a villager. You just have to do your bit and get there. Nature will take care of the rest.
- Picture Courtesy Jagadish Sharma
Chanch is a village in Molekhal tehsil of Almora district in Uttarakhand. About 180 km from Almora, the easiest means of access is via road from the district headquarter of Almora or Ramnagar. Almora is easily accessible from New Delhi by road and rail, and also by the Pant Nagar airport, about 4 hours outside of Almora. You can also make the direct drive of 333 kms from New Delhi to Chanch directly.
Boarding: Chanch, a small village has some delightful home stays, namely, the Mir Bahay home stay, a bungalow owned by a Delhi based couple. There’s another, named Naïve roads of India, run in collaboration with an NGO that goes by the same name. The place consists of mud huts and wooden cottages and gives off a very serene, offbeat feel. There are also some three and four-star hotels in a 50 kms radius from the village of Chanch with tariffs starting at Rs. 2000 onwards.