Set within the magical foothills of the Himalayas, in the enchanting Kasar Devi region, is a uniquely crafted eco-sanctuary, otherwise known as The Kumaon. A stunning fusion of bamboo and glass, this unusual structure has been masterfully crafted to complement the surrounding landscape which has captivated and inspired pilgrims, artists and scholars alike, such as Swami Vivekananda, DH Lawrence and Bob Dylan, for centuries.
The genesis of The Kumaon can largely be attributed to Dr. Vikrom Mathur, co-founder of this unique hideaway. Dr. Mathur’s love for the region, and his special relationship with its people, hails back to his childhood. With over twenty years of experience and research at the interface of technology, society and climate change, Dr. Mathur is committed to the path towards creating impactful revolution. And that is precisely what he has achieved with this feat of modern architecture and sustainability.
It is true to say that Dr. Mathur is passionate about the preservation of the region’s ecology, along with the culture and livelihoods of local communities of the Kasar Devi. Rich in biodiversity and home to the elusive leopard, giant flying squirrels and many more incredible species, this majestic kingdom provides the ultimate backdrop for The Kumaon, where one can enjoy the experience of total immersion in nature.
Enlisting the expertise of acclaimed Sri Lankan architects Pradeep Kodikara and Jineshi Samaraweera, who were responsible for the unique minimalist design, Dr. Mathur ensured this outstanding property perfectly complemented its landscape.
At the heart of the journey at The Kumaon is its design ethos that reflects elegance in simplicity.
Utilising locally sourced materials, along with traditional skills and techniques, the resulting masterpiece has been created with total respect to its environment and community. Over the years, his vision with The Kumaon and sincere efforts to develop the region have inspired visiting guests and the local communities alike.
The creation of The Kumaon was two years in the making, and wasn’t without its challenges. The area was not accessible to vehicles, yet despite the initial constraints, its evolution became a source of empowerment for many locals, who not only worked on the construction site, but continue to be a part of the hospitable team today. Offering 10 luxury chalets, each named after a different village of the Kumaoni region, and featuring large picture windows to take in the breathtaking views, log burners and calm neutral tones, The Kumaon is the ideal retreat to recharge and soak up this sacred land, rich in culture and history.
Using The Kumaon as a ‘base camp’, guests can take advantage of this picturesque extraordinary environment. With tailor-made walks and trails, there are ample opportunities to truly immerse oneself in this beautiful, uncharted landscape, whilst connecting with the natural heritage and cultural history of the Kumaoni region. It is not necessary, however, to step foot outside of this 2 acre paradise, should you choose not to. Retreat to the indulgent spa for a luxurious pampering treatment or enjoy some of the delicious local delicacies at the sky-high cantilevered restaurant offering a culinary experience second to none. There are ample spaces available to disconnect from the stresses of life and get tuned into the bliss and serenity of this idyllic sanctuary. Dr. Mathur himself is most likely to be found in the library,
It is a tranquil spot equipped with a fireplace and a handpicked collection of books about culture, ecology, biodiversity and beyond.
The Kumaon is everything you could desire from a modern retreat carefully engineered in perfect harmony with both man and nature. If you came seeking Nirvana, you most certainly found it. Namaste.
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