How cold is cold – is winter a good time to visit our Himalayan homestay?

Well, we did survive! If that’s what you are asking. Frankly speaking, the winters of Noida are bad – smoggy, gloomy and sans sunlight.

In contrast, during our stay at Hartola through the entire winter this year, except for a couple of days when it was cloudy, the area had abundant sunshine, so much so that by afternoon we felt a little uncomfortable in the sun. Yes, once the sun set, it did get cold. But that’s why the room heaters and a good bottle of scotch are there for, right?

Even a couple of days before Christmas we had hosted guests who never complained about the cold. Undoubtedly, one would need heavy woollens in layers, without which one would feel the cold a great deal.

Our homestay has room heaters and electric blankets in the rooms which ensure that you are comfortable and cozy.

The fireplace in the living room makes it it romantically comfy and toasted.

And if you are in the mood for an outdoor bonfire, that too is arranged on advance notice as our caretaker has to procure it in advance to ensure a steady supply.

The benefits of the cold wintry evenings are many and one such benefit is surely the coal-fire barbecue that spices up the experience! We’ve been using an electric barbecue all this time but this year we decided to invest in a small coal barbecue. About our first time experience with the barbecue is for another day though.

What I really wish to convey is that despite the fact that the temperatures of Hartola can drop below 0°C, it’s far better that the gloomy winters of the plains. During the day, one can bask in the glorious warmth of the sun and in the evenings, the indoors are quite comfy and cosy. Well, that’s my experience. Even the wife agrees!

Having said that, you do need a layer (or several) of protection – cap, gloves, socks, thermal wear, thick sweater/jacket are a must. But if you are through and through a fan of the coastal climate then, of course, Hartola is not for you. A close friend who visited us in Hartola in May-June a couple of years back, complained about the cold!

Leaving you with a couple of images that capture the beauty of the place around our home in the winter. Enjoy and hope to see you here!

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