Winters are blessed with snow. The landscape starts to transform into a winter wonderland with frost. Once the snow falls, the transformation gets completed. Everything looks pretty, covered in fresh white snow.
We, at Maini’s Hill Cottages, work on principles of natural farming, companion farming and with minimal disturbance to the nature. We believe in observing nature and learning from it.
About 39 KMs from our cottages is the small town of Devi-Dhura. It is famous for its cave temple dedicated to Maa Barahi and the famous fair held during the festival of Raksha-Bandhan. The route to the temple is through some beautiful forests and orchards.
About 9 KM from the cottages, deep inside a deodar forest, there is a beautiful ancient temple of Lord Vishnu. Dating a few thousand years, the temple is still hidden away from the regular tourists. Lord Vishnu is also considered the lord of water. Here in this temple region, two streams originate and merge to form river Padmavati (Panar), which later joins river Sarju.
Natadol is an unexplored region when it comes to birding. Dense forests, some amount of agricultural activities, fruit trees and scattered natural water springs, makes this an ideal location for the birds to thrive.
With the onset of spring season, flowers start to appear everywhere. Apart from the wild flowers, hills also get covered by blossoming fruit trees. These blossoms cover up the whole of the trees with almost no leaves visible.
With the onset of autumn or fall, as it is lovingly called, the trees all around us start to play with colors. The leaves turn yellow and go through various shades of reds and brown before falling on the ground.
With the onset of monsoons, the rainy season, Kumaon hills get dotted with small cascades and waterfalls. The gurgling clear water flowing over the rocks is a sight to enjoy.
White Dutch Clover is a wonderful cover crop that we use in our orchard. Apart from making the ground look green and beautiful it has its benefits. Ladybirds, which are also some of the most beautiful insects in nature also love to make these clover patches their homes. Various other insects also love these patches of white clover.
Himalayas have their own kind of wild fruits which are rarely found in other parts of India. These are not cultivated varieties but what nature has blessed the region with. Some of these fruits are quite common during early summers whereas for some others, it requires a bit of searching around. Take a walk in our garden and in the right season, these fruits can be found growing in plenty.
Kaphal / Box Myrtle / Bay-Berry
Summers brings with itself all the colors of mother nature. Leaves cover the trees, fruits start to form. The flowers start to blossom everywhere. Every nook and corner has different types of flowers peeking out.
Hills have their own charm when it comes to driving. Winding roads with their twists and turns are full of surprises. Sometimes there are deep valleys and tall mountains that can be seen and sometimes there are dense forests surrounding the road. If you enjoy driving, then go slow and soak yourself in the natural beauty of these hills.
With the onset of winters, frost starts to set in. Every night, the temperature goes below zero and on the following mornings, the nature shows itself in a wonderful way.
Himalayas consists of various ranges. Students of geography divide them into three major ranges. The lowest range is the one that is present in Kumaon region. For many others, Himalayas is synonymous with snow covered peaks of the other two ranges in the north. On a clear day, these snow covered peaks can be viewed from our cottages itself.
A short walk away from the cottages, there is a small temple. Nested on a hill top, the temple is dedicated to Saim Devta. Worshiped as one of the guardians of village, Saim Devta provides prosperity. Some of the local folk consider Saim to be an incarnation of Lord Shiva.
Lichens are a nature’s wonder. These are one of the oldest living things. Lichens are composite organisms that arises from algae or cyanobacteria living among filaments of multiple fungi in a symbiotic relationship. These are dependent on pure air for their survival and whenever any pollutants are present, these tend to absorb them and as a consequence die down.