How to Travel Better in 2021: Restore and Reconnect

Rejuvenate by losing yourself in misty Himalayan valleys in Uttarakhand or majestic views of the Kanchenjunga in Deolo.


The peak-fringed hamlet of Chaukori
is a meditative retreat for those looking to escape the urban din. Photo By: ImagesOfIndia/Shutterstock

In a Chaukori State of Mind


My friends and I were crestfallen to see black billowy clouds over the dreamy KMVN rest house upon our arrival at Chaukori, a languidhamlet tucked amid lofty Kumaon Himalayas in Uttarakhand. Though it provided for a dramatic setting, we could not help but feeldisappointed since we had carefully chosen our stay at the KMVN rest house, situated in a bowl-shaped valley, solely for the wide vistasof the gorgeousNanda Devi, Nanda Kot and Panchchulimountain peaks. Risking getting caught in a storm we headed outto the nearbyforested area, and our travellers’ luck slowly turned. First the clouds dissipated to reveal the full arches of a double rainbow over averdant meadow. We were only taking in the magnificent sight when a local passerby excitedly indicated that we should look behind us.As we watched on, the dark clouds over the mountain ranges gradually parted and glistening snow peaks emerged in all their glory. Theelation we felt at the magic nature revealed to us that day, and the lesson on how quickly situations change on the road, has stayed onsince.

—Paloma Dutta


Chaukori is a 173-km drive from Nainital. The closest railhead is Kathgodam, at a distance of 180 km, and Pantnagar Airport is 205 km away. The author and her friends stayed at the KMVN rest house (, currently shut for tourists due to COVID-19, and tentatively set to reopen after March 2021. Doubles from Rs1500.


‘How to Travel Better in 2021’ is a comprehensive list of Indian destinations worth exploring in the coming year, and has been reported by the editors and contributing writers of National Geographic Traveller India. Read all the entries on our digital forum or new National Geographic Traveller India app here.  

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