The Goat Village in Nag tibba, Uttarakhand is a unique farm retreat where one gets to experience Garhwali village lifestyle, right in the lap of the Himalayas. Agritourism and Village Tourism in Himalayas is a fantastic way to learn and explore the culture and rustic way of life. Eat the traditional indigenous farm fresh homegrown food, graze and milk the goats, eat country eggs from the in-house poultry, walk with the shepherds and villagers into the jungles to learn interesting life-hacks, read in the most peaceful surroundings, dirty your hands with farming, hike on serene trails, get tech-detoxed, or simply do nothing and chill.
The Goat Village is located at the height of 2000m / 6500ft, the midpoint of the famous trek route to Nag tibba at 3022m / 10000ft. The Goat Village is a 2-3 hours hike from the road at Pantwari village (4 hours drive from Dehradun). Since it remains cut-off from the road and other hustles-bustles, it is one of the most peaceful locations to stay. After a hike up to The Goat Village, when I looked around, I found myself surrounded with layered mountains on all sides. The way the landscape changes from dry mountains to dense green with the snow-covered peaks peeking on the top, delighted me completely.
I first stepped into the cafeteria and was dumbstruck with the beauty of it. It was a completely transparent glass house. In the centre, plants and vegetables were grown under the greenhouse effect. These fresh grown leaves and vegetables are used for cooking and it gave a very beautiful look to the cafeteria too.
This corner captures everyone's attention in the cafeteria. After the hike, this bed literally invited me to rest there. It was my favourite corner to have my morning tea, watch the sunset and gaze the stars in the night.
I was walked to my room made of local stones, mud and wood as per the ancient Garhwali earthquake-proof architecture. The window seat in my room was a pleasant surprise. Most of the times I dozed off there while star gazing in the night.
The bathroom is furnished with modern-style and hot water is available only once a day either in the morning or in the evening from the solar water heater near the cafeteria.
The only source of light in the rooms is the natural light from the rooftop, designed as per the traditional hack. Candles, lanterns and solar lights serve the purpose in the night. The property doesn't have any electrical connections to encourage ecotourism.
The cottages are built on a farm land and every piece of land is utilised to grow vegetables, fruits and grains. I enjoyed plucking fresh spinach grown right outside my room.
How I spent my days at The Goat Village:
I went to the farms with the Garhwali women to pluck green peas.
Ever since I quit my job and am living in the mountains, I've had the pleasure of having fresh green peas from the farms. I was lucky to be in Bir (Mar-June), Spiti (July-August) and Nag tibba (November) during their respective green peas harvest season. I enjoyed sweet, fresh green peas straight from the farms or in every dish I cooked.
Yes, I did. I've never read any book in my entire life, not even my course text books! I was shocked, how the serenity of this place forced me into reading. I picked up "Into the Wild" from the book shelf and spent hours reading in different locations. I was the only guest at the property during these days and literally had all the space to myself.
Made fresh teas for myself.
The die-hard lover of fresh tea that I am, I was spoilt for choice at The Goat Village. Each time I had a different variety of tea for me with the fresh leaves plucked from the farms - Lemon Grass tea, Mint tea, Tulsi tea, Lemon tea, Ginger Lemon Honey tea, and my recent favourite Chamomile tea.
Detoxed my body with indigenous Garhwali food.
I satisfied all my healthy taste buds by eating the indigenous Garhwali food from the organic farms. I over ate each time I was served with fresh spinach, pumpkin, green peas, local rajma, dal with local red rice and Mandua (finger millet) rotis. The chef there experimented Mandua sandwich for me! The freshness of the ingredients oozed out from each dish served to me. The water from the nearby stream is also rich in minerals and digestive enzymes, which helped me detoxify my body. The dinners are always candle lit!
Grazed the goats.
The Goat Village is rightly named after the abundant goats owned by the people in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand. The goat village has a goat farm and they are taken out for grazing everyday. One day I went out with the shepherds to spend time in the jungles with the goats.
Found country hen eggs.
This village kid along with others come to The Goat Village every Sunday to study from the staff. In return they are trained to work in the farms, take care of the goats and poultry. He helped me find a brown (desi) egg from the "Chick Inn".
The people at the goat village are trying to encourage the farmers by helping them sell their naturally grown produce at competitive rates, and also drawing the interest of village kids to farming. These efforts are in the direction of reverse migration of farmers who have already left their farms and stop the present farmers migrate to the cities.
Met Garhwali women in a shepherd's den (Chhaani).
I saw a lonely house perched on the top of a mountain, standing beautifully against the clear blue sky. I was intrigued by it and while i walked closer to it, an old Gahrwali woman invited me to her place for tea. She ended up serving lunch to me which she made from the lentils that were kept for drying in the sun, fresh green peas and chillies from the farms. She also gave me some walnuts to munch on. Organic farm fresh food is something I can't say no to!
Yoga with the rising sun.
It was a pure bliss to experience Yoga with the rising sun in the Himalayas. The goat village gave me perfect ambiance to feel the inner peace.
Trek to Nag tibba.
The Goat Village (6500ft/2000m) is midway on the trek route to Nag tibba, so half of my job was already done. I took a 4km day hike to Nag tibba (10000ft/3022m) from the goat village. It was a beautiful trail through densely covered SilverOak trees. I got to see snow covered Himalayan Range from the top.
Fresh water to drink, fresh air to breath and farm fresh organic food to eat - these are my weaknesses and I was satisfied with all this and much more in abundance at The Goat Village.
The Goat Village, a bouquet of farm retreats and home stays managed by The Green People, is an initiative having multiple social dimensions. The Green People has partnered with locales across the state and managing them to create basic lifestyle experiences for visitors. Each cluster of these accommodation locations are engaged in Goat Farming and many other Agro practices to provide a better livelihood to the locals, and to give a firsthand experience to tourists in basics of Life Sciences.
P.S. : I was invited by The Goat Village to stay and experience the local way of life and the sustainable eco-systems, which provide alternate sources of income for village dwellers.
Namaste! I'm Medhavi Davda.
I travel to Evolve..
In Nature, I confide..
I find my calling in the Himalayas..
In the Oceans, I meditate..
A High-Altitude Trekker & PADI certified SCUBA Diver, I love exploring the heights and depths of the planet with my regular doses of mountains and oceans.
Discovering myself & life through nature, adventures, travels, sports and dance has been an addiction since my existence!
Quite fond of the natural & cultural diversity of India, I've travelled extensively in my own country before exploring international destinations.
I had left my 9+ yrs of career in Software Industry in a quest to make a living out of my passions. I packed my basics in my car (gave away the rest) and lived in different parts of Himachal Pradesh for 16 months. This invaluable time taught me to experience life from a broader perspective.
I'm currently living in Mumbai to work with an Adventure Travel company as a product manager for Scuba Diving. I continue living a minimalistic life.
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