I recently took off on a long-weekend road trip with Aman because the heat was frankly quite prematurely unbearable here in Delhi and the hills seemed like the right way to go. We had been graciously invited by Dyo – The Organic Village Resort in Mukteshwar and since neither of us had ever visited Mukteshwar, we packed our bags and sprung outta town!
Since we left early morning, we beat the Delhi traffic and reached Dyo in exactly 6 hours which included a small piss-break. On our drive to Mukteshwar we got extremely lucky with some really good weather because of snowfall up north – it was cloudy in Delhi and we caught up with rain on the way with gorgeously moody skies. Unfortunately that also meant that we were stuck with that weather all through our stay at Dyo as well – we even witnessed a hail storm one night and the next morning. Because of the sun being mostly absent, it got really chilly in the hills. But that also meant lush green mountains around us and beautiful skies and just general romance in the air.
Dyo – The Organic Village Resort, as its name suggests has established its own little village on a hill-top with its very own agriculture spaces around the resort that you can spend hours exploring. And the resort follows a farm-to-table concept where they serve up the lovely organic produce from their vast and fertile gardens in numerous cuisines so you never have to get bored or roll your eyes when the word ‘organic’ comes to mind. They have the Dyo Cafe on the 1st floor where all the meals are served – right from Mexican to Italian to Thai to Indian and especially the local Kumaoni cuisine that you must not miss at any cost. The Kumaoni Thali gives you a taste of authentic local cuisine which is very different from what I have ever tasted in North India.
The Kumaoni Thali
The resort has a total of 5 cottages on the ground floor with a huge garden out front that has views of the Kumaoni mountain range dotted with a few houses here and there and some terrace farming. You also have the option of taking a pleasant walk upto the sunset-view point to see the sun retire for the day behind the mountains. We unfortunately could not walk up to it because of the weather.
Another speciality that you must try is the teas that are served at Dyo. My favorite was the green-tea infused with lemongrass (yes the lemongrass is also their own). Lorri, the resident doggo will follow you everywhere you go (as long as you have food in your hand) but has some aversion to posing for photos (what can I say, he’s not an urban doggo and probably hasn’t yet discovered selfies). I had to spend a good 20 minutes laying in the grass with him till he finally agreed for a photo.
Needless to say, our stay at Dyo whizzed past real quick and it was such a treat to meet with Kanika, one of the 2 sisters who run the resort. We spent many meals talking about literally everything. She also made this really local dish called ‘Nimbu San Key’. It’s primarily made with the giant organic lemons from their gardens mixed with a few more things like banana, yogurt, etc (yes a weird combination but it tastes surprisingly fun). The dish is consumed by the locals during the winters when the sun comes out as an appetizer all by itself.
[ Dress: FabAlley ]
The night sky, lit up with lightning while it was hailing (see the white stuff on the grass, and some streaks of the hail falling)
Of-course, when it was our time to head back, the weather had ironically cleared up and it was bright and sunny. We were also able to spot some snow peaks in the distance while we were driving out of Mukteshwar.
The haze of the foothills visible from our drive.