-contributed by Shuvadip Som (member of facebook group Birds and Birders)
It was early morning and I had checked in a resort in Binsar, just an evening earlier and I was too tired after traveling the zigzag 120 kms from Kathgodam. The fast and continuous tap-tap-tap sound woke me up. Took a look outside my window and saw this beauty. My camera was ready, shot immediately. Incidentally, this is my first bird Photography before brushing my teeth … Lol. And the best part this guy was just 9-10 metres away from me, see exact details below.
This surely is a destination to visit for any age group or for people with varied kind of interests. After bountiful of nature and birds in Jeolikote, you can head around for more natural or man-made wonders.
Nainital, Bhimtal, Sattal, Naukuchiatal and Mukteshwar are the nearest excursions from the town which are famous for their natural beauty along with the lakes making it amazingly picturesque. In addition to this they are also famous for some adventure activities like trekking, rock climbing, rappelling or some water sports.
Nature and wildlife enthusiasts? Pangot- Killbury sanctuary, Jim Corbett national park, Almora, Kausani, Ranikhet,Bageshwar and many more are the places of interest near Nainital. Then comes the pilgrimage destinations which is a must visit in Uttarakhand, known as Dev Bhoomi in itself. So, Jageshwar, Kaichi Dam, Hanumangarh, Pitoragarh, Rishikesh are all definetely worth a visit.
What refreshes your mind, body and soul? A laidback vacation? A walk in the nature? Sometime off with family and friends? Just a book and a coffee all by yourself? A good session of Yoga or meditation with fresh air and greenery around? If your definition and our solution of “peace & relaxation” are similar, we can create wonders together.
Camp Sparrow has what is required for a healthy lifestyle. Nature all around, plenty of sun and wind, calm countryside yet dense forests, no noise nor pollution of any sort, books to read and plenty of coffee,teas and beverages to sip on. In addition, its proximity to famous hill stations and adventure hubs around- Nainital, Almora, Bhimtal, Sattal, Kasardevi, Mukteshwar makes it irresistable.
You want to be a tourist but not stay in the touristy, over-crowded accommodations amidst too many other regular tourists, then Camp Sparrow- Jeolikote is the place for you. So, come and explore a place so admirable at a price so affordable! 🙂
Conversations with wise and knowledgeable people are always fruitful. In one such conversations, I came to know about this flower fondly known as “Simbhal” in the local language. It is found in plenty around the region.Ask any local person, they will point out the tree for you. It is a flower which is useful at every stage of its growth cycle. Initially, in the bud form it is of a great medicinal and nutritional value. It is of utmost beauty attracting many birds and bees for its nectar at the flowering stage. Then comes the fruits which are very much similar to ladies’ finger and used in local dishes.
This made me realize when such a flower can be of so much use at every stage of its lifecycle, how useful can our lives be. This one is just an example, wherein that’s how every element of nature is useful to another. Understanding this and living in total harmony with our environment is the key to sustainability. So,we are giving our possible best towards the cause, you too can be part of it. Experience our sustainable living and practices by staying at Camp Sparrow,Jeolikote-Nainital, or even by taking part in our frequent workshops.
Lifestyle in cities these days are mundane and routine. Even while people look for something different all they end up doing is party or eat something unhealthy. Why don’t you try something out of the box, get out of comfort zones, get adventurous, seek out and learn new skills.
Camp Sparrow believes in basic, raw and natural kind of lifestyle. Pull yourself out of comfort zones,feel the dramatic conditions of the mountains by choosing to stay in the tents. Earthbag houses give out a feel of raw and natural with all the basic amenities yet not losing out on comfort levels. New skills can be acquired by bird watching and taking up nature walks to connect to the nature. Food we serve is freshly cooked and basic with a hint of local cuisine. So, Camp Sparrow neither burns a hole in your pocket nor on your appetite. Try the place so admirable with prices so affordable.
Waterbodies in the mountains are always scenic. May it be a stream flowing or a lake that is calm and still. They are like add on accessories to the existing beauty of the place. While you are in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand, it is a must to visit these Lakes or so called “tals”. Nainital, Bhimtal, Sattal, Naukuchiatal and Krupatal are all within a proximity to each other. Lakes and rivers have always attracted birds, wildlife and civilizations alike. They are one of the major reasons these areas are rich in bird life too. This has led to flocking of birdwatchers and photographers in numbers. Jeolikote Is one such town which has a stream of its own flowing through in addition to being in proximity with these lakes. Jeolikote is in a seclusion yet rich in civilization and nature going hand in hand!!
Thoughts of countryside, people working on farms, fetching water, good air, good food must brighten up your day isn’t it? Villages, that too in and around the forests and mountains are something way more beautiful than those on plains. They aren’t just picturesque but also reflect a healthy and coordinated living. Camp Sparrow gives you an opportunity to witness and experience such a lifestyle along with trying your hands-on organic farming. We have our own small farm in the premises of camp, peach and pear orchards in the backyard and happy vibes everywhere. We also organize nature walks in and around Jeolikote which go through villages, their farms along with some beautiful landscapes. This introduces you to the local authentic food, organic farming at variated altitudes. This way we encourage people to live healthy, eat healthy and travel happy.
We all love travelling which makes one feel good. Have we ever given a thought about the harm we are causing to the nature in the name of travel? More number of low-cost carrier planes has increased the emission of carbon dioxide, use of artificial conditioning has increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Untreated sewage water entering our oceans are polluting them further and the list continues! All of these are in turn effecting our own health!!
What can we do about these? Do we just stop experiencing new things? The answer is not to stop traveling but to travel mindfully.
Camp sparrow facilitate such responsible travel and stay. Our Earthbaghouses are made of bags filled with earth which are naturally insulating hence we do not use artificial conditioning of any sort. Garbage or waste disposal becomes a manure to the trees around, also we avoid almost everything that’s not natural. In addittion,our guests get a very earthy, country feel with the stay and homely appetite with homecooked meals. By choosing such properties you are contributing towards conservation. So, let’s take a pledge to start travelling responsibly and mindfully by reducing our effects on nature to the least!
Birding is a form of connecting to the nature. Watching birds in their habitat, their feeding habits and behaviours are so delightful. Their way of living is an example for us to learn from. They are great builders, amazing parents, but all these in a total harmony with the environment . Not a single thing they do harms nature. When done in the right ways , birding can be is an act of conservation in itself . We watch, we learn, we adapt,we do not disturb (birds or nature)- that’s how exactly the birding is done! Happy birding!!
Jeolikote is least explored and exploited destination at such a proximity to the major cities like Delhi. It is a perfect summer and weekend getaway for people of all ages. As the springtime is around the corner, plan your summer vacations quick. Live in Nature of Jeolikote and also tour around places like Nainital, Bhimtal and Pangot at a day’s excursion. Come explore a new destination- Jeolikote and pick up a new Passion- Birding with a cause of conservation!