The minute I heard the emerald waters of the Ganga gurgle beneath and the mountains stare me in the eye, I knew I was in love. At Atali Ganga, you don’t look out for nature. You’re with it all along.
A casual yet carefully laid out patio with a bonfire and conversation tables greets you with earnest. I say conversation tables because well, with a stunning view you can sit here all day and talk about anything under the sun. Or the starry night sky that lights up, a la fairy lights. Bet Van Gogh would make art out of this one.
What separates good retreats from the extra-ordinary is the attention to detail. From the way the staff greets you to the assortment of the menu, from the emphasis on safety while on an adventure to the use of natural materials in its cottages and architecture, from the classy, minimalist décor to the tapestry of flora around, Atali blends in luxurious authenticity with well-appointed amenities in the seclusion of the woods. Most would question if just 30 kms from Rishikesh a place so unique in entirety, exists.
Each of the the 22 cottages is named after obscure places, rapids, valleys and villages in the Himalayas making the stay that much more locally sensitised.
And just when this was magic no less, the activotel brings you a plethora of activities to boost your adrenaline. Clearly etched in my mind is the kayak session that was curated like no other. With an inflatable kayak, the effervescent Sunita, my instructor, led me through the rapids. While the freezing waters played hide and seek and the gentle breeze tapped my face, I embraced each moment knowing fully well that an experience so rustic and luxurious is a rarity. What followed was a swim in the Ganges and a steamy cup of chai over deer sightings right across the river bank. What’s more, I had the entire beach to myself to yoga it up. Truly, my own piece of heaven!
As a solo traveller looking to experience the pure and authentic, I consider the hike to Manjili village through the forest a rendezvous with the woods. As we made our way through it, Ravi, the naturalist stopped by to introduce the local flora interspersed with vivid facts. Picking out a seed of Ratti or the Crab’s eye, he went on to explain the origin of the Hindi idiom ‘Ratti bhar sona nahi’ and how it was used by jewellers long ago. Woah! I was amazed and intrigued at the same time. The team at Aquaterra adventures differentiates itself with unbound energy and knowledge of the surroundings. For those looking to add up to this, there’s rafting, biking, wall climbing and the high rope course. Enough to buck up your muscles to match with the Garhwalis!
And once you’ve given your muscles a spin, there’s a sumptuous Indian and continental spread. Gourmet gastronomy indeed!
Luxury at Atali Ganga is about teasing your imagination with never before experiences. It piques your own fancy and takes you to newer realms of sensory indulgence.
Some places need a description while there are others that are simply felt. Atali Ganga is a feeling, of warmth, consciousness, adventure, hope for nature and happiness for the soul. What have you if you haven’t atali-ed yet?