I have been to Mussoorie many times and like others I concluded that it is a mainstream noisy place! And then, I went on the Walnut Trail organized by JW Marriott Mussoorie Walnut Grove Resort and Spa! It completely changed my perception about places around Mussoorie. Not only they have a classy resort, they know how to curate amazing local experiences.
The first pleasant surprise for us came in the form of breakfast by the stream. The good folks at the resort took us out in the city and then asked us to descend to the stream below! And there it was; the grand setup! Not only they had dry and packaged stuff, they had live counters for parathas as well! And the chairs and the tables were placed in the stream! The water was cold and they had thoughtfully added a footrest at the tale, so we could keep our feet out! This was one experience I am not going to forget in a hurry!
Surprisingly, I noticed a walnut tree for the first time on this trail! And contrary to my expectations, walnuts are green when plucked out of a tree. They have a soft green outer cover that breaks if they are thrown to the ground! And this what we commonly see; the brown hard shell that comes out!
Interestingly we were also offered an opportunity to climb the tree. I did and it was so much fun to go up a tree after ages! The only difference- I did it with a harness in Brentwood Sanctuary in Mussoorie.
From the Brentwood Sanctuary we comfortably travelled on the Royal Enfield Bikes and reached the Bhatoli village. The agenda was to have walnut themed food in a local house. However, it was the corns hanging all over the village that stole my heart first! I never expected to see such a beautiful village just an hour away from Mussoorie. We entered a beautiful wooden house and feasted on makki ki roti, akhrot ki chutney and kheer.
JW Marriott Mussoorie has an organic farm within the premises which they can set up for lunch or dinner! It is right in the middle of a field overlooking the majestic Himalayas! The Italian cuisine tasted even better in this amazing setting.
Jabarkhet Nature Reserve is again about an hour’s distance from the resort. It is a privately managed nature reserve which provides for stunning views of the surrounding areas from the Flagtop Hill. On a clear day you can see higher Himalayan Ranges too.
I was mesmerized by the view of Bandar Punch that we witnessed from the hill top! Seemed like lady luck was shining on our side as we had an absolutely clear day to see the snowcapped ranges.
Walking around the trails in Jabarkhet is enormous fun and it is good for your lungs too! The air is so clean!
While coming back from the reserve we had an informal lunch at Char Dukan in Landour. Next to Char Dukan is the St Paul’s Church. Do check it out.
The best part about being on a walnut trail is that you get to binge on walnut cakes (do take note of the plural in cakes!) I literally lost count of the walnut cakes that I ate and in the end the only thing I remember is that I gained calories.
The baking class held in Sister’s Bazaar at the famous Prakash Brothers Store was a wonderful experience! A few minutes into the class and I realized that I was more interested in eating the cake rather than baking it! Who said I could not have my walnut cake and eat it too?
It was indeed amazing fun to explore the offbeat places near Mussoorie on the Walnut Trail with JW Marriott Mussoorie.