The Englishness in Manali's Nalagarh House

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You can be forgiven for believing you have entered the home of an English squire when you step into the tres chic drawing room at Nalagarh House. And you wouldn’t be that far from the truth, owned as it is by Vijayendra Singh, scion of the erstwhile Nalagarh State. A beautiful wood and stone fireplace crowned by a large gilt-edged mirror, blue pottery on the mantle, silken wallpaper, and roomy armchairs dressed in cheery blue and white chintz instantly set the tone for your vacation.

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The formal dining room is a few steps up and beyond the sitting area, and comes with a sunny breakfast nook at one end. The state of the art kitchen is where you can choose to unleash your culinary creativity if you so desire; else, a cook is available for you at a nominal daily charge. All three bedrooms, equally well-appointed, are spacious, airy and well-lit by natural light courtesy large picture windows looking out at an alpine skyline back-dropped by snow-clad mountains.

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The adjoining two-bedroom outhouse, shrouded in verdure, is a tad less plush yet cheerful, airy, and gets a fair share of spectacular views to boot. The shared garden is large, verdant and an explosion of colour, especially from spring through summer when the rose bushes are rife with flowers. The very gracious Poonam Singh, your host, is just a shout away in the cottage next door should the need arise.  In the event you may require more rooms than available at the time of intended visit, they may be able to rustle up an extra or two in other cottages in the vicinity.

Puneet Sidhu
Puneetinder Kaur Sidhu, travel enthusiast and the author of Adrift: A junket junkie in Europe is the youngest of four siblings born into an aristocratic family of Punjab. Dogged in her resistance to conform, and with parental pressure easing sufficiently over the years, she had plenty of freedom of choice. And she chose travel.

She was born in Shimla, and spent her formative years at their home, Windsor Terrace, in Kasumpti while schooling at Convent of Jesus & Mary, Chelsea. The irrepressible wanderlust in her found her changing vocations midstream and she joined Singapore International Airlines to give wing to her passion. She has travelled extensively in Asia, North America, Australia, Europe, South Africa and SE Asia; simultaneously exploring the charms within India.

When she is not travelling, she is writing about it. Over the past decade or so, she has created an impressive writing repertoire for herself: as a columnist with Hindustan Times, as a book reviewer for The Tribune and as a contributor to travel magazines in India and overseas. Her work-in-progress, the documenting of colonial heritage along the Old Hindustan-Tibet Road, is an outcome of her long-standing romance with the Himalayas.

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