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Beat the heat with a workation in the Himalayas

With remote working the norm, there’s no reason to be confined to your desk all day. Work from Mountains, a new homegrown tourism initiative, will help move your workstation to a cosy cottage getaway in the hills where pristine rivers, orchards and pine trees can provide some fresh inspiration.

Over the past year, the pandemic has reshaped the way we work. With social distancing now the norm, we’re no longer bound to traditional office spaces. But if you’re beginning to find your daily routine of heading from your bed to your study or workstation tedious, it’s time for a change of scenery. 

(Photo: Courtesy Work from Mountains)

Work from Mountains is a new initiative that will help organise the perfect workation in the Himalayas. They currently have 12 cottages across the region that are available on both a short-term and long-term basis. Start your day fuelled by crisp mountain air, instead of your usual cup of coffee, and when you’re done, unwind with a stroll through nature and take in the gorgeous views. Each property is equipped with basic amenities as well as access to WiFi, broadband or 4G connectivity. While internet access varies across each home, Work from Mountains will help you select a property best suited to your needs. 

The initiative came about as a way to help locals sustain themselves after tourism in the region took a nosedive due to the pandemic, say founders Prashant Mathawan and Panki Sood, who also call the mountains home. The latter has worked as a lecturer of tourism at Kullu College in Himachal Pradesh and has led several sustainable ecotourism initiatives across Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Sikkim. “We are trying to set up at least some amount of revenue generation for them so some of their financial obligations can be met. Many people are dependent on these [tourism] facilities for permanent and temporary employment. In the absence of these, people have no option but to move down to the cities. But if some limited tourism starts in the mountains, at least some of them can garner some employment at home or close to home,” they explain. While setting up each property, Work from Mountains also held workshops to educate locals on best practises and COVID-safety protocol. While they’re happy to accommodate your needs, they encourage guests to be mindful of the impact of their visit. 

Here are some properties that caught our eye.

Indrasan Cottage

This two-bedroom cottage is set amidst a one-acre orchard in Kullu’s Pah Valley. It’s well-equipped and can accommodate a small family, plus pets. There are also plenty of spots to go hiking, trekking and birding around the property. 

Brown Dipper House

A quick pulley ride will take you to this five-bedroom home on the banks of the Tirthan river in Himachal Pradesh. Its location on the fringes of the Great Himalayan National Park makes it perfect to reconnect with nature. The area is known for its abundant species of birds, plus you can go trekking in the park or angling for trout in the river. The property comes with a laundry service and meals are available on request.

Pangot

This serene nature lodge is situated in the Naina Devi Bird Sanctuary at Pangot, close to Nainital. The property offers a choice of cosy wooden cottages and individual rooms. What really cinches the deal is the stunning views of the Kumaon hills.

For more information, visit travelthehimalayas.com