TestimonialsA peaceful and Tranquil Getaway
A highly recommended getaway from the city's fast paced rat race.Mohit's Magpie Cottage gives beautiful experience living in the midst of a forest. The place is extremely serene. Magpie cottage is surrounded by picturesque trees and on the front is the Sona River. The sound of flowing river can be heard inside the room. I stayed for one night, in the first floor cottage. The cottages are superbly equipped with everything you could need and in pristine condition. Being a Birder, Wildlife and Nature lover, always admire the collection of Mohit's Birding and Wildlife related artifacts. Also, got to see Salim Ali's Book on Indian Birds.
The silence and beauty of this place is amazing. The location is perfect for those who like solitude and wilderness. The food was very nice, home cooked meals .A very big thank you for a wonderful stay in your beautiful cottage. You are always very welcoming and nothing is too much trouble. All being well we hope to see you soon.
The cozy little Magpie cottage at Sonanadi is a delightful place to be for a weekend getaway. The cottage is very well maintained, nice, clean and cozy. There is a stream that flows next to the cottage and the view around is just mesmerising. We went there in August during monsoons and we were enjoying chai pakodas while watching the rain - which is my idea of a perfect relaxed weekend :) At night the trees around the cottage were lit up like Christmas trees as they were full of fireflies. One could take a walk/drive on the road around the cottage which goes through some beautiful forest patches. We were a group of birdwatchers and Magpie Cottage at Sonanadi is the perfect place to stay if you wish to explore the forests of Sonandi Sanctuary. One morning and one evening birding session got us some good species like the Dollarbird, Common Green Magpie, Crested Kingfishers, Pin tailed Green Pigeons, Nuthatches and Warblers....
Sudeshna DeyMagpie Cottage: A memorable experience (23rd - 25th March 2016)
I chanced upon Magpie cottage while looking for a last minute reservation at a place amidst nature where I could do a bit a birdwatching and my brother in law could have some quiet moment to come to terms with the recent demise of his mother. Mohit suggested we try this place, and I agreed without much thought or expectation. The direction, to carry all grocery items right up to tea, coffee and salt, sounded intriguing. We started late, and instead of reaching Kotdwara around 10 AM as originally planned, we reached there around 7 pm. Kotdwara is familiar territory for me. So is Dugadda, 13 kms ahead towards Lansdowne. The next 23 kms to Magpie Cottage (11 kms to Sendikhal and 12 kms thereafter) was unfamiliar zone and we drove at night with the expectation of seeing a tiger or a leopard crossing the road. Nothing of the sort happened until we were signalled by Ahmed, who was waiting patiently for half an hour, to drive off the road, into the gate. The accommodation, with three bed rooms, one large living/dining area and a sit-out balcony, and the level of maintenance and cleanliness far exceeded what we expected. I was delighted with the clean sheets, toilets and running hot water. Mohit had warned us, carry your groceries and vegetables. You may cook yourselves, or ask the caretaker for help. We did discuss a lot of menu options and planned items that each of us would cook. But at 9 pm, my first attempt was to check with Ahmed if he could make some tea, and some simple dal, chawal, sabji. In the next half an hour, and in the next two days, we had several revelations that this guy, Ahmed, was a game changer. He'd make awesome tea and coffee, cook amazing meals and set the table and serve them as if he was trained by a hotel management institute. Perhaps he is and I underestimated him. I woke up to enthusiastic chirping of Himalayan Bulbuls, red-vented bulbuls, oriental white-eyes, and one long-tailed shrike. Stepping out to see the avian guest at dawn, I saw a couple of spotted forktails, and one crested serpent eagle. All in the garden of Magpie Cottage! What a start to the day! It continued with some smartly packed bread and snacks with coffee that we carried to a trip in the in the jungle (where we saw about fifty Khalij Pheasants in different groups). Lunch and dinner were again worth commending. Trips to Mundia Pani, Haldu padau (gate into Corbett National Park) are worthwhile. Evening in the balcony with a glorious full moon in the sky was something that goes beyond words. We switched the lights off and sat there for hours. That was when the real charm of the place seeped in and the desire to visit again set in strongly. A must visit place.
Tapas MisraI'm sorry for the delayed response, but........ have been crazily busy! So, here goes..... On Mohit's invitation, at a whim, I decided to visit the Magpie Cottage which was a comfortable 6 hours drive from Delhi in July last year. Nestled among trees, though it was just a few yards off the main road in Dhautiyal, it was invisible from the top due to the thick growth of Bamboo behind the house. The cottage that has 4 rooms is well furnished in cosy way - its a home away from home. The stay at Magpie Cottage which is located in an 'off the normal' tourist circuit place, also meant that one got an exclusive cook to make your meals. One picked up all the raw materials for what you want to eat while at the cottage, en route and the cook there makes it into tasty and fulfilling meals 'just the way you want it'! I really enjoyed that since I am sick of 'hotel' food when I travel. A comfortable bed, clean linen, nice crockery and cutlery made things extra special! From a birding point of view, which is what I had gone there for, one gets the hills, the river and the grassland - all providing the perfect habitat for a wide diversity of birds. At one moment you could be sitting and sipping a cuppa tea on garden chairs in the verandah, the next rushing to get the camera into focus to catch the crimson sunbird and the black-chinned warbler, both so close that one has to move back to focus and take a click. You could soon also walk down to the river bed looking for waders and the water-birds....Being on the outskirts of the Jim Corbett Park, all the common Himalayan birds were a plenty! One day can be spent just walking around near the property, by the river bank, on the road and the woods across the river. Then one can spend a couple more driving to places a few miles away - I really enjoyed my birding - about 6 lifers!! I need to go back again at a more suitable time of the year for birding and photography! Thanks Mohit for a lovely experience, I'm definitely coming back some day soon!
SavithriThe Magpie Cottage, home away from home
The property, Magpie Cottage, was a beautiful home, away from home. the location was awesome - amidst dense forest, and on the banks of the Sonanadi river. The setting was extremely pretty.
The cottage was tastefully furnished and extremely spacious.
Last but not the least, the staff - Hemant and his son was extremely polite and helpful. Very nice people, typical of our hills.
We loved our stay there and will surely return very soon.
Awesome location, great property, daily baths in the river, exciting hikes in the jungle, and sumptuous food cooked by Hemant - would sum up our trip!!
No resort / hotel can come even close to offering such an experience.