High in the Buddhist Kingdom of Sikkim, at the heart of India’s Eastern Himalayas, Shakti Himalaya launches Hatti Dhunga ready for 2018. A new addition to Shakti’s collection of Village Houses, Hatti Dhunga, is an authentic three-bedroom wooden house, carefully redesigned by Shakti Himalaya. This new home will be a key stop on the Shakti Sikkim signature village walk itineraries for the 2018 season, opening up this magical part of India.
Set above Rinchenpong in West Sikkim, Hatti Dhunga is more than 70 years old; a traditional wooden two-tier home that has been passed through three generations of the same family. The house is set in a tiered garden, with uninterrupted views down the valley looking over untouched and uniquely diverse West Sikkim.
Under the gentle hands of the Shakti Himalaya team, the house has been re-designed. Upstairs are two ensuite bedrooms connected by a wide veranda; downstairs is home to the third bedroom and cosy living room.
All furniture has been made on-site by local carpenters, while brass and weaved baskets also come from local craftsmen, creating an unmistakable sense of place. The original teak flooring and details of traditional IGRA bamboo walls have been preserved. The house is warmed by Bokharis (traditional wood burning stoves) and local Radhi rugs, while tribal motif fabrics, Khadi Himalayan textiles and locally designed bamboo lighting offer authenticity.
There is an impressive open kitchen for watching Shakti’s chefs work their magic, and the house has its own cows for fresh milk, a kitchen with local oven for warming the Indin breads and garden for local vegetables and herbs, and plenty of interesting flora and fauna in the grounds.
Guests staying at Hatti Dhunga can enjoy sundowners on the lawn, warmed by a fire pit beneath incredible skies; after dark, this is a prime position for some of the best star-gazing imaginable. In the morning, rise early to hike to the top of the nearest mountain, for unbeatable views of Kanchenjunga, the world’s third highest mountain at 8,598m, and 360 views of the range as prayer flags flutter in the breeze.
Village walks are at the heart of any Shakti experience, enabling travellers to enjoy the villages and rural life in remote mountain regions. Accompanied by local porters and guides, travellers step out of the modern world, walk between remote villages and stay in traditional village houses all of which, like Hatti Dhunga, provide proper comfort without compromising on authenticity. Shakti will arrange visits to local schools, monasteries and markets to enable guests to get a full understanding of the culture of each region, its people, religion and customs. Providing authentic experiences of local life, the walks are the perfect antidote to the frenetic world that most live in.
5 nights at Shakti Sikkim (Seasons run from 1 October – 20 April each year) costs from USD$ 3,832 / £2,927 per person, based on two travelling. This includes private accommodation in village houses on a fully inclusive basis including all meals and beverages, activities, an accompanying English speaking guide, private chef, support guide and porters, car at disposal and taxes and return transfers between Darjeeling, Gangtok, Bagdogra and from village houses. Flights are not included. www.shaktihimalaya.com | firstname.lastname@example.org