Genesis of The Cottage

Arvind GoswamyOnce upon a time Kasol was a quiet little hamlet nestled in the lap of the mountains, dominated by the personality of Parvati, the river and the snow capped peak standing tall at the helm. It was a stunning piece of flat land that I discovered in my search 50 years ago ;a  22 year old young man in search of adventure and the thrill to own a piece of land in the mountains, grow an orchard and retire to nature someday. It was a young dream that had spirit and flight. It gave me the energy to do so many things which when I look back, can fill chapters of a memoir. I was a mariner, an officer sailing on the ships of Calcutta Port Trust ,and here I was buying land in Kasol, 2000kms away in days with no connectivity , less facilities and miles to walk before I could touch civilisation. It just added to the adventure I’d say. So this ‘mariner’ began anchoring his dream . With the help of a land tiller who later became the caretaker, and a few more men I started clearing the land .I can still smell the fresh earth mixed with the pines, laced with the crisp mountain air.

Every vacation I would sit on a rickety bus that would wind its way up to the nearest casbah from where I would walk to my orchard carrying plants and seeds and tools. I still remember the walk through shin deep snow, lugging apple plants loaded on mules, and me trudging alongwith my feet weighed by the weather, but  my head heady with the thrill. I remember the times when I had just started , lodging with a peasant family nearby .I lived and ate with them . The crooked old wooden structure still stands somewhere in the fields shyly against  the new slicker houses around it. I then got more familiar with the village folk and managed to lodge myself in the forest rest house , a posher place. Warmed every evening by a fire in my room and a chowkidar to take care of me. I would toil away at the land till one day came the apple blossoms.

But as time went by , I moved on in my career ,had more responsibilities and the trip from the east became hard and the orchard started getting neglected . I had to finally sell  it . I sadly  lost my dream . But In a small corner of my heart with a little flicker of hope alight, I reserved some land in Kasol to maybe build a cottage some day. A  place to retire in. Life went on . In villages land exchange is done through  ‘patwaris ‘ .The papers change hands. Many people who handled the paperwork came and left. I shifted from Calcutta to Chandigarh and had almost lost all traces of the land. But I had my documents as proof of ownership and the hope, to come back to my dream. After many years when my children who had by then grown up and had heard me narrate stories of Kasol ,seen me choke or hide a tear everytime I spoke, finally pushed for us to make a trip and find our land. So began the journey to find what we had lost. It took detailed meetings with the new patwari, tracing papers, searching for a piece of my land in totally changed scenario. Locating few villagers elders of those times with whose help we finally FOUND it!

The land was handed back to me and we started re-building my dream. Today you are standing in my home . A place I lost and found. This cottage was built with memories of the past , helped by none other than the man who looked after this land for all these years . A nostalgia of the times when life was quiet, peaceful and serene , a period I miss…….sometimes.

There is a whole lot to share with you my guests. But the reason I have shared with you this little story is, so you may enjoy your experience and maybe carry back a little story that forms a chapter in your life.
As you would imagine things in this house are either hand picked or designed by me. Everything around you has a personal touch which we value immensely and we would like those after you to experience the same look and feel.

Feel at home, enjoy your stay at this Family Getaway and  begin your story ‘Once Upon a Time

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  • Manoj says:

    Really very nice Location and Place.

  • Beautiful. Beautiful! Keep the stories coming ….this sounds like one “heaven” of a place to start a story of one’s own.

  • Girija Goswamy says:

    Looks irresistible Dad! 🙂 proud of you

  • Pooja Kumar says:

    Lovely story about following your dream, of losing it & getting it back again. Nearly got a tear in mine 🙂
    Look forward to being there soon…

  • Jasjit says:

    Congratulations on making it happen! A very beautiful cottage.

  • Sarika says:

    Uncle, your story is incredible….and the place looks sublime ! Many congratulations and all the best !

  • The magnificent beauty of this cottage leaves one indeed spellbound.Steeped in the lap of nature the silence and beauty of this place is unimaginable and leaves one completely stunned…

  • Ritu says:

    The property and the story of how it came into being is amazing …look forward to being there some day …when is the Q , but hopefully soon enough …with friends that would enjoy this amazing place too…the name ” Once upon a time ” was a sure give away that the creator had to be extremely creative …!

    Congratulations on being the proud owner of this amazing cottage !

  • Madhur Singh says:

    I notice gorgeous blueberries in your garden. Can I take cuttings from you in the spring next year?

    Your place is lovely ! we’ve had a very comfy stay – thanks!

  • This place is truly amazing. We are glad we came here. The kids just love it?

  • Rahul Dutt says:

    “Once upon a time … Means memories … & thats exactly what we are carrying back from our stay at kasol .

    Cottage ” Once upon a time ”
    is truly beautiful .

    Location , the river , the garden , its foliage , various plants and the terrace . just the perfect combination one needs to get away from the hustle & bustle of city life . Arvind Goswamy , whose cottage it is , was very helpful in guiding us to the property since the roads were totally unknown to us.

    We were extremely well looked after by the caretaker serving us perfect bed tea & delicious home cooked meals .

    The property is walking distance from an interesting market in Kasol which also has some good restaurants .

    I have highly recommend a stay at ” Once Upon a Time ” to each one known to me .

  • Anjali says:

    We had a most wonderful time at the cottage. The place is beautifully located by the river side and tastefully done. This place will definitely make you come back for the calming effect and the experience which you would want to relive. Strongly recommended for all!!!

  • Pallavi says:

    Thanks for a lovely stay uncle. We are looking fwd to our next trip already?

  • Tanya says:

    I visited ‘Once upon a time’ Cottage 2 years back with a college friend.
    I could endlessly talk about my stay there because it was such a beautiful experience, but I will leave that part out for now.
    Why I write this is because I will be visiting next week again, with my parents.
    Today while making the bookings I came across ‘Genesis of the cottage’ and I immediately made my father read it, as we share the same dream as you once had, a dream you made come true. And I would like to salute you for that, Sir.
    I also realised, that on my last trip to your cottage I wondered why it’s called Once Upon a Time and even remember discussing with my friends. Now I know.. And It’s always going to hold a special place in my heart. Can’t wait to go back! 😀

  • Kartik Kalevar says:

    A haven amidst nature with wonderful home-cooked meals and high sense of hospitality. The sound of the river, perpetual and mighty, will never leave me. ‘Once upon a time’ will hold a place in my heart and will always continue to linger in my mind. Exquisite, exotic and exhilarating is the experience I carry forward with me. In my opinion, a must go.

  • Nalini says:

    It has been an absolute pleasure spending time at the cottage. We could not have asked for a better break from our hectic city lives. The cottage is just gorgeous & so scenically located.

    It truly comes across as a labour of love & passion. We have learnt so many things in the past few days. Our hosts have been so gracious. We most certainly would come back .

    Thank you .

  • Jagdeep Singh Goraya says:

    We were here for a very short time but the house caretaker is so nice & co-operative , whenever we demand for anything she makes available the things.

    Although the environment here & view are out of the world, really enjoyed here the beauty of nature. Also the house was clean & tidy.

  • Shivani Singh says:

    Whilst we were in Kasol for a very short time but
    ‘ Once Upon a Time cottage is exactly what we look for whenever we plan a trip to the hills.

    It’s a lovely property, well maintained and a very warm caretaker. We are still in awe of the natural beauty around !

    Would love to visit again !

  • Kunal Urvashi Shivam Amit Sona Ashwin says:

    A blissful place so close to nature. Far far away from the rush & heat of the city. Loved this place to the core . Missed to meet Mr Goswamy but we were taken good care-of by the caretaker. Will recommend this place & cottage to my friends.

  • Kanav Kapoor says:

    This 3 day trip was a super hit because of experience at this cottage. What an amazing view. It really felt like home but a home in a far-off beauty.

    A very special thanks to Uncle and Pooja Aunty for the amazing food and care she gave us.

    We promise to come again soon …..

  • Kartik Kalevar & Pranav Kalevar says:

    A haven amidst nature.

    Puja was a crucial asset in ensuring our experience here was delivered with hospitality and zeal. Arvind has made this cottage with so much thought and insight. Hats off to him !

    Excuisite, exotic and exhilirating is the experience I carry forward from ‘Once Upon a Time’ .

    A second visit +++ seems impossible to dodge .

  • Mohit Malik & Addite Malik says:

    how do I say it ?
    Our first trip to Kasol and it was made wonderful by stay at Cottage Once Upon a Time.
    The stay was also made beautiful by the caretaker who served us really well .
    Also would like to thank for giving us the booking on such a short notice and might I add the homeopathy medication that you gave was a saviour.

    All I want to tell you that this cottage is truly magical as it grows on you …..

    And we shall be back again soon to this beautiful cottage on our next trip …….

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