WHERE TIME STANDS STILL
Outlook Traveller|February 2021
Away from city limits, where days are longer and light fades away slower, SIMRRAN GILL finds herself hooked to the slow life
SIMRRAN GILL

I LOOKED UP, my eyes squinting, trying to grasp the vastness of the blue and white. It was as though a child recognising colours for the first time. But in my defense, Delhi skies barely looked like this on rare, fateful days. I wasn’t fully done embracing the warm blue when I was made aware of the Aravallis all around me.

I lunged deeper into my thoughts in split seconds and I couldn’t help but think of that precise moment as an epiphany of sorts. My trail of thought was broken by the chirping birds and a slight sizzle from the kitchen. I had almost forgotten the hunger pangs that seemed endless a while ago. I walked inside the dining hall, right next to the terrace, and the aroma of the spread pretty much indicated the beginning of a cosy weekend ahead.

* If you’ve been planning to go back to that half-read book, or get to that podcast, or finally open that bookmarked reading list, Khohar is the place to do it

I made my way to the Khohar Haveli after what seemed like an endless journey. The excruciating traffic and my pandemic induced inability to sit still for long hours weren’t much help either. A couple of brakes and jerks, here and there, and finally I was out of the city bounds. The transition from the city only took a few minutes; accelerating two-wheelers now replaced the heavy-duty traffic and the dusty, wide roads paved way for narrow, cobbled lanes, flanked by mustard fields on either side.

And the little Bollywood in me couldn’t help but think, “Ja Simrran ja….” I occasionally also blame my acquaintances who’ve inundated me with the reference.

Khohar Haveli nestles discreetly in Harchandpur village in Sohna district, Gurugram. With a 360° view of the Aravallis at all times, one can only think of how the most exquisite places exist far away, where traces of the human population are few. Harchandpur is a tiny village with about 60 residing families, all of whom are delighted to see city dwellers looking for an escape and ending up in their village.

The air around Khohar Haveli is engulfed in history. For one, it is nestled amid the oldest mountain ranges in the country, the Aravallis, which has seen various civilisations flourish in its lap.

“These 17th-century havelis had been long forgotten until the early 1980s when Aman (Nath) chanced upon them with the help of his former student,” I was told over the cosy lunch spread, by Yogi and Ambar Vaid, who now own and run the place.

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