Last Updated on
Reading Time: 6 minutes
Just a few hours’ drive from Delhi, is this quaint heritage bungalow. Which is where you should be heading to along with your friends and families for a nice relaxing weekend getaway, and guess what, you can easily include it in your 2 Week India Itinerary, as its very close to Delhi.
Managed and maintained by Itmenaan Lodges, Fredy’s Bungalow, is a European style home. Refurbished into a boutique hotel back in 2014, while keeping its authenticity and heritage intact.
And no matter in which of the four rooms you stays in, the antique interiors, will enhance your experience of living in a past era.
All the rooms open to the outside, onto a lovely spacious wooden verandah, where you can enjoy the feeling of being in the lap of nature. This verandah, provides a wonderful spot if you are looking for some quite time to indulge in reading or just enjoying the calmness of the nature.
The feeling of living in the lap of nature, and having the opportunity of exploring the forest trails, lakes and the quaint neighbourhood; are compelling enough factors for anyone to choose Fredy’s Bungalow for a nice relaxed, digital detoxifying, weekend away from Delhi.
A little bit about the history of Fredy’s Bungalow
The Bungalow was home to Fredy Smetacek Jr., located in a large forest estate, where his father Fredy Smetacek Sr. chose to live with his wife and raise their six children. Smetacek Sr. had arrived in Calcutta in 1939 and relocated to the hills. Raised as the son of a Forest Warden in Europe, he was irresistibly drawn to the cool forested hills and green lakes; first to Naukuchiatal and then to Bhimtal in 1951.
In Bhimtal, he developed a passion for studying butterflies, and started a collection that grew over 10, 000 specimens, which is renowned in India and abroad. Much of this collection is on display in the bungalow itself, while the rest is on display in the Butterfly Museum, which is close by. This is something which will definitely interest you once you are at the bungalow.
One of the highlights of Fredy’s bungalow is that, when it was refurbished, there were absolutely no structural changes and only minimal changes to its interiors. Similar to all colonial era mountain structures, Fredy’s Bungalow was built in stone with sloping roofs.
Things to do in Fredy’s Bungalow
Admire the Butterfly collection
With a collection comprising of over 10, 000 specimens, admiring the butterfly collection in Fredy’s Bungalow itself, is quite an interesting thing to do, and this is something which surprises a lot of other travellers too.
Treat your taste buds to Kumaoni cuisine
Sampling the Kumaoni cuisine is a 100% must, especially when only all ingredients are fresh and sourced locally. Whatever you want to have, both veg and non-veg, just discuss with the manager and chef in advance, and be ready for a blast of flavors.
The Kumaoni cuisine is mildly spiced, highly nutritious and very appealing to the palate. Don’t forget to try the spiced kumaoni raita, baked beans (something similar to lobhia) and kumaoni style butter chicken, while you are there. You won’t be disappointed for sure.
Step out and hike up one of the many trails
The location of Fredy’s Bungalow is one of its USP. The moment you step out of the gates, you’ll find yourself on a wonderful forest trail. With different gradients of difficulty and time required, you can plan your hike in advance from the following options:
- Hike to Nal Damayanti Tal| Level of Difficulty – Easy | Time required – 1-1.5 hours
- Hike to Garud Tal| Level of Difficulty – Medium| Time required – 2-3 hours
- Hike to Sattal| Level of Difficulty – Medium | Time required – 2.5 – 3 hours
Each alternative has something unique to offer, so you won’t be left disappointed at all.
View this post on Instagram
I simply love it when trails like this exists, just a few steps away from where you are staying in the Himalayas. . . Do you as well ? . . . . . . . . #EatTravelLiveRepeat #highONhimalayas #hikingdaily #himalayasarecalling #himgeo #nomadsofindia #wanderersofindia #india_ig #indiantravelblogger #travel_gram #tripotocommunity #ETLRWithArnav #himalayandiaries #worldtravelers #explorehimalayas #_soiindia #potd📸 #MadeforMountains #uttarakhandtourism #incredibleindia #iamtb #ETLRTravelDiaries2019 #traveldiaries2019 #lensculture #outdoorphotography
Do some Bird Watching
Did you know that Bhimtal is a paradise for Bird Lovers?
The thick forest cover, offer excellent opportunities for bird watching and photography. And when you combine Bhimtal and Sattal, there are over 400+ resident and migratory birds in the area; including Himalayan Griffons, Grey Hooded Warbler, Blue Whistling Thrush, Yellow Breasted Green Flinches among many others.
Read | Write | Create – Be Creative
There are no TV’s in the rooms, and the internet is pretty spotty too. This combined with the fact that you are surrounded with nature everywhere, and having ‘N’ number of conducive spaces everywhere in and around Fredy’s Bungalow, makes for the perfect environment you needed to read that book you always wanted, uninterrupted; or write something you had been wanting too, but weren’t able to take out the time; or to just be creative.
View this post on Instagram
This my friend was my workstation for the day 😍 . Overlooking the Bhimtal lake, this colonial bungalow also known as Fredy's Bungalow has got a charm if it's own. . It's peaceful. It's quiet. And there's nature everywhere. . What more do you need when you are looking to recharge and rejuvenate yourself. . And did I tell you that the staff here, prepares the yummiest of kumaoni dishes, all made from fresh ingredients. . This beautiful property is managed by @itmenaanlodges and a weekend getaway here is definitely recommended. . . . . . . . . #EatTravelLiveRepeat #ig_indiashots #indiatraveldiaries #india_ig #highONhimalayas #uttarakhandtourism #uttarakhanddiaries #uttarakhand_ig #nainitaldiaries #bhimtal #lensculture #digitalnomadlife #digitalnomadlifestyle #wanderersofindia #tripotofeaturedtraveller #tripotocommunity #globetrotters #solotraveler #hotelsandvillas #hotelsandresorts #homestays #india_pictures #mypixeldiaries #fredysbungalow #itmenanlodges #iamtb #indiantravelblogger
We all have been there in a spot, when we want to do something, but because our mind is preoccupied with other things, aren’t able to pursue it. And even weekends don’t cut it, because we just get busy with other commitments. If you can relate to this, then don’t think twice. Just head out to Fredy’s Bungalow for the weekend and get those creative juices flowing in your head.
Everyone leads a busy hectic life juggling on multiple fronts on a daily basis, and everyone deserves a break, not only to reconnect with themselves, but also with nature.
Having experienced this myself, the quiet and calm full setting at Fredy’s Bungalow, definitely made me reconnect with myself, as I was on a somewhat social media detox; and with nature as well.
I had been longing to wake up and enjoy my morning tea and breakfast, overlooking the mountains; with the sounds of birds chirping and the leaves swaying with the wind. And a weekend at Fredy’s Bungalow gave me all of that.
View this post on Instagram
Chai and Pahad 😍 An unbreakable bond 😊 . . . . . . . . . #EatTravelLiveRepeat #travelwithETLR #theetlrblog #ETLRTravelDiaries2019 #himalayasarecalling #uttarakhandtourism #ETLRWithArnav #instahimalayas #instauttarakhand #beautifuldestinations #mountainsarecalling #weekendgetaway #travel_gram #india_everyday #india_ig #weekendvibes✌️ #wanderlust #incredibleindia #outdoornation #greatoutdoors #googlelocalguides #highONhimalayas #tripotocommunity #nustaharamkhor #pahaadi #worldtravelers #nainitaldiaries
How to reach Fredy’s Bungalow
The short 2 km uphill track, from Bhimtal lake, leading to Fredy’s Bungalow, is a nice picturesque trail in itself, if you prefer to walk; and you can even take your vehicle all the way up. Nestled amidst Deodar and Cypress trees, on a peaceful forested hill overlooking the Bhimtal town; Fredy’s bungalow is a blissful getaway away from the hustle and bustle of the regular tourist circuit.
How to reach Bhimtal
In order to reach Fredy’s Bungalow, you need to first reach the town of Bhimtal, which is 45 minutes away from its more famous and busy sister town of Nainital.
View this post on Instagram
I rather live in a place surrounded by the.mountains and Flora and fauna, rather than living in a place surrounded by a concrete jungle. . . This view was just a few 100 meters away from my home in the Himalayas over the last weekend @itmenaanlodges . . 📌 – Bhimtal . . . . . . #EatTravelLiveRepeat #ETLRWithArnav #ETLRTravelDiaries2019 #weekendvibes✌️ #explorehimalayas #roadtrip2019 #travelbible #uttarakhandtourism #indiantravelblogger #outdoorsy #photosofindia #addictedtotravel #solotraveler #DiscoverDestinations #fredysbungalow #globe_places #highONhimalayas #letsgosomewhere #MadeforMountains #nustaharamkhor #bbcearth #vacationmodeon😎 #cntraveler #uttarakhand_ig #india_ig #nainitaldiaries
Reaching Bhimtal by Road
You can reach Bhimtal from Delhiby just driving 280 KM which will take roughly 6 hours. The rough route is this:
Ghaziabad – Hapur Bypass – Moradabad – Rampur – Haldwani – Kathgodam – Bhimtal
Reaching Bhimtal by Air
Pantnagar, near Kathgodam, is the closest airport (135 km); and Air India operates flights between Delhi to Pantnagar, 3-4 days a week. Refer to Air India website, for up to date flight schedule, before planning.
Reaching Bhimtal by Train
Kathgodam, 45 km from Bhimtal, is the nearest railway station; which has trains plying To and Fro from Delhi on a daily basis.
You can check out 15013 – Ranikhet Express and 12040 – NDLS – Kathgodam Shatabdi Express if you are planning to reach by train.
If you want to get picked up from either Kathgodam or Pantnagar, the management at Itmenaan Lodges, will help you out in arranging the pick up at an additional cost.
What are you waiting for?
Your weekend plans at Fredy’s Bungalow should be sorted by now!
So just head out there, reconnect with yourself, enjoy the peaceful setting, and have a great time!
Disclaimer : No compensation was received for this article, however Fredy’s Bungalow by Itmenaan Lodges offered my stay complimentary. As always, the opinions on theETLRblog.com are (and always will be) my own!