We Were There ...
Leaving Haldwani after breakfast on 6 June 2017 we drove leisurely for about three hours, had lunch en route, and reached Papersali at 13-00. Beforehand we made arrangements with Gopal's Binsar Retreat. When the car stood before the Retreat, Gopal came out with his shy but welcoming smile which told us we made no mistake. And after alighting from the car when we stood for a while to look around the place where we would stay for the next three days, it was sheer joy.
Around The Retreat
Khim's Guest House
Down The Hill Walk To The Cottages
In early 1980s a Westerner living close to Almora advised Khim to build a cottage within his land to allow a few visitors to live amidst the salubrious climate of Almora and enjoy the solitude of the hills. Khim did exactly as he was told. In no time a small rustic cottage came up within the land he inherited from his ancestors. As time went by guests increasingly began to visit his place which today with more Cottages has become known as
Khim's Guest House. It is now moderately known both within India as well as abroad. Though in recent times Khim's foreign guests outnumber the Indians; may be this has in its root what the former prefer while travelling to distant places.
Cottages Around The Hub
The Story of A Library
At Khim's place a marvellous collection of books in three racks, well stacked and dust free, awaits the book-lovers. This had made me curious. I took one book by William Dalyrimple before coming out in the open terrace and asked Khim about the collection. His story follows. Once an American guest suggested Khim to keep books for his guests . Later the same American send some books to him to start with. This was the beginning. As the number of guests grew with time, so were the books. For the foreign guests seldom care to take their books with them when read. But gradually the volume and variety became unmanageable for Khim. Guests began rummaging for what might interest them leaving the rest in more disorder. Then came a Canadian couple to stay for a long sojourn. They were academics and hence not ready to allow such misfortune to the books. With their loving care the books were classified and orderly placed in the shelves as we found them now.
The Father And Son Duo
Khim Singh Bist
A man with a ready smile to please and serve his guests. The frequenters, mostly from the West, love this man. Many of them keep on coming to Khim's and stay for more or less longer periods. He started it in early 1980s and his Guest House has gained both in size and reputation since then.
Gopal Singh Bist
Alongside looking after his newly opened Binsar Retreat, he helps his father in running the Khim's Guest House. Staying with Gopal never feels like one is away from home. For apart from his place or the simple food he serves - it is his attitude - he never believes that his guests are one-timers.