Tucked away in the Pindari valley in the Kumaon Himalayas, Khati is a small village burrowed in wooded hills.
Otherwise secluded, the village sees activity when people come down for the trek to Pindari glacier.
Khati witnesses a significant footfall of trekkers on their ways to Pindari, Kafni or Sunderdunga Glaciers. Situated at an elevation of 7250 feet, it is the last village en-route Pindari and Kafni glacier treks.
The route for a trek to Pindari in the Kumaon region begins from Khati village now. A motorable road has been laid until Kharkiya, a nearby village 5 km away from Khati. Until now, Khati was only accessed by tourists heading towards Pindari glacier as a base point.
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The village on the banks of the Pindar river comprises about 100 houses situated in the backdrop of terraced fields and snow-clad mountains. These traditional houses with slate roofs were recently painted with murals as part of the Wise Wall project, an initiative to document the rural wisdom of our villages and celebrate it through art murals.The murals are based on the traditional folk art called aipan found in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand.
Pictures of the painted houses were all over social media, and now Khati has turned into the perfect offbeat weekend getaway for many.
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Legend says that the villagers are direct descendants of those who sheltered the Pandavas during their exile in the forest.
Be warned: There is no electricity or phone network in the village except for BSNL which is only strong enough to make a phone call. Most houses here are equipped with a solar charging system. People tuck themselves into bed as it gets dark and wake up to the birds chirping amidst the blissful sceneries. For those of you who require a detox from the technological life of the 21st century, this is your great escape.
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When to Go
The best time to visit Khati village and the Pindari Valley is in the months of April, May, June, September, and October. To enjoy snowfall in Khati, January-March is the best time to visit.
You can reach Khati by either taking a bus or a taxi or even a shared pool until Bharadi Market in Bageshwar, from here you will have to take another taxi to Kharkiya Village. From Kharikiya a 90 mins trek on an easy stoned trail paved for travelers will take you to your destination.
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Things to Do
You can go on a three-day trek to the Pindari glacier or a one-day trek to Pongu top, a flat meadow about 7km uphill from the village. People trekking to Pongu usually camp at the summit and return after sunrise. You can also take a one-day trek to Dhakuri and Kharmiyal Chilta.If you choose to stay back more and explore the village, you can always extend the farmers and locals a helping hand. They grow tapioca or sago amidst the oak trees and also a feasible quantity of marijuana.
You can take a stroll through the pathways of the village, browsing the open-air 'art gallery', with depictions of village life in Khati.
Where to Stay
There are a few new-age guesthouses in Khati (although some believe that these guesthouses are taking away the charm of the little village). Most guesthouses in Khati charge between Rs 300-500 per person for a night. They charge on the basis of time of the year and the availability of rooms. In case you don’t find any vacancies in Khati, you can always put up at Kharkiya. It is less than 5 km, or a 90 minutes’ walk away from Khati. Food for a day shouldn’t cost more than Rs200.