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Leela Orchard- Sonapani

Home away from home...

Family History & legacy continues...

Our Great Grandfather  Captain Kushal Singh Burathoki was a feted soldier of the 3rd Queen Alexandra's own Gurkha Rifles. In reward for his exemplary bravery, he was offered 200 acres of land which he named as ‘‘Sonapani Estate' and continued to live here with his family...

The adjective “ Sonapani”  derives its name due to its perceived medicinal property. The legend  has it that during the British Raj era, some British army officers from a cantonment nearby tasted the water while crossing the ridge. In awe with the quality of the water, ponies and horses were serviced to supply the water from this natural spring to the British officers of the nearest army garrison which was Almora.

Our late grandmother, a housewife,  was a dynamic lady. There is an old ancestral house near the home-stay. When this house was built, Sona Pani area was a dense forest frequented by fiercely wild animals like leopards& tigers.  While the house was being built, she used to stand at the construction site, holding the rifle. She used to say to her workers, “If being a lady I can stand here with a rifle, what’s making you so scared to build a house here?” She used to come all the way from Almora to Sonapani on a horse for the construction of the house.