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Leela Orchard- Sonapani

Home away from home...

Little History...

There is an old natural spring in the middle of Leela Orchard Sonapani. The water from this natural spring is said to have medicinal properties and this perceived quality of water in what has given this place its name - Sonapani. 'Sona' in hindi means 'gold' and 'Pani' is water.

The story dates back to the days of the British Raj Era. While crossing this ridge, some British army officers from nearby cantonment happened to drink the water from this natural spring, and they fell in love with this place. 

They were so enamoured by the water that in the later half of 19th century and early 20th century, water from this natural spring was supplied to the British officers of the nearest army garrison (Almora) on ponies and horses.

One of these officers was Captain Kushal Singh Barathokey, a very decorated soldier of the 3rd Queen Alexandria's own Gurkha rifles. On retirement, when the British offered him land of his choice for his post retired days, he opted for this piece of land. In the middle of nowhere, it was indeed the charm of this water and nature's brilliant display of its beauty that drew Captain Barathokey towards this land. He named it 'Sonapani Estate' and then lived here happily thereafter.