Gurney House in NainitalNainital is a picturesque town of scenic beauty situated in Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh. It hosts some of the most beautiful places on the footsteps of Himalayan Ranges. Gurney House is a very old, historic building built in 1881 and is famous as it was the permanent residence of hunter, conservationist and avid writer of stories related to tiger hunting, Jim Corbett.
It is situated at the splendid slopes of Ayarpatta, Mallital, twin town of Nainital, at just a few minutes distance from Naini Lake. This sprawling 1.7 acres of land was purchased by Mary June Corbett, mother of Jim Corbett and this cottage was constructed much later in 1880 with the dismantled material of Corbett’s earlier home at Alma Hill. That home was destroyed because of a landslide but the remnants were collected by Corbetts to build this new home. Thus the name Gurney House implies a home made by material of a dismantled house. It could also have been named on Quaker Joseph J Gurney.
After the death of their mother in 1924, the home was inherited by Margaret Winifred Corbett, sister of Jim Corbett. They lived here till 1947 and before leaving permanently for Kenya, the house was sold to Mrs and Mr. Sharda Prasad Verma, grandparents of present owner Dalmiyas. The winter home of Corbetts at Kaldhungis is just 37 km downhill and is under government control and is converted into a well-managed museum. However, even after being under private ownership, the place is maintained better than any museum. Even around 7 decades after the departure of Corbetts, the colonial impression and charm of Victorian style living is still intact in Gurney House. While visiting and watching the furniture used by Corbett, his other possessions, trophies and old pictures collected by him during his stay brings out the nostalgic era for avid readers of Corbett. The piano which his sister Maggy played, crockery used in the house is there for display. After visiting, one can definitely have an idea of lifestyle of Corbett.
The house is surrounded by a beautiful garden having trees of Angu, Rhododendrom (Known as Buranz in local language) and Tilaunj or Kharsu. The cottage itself is typically English countryside with complete glass windows of French style. There is a central gallery which opens in the house having dining room and drawing rooms on both sides and three bedrooms towards the right. He walls of bedrooms also have big French style windows for natural light and air.
The roof is slanting as in most colonial houses but has a high conical form in the center. All rooms are attached with bathrooms. These have wooden floors. Outside there is an attic that can be reached with the help of external stairs and with some effort.
Best Time to Visit Gurney House
The house can be visited on all days between 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. The visit takes around an hour. The house is located at a 10 minutes’ hillside walk from famous Naini Retreat on the road that turns left from High Court. From Kathgodam Railway Station, it is 30 kms drive up the hill.
To reach Gurney House you can make prior appointments on +91 9927738239 or email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hotels near Gurney House
Famous Naini Retreat Hotel is in near proximity to this place. There are other hotels in Nainital where one can stay and hire cabs or autos to visit this place.