Likhai wood carving at The Cottage Jeolikot
Likhai – the intricate wood-carving tradition of the Kumaon Himalayan region, is embedded in the doors, window frames and pillars of mountain dwellings – a unique blend of aesthetics and functionality.
Sadly, the tradition is disappearing fast.
The Raj-era Cottage Jeolikot near Nainital, has one of the most inspiring collections of this art form, incorporated into its architecture – like the lounge window in the picture. Many of these carvings are centuries old, priceless antiques.
The Cottage Jeolikot is a painstakingly restored heritage structure, that was once a part of the Vergomont Estate in colonial times, a pit-stop for travelers on the way to the hill station of Nainital. Located just off the Kathgodam – Nainital state highway, the cottage is easily accessible.
Worth a visit anytime, for slipping back to another era. Or just to marvel the Likhai collection.