Nimmu House, Leh, Jammu & Kashmir
This three-storey house in picturesque Nimmu village, a 30-minute drive from Leh, is one of the few remaining examples of traditional Ladakhi architecture. Located close to the Indus and Zanskar rivers, the house was built in the early 20th century by Rinchen Namgyal Zildar, a cousin of the then Ladakhi king. It is surrounded by an orchard of apricot, apple, and walnut trees with many streams, which are cleaned up by the team at Nimmu House. Opening the establishment to visitors has given the place a second lease on life. Its multi-pronged renovation project aims to preserve local culture and provide economic opportunities to the community, while offering visitors an authentic travel experience.
Aside from two Buddhist temples and a stable full of yaks and dzos, the structure has rooms (glowing with natural light) that are renovated using traditional architectural style and materials. There are modern flourishes like solar panels for heated water and double-glazed windows for insulation, but it is really the sort of place that appeals to the traveller not seeking luxuries like room service and lavish baths. Besides the rooms in the main house, there are spacious and well-equipped tents, and the opportunity to indulge in light adventure, like hiking, rafting, and cycling around Nimmu village.