Jim Corbett’s spent a large part of his life in Gurney House. I could imagine this place seventy years ago when there might have been a dense forest cover all around, wild creatures roaming freely. In his books Jim mention about his time here, he used to spent a lot of time in the wild observing every little movement, every little sound. This understanding would help him for the rest of his life.
The original structure has not changed, and the house still stands on the same 150 years-old logs as pillars. I saw the Piano, which Maggie(Jim’s Sister) used to play, and I was happy to be told that it has was in the exact place where she left it.
Gurney House was Corbett’s summer house; his winter home was in Kaladungi where another Corbett Museum throws light on the life of the legend. It might be a regular house for many tourists, who know little of Jim Corbett, but it’s a treat for all the Jim Corbett lovers.
When leaving India for Kenya Jim Corbett sold this house to Mrs. Kalawati Devi. Unlike the Museum in Kaladungi, this place has a more lively feel to it. The owners have not disturbed much of the structure of the house. Even though KMVN were very keen on to buy this property, the owners haven’t given it up. Ganesh, the caretaker of the house, is a very gentle person and shows you around the house with a big smile.
The Dalmias, who are the owners of the house, have tried to preserve it as well as they could. All of his stuff including the bed, couch, chair, rooms, study, verandah, even some old photographs of Jim posing with his trophies and carnivores.
There are also photos of Maggie, and of course of Robin (his loyal dog who saved his Jim’s life, at least, three times) add to the ambiance of the place. The gates to the property are usually locked; you might have to use the side entrance. For me the one word that describes it the best is “Nostalgia”.
How to reach Gurney House?
It might be a tad bit confusing to find your way to Gurney House as much of the locals still have no clue about it. Just remember two words located in “Ayarpatta” and “five” minutes walk downhill will take you from “St. Xavier’s School”. There’s a big gate. You can’t possibly miss it. Well, that’s three words, but you get the point. A taxi might drop you there. Otherwise, you can trek around on your own. It’s roughly 3 km trek from Mallital Riksha Stand. Call us on this number (972063443) if you are looking for directions.