Nainital Trip – Me and my friends

If one is asked to describe me, he/she would surely say about me, “travel freak mad man”.
May be that is true as I plan my travel in an hour and move out by next 12-24 hours. I was born and brought up in a hill station but still hills/mountains attract me the most.
I might have enjoyed Holi (Dol-purnima) last in 1985 or so. Every year I try to go away from the crowd on this day, this year (2011) it happened to be on 19th March, Sunday. As it happen to be Sunday, I thought of going out of Delhi for 2-3 days. I was lucky to got the approval of a friend but as I was planning to drive, I thought of taking 2 more friends along, as 4 person’s group is ideal for such trips. At last I had to virtually lifted 2 more friends from their homes.
 
17th March (Friday): My plan was to leave Delhi by 4.30AM, so that we cross Ghaziabad area by 5.30AM just to avoid the traffic in those areas. I got up early (3.30AM) and knew the task ahead to bring 3 friends on my side, though one was ready for the trip. I called up, his phone  was switch off, I then move to his place just to find him sleeping as if he has sold all his horses just last evening. I woke him up, told him to get ready and went to the 2nd one, while going  to his home, called him and said, I am just arriving at his place and asked him to come up as I was waiting at the car. He made me wait for 45 minutes, in the mean time I called up the 3rd friend and asked him to get ready as I was coming to his place to pick him up and  if he says no, then I will cancel the whole trip. So at last we started from Delhi at 5.45AM.

Towards Nainital

Towards Nainital



Soon we were at NH-24, taking left at the ring road at Noida-Mor crossing. I had to face the tempo, autos near Indrapuram, Ghz (which I just wanted to avoid) as we started late. While I was driving after crossing Ghaziabad, seems all were sleeping in the cool breeze, it was cool as it happened to be mid March. After crossing Hapur by-pass, a very thick fog came from no where and the visibility reduced to mere 5-6 meters, so had to switch on all the lights and hazards lights too and the next 5-6 kms were horrible for driving and took more than 40 minutes to cross this section.

I drove around 105 KMS (crossed Hapur, Garh Mukteshwar, etc) without any break then we had a stoppage at a Dhaba, we had tea and bread-butter at around 8.30AM in the morning. I took a good needed break (as I was only driver in the group). We started in 35-40 minutes and drove down the very good roads. In these stretches the road work has been done and there are two roads, 3 lane each. On these stretches one can easily go beyond 140 and make merry but every 30 -40 odd kilometers, one will enter in-to a bottle neck, mostly at the places where there flyovers are coming up, these bottle necks can actually kill the entire fun. We soon reached Gajraula and had some vegetable shopping, which I forgot to had from Delhi.

After crossing Moradabad by-pass normally people take the road straight through Rampur-Bilaspur-Rudrapur- Haldawani to reach Nainital, but I had other idea and turned left to take the road through Bazpur-Kaladhungi to reach Nainital. Once a friend of mine told me that road is very smooth there, but once I turned I found the opposite and thinking, road might just get better in the next mile, but I was very unlucky here, as the next 40 odd KMs road was in very bad shape and it took more than 2 hrs to cross this section. When we reach to somewhat better road, we felt hungry and then searched for a place for our picnic, soon found a place of our choice. We had a stoppage there had some vodka with fruit juices, we cooked noodles and had a good hour there.

Corbett Falls

Corbett Falls

We drove down another 18-20 KMs to reach Corbett Falls. Carbett fall lies just 2 KMs from the main road. One has to take the Corbett Road from Bazpur-Nainital Road and in just 400 mts on the right side lies the gate for the Corbett Falls.(Entry fees per head Rs.10/- + Car Rs.20/-). One need to walk last 250-300 meters to reach the spot. As many young kids were enjoying and having bath there, we enjoyed the place sitting on the benches.

The great Wash

The great Wash

We moved from Carbett Falls towards Nainital, the road was not very wide but was enough for both side traffic and it was silky smooth with very beautiful surroundings. While driving in this stretches I felt, it was worth taking the pain driving those 40 odd Kms of very rough roads.

On the road

On the road

It was simply wonderful driving there and the cool breeze, the tall Deodhar etc trees made me feel top of the world. Soon the hill road started and after driving around 20-22 kms we reached Khurpatal. This is a newly discovered tal (Lake), not sure, if it is natural or man-made, any way one need to take a small road by a sharp curve, I didn’t find any sign-board there, only trusted on the locals version to reach the place. It is a place which is developing by the day, many resorts/ hotels etc are coming up, there is no boating facility yet but heard boats would arrive this year. We enjoyed some beer and snacks by the lake side. I had some tough time with the car here as 4 wheel drive is appropriate in this road. We had the plan to stay there for some time and cook our dinner there but decided against it and drove to Nainital 10-12KM. Reached Nainital at around 4PM. Checked in at a Mall Road Hotel.

Driving Towards Nainital - Amid Hills

Driving Towards Nainital - Amid Hills

Close to Mountain

Close to Mountains

Went out from hotel at around 5.30PM and drove towards China Peak entrance, it was dark by then. We found a place in the jungle, where we can light our gas stove and cook our dinner. We had chiken curry and rice at dinner in the jungle (always had some fear of some kind of wild animals). It was cold out there. We enjoyed our drinks, some snacks and of-course our dinner. Reached hotel at around 10 PM. I had a good shower and by the time I entered the room from bathroom all other 3 were snoring. I watched some news and slept at around 11PM.

Eating Out

Eating Out

Out in the wild

Out in the wild

18th March (Saturday): As we all were tired the previous day, we all slept till 8 AM or so. We had tea and went out from hotel at around 10.15 AM in the morning. First we all had tea again and some biscuits. We went for boating at Naini lake for an hour or so then went to the market for some shopping. As the next day was Holi, all were purchasing mutton. We got some good quality mutton (for lunch) also brought some chiken (for snacks). We drove towards Bhawali for a suitable place for our picnic. Realised that the next big thing in the world would be “WATER”, reason, there used to be so many water sources in these hills till 2 year back but, we found it hard to find a suitable place with water flowing. At last we had to select a place near Bhawali, (Bhumidhar Bus stand) where there exists a SHIV Temple, behind the temple, its very sloppy but had some place for our picnic.

We had noodles (the best ready-made brunch). Then we cooked the chiken very dry. We had some drinks enjoyed some songs, some very good jokes from mobile sms in-box. We all had some wonderful times amongst ourselves. To ruin our spirit, one sms came from one of friend’s staff to my mobile, saying contact immediately. As it was difficult to get connection from that remote area, we all were worried thinking, what went wrong. At last when we got the mobile connection, we came to know that, they just wanted to know, if to open the business establishment on the next day (HOLI Day). We then again started coming to mood of our picnic. We enjoyed the lunch at around 5 PM, mutton + rice.

Nanital - The queen of lakes

Nanital - The queen of lakes

Nainital - Simply Amazing

Nainital - Simply Amazing

Nainital

Nainital

Came back to hotel at around 6.30 PM, I had a shower and I watched World Cup Cricket and other 3 went for a walk in the mall road. If one comes to Nainital and miss the walk in the evening at the Mall Road, then he/she has missed all charms of Nainital visit. I was too tired to go and importantly we had the plan to leave Nainital by 6 AM next morning as I intended to reach Delhi by 2 PM as INDIA – WEST-INDIES world cup match was suppose to come at 2.30 PM. None of us had dinner as our lunch was heavy and it was too late. We slept early to woke up early next morning.
 
19th March (Sunday): I was the first to wake up in the morning at 4.30 AM, every ones mobile alarm were on and those were ringing but none woke up or even remove their faces from the comfort of the warm blanket. I had my shower, got ready, packed my bag then asked them to get ready. I went to the parking lot to bring the car, as hardly any hotel at Mall Road have parking facility, so one need to park their vehicle at the main parking (field). Nainital parking has some special thing to mention, all parking charge is Rs.50/- and it is not for 24 hours, irrespective of the time, when you entered at the parking, check-out time from the parking with your vehicle is 10 AM sharp and every time, one enter the Muncipal area of Nainital, be sure one has to pay Rs.100/- as entry fees.
We started at 6.05AM from Nainital and drove towards Kathgodam. I was feeling weak and was having acidity as I had lot of oily foods in last 2 days. Stopped the car in the road and had an ENO, next what I know, is that, I drove straight for 3 hours without any stoppage through Kathgodam-Haldwani-Rudrapur-Bilaspur-Rampur. As the road was almost clear due to Holi day, I drove at a high speed and when-ever we crossed any village-town etc, we used to lift the window glasses as in this part of India, Holi is celebrated like there is no tomorrow, so people use to pelt color-water filled balloons at the passer by. We had tea near Moradabad and heard from a policeman that there had been 2 major accident last night in the high-way. While driving, I was extra careful, and soon found the trucks those had accidents last night. We drove for another 100 Kms approx and found a place for our picnic. As I was feeling stretched, I put the mat and rested. All others had bread-butter and noodles, Pepsi etc. We rested there for 90 minutes or so, at last I took a little noodle as was feeling weak without any food last 18 hrs approx. We started from there at around 11.45AM and straight dove to Delhi and reached Delhi by 12.30PM. Dropped all of them at their respective homes, lucky none attacked us with gulal (HOLI colors).
 
Today I realise, watching those photos how beautiful those memories are, as hardly we meet due to our work schedules and till this date we 4 never been able to sit together and talk for a while. In metros, we just become machines, I try not to be, so just take life as it comes but of course with my conditions.
 
Hope, soon, I will share another trip of mine with you all. I just wish all enjoy their life. Travelling is my passion and love driving in the hills.

11 Comments

  • Mukesh Bhalse says:

    Welcome to Ghumakkar Bipul,
    Very interesting post supported with beautiful pictures. It is very rarely seen that people carry arrangement of cooking food on the trip, so it was very exciting to see the food being cooked on the root, it might be an enjoyable picnic too. Keep traveling keep sharing.

    Thanks.

  • Mukesh Bhalse says:

    Sorry,
    The word route wrongly typed as root.

    Thanks.

  • Sharma Shreeniwas says:

    ??????? ?? ??? ???-????? ??????? ?? ???? ?????? ?? ???? ?? ????????? ?????? ???? ?? ????? ????? ??? ??????? ??? ???? ????? ? ???? ???? ???? ????? ?? ????????? ???????? ?? ?? ????? ??? ???? ??? ?? ????/????? ??? ???? ?? ????? ??? ??? ????? ?? ?????? ??? ?? ??????? ?? ?? ????? ???? ???? ???? ????? ?? ????? ???? ????? ?? ????????? ???? ??- ?????? ??? ?? ????? ??? ?? ?? ?? ????????? ?????? ??? ?? ????????? ????? ???? ????

  • maheh semwal says:

    Very well written post equally supported with beautiful pictures.

  • Nandan says:

    Welcome aboard Bipul.

    I have the same remark about the cooking part. I do not remember anyone carrying a small gas stove and a cylinder and really cooking as part of drive :-), Brilliant. You just gave fellow ghumakkars some inspiration.

    Look fwd to read more of your stuff.

  • Amit Kumar says:

    Hi Bipul, like everyone I too liked the cooking part most. Once I had cooked mutton-rice for our group during our Jim Corbett tour.
    http://www.ghumakkar.com/2011/04/11/heaven-i-bet-you-cant-ask-for-more/
    But even then the utensils were provide by our guide and we just carried raw stuff from Rampur. I really liked this idea of carrying everything and would like to try it some day.
    Even finding a location for such an adventure is itself a fun. Great post.

  • Bipul welcome

    Cooking while travelling , we feel like innovation nowadays, but you have came back on one of the older traditions. keep it up . well written . good post keep posting……………………………

  • Vibha says:

    I admire everyone who can cook a good non-vegetarian dish mainly because I suck at it. You apparently had a lot of fun Bipul. Thanks for sharing. Hope you you mixed less of vodka and more of juice in your drink because you were the one doing most of the driving.

    Keep writing!

  • vinaymusafir says:

    Really great travelogue with full of yummy picnics.
    Solo driver always gets tired of driving, but driving in hills is really a fun in itself.
    Great experience.
    Cheers!

  • AUROJIT says:

    Hi Bipul,

    I am amazed, like everyone else, by this portable cooking arrangement and consequent impromptu picnics. I would rate it as one of the greatest ghumakkari ideas – will try to emulate it.

    A nice description of your travel and of course, the mouth watering preparations.

    Thanks,

    Auro.

  • Swalay says:

    Hi Bipuldey, awesome work dear … can i use your story/blog for nainital web site which we have just started few months back, I’ll mention your story with your name/URL, Thnx . please check http://www.nainital.info

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