Kids Day Out…

Summer vacations in Delhi schools had started and kids were getting bored at home in the scorching heat of Delhi. Inam bhai and I thought of planning a quick weekend getaway, this time especially for children. Any place where kids would enjoy thoroughly; as well as learn things about Mother Nature. We did not want to take them to any please which would be crowded or full of tourists. We were thinking of any place which was not on any tourists map. One of our friends at the office (Rohit) is from Dehradun and suggested that we take the kids to a place called Silla Chowki. He assured us that kids would love the place as it had a small stream and the location was beautiful. We took the instructions to reach that place from Rohit and set out for Rishikesh.

The gang



Inam bhai’s children Hamza (Hammo), Yamaan (Maanu), and Manaal (Manno) and my son Adit (Vishu) made friends with each other within no time. Even thou they met for the first time still they were chatting in the rare seat of the car as if they knew each other since ages. We started at around 10 PM from Delhi and Inam bhai was driving the car calm and composed as he always is. We were in Rishikesh at around 4:30 AM and had enough time to reach our designated place. We decided to take break at Rishikesh and parked our car at the Triveni Ghat parking. Even at 4:30 AM there were lots of pilgrims at Triveni Ghat taking a dip or preparing to take a dip in holy Ganga. The atmosphere was divine and the breeze was cool and relaxing. We along with the kids spent about an hour at the banks of the holy river and then decided to move on towards the road that connects Rishikesh with Dehradun. After driving for about 40 minutes or so we reached Rani Pokhri from where we were supposed to take a right turn towards the mountains. We stopped at the crossing and bought some essential food supplies as we planed to send the night at the site where we had thought of. After driving for about 20 KM away from the main road we reached the village Silla Chowki. It is a small village that resides about 6 to 8 families. On asking one of the village folks we got to know that we would have to follow the course of the road and drive ahead for about 2 KM more to reach where we wanted to. Finally at around 8:00 AM we reached our destination. We parked our car on the side of the road and unloaded the car as we had to walk down a bit to reach the stream.

Just getting a feel of the water temprature first

Aaaaaah! the water is cold

The place where we were to spend the day and the night was actually a check dam constructed in the British times for irrigation purpose. The place also had a small cabin where no one ever lived. Even though we were carrying our tents; the cabin seemed to be a better place to spend the night as we had kids with us. The kids could not resist the water and wanted to break free right away. We wanted the kids to be safe but did not want to impose too many restrictions on them and allowed them to freak out the way they wanted to. They were having a great time.

Having fun

Looking for fish

At around 1 in the afternoon; after spending a lot of time and energy the kids were feeling hungry. Inam bhai and I prepared some tomato and cucumber sandwiches which the kids loved. After filling up their tiny tummies the kids were back in the water. Their routine was to spend a few minutes in the cold water and then they would get out of the water to sun dry themselves by lying on their favourite rocks. The time was flying by and soon we realized that it was 6 in the evening and we had to prepare “dinner” for the kids. All we had was some rice, Maggie, onions, cucumbers, butter and salt. We had borrowed a cooking utensil from the shopkeeper where we bought the supplies. We did not have any plates, spoons or any other kind of crockery or cutlery. First of all we gathered some fire wood that would be enough for cooking as well a small bon fire at night. Inam bhai took the charge of cooking Khichri and I went out in the jungle to gather “plates”. At a distance I found a plant whose leaves looked like perfect dinner plates in this wilderness. I do not know the name of the plant but I knew that these leaves were used by locals as plates in marriages and other gatherings. At around 8:30 PM the kids were starving and the Khichri was ready. None of the kids had the time to think about on what the dinner was being served. All they cared about was eating.

No table manners required

A view of the valley

After they were full again they insisted that we started the bon fire. After spending about an hour around the bon fire the kids started to doze off one by one. After putting off the fire, Inam bhai and I also went to sleep. The next morning we all woke up at around 5 AM. It was a beautiful morning. The breeze was cold; there were different types of birds making noises yet there was soothing calmness. It was time to teach the kids how to take natures call in the nature itself. After every one was fresh we again lit the fire and prepared to cook Maggie. By the time Maggie was cooked and served; the sun had risen over the valley where we spent the night. The kids again wanted to repeat what they did yesterday.

Frolicking in Water

Cabin where we stayed at night

Manno does not want to leave the water

While the kids were busy in the water, Inam bhai thought of catching one of the big lizards that were hiding and running around in the cracks of the check dam. He made a noose out of a fishing line and was successful in getting one within minutes. After showing off the catch to the kids he released the lizard back into the wild.

Inam bhai’s catch

Manno is hungry now

After spending a couple of hours at the site; we decided to hit the road and get back to Delhi. While coming back the kids were so tired that they were sleeping in the car almost all along the way back. On asking the kids how they liked this trip; the answer was a loud AWESOME…

34 Comments

  • Surinder Sharma says:

    Harish Ji,

    Very good post nice description and good photos. Kids are great otherwise here it is hard to wake them up until 9 if no school. Thanks for share your journey.

  • vinaymusafir says:

    Beautiful kids.
    Great idea of picnic. It seems that kids enjoyed alot.

  • Mukesh Bhalse says:

    It seems through the pictures that children had a lot of fun there. Treat of khichdi in jungle in the lap of mother nature that too on leaves………………..Great.
    ???????? ??? ?? ???? ??? ?? ??????? ?? ????????? ??? ?????? ?? ?? ??? ?? ???????? ?? ??? ????????? ???? ????? ????? ????? ?? ?? ???? ????? ?? ?????? ?????? ???? ??. ???? ????? ?? ?? ???? ??? ??? ?? ” ?? ?? ?????? ?? ???? ??? ??? ??? ?? ???, ???? ???? ??? ????? ?? ?????? ???”……………..

  • kavita Bhalse says:

    ???? ?? ,
    ?????? .??? ??? ?? ???? ??? ???? ?? ????? ????? ?? ???? ?? ??? ???? ?? ????? ??? ??? ??? ?? ????? .????????? ?? ????? ????? ?? ??? ???? ??? ?? ??? ?? ??? ???? ????????.????? ?? ?? ??? ?????? ?? ???? ???? ????? ??? ? ??? ???? ???? ?? ?????? ??? .

    • Harish Bhatt says:

      ??????? ????? ??… ????????? ?? ????? ???? ?? ?????? ??? ?? ???? ?????? ??! ???? ????? ???? ??? ?? ?? ??? ?????? ???????…

  • Nandan Jha says:

    That is a brilliant gift both of you gave to kids. Indeed it is a ‘day out’. I think at times, you just have to step out and believe that something good would come out. In this case, the ‘Cabin’ was a big saving grace. Thank you Bhatt Jee.

  • Biswajit Ganguly says:

    Bhatt sahab, what a beautiful idea to spend quality time with yr kids. I also had the privilege to spend some quality time with my kids in the same type of surroundings. Although they are all born in Delhi but it has to be seen to be believed the kind of love and passion they have for hills. Ultimately it is for them that we do every thing in our life, providing such leisure trip with complete free hand to roam around makes these little flowers to blossom into complete personality. Enjoyed thoroughly the simple short trip although surprised to see their mothers absence.

  • Bhattsaab maza aa gaya, pachpan saal purani shararaten aur ghumakkari taza ho gayi. Bachhon ki pyari-pyari tatha bholi-bhali aap dwara karai gayi ghumakkari bahut achchhi lagi.
    Danyawaad.

  • Harish Bhatt says:

    Thank you, Tridev Ji… Bachon ke saath is tarah ekant me samay bitane me ik sukoon milta hai… I am happy that you like the post.

    Thanks again…

  • Very lively and down-to-earth narrative with wonderful photographs. One of my friend had decided to celebrate his daughter’s birthday by organising a picnic at similar place. All the friends of his daughter were invited and had participated in that picnic. A mini bus full of children with Happy Birthday banner took them to the picnic site where all of them had a gala time. What a great idea, Sir Ji! For a small kid of 8 years, this was the best birthday she had ever had.

    Sushant Singhal

    • Harish Bhatt says:

      Thank you, Sushant Ji… Your friend must be a great dad. It was a wonderful idea and gift that he gave his daughter on her B’day…I am sure she will remember it for a long time…

  • Tarun Talwar says:

    Bhatt ji,

    Refreshing post and great pics. The kids must have enjoyed this outing a lot.

    I would love to take my boy on such an outing some day. Thanks for sharing.

    • Harish Bhatt says:

      Thank you, Tarun Ji… Kids really had great fun… You should take your boy out soon before the summer is over :-)

  • SilentSoul says:

    Bhattji, very good travelogue.. simple and to the point

    kahan gayab rah itne din ?

    • Harish Bhatt says:

      Thank you SS Ji of late I have been out on a couple of reasonably long and interesting ghumakkari and have been really busy once I got back to the office so did not get much time to write BTW congratulations on becoming the Featured Author for the month :-)

  • ashok sharma says:

    very good post ,nice pics.

  • venkatt says:

    A little known gem from Bhatt saab. It looks like both the seniors and the kids had a blast…The place looks great for a day’s outing if one is staying at Rishikesh or Dehradun. Hope it stays remote and clean for a long time..

  • Sundar Shastry says:

    Dear Harish,

    This is what I called true outing! I enjoyed your narration. The pictures, specifically the different moods of the kids, their inquisitiveness and their general “wonder” of the surroundings have been beautifully captured. It perfectly matched your experience and narration. I particularly liked the picture of the kids having food … the picture truly brings out their innocence. Excellent post.

  • Harish Bhatt says:

    Thank you for your kind words Sundar Ji…

  • Very interesting post. Wonderful idea to take care of enjoyment of kids in such manner. I am sure that along with the fun, kids must have learned a lot of things about nature.

  • Rajshri says:

    I really like they way you have described about your trip.

    Your Son and Inams kids are really amazing, pictures it self describing that how much they have enjoyed there trip.

  • D.L.Narayan says:

    As always, Bhattsaab, your blogs are unique. It is one of the most heartwarming blogs I have read of late.

    Your visit to Silla Chowk is unique in many respects.

    1. Choice of location…..a nice secluded but beautiful spot.
    2. The group: Moms were conspicuous by their absence. It was heartening to see fathers taking on he roles of mothers too. Teaches the children gender equality, that men too can perform roles traditionally done by women.
    3. Teaching children at an early age about bonding with nature, learning to respect wildlife and ecosystems.
    4. Teaching children about roughing it out and eating simple but delicious food.
    5. Above all, inculcating in children the spirit of ghumakkari.

    Hats off to you, Bhattsaab and my sincere apologies for responding so late.

    • Harish Bhatt says:

      DL Ji,

      I am gratified. Only a wise person like you can go into such detailed observations. The observations that you made about fathers taking on the roles of mothers was not even on my horizon. We just felt that since the mothers were not present; it was simply our prime and utmost important duty to take care of the kids in all respects. I really appreciate you taking out time to read thisMany thanks DL Ji

  • Aparna says:

    Wow..this sounds super adventure..really nice one!!! Am amazed that Kids made no fuss about lack of amenities..guess its only us, the elder ones who have all sorts of problems in such places..:)

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