People say that old habits never leave. When I was in school we use to have 2 months summer holidays. My father use to promise me that if I complete my Holiday homework he will plan a vacation. Sometimes I was successful and sometimes I wasn’t. But when I grew older and started working, I promised myself that I no matter what happened I will take a week’s holiday and plan a vacation with my family. When I got married in Nov 2011 I told my wife about this habit of mine and she was happy to know that I am a “GHUMAKKAR”. So we started planning for summer 2012 and after a week of discussion, agreement and disagreement we finally managed to plan an itinerary . This included Kaila Devi Mandir in Karoli- Rajasthan (Dad’s Choice), Mathura, Vridavan (Mom’s Choice), Nainital (Sister’s Choice) and Almora (Me & Wife’s Choice). Soon we came to know that the idol of Kaila Devi is not in temple as the King of Karoli has taken the idol for ganga snan, this happens once in every three years. So now the list was shortened. We booked an innova from a local taxi dealer and started our journey from Delhi.
Day 1: Delhi to Mathura (approx. 150 kms.)
We started our journey at 10 am in the morning from Delhi to Mathura. We took the old route that is via Faridabad. It took us more than more than 3 hrs. to reach Mathura. After checking in to our hotel and taking lunch we took a rest for 2 hrs.
We got ready by 05:30 pm and went to Krishan janambhoomi . This place is like a police cantonment, security is very tight here and an extensive checking is performed before entering the premises. The premises contain very beautiful pictorial depiction of lord Krishna childhood. It also has the cell where Devki and Vasudev were kept as prisoners by Kans. It also has small museum the ticket costs Rs 3.
Then we went to Vrindavan , here we visited Iscon temple and Bankebihari Temple. In Iscon temple we may find foreigners enchanting shlokas in sanskrit and singing bhajans. Most of these people are between the age of 25-35 years. The idols of Krishna , Radha and Balram are very beautiful. Next we went to Bankebihari Mandir. This is the main temple in Vrindavan. The ambiance of this temple is amazing whole temple is covered with Mogra flowers and people enchanting Mantras, shlokas and bhajans. You won’t feel like leaving the place at once.
We ended our day with come classical music program organised by All India Radio and Doordarshan.
We went to Dwarkadhish Temple. This situated right on the banks of river Yamuna. You will find many pujaris following you to get the pooja done but beware as most of them are thugs.
After offering the pooja at Dwarkadhish Temple we left for Nainital. This is 358 kms long drive which takes close to 6-7 hrs. We reached Nainital at 7 pm and went to circuit house, after settling down we went for dinner at restaurant at mall road. We slept early this day as we were too tired.
This day we went to visit various points
Zoo: This is the funniest zoo I have ever came across. It’s the smallest and you can complete the trip in 20 mins . the worst part is that you have a steep uphill walk of 15-20 mins to reach there.
Naini Peak: You will find people waiting for you with the telescope and will show you The Great Himalayan Range and so called China. Well there is no way you can figure out whether they are showing china or not.
Naini lake : This is the best part I liked about nainital, boating in naini lake. This is a great stress buster as the environment is really nice and a cool breeze flowing. No matter how much time the person take to cover one round you will always find it less.
Mall road: At around 6 mall road is closed for vehicles making road safe for pedestrians. The mall road runs around naini lake making the weather pleasant to stroll around with your loved ones the streets are full of snacks items like momos, chat pakodas and dilli wale gol gappe, also there are various restaurants for dinner. You can purchase wooden handicrafts from such place to decorate your home or to gift someone. Roaming on this road is the best way to finish the day after a heavy dinner.
After being charged up by the naini lake we were all sent to visit another lake which is Bheemtal. This is a man-made lake with an aquarium in middle of the lake. On visiting this lake we found that it was very disappointing. Unlike naini lake it was not well kept there was not around it to visit or to see so we left the place quickly for Almora which is 62 kms away. This journey is close to 2 hrs.
Almora is not a very tourist friendly place they do have budget hotels and the luxury hotels but you have to search for them. This day we just had a glimpse of the market and purchased Bal Mithai. My father is in All India radio so he took us to AIR office in Almora. It was a lazy day.
We started our Day by visiting Jageshwar Temple. It is 36 kms away from the Almora. It is a very beautiful place. This is not a jyotirlinga but it is almost equivalent to that. The building of this temple is like any other Lord Shiva Temple. But it was not that crowded.
After Jageshwar we went to the most interesting place of our trip. It was Golu Devta Mandir. Golu devta is considered as the lord of justice. IF you have done something wrong and you want to confess or someone has cheated you and you need justice you just need to write it on a piece of paper and tie it with a bell on the ceiling of the temple once you prayers are heard then you need to visit the temple again to remove the bell and paper. You can find lakhs of applications on the ceiling of the temple most of the letter are proper disputes of court matter and the application is on a stamp paper. Most people confuse Golu Devta with Chaitai Golu Devta. Golu Devta is uncle of Chaitai Golu and it is said that legacy of Golu Devta was carried forward by Chaiti Golu devta and both the temples are different but second temple is not visited by most of the people.
The last point of our trip was Kasar Devi Temple. This temple is situated on top of a hill and there is a very steep walk from the parking lot to the temple. The temple was built by King Rudrak. This place has amazing view of the evening as it is one of the top most point in Almora and you can feel the cool breeze, which indeed is very refreshing.
This is Naughty Pandit signing off with a promise to come back with a new story of 2013.