Cloud 9 after initial hiccups has come up well with semi urban setting with villas and cottages with Khabrar Hill on the northern side and Jim Corbett like hunting forest on the southern slopes with thick jungle of oak, cedar, pine and rhododendron trees whose red flowers make excellent rejuvenating syrupy juice, frequented by the leopards and the tigers.Read More
Incidentally, when we left our home for hills, there was sadly red alert on one TV channel announcing heavy rains and land slides in Uttrakhand in the next 48 hours. While my wife wanted to cancel the trip, I and Neerja pursuaded her to take a chance. Throughout our stay, the sky remained heavely overcasted with high probability of rains. Though I love rains and more than that the smell of hot pakoras and steaming mugs of tea, along with refreshing breeze and lurking fears of land slides. Luckily there were no rains till we arrived back home with renewed synergy.Read More
Nainital was just 10 kms from Bhowali and the road went uphill. So we decided to board the cab at last. Nainital meant the usual activity of walking around the Naini Lake, One hour in peddle boats and a shopping spree on the mall road.Read More
The third day, we went to see a river and waterfall. We went there by trekking, starting early in the morning. It was a very lengthy journey. I kept on asking my guide that when we will reach the river. All the time his reply was that it is just a few kilometers far. The area was full of pine and oak trees. I collected many pine flowers (pine cone).We heard birdsongs of many types. One particular bird with long tail was very attractive. The guide told that the bird’s name may be ‘paradise bird’ but he was not sure. After coming to the guest house I searched in the internet and identified that it was a ‘red billed blue magpie’. It was an extremely beautiful bird which glided smoothly down the valley. I slipped on the fallen pine leaves and fell down many times on the way but it was all fun! After walking for about four hours we heard the sound of water rushing through the rocks. I started running in the direction of the sound and found a very fresh and clear stream, crashing through the rocks. This place was not visited by many tourists and hence very clean. Usually people throw things in the water. The sound of water falling from the high mountain was very loud. I missed my brother because with him I would have enjoyed more. The water was cold and green. Whenever I see water I can’t control myself and I started swimming.Read More
While waiting for lunch, I walked around observing the tourists and what they were doing. While watching them, I was reminded of an old saying; When someone used to get sick or feeling “not well’, they used to be advised that “In ko Pahard per lay jao – AAB-O-HAWA badli karao” (Take them to the hills and give them a change of “Water & Air”)!Read More
Fortunately clear skies gave us a chance to say proper goodbye to mighty tops. Chukhamba, Trishul, Nandadevi and Panch-chuli were among many shikhars visible today morning. It is said, only from Kausani, distinct trishul shape can be seen on the equilateral triangle shaped Trishul peak. In fact these are three peaks on one massif. Though we might be seeing mountain tops still from our next points of visit but not all of them in one go.
We started descending for Ranikhet. The valley was green with wheat and mustard farms. Most of the farms were carved in hill terraces. Different shades of green were splashed on round curved fields. Apple trees were leafless but were bearing white flowers. Some of the other trees were total yellow and some red. But many others had shed their leaves in the winter and were waiting for warmer weather. Spring has almost arrived but frequent unexpected snowfall has delayed blooming season. Anyways, fall does have its own beauty. I could not resist myself from comparing seasons with life-cycle.
On the way, we visited a kalika temple. Next was a Golf Course which was covered with yellow grass. It was noon time so couldn’t stand in open for long and moved ahead. One more temple, a shawl factory and a barren empty fruit orchard could not interest us much.
Ranikhet is basically an army cantonment area. Lots of training facility buildings and practice grounds occupy most of the town. Security connected jawans and their families form majority of population. Cleanliness and environmental care was visible in the town. Civilian areas had not matched that standard.
We walked to the rocky path to the top point in the evening there we could see the Shiva Temple. There is a Rock with a hole and it is believed if barren women enter this hole they will have children. It was a thrilling experience at the temple and the nearby Suicide point where we stayed quite some time seeing the Sun set and the moon rise and the chirping of birds of different kinds.
A sort of Red flowering plants could be seen all over. The red flowers seen is Brass/Buransh is the Pahari/Hindi name of Rhododendron Arborium. Its Juice is said to be good for reducing Cholesterol. The Oils extracted is good for Skin. There are hundreds of such medicinal plants here. This plant is seen all along the way up mingled with other flowers of different kinds. These preparations are available at Haldwani but not on top of the hills.Read More
The magical sight of the alluring waterfall spraying its way across made our efforts worthwhile. Leaving the less adventurous ones with the children to take snaps and shoot us as we climb up the rocks to a certain height, a few of us attempted the last leg of the adventure. We crawled, pawed and dragged ourselves to the overhanging ledge closer to the source of the fall. The water was cold and refreshing. It was already pretty cold outside with temperatures dipping as dusk was thickening. We climbed down and decided to stand under the fall and take an ultimate refreshing bath. But the experience was unexpectedly out of the world. The force with which the water tumbled down on the head and shoulders was tremendous. It seemed like you are being beaten with a pound of grounded sack of rice.Read More
We checked into our room by 6:30 pm, took bath and slipped into the quilts as it was quite dark outside and there was no mall or market to stroll around. By 8:00 pm, we thought to go out of the hotel and check the nearby areas. It was so dense dark just outside the hotel that even the valley on other side of the road was not visible. There was no light glow coming even from a distance as the entire population of the region is just 3,000. We went back to our room, ordered the food, surfed television for sometime after having dinner and slept thinking to wake up early in the morning to enjoy the sunrise at Chauli ki Jali. As usual, my slumber broke late at 8 in the morning, so we hurriedly took bath, packed our baggage, checked out of hotel and move towards Mukteshwar Mahadev temple—a famous temple of Lord Shiva. We parked our car at its gate and decided to first visit Chauli ki Jali and explore the surrounding areas. We started climbing up the hills from a pathway aside the temple periphery, and after half a kilometre distance the view of the Himalayas were unbelievably stunning. We were at an altitude of 8,000 ft. with a 180-degree viewing sight of Himalayas and as we moved on, reached a place where there was no road ahead except the deep valley and the lush green surroundings. I had never experienced such a beautiful view of mountains, even though I have travelled to a number of hill stations.Read More
With all the theoretical knowledge collected through blogs, we had few recommended names for our stay. We started having a look on hotels. First and the very pleasing one was MT- Mountain Trail. Ambiance/view here was awesome. After discussing about the tariffs we moved on to other hotels. We were more concerned for a captivating view rather than the tariffs. We went ahead to few more lodges along with PWD Guest house. But, we had already lost our hearts to MT. So we called back the manager and asked him to book 2 rooms for us.
We parked our car near the entrance of Mukteshwar temple and started taking a walk towards the main tourist attraction point “Chauli ki jali”. After putting in few efforts in climbing the rocks we finally reached on the top of the cliff. The cliff gave a splendid panoramic view of snow-white Himalayan ranges. Captured the “Orange- setting Sun”, did some archery. As it was getting late and the temperature started dropping with Sun, instead of going for Rock climbing we opted to just give a pose :)Read More
We explored the property the first day and was happy to see that apart from a TT table and carrom board, the resort has a gym and two pool tables. My husband and son played a few games of TT and carrom, while i enjoyed the hammock in the garden with my book. Then as the sun set, it was mystical seeing the colour of the waters change. The next morning we decided to take a boat ride. Then, following a good breakfast we decided to take a walk around the lake and explore the small hamlet. The walk is around 3.5 km and will take barely an hour at a slow pace. You will meet smiling locals and few tourists, especially if you take this walk before 10am. The tourists generally don’t stay at Naukuchiatal but make a day trip and descend on the sleepy hamlet after 11 and move out by 5.Read More
Once we settled down, freshened up, we met the other guests, quite a few from Gurgaon, went around the property and watched the view points. Later, in the evening I went down for a walk and to see the area towards Krishna, and Sun set spots. Guess what? I came across a loosely locked gate, just after Krishna, with a notice “Private-No Entry”. Curious, an Indian after all, I sneaked in. There were no security, no dogs, no one out there. I walked up the private road with my camera.Read More