And it continued… I visited Uttarakhand with my immediate family sometime back(minus the sitting in COVID year = sometime back). We planned the Nainital- Jim Corbett- Delhi circuit. This circuit is on the Kumaon side of Uttarakhand. A more flamboyant area with much lesser natural disasters than the Garhwal region. But Uttarakhand without the natural is unnatural. An “on the edge of life experience awaited us on this tour. One that makes my quote “If some thing adventurous doesn’t happen in Uttarakhand, it’s not worth it” That is the kind of fascination this place demands and naturally evokes.
We packed one suitcase each(mine were two); we were going to fly to Delhi – our regular gateway to Uttarakhand. In our excitement, the 2 hour flight journey was covered without looking at our watches even once. Delhi airport exit area is a much loved area something that Mumbai has to still emulate by way of infrastructure. As soon as we were out of the IGI airport at Delhi, we had a vehicle waiting to take us through this intra – city journey.
The distance from Delhi to Nainital is 316 kms which is about 6 hours of road. But wheeling upto Nainital from Delhi is the best thing to do especially when it’s not you driving!!! Dead tired, we slept half way through to wake up to what looked like a prelude to a stay in heaven. The road journey is refreshing and full of amazing views. The air freshens up to give you an exotic experience. Et voila you are in Nainital also called as the Lake District. The most popular hill station of North, Nainital is located at an altitude of 2000m above sea level. It is surrounded by seven hills, popularly known as ‘Sapta-Shring’ – Ayarpata, Deopata, Handi-Bandi, Naina, Alma, Lariya-Kanta and Sher-Ka-Danda. Nestled in the Himalayan mountains, it offers a great stay and memories that you might want to visit over and over.
So we travelled further up to the Bhimtaal lake exactly in front of which we were going to unwind for the next day.Our resort was a 3 star treat with pretty much everything that a traveller could ask for. The allotted room had a beautiful view of the lake and we were going to have a good stay here if at all we had time to sit by that window with the view. Well That’s because we were going to be in the backdrop of that view.
Work began the next day morning after a decent breakfast in the common eating hall of the resort. Our vehicle was waiting down the alley ready to take us through the roads of this petite town Nainital which actually revolves around the Naini lake. The town is built about the lake, all the hustle bustle there along with brisk commercial activities giving the tourism of this place a good boost. The Naini lake and the Mall Road are the two main commercial points here. But our first trip out was to Tiffin top. There is no entry fee here but the horse ride that takes you up the Ayarpatta hills is a paid ride. Located 2290 m above sea level, the top offers a breathtaking glimpse of entire Nainital. Panoramic shots captured by your mind that won’t fit in your cameras. The tour is marked by several viewable points one of which is dorothy’s seat.
The climb takes about 1hour with intermittent tea or camera click breaks. There are many people who trek this distance. The person manning our horses showed us the spot where several Bollywood movies were shot. One such place in the forest hills was where the famous “Jadu” was found by Hrithik Roshan !!!
By the time, we climbed down, it was late noon and time to relax by the Naini lake which was at its foothills. The sun had lost its blaze and within few hours it would be set. Perfect setting for a boat ride over the cool waters of the Naini lake. We felt refreshed as we paddled along other boaters. After the boat ride, we purchased some memoirs from the souvenir shops in the lane adjoining the lake.
A day spent well. By the time we retired to our room, we were dead tired and called for an in-room dining. With a good movie on our room tv screen, we ended day 1 in Nainital. Tomorrow was going to be another day full of sight seeing and of course shopping at the Mall Road.
With our location at Bhimtaal, we were very near to Naukuchiatal. It’s the largest lake in Nainital and the lake has 9 corners. It has a lot of water sports and other activities. Though we did not opt for boating or Kayaking, the youngest member of our troupe did the bubble over water. Rolling in a bubble over the water in a limited distance roll. Happiness and Nainital is a lethal mix – one that is difficult to get over in a long time to come. The well maintained clean waters and well handled water activities are a major tourist attraction to Naukuchiatal. We had an impending trip to the Mall Road, so I got a hurried exit done here to head to the shoppers haven in Uttarakhand. The Mall Road is the busiest street of Nainital. From bags to jewellery to clothes, it has the most unique items that can be offered to the rest of India to carry back as “neighbours envy owners pride”
I shopped to my heart’s content and marked the Mall Road as the best place ever visited in my diary.
The petite Nainital took over our hearts and left us with cosy memories to ruminate till another trip. We would be checking out from the resort the next day and heading to the Jim Corbett National park with a stay at Ramgarh.
Follow me as I relive our Jim Corbett tales in my next blog. Till then Au revoir!