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Thread: Memories of Kumaon Himalayas - Nainital, Almora, Binsar, Kasauni, Chaukori, Ranikhet, Shitlakhet

  1. #1

    Smile Memories of Kumaon Himalayas - Nainital, Almora, Binsar, Kasauni, Chaukori, Ranikhet, Shitlakhet

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    I donít known from where to begin my experience about my Kumaon Tour because it had been almost 4 years [2008] that we visited the places and it is very difficult to provide all the details about the tour. But one thing is that when I go through my old memories of our trip to Kumaon Himalayas still I can visualise the famous lake of Nainital, awesome Himalayan beauty from Almora, Binsar Chaukori, Ranikhet, and Shitlakhet. I can visualise colorful Nainital, solitary Binsar with natural forest, Kaushani, Chaukori, Shitlakhet with its stillness and Himalayan splendour . Still I miss the Alu paratha of Nainital, Anda bhaji of Shitlakhet, Rajma with Roti at some road side dhaba at Binsar, And mostly the long walk along the Thandi Sadak along with Naini Lake with my wife.

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    We started our journey in an evening of mid November from Howrah by Amritsar mail and reached Lucknow next day afternoon.
    From Lucknow we took Lalqua express for Haldwani at about 10pm.We reached Haldwani at early in the morning.Our first destination was Binsar but as it was a very long distance we decided to stay one day at Nainital. We hired a Maruti Omni for the whole trip from Haldwani.

    It took almost 2 hours( 34KM) to reach Nainital. After a little bit of searching we got a good decent Hotel for our night staying. Canít remember the name of the hotel. But hotel fair is very much costly at Nainital. We felt sleepy but the scenic charm of natural splendor and engrossing atmosphere refreshes us. After taking refreshment at hotel we moved to explore the scenic charm.

    Nainital is a renowned hill resort of India which is located at an altitude of 1,938 meters above sea level which derives its name from the Naini Lake. The Naina Devi Temple situated at the end of the lake is one of the 64 Shakti Peethas in India. According to Indian mythology it is the place where Satiís eyes fell down after which it came to be called as Nain-tal or lake of the eye. The lake a natural freshwater body situated amidst the Nainital Town and surrounded by seven mountains. This crescent shaped green coloured lake is the most sought after attraction of this place which spreads over an area of 120.5 acres.

    We hired a Sikara for full lake ride and it costed me Rs. 150 and it was very cold in a lake as cool breeze was hitting our faces and sneaking into the shirts. There are also opportunities for yachting, boating and paddling that makes it equally enticing during the day. Leisurely boating in Naini lake was a wonderful experience. It took almost an hour to finish the boat ride. By that time everybody felt very hungry so we went to a nearby dhaba. We ordered aluparatha With dahi. Alu paratha at Nainital were the best I have ever had. During our stay at Kumaun we tested different kind of aluparatha like gobi paratha, muli paratha,methi paratha. Believe me at Rs.20 they were awesome.

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    In the evening, we went to the Upper Mall or Mallital, a crowded place by the tourists and shopkeepers. Bustling with activity, it is amazing to see the amalgamation of so many shops of varied commodities standing in a harmonious line with each other. So many small shops selling toys, local and seasonal fruits like strawberries and other red, blue and black berries in a special cone shaped leaf.
    The specialty of Nainital is the candle shops, bright beautiful candles of various assortments; scented, unscented, gel, plain and decorative, Chinese make and local make. The lanes are full with these scents .

    It was chilled cold at the mid of November and we were not prepare for that so as advised by our driver went to Tibetan market and bought some winter cloths for everyone. We went back to the hotel and went to sleep early. We explored Nainital at the end of our Journey.


    contd..

  2. #2
    Great start Wayfarer, Binsar and surroundings are always pristine and beautiful. This is one area of the Himalayas [Kumaon+Garhwal] we have missed out on till now!
    The Wanderers.in

  3. #3

    Memories of the Kumaun Himalayas--- BINSAR

    Next day after taking a heavy breakfast with aluparatha we started our journey to Binsar The drive to Binsar took us through ever-green vegetation in the lower region that gives way to pine forests and shrubbery as we go higher. A dip in temperature is apparent as we climb up. The road from Nainital to Almora meanders up along the bank of Kosi river .
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    We reached Almora at noon (63 km ).We got the first glimpse of the Himalayan range from the rest house of KMVN of Almora.

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    almora is one of the main town in Uttrakhand so it was very much crowded and not so clean. We took some break and had our lunch at KMVN restaurant .Again we started our journey to Binsar putting behind crowed Almora. Clear blue skies, tall conifers spreading along the mountains, a carpet of green grass and meandering roads Ė recipe for a perfect drive. Once in a while, the road rides on the high ridges revealing deep valleys on either side and giving a feel of a high as I look below. We reached at the forest check post of Binsar at afternoon. After crossing the forest check post we drove 11 km to reach KMVN tourist rest house .We booked KNVN rest house of Binsar,Choukori,Ranikhet,Kousani and Sitlakhet from there office in Kolkata at 50% discounted rate. At that time there were only two option for staying at Binsar one is NMVN rest house and another is the forest rest house. The KMVN rest hose wreathed by the snow capped Himalayas on one side to the green alluring canopy of forests on the other. We checked in quickly and without taking any break we again got in to the car. Our driver took us to the sunset point almost a kilometer away Ė which we could have loved walking to, but for the time constraint. The point was just next to the forest rest house. As we got out of the car, we saw the most beautiful sunset. It was like a large melting fire ball Ė breathtakingly beautiful.

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    We went crazy clicking pictures forgot that we are in the dense jungle. looking at the pictures now, makes me nostalgic, but being there, experiencing it is something else!. We came back at the rest house. There was nothing to do. We had to take an early dinner because after 9 pm
    they disconnect the power supply.
    Last edited by Wayfarer; 16th July 2011 at 12:55 AM.

  4. #4

    Memories of the Kumaun Himalayas---BINSAR

    I had such a peaceful sleep that I woke up early the next morning all fresh and fit to embrace the day. went to the roof of the rest house. It was amazing to see the snow capped peaks change colors from deep blue to smoldering yellow to a fiery orange and finally a blue tinted white. It was a light and color show of nature!We spent almost 3 hours there and had our breakfast with Aluparatha.

    KMVN REST HOUSE JUST BEFORE SUNRISE
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    SUNRISE FROM THE ROOFTOP
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    FIRST SUN RAYS ON THE MAJESTIC HIMALAYAS Click image for larger version. 

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    TRISHUL
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    THE MAJESTIC HIMALAYAN RANGES---TRISHUL,CHOUKHAMBA,NANDADEVI,NANDAKOTH,PANCHACHULL IClick image for larger version. 

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  5. #5
    Wanderer ozzfan's Avatar
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    May 2011
    Location
    Calcutta, India, India
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    A very nice write up and superb pictures! Looking forward to more from you!

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