20.11.2010 - 05.12.2010
Myself and my wife planned our trip this year on the onset of our 3rd marriage anniversary. It was really an awesome experience, our tour started off from Awadh and journeyed through the dense Corbett jungles, fields an plains of uttarakhand and the hilly tracts of the mighty Kumaon Himalayas.
20th November 2010..
........We started off in himgiri express from Kolkata, the train was due to leave from Howrah at 11:55 P.M and we found our berths in one of the two AC compartments of the train well in time and quickly unpacked the bedroll for a railway goodnight.
The next morning we were welcomed by the hustle and bustle of the bihar crowd at Bhakhtiyarpur just before Patna. The train went on delaying from its scheduled time from station to station, and when we reached Lucknow it was 10:30 P.M 3 hours delay from our scheduled arrival time. I was a bit over confident about the hotels in Lucknow and was sure of finding a good place to stay at a bargain price, but the hour and the locality both seemed hostile. However, atlast was able to find a place to shelter us wit the help of our rickshaw puller. It was Hotel Monarch, looked quite a good one from the exteriors and charged at Rs 750 for a day but later we found that the room is infested with a platoon of cockroaches. Whatsoever no way out........................so goodnight Lucknow......
22nd November 2010...
..........We had already hired our yesterdays rickshaw puller to take us around the city at 120 bucks. He was waiting for us down stairs...we started off after an oily breakfast of half plate of puri sabji for "Bara Imambara"..The roads and the ambience of the city was dissapointing to us, though found a massive eviction drive on both side of the road leading towards Bara Imambara from Naka Hindola. Our first destination Bara Imambara was a magnificent experience. Though the weather was gloomy but Bhool Bhulaiyaa and Bada Imambara was mesmerizing. Still was heartbroken to find the state of the city..Expected a lot. Thereafter we took the Faizabad Delhi express and reached Moradabad. From Moradabad we boarded the "Ramnagar Express"....Its not a train friends a great "Khatara" bus running the stretch of 85 Kms to Ramnagar in similar extreme road conditions. When we reached Ramnagar, our backs were weeping. But were cordially welcomed in Karan Singh Bisht's "Corbett Motel". Its one of the best experiences I had on the tour. A beautifully planned group of cottages admist a mango & lichi orchard and a splendid hospitality. A very helpful person Karan Singh does arrange for Corbett Safaris also in his own safari jeeps.
After doing our evening and morning safaris we moved forward towrds Nainital. A total of approx 65 Kms took us around 2 hours to reach in a car. Rent - Rs. 1200 for Nainital drop.
In Nainital we rested for 2 days and hired an Alto [courtesy Mr.Sadanand Guha Majumdar of Hotel New Bengal] @ Rs 1100 per day and moved towards Almora. The distance is approx 65 Kms. Our first stoppage was at Kainchi Dham, a serene temple amidst the hills and river flowing by and also a nice halt for tea. Thereafter the road till Almora is treacherous. The recent heavy rains in September has washed off the road at many places and the roads swirls and curls alongside the Kosi river. Many a places the road is even blocked by landslides and a single vehicle can pass at a time. The dusty, bumpy road ride ended in Almora after about 3.5 hrs. Our abode there "Hotel Shikhar" was really refreshing. At just Rs 500 a spacious double bed room with a small balcony and a serene view of the valley ahead. Almora has nothing to offer, just a small little town with a lot of hustling and bustling in the market. We had the famous Gol Mithai there @ Rs 180 a Kg.
The next day morning we started at around 9:30 A.M and our 1st halt was at the temple of Golu Dev. It was a wonderful xperience. A temple full of bells and wishes written on paper and even Stamp paper. The road there after is splendid. We reached Patal Bhuvneshwar at around 3:00 P.M., a total distance of 115 Kms. Though i didn't venture to enter into the caves but the view of the Himalayas and the chilly breeze from the mountains is facinating.
Our night stay was at "Gaurav Resort" - Yes at Room No: 107 at Chaukori. Its a great place to stay in Chaukori, however the approach road till the hotel is pathetic and our driver was in a threatning mood due to the damage caused to his car. I bargained the tariff to Rs 600. It was worth the money next morning at Sunrise. The caretaker was very friendly and served us with chapati and aloo gobi sabji at night. The mighty Himalayas were standing just in front of us and I woke really early at 4 AM for the sunrise.
When I went to the terrace, the view was awesome, a clear chilly starry morning with a hazy presence of the Panchachulli peaks. Sun rose at 6:45 AM with the peaks changing their colurs and aura every second. Its a great experience. We started off for Kasauni via Bageswar and Baijnath temples at around 10 A.M. Total distance of 90 Kms.
The road is good here also. And reached baijnath in 2 hours. Baijnath temples were good specially the fishes in the adjoining river. Reached Kausani at around 2:00 P.M. Here I checked in Hotel Prashant where I bargained the room at Rs 450. Room No: 101, the best room I believe in hotel prashant. Facing the himalayas the room had an outstanding view. Really, standing on the terrace of Hotel Prashant I was feeling very close to the heaven.
We came back the next day to Nainital via Ranikhet. Ranikhet does not have much to offer except the golf couse and Kali temple but you can have a glimpse of the entire range from Ranikhet.
Thereafter in Nainital,,,,a lot of shopping from the Tibetian market and wooden articles from the shops in the mall road.. In totality we had a awesome trip...