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Old 21st January 2013, 14:56   #16
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Default re: Uttarakhand : A Bone-Chilling Winter Vacation in the "Land of Gods"

After checking into the hotel, We were ready to step out by 7pm after getting freshened up and took a liesurely walk around the beautiful mall road which is right on the banks of the Naini Lake with several hotels lined up facing it too.

At night, the road glitters away with many shimmering lights

This has to be my second-most favorite Mall Road. Shimla, in my books retains the top-spot ( My rating might be slightly baised towards the crowd I reckon)

We walked around the mall road and were checking out the various shops selling knick-knacks, played a game of shooting and finally came to a very small Cutlet (Aloo Tikki) stall run by a very small time vendor. We all were famished so digged into the Tikki's, Boiled Eggs (which were presently rather nicely) and Momo's which were separate stalls right next to each other.

Btw, over the 3 days we were in Nainital. We went back each day for the Aloo Tikki (It was that fabulous)

Had a light dinner in a restuarant on the mall road by 9pm and retired back to the hotel room by 10:00pm.
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Old 21st January 2013, 17:07   #17
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Default Re: Uttarakhand : A Bone-Chilling Winter Vacation in the "Land of Gods"

Sorry for the back to back posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nonstop-driver View Post
Couldn't agree more with SS-Traveller . Nainital is crowded and boring, with the lake being too dirty, courtsey tourists like us! Other lakes like Sat Tal and Bhim Tal are more better now-a-days.Looking forward to the next leg of journey and pics!
Actually, it isnt as crowded as Manali or Shimla Mall Road. But, then the point remains there isnt much to do in Nainital Mall Road as the shops etc arent too exciting. The center of attraction is the lake, that's about it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Enigmatic View Post
Mobike008 im really looking forward to your travelog.I dont wanna brag about uttarakhand(being from uttarakhand itself) but it really is an amazing place. When were you in Nainital?? I was there in the month of December interning in the High Court. I used to drive every day from Bhowali(12 km's from nainital) and what a drive it is. Simply beautiful .
Thanks. Yes, i agree I was always biased towards Himachal which i have visited several times in the past. But, my second visit to UK ( previously visited Nainital in Dec-2010) especially the unexplored terrorties made me change my mind.

I was there from Dec 22-Dec 25, 2012.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Enigmatic View Post
Just one word of advice:- To all those who say delhi is cold, well you haven't been to Nainital yet !
Well, to be honest when I was there it wasnt that cold. Temperature must have been hovering around in the 6C-8C range and i was walking around in a thick t-shirt and nothing else

Actually, Auli was the coldest at 0C or -1C

Another time a shiver went through me was when I was in Delhi around 1st week January when Delhi touched 2C ( Lowest in 44 years, It seems)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tapish View Post
Don't say this about my home. I know it has become a lot more commercialized than needed, but the place has a certain charm to it. In fact, there are a lot of unexplored places even within Nainital. Its all about finding those places.Avinash sir, Amazing log.. Glued to the thread.
Tapish, By no means i want to disrespect Nainital. There is noways I am saying it isnt beautiful. It is certainly a beautiful place but, offlate all these popular destinations have been seeing an exponentially high rate of tourists which is the main reason for us not to enjoy its beauty.

Perhaps, best to visit during non-season ( if there is one for destinations like Nainital, Shimla, Manali which seem to be full around the clock)

Quote:
Originally Posted by lordofgondor View Post
Nice start to the log mate! I was also visiting Garhwal region during December end. Your log is inspiring me quit being lazy and write my own too.Talking about lack of place branding by UK govt., mostly I believe it's a good thing. Though they should definitely focus on upkeep in their rest houses. UK still has that old world charm that I so miss in HP. Waiting for you to move out of Nainital
Iam also not very active in writing lengthy blogs. But, for this TL, I forced myself to write a brief report and share the pictures of this trip as I thoroughly enjoyed the beautiful Uttarakhand

Quote:
Originally Posted by lordofgondor View Post
+1 to that. We passed the place while driving down to Rudraprayag from Ukimath. The beautiful valley with the river meandering through it and the location of the GMVN TRH next to the river looked awesome. Plan to go there next winter.
Totally agree. Again it was thanks to TSK1979 who suggested this place.

It was almost similar to an earlier place which he recommended in Himachal; a place called Tirthan Valley which was equally fabulous.

Alright, coming back to the log. We had a restful sleep and when we woke up in the morning, we enjoyed these glorious views right from our rooms while sipping a hot cuppa tea
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Old 21st January 2013, 17:26   #18
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Default Re: Uttarakhand : A Bone-Chilling Winter Vacation in the "Land of Gods"

I couldn't agree more about the aaloo tikki guy(Specially his aaloo chat) its awesome !!

The thing with nainital is that it has become too commercialized, specially the mall road. However the real beauty of Nainital is way beyond the mall road such as china peak, tiffin top, lands end etc..

Darn i was there in Nainital as well during that time, about the temperatures well its actually the breeze near the lake that gets though your spine.. Did you go to the boat house club ??

Waiting for more pics and love the travelog.
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Old 21st January 2013, 18:04   #19
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Default Re: Uttarakhand : A Bone-Chilling Winter Vacation in the "Land of Gods"

Awesome pics and write up Avi. Maybe I should get my bucket list for 2013 ready!
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Old 21st January 2013, 18:32   #20
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Default Re: Uttarakhand : A Bone-Chilling Winter Vacation in the "Land of Gods"

Seems half of Team BHP was in Uttarakhand in Q4 2012!

Looking forward to seeing the pictures of Joshimath and Auli. Auli must have been lovely in winter.
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Old 21st January 2013, 18:37   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nilanjanray View Post
Seems half of Team BHP was in Uttarakhand in Q4 2012!

Looking forward to seeing the pictures of Joshimath and Auli. Auli must have been lovely in winter.
And the other half was in Himachal
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Old 21st January 2013, 21:34   #22
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Default Re: Uttarakhand : A Bone-Chilling Winter Vacation in the "Land of Gods"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Enigmatic View Post
I couldn't agree more about the aaloo tikki guy(Specially his aaloo chat) its awesome !!The thing with nainital is that it has become too commercialized, specially the mall road. However the real beauty of Nainital is way beyond the mall road such as china peak, tiffin top, lands end etc.. Did you go to the boat house club ??
No, I didnt go. Infact, hearing about it for the first time. What is special about the boat house club?

Apart from the Naintal town, we visited the regular touristy spots like Bhimtal, Naini Peak, Snow View, Nakuchiyatal, Khurpatal etc.

For others, Nainital literally means "9 Lakes" on these beautiful mountains. Imagine such huge lakes at such an altitude. Truly god's wonderful creation.

I dont recall if we have visited Tiffin Top, sounds like a new name to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by G_AmbyMad View Post
Awesome pics and write up Avi. Maybe I should get my bucket list for 2013 ready!
Thanks Gautam. You should visit Uttarakhand. It's really an amazing place

Quote:
Originally Posted by nilanjanray View Post
Seems half of Team BHP was in Uttarakhand in Q4 2012! Looking forward to seeing the pictures of Joshimath and Auli. Auli must have been lovely in winter.
Quote:
Originally Posted by manolin View Post
And the other half was in Himachal
Oh yeah, even most of BMCT guys were out there during the same time.

Everyone including me were planning a visit to Chopta ( never heard of that place till a few months back) and was diappointed to know that all roads to it were closed when we tried going there. So had to cut down our trip by a day due to this reason.

Joshimath and Auli should be coming up in the next few posts


Next day morning, we had a sumptious breakfast on the mall road and called our driver who picked us up from the mall road right in front of the restuarant ( Shucks, there is a charge of Rs.100 each time the vehicle enters on to the mall road. Ridiculous. They should make that as charge for a day not for each entry on the mall road)

Father-in-Law wanted to laze around on the mall road so we 4 of us took the Innova and decided to visit a few places like Snow View and other touristy spots which were in the range of 25kms-30kms from Nainital town.

Me and My Brother-in-Law

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A sumptious breakfast of various items like Poori, Idli, Paranthas that totally satiated our cold brains and stomachs

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Few pictures of the Nainital Lake from the Mall Road

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An on-going Cricket Match on the grounds just after the mall road finishes

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Naintal Lake View from a top-vantage point wherein it looks like a beautiful necklace

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Glorious Views of the Himalayan Ranges like Nandi Devi, China Peak, Trisul

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Old 21st January 2013, 22:19   #23
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Default Re: Uttarakhand : A Bone-Chilling Winter Vacation in the "Land of Gods"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Enigmatic View Post
I dont wanna brag about uttarakhand(being from uttarakhand itself) but it really is an amazing place.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tapish View Post
Don't say this about my home . I know it has become a lot more commercialized than needed, but the place has a certain charm to it.
Nainital sure is a great place. Apologies if I have hurt anyone's sentiments, but I have been to Nainital so many times in the last 15 years, and seen so much there, that reading a travelogue about it IS boring! The "boring" comment was not to denigrate Nainital, but just to tell Avinash to hurry up and post more details about his adventures after Nainital!
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Old 21st January 2013, 22:29   #24
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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
but just to tell Avinash to hurry up and post more details about his adventures after Nainital!
....Iam trying to hurry up as much as I can. I guess running fast is not one of my virtues

Here are a few videos taken from my new DSLR camera. These are all HD quality and I shot videos for the first time ever in my life so kindly ignore the jarring or fast movement of the camera

We hired 2 boats at the cost of Rs. 250 each ( I think) and had a whale of a time for about an hour in the lake. When we are passing through the sunny side, it was little better and the moment the boat passes through a shade, it was feezingly cold






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Old 21st January 2013, 23:00   #25
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Originally Posted by mobike008 View Post
No, I didnt go. Infact, hearing about it for the first time. What is special about the boat house club?
Well the boat house club is an old heritage club started during the time of the Britishers. Its located right at the staring of the mall road(near the police barricades) Its just next to the road leading to capitol cinema(the one which was shown in koi mil gaya). Its a beautiful small club and it shares its boundary with the naini lake. I hope you dont mind me a sharing a couple of pics for reference :-

The lake right next to the club:-
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That's the inner side:-

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Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
Nainital sure is a great place. Apologies if I have hurt anyone's sentiments, but I have been to Nainital so many times in the last 15 years, and seen so much there, that reading a travelogue about it IS boring! The "boring" comment was not to denigrate Nainital, but just to tell Avinash to hurry up and post more details about his adventures after Nainital!
Oh please SS Traveller your comments are taken in the best possible spirit
And between you and me, Nainital does get a bit boring after sometime but then it has other charms attached to it
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Old 22nd January 2013, 11:30   #26
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Originally Posted by mobike008 View Post
For others, Nainital literally means "9 Lakes" on these beautiful mountains. Imagine such huge lakes at such an altitude. Truly god's wonderful creation.
Avinash sir, I suppose you got jumbled up here. Nainital refers to Nain - eyes of Goddess Sati which are supposed to have fallen here ages ago. Hence the eye like shape of the lake and the Nayna Devi temple at the corner.
The 9 you are referring to comes from Naukuchiyatal- the lake with the 9 corners.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
Nainital sure is a great place. Apologies if I have hurt anyone's sentiments, but I have been to Nainital so many times in the last 15 years, and seen so much there, that reading a travelogue about it IS boring! The "boring" comment was not to denigrate Nainital, but just to tell Avinash to hurry up and post more details about his adventures after Nainital!
I agree Sir. Your comments are welcome. Its only educated tourists like you who will understand the city's concerns. I admit in season times, there is not an inch off space in the city. All the mindless tourism has led to ecological destruction and mushrooming cottages and homes.

Cheers
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Old 22nd January 2013, 13:33   #27
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Default Re: Uttarakhand : A Bone-Chilling Winter Vacation in the "Land of Gods"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Enigmatic View Post
Well the boat house club is an old heritage club started during the time of the Britishers.
Thanks for sharing those pictures. Indeed looks real old world charm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tapish View Post
Avinash sir, I suppose you got jumbled up here. Nainital refers to Nain - eyes of Goddess Sati which are supposed to have fallen here ages ago. Hence the eye like shape of the lake and the Nayna Devi temple at the corner. The 9 you are referring to comes from Naukuchiyatal- the lake with the 9 corners.
Thanks for correcting me Tapish. Being a Hindi speaking guy, I do know that Nain is eyes....I meant the same.

However, while writing, I literally took the Nain (as Nine)

After visiting the view points, we headed back to the mall to spend rest of the day loitering around the mall and buying the usual knick knacks till about 4pm and suddenly a thought struck my mind. Why not visit the Nainital Zoo?

Nainital Zoo was further up the same road from our hotel and beileve you me, I feel like strangling the hotel guy who gave us wrong directions and also didn't mention there is a route which is accessible by car/jeep
Me, wifey and BIL walked the steep stairs which seemed never ending to reach the top where the zoo is situated. And, the funny part is zoo again has slopy inclines for each caged animal. It was the toughest trek of our trip. All of us were panting away to glory

But, the upside was seeing the great royal bengal tiger really up-close (apart from 3-4 leopards) and due to the zoo being on a vantage point and really on top offered some fabulous views of the Nainital town and mountains around

A funny incident : There was a punjabi speaking family of husband, wife and 2 kids. The father kept saying to the kids " Beta, next aane wala hai BEER ( Next will come Beer)" " Yeh lo aagaya BEER ( Here it comes BEER)"...A combination of our pants and hysterical laughter almost got us into a panic attack

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This is just a sample staircase. We must have climbed atleast 10-15 such inclines to reach the zoo

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Old 22nd January 2013, 19:17   #28
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Default Re: Uttarakhand : A Bone-Chilling Winter Vacation in the "Land of Gods"

That's a trip, I would love to do. Looks like the new DSLR has been put to good use. Keep them coming Avi Bhai. Anecdotes & Those Special Shhh...Shhh.... moments when we meet for the next lunch/dinner meet.
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Old 23rd January 2013, 11:40   #29
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Originally Posted by traveloholic View Post
Looks like the new DSLR has been put to good use. Keep them coming Avi Bhai. Anecdotes & Those Special Shhh...Shhh.... moments when we meet for the next lunch/dinner meet.
Thanks Nikhil. New DSLR was put to good use for sure but, need to learn a lot about photography.

The real treat is from Auli onwards, do keep a look out for that


Next day was pretty much the same. Get up late and have a sumptious breakfast from a different restuarant on the mall road and headed out to check out the following places

a) Botanical Gardens
b) Bhimtal
c) Nakuchiytal

I was surprised to see the size of Bhimtal. It seemed to me larger than the Naini Lake in Nainital. Anybody knows it thats true?

It was peaceful to see the calm waters and wanted to try out hand at boating there but, decided against it.

Our next stop was Nakuchiytal and this lake is adjacent to a small town like place with a few shops on the banks of the lake and the usual folks asking for boat ride. However, the boat rides here are way expensive than in Nanital and those people were not even willing to reduce the price.

We thought once is good enough

Botanical Gardens has nothing but, this lovely small waterfall

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Nakuchiyatal was very beautiful and oh boy! those rubber floaties were damn slippery

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Beautiful colored Sail Boats in the fading sun-light
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Yours Truly doing the balacing act on the rubber floaties

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Last edited by mobike008 : 23rd January 2013 at 11:42.
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Old 23rd January 2013, 17:03   #30
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Default Re: Uttarakhand : A Bone-Chilling Winter Vacation in the "Land of Gods"

Being the last day of our stay in Nainital, we were excited to be looking forward to the second leg of the journey.

We decided to bid farewell to Nainital by visiting "Machan" a very popular and highly recommended place to eat on the mall road.

When we reached the place at 9pm, it had a waiting of 30 minutes ( which is kind of unheard of in such places and especially in peak winters). We were shivering and waiting outside for our turn to come up and when finally when we relished their fare, i must confess, the food was as close to the plains as it was possible. Really well cooked and tasted well. Otherwise, IMO most food that you get in the mountains isnt that tasty. We were surving on the regular stuff like Egg Burji, Mixed Pakoras, Dal and Roti which will taste good anywhere in the country

Another cousin who started from Delhi at 2pm was supposed to arrive late in the night but, to our surprise he turned up at the mall at 9pm. So that was pretty fast driving to reach Nainital in 7 hours crossing the nightmarish traffic.

Plan was that rest of the family departs back in the Innova to Delhi. Me, Cousin and BIL move ahead to other destinations in the Indigo XL that we hired.

Final parting shots of lake from the Nainital Mall Road

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This is how the mall road looks in winters at around 4pm

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Colorful bangles being sold by a road-side vendor

Uttarakhand : A Bone-Chilling Winter Vacation in the "Land of Gods"-_dsc2114.jpg

A restuarant on mall road totally decked up

Uttarakhand : A Bone-Chilling Winter Vacation in the "Land of Gods"-_dsc2149.jpg

As it was Christmas eve, the church right next to Machan Restuarant had a festive look to it

Uttarakhand : A Bone-Chilling Winter Vacation in the "Land of Gods"-_dsc2164.jpg

A few glimpses of Machan from outside and inside

Uttarakhand : A Bone-Chilling Winter Vacation in the "Land of Gods"-_dsc2166.jpg

Uttarakhand : A Bone-Chilling Winter Vacation in the "Land of Gods"-_dsc2183.jpg

Uttarakhand : A Bone-Chilling Winter Vacation in the "Land of Gods"-_dsc2194.jpg
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