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Old 11th March 2017, 22:58   #31
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Default re: Summer Trip to Nainital : A Relaxed Perspective | And once again, in winter (from page 3)

Sometimes, one visits the same place twice, but doesn't consider it appropriate to post another travelogue. This time, in the last weekend of February, we took off to Nainital to spend a few days with another couple of school classmates - this time, my wife's - who were touring the Kumaon region; we wanted to rendezvous with them at Nainital.

Summer Trip to Nainital : A Relaxed Perspective | And once again, in winter (from page 3)-nainital1-1.jpg


Summer Trip to Nainital : A Relaxed Perspective | And once again, in winter (from page 3)-nainital1-3.jpg

24th February was Mahashivratri, a holiday for many folks. We planned to head out early to beat anticipated heavy traffic on the highway, but in the end, we only managed to leave by around 7 am. However, the road after Rampur was in excellent condition this time, and we covered ground quickly, to reach Kaladhungi by noon.

Corbett Falls inside the Kaladhungi Range seemed to be the perfect place for us to while away some time before heading uphill, and so we did.

Summer Trip to Nainital : A Relaxed Perspective | And once again, in winter (from page 3)-nainital1-14.jpg

Summer Trip to Nainital : A Relaxed Perspective | And once again, in winter (from page 3)-nainital1-6.jpg

Summer Trip to Nainital : A Relaxed Perspective | And once again, in winter (from page 3)-dsc03543k350.jpg

Summer Trip to Nainital : A Relaxed Perspective | And once again, in winter (from page 3)-nainital1-5.jpg

We are resigned to the fact that some of our H-4® roadtrips are with just the two of us onboard, our daughter now being located 10,000 km away.

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Old 11th March 2017, 23:48   #32
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Default re: Summer Trip to Nainital : A Relaxed Perspective | And once again, in winter (from page 3)

It's a short drive from Corbett Falls to Nainital, and quite enjoyable.

Summer Trip to Nainital : A Relaxed Perspective | And once again, in winter (from page 3)-nainital1-2.jpg

We come out at the Mallital end, and find our little homely hotel - the Bengal Hotel - located right on the Mall Road. The friends have checked in already, and we unload our luggage - and I now need to drive to the other end of the stadium to park in the public parking lot. This must be one of the rare times that we have checked into a hotel without its own parking lot - but then, this was where the friends were booked in from before, and we were happy to get another room - and a sumptuous Bengali-style late lunch.

Summer Trip to Nainital : A Relaxed Perspective | And once again, in winter (from page 3)-nainital1-13.jpg

Summer Trip to Nainital : A Relaxed Perspective | And once again, in winter (from page 3)-img_20170224_145913.jpg

No post-lunch siesta for us, unfortunately, as we rush to catch the ropeway to the famed Snow View Point.

Summer Trip to Nainital : A Relaxed Perspective | And once again, in winter (from page 3)-img_20170224_153655.jpg

Summer Trip to Nainital : A Relaxed Perspective | And once again, in winter (from page 3)-nainital1-8.jpg

Summer Trip to Nainital : A Relaxed Perspective | And once again, in winter (from page 3)-img_20170224_154447.jpg

Summer Trip to Nainital : A Relaxed Perspective | And once again, in winter (from page 3)-nainital1-11.jpg

Summer Trip to Nainital : A Relaxed Perspective | And once again, in winter (from page 3)-nainital1-10.jpg

Summer Trip to Nainital : A Relaxed Perspective | And once again, in winter (from page 3)-img_20170224_162634.jpg

Summer Trip to Nainital : A Relaxed Perspective | And once again, in winter (from page 3)-img_20170224_161341.jpg

Summer Trip to Nainital : A Relaxed Perspective | And once again, in winter (from page 3)-nainital1-9.jpg
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Old 13th March 2017, 01:01   #33
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Default Re: Summer Trip to Nainital : A Relaxed Perspective | And once again, in winter (from page 3)

Our friends are pretty thorough about researching which places they want to visit, well in advance. For their 10-day-long trip through Kumaon, covering Ranikhet, Almora, Binsar, Chaukori, Munsiyari and Nainital, they had hired a Chevy Tavera - and unfortunately not bargained for a temperamental driver who would constantly try to save on fuel and refuse to travel to sigtseeing destinations on pretexts such as that's too steep for you to climb up and see, there's nothing to see there, or even I don't know the way.

Summer Trip to Nainital : A Relaxed Perspective | And once again, in winter (from page 3)-dsc03596k350.jpg

Now, a chauffeur disinclined to take his passengers to places they want to visit, really spoils a holiday. Over dinner that night, we toyed with various plans - whether to take our car, or to use the Tavera, and which places to cover at the very least, in case the fellow refused to go to all the lakes (which was essentially what they wanted to visit). Since the Tavera was already paid for till the next day, we decided to leave my car parked, and see if I couldn't convince the fellow to travel to all the places without his throwing a tantrum.

Summer Trip to Nainital : A Relaxed Perspective | And once again, in winter (from page 3)-nainital1-7.jpg

If there's anything I enjoy doing, that's chatting up with a driver who has little bells hanging from the sunshades of his car, and seems to have missed a few spots on the ceiling where a few more religious stickers could have been accommodated.

The fun was about to begin!

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Old 13th March 2017, 17:48   #34
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Default Re: Summer Trip to Nainital : A Relaxed Perspective | And once again, in winter (from page 3)

It's 9:30 am, and we settle into the Tavera, with the driver, Harish Chandra (HC) at the wheel. Let's go to Naukuchiatal.

Woh toh bahut duur hai. Aaj aapko Bhimtal dekha ke laatey hain, says Harish Chandra. (That's too far away. We'll make a trip to Bhimtal today.)

Why am I not surprised? This response was something I wasn't expecting, though - 25 km is supposed to be bahut duur? I didn't quite believe how uncooperative a driver can be, after hearing all the stories from our friends last night, but now I completely believe them. And this fellow needs to be shown his rightful place.

Koi baat nahin. Duuri ka hisaab main rakhta hoon, aap gaadi chalatey raho. (Let me keep track of the distance, you just drive.) Harish Chandra gives me a baleful stare as I occupy the front passenger seat and put on the seat belt (he doesn't use his seat belt at all). The 3 ladies (my wife, and her friends S & R) occupy the second row, while their husbands SH and RH take up the rear jump seats. We are on our way...

A small argument breaks out between S and SH, some 15 minutes into our journey, about something pretty domestic. HC pipes in as he slows down - aap log jhagra khatam kar lijiye, phir hum chalenge. (Finish your argument and then we'll carry on.)

I tell HC - Aap chalatey raho, kaan bandh rakho, aankh khula rakho, aur bekaar ki baatei nahin kiya karo. (Keep driving, keep your ears shut and your eyes open, and stop talking unnecessarily). HC flares up at me - aap kaun hotey ho bolne wale? Main toh unse baat kar raha tha.

Ever so politely, I explain to him that these are close friends of ours, and we have driven up from Delhi to meet them. On this day, I am in charge of our sightseeing destinations, and he has to drive as told. Otherwise, my Scorpio is parked at Nainital, and if he is not interested to follow my directions, he can turn back to Nainital, and we can take my car - but there will be consequences that HC alone would be responsible for.

I suppose the combination - Delhi, Scorpio, turn back and consequences - did something to knock some sense into HC. Here onwards, the man who aap kaun hotey ho'd me a minute earlier, was far more docile than our friends had ever seen him over the last 10 days!

Naukuchiatal wasn't bahut duur any more...

Summer Trip to Nainital : A Relaxed Perspective | And once again, in winter (from page 3)-dsc03566k350.jpg

Summer Trip to Nainital : A Relaxed Perspective | And once again, in winter (from page 3)-dsc03570k350.jpg

Summer Trip to Nainital : A Relaxed Perspective | And once again, in winter (from page 3)-dsc03572k350.jpg

Summer Trip to Nainital : A Relaxed Perspective | And once again, in winter (from page 3)-dsc03577k350.jpg

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Old 13th March 2017, 18:48   #35
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Default Re: Summer Trip to Nainital : A Relaxed Perspective | And once again, in winter (from page 3)

We spend quite a bit of time around the Naukuchiatal Lake, perhaps the least commercialized lake among all in this region. We spend a long while walking along the shore.

Summer Trip to Nainital : A Relaxed Perspective | And once again, in winter (from page 3)-dsc03558k350.jpg

Summer Trip to Nainital : A Relaxed Perspective | And once again, in winter (from page 3)-dsc03551k350.jpg

Summer Trip to Nainital : A Relaxed Perspective | And once again, in winter (from page 3)-dsc03553k350.jpg

Summer Trip to Nainital : A Relaxed Perspective | And once again, in winter (from page 3)-dsc03557k350.jpg

Summer Trip to Nainital : A Relaxed Perspective | And once again, in winter (from page 3)-dsc03562k350.jpg

The KMVN tourist rest house is largely unoccupied in the winter, and we have a filling brunch here, as we gaze across the waters of the lake shimmering in the sunlight.

Summer Trip to Nainital : A Relaxed Perspective | And once again, in winter (from page 3)-dsc03579k350.jpg

The adjacent Kamal Taal is devoid of any lotuses in this season, but I would love to come back sometime when they are in full bloom.
Summer Trip to Nainital : A Relaxed Perspective | And once again, in winter (from page 3)-dsc03569k350.jpg


A signboard that caught my eye.
Summer Trip to Nainital : A Relaxed Perspective | And once again, in winter (from page 3)-dsc03565k350.jpg
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Old 13th March 2017, 19:13   #36
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Default Re: Summer Trip to Nainital : A Relaxed Perspective | And once again, in winter (from page 3)

On the way back from Naukuchiatal, we stop for a while at the Hanumangada Temple. A 52-foot statue of Lord Hanuman is the most notable feature of this temple, as also is a cave that is supposedly designed in the fashion of the Vaishno Devi shrine.

Summer Trip to Nainital : A Relaxed Perspective | And once again, in winter (from page 3)-dsc03582k350.jpg

Summer Trip to Nainital : A Relaxed Perspective | And once again, in winter (from page 3)-dsc03585k350.jpg

Summer Trip to Nainital : A Relaxed Perspective | And once again, in winter (from page 3)-dsc03590k350.jpg

Summer Trip to Nainital : A Relaxed Perspective | And once again, in winter (from page 3)-dsc03595k350.jpg

Th entrance to the cave
Summer Trip to Nainital : A Relaxed Perspective | And once again, in winter (from page 3)-dsc03594k350.jpg

Further ahead in the valley is a landing ground for paragliders, and we watched a number of them descend into the valley from a launching spot higher up in the mountains.
Summer Trip to Nainital : A Relaxed Perspective | And once again, in winter (from page 3)-dsc03593k350.jpg

Summer Trip to Nainital : A Relaxed Perspective | And once again, in winter (from page 3)-dsc03599k350.jpg

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Old 15th March 2017, 14:28   #37
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Default Re: Summer Trip to Nainital : A Relaxed Perspective | And once again, in winter (from page 3)


Sattal has a zipline set up, with other interesting applications! Folks not only want to zip, they want a dip as well, in the freezing cold water. The screams in the video make one shiver:
Summer Trip to Nainital : A Relaxed Perspective | And once again, in winter (from page 3)-sattal-3k350.jpg

More pics from around Sattal:
Summer Trip to Nainital : A Relaxed Perspective | And once again, in winter (from page 3)-sattal-5k350.jpg

Summer Trip to Nainital : A Relaxed Perspective | And once again, in winter (from page 3)-sattal-2k350.jpg

Summer Trip to Nainital : A Relaxed Perspective | And once again, in winter (from page 3)-sattal-6k350.jpg

Summer Trip to Nainital : A Relaxed Perspective | And once again, in winter (from page 3)-sattal-4k350.jpg


Time to return from Sattal:
Summer Trip to Nainital : A Relaxed Perspective | And once again, in winter (from page 3)-sattal-1k350.jpg


We avoided stopping over at Bhimtal, but here's a quick shot from there:
Summer Trip to Nainital : A Relaxed Perspective | And once again, in winter (from page 3)-bhimtalk350.jpg
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Old 15th March 2017, 18:30   #38
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Default Re: Summer Trip to Nainital : A Relaxed Perspective | And once again, in winter (from page 3)

What a refresher to the already wonderful thread. I believe HC was godsend to provide you with some entertainment. Could not touch this part of Kumaon due to shortage of time. Will keep this in itinerary next time. Great pictures !!

Regards,

Pawan
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