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Old 29th January 2016, 13:40   #1
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Default Roadtrip from Kolkata to the region of Kumaon: Uttarakhand

Disclaimer - This is my first travelogue. I dont write well and I cant write long.

I have never driven more than 600km in a day before. So any trip to the northern India was challenging for me. But then there were not so many places left to visit (ofcourse where my car can go) in West Bengal/Sikkim. The closest mountains was in Uttarakhand Kumaon region, which was roughly 1600 km away.

We started planning from Nov '15. 2 of my school friends showed interest. Kumaon region was completely unknown to me, I have only heard the name of few places, I didn't even knew where they resides on the map of India. So I started asking fellow bhpians about those places. There are few people I know like Aniket da, SS da from Delhi who are always updated about the roads conditions of these areas, they also helped me in planning the itinerary. We planned to stay in 7 different location, visit as many as we could and hoped to see some snowfall in Munsyari. Kumaon region is famous for outer Himalaya peaks and Panchachuli peaks. These peaks can be seen from places like Kausani, Almora, Chaurkori, Munsyari. But to reach there we should start from Nainital, Bhimtal etc. After reading many travelogues in Team-bhp and going through road updates and weather updates the plan was finalized. There were lots of places we could visit, but we had 8 days to spare. Luckily GoIbibo was giving large discounts on hotels which helped us reduce the overall trip budget. All the hotels were booked online (I will share hotel details and the end of the log).

Day 0-1- Kolkata - Lucknow

We started on Saturday night, i.e. 3rd Jan 2 am hoping to cross Jharkhand and Bihar in early morning. We were advised not to cross Jharkhand-WB border or that area at night. We reached Aurangabad at around 9:30 am, took a small break and had our breakfast. The famous UP-Bihar border was the next challenge due to the huge traffic jam. It took me almost 1 and half hours to cross that 7-10 km. Thousands of trucks and cars were standing still from morning. To avoid the traffic I had to take other side of the highway sometime. Some shots from early morning.

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Because this was the my first time on this router I didn't know good restaurants for lunch. We stopped for lunch after Varanasi at a local dhaba. NH2 till Allahabad is in good shape, specially Allahabad bypas. Its a 3+3 lane highway with almost no vehicles at that time. It took me 30 minutes to cover 55km. After Allahabad we took the road to Raebareily then to Lucknow. After driving for 16 hours we have covered 992 kms to Lucknow at around 7:30 pm.


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Lucknow as everyone knows is famous for its biriyani and tunday kebab. We hired a local Auto to visit Aminabad. Aminabad is a market place in the heart of Lucknow where once can find lovely biriyani and kebabs and lots of chikan embroided garment shops. We kept the shopping part for our return journey and only had a lovely dinner this time.

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Day 2 - Lucknow - Sitapur - Bareilly - Nainital

Next day we woke up at 7, had our complementary breakfast and started around 9. Lucknow in the morning looked almost same as Kolkata, the only difference was Kolkata has frequent traffic signals than Lucknow. Lucknow to Kathgodam was simple and plain journey, nothing much to write about. We took the Lucknow > Sitapur > Bareilly > Haldwani > Lucknow. Lucknow to Sitapur is 4 lane highway, Sitapur to Bareilly was devastating dual carrigeway and had lots of diversions. After Barielly roads were good, and once you enter Uttarakhand roads become better.

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We reached Nainital and checked into the Hotel in the evening. Rest of the evening was spent doing nothing and most importantly we all needed rest after 2 days of driving.

Day 3 - Staying at Nainital the next day wasn't a bad idea. The entire day was spent roaming around the city and the entire evening doing little bit of shopping.

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A little bit of shopping in the evening from the lakeside market and Bhutia market beside Naini Devi temple.

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To be continued.

Last edited by Uprasenjit : 6th February 2016 at 21:38.
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Old 8th February 2016, 11:54   #2
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Default re: Roadtrip from Kolkata to the region of Kumaon: Uttarakhand

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section). Thanks for sharing!
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Old 9th February 2016, 04:34   #3
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Default re: Roadtrip from Kolkata to the region of Kumaon: Uttarakhand

Day 4 - Nainita - Almora - Jageswar - Kausani

We woke up as early as possible and started for Almora. Initially I had planned to stay at Almora, but after reading few logs I changed my mind and planned for Kausani. Almora was quite near from Nainital, hardly 2-3 hours drive, so instead of staying at Almora we planned to visit Jageswar and go straight to Kausani. Both Almora and Kausani were nice place to stay, they had decent hotels and food outlets. But as we had planned to go further north going for Kausani seemed to be more practical. And then entire stretch was around 180 kms, and the road condition was good, so I hoped to make it by afternoon without any issues.

To be honest I didn't expect the road condition to be so good.


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Almora town

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We crossed Almora and went to visit Jageswar. Jageswar is a very famous and old sets of temple, around 120 cluster of temples. The entire place was build on stones, and my God you will not want to step in there during winter and that too without shoes. Jokes apart, visiting this place was a very good idea and thanks to fellow Bhpian Aniket da who suggested this place.

The entire road to Jageswar was filled with devdar trees, but the tree in the temple compound was the tallest of all trees I have seen. They say that these trees are thousands of years old. Not less that 100 ft I assume

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Jageswar to Kausani is 90 km which took me 3 hours driving sedately. The only problem I faced in Uttarakhand was finding a proper place to eat. Unlike Sikkim or North bengal there weren't many momo stalls or noodle shops around. So everytime we went out we always planned to have our lunch at hotel. And to have our lunch at hotel we tried to reach hotel by that time.

Roadtrip from Kolkata to the region of Kumaon: Uttarakhand-dscf5499.jpg
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Old 9th February 2016, 10:51   #4
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Default re: Roadtrip from Kolkata to the region of Kumaon: Uttarakhand

Thats one brilliant log! Especially driving all the way from Kolkatta. The first snap of the log says it all!
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Old 9th February 2016, 11:44   #5
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Default re: Roadtrip from Kolkata to the region of Kumaon: Uttarakhand

Excellent write-up and nice pics. Driving all the way from Kolkata is no mean feat.
Looking forward to the rest of your travelogue. Don't keep us waiting much long

I have never been to Kumaon region .. hopefully this year I should be able to make it.
Your travelogue will definitely inspire me to make this happen sooner than later.
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Old 11th February 2016, 10:32   #6
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Default re: Roadtrip from Kolkata to the region of Kumaon: Uttarakhand

That's a pretty good travelogue, especially considering it's your first one, and some pretty good camera work there as well.

Kumaon is one of the most beautiful regions in India. Nainital has been a popular tourist destination for many years and has managed to retain its charm. Haldwani however, is rather congested.

The Jageshwar temple looks great. I've never been there. Maybe the next time I am in the area, I'll visit it.

Regarding the roads, Lucknow to Sitapur was one of the most brilliant pieces of tarmac I had experience when I drove on it last.
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Old 11th February 2016, 11:03   #7
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Default re: Roadtrip from Kolkata to the region of Kumaon: Uttarakhand

Very nice Travelogue. The pictures are superbly composed. I really liked the ones in Nainital.
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Old 11th February 2016, 12:40   #8
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Default re: Roadtrip from Kolkata to the region of Kumaon: Uttarakhand

Pretty nice travelogue. Revived the fade memories of my maiden visit to Nainital 25 years ago. The cross country drive all the way from Kolkata to Kumaon region must have been quite exciting.
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Old 12th February 2016, 03:45   #9
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Default re: Roadtrip from Kolkata to the region of Kumaon: Uttarakhand

Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Thats one brilliant log! Especially driving all the way from Kolkatta. The first snap of the log says it all!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aditya View Post
That's a pretty good travelogue, especially considering it's your first one, and some pretty good camera work there as well.

Kumaon is one of the most beautiful regions in India. Nainital has been a popular tourist destination for many years and has managed to retain its charm. Haldwani however, is rather congested.

The Jageshwar temple looks great. I've never been there. Maybe the next time I am in the area, I'll visit it.

Regarding the roads, Lucknow to Sitapur was one of the most brilliant pieces of tarmac I had experience when I drove on it last.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Enobarbus View Post
Very nice Travelogue. The pictures are superbly composed. I really liked the ones in Nainital.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssambyal1980 View Post
Pretty nice travelogue. Revived the fade memories of my maiden visit to Nainital 25 years ago. The cross country drive all the way from Kolkata to Kumaon region must have been quite exciting.
Thanks everyone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by adimicra View Post
Excellent write-up and nice pics. Driving all the way from Kolkata is no mean feat.
Looking forward to the rest of your travelogue. Don't keep us waiting much long

I have never been to Kumaon region .. hopefully this year I should be able to make it.
Your travelogue will definitely inspire me to make this happen sooner than later.
Thank you. I just moved to London for few months for some work, so not getting enough time to log in.
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Old 12th February 2016, 04:33   #10
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Default re: Roadtrip from Kolkata to the region of Kumaon: Uttarakhand

Few pictures from Day 4, taken from hotel-

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Day 5- Kausani - Munsiyari

I knew Munsiyari was very far from Kausani, but someone the hotel boy managed to confuse me and I thought it was only 60 km away . Naturally we slept very late and couldnt wake up before 8 am.

After that when we started the locals helped me to took the longer route. At Bageswar when I asked a local he confidently showed me the longer route, may be the route I planned wasnt in a good condition. Who knows. Initially I planned to go via Kapkot but later on went via Chaukori.

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The road went alongside river Ramganga. At one point of time we saw complete turquoise blue colour water, where we decided to take a break and click some pictues.

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The entire road was brilliant, only few kms before Munsiyari there were few hairpin bend where the road was broken and seemed to be under repair.

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A very high level cricket game in a small town before Birthi falls

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Even this time we managed to reach hotel before evening. The hotel we booked was the few kms before Munsiyari town. The reason we came so far to Munsiyari was to see snowfall and the Himalayas. Unfortunately both of them decided not to show themselves that day. We visited Munsiyari town in search of woollen cloths. Every hotels in Uttarakhand asked us to have our dinner as early as possible. Munsiyari wasnt an exception. The cook prepared brilliant chicken curry and roti. Both the hotels in Kausani and Munsiyari were located on the slop of a hill, naturally the Panchachuli was just infront, its just our luck was having a bad time. I did really enjoy the drive all the way long but my wife was a bit disheartened.

Mods- Can you please amend the work - "from Kolkata" to the title of this thread ?
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