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Old 28th January 2011, 11:29   #1
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Default A Short Trip to Ramgarh, Kumaon

Inspired by a travelogue by 'Godog' sometime in April 2009, I decided to take out the entire family on a short drive to Ramgarh in the Kumaon district. Off-beat destinations interest me since the idea of a vacation is to lay back and relax, soak in the sun, forget all about the office and just eat, drink, sleep......and do whatever makes you feel happy.

Ramgarh is one of the hidden jewels of the Kumaon region and is also known as 'Fruit Bowl of Kumaon' as it houses vast expanses of orchards of apples, apricots, pears and peaches.

The beauty of Ramgarh lies in its serenity, tranquil environment, mesmerising unobstructed views of the snow-laden Himalayas. This was one place where the renowned poet Rabindranath Tagore had composed some of his compositions. He used to stay at the Writer's Bungalow which is now a part of the 'Heritage Hotel' being run by the Neemrana Group of Hotels at Ramgarh.

The time was just perfect with 26th January around - 2 days of leave from office made it a long 5-day weekend and we decided to pay 'THE RAMGARH BUNGALOWS' a visit. We had booked 2 rooms - the BIRD suite at the Writer's Bungalow and the YELLOW room at the Ashok Vatika. The Ramgarh Bungalows is actually a conglomerate of disjunct structure with the Ashok Vatika being on the highest peak and the Old Bungalow, the lowest.

And now the teaser....
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Old 28th January 2011, 11:40   #2
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Default Re: A Short Trip to Ramgarh, Kumaon

We started early on the 22nd January from Delhi at around 6.00 am and the drive upto Gajraula was pretty uneventful. The first break at Mc Donald's at Gajraula was a decision we repented later - when on the highway, stick to clean dhabas for food!

Some photographs at Gajraula...
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Old 28th January 2011, 13:10   #3
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Default A Short Trip to Ramgarh, Kumaon

We were a group of 4 adults and 3 children and we were on-board the off-white 2.2 Vtt Ex 4x4 Safari. The Xperia X10 GPS with Google Maps helped us in tracking us our way through Gajraula, Moradabad, Rampur, Bilaspur, Rudrapur, Haldwani, Bhimtal, Bhowali and finally Ramgarh...a total distance of 350 kms. from Qutab Minar!

The youngest member of the travel crew!
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Old 28th January 2011, 13:13   #4
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Default A Short Trip to Ramgarh, Kumaon

My Dhanno...which took us to Ramgarh!
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Old 31st January 2011, 09:59   #5
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Default A Short Trip to Ramgarh, Kumaon

Not a single reply so far! - probably this site doesn't have too many enthusiasts for ordinary mundane 300-400 kms weekend break trips.

However, let me continue...

We took the route via Moradabad, Rampur, Bilaspur, Rudrapur, Haldwani, Bhimtal, Bhowali and finally Ramgarh. There's nothing spectacular about the route - in fact, there so much of chaos in and around Haldwani - or did I miss any bypass there? The hills start after Haldwani and the lake at Bhimtal is beautiful. The Nainital lake is sewage as compared to the Bhimtal lake - but we were not to stop here as we already had our bookings done at Ramgarh.

The 'dhanno' finally at 'THE RAMGARH BUNGALOWS' ....
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Old 31st January 2011, 22:56   #6
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Default Re: A Short Trip to Ramgarh, Kumaon

Wow ! reminds me of my school days at St Joseph's, Nainital, we used to hitch rides on mitsubishi canter trucks to enjoy day picnics there....!
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Old 1st February 2011, 09:40   #7
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Default A Short Trip to Ramgarh, Kumaon

The Writer's Bungalow is a 2-room property about 5 kms off the main Ramgarh-Mukteshwar road and is one of the Neemrana properties in Ramgarh. The Old Bungalow (the first photograph in this thread), where the main reception, kitchen and dining area are housed; the highest Ashok Vatika - their other bungalow which stands at the highest point (the property in the photograph with the Safari), the Cliffhouse, just next to the Ashok Vatika and the Writer's Bungalow at an intermediate level - all these make up the Ramgarh Bungalows.

The Writerís Bungalow built in the 1860ís is a heritage bungalow now 'leased' and managed by the Neemrana Group of Hotels. It is known by this name because Rabindranath Tagore wrote some of his major work when he had stayed in this bungalow itself Ė even contemplating founding Shantiniketan here...

The Writer's Bungalow is a delightful little cottage with scenic views of wooded hills and snow capped mountains.

However, I must add that Neemrana has got to do a lot to maintain this property - there is dankness in the toilets, the woodwork needs major refurbishment, the toilets do not even have an exhaust, all electrical wiring runs exposed (on wooden batons, to add to the 'heritage feel'), some switch-boards broken, and so much more that can be done to enhance the quality of stay at the place. You definitely do not get the feel of having stayed at a Neemrana property, but the tranquility of the place grows on you!

The Writer's Bungalow for your viewing pleasure...
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Old 1st February 2011, 09:55   #8
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Default Re: A Short Trip to Ramgarh, Kumaon

Truly a drive to one of the few sylvan locations left in Uttarakhand!
How bad was the road from Moradabad onwards via Rampur & Rudrapur - I heard it was terrible sometime ago?
Yes, Haldwani does have a bypass.
How were your drive timelines - did you encounter traffic exiting Delhi, and till Hapur?
What was the condition of road till Moradabad?
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Old 1st February 2011, 10:07   #9
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Default Re: A Short Trip to Ramgarh, Kumaon

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Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Truly a drive to one of the few sylvan locations left in Uttarakhand!
How bad was the road from Moradabad onwards via Rampur & Rudrapur - I heard it was terrible sometime ago?
Yes, Haldwani does have a bypass.
How were your drive timelines - did you encounter traffic exiting Delhi, and till Hapur?
What was the condition of road till Moradabad?
We'd started at 6.00 am in the morning (22nd Jan - Saturday) and mercifully we didn't encounter any traffic exiting Delhi. Traffic was sparse all through and we had our first tea-break at Gajraula.

The roads are pretty decent all the way (you are also charged a total toll of about a 100 bucks at various locations from Delhi upto Bhimtal).

The only nuisance I faced was either the Rail faataks (where everyone comes over to the other side of the road) or the market place at Haldwani. Every little extra sound that I would hear at these places while inching forward - I would dread something was scraping my vehicle. Thankfully, we reached Ramgarh without a scratch...
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Old 1st February 2011, 10:14   #10
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Default Re: A Short Trip to Ramgarh, Kumaon

Some more landscapes....
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Old 1st February 2011, 10:20   #11
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Default Re: A Short Trip to Ramgarh, Kumaon

The pictures are awesome.The snow capped terrain is just so inviting!
Did you face any challenges while driving on these roads?(Assuming there was still quite a bit of snow in there)
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Old 1st February 2011, 10:25   #12
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Default Re: A Short Trip to Ramgarh, Kumaon

That’s a beautiful place you covered. I went to Binsar (Haldwani, Bhimtal, Bowali, Garam Pani, Almora Route) this New Year. Next time, I might take the Ramgarh, Mukteshwar Route.

Your youngest member of the travel crew is very cute. God Bless.
Keep sharing the information about the area. The whole Kumaon region is so wonderful that every square Inch is a jewel in itself.
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Old 1st February 2011, 10:28   #13
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Default Re: A Short Trip to Ramgarh, Kumaon

Wow, the pictures are great.

Perfect place to unwind.I should have visited this place when i was in Delhi.
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Old 1st February 2011, 10:38   #14
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Default Re: A Short Trip to Ramgarh, Kumaon

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Originally Posted by hallik9 View Post
Did you face any challenges while driving on these roads?(Assuming there was still quite a bit of snow in there)
Not quite....because there wasn't any snow there!

Only when you climb up from Ramgarh to Mukteshwar, you encounter certain roads where you have slight 'deposits' of snow/ice on the road. These are places on those sides of the hill where you do not get sun at all. But there are already worn-out areas on the road by tyre-ruts and you can drive easily - however, you must be slow and in complete control of your vehicle especially while descending, as the vehicle tends to slip and sway if you accidently drive onto the snow (sometimes while avoiding an oncoming vehicle).
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Old 1st February 2011, 11:16   #15
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Originally Posted by sanjaykaul View Post
Thatís a beautiful place you covered. I went to Binsar (Haldwani, Bhimtal, Bowali, Garam Pani, Almora Route) this New Year. Next time, I might take the Ramgarh, Mukteshwar Route.

Your youngest member of the travel crew is very cute. God Bless.
Keep sharing the information about the area. The whole Kumaon region is so wonderful that every square Inch is a jewel in itself.
Hi Sanjay, when you mentioned BINSAR, I am tempted to post some pictures of yester years (4 years back) when we had visited the Club Mahindra Resort at Binsar. We had moved via Nainital though!

And thank you for your blessings. She's my younger bro's daughter, all of 5 months...
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