My love to photography always pushes me to go to the nature and this time We decided to visit Uttrakhand. I had visited Mussorie, Uttrakhand with my wife in 2007. So we planned to go to Nainital, Bhimtal, Ranikhet and Jim Corbett National Park, Ramnagar in Uttrakhand during the tour. Being from the same teaching profession, it becomes very easy for us to plan the tour beforehand. We hailed from a small city of Punjab and Uttrakhand is more than 500 kms away from us. But I always enjoy long driving especially among the hills. Se we decided to go by our car with our two kiddos. We started very early in the morning and followed the route of Patiala-Ambala-Karnal-Shamli-Meerut-Garh Mukteshwar-Muradabad-Kaladungi-Kathgodam-Bhimtal. The most of the roads were in good condition but the road from Meerut to Garh Mukteshwar was really pathetic. We called a halt at Haveli, Gajraula for lunch which was satisfying.
On the way to Bhimtal
The route up to Kaladungi is plain but the hills starts thereafter. Driving on the hills and enjoying the view of Himalayas with every turn of our journey, we reached at Aamod, Bhimtal at 6pm. We were extremely tired after a long journey of almost 12 hours by car. So we decided to stay at the resort for the rest of the day. But my temptation to click some shots drove me to the outside and I took some photographs.
On the next morning, we headed towards Nainital. The drive of 20 kms between Nainital and Bhimtal was full of nature surprises.
On the way from Bhimtal to Nainital
Enjoying the beautiful sunshine of the hills, we reached Nainital at 10 am. We visited various spots of Nainital e.g. Naina Peak, Snow View Point, Lands End, Khurpa Tall, Saria Taal, Eco Cave Gardens, Naina Devi Temple, Waterfall, The Naina Lake and The Mall Road. I would like to show you some glimpses of these places.
We got very late while returning from Nainital to Aamod, Bhimtal. It was my first experience of driving during the night through the hills and I found it quiet terrifying.
On the next morning, I decided to go for tracking in Bhimtal with my guide. We started at 6 am. The track consisted of three lakes - Sattal Lake, Garur Lake and Nal Damayanti Lake. The whole track was of 8 kms and 3 hrs. It was a blissful experience while passing through the dense forest, hills and walking alongside the lakes. Whenever you are in Bhimtal, do go out for a nature walk. Trust me you will come back inspired just like me. As usual, I clicked some magical moments.
The Sattal Lake
The Sattal Lake
Walking alongside the Sattal Lake
The Garur Taal
The Nal Damayanti Lake
We came back to the hotel at 9 a.m. The family was ready to explore Bhimtal. We chose to visit the Naukuchiatal, also known as the Lake of Nine Corners. It is the deepest of all the lakes in the Nainital region.A picnic to this beautiful place also offers one with the tempting challenges like paragliding, kayaking, fishing, rowing, paddling or yachting. For the first time in life, we went kayaking there.
Kayaking in the Naukuchia Tal
Our next destination was the prime spot of Bhimtal i.e. the Bhimtal Lake. It is the largest lake in Kumaon region. The lake provides drinking water supply to the region and also supports aquaculture with variety of fish species. There is a small island at the centre of the lake with an aquarium. The surroundings of the Bhimtal Lake are well maintained. One can go boating or take a long walk along the banks of the lake. The calm atmosphere of the lake makes you want to come back again and again. This place is surely the most happening place of Bhimtal.
We stayed there until it got dark. I was so enthralled by the beauty of the lake that I decided to witness its magnificence once again at the dawn.
Next morning, I went for mountain biking with my guide. Our target was to go cycling alongside the banks of the Bhimtal Lake. We started quite early in the morning. It took 7 kms and 2 hours to complete the whole track. It was such a heavenly experience to behold the beautiful surrounding of the lake at the dawn.
Cycling alongside the Bhimtal Lake
We checked out from our hotel and headed towards our next destination, 'The Essence of Nature (EoN), Ranikhet'. It was a hilly drive of 5 hours. At a height of 6000 feet, the luxurious EoN does not have room for pollution, crowd, traffic and menacing noise. EON is on top of the hills with excellent view. You don't have to worry about shopping or going to the mall road or fancy restaurants, because there is none. Go to this place only if you want to relax and enjoy the holidays. We reached there at 4 pm. After taking some rest, the hidden explorer in us couldn't wait for long, so we were ready to see more of this place. We went for tracking to a temple, a sunset point and some other nature spots on the hills. Go here for nature walk,adventure and wild life spotting (barking dear, fox, wild bear, lizard and leopard and exotic birds).
On the next day, we decided to visit Ranikhet, a beautiful hill station and cantonment town in Almora district in Uttarakhand. The 50 km drive was full of picturesque views. We went to Binsar Mahadev Temple. This prestigious temple is located just 20 Km away from Ranikhet. The temple is surrounded by high & dense Pine and Deodar trees on all sides. It is a perfect picnic spot.
At Binsar Mahadev Temple, Ranikhet
The Binsar Mahadev Temple, Ranikhet
After that, we went to Ranikhet Golf Course. It is one of the highest golf courses in Asia. Ranikhet Golf Course is also known as Golf ground by locals, located at a distance of 5 KM from main Ranikhet town. Ranikhet Golf Course is a 9-hole course making it one of the prime attractions of Ranikhet for tourists. The green meadow of the golf course at such high altitude is breathtaking.
We Spent our whole evening here watching the sun go down. I clicked some of my great shots here. Really, a very lovely and exciting place for the photography lovers like me. We came back to the hotel with a complete satisfaction of our visit to Ranikhet.
On the next morning, we checked out from EoN quite early in the morning. We have our tickets booked for Safari at Jim Corbett National Park, Ramnagar in the afternoon. The drive was more than of 120 kms and it took more than 5 hours to reach Ramnagar. But on the way, we also visited one of the most beautiful temple in Ramnagar. Garjiya Devi Temple, also known as the festival of lights of the gods, is a famous Devi temple located in Ramnagar, Uttarakhand, India. The temple is situated over a large rock in the Kosi River.
The Garjiya Devi Temple, Ramnagar (front view)
The Garjiya Devi Temple, Ramnagar (back side view)
The View of the Kosi river from the Garjiya Temple, Ramnagar
We reached at Jim Corbett National Park, Ramnagar at 1 pm. There are mainly five zones of the park. Our zone was the Dhela Safari Zone. The zone is retaining the attention of large number of tourist because of its wealthy flora and fauna, open throughout the year, located at an approximate distance of 13 Km from Ramnagar City. The gypsy ride through the jungle is amazing. Driving through green forest,water bodies,bird watching, deers,flora and fauna,everything is worth a visit. You need to be lucky to see the king of the jungle. Luckily we spotted the tiger for a moment but unable to capture it in our camera. The jungle was breathtakingly beautiful and we were mesmerized by the jungle woods and animals around.
Jungle Safari at Jim Corbett National Park, Ramnagar
Spotting the tiger at Jim Corbett National Park, Ramnagar
Amazing View of Sun set at Jim Corbett National Park, Ramnagar
We got quite late while coming back from the park. So we decided to spend our night at Kashipur which was 30 kms from Ramnagar. We booked a decent hotel in Kashipur through Oyo Rooms. We decided to leave early in the morning to cover the distance of 500 kms.
On the next morning, we checked out from our hotel at 5 am. This time we changed our route to our home. We took the route of Kashipur-Dharmpur-Bijnor-Miranpur-Shamli-Karnal-Ambala-Patiala. The conditon of most of the roads were not so good. We took a halt at Monty Million Restaurant at Miranpur for breakfast.
The Monty Million Restaurant, Miranpur
We reached our home in the afternoon. We still remember the magnificence of Uttrakhand, rightly known as the land of the gods.