Although it was only 4.30 pm, but the weather was getting gloomier and the dense cover of the tall pines made it even darker. It was a lush green forest, no traces of humans, as if none ever walked this faint trail that disappeared into forest floor more often than not. At around 5:00 pm, just when even my friends were beginning to voice concerns, I spotted a small rock with an arrow pointing towards something written in white - "Naini Peak" - it said. Well, it was a big, big moment for all of us. We were just thinking of turning back, or having to spend the night in the forest in case we were lost. Seeing something like that in such a situation is a big boost you can only feel when you are actually in such kind of situation. We felt a rush of energy and started climbing even faster, even though we couldn't find any other marked stone. At 5:30 pm, it seemed like the climb has eased out a bit, horizon with cloudy sky was partially visible, and we just couldn't wait to see what lied ahead.
"Naini Peak - 2,611 metres", said a board and we were all overjoyed. There was a temple at the top and when we looked at the trail we had followed, we were surprised to see how we made it in such a weather! It was dense, moist, and getting darker, shade by shade. We had Maggi and tea at the temple restaurant and then walked over to the left of the temple premises where we were rewarded with awe-striking view of Nainital. Standing close to the edge of a cliff at Naini Peak, the city of Nainital and the Naini Lake resembled a miniature town and we clicked pictures to our heart content. Nature tested us, truly but didn't let us go without rewarding us whole-heartedly. The caretaker of the temple later told us that the route we took was literally the path least-travelled.