Kumaon (Uttarakhand): A visual journey through Nainital-Binsar-Munsiyari-Chaukori-Mukteshwar

Tripoto
17th Oct 2015

and this was the view when I zoomed to my right …

Naini Lake

Photo of Kumaon (Uttarakhand): A visual journey through Nainital-Binsar-Munsiyari-Chaukori-Mukteshwar by Indrarup Saha

Image Courtsey: Google Earth

Photo of Kumaon (Uttarakhand): A visual journey through Nainital-Binsar-Munsiyari-Chaukori-Mukteshwar by Indrarup Saha

Next day, around 5.30 in the morning, three of us set out for a walk along the beautiful, still-misty lake. Given above is the Google map of Nainital - we started from our Tallital lodge, walked along the Mall Road, saw beautifully designed boats and some exquisite hotels and reached the shrine of highly revered Naina Devi. It was Durga- ashtami and the priests and local women were busy arranging for the morning puja.....missed Kolkata very much at that moment. :(

Coming out of the temple, we continued our mini voyage on foot, this time, along other side of the lake. I felt grateful for the moment I was in and was happy again. :)

Boats of myriad designs anchored along the lake shore

Photo of Kumaon (Uttarakhand): A visual journey through Nainital-Binsar-Munsiyari-Chaukori-Mukteshwar by Indrarup Saha

Exquisite boats dotted the edges of the eye-shaped lake at many points, from where one can board them for an amazing ride.Sadly, we couldn't. We were slated to leave for Binsar after breakfast.

Beautiful mall road as seen from the opposite shore

Photo of Kumaon (Uttarakhand): A visual journey through Nainital-Binsar-Munsiyari-Chaukori-Mukteshwar by Indrarup Saha

We continued walking along the lake, crossed Hanuman temple and came back from where we started - thus completing our "local circumnavigation." :)

Going back to hotel, we had our breakfast and got ready in a jiffy.

One parting shot of the mesmerizing Naini Lake

Photo of Kumaon (Uttarakhand): A visual journey through Nainital-Binsar-Munsiyari-Chaukori-Mukteshwar by Indrarup Saha

Nainital is definitely worth coming back...more so when so much of it remained unexplored to us.

Day 2

BINSAR and DINAPANI

Image Courtesy: Google Earth

Photo of Binsar, Uttarakhand, India by Indrarup Saha

After a 3 and 1/2 hrs drive (via a 'bit' congested but beautiful Almora) we were at the gates of Binsar wildlife sanctuary. Entry fee was Rs 150/- per person and Rs 250/- per car (we were eighteen members in two vehicles !!)

My nephew at the entrance of Binsar sanctuary

Photo of Kumaon (Uttarakhand): A visual journey through Nainital-Binsar-Munsiyari-Chaukori-Mukteshwar by Indrarup Saha

While few of us were busy filling out formalities and getting done with the payment at the check post, few others got off the car to stretch their muscles a bit. This was a much needed break for us after a long drive.

Cars were allowed to go up to the KMVN tourist rest house, on the edge of the sanctuary - another 10 km from this check post. This rest house is the best accommodation available in Binsar - being the gateway to the forest.Though, electricity is provided only between 6 to 9 pm by generators - the thrill should be unforgettable. Since all rooms were sold out well in advance (before we tried to book in advance :), we chose to put up at Deenapani KMVN TRH - 20kms from here.

Binsar sanctuary is a high altitude (avg. elevation > 6000 ft) forest covering nearly 50 sq km. with rich flora and fauna (as per the official information displayed there).It is regarded as a bird watcher's paradise.

Only few of us went for a walk up to 500 mt into the forest to the 'Sunset Point'. Though my senses were not trained at all in picking up bird sounds and sightings - walking through the desolate unpaved path of the dense forest was a thrilling experience in itself.

Forest trails to the Sunset Point, Binsar sanctuary

Photo of Kumaon (Uttarakhand): A visual journey through Nainital-Binsar-Munsiyari-Chaukori-Mukteshwar by Indrarup Saha

View of a temple on a distant mountain - as seen from the Sunset Point

Photo of Kumaon (Uttarakhand): A visual journey through Nainital-Binsar-Munsiyari-Chaukori-Mukteshwar by Indrarup Saha

Strolling back, some of us continuously swayed our head sideways - each time straining our eyes to spot at least one wild animal. Their attempts proved to be abortive ... after all, animals are not for our entertainment’s sake, they have much vital roles to play on this planet ...!!

On returning to the KMVN TRH, we found everyone were famished and hence set off for Deenapani TRH - where we put up for the day.

Deenapani (or Dinapani) is a sleeping hamlet with wonderful view of mountains and valleys. Later, we came to know that, as per last recorded census (2011), Dinapani had only two households with eleven residents (6 males and 5 females)!!!

Deenapani TRH is located on the edge of a hilly terrain. Just behind it is a vast expanse of a breathtaking valley, dotted with few village huts along terraced fields. The food (both veg & non-veg) at the rest house was commendable, given the remoteness of the place!

After the hearty meal, I went to the backyard and again found a feast….for my eyes, this time. :)

An awesome view of the sunset from Deenapani TRH backyard

Photo of Kumaon (Uttarakhand): A visual journey through Nainital-Binsar-Munsiyari-Chaukori-Mukteshwar by Indrarup Saha

Later in the evening, delicious snacks (veg & egg pakoras) and coffee were served in the lobby – which we enjoyed to the fullest. Next morning, I woke up early and went straight to the balcony. I captured many images there. I am not sure about the longevity of the images stored in the data storage of camera, but they would remain embedded in my memory forever…

Priceless view from the balcony

Photo of Kumaon (Uttarakhand): A visual journey through Nainital-Binsar-Munsiyari-Chaukori-Mukteshwar by Indrarup Saha

A distant village in the valley below..

Photo of Kumaon (Uttarakhand): A visual journey through Nainital-Binsar-Munsiyari-Chaukori-Mukteshwar by Indrarup Saha

After breakfast, we again boarded our cars for yet another road trip to Patal Bhubaneswar – around 115 km from Dinapani. It was an amazing 4 hrs journey with two of our cars going in sync through the winding roads.

Image Courtesy: Google Earth

Photo of Kumaon (Uttarakhand): A visual journey through Nainital-Binsar-Munsiyari-Chaukori-Mukteshwar by Indrarup Saha

PATAL BHUVANESHWAR

Earlier we had explored a few other natural caves in south and north eastern parts of India, but this cave temple was really unique, in terms of special mention in Hindu mythology (Skanda Purana). An inscription near the entrance read – “this awesome cave is believed to be as old as the earth itself …” !!!

It is an intricate system of limestone caves forming myriad stalagmite & stalactite structures - each depicting a unique story from Hindu legends and sacred texts. Motorable road ends half a kilometre before the cave entrance. From the entrance, it is a narrow, slippery (at some places), ~ 90 ft (nearly 100 stony ‘steps’) descent to the cave. It was really an adventurous and demanding path which led to this spiritual treasure trove (for those who seek :)) The cave was well-lit and availing a temple guide was mandatory.

Unfortunately, no photo to upload. Camera and mobile phones were not allowed inside the cave.

However, you can catch a glimpse of this cave temple visiting the link below:

http://www.nainitaltourism.com/patal_bhuvaneshwar.html

Returning back, we had our lunch at the KMVN TRH, Patal Bhuvaneshwar ( it is just about 5 mins walk to the cave temple from here).Had to order our food in advance, before leaving for the cave.Food was average, but...for hungry stomach, taste is a luxury!! So, our loaded platters served were rendered empty, within no time :)

MUNSIYARI

Photo of Kumaon (Uttarakhand): A visual journey through Nainital-Binsar-Munsiyari-Chaukori-Mukteshwar by Indrarup Saha

Post-lunch, we again embarked on our next road trip; destination: Munsiyari. We traveled via the splendid Munsiyari-Thal road. Thus starting from Patal Bhuvaneshwar we drove through Thal-Nachani-Birthi- Girgaon-Kalamuni before finally reaching Munsiyari.

By the time we reached Birthi falls, it was already pitch dark. Chandan ji - our young, dynamic and amicable 'saarthi' (driving his 'almost new' Bolero) assured us that we shall definitely meet Birthi, but not today. We were relieved to know that the date with Birthi was due in a day or two !!!

No sooner had we entered Munsiyari town than it started raining. When our car stopped at Hotel Leela Mount View (our shelter for next two days), near the bus stand, it was 9.30 pm and still raining. I got drenched unloading our luggage and it felt like getting shot with ice bullets!

The beauty of reaching some heavenly destinations at night, in pitch dark environment like this is that, when you wake up in the morning you suddenly get hypnotized by something like this...

Capturing Panchchuli peaks from balcony of our lodge, my nephew looks on

Photo of Kumaon (Uttarakhand): A visual journey through Nainital-Binsar-Munsiyari-Chaukori-Mukteshwar by Indrarup Saha
Day 3

Munsiyari town amidst the Kumaon Himalayas

Photo of Munsyari, Uttarakhand, India by Indrarup Saha

Munsiyari is a remote, quiet, splendidly beautiful town at the base of Kumaon himalayan range (elevation ~7000 ft from sea level).During the winter months it remains covered in thick snow. It is a trekker's paradise,being the starting point for numerous picturesque trek routes leading to Milam and Ralam glaciers.

We spent the day happily strolling around the town, interacting with locals, tasting handmade savouries in a nearby sweet shop and visiting the local market. We were even offered fresh farm-grown vegetables (in huge quantities !!!) from a villager as a token of love, which we gladly accepted.

Such unselfish act of love and fresh unadulterated vegetables - both are hard to come by these days!!

The next day, we went to visit the Nanda Devi Temple situated 3 km from Munsiyari, in the lap of Mother Nature. Literally, the temple compound is surrounded 360 degrees by grand mountains, with magnificent views of snowy peaks, terraced fields and rugged terrains.

Terraced farm lands as seen from Nanda devi temple compound

Photo of Kumaon (Uttarakhand): A visual journey through Nainital-Binsar-Munsiyari-Chaukori-Mukteshwar by Indrarup Saha

View from Nandi Devi - small village huts amidst fairy tale like surroundings

Photo of Kumaon (Uttarakhand): A visual journey through Nainital-Binsar-Munsiyari-Chaukori-Mukteshwar by Indrarup Saha

Photographer being photographed ...the Nanda devi Temple in the background

Photo of Kumaon (Uttarakhand): A visual journey through Nainital-Binsar-Munsiyari-Chaukori-Mukteshwar by Indrarup Saha

We returned to our hotel after visiting the Nanda Devi temple. At the approach of dusk, all of us began to queue near our balcony to experience the much awaited sunset.

The last rays of the sun on the Panchchuli peaks were something inexplicable…

Sunset rays on one of the peaks of Panchchuli

Photo of Kumaon (Uttarakhand): A visual journey through Nainital-Binsar-Munsiyari-Chaukori-Mukteshwar by Indrarup Saha

All five peaks of Panchchuli being lit up by the last rays of sun

Photo of Kumaon (Uttarakhand): A visual journey through Nainital-Binsar-Munsiyari-Chaukori-Mukteshwar by Indrarup Saha

After witnessing one of the best sundowns in my life, I set an alarm for the next day’s sunrise. Hoping and believing that it would prove to be an equally overwhelming experience for me.

Sun lighting up the mountains

Photo of Kumaon (Uttarakhand): A visual journey through Nainital-Binsar-Munsiyari-Chaukori-Mukteshwar by Indrarup Saha

Sun-bathed Panchchuli peak - such a gracious sight !

Photo of Kumaon (Uttarakhand): A visual journey through Nainital-Binsar-Munsiyari-Chaukori-Mukteshwar by Indrarup Saha

Once our appreciation of this ethereal beauty relented a bit, our two great chauffeurs (cum-guides-cum- companions) were heard throttling their engines. That meant, we were ready for next leg of our journey.

Our two efficient guides during our entire Kumaon tour; L-Prem Ji, R- Chandan ji

Photo of Kumaon (Uttarakhand): A visual journey through Nainital-Binsar-Munsiyari-Chaukori-Mukteshwar by Indrarup Saha
Day 4

This time we set off for Chaukori, stopping by at Birthi Falls on the way. Birthi falls, as I mentioned earlier, is located on the Munsiyari-Thal road – 30 kms off Munsiyari.

Birthi Falls

Photo of Birthi, Uttarakhand, India by Indrarup Saha

View of Birthi village from above (near the falls)

Photo of Birthi, Uttarakhand, India by Indrarup Saha

It was a steep hike to get close to the waterfall. After 15-20 mins of hiking we could finally reach the view point area created by the local authority. Standing there amazed, we witnessed water gushing down the falls and heard it roared past us. We found few adventurous people venturing closer to the falls and taking a shower, too.

For those who opt to watch the falls from the distant road side, it is like paying double the price for watching half the movie! Like, most of our members, could never feel what they missed unless they make up for their mistake, sometime later.

After this blissful stopover we again got into laid back mode in our respective cars. While nice Kumaoni songs played inside our car soothed our ears, our eyes remained fixed outside on the imposing mountains and valleys.

Next stop – Chaukori

CHAUKORI

Chaukori is a tranquil hamlet situated at an elevation of ~6500 ft a.s.l. This untapped beauty is really unique in its own ways.

We reached KMVN TRH, Chaukori sometime before sunset that day. Of all the KMVN rest houses we have seen in our Kumaon tour, this was by far the best – be it its architecture or its marvellous location. More importantly, it offers at a glance an amazing view of numerous lofty Himalayan peaks, such as – Nanda devi, Nanda Khot, Trishul, Chaukhamba and the Panchchuli group.

Photo of Kumaon (Uttarakhand): A visual journey through Nainital-Binsar-Munsiyari-Chaukori-Mukteshwar by Indrarup Saha
Photo of Kumaon (Uttarakhand): A visual journey through Nainital-Binsar-Munsiyari-Chaukori-Mukteshwar by Indrarup Saha

Absorbing the view of the mighty Kumaon Peaks, we seated ourselves on the benches (in the garden) waiting for the sunset. Our patience paid off well as we did witness a great one, this time too.

My nephew enjoying a great view from the watch tower at KMVN TRH, Chaukori

Photo of Kumaon (Uttarakhand): A visual journey through Nainital-Binsar-Munsiyari-Chaukori-Mukteshwar by Indrarup Saha
Day 5

Next morning few of us went for a short walk in the nearby village bordering the forests of Chaukori. We came to learn from a local shepherd there that his dog had fallen prey to a leopard, last night. Though no one had seen the animal, its presence was proved by the pug marks found. It reminded me of the awe inspiring accounts of Jim Corbett and his hunting of man eateing tigers and leopards, which loomed large in these very forests of Kumaon.

After a delicious breakfast, we started for Mukteshwar. We divided our 170 kms (~6 hrs) journey from Chaukori to Mukteshwar with a stop-over at Jageshwar Dham – situated mid-way.

Image Courtesy: Google Earth

Photo of Chaukori, Uttarakhand, India by Indrarup Saha

JAGESHWAR DHAM

Jageshwar (~6100 ft a.s.l) is an ancient city famous for its cluster of temples – dedicated to Lord Shiva. The main temple complex has around 30 various sized temples and are under the conservation of Archaeological Survey of India. As per ASI note, these temples were built between the 9th and 13th century and renovated later.

The temple complex is located by rapidly flowing river stream and surrounded by forests of lofty Deodar trees. It is believed by many to be the abode of Nagesh, 8th among the Dwadasa Jyotirlingas.

Photo of Jageshwar Dham, Uttarakhand, India by Indrarup Saha
Photo of Jageshwar Dham, Uttarakhand, India by Indrarup Saha

While some of our senior members wanted to visit each of the temples in the complex, their idea attracted annoyance of all remaining members! It was pretty obvious when we had to cover another half of our journey and it was already late afternoon. So, ultimately they had to give up their ambitious plan.

Few minutes later, at a road side dhaba we gorge ourselves on the simple rice-dal-sabji meal. It was quite satisfying and recharged us for the remaining half of the road trip .

MUKTESHWAR

At about 9.00 pm, we finally reached remotely located KMVN rest house at Mukteshwar (~7500 ft above sea level).

Mukteshwar is a peaceful retreat blessed with heavenly vistas of the Kumaon Himalayas. It is known for its numerous fruit orchards and cute cottages built during the British rule. Covered in thick forests of Oak and Pine, a large part of the land in Mukteshwar is owned by the Indian Veterinary Research Institute. It is believed that within the periphery of these forests, Jim Corbett had killed quite a few man-eating tigers and leopards (as described in ‘The Muktesar man-eater’).

Situated at the extreme end of the road and bordering the forest, the location of the KMVN TRH was awe-inspiring. The architecture of the lodge, with its multiple shaded stairways and hallways looked somewhat interesting.

The KMVN TRH, Mukteshwar at night

Photo of Kumaon (Uttarakhand): A visual journey through Nainital-Binsar-Munsiyari-Chaukori-Mukteshwar by Indrarup Saha

That night we had our best dinner of the entire tour. Indeed, the manager had told us beforehand that, food was the one thing which we must not miss while we were here. We all thanked him numerous times for arranging such a ‘super supper’:)

Later, while casually chatting with him, I asked whether he had ever seen any leopard in his entire posting here (for last 20 years). He told he had spotted wild bear quite a few times but never a leopard.

Day 6

Majestic peaks of Kumaon Himalayas as seen from Mukteshwar

Photo of Mukteshwar, Uttarakhand, India by Indrarup Saha

Next day I woke up early to capture the sunrise, but a partly clouded sky produced a unique effect.

Later in the morning, we paid a visit to the nearby Mukteshwar Dham.

Entrance to the Mukteshwar Dham Shiva temple

Photo of Kumaon (Uttarakhand): A visual journey through Nainital-Binsar-Munsiyari-Chaukori-Mukteshwar by Indrarup Saha

From the entrance one has to climb some steep stairs to reach the main temple perched atop the highest point of the town. The structure of the temple was an unassuming one, but we could not ignore the uncanny silence that prevailed all around.

Mukteshwar temple - the highest point of Mukteshwar

Photo of Kumaon (Uttarakhand): A visual journey through Nainital-Binsar-Munsiyari-Chaukori-Mukteshwar by Indrarup Saha

Descending from the temple, I went to a nearby place called ‘Chauli ki jali’, along with my sisters and brother-in-law. It is a queer formation of rocks jutting out at ~45 degrees to the ground. Below it, is a thousand feet drop to a valley.

'Chauli ki jali'

Photo of Kumaon (Uttarakhand): A visual journey through Nainital-Binsar-Munsiyari-Chaukori-Mukteshwar by Indrarup Saha

A stony trail led us to this place. Adventure enthusiasts might engage themselves here in sports like - zip lining, rappelling and rock climbing. However we did not spot a single soul when we reached there, neither did we have any prior information about these sports. So we came back after posing for some common place family photos.

Returning to lodge from Chauli Ki Jali through the forest path

Photo of Kumaon (Uttarakhand): A visual journey through Nainital-Binsar-Munsiyari-Chaukori-Mukteshwar by Indrarup Saha

One parting shot of the distant Kumaon peaks from Mukteshwar

Photo of Kumaon (Uttarakhand): A visual journey through Nainital-Binsar-Munsiyari-Chaukori-Mukteshwar by Indrarup Saha

After breakfast at the KMVN Mukteshwar, we started our journey back to the plains. Our one last stop on the way was at Bhimtal and then Naukuchiatal, where we enjoyed boating and zorbing on the deep blue lake. Naukuchiatal is known for its clean unspoiled beauty, far from the madding crowds. Besides various water sports, paragliding is also one of the main attractions here.

Naukuchiatal….our last destination of the tour

Photo of Kumaon (Uttarakhand): A visual journey through Nainital-Binsar-Munsiyari-Chaukori-Mukteshwar by Indrarup Saha

From there we then headed straight for Haldwani, from where we boarded our train to Howrah. A day later, we were back to the plains of Kolkata…. It had been one of the most memorable experiences of our lives - the road trips, the sunrise and sunsets, the majestic mountain peaks, the temple and the forests, the people we met were simply amazing.

In a nut-shell

Total members in our group (family & relatives) - 18

Tour type - Self-managed family tour

Away from hustle and bustle of a metro city - October 17 to October 25, 2015

Tour expense (per head) - Rs 12,500/-

Itinerary:-

Day 1 – Howrah (Durgiana SF express)

Day 2 – Nainital (Howrah to Moradabad by train; Moradabad – Nainital by hired car**)

Day 3 – Dinapani (via Nainital – Binsar - Dinapani)

Day 4 – Munsiyari (via Dinapani – Patal Bhuvaneshwar – Munsiyari)

Day 5 – Munsiyari

Day 6 – Chaukori (via Munsiyari – Birthi – Chaukori )

Day 7 – Mukteshwar (via Chaukori – Jageshwar Dham – Mukteshwar )

Day 8 – Haldwani (via Mukteshwar – Naukuchiatal - Haldwani )

Day 9 – Howrah (by Lal Kuan – Howrah SF Express)

** It was difficult to find hired cars for Nainital from Moradabad. Kathgodam or Bareily are the preferred and convenient choices as rail head to Nainital.

Overnight stays:-

Nainital – KMVN TRH, Tallital – 1 night

Dinapani – KMVN TRH – 1 night

Munsiyari – Hotel Leela Mount View – 2 nights

Chaukori – KMVN TRH – 1 night

Mukteshwar – KMVN TRH – 1 night

(KMVN TRH = Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam , Tourist Rest House)

Vehicle & roads:-

Vehicle used – Two rented Mahindra Bolero (s) throughout our journey from Nainital to Haldwani Railway Station

Total distance travelled ~ 1000 kms

Chauffeur-cum-guides – Chandan ji (contact no. 9410956568) and Prem ji (both from Nainital district)

Road conditions – Throughout our journey, road condition varied between good to great. Thumbs up to local authorities for their good job !

Phone connectivity & WiFi:-

We didn’t face issues with cellular network. Barring a few isolated cases, network (most of us had Vodafone or Airtel connection) was good throughout our entire tour.

I don’t remember whether or not the KMVN TRHs were WiFi enabled. We simply didn't need it !

If Wifi is absolutely necessary for you while checking in a hotel, kindly verify with respective KMVN officials. You can get all the necessary contacts by visiting the link provided here - http://www.kmvn.gov.in/contacts/index/23

Must do things while visiting Kumaon :-

Here is a list of things one should consider exploring while visiting Kumaon....These may prove to be your fondest memories - without an expiry date !

Watersports on Bhimtal or Naukuchiatal (separated by roughly 7 kms) - not frequented by many (compared to Naini Lake), these serene lakes amidst gorgeous mountains is heaven within your reach

Paragliding near Naukuchiatal - one of the few places in India where you can have this lifetime experience

Walk through the forests of Binsar - be mesmerised by the timeless beauty of the alpine forests , birding along and photographing (without flash :) ) as you go

Pay a day visit to the amazing caves of Patal Bhuvaneshwar - should be an unforgettable journey

On the way to Munsiyari, stop for few minutes at Kalamuni Pass - you shall find a mind boggling view of the Panchchulli peaks in front of you, and below would find numerous hair pin loops running along the mountains

From Munsiyari, can go for a trek to Khaliya Top - you can start early in the morning and come back same day if you are fit enough. Though, to and fro distance of the trek would be only 13-14 kms, its steep all along. So it would be an arduous trek for a beginner. But the view from the top would let anyone forget all the pain suffered along the trekking trail !

Visit Nanda Devi temple, near Munsiyari - find yourself surrounded on all sides by lofty mountains

Hike around 250 metres up to the nearest point of Birthi Falls (30 kms from Munsiyari) and try to spot the rainbow over the falls, if you are lucky enough, though !

Visit wonderful tea gardens in Chaukori - a virgin beauty

Visit the ASI maintained ancient temples of Jageshwar bordering alpine forests in the Almora district

Visit the temple of highly revered Golu Devata (Ghanti wala mandir) at Chitai, ~7 kms from Almora city. Devotees here tie bells of different sizes, all along the temple complex. They also write their ardent prayers on sheet of paper and tie it along with the bells, with a strong belief that their prayer would definitely be answered

Taste Bal Mithai (a sweet prepared with khoya and cane sugar) - a speciality in Almora and neighbouring area

Visit IVRI at Mukteshwar. Pay a visit to Mukteshwar temple - highest point of the area. Walk along the village road and admire the beauty of the fruit orchards and cottages of British era

Photograph Haldwani city lights at night, from Mukteshwar - an amazingly beautiful view !

Day 1

NAINITAL

Our Mahindra Bolero reached Tallital KMVN Tourist Rest House (TRH), Nainital at around 5.30 in the evening. We got off the car and were instantly greeted by shivering cold. Standing on the edge of the vast green pristine Naini Lake, I forgot about clicking any photo what so over.

We headed straight to Tallital KMVN TRH reception and then to our rooms - which we managed to pre-book four months in advance ,from KMVN Tourist office, Kolkata. After checking in, I spontaneously reached out for my camera (my 4 year old friend, a Nikon Coolpix P510) and went on to explore the view from the balcony.

Naini Lake : view from TRH balcony!!

Photo of Nainital, Uttarakhand, India by Indrarup Saha
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