Exquisite Uttarakhand #SwipeRightToTravel

27th Oct 2012

This story is about my Solo trip to Uttarakhand for doing adventure course from Nehru Institute of Mountaineering, Uttarkashi

In the month of Oct 2012 I have brought my friends laptop to search job in the field of adventure, mountaineering etc. While I was searching the job suddenly I came through a very old newspaper article on Google which had the names of the institutes which conducts adventure, mountaineering, search & rescue etc courses. I was extremely excited when I read that article & decided to do Adventure Course

Amongst the 5 to 6 Institutes I shortlisted Nehru Institute of Mountaineering (NIM), Uttarkashi – Uttarakhand INDIA for the adventure course 188 which was going to start from 27 Oct 2012 of 15 days

I immediately submitted the adventure course admission form on 10 Oct 2012, I was little worried & not sure whether I will get admission as most of the times people take admission 6 months to 1 year before the actual course date. Fortunately I got the admission to the adventure course as most of the NCC students due to some reason had cancelled their admission

Day 1

My Voyage from Mumbai to Uttarkashi commenced on 24th Oct 2012 (Paschim Express) & reached Delhi on 25th Oct 2012 & from Delhi I went to Haridwar & reached Haridwar on the night of 25th Oct 2012. I found a Dharamshala in Haridwar on the night of 25th kept my luggage & immediately went to the Bus Stand to enquire for the Bus to Uttarkashi and I came to know that the first bus to Uttarkashi is at 06:00 am in early morning. Bus stop was walking distance from the Dharamshala

Next morning i.e. 26th Oct morning, I woke up at 05:00 & was able to catch the bus. The road from Haridwar to Uttarkashi was absolutely scenic with picturesque sightseeing on both sides covered by Mountains; I was very excited as this was my first trip to Mountains. I reached Uttarkashi at 1:30 pm in afternoon on 26 Oct & came to know that the NIM Institute is 3kms from here, so I decided to walk & started walking slowly capturing the nature, the village etc & finally reached NIM at 3:00pm, completed my admission formalities & went in my Hostel room & freshened up and had Lunch at the cafeteria

The friends I met in the course were simply the best, we were total only 24 students(1) for the Adventure Course 188, and we all are in contact even now after 4 years. All the Instructors were of super high standards, the NIM campus is outstanding

Our Adventure course went on well with our treks & camping also took place at the beautiful Thekla, Barsu, Dayara Bugyal, Sankhurni Khaal etc

Day 15

Our course completed on 10th Nov 2012, all the friends went at their respective places, I was free & not having job, after coming so far so I decided to spend few days in this beautiful Uttarakhand

I went to Gangotri from Uttarkashi, in my taxi I met Mauni Baba(2) (who will not speak) he used to write to answer my questions as he was mauni; he was going to Tapovan but on the next day. We reached Gangotri at around 1:00 pm and the road from Uttarkashi to Gangotri is something that I had never ever seen in my life before, simple majestic with Blue waters, Mountains, trees, temples etc. Mauni Baba told me to visit the Suryakund & Pandav Gufa, after we both checked in the same Hotel room & taking some rest I went to Suryakund & Pandav Gufa, very beautiful, I witnessed my first snowfall when I went to Pandav Gufa, it was magnificent, and the temperature getting cold, up to 4 degree was recorded. Later in the night Mauni Baba took me to the Ganga Ghat & Ganga Mata Mandir and told me to have Prasad Langar in the Dinner we both had the dinner together, it was memorable for me

Day 16

Next day early morning we both woke up at 5 am, he came with me till the Gangotri taxi stand & dropped me in the taxi to Uttarkashi, from where I had to catch a private afternoon bus to Haridwar & he was going to go to Tapovan later. I reached Haridwar in the night & went to same Dharamshala as I had visited before on my first night. Next day morning I checked out from the Dharamshala & went to Shanti Kunj & in afternoon I went to Rishikesh – Ram Jhula, Laxman Jhula, spent the evening at Triveni Ghat where I met two Brothers (3) Mahesh & Ashish, when they saw me alone clicking photos, they had word with me with smile and I told them my journey, they too shared their details, they told me that they had also being to Mumbai before and they like Mumbai

Now I had decided to stay one night in Rishikesh only, & after long search I found one Bengali Dharamshala in Rishikesh I had kept my luggage in the room, I was relaxed & was talking to the Dharamshala Manager(4) & suddenly in between the talks Nainital came to my mind as one of my friend from Pithoragarh had told me about Nainital that it is very beautiful & I must go there, so I just asked the Dharamshala manager that can leave for Nainital now, he told me no problem provided you get a Bus from Haridwar as it is little late now, He also didn’t asked any money from as I had to stay there for one night (I was going to pay money on check out)

I immediately went to Haridwar from Rishikesh, luckily I got a Tata Sumo in Rishikesh for Haridwar and I told the Tata Sumo Person(5) that I want to go to Nainital by Bus from Haridwar, he also co-operated very well & dropped me at Haridwar Bus Stand at sharp 9 pm & as we reached Haridwar the Nanital Bus was in front of me leaving for Nanital & the Tata Sumo person immediately told me that this is Bus to Nanital, so I immediately ran towards it & caught it, it was an absolute relief catching the bus to Nainital. When I was in the Bus at around 12am I saw one sign board with Corbett National Park written on it & I was curious to go to Corbett after Nainital. While reaching Nainital the cold was very high

Day 17

I reached Nainital in the morning at 5:30am. I just waited at the Nainital Bus stand for few minutes & went towards the Naini Lake. I wanted to take bath & fresh up as It was also the first day of Deepawali 2012. When I was waiting near the Naini Lake I saw one Boy, his name was Rahul(6) who was practising for Indian Army, I asked him where would be the good place to fresh up, he told me you either need to take a Hotel or there is one Wash room there, while chatting with him for long time he also told me that have one kayaking training centre at the Naini lake & he will after some time take a bath in the Naini Lake, he also told me that I can also bath in the Naini Lake, although it is not allowed but as a friend & since I have come from long way you can, firstly I told him no & went to the Wash room, but it was not good & decided to bath in the Naini Lake, so went to Rahul he said you are most welcome

And my first bath of Diwali in my lifetime was in Naini Lake what an great great moment of my life to get privilege to bath in this beautiful lake, the water was extremely cold but it was very exciting to bath here

After that in afternoon Rahul took me to tip n top point showed me school of Amitabh, Jungle area, Golf Course, Governor’s Pavilion etc, & finally in the evening we came back to the Bus Stand & found one Hotel for that night and next day morning I left for Jim Corbett National Park in Ramnagar, I got the Ramnagar Bus from Nainital

Day 18

I reached Ramnagar at around 11am, I went to Jim Corbett but the Jeep Jungle Safari was already full & I had to go back. I asked a Cobbler boy(7) (very nice guy) is there any other place to go nearby he told me there is one Durga Devi temple near & also you can go to Corbett Falls, I told him I will go to Durga Devi Temple, he told me also to pray for him when I go there, I reached temple at around 12:45pm, but it was too rush, so I decided to come back & go to Corbett Falls as I had not much time. So went to Corbett falls, reached there at around 3:30pm after having lunch etc

When I saw Corbett Falls way & Corbett Falls I was thrilled to see it, it is extremely beautifully, I was there for around half & hour and after that there came 5 boys(8) who were from UP, we had chat they asked me from where I am, when I told them that I am alone & came from Thane, they very surprised that I alone came this long way. Looking at my excitement for waterfall they told me I can go & swim there, I wasted no time & went under the waterfall and asked them to take my pictures, it was great feeling

After all that they told me where is my next destination I told them I want to go to Dehradun & Mussoorie, so they told me that they can drop me in their car till Haldwani and from Haldwani they told me to take auto till Kathgodham & from there I will get train to Dehradun. So they dropped me till Haldwani & from there I went by auto to Kathgodham Train Station. I was standing in queue of Current Ticket Booking & after 10-15mins there came one person who was having 2 sleeper class tickets from Kathgodham till Dehradun, I just took this opportunity & took 1 ticket and also found another person who took the other ticket, went comfortably sleeping till Dehradun

Day 19

I reached Dehradun early morning at 5am, caught the first bus from Dehradun train station to Mussoorie, I reached Mussoorie at around 6:30am, went seen the Sunrise & went to the company garden, the road from the Mussoorie Bus Stand till the company garden is very picturesque, also seen the school students going to school

From Mussoorie I returned back to Dehradun at around 3pm & went to the Indira Gandhi Forensic Lab, it is very big & clean campus, after that I returned back to Haridwar in night at around 8pm in the same Dharamshala as earlier, relaxed there & next day morning went to Haridwar Train station to book my tatkal ticket to Mumbai, after that I checked out from my Haridwar Dharamshala & went to Har Ki Paudi & later in evening I went to Rishikesh & in the night I took 11:30 Bus to Delhi and reached Delhi next day morning at 5am, as I had reached Delhi so early and my train to Mumbai on that day was in the Night at around 9:30 pm ( Swaraj Express), so I decided to go to Taj Mahal

Day 20

I took an early morning train from Hazrat Nizamuddin train station and went to Agra Cantt and from there took sharing auto to Taj Mahal, while travelling in auto to Taj Mahal I had word with my other co-passengers (9), I told them I am going to Taj Mahal & want to return back to Delhi thereafter to catch train to Mumbai, they told me that in morning they had being to Taj Mahal & there was huge number of people out there, they said it will be very difficult for me to return on time to Delhi as I need to first get train from Agra to Delhi, However they told me that they know one person named Shahid who escorts tourists to Taj Mahal (guide), they gave me Shahid contact number, when I reached Taj I contacted Shahid(10) and met him there, he was very helpful, he told that there are around 20,000 people around here to visit Taj, however as I have personal soft corner for Mumbai people I will get you inside Taj as you also need to catch your return train from Delhi to Mumbai, accordingly because of his help I was able to get inside the Taj Mahal and accordingly returned back to New Delhi Railway station at around 8:30 pm & caught my train to Mumbai Swaraj Express at around 9:25 pm

This was my travel story, I hope you will like it :)

so in total I met 10 people throughout my trip to Uttarakhand, whom I will never forget in my life

1. 24 Friends - NIM, Uttarkashi

2. Mauni Baba - Uttarkashi to Gangotri

3. Two Brothers (Ashish & Mahesh) - Triveni Ghat, Rishikesh

4. Bengali Dharamshala Manager, Rishikesh

5. Tata Sumo Person, Rishikesh to Haridwar drop

6. Rahul - Nainital

7. Cobbler Boy - Ramnagar

8. 5 Boys - Corbett Falls, Kala Dhoongi, Nayagaon, Ramnagar

9. Co-passengers in sharing auto - Agra

10. Shahid - Taj Mahal

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