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The Kumaon Himalayas
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It was a bright and clear day in June that our train rolled into Kathgodam the closest rail station to Nainital.  Our holiday to the Kumaon Himalayas starts from here. The taxi to Nainital took all of 45 mins…. Climbing up the winding mountain roads and then into the valley of Nainital.

One can also do a 6 – 7 hrs drive from Delhi to Nainital, but we opted for the train as I was travelling with my aged in-laws and the overnight train gave them a chance to catch some good sleep.

Our hotel was at an elevation and had great views of the Naini Lake.  Well tendered gardens and crisscrossing, cobbled walkways.. The rooms were quite large and comfortable but there were a lot many stairs within the resort, connecting common areas and the restaurant that my in-laws found cumbersome. Stairways are the curse of any hill station, I suppose?

Legends say that Goddess Naini Devi shed a tear drop which became the Naini lake. I wonder if she was so sad to have shed that tear or was it triggered by extreme joy? That portion of the story never got written? 

The Mal road is quite a lively place.  It can get crowded in the evenings, though.  There are many mid-range hotels along the Mall area.  We had particularly opted for a hotel away from the Mall area as vehicular traffic is restricted for most part of the day.

Midday is a good time to enjoy a leisurely paddleboat ride on the lake..  I would recommend the option of a sailboat.. It is faster and very nimble.  Remember to carry peak caps and your sunglasses as it can get quite hot during the day.

A post office on a bridge?  Yes, probably the only one in the world. Wonder why anyone would build a post office right smack in the middle of a bridge? A poke from P & T to PWD?

Naukuchiyatal is a location that I would not mind visiting again.. It was the second day of our vacation and we moved into this lovely resort by the Naukuchiyatal lake front.  I shot this photo right outside the restaurant.. a very private, serene and quiet location.

Karpuyatal, another lovely lake is a short drive from Nainital.  Un-crowded and pristine.. 

Our drive up from Naini to Ramgarh was lovely, a picture postcard countryside.. Hammock had already booked our accommodation at a lovely standalone heritage cottage called ‘The Writers Bungalow’.  

A Neemrana group heritage property, completely refurbished and restored to its original.  

Three bedrooms with wonderful views of the Himalayas..  Breakfast served on the lawns… surrounded by fruit orchards with lovely walking trails, this was the best recommendation from Hammock.  Thanks again.

Tomorrow we continue our holiday higher up into the hills of Almora & then on to Binsar :)


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