Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Kumaon Trip ~ Summing Up

I hope you have enjoyed going through my Kumaon trip blogs, as much as I have enjoyed writing them.As I always do with my major travel blogs I always keep the last blog for summing up, so this trip will also be no exception.

Kumaon is a heavenly region in the foothills of the Himalayas.In summers the place beams with life and greenery.One can see a part of the snow clad Himalayan range in the background.The rivers are sapphire, the lakes are emerald and there is a burst of colour all around you. So many flowers,so many birds and butterflies the place turns into a naturalist's heaven.

Winter paints a different picture. Whatever was green in summer turns white in winter. The lakes also get frozen partially or fully. The coniferous trees stands lonely on the bed of snow, their branches and twigs covered with snow.It is another beauty to behold, though travelling becomes a constraint.

Monsoons should be totally avoided as there can be fatal landslides.

The best time to visit is either summer, if you do not mind the excessive tourist rush or from September till December.

Below was our itinerary for the trip:

DAY 1| Reach New Delhi
       Night train to Kathgodam

DAY 2| Reach Kathgodam at 5:05 am
       Reach Nainital
       Hotel Check in
       Full day sight seeing
       Night Halt
Nainital Blog : http://thetravellerweare.blogspot.in/2015/10/nainital-land-of-lakes-part-1.html

DAY 3| Head to Binsar
       On the way visit Katarmal Sun Temple
       Full day rest
       Night halt
Binsar Blog : http://thetravellerweare.blogspot.in/2015/11/binsar-idyllic-himalayan-forest.html

DAY 4| Full day at Binsar
       Visit Binsar Wild Life Sanctuary
       Visit Jageshwar group of temples
       Night Halt

DAY 5| Head to Chaukori
       Enjoy nature
       Night Halt
Chaukori Blog : http://thetravellerweare.blogspot.in/2015/11/chaukori-hidden-beauty-of-kumaon.html

DAY 6| Head to Munsiyari
       Enjoy nature
       Night Halt

DAY 7| Sightseeing at Munsiyari
       Night Halt
Munsiyari Blog : http://thetravellerweare.blogspot.in/2015/11/munsiyari-kohinoor-of-kumaon.html

DAY 8| Head to Kausani
       Visit Baijnath on the way
       Enjoy nature
       Night Halt
Kausani Blog : http://thetravellerweare.blogspot.in/2015/11/kausani-nostalgia-kept-me-calling.html

DAY 8| Head to Nainital via Ranikhet
       Lake tour
       Evening shopping
       Night Halt
Nainital Concluding Blog : http://thetravellerweare.blogspot.in/2015/11/nainitalconcluding-our-kumaon-trip.html

DAY 9| Nainital sight seeing
       OR can go to Corbett for a day
       Night Halt

DAY 10| Return to Kathgodam
        Night train to New Delhi

DAY 11| Return to Bangalore

In Nainital there are shops that give bikes on rent.


Except for Nainital we stayed in KMVN guesthouses all the way. The staffs are good and friendly.
KMVN Deenapani is a little less maintained but that is compensated by the graceful staffs.If are planning to stay at KMVN Binsar then please keep in mind that do not provide electricity after sunset except for half an hour of dinner time.The reason is since Binsar KMVN is located inside the Binsar wildlife sanctuary so they do not disturb the natural wildlife. A good alternative is to stay at Deenapani which is 16 km before Binsar.In KMVN Binsar and Deenapani breakfast and dinner are complimentary. In all the other KMVN guesthouses only breakfast is complimentary.

All KMVN guesthouses can be booked online.
I booked from here:


Just a word of advise: If you are reaching any of the KMVN late say after 12:30 pm and you intend to have dinner after reaching then call up the reception and let them know that you will be late and wish to have lunch. Else you may not get lunch once you reach.

In Nainital we stayed at Alka and Prasanth Hotel.
Alka is very good but expensive, Prasanth is okay but have nice views of the lake.


Jivan : 9411198443 / 969068194

A very good and reliable driver and is knowledgeable about the places.
He was also one of the key factors why our trip was so good.

Always bargain with drivers for the price they quote.It will always come down.

And the most important thing that I believe is we all should be responsible tourists. We must not litter  or throw garbage anywhere. After all our country is beautiful and it should be kept like that.

Some of the random clicks from Kumaon

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Nainital,concluding our Kumaon trip

We have reached the last lap of our Kumaon travel and we will conclude our Kumaon journey once we reach Kathgodam to catch our train back.So from Kausani we will reach Nainital, stay there for 2 days and then take the train back to New Delhi.

So now that there is nothing like next destination we were a little slow in getting ready.We finally left our KMVN Kausani guesthouse at around 10:30 am. Jivan also remarked that this is the first time in our entire trip that we are starting late. We also acknowledged.Maybe by making ourselves late, we were mentally trying to extend our beautiful Kumaon trip a little longer.

We will be reaching Nainital via Ranikhet. Jivan asked for our permission to drop a young boy till Nainital along with us in the car.We agreed.In hills since buses are less frequent so locals do ask for a car lift favor and we were more than happy to accommodate him with us.The boy was no more than 18 or 19.We chatted with him for sometime and came to know that he is studying mechanical engineering in Nainital. His father is an ex army man and runs a small restaurant in Kausani.

We told Jivan that we want to skip Anashakti Ashram. Gandhiji stayed in Kausani for 2 weeks in this ashram.Since we started late so we skipped this part.

We had a brief stop at Ranikhet and saw the golf course. The golf course is within the Indian Army premises and from there we got a glimpse of the Himalayas from behind the pine trees.

Glimpses of Himalaya from Ranikhet

Army statue of the Kumaon regiment at Ranikhet

By the end of the tour Jivan had become more of a friend than a driver, so when we told him that we still have the lake tour remaining in Nainital he told us that on the way back to Nainital he will show us all the lakes.

He first took us to Bhimtal.It is the largest lake in the Kumaon region and has a small island in the middle. The island has a small aquarium and tourists can spend some time boating.

Bhimtal Lake

Bhimtal Lake

Bhimtal Lake

From Bhimtal we went to Naukuchiatal or the lake with 9 corners. In Naukuchiatal there are facilities for paragliding.Somewhere in between we saw Kamal Taal. Its a small lake not maintained and also no tourists, but interestingly the lake is full with lotuses.

Kamal Taal
In Naukuchia Tal at the time of taking photos, we saw a group of swans at one far corner.Soon after sometime they started moving closer to the place where we were standing and then they came to us.I am scared of swans ever since I was a little girl, so now also I got scared. Then one of the locals who was cleaning the weeds from the lake told me that when hungry the swans come to tourists for Parle-G biscuits.My husband bought a packet and fed them.The swans were so happy.They don't snatch each other's food. They wait for their turns.I never knew Parle-G has such a big fan base. Our old dog Buggey was a Parle-G fan and now these swans!


Hanuman Temple on the way to NaukuchiaTal



From there we went to Sattal which is approximately 22 kilometers away.As the name signifies, Sattal is seven fresh water lakes interconnected with one another.The seven lakes are Panna Tal or Garud Tal,Nal-Damyanti Tal,Purna Tal,Sita Tal,Ram Tal,Laxman Tal, Sukha Tal or Khurdariya Tal.Out of all the lakes in this lake tour Sattal was my personal pick. It is well bounded by mountains and lush green forests.Its so silent and peaceful. Sattal is a birder's paradise in Kumaon and there are birding camps. Next time when I will come to Kumaon I will definitely stay in Sattal atleast for a day.

Sat Tal

Sat Tal

In the evening we strolled on Mall road, it really felt as if we are in some quaint small European city.
The crowd is so lively, everyone seems to be enjoying. There are stalls beaming with tourists buying shawls, sweaters mementos and hill honey . In Nainital woolens are cheap and good. Also there are a few shops selling wax candles,statues etc, things that are created locally. Also on the road are shops that make awesome chats and don't forget to try them out.

Market still has not opened

The next day morning we did half an hour boating on the Nainital lake and what an experience it was! We enjoy the crystal emerald water as much as we enjoyed the cool breeze on our face and the warm sunshine on our back.half an hour of boating costs 150 rupees.

Naini Tal

Naini Tal

Naini Tal

Mosque at Naini Tal

Ashram at Naini Tal

Naini Tal Village

After boating we went to see the zoo. Near to the boating counter, is the zoo counter from where one has to buy the jeep tickets. Per person it is 30 bucks and the jeep will take you till the zoo gate.We were told to keep the tickets for our return back.Zoo tickets had to be bought separately once we reached the zoo entrance.

The zoo is open all days except Monday and National holidays. The zoo is called GB Panth High Altitude Zoo.The walk up to the zoo entrance is pretty tedious since the road goes up steep.However the zoo is clean and well maintained. While going up the zoo entrance one can get a bird's eye view of  Nainital lake.There are animals such as red panda,mustache goat,royal bengal tiger, himalayan wolf,bear and a variety of birds. The zoo took us almost 4 hours.We had to wait for sometime to get a jeep that will take us down. Once you are done with the zoo, you have to come down to the place where the up jeep brought you. You have to tell the people who allot vehicles that you wish to go down. They will give you a serial number and based on that you can sit in a down going jeep. We also did the same and while we were waiting we ate some awesome heavenly vegetable momo. There is only one guy who sells momos there and the momos are heavenly.One should not miss them at all.

Since it was almost evening by the time we got down, we started looking for a taxi to take us back to Kathgodam. We took our luggage from hotel ,got freshen up and luckily got a taxi that was Kathgodam registered.So he just took 300 bucks. If we had taken a taxi from Nainital then it would have costed us 1500 rupees.

The only thing we did not do was the mountain ropeway, since the ropeway was closed on occasion of Gandhi Jayanti. But that is okay, sometimes we need to leave out a few things in order to come back once again.

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