Our journey of Kumaon started when we reached the Kathgodam railway junction from bariley. Although Kathgodam itself does not have any tourist significance it is an important transit point and is one of the few railway junctions of Kumaon. The rail junction hosts a government run tourist kiosk where one gets assistance on cabs and buses traversing to various regions of Uttrakhand. It also provides tourists ample reading material on places to visit.
Our first stop, Nainital. It had all the romantic frills of a hill station - horse riding, boating, sunset point, nagging tour guides, and the thriving market place in and around the lake that would appeal to a typical picnicking tourist. Heck it even had a rope way that promised a breathtaking view of the
After walking for an hour up and down mall road, much to my disappointment, we didn’t find a single place serving kumaoni food. Since I had already worked up quiet an appetite in the hope of binging on local food we had to resort to the Tibetan dumplings called momos and lot of international food that the restaurants proudly boast off.
The Raj Bhavan or the governor’s house is a replica of the Buckingham palace and is a must visit tourist destination. The place holds an English charm but refurbished with all the modern amenities. The interiors are just as extravagant as the outside Oak wood adorns the walls and all the furniture inside. Life there would have been well so la-di-da.
A magnificent green house for high tea, a dance floor with spring padding allows one to waltz away without tiring, warm fire place to curl up with a book, oh and the grand stairway, what can I say, perfect for when you’re all ready for your beau to escort you to the grand ball. I was drifting in all my whimsical fancies when the biting chill shook me out of it rather rudely. As beautiful as the place maybe one cannot escape a tour guide who will talk incessantly with heavily accented Hindi. We caught the misty sunset here before we decided to head to Almora to pitch camp for the night.
Nainital is ideal for a weekend getaway; it allows a traveler to relish everything about a hill station without getting bored. I must admit the place is a summer destination but is just as charming in the winters. One can revel in the magic of the yesteryears when the crowds are thinner, the leaves turn golden and everything around seems immersed in mystique.
Photgraphs: Chinmoye Bhave and me, Ok mostly him.