Amidst the hustle-bustle of the Republic day in the capital, we planned to chuck everything and leave town for our undying love for the mountains. This love has no boundaries and I mean it. The aroma of fresh morning air, the bright sunlight beaming through the mountains is incomparable.
Day 1 - Nainital
Started around 7:00 am in our polo into the windy January chill for nearly 7 hours of driving on decent roads, along with stoppages for the most yummiest dhaba food, we finally made it to Nainital.
Who would want to wait in the hotel when you have an enormous Nainital lake (Naini lake) waiting outside for you. Nature has its way of treating you well. It started to rain outside! Layers of clothes and an umbrella in hand enough for two, we walked towards the market known as the Mall Road, which was not so far from the hotel.
A 2- minute walk from the lake and you will find the Naina Devi temple, situated on the banks. It is believed that the Naini Lake is one of the 64 Shakti Peeths (religious sites). The goddess Shakti is worshiped at the Naina Devi Temple, known by locals as Naini Mata Temple on the north shore of the lake.
It was already dusk and with our hunger pangs on, we went on to relish ourselves with some really good coffee and paranthas and some more coffee and more paranthas! Affordable, hot and enough to keep ourselves full for some night winter walk.
Day 2 - Nainital
Our morning started doing soul-searching for an amazing mid-morning breakfast at a restaurant called the Embassy restaurant and it was surprisingly delicious followed by some cloudy morning strolling along the banks.
Hills aye aur snow nahi dekha to kya dekha? I was so lucky to actually see snow around me for the first time in my life! feel me little?
Snow View Point is the best view point in Nainital. An excellent views of snow capped mountains like Nanda Devi, Trishul and Nanda Kot. Snow view point is well connected by road and locals are available around to take you there. An adventurous ride in aerial rope way from Mallital is always worth it. We hired a local to drive us all the way to Snow point, narrow road, inclined and quite high!
You roam around the snow point and you find the air full of Maggi masala ki khushboo! Tempting, isn't it? Small shops with best street food. Samosa, kachori, aloo puri you name it. Coffee & tea of best flavors to save you from the chilly snow and impress your taste buds.
After almost 2 hours of strolling at the snow point, we made our way back to the Mall road. It was time for our boat ride and we quickly made our way to the ticket counter and then towards our nauka. Trust me, it was such an amazing feeling to experience the nature's finest work.
The Mall road market is no less than the mall road's of other hill stations. Lots of shops and much variety for shopping, eating joints, ice cream parlors etc.
Another day ended so well walking around and eating some really good dinner. Nainital has some really amazing restaurants and small food joints.
Day 3 - Nainital
It was time to experience some wildlife. Pt. G.B. Pant High Altitude Zoo is a high altitude zoo situated on the Sher Ka Danda hill at a height of 2,100 metres (6,900 ft) above sea-level. The only High Altitude Zoo in north India, besides those in Darjeeling and Sikkim. AMAZING! Isn't it?
The zoo has several endangered species of animals in the Himalayas, and animals like Royal Bengal tiger, Tibetan wolves, sambar, leopard cat and Himalayan bear. It also has a vast collection of high altitude birds, like kalij pheasant, Lady Amherst pheasant, rose ringed parakeet, golden pheasant and red junglefowl.
You find some delicious hot food and coffee at a food joint outside the zoo.
We headed towards our next stop, Eco Cave Garden located in Sukhatal. It's famous for its inter connected rocky caves, hanging gardens and the musical fountain.
Finally, 0ur next much awaited destination, Mukteshwar!
A place high in the kumaon hills and views of the majestic Himalayan range. It will give you a memorable experience that you would treasure forever.
It's really hard to put into words our drive to Mukteshwar. Late evening drive, pleasant roads, good music and an amazing company! Checked into a hotel and it was pretty dark already with a quite environment outside. The cherry on top has to the be view from the window the next morning.
Day 4 - Mukteshwar
If you are in Mukteshwar, you have to make a visit to the Mukteshwar temple, also known as Mukteshwar Dham, located in the hilly terrain. As the name suggests, it is dedicated to Lord Shiva.
Located behind the cliff of Mukteshwar temple is Chauli Ki Jali also known as Chauthi Jali. A must place to visit for some amazing views of the hills. It's at a distance of approximately 300 meters from the temple. Trekking is recommended.
Back on the roads to Delhi.
I hope it was a visually pleasant treat for you to some extent as much as it was for me. Looking forward to know your share of experiences. Keep exploring!