Kazan Cathedral, Saint Petersburg

Tuesday, 8 July 2008


Google Maps: Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand, India
Trip: Delhi > Nainital > Pithoragarh > Delhi

I call it the mother of all trips. So many incidents happened during this three day trip that it is worth a novella only that nobody will buy it. We started on a breezy night of July. The moment we crossed Haldwani, it started raining while visibility deteriorated to few meters. We had to stop the car and decided to sleep for few hours before dawn.

The land of Bugyals, thats where we were going. Pithoragarh is a small town 90 kilometers from Almora. It should take at most 14 hours of drive to reach this place from Delhi. It took us 22 hours. As it happened, our driver fell asleep while driving and we hit the hill side. Fortunately it was only the two side tyres that got punctured. On the other side of the road was a river flowing deep. We reached Almora for breakfast after repairs and then moved forward for Pithoragarh  The driver was told not to hurry up and hence we were able to reach our destination by 5 in the evening.

Piyush had asked for arrangements at cantonment area and we were treated like royals. The subsequent drinks & dinner settled us for a good sleep. In the morning we left for Chandak. It is the highest point in Pithoragarh.  The view from top is unimaginably beautiful. Its surreal in real sense.

We left Pithoragarh after a brief breakfast for Patal Bhubaneshwar. I had heard a lot about it from my friends. Yet what we were going to see cannot be described. We were guided to a slit shaped opening at Patal Bhubaneshwar temple. The slit took us down for some 60 feets before it opened up into a large cave. Stalectite formations were visible on the ceiling. We moved from one part of the cave to another. At the last cave there was a huge head-shaped structure shimmering in the low lighting of the cave. Water was trickling from thread-like structures coming out. We kept looking at it for a while.

As we came out it started raining. We had to move quickly so as to reach Almora before dark. The next morning was planned for a short stay at Nainital before I would separate from Piyush and Prateek to attend the wedding of Yagesh Da. The best thing about the trip was that we survived seven tyre punctures and every time  the driver stopped for repairs, there always was a beautiful surrounding to engage us.