Fujiyama, Japan

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Nainital

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

We had an ideal start at 4 AM. By 6 we were half way on Moradabad Bypass and racing towards Nainital  Things took a u-turn at Tanda. The road was like a series of speed breakers.

View of Naini Lake@Nainital

It took us couple of hours to cross the bad patch to reach Bazpur after which the infrastructure improved. We entered Nainital through picturesque Kaladhungi route at 11 and were settled by noon.

Tanda route@Nainital

We quickly refreshed ourselves and walked out for a light brunch. Interrogating around for a good pub we were directed towards Manu Maharani. It has a beautiful wooden lounge. We ordered couple of pints and settled at the edge of this lounge from where Lake Naini was visible.

Naini Lake@Nainital

The view changed our plans. We took our car and drove to the lake area which was surprisingly crowded. We walked, shopped, chatted and ate. It was time to go back to our hotel which was offering complementary dinner. The dinner was supplemented with an exciting India-Pak T20 World Cup match which helped us relax.

Main market@Nainital

We slept a little longer than usual and woke up fresh. An uphill trek to Mall Rd warmed us. Later we checked out after a sumptuous breakfast. It was time to explore Nainital a little more and hence we started for the Himalaya Darshan point. It is on Mall Rd only but a little further.

Natural caves@Nainital

A tourist spot made of natural caves was on our way and we chose to visit it. It would have been magnificent  had it been left untouched. The commercialization has killed most of the charm this place had.

Viewpoint@Nainital

On the way, we stopped at a viewpoint which had a grand view of Naini Lake. We had Maggi & tea standing here. Himalaya Darshan was disappointing as clouds spoilt our view. We moved back quickly and started towards Kaladhungi. On the way we halted at Himalaya Botanical Garden.

Himalaya Botanical Garden@Nainital

Returning to Delhi via Haldwani was a bad idea as Haldwani-Rudrapur-Rampur road is worse and longer than Tanda route. Hence we were able to reach McDonalds @ Gajraula by 7 only. Thankfully we had an extra day to relax tomorrow and so we arrived home happily.

Monday, 30 July 2012

Kasauli

Google Maps: Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh, India
Trip: Delhi > Chandigarh > Kasauli > Shimla > Delhi

A digression from Parwanoo lead us on a bumpy curvaceous drive towards Kasauli. Evidence of early Monsoon were everywhere as we passed through the lush green Lower Himalayan Range. As we moved up, the clouds would play hide and seek with us making it all the more difficult to drive on the lonely MDR.


Kasauli is a sleepy town in the middle of nowhere. We asked people walking by for a good accommodation. Some dwellers were surprised that we came from Parwanoo instead of Dharampur as the former was supposedly dangerous. With little guidance we managed to reach an HP Tourism Hotel and settled for a brunch.


Post brunch plans were simple - trek around the town-market to burn some fat and cover few landmarks as part of the tickmark tourism. We had two days and Kasauli is not more than a mile from one end to another.


The highest point in Kasauli is Manki Point. It is in the middle of an Air Force camp. Lord Hanuman had put his feet at this place before jumping towards Dronagiri mountain to fetch Sanjivani according to mythology. There are several restrictions to enter the area but it is worth the view from the top. Clouds turn kaleidoscopic here and the ever-changing landscape mesmerizes.


Two days of leisure that was intermittently disturbed by small treks, trip to market to grab eatables and once a customary visit to nearby pub, completed an extended weekend escapade. We returned by the wider roads through Dharampur and managed to have our breakfast at a roadside McDonalds.


Return to Delhi was quick through the newly made bypass expressway from Parwanoo to Pinjore. The roads are really good in this part of Himalayas - not to forget that it links two capital cities - Chandigarh and Shimla.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Coorg

Google Maps: Madikeri, Karnataka, India
Trip: Bangalore > CoorgBangalore

Coorg happened at the end of a most entertaining team offsite at the Golden Palms. We gathered few more, booked an Innova and started off for a weekend at the hill station. The seven of us made sure the noise never die inside the vehicle.


We stopped at a crowded CCD on Bangalore Mysore Expressway for late dinner before taking a diversion from Srirangapatna for Hunsur Road (a radial road from Mysore  which would take us to Coorg  We slept for a couple of hours each. A Home Stay had been booked in advance. The host was prepared with a sumptuous home-made breakfast for the seven of us.


After a good long sleep which was followed by equally filling lunch, we started for Madikeri which is the central district of Coorg.  It had a view point and a toy train taking round a small hillock. We managed to find things of our requirement and started back to our Home Stay.


The arrangements for our night long party was done by our hosts in a fashion that exceeded our expectations. There was a variety of regular as well as regional snacks arranged around a bonfire that complemented our drinks perfectly. The Champions League Finals was due late in the night. It was already a perfect set-up for a highly entertaining weekend.


We woke up with a hangover and quickly settled for another round of awesome breakfast before starting back. Our next halt was Dubare which is famous for elephant rides. There was a shallow river to be crossed on foot which proved to be more than adventurous as many of us slipped and got wet.


It was not before 1 that we reached by that time the lunch-time had started. The several Dosas were to be blamed which we gulped down at the bank of Dubare. We were able to reach back at Bangalore at 10 in the night.