RCI subscribing member has a memorable holiday among the hills and lakes of the Kumaon region of India


Our holiday to Bhimtal was quite unique in itself. Never before had we found a place so serene, so quiet and full of fresh air—all the effects of the ton of city pollution we had carried with us disappeared in a week, and we were back brimming with energy and fresh mountain air.

We stayed at Country Inn Bhimtal, where we were allotted a very beautiful cottage, which was a house in itself. When we got inside, we felt at home. It was spacious, and had all the modern amenities. The best part of our cottage was that it faced a huge and beautiful garden with a view of the valley. Though I am normally a late riser, it was fun to wake up early in morning and see the sunrise from the balcony of our room…

Day 1: On the first day, we were quite tired and exhausted, having travelled long to reach Bhimtal from New Delhi. But the resort was kind enough to keep the kitchen open till we arrived, and served us a good wholesome meal. We relaxed in the open air and enjoyed activities along with other people.

Day 2: With a good sleep behind us, and the nice cozy set up, all of us were fresh the next morning. We started off by exploring Bhimtal Lake. We were quite amazed by its sheer size….

We then went to Sattal. There were originally seven Tal (lakes), of which four were joined to form the current Sattal Lake; the other three were on our way. Boating on the lake was an amazing experience…

Day 3: We started early to visit Nainital. The first sight of Nainital lake was awesome—very well maintained and with amazing green water. The desire to indulge in this natural beauty was quite irresistible, so we gave in, and immediately went boating. But as we wanted to enjoy Nature and the view of the city from the lake, we took a shikara instead of a paddle boat. It is the best boating experience we have ever had! The boatman gave us good information about the sights nearby, and the “Thanda road”, where sunlight falls very rarely, and almost never in winter.

We then proceeded to get a good view of the Himalayas, riding through rough terrain on horseback to the top of a mountain…The ride up was beautiful. On the way, we saw places where lots of movies have been shot. When we reached the top, we had a breathtaking view of the Himalayas, while, below, the whole of Nainital stretched before us…

On the way back, we went to the cave garden, where six natural caves have been developed by the locals as a tourist attraction. While it took a lot of hard work to pass through them, it gave us a feel of being truly in Nature’s grasp…

Day 4: After visiting nearby places, we headed towards Ranikhet. This, again, is a beautiful place, with a cantonment quite well maintained by the army, a breathtaking view of the Himalayas, excellent nature walks through gardens and jungles, and some good temples…

The Herakhan Temple was on our way back, and saying goodbye to Ranikhet, we visited this place. It gave us a whole different view of the Himalayas. A graph mapped the peaks around us: the Nanda Devi and Trishul peaks in front, and many other mountains, which we saw in different colours at sunset.

Day 5: This was a day to relax, go shopping, and explore nearby places, as the trip to Ranikhet had been long and energy sapping. We started with a visit to Nainital market, and then went to the top of the mountain on the ropeway built by Uttarakhand Government. On the way up, we saw the sheer size of the Nainital Lake. Then followed our exploration of the market, shopping for local stuff to carry back for friends and family…

Day 6: Today, we felt up to some adventure. We started with paragliding from the top of Naukuchiatal, and, for the first time, we saw how birds enjoy flying in the open sky! The pilot who took us up was quite experienced, and, armed with a good knowledge of the wind, kept us gliding in the sky for 15-20 minutes. It was one of the most memorable experiences for us. Even my father went paragliding—in spite of his initial “No”s, he finally agreed!...

With RCI and Country Inn Bhimtal, our holiday was quite memorable. We all enjoyed the whole trip to the city of lakes. With excellent accommodation, good food and quite an adventurous week, we were happy and contented, as we headed back on the last day, to Delhi and then on to Ahmedabad.

- Chandresh S. from Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India

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