The City of Lakes – Nainital
Holidays and breaks have become a much needed activity in today’s time of rush and push. We all are competing with time and then we don’t have the time to sit back and relax. A holiday brings to you those precious moments to catch up on and though it may not give you back lost time but it surely refreshes you to handle more time consuming days ahead 🙂
Such was my experience when we escaped to Nainital – The city of Lakes over a long Holi (the Festival of Colours) weekend with my hubby and daughter. We began our little holiday journey at 8:30 am on a Saturday as we had to come back by Monday evening. I must say the journey was quite a drive by itself. Half the roads are made and the other half are still being constructed. We had to cross 6 toll booths to just reach the foothill of Nainital. We went by the Moradabad-Rampur-Bilaspur-Haldwani-Kathgodham road, which, if I may mention is not worth travelling on. Though the road was sad but our little break at a restaurant just took our fatigue away. Punjabi Rasoi is a small restaurant or Dhaba located on the Rampur-Bilaspur road and served some really delicious and hot food accompanied with decent Tea. The rest of the journey was pretty rough thanks to the road but we finally reached our destination after 10 hours of travel at 6:30 pm.
We checked into a small budget hotel The Savoy that offered a wonderful location advantage as it was situated close to Mall Road. Though very small, but the friendly staff and the warmth exuded by them made us feel at home. we checked in, got ready and moved out to explore Mall road late evening. Though most of the shops were almost closing but the street shops and the tourists walking along the road were a delight to be a part of. We made a short trip to Tibetan Market which was closing too and then started to walk back. We had read about a restaurant “Machan” that served some delicious food and were eager to eat there but the wait was too long and we didn’t have the patience to wait. We then hopped over to another restaurant Royal Kitchen (If I am not mistaken) and were in for a pleasant surprise with their delicious Mutton Rogan Josh and tandoori roti’s (Indian Bread). After enjoying our scrumptious meal we headed back to our hotel to retire for the night. The walk along the Mall Road was simply relaxing.
Day 2 we started off early after eating breakfast and moved on to see some prominent tourist points of Nainital. We hired a Cab for Rs. 800 to take us around the famous points. Our first stop was the Snow view point in which we travelled through the Rope Way that gave us a breath-taking view of Naini Lake and the surrounding Pine tree mountains. After reaching the top we hiked a little to reach the actual point. There we were greeted with a throng of tourists that were looking through the telescope at the faraway mountain range- Nanda Devi.
Though very far but the view with the naked eye was simply mind-blowing. The snow-capped mountains just kept telling us to come there 🙂 For a little adventure you can also try your hand at Free Fall ride 🙂 From here we moved on to Lake View Point that gave a pretty decent view of the Lake itself. Our next stop was Maggi Point as we call it 🙂 since I don’t recall the name of that point. There wasn’t much to do there so we went on to Barapathar trekking site and then to Lovers Point / Suicide Point. The feeling of being one with the clouds just made our heads roll. A pretty great backdrop for some awesome pictures, Lovers Point actually sees a lot of newbies and love birds coming along. Our next and last stop was Khurptal which is another one of the Tal’s of Nainital. The view was simply breath-taking.
After a tiring day of moving around and sightseeing, we decided to just take a quick whisk through Tibetan Market. For all those visiting from North India, its really not worth buying things here as they are overly priced. Even for normal tourists, I would advise that just carry one souvenir but don’t carry a whole lot stuff from here. Another interesting aspect of the market were the number of shops selling Candles. The streets were lined with many candle selling shops that actually showcased some amazing designs. A definite buy as a souvenir though. Our last stop was the Naini Lake, where my daughter insisted to go boating. There are government shops that sell the tickets so no need to worry about buying it through all the vendors and boatmen waiting to sell it. Just get in the line and buy yourself a ticket. You can choose either a Paddle Boat or Row Boat. The ride in the boat was relaxing with cool breeze hitting our faces and just making us breathe in some fresh air.
As the night approached we decided to try our luck again at Machan, but this time around too it was heavily packed. So we gave up and decided to explore another part of the market- Bada Bazaar, which is the main market of Nainital. This is built all on a slope so be ready to climb a bit. Our little sojourn through the market got us to a very charming and quaint Bakery and Patisserie – Sakley’s. Their chocolate cakes are just a mouthful and worth trying. They simply melt in your mouth 🙂 The setting itself was very English and gave us an old Nainital charm. So next time you are there, do try this simply delicious bakery. After eating so much we really needed that walk back to the hotel and Mall road gave us another opportunity to enjoy the fresh air and cool breeze. A piece of advice, whatever the season, do carry some woollens as it is cold round the year atleast in the evening.
Our trip ended on the day of Holi i.e. 17th March and we decided to leave early so as to come back to Delhi in time. This time around we took a different route via Ramnagar-Kaladungi-Bazpur-Kasipur-Delhi that was excellent except for a 3 km route through one small village. The greenery around us through our drive and the highway was simply amazing. Without stopping we made it back to Delhi in 6 hours on a simply marvellous drive and lots of fun with my family.
If you are visiting Nainital it is great to book your tickets in advance in a good resort as it is usually packed in season time.