A trip to Binsar-Corbett-Naukuchiatal in December 2012
We commenced another trip to Uttarakhand on 12th December from Kolkata. Like many people Uttarakhand always attracts us with sumptuous green hilly terrine, valley and mountainous river, the landscape, ambience and beyond everything the courteous behaviour of the inhabitant. The winter in Uttarakhand is simply awesome.
After reaching Delhi Airport on 12th Dec’12 evening we took a prepaid cab from Old Delhi station, took our diner at the restaurant outside and embarked the train Ranikhet Express, scheduled to depart at 22:40hrs, departed at 23:00hrs. We cooped in a twin accommodation, got the comfort of safety at least during night journey thus slept comfortably keeping us quite fresh in the next day’s tour.
We have a membership with Club Mahindra Holiday Resort and our booking was at their Binsar Manipur Villa (altitude approximately 2500mtr) for 13th to 15th. Our cab was also booked through Club Mahindra for dropping from Kathgodam Station to Binsar Villa. We reached at Kathgodam just on time and got the cab waiting for us. It was around 110Km journey from the station to resort, reached there around 9:00am.
Our booking was with the Binsar Monipur Villa, an isolated place on a hilly terrine accessible only through private narrow road of Club Mahindra property. All accommodations there are log-hut; our booking was a Studio apartment with an adjacent balcony. After check-in we took our breakfast at the resort and booked a cab for going to zero point, the highest pick nearby and reserved for wild life. From zero point at Binsar one can see the large range of panoramic view of the Himalayan peaks like Kedarnath Peak, Shivling, Trisul and Nanda Devi. Traces of ice was found at pick indicated snow fall on preceding days, though we were unlucky not to be during snowing session. We could find some deer and unforgettable views of Himalayan range on the back sun was setting. The colour and clarity of the scenic beauty was simply awesome, could not imagine unless visualized before. The day light was dimming and returned to the resort, the temperature of the ambience nearing to zero.
Next day i.e. on 14th December’12 it started drizzling and the rental cab operators called a strike. Thus no way for any outing due to continued drizzling throughout the day & cab strike, had to remain confined within the premises, mostly within the cottage. But I must appreciate the calm ambience around us without any vehicular disturbance, bubbling and enjoyed the drizzling on surrounded pine trees. Luxuriousness of green hilly terrine in a drizzling day from log hut balcony was so charming that we remained in the balcony for hours though we were shivering due to coldness. Next morning there was no sign of cloud and we could find the zero point covered with snow, glittering in bright sun shine.
15th of December: morning after breakfast our journey commenced towards Corbett National Park. We booked the cab through Club Mahindra travel desk at Binsar, but found they don’t have their own arrangement and rented car from outside local car owners which could be hired directly at a lesser price. However, the journey through hilly range of Uttarakhand was really amazing and the views were awesome throughout the journey, the Mountain View, the jungle, the hill town Ranikhet appeared so mesmerizing to us that we decided to visit the town some time in any other tour programme.
The resort quite spread area between river Koshi and NH 121, adjacent to the forest, Calm & quite environment. We got a studio apartment adjacent to the river on 1st floor in a four apartment double storied building. River was visible clearly from the large glass window of the room as well as from the balcony and fortunately our apartment was east facing, awesome scenic beauty at sunrise moment. The night with controlled lights in the campus and with river side barbecue arrangement took us in a different world. The feeling of being inside the jungle, though with ultra modern amenities, gave us thrilling sensation.
Next morning, on 16th December, we took a cab, booked from the resort travels, for visiting the heritage bungalow of Edward James Jim Corbett, the renowned environmentalist, hunter as well as a leader for tiger conservation. This magnificent museum memorise the life and activities of the distinguished personality Jim Corbett. The traveler visiting Corbett National Park must visit the museum before completing their tour. The contents of the museum shows valued personal belongings connected to Jim Corbett, letters, rare photographs and a curio shop sell books written by Jim Corbett, Corbett caps, t-shirts etc. The museum is at a distance of around 30Km from our resort and at Kaladhungi
On the same cab while returning we visited the Corbett Water Falls, 25 Km from Ramnagar. Access to the falls is through a narrow twisting road, surrounded by teak wood forest, the music of flowing water mixed with chirruping of birds brings a heavenly ambience.
We took our lunch in a wayside dhaba and returned to the resort, spent the rest of the time leisurely.
17th we booked for jeep safari from the travel desk and commenced our journey at around 10:00am. There are four entry points for the jeep safari in Corbett National Park, Dhikala, Bijrani, Jhirna and Sonandi. Our booking was through the gate Jhirna, 16Km from Ramnagar and 25Km from our resort. There are specific root for the jeep movement and not allowed to enter in the core area. One watch tower was maintained near a thin stream where tigers are some time drink water and rare chance of watching them drinking water. Throughout the safari we could find lots of deer of different species like chital, sambar, barking deer etc. Monkeys crowded in trees adjacent to the only canteen inside the jungle on touring root.
Next day, 18th December: we checked out of the resort and proceeded towards Nainital, taking pause on spots of different lake locations on the way. There is a spot at Nainital to visualize large range of Himalayan Mountains; local peoples are there with telescope to locate different peaks for the tourists in exchange of small money. We sailed in the famous Nainital (Naini Lake) for almost two hours and then after taking lunch proceeded towards our next resort at Naukuchiatal.
Naukuchiatal is at a distance of 25Km from Nainital and 3Km from Bhimtal, a lake at height of 1200mtr with nine corners. The lake is the deepest one in the vicinity and surrounded completely by the Oak forest. An underwater spring maintains the water level of the lake. A myth about the most picturesque is believed by the local residents that whoever all nine corners of the lake at one shot is attains the stage of nirvana.
The resort of Club Mahindra at Naukuchiatal was a school building earlier; somehow the property no longer remained as school, converted to a resort in remote area. Calm & quite ambience for resting, staying away from crowded city life. 19th we just spent by walking within the campus of the resort and viewing the lake at changing lighting effect from sun in a clear sky day.
Next day on 20th; we took a drop from the resort to Kathgodam railway station (27Km from resort) to avail Sampark Kranti Express to Delhi and then evening flight to Kolkata, another journey to Uttarakhand, the beautiful state nourished by nature, ended.