Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Nainital (Day2 Part 2)

The time we spent in Kilbury was an experience out of the world! Not that we saw many exotic birds, but the feeling to be surrounded in wilderness itself gives you goosebumps. As we bid adieu to Kilbury, our driver Jitender ji drove us to Pangot with a surprise look.

Creasing his forehead, he hesitantly asked us if we were camping in Pangot. Getting a no in response, he said Pangot is a village and there is nothing to see. We could not agree more with him but who wants to miss the breathtaking view of the hills? We got off at CampMehi and descended the little slope.

How to reach-
Pangot is roughly seven kilometers from Kilbury and seventeen from Nainital. Only private vehicles or taxis can ply on the roads. No public transport available here.

Caution- Roads are too narrow for bus/tempo traveler bus. 

What to see and do?
Well, as correctly said by Jitender ji, Pangot is a remote village surrounded by dense forests. Tourism has developed here of late due to some commercial activities like camping and trekking. Sadly, forests are being cut down to build camps, resorts and huts. Perhaps our coming generation may not see any forests here.    

Cheerful yellows!

  Soothing Green
Nature trails

Tourists go to Pangot to relax in nature. The private tour operators offer tent stay, bonfire, group activities, bird watching, trekking etc in their package deal. Pangot is a place to practically do nothing. Come here one weekend, breathe, unwind and go back home with a refreshed mind!

If you stay in Pangot, I recommend camp stay. The feel is adventurous and unique. A hotel stay is just another stay yeah? Stay in the tents and feel the forest in your sleeve! I am sure jungle animals stray into these places too! Dont intend to scare you, but yeah, that might just be another thrilling experience. Needless to mention, group of friends will enjoy a lot. 

Advisable carry mosquito repellent and torch with you for camp stay.   

Please do not trash in the forests. Remember you are educated responsible tourists!

Surrounding forest of Pangot
We took a round of the whole place, tents, walked on the nature trails, took pictures (ofcourse) and left from Pangot in less than forty minutes. It seemed the clouds were waiting for us to leave as the moment we crossed Kilbury forest, it started to pour. The already pleasant weather turned romantic. 

However rains ruin travelling plans most of the times. Braving the slippery roads and traffic, we took shelter in one of the restaurants in Bara Bazar and waited for almost an hour post lunch for rains to stop.

The plan for more local sightseeing had to be cancelled, as it rained throughout the evening. Suddenly God made her presence felt. Nanda Devi Shobha Yatra (procession) crossed our hotel. It was the last day of the Nanda Devi festival before idol immersion late evening. The energy, the enthusiasm and love of devotees was worth watching as they pulled the rath (chariot) of Nanda Devi Maa on the steep lanes amid continuous drizzle.

Devotees swayed singing folk songs and praises for Devi Maa. Prasad was generously distributed to everyone on the streets. Each year the festival is celebrated with much pomp & flare and Devi Maa is given a warm farewell, promising to celebrate next year again.

We spent the evening in our hotel room, enjoying rainfall, tea and soya-momos (veg for a change. Husband please take note of this!) . Special mention of Hotel Treebo Cloud 7 for the things they have in their rooms for guests. Super cool !! 

As soon as we stepped out around seven it started pouring again, adding to our worries for next day. It was indeed very sweet of the hotel manager to lend us his umbrella for the evening. We headed to China Town restaurant for dinner. The place is usually crowded with a queue in waiting always. The love for momos took husband there and we had a big meal at very economical price.

Don’t expect hygiene, nice ambiance or quick service in the overtly crowded eating joint. Looks like a shabby canteen where people huddle like chickens in coop. I found the food average, just like any eating joint serving Chinese. Half my appetite died looking at the poor sanitation. Back of my mind, I prayed we don’t get an upset stomach.

Shops in Nainital shut down as early at 8 pm. Streets start to bear the deserted look by 9 pm. Our plan of buying an umbrella was shattered hence. We were worried for next day which we had scheduled for Bhimtal and Naukuchitaal. How will we carry our expensive camera? The thought was killing us!

Being in the travel industry and having a travel freak wife (yay), husband strategizes holiday very well. So we had premeditated the next day in sequence- a boat ride early morning, breakfast on hotel terrace, check out at eleven, visit the nearby places whole day and board Delhi bound volvo from Haldwani in evening. The success of the arrangement was totally in the hands of rain God.

We crashed around 11 pm while rains lashed the silent streets non stop. 

Stay tuned for Day 3...


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