For more than two years, my school friends and I’ve been planning a six-day trip to Nainital, Almora and Binsar. Every time, the plan is either aborted or one member of the team keeps decreasing. Ultimately, the trip doesn’t take place and everyone goes back to leading their mundane lives. But this time I was determined to make the trip happen. We’re almost 27 years old and till date, we hadn’t yet been on a proper trip in the past eight years. I looked up hotels at cheap rates, booked rooms and even availed a reliable Nainital cab service to wait for us at the railway station.
Not that my friends were too eager to take leaves from their jobs in the middle of the week but I felt the utter need to reconnect with them after so long. I have my own business and therefore, I did not have to face the problems they had. After all, I guess my childhood friends can bear the brunt of their bosses for a few days just for the sake of a breath of fresh air away from all the hullabaloo of the polluted and noisy city.
Reaching Nainital from Delhi
We were ten people in all and when we met at the Delhi railway station, one of them told me that it would have been better to book a cab from Delhi to Nainital directly instead of having a break journey. But that journey would have taken around 8 hours to reach including the stops, breaks and pullovers during the journey. Anyway, now that we were all here, I did not leave them with any option other than boarding the train from New Delhi to Kathgodam, which was the nearest railway station from the hill station of Nainital. With all of us chatting all night, we recollected some bittersweet memories of our school days, our past and current love interests and even how boring our work could get. The train reached Kathgodam station at 5:00 AM and the two cabs that were booked for the ten of us were waiting outside the station. We carried our luggage outside the station and put them in the back of the car. We were now just one hour away from Nainital.
On Reaching Nainital
On the way, every curve and every corner had something unique to offer. None of us really talked on the way to Nainital. We were busy looking at the vastness around us. We reached our hotel near Zoo Road which charged only INR 800 per night. Having only 3 days to look around the place, without wasting much time, we set out for our sightseeing session. We heard from the locals there that there were a lot of folktales about the Nanda Devi temple in the Bilaspur district which compelled us to witness the beautiful architecture. But we were more eager to visit the Naina Peak, also known as the China Peak, where the slope of the peak was dotted with blooming rhododendrons. I suggest everyone visit the Snow View Point too. At first, they weren’t eager to travel to that part of the region but once they reached there they realized what they would’ve missed – an expansive and majestic view of the Himalayan range of mountains from the cable car.
Almora and Binsar
We set out to Almora from Nainital and we covered the distance in around two hours. We allotted only a single day to explore Almora. The hotels here started at an even lower price of INR 400 per night. We set out for the Kasar Devi Temple and then the 200 year old Lala Bazaar where the entire path was in the form of stairs with stalls on either side. I bought a few clothes for me and my family that were made of Angora wool, which was the specialty of that marketplace. The day was almost over. So we took our cabs to the Bright End Corner to witness the beauty of the sunset in Almora. The next morning, we set out for Binsar, which we reached in an hour from Almora. Apart from exploring the rare species of birds and animals in the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary, we went for the hiking packages and even visited the Binsar Zero Point which offered a 360-degree view of the majestic Himalayan beauties like the Shivling, Kedarnath and Trishul.
The Mountains Never Stop Calling
The mountains have something that makes us feel diminished into a single speck of dust. It’s like looking at the heavens but not really believing it to be true. The essence of the places remains, sometimes forever. What I saw there was a majestic form of the universe in front of my eyes!