A lake carries you into recesses of feeling otherwise impenetrable. Stay close to the serenity of a lake to meet your own peace of mind.
Even though the situation of Covid-19 has not eased out in India, people have learnt to step out to take a break by ensuring that they take all the precautionary measures. We are no different. Hence, when we got the opportunity to sneak to the nearest hill station, we grabbed the chance by the horns. Located just 143 km away from Bareilly, Nainital is one of the most happening hill stations that is close to our hometown. We jumped the bandwagon, booked a taxi and off we went on a road trip. Although our summer vacations were mostly spent in Nainital when we were in school, this time, the experience was different. Why and how, you might ask? Well, for starters, this was more like a relaxing trip. The purpose was to blow away the cobwebs of continuous work-from-home schedule. And to some extent, we did achieve it.
We visited the less common places around Nainital and that is what made the whole trip feel like a new one. The journey from Bareilly to Nainital takes around 4 hours if one starts early in the morning. Since we went in the month of December when the winters were already unleashing their wrath, we could only begin our journey by 7:00 AM. Instead of entering Nainital directly, we took a diversion towards Khurpa Tal and Sariya Tal. Those were the first two viewpoints we stopped at. Post that, we checked into our hotel (Hotel Shivraj, Nainital) and rested for a while.
This is a small lake that, when viewed from a height, resembles a trowel, a digging tool. The view is stunning and due to Covid-19, there wasn’t any crowd. The silent surroundings and the cool breeze did the magic! Khurpa Tal can be seen from a viewpoint that is located close to the point from where one can get a horse ride till Tiffin Top. There is no ticket.
Sariya Tal is a small lake that can be easily noticed on the way. Not many people venture near it because they prefer to forego this quaint little lake. When we went, there were boats docked in the corner. Hence, we assume that this place offers boating on most occasions. There wasn’t any entry ticket as well. This place is suited for a quiet morning outing.
In the evening (Day 1), we roamed on the streets and bought a few scented candles. By midnight the temperature dipped to 0 degrees and we sat on the benches for a while, enjoying the cold.
On Day 2, we headed to Bhimtal straight after breakfast. Bhimtal is 22 km from Nainital and the road is fabulous. Bhimtal is not just a lake; it is a small town and a Nagar panchayat. The main attraction in Bhimtal is the Bhimtal lake that has a small island in the centre. The place is generally crowded but we were lucky enough to sit at the steps for half an hour and spend time observing the ducks binge on food. There are several food stalls in and around Bhimtal that offer snacks at affordable rates. What one must keep in mind is to choose to eat at a place that takes all the necessary precautions to avoid the spread of Coronavirus.
After Sattal, we headed to Naukuchiatal and Kamal Tal. Naukuchiatal is more commercialized. With a lot of shops that sell all sorts of things, this lake has boating and ziplining. The charges are exorbitant (maybe because of Covid-19) but bargaining can be done. The name Naukuchia was given to this lake as it has nine corners. Naukuchia is a small hill station with this lake as the major tourist attraction. We could not avoid staying there for a while as it was not only peaceful but also beautiful. After spending an hour or so, we headed back to Nainital.
Meandering in the market in the evening, we concluded our trip with Chinese food and a hot cup of coffee. The next day we started for Bareilly. This relaxing weekend was something that we both desperately needed. While H enjoyed binging on momos and eating pastries, I shopped for scented candles and essential oils.
If you are in UP, plan a quick trip to Nainital while it is cold. You are going to thank us, promise!
Till the next time,