Nainital - City of lakes. (Part 2)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

We reached Nainital approx. at 10 am. As we entered the town, we found a beautiful green lake in front of us with some boats sailing in it  and the whole town surrounded by hills. At one side of the lake there is a mall road, hotels and shops and another side there is a temple and tibbitian market. As we were to spent only one day there so without wasting time we first booked a room in a hotel at a rent of Rs. 900/day. Took minimum time in refreshing ourselves and proceeded towards one side of the lake, via mall road, where we booked a boat. In one boat at the most four people are allowed excluding sailor. Sailor provided us the life saving jackets and started sailing, we were proceeding towards other side of the like. We saw there were some water filters were installed in the lake and the depth of lake was almost 120 feet (as per sailor).

We clicked some pics and enjoyed the boating. After reaching other side we found the temple there but we didn’t entered there and bypassed it (just prayed from outside). Now we were in a tibbitian market where there were number of small shops selling warm clothes, bags, caps etc. Some restaurants and dhabas were also there. This market was also linked to mall road by a narrow road. After crossing and wandering through market we were again on the mall road.

Just next to that market there was a big play ground where a Volley ball match was happening with commentary on loudspeaker. We found that there is also a rope way from that place to top of a hill, which is known as snow view point. We decided to go there by bikes so Umesh and Mannu went to hotel and came on bikes. We got directions from locals in reaching that place. It was really at a good height from where we can see the whole town and lake. After reaching the snow view point we found an appu ghar (a small playing hub for children), some shops and above all these a telescope installed to see the Himalayan ranges. Actually from that point we can have a view of Himalayan ranges clearly, most of the times those are covered with snow. 

Spending not more than half hour there we returned back to the town. As we reached the market there occurred some technical problem in Mannu’s bike. After trying our hands for some minutes we consulted a local for a mechanic. We got one but around two kilometers away from that point so Mannu brought him there by other bike and then we all moved to the garage and got the bike repaired there temporarily. During this time we took tea twice as the climate was too cool and time was around 5 pm. Now we proceeded towards the hotel after buying hot pakodas, aalu tiki and some dry non-veg for Mannu from some famous shops. But as we tasted it in the room we found all the things were not tasty. After sitting for some moments in the room we again went to mall road. We came to know that between 6 to 8 pm no vehicle is allowed on mall road so we found lot of tourists, visitors and couples were shopping and wondering on the road side. Nainital is also famous for beautiful candles so we found a big candle shop and Mannu purchased one. As the temperature was too low our mind prompted us to again try hot & fresh aalu-tiki and so ordered for two. Till preparation it was looking good but when we tasted it was again same. There were lot of small shops on read side selling warm clothes, caps, gloves, mufflers leather items etc. As Umesh lost his glove in Moradabad he purchased a woolan glove and Mannu purchased a cap. 

We also found a Café Coffee Day shop at one point and decided to sit there which returning to hotel. As we entered the CCD it was warm so we sat there for almost 45 minutes and then left for the hotel. Now it was around 9 pm and we were in a mood to have some snacks. As it was chilling climate we wrapped ourselves with blankets, switched on the TV and took snacks with tea. When we dialed for dinner’s order we got the response that the dinner can not be served as that hotel brings it from other restaurants which were closed by then. So we slept one by one while watching “Spider-man – 2”. In the morning we ordered tea fleshed ourselves, packed our bag and checked out the hotel room by 9 am. And now started the return journey. I sat behind Mannu, Umesh held the bag on his back and we left Nainital saying good-bye to it. The distance from Nainital to Ghaziabad is almost 305 km but while coming to Nainital we covered almost 400 km as we came via Muzzafarnagar J. This time we took less time to reach Ghaziabad. Stopped at “Amritsarian da Punjabi Dhaba” for breakfast in Bilaspur. This was the same place where we stopped last day. A school bus also arrived there which was returning from Nainital to Delhi. I will again appreciate UP govt. for making such a good highway (I think they have read our earlier blog post of Trip2Badrinath in which we criticized the UP roads)J so most of the time bikes were running at 100+ km/hr. speed. We stopped at Garhmukteshwar over the bridge over Ganga river and clicked some pics. It’s a sort of religious place. We found there big crowed and lot of boats in the river but the water was polluted. At that place the road was not good and very rough. From there we reached Hapur and then Ghaziabad approx. at 2 pm. Before getting refreshed and taking rest we booked tickets online (evening show) for Hollywood movie “Narnia”. Next morning Mannu woke up at around 4:30 am started his bike and left for Chandigarh, which is 250 km from Delhi. He reached there by 8:40 and phoned to us whereas we were still sleeping. J So Mannu covered 500 kilometers extra!!…what a crazy traveller?

For You Important:
Route we followed (long/wrong one):
Ghaziabad         ------   Muzaffarnagar (100 km - NH58)
Muzaffarnagar – Bijnor -- Noorpur -- Moradabad (150 km)
Moradabad – Rampur (NH 24) – Rudrapur -- Pantnagar (90 km – NH 87)
Pantnagar – Haldwani – Kathgodam -- Nainital (69 km – NH 87)

Actual rount (the straight one):
Ghaziabad    --   Hapur  -- Moradabad (150 km - NH 24)
Moradabad – Rampur (NH 24) – Rudrapur -- Pantnagar (90 km – NH 87)
Pantnagar – Haldwani – Kathgodam -- Nainital (69 km – NH 87)

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Nainital - City of lakes. (Part 1)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

As it is so long that we went on a trip because of busy schedule and other reasons, so Mannu started calling us (Umesh and myself) to plan some kind of outing/trip. He confirmed that he will arrive Delhi on 16th of December’s night from Chandigarh, by bike. Umesh was positive to him regarding trip but every time he asked me I said that my project manager is arriving from U.S. for the first time on same day and on weekend I have to go to doctor. So I asked them that I have no chance to go with them. BUT as Mannu arrived on Thursday’s night and we three were together again after big interval, my mind started changing and traveling germs woke up. I started thinking that I have already missed Sangla valley trip with them so will not miss the next one, which was not planned yet. Mannu said if I will join them then we will go to Nainital, so despite very important day in office I decided to leave after first half, by any means, and postponed the appointment with doctor to next weekend. So after lying to my manager I left office after first half, Umesh came to pick me. We had lunch at home, Mannu had a look on Google maps regarding route to Nainital and we packed the required clothes in one bag.
We left around 2 p.m. from home and first went to a tyre puncture/repairing shop and got serviced the bikes. Approx. at 2:30 p.m. we actually left from Vasundhara (Ghaziabad, UP) to Nainital. We decided if we will be late then we will stop at Moradabad which is 140 km away from Ghaziabad. Right from beginning till 90+ km of journey Mannu remained insisting that we are on a wrong route/direction but Umesh was confident enough that we were following the right route. Actually at home Mannu had a look at Google maps and found that we have to follow National highway 24 but we were running on NH 58.  This time I will appreciate the U.P. govt. for making such a good highway that we covered 90+ km in just 2 hours. So, after covering around 95 km, from where Muzaffarnagar was just 5 to 6 km away, Umesh also realized that we are on the wrong track so at last we stopped on a flyover and called to few of our friends who belong to nearby places but they were not aware of any route from Muzaffarnagar to Moradabad. Then I presented an idea that we should consult the truck driver who is always well informed about routs. So we found a truck standing almost 200 mtrs. away from us. Its driver and conductor were lying below the truck and were doing some repairing. When we told them our problem, first they laughed at us and then told that there is a road from that place to Moradabad via Bijnor and Noorpur and it is around 150 km. We had no other option so followed their direction. Initially road was narrow but good but after few kilometers it was too rough to drive. In the way Umesh got a call from his manager asking for status of his passport application. Actually Umesh took leave from his office giving reason that he had to fill and submit the passport application form at his home town in Himachal Pradesh and so he replied him accordingly. In the way there were number of small villages with small markets, tractor-trolleys carrying sugar canes and dry grass, running slowly on the road. We stopped at a place from where Bijnor was about 10 km away. There we had tea and some sweets (gaajar ka halwa), it was very yummy. From that place to Noorpur the road condition was such that I was feeling like sitting on a hot iron plate. By now it was totally dark, climate was chilled and we were rarely finding any vehicle on the road except for each other’s bikes. After crossing Noorpur we stopped at a dhaba which was almost closed and the owner was watching the climax of a hindi movie, in which hero was beating dozens of villains in the end. We had tea and biscuits there. In the way we were also getting directions from local people. After all we reached Moradabad, it was a well developed city with good market place. Actually Moradabad is 140 km from Ghaziabad but via Muzzaffarnagr its almost 250 km. We proceeded towards Railway station in search of hotels. We booked a room in a hotel named “India Hotel” as per our budget & requirement. Parked our bikes in Railway station’s parking as the hotel do not provided the same. The climate was too cold and we were shivering so we ordered for some hot water and refreshed ourselves with it as there were black spots on our faces due to dust and traveling. Then we sat on the bed, covered ourselves in blankets and  placed order for dinner. Mannu slept early whereas myself and Umesh kept watching hollywood movie “Face Off”. We also slept after watching most of the movie and setting alarm for 5:30 in the morning. 

                                           A view of Sun rise from Kosi river bridge.

In morning we woke up early, refreshed and left the hotel at 6:00 a.m. as Nainital was about 160 k.m from here. Bikes were wet due to due drops and fog in the night, we found a piece of cloth on a scooter and cleaned the bike’s seats. Meanwhile Umesh told that he had lost one of his gloves, we searched it in hotel room and near bike but not found. So he rolled my handkerchief on  his right hand. Now we were riding on NH 24 and after few minutes we reached a railway crossing where we waited for 15 to 20 minutes for the train to cross. Normally the road was good but at some places there were holes in the road which could be very dangerous if you are riding at a great speed. Sitting behind Mannu is really an adventure in itself specially when he turns his face 180 degree backward while riding at a speed of 100+ km/hr and will narrate your some incident or story, now I am habitual of this. We stopped on for 15-20 minutes on Kosi river bridge near Rampur to see and click some pics of rising sun in the fog. From Rampur we followed NH 87 and then stopped at a dhaba named “Amritsarian da Punjabi Dhaba” in the outskirts of Bilaspur for breakfast. There we had heavy breakfast of aaloo-pyaz ka pranthas, tea and Mannu also ate egg omelet (myself and Umesh are vegetarian). We spent there almost 40 minutes and left for further journey. Then came in the way Rudrapur city, Pantnagar and Haldwani. Till now bikes were running in the plains and then started the hills/mountains where the road was comparatively narrow, of snake like shape/style with deep and narrow turns and upward. On these kinds of roads one need to ride with much patience and care.

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