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My Journey to Bhimtal in The Himalayas and One Fantasy Trip to the Misty Mountains
A Misty Mountain
My Journey to Bhimtal in Nainital District of India
I had an interview call from UP Electronics for a post of Asstt. Accounts Officer. So, I set out from Allahabad City by train and reached Haldwani junction in the Northern Regions as per travel instructions I got from the Personnel Department of that Company which sent me the interview card. It was a long night journey and was already morning when I reached Haldwani. From there, I caught a tourist Bus which reaches Bhimtal after an adventurous journey of roughly 2 hours through hills and forests on both sides of the road. Bhimtal is located on a hill which is 1370 meters above sea level and surrounded by beautiful sceneries of snowy mountains and greenery forests. The bus took many curves through very narrow passages while going atop the hill and the route has many deep valleys also on both sides of the road making it a scary but thrilling journey. I was much frightened at some curves fearing the bus may fell down into the valley. I think the drivers driving those vehicles get a lot of training before being recruited to drive them.
I already booked a Room at the Mountain Club Hotel, through online booking, for my 2 days stay there. They allotted me a nice room with a wide window facing the beautiful scenery of Lakes and the far away Himalayan Range Mountains.
After attending the interview on the first day, I took a cab on both days and enjoyed the nearby tourist spots like Nal Damayanti Lake, Sattal (a group of many lakes), and temples like Bhimeshwar Temple (Bhima of Mahabharat), Karkotaka Temple and took a boat ride in the Bhimtal lake to visit the small beautiful island situated in the midst of that lake.I visited some of the nearby mountains also like the Hidimba Parvat and Garg Parvat. It has been a wonderful journey even though I had no interest in their post as they were offering a lesser pay than I was already drawing as an Accountant.
Important Facts About Bhimtal
Bhimtal is like a Mini District Head-Quarter of Nainital, India. It is located at a distance of 22 km from Nainital, which is famous all over the world. Bhimtal is no lesser than Nainital in awesome sceneries. Its climate also is very nice for the tourists.
Winter temperatures are most suitable ranging between 5 to 16-degree Celsius. The summer temperature ranges from 15 to 28 or so.
Bhimtal is said to be associated with the stay of Bhima, the Mahabharata character during the exile period of the Pandavas. The word "Tal" refers to a lake. It is a place of numerous lakes. So, the name Bhimtal got its name. Even, there was a temple named Bhimeshwara Temple in the name of Bhima which was rebuilt again during the 17th century replacing the old one.
Must Visit Places at Bhimtal
Bhimtal is a beautiful resort, abode for natural scenery and birds, and full of magnificent lakes and hills surrounding them.
- Bhimtal Lake boat ride enjoying the beautiful scenery and to enjoy a nice picnic on an island situated in the center of that lake.
- Nal Damayanti Lake 2km away from Bhimtal is believed to be the lake where the palace of famous King Nala drowned and disappeared.
- Sattal is a group of lakes with beautiful scenery of forestry and echoing sounds of birds. You will be mesmerized visiting it.
- A visit to the Hidimba Parvat (situated near the Sattal lake) which was named after a female demon Hidimba that married Bhima and gave birth to another great character known as Ghatotkacha of Mahabharata war. There is a sanctuary for wild animals there attracting tourists.
- Another visit to the hill called Karkotaka Hill (named after the great serpent Karkotaka) where devotees throng to worship the cobra.
- There is a Mosque known as Sayad Baba Ki Mazhar where people of all religions take part in the worship ( during Thursdays) signifying the unity in diversity culture of India.
The Snow-Covered Misty Mountains
The Far-Off Misty Mountains Were Calling Me
As I sat at my windows late in the evening after my visits to the nearby tourist attractions in Bhimtal, I was more and more getting fascinated by the natural scenery around there and the far-off mountains covered with snow were enchanting me. The misty, snow-covered mountains were alluring and inducing me to visit them. I used to dream about amazing mountain peaks, lakes, and beautiful sceneries of nature very often in my dreams. I always wanted to trek those mountain peaks and enjoy the beautiful experiences. So, I decided to set on a trip to trek one of those peaks.
I informed my wife about my decision to have a trip to the peaks in Nainital to satisfy my dreams. My wife agreed to my decision even though she is much concerned about my safety during the mountain trekking. She asked me to take the blessings of God and also to have the blessings of my ancestors who used to live in the nearby village there many ages back. I got much pleased with her suggestion.
Old Barn in Village on the way to Mountain Peak
My Visit to the Village of My Ancestors
I visited the village of my ancestors early in the morning. First of all, I visited the temple there and took the blessings of God for fulfilling my desire successfully. Then, I visited the farm of my ancestors which has been discarded already by my grandfather when his family migrated to Allahabad decades ago. It has been sold to some old friends of my grandfather. I met some of their descendants there and was astonished to find the old barn still staying there in a corner at the border of that farm. They told me that they kept it as a memory of their ancestors' friendship with our family.
Then with their help, I found the way to the cemetery where my great-great-grandparents were cremated. My grandfather's body was also cremated there as per his last wish. Gravestones were erected there in memory of their lives and their contribution to the Indian Independence struggle. All my ancestors took part in the Independence Movement against British Rule and went to jails. My uncles were born in jails and so their names signified some relation to the Independence struggle and Indian National Flag.
I paid my homage and respects to the ancestors there and took their blessings on my mission.
The Gravestones of my Ancestors
My Mountain-Train Journey to Reach the Trekking Camp
I booked a ticket in the mountain railway track train to reach my trekking camp at the Nainital. It has been a wonderful journey as the train passes through and over the hills with a beautiful natural scenery of forests and lakes and valleys all through the path. During the journey, I found some abandoned railway yards and abandoned train engines and train bogies at some places. I reached the Mountain Trekking Camp (which was already booked by me before starting my journey) after a long slow paced journey in a couple of some hours. It is a kind of hotel with tents on hills for tourists who wish to prepare themselves completely fit with all arrangements before setting on their trek. They can have their refreshments and rest in the camp before starting the trek or after completing the trek. I took some rest and had my food and then started for the trek along with some more companions there.
The Naina Peak Mountain Trekking
We were six members in all grouped ourselves together for companionship, safety and comfort purposes so that we can easily make the trek and enjoy it fully. We equipped ourselves with all the necessary tools and accessories like well-protective clothes, jackets and blankets to guard us from the snowfall, wild winds and extreme weather conditions, comfortable boots, snacks, trekking poles, sticks, small axes to clear snow and other hindrances if any, and with some cameras and mobiles, some medicines, towels, snacks, chocolates, water bottles,etc.
It was a hike of roughly 2,000 meters altitude and we used to take some rest after trekking every 500 meters. Overall, it took 8 hours roughly to climb up and then return back to the bottom base. We mostly enjoyed the hike in spite of some hardships due to heavy breathing and exhaustion, body pain, etc. and the sliding of rocks at one or two places during our hike and return journeys posing a risk.
The whole trek is surrounded by rocks, waterfalls, snow, and greenery and many types of birds including wild vultures, some animals like deer and zebras were also visible over the mountains. The view of snow was amazing. And when we climbed to the top, we could see a magnificent view of the Nainital city below along with its lakes and green vegetations.