Saturday, September 25, 2010

Monsoon Trip to Kas Plateau, Sajjangad, Thoseghar Waterfalls and Chalkewadi - September 2010

My Kas Plateau trip was suddenly decided when I could no longer resist the temptation as series of beautiful wildflowers pictures of  Kas Plateau made their appearance on the websites as the peak season of blooming wildflowers began. I decided to make a visit to Kas in September itself as I had already firmed up my trip to Kodaikanal and Valparai during September 26 – October 3, 2010. My friend Srinivasan (KS) who had Kas Plateau in his ‘must visit’ list, agreed to join me for the trip.

Since both of us like to avoid long bus journey and being retired, time was not a constraint for us, we decided to make an easy pace trip making Satara as the base to cover not only Kas Plateau, but also Bamnoli village for boating in Shivsagar (Koyna) Lake, Sajjangad, Thoseghar Waterfalls and Chalkewadi. All these places are located within a radius of less than 40 kms west of  Satara. We could get train reservation only in Koyna Express  which meant that a full day each was lost  to and fro Mumbai which we did not mind. The train reached Satara railway station around 4.00 p.m. We engaged one of the autos parked outside the station for dropping us to our hotel (Radhika Palace). The 9 kms journey took less than 20 minutes for Rs.80/-. After check in hotel, we took a stroll on New Radhika Palace Road in a pleasant weather condition with Ajinkyatara Fort giving us the company. Satara city is located at the base of this fort. We also visited the market yard area where one of the state transport bus station was located. This place and area around Powai Circle seems to be the hub of Satara city as most of hotels, restaurants, shops etc are located in these areas. There are many shops selling Satara’s most famous kandi pedhas and obviously, we ended our stroll by having the taste of  kandi pedhas.

In the evening, we booked through our hotel, Indigo car for  two days  covering (Day-1) Kas Plateau, Kas Lake, Bomnoli village and Yevateshwar temple; (Day-2) covering Sajjangad, Thoseghar Falls, Chalkewadi Plateau and   Kuraneshwar Ganapati temple @ Rs.1500/- for full day.  Although the car agency was agreeable to  cover all these places in one day for Rs.1600/-, we felt that this would amount to a more of ‘touch and go’ trip than an easy pace trip. Since we wished to spend more time to spend on these places with the flexibility to places we liked enroute, we decided to do these places in two days. I am sure, one can hire the car a little bit cheaper by hard negotiation.  We took dinner at a multi-cuisine restaurant of Hotel Rajtara located close to our hotel. The food was good and relatively cheap. 

Kanher Lake seen from road to Kas plateau

Road to Kas Plateau

Mass blooming of pink balsams on Kas plateau.

Another patch of mass blooming of pink balsams in Kas plateau.

Day-1 : Kas Plateau, Kas Lake, Bomnoli,  Koyna Lake

After a breakfast of Idli, kande pohe and bread toasts in our hotel’s restaurant, we proceeded to Kas Plateau (25 kms from our hotel). The ghat section of the road to Kas starts from the bifurcation to the right just before the tunnel road on the left which goes to Thoseghar. Initially, sporadic wildflowers on both sides of the road made their appearance but they become widespread as we reached close to Kas plateau. There was not much of a traffic on an excellent road. We stopped near a grassland to take some pictures of Kanher lake and some surrounding villages in the valley right to the road. On the left of the road was a wide valley and  a part of Urmodi dam was visible at its base. 

 As we were near Kas plateau, the large patches of pink Balsams made their presence on both sides of the road. We alighted from the car near a makeshift  tea stall run by a Forest Guard and saw mass blooming of pink balsams in larges patches, on both sides of the road as far as our eyes could see. I just ran across the road to be in the midst of these wildflowers to take pictures. Like a kid trying to get hold of all toys at once, I was trying the same on flowers in regard to taking pictures. After some time, the over-excitement waned and I was now more rationale to observe various wildflowers first and take pictures thereafter. 

Close-up of pink balsams.

purple balsams in Kas plateau.

Multi-colour mass blooming of wildflowers in Kas.

A close-up of Aeriocolon Tuberifera.

On the other side of the road, the mass blooming of pink balsams was much more profuse and also covers some patches of purple/violet balsams and tiny white flowers. Here we spent more time as the varieties of flowers were much more than the opposite side of the road. We were lucky to have the company of a Botanist who was accompanying a group of elderly persons who seemed to be well versed with wildflowers. One of them carried a magnifying glass to located very tiny flowers which generally sprouted at the base of the Balsams plants. The Botanist helped us in locating Karvy flowers blooming on a bunch of plants in the midst of Balsams plants which, according to the Botanist, would start blooming in a couple of days. According to him, these wildflowers wither away in  3-4 days by which time mass blooming of flowers on other  plants would start thus keeping the Kas plateau full of wildflowers during the peak season, generally between mid-September and mid-October. He said that depending upon the extent of post-monsoon showers, the flowering season can extend up to Diwali. 

Cynitis (Abhali) In Kas plateau.

Murdannia (Abolima) in Kas.

Karvy flowers. This one is one of the three varieties of Karvy which blooms every year.

Wildflowers - Paracaryopsis on Kas Plateau

Mass blooming of pink balsams in Kas. In the background is 30 kms proposed  road to Mahabaleshwar.

As we walked in the direction of Kas Lake, there were more patches of mass blooming of pink Balsams with scattered yellow, purple and white flowers. We found yellow flowers mostly on the road sides. By now, we had spent nearly two hours on the Kas plateau and my rough estimate was that we had barely covered 10 percent of the plateau. For botany students and avid lovers of wildflowers, I guess, even a full day may not be sufficient. Moreover, as the Botanist told me, almost every week, one gets to see different varieties of wildflowers.  Hence visits to Kas plateau at different point of time during the peak flowering season may still be a worthwhile proposition for those interested in wildflowersAs we were about to end our exploration on the Kas plateau, my excitement was slowly turning into a despair and worry. I read on September 16 issue of Lokmat, a Marathi newpapers which carried prominently a news item that the meeting of investors called by Maharashtra Economic Development Corporation on September 17th to develop the Kas Plateau and Kas Lake a tourist spot  followed by investors’ visit to these places was postponed. The newspaper carried the report that 17 Environmentalist Groups from Satara, Pune, Kolhapur, Mumbai and Karad had campaigned for keeping the ecologically sensitive Kas Plateau and Kas Lake out of bound for construction activities such as hotels and resorts.. The Groups’ motto was Adi Kas nantar vikas (First Kas than development). I don’t know how far these groups can carry out the agitation  preserving  virgin status of Kas in the name of  tourism. Some areas within Kas Plateau belong to private holders outside the core area.  Our driver was telling us that all the prime locations on the periphery of Kas Plateau and Kas Lake had already been bought by the influential investors at a throw away prices about 5-6 years back when the State Government announced the development of New Mahabaleshwar to ease the tourist traffic on Mahabaleshwar. Fortunately, no construction activities have so far started on these plots except the markings of the plots.

It was also worrisome for all  nature lovers to see the use of this heavenly place by the week-end picnickers from the nearby towns with the attendant problem of  accumulation of garbage of plastic bottles and bags left by them apart from  damages to the wildflowers plants. I had already seen one big group of picnickers sitting around the wildflowers having lunch.  One can imagine what would happen if the place becomes well known and more and more picnickers flock the place.

Appears to be  creatures belonging to flea family found in Kas plateau.

Kas Lake.

A cillage temple in midst of dense forest near Koyna Lake.

Koyna Lake at Bamnoli village.

The rise in Koyna lake water has covered some trees on its shore.

A 3 kms drive from Kas plateau took us to Kas Lake. The lake was located between two hill slopes with dam constructed on the third side and a elevated grassland on the opposite side to act as a natural barrier. The lake supplies drinking water to a part of Satara city. It was disgusting to see beer bottles and glass splinters scattered all over the shores of the lake. Our driver told us that it was  common to see some visitors getting injuries on their feet while standing in the lake water as these glass splinters have found place even inside the lake.

Next in our destination was Bamnoli village, about 10 kms from Kas Lake. The drive was a gradual descend with 2-3 tricky bends. We reached here around 1.30 p.m. After a quick snack of Missal-Pao in one of 3-4 dabhas located around the jetty, we proceeded towards jetty, about 100m from the dabha to look for a boat ride. There were two young men waiting for more than one hour to get more persons to share the cost of boat ride. As we just wanted to have a look at the Koyna Lake, we took the least expensive boat ride to Triveni Sangam, other boat rides being Tapola (45 minutes), Datta Mandir (45 minutes) and Vasota Fort (90 minutes). The cost was Rs.380/- per boat which had a capacity of 6 persons. Since we were 4 persons and the prospect of getting two more person for the boat ride appeared remote, four of us decided to share the cost and let the boat ride start. A 20 minute boat ride to Triveni Sangam was a nice experience in full to capacity lake with green hills, dense forest and grasslands all around. Triveni Sangam is the place within the Koyna Lake where Koyna, Solashi and Kandati rivers meet. The Sangam was not visible as the high lake water made the small island marking the Sangam submerged in the lake. Just opposite of the Triveni Sangam spot was the dense forest forming a part of Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary which is earmarked  for project tiger. A 20 minutes return boat ride brought us to Bamnoli village. My watch showed  2.30 p.m. and it was time for the return journey to Satara. 

The grassland at the shore of Koyna Lake is the favorite spot for film shootings. 

Bamnoli village temple seen from baot ride in Koyna Lake.

Multi-colour wildflowers on Kas road.

Add caption

Wildflower-Rhamphicarpa on Kas-Satara Road.

After a continued accent to Kas Plateau, we once again spent some time here to click some more wildflower pictures.   On the way, we took a tea break at a restaurant run by Prakruti Ayurvedic Health Resort, about 8 kms from Satara. Earlier our driver had suggested that we take lunch here on our return from Kas  for which lunch order had to be placed in advance. We, however, drop the idea as we were not sure as to how much time would take to complete the boat ride in Koyna Lake. In the event, our judgement was good as we could reach here only around 4.00 p.m. But looking at the menu and also the quality of tea and onion pokodas we had, it seems we  have missed a good Maharashtrian lunch including Pithala Bhakhari . We returned to our hotel room at 5.30 p.m. after a short visit to Yevateshwar temple on the way. I noticed on arrival at the hotel that I had a mild sun burn on my face and hands despite being a pleasant weather and wearing a cap. After an early dinner of Gujarati Thali at our hotel’s restaurant, we retired for the day.

A beautiful grassland for buffaloes on the side of Kas-Satara Road 

Ajinkyatara Fort. A part of Satara city is located at its base.

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Sajjangad Fort seen from Satara-Thoseghar road.

Day-2 : Sajjangad Fort-Thoseghar Waterfalls-Chalkewadi Plateau

We proceeded to Sajjangad Fort (16 kms from our hotel). The ghat section of the road started from Gajwadi village and after about 3 kms of climb, an ‘U’ turn from Thoseghar road took us to the parking lot located at the base of the Fort. There are few dabhas located here. About an easy climb of 100 odd steps took us to the top of the Fort through three doorways.  On the way, there were some wildflowers,  many of which we had not seen on the Kas Plateau. Some hardy pilgrims start 750 step climb to Sajjangad from Parali village, 10 kms from Satara.

My first impression of Sajjangad (Fort of good people) was that it was more of village on a table top than a fort. Also it is more of a pilgrimage place than a picnic spot. The Fort is managed by Shri Ramdas Swami Sansthan. Being a place of Samadhi by Samarth Ramdas Swami, the spiritual guru of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, it is a holy place.  The Sansthan provides free lodging and food for the devotees of Samarath Ramdas Swami. I was happy to note that despite being a pilgrimage centre, the place was well-maintained. The Samadhi place has been converted in to a temple. There is an Ashram close to the temple. Beyond the temple was a vast table top grassland for an excellent walk as well as amazing views of Urmodi dam and lake, valley views and also other table top mountains. There is  viewing spot  at the north-west corner of the table top – the only place which reminds us of a fort. At the edges and slopes of the table top grassland are a few varieties of wildflowers.

Valley seen from steps of Sajjangad Fort.
Urmodi dam seen from Sajjangad Fort.

A table top seen from Sajjangad Fort.Maruti temple on the Sajjangad is on left

During my walk on the table top, I met an elderly couple who had come from Badlapur -  a town on the outskirt of Mumbai. They have been visiting  Sajjangad at least once in a year  at different seasons. They told me that the valleys around Sajjangad  are green all through the year. Their philosophy – Mahabaleshwar, Panchgani and Matheran are for youngsters and Sajjangad for elders. I at once agreed with them as this place is much more serene and peaceful than the popular hill stations of Maharashtra. After spending nearly two hours on the table top, we came down to the base of the fort after paying a short visit to Anglai Devi temple. 

Sajjangad table top with Maruti temple at the far end.

Valley view with villages seen from Sajjangad Fort.

Wildflowers in Sajjangad.

Wildflower in Sajjangad.

Wildflower in Sajjangad.

View of a beautiful grassland from Sajjangad Fort.

A 10 kms drive from Sajjangad brought us to Thoseghar car parking lot located near the Forest Rest House. From here, a descend on a mud path of one km to the left of parking lot through the forest led us to a Viewing Gallery for waterfalls. There are side paths on way to Viewing Gallery with opportunity to see some wildflowers. There were two prominent waterfalls – the height of the waterfall on the left was higher than the main waterfall but the latter was more wider and forceful  making a thundering noise before it falls in the pond at its base. From the right of the Viewing Gallery, there is a  narrow mud path to view the main waterfall from another angle. I tried to reach that viewing point  but had to give up half way as it was too narrow and dangerously slippery. I saw some youngsters coming back from this path fully drenched. Since it was not raining, I guess, these youngsters must have gone down to the pond to for a swim.

The Main Thoseghar waterfalls seen from Viewing Gallery.

Another Thoseghar waterfall longer than the main one.

This Wildflower is found plenty around Thoseghar.

From Thoseghar, it was 5 kms of drive to Chalkewadi village from where about one km of of climb on a road full of potholes ended on a vast plateau with many wind mills. From here, one can see hundred of wind mills installed on adjoining plateaus. These wind mills collectively produce around 7.5 mw of  electricity. There are also some patches wildflowers on the Chalkewadi plateau but not as profuse as in Kas plateau. We returned to our hotel in Satara by 2.30 p.m after a short visit to Kuraneshwar temple enroute. And that was the end of our short and exhilarating trip to Satara. Next day, we returned to Mumbai by Koyna Express.

Chalkewadi Wind Mills.
Wildflowers in Chalkewadi plateau.

Wildflowers in Chalkewadi plateau.

A valley view with Sajjangad in the background from Satara road.

For more pictures click on the link below: 
Picturs of Kas, Sajjangad, Thoseghar

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Trip to Kumaon - November 2007

We had been to Garhwal many times but barring myself, none of my family members had ever visited Kumaon region. Personally, my exposure to Kumaon was minuscule – having visited only twice - that too for treks to Pindari Glacier (October 1985) and Adi Kailash (Aug-Sept 1993). So it was easier for me  to get consensus for a family trip to Kumaon covering Nainital, Mukteshwar, Binsar, Jageshwar and Ranikhet In November 2007 after Diwali.

We left Mumbai by Golden Temple Express to New Delhi and boarded Ranikhet Express from Delhi to reach Kathgodam the next day early morning. We headed for Nainital, our first destination by a pre-booked Scorpio (Rs.500/-) and checked in Hotel Lake View (@Rs.750/- deluxe room) located on the Mall Road. The rooms though small were clean and neat. Being on the upper ridge on the Mall Road, the atmosphere around the hotel was relatively peaceful with good view of Naini Lake from our rooms.. The owner of the hotel who stays in the hotel premises during the tourist season chalked out a revised itinerary for our tours for the next six days making proper sequencing of the trips in an economic way and we readily agreed with his revised schedule.

Day-1 : In Nainital. After breakfast, we were out for a local sight-seeing in an hired Scorpio (Rs.1000/- for full day all inclusive) covering Snow View, Lovers’ Point, Sadiatal Fall, Cave Gardens, Krupatal. After lunch, we spent more time in High Altitude Zoo. A good number of Siberian tigers, leopards, Himalayan bears and snow leopards made the Zoo visit a worthwhile. My 3-year old grand daughter enjoyed the zoo visit the most.

Day-2 : In Nainital. The day started with one hour boating in Naini Lake. The lake looked cleaner than what I had seen in my last visit in October 1985. The areas around the lake are the centre of activities with most of the hotels and restaurants being located on the Mall Road, Tallital and Mallital areas surrounding the Naini Lake. The boat dropped us at Naina Devi temple located at the extreme other end of the lake. The photography inside the temple complex was prohibited though I did not find anything interesting from the photography point of view. After spending a good amount of time for lunch at Chevron Fairhavens at Mallital, we took a taxi to drop us at the starting point of the cable car to Snow View for our repeat visit. The evening was spent in Tibetan Market for an  intended window shopping but eventually bought some exotic candles.

Day-3 : Nainital-Mukteshwar-Bhimtal-Naukuchiatal-Sattal-Nainital. We started at 9.00 a.m. for Mukteshwar (54 kms) by an hired Tavera (Rs.2000/- for full day all inclusive). After Bowali, there was a diversion to the right for Mukteshwar via Gagar-Ramgarh-Saragakhet. At Gagar, we got a superb view of the Himalayan peaks. The road condition was excellent except for the last 2 kms rough road. We reached Mukteshwar at 11.00 a.m. and the first visit was to the PWD Rest House from where we got 180 degree clear view of Himalayan peaks – from western Garhwal to some peaks in Nepal. Later, we took a round walk from Mukteshwar temple which was under renovation to Chauli ki Jali, a somewhat dangerous rock cliff from where we had superb views of Ramgarh valley and Almora town. We returned to the temple via a forest path. Mukteshwar is a sleepy town with hardly any people to be seen around. We were the only visitors at the Mukteshwar temple, Chauli ki Jali and Himalayan View Point.  Those who wish to spend time in a  peaceful atmosphere with Himalayan peaks in constant view, PWD Rest House in Mukteshwar is the place.  

From Mukteshwar, we drove to Bhimtal (48 kms) via Saraagakhet-Dhari-Padampur. We reached Bhimtal at around 2.00 p.m. After a quick lunch, we took a walk around Bhimtal before moving to Naukuchiatal (5 kms). After a shikara ride in Naukuchiatal (Rs.150/- for 5 persons), we drove to Sattal (17 kms). Just before Sattal, we had a road side view of Garudtal which was a small lake in the midst of forest. At Sattal, we did not go for boating but preferred enjoying the grandeur of the location. We found Sattal, the best of all lakes around Nainital.In all these places, there were very few visitors. After completion of our lake visit, we returned to Nainital (24kms) by 6.00 p.m. by which time, it was already dusk.

Day-4 : Nainital-Kainchidham-Almora-Binsar (80 kms). We hired a Scorpio for 3 days (Rs.2000/- per day all inclusive except forest entry fee at Binsar Forest Check Post) to cover our travel and sight-seeing plans for the next 3 days and drop back to Nainital. We started from Nainital around 09.30 a.m. for Binsar. On the way, we paid a visit to Kainchi temple (21 kms) and took a tea break at Almora (41 kms). After spending some time on the Mall Road, we commenced our journey to Binsar (18 kms) via Kasar Devi-Kaparkhan. At Binsar forest check post, after which the forest road to Binsar starts, we were required to pay forest entry fee of Rs.40/- per head and the car entry fee of Rs.50/-. We reached Mountain Resort-Khali Estate (@Rs.4200/- AP) at Ayerpani at around 1.30 p.m. After check-in, we had sumptuous Gujarati vegetarian lunch at the Resort’s restaurant. The cottages are situated inside the dense forest cover but all the cottages have Himalayan peak views. Rooms were spacious with rich wooden walls and roofs.. In the afternoon, we went for a forest walk inside the Khali Estate and spent some time in the Resort’s library which had some rare books, mostly relating to travels. These books were donated by the earlier English owners of Khali Estate and also by some of the tourists who stayed in the Resort. Evening was much colder in Binsar than in Nainital and we had to order for heaters to keep our rooms warm.

Day-5 : Binsar-Jageshwar-Almora-Ranikhet (159kms). We got up at 4.30 a.m. and headed for KMVN Rest House (8 kms) to have a sunrise view of the Himalayan peaks from the terrace of KMVN. The lawn leading to the terrace was covered with frost which normally indicates a clear sky. We had  a spectacular sunrise view of snow clad peaks. However after sunrise, the smog marred the beauty of the peak view. KMVN with its strategic location seems to be the best place for a peak views in Binsar though  one km steep climb to Zero Point would have given us a better comparison of peak view in Binsar. In my view, 180 degree view of the Himalayan peaks from Mukteshwar was a better bet though Binsar (2480m) provided somewhat closure view of the Himalayan peaks from an higher altitude than Mukteshwar (2286m).

We returned to Mountain Resort at 7.30 a.m. After breakfast, we checked out from the Resort at 10.00 a.m. and headed for Jageshwar (55 kms) via Ayerpani-Gairadbend-Paleobend-Barechhina-Punuanaula-Artola. Although a major portion of the journey from Gairadbend to Paleobend was on mud road, it was a smooth ride with hardly any traffic on the road. The journey was more scenic with dense pine forest all along than the normal Almora-Jageshwar route. We reached Jageshwar at 11.30 a.m. The temple complex was situated amidst dense pine forest. Except for some visitors participating in a havan, there were no other tourists. We saw Mrithyunjaya, Jageshwar, Durga, Pushtidevi, Kedarnath and Hanuman temples in Jageshwar temple complex. We were pleasantly surprised that priests in these temples did not pester us for making offerings to gods and for money. After spending about an hour in Jageshwar, we left at 12.30 p.m. to reach Golu Devta temple at Chitai (32 kms) located on Jageshwar-Almora route. Golu is incarnation of Shiva and who is regarded by the people of Kumaon as the dispenser of justice to his devotees in regard to property and personal matters. We found many hand written ‘petitions’ to the Golu Devta, a few on stamp papers as well stick to the temple walls seeking justice. When the justice is done, the devotees offer bells to Golu Devta.  A large number of bells hanging in the temple premises seems to suggest that devotees do get fasterr  justice from Golu Devta  than the courts!

We reached Ranikhet at 4.30 p.m. with a break at Kalika temple and Golf Course. Since golf tournament was in progress, the golf course was out of bound for public and tourists. We checked in Holm Farm Heritage Hotel’s cottages which were smaller as compared with that of Mountain Resort but for a cost, it was value for money (@Rs.1500/- per day EP). From our cottages, we had a good sunset view of the Himalayan peaks followed by  a tasty dinner at Hotel’s restaurant.

Day-6 : In Ranikhet and to Nainital. After breakfast, we checked out from the Hotel at 10.00 a.m. and visited Khameshwar and Jhula Devi temples. Our next destination was Choubatia Orchards(10 kms). We took a local guide for one hour to know about the herbal plants inside the Orchards. The walk through the mud path enclosed on both sides by electric fences to ward-off wild animals especially boars was smooth but half-way, the path went through dense forest where there were lots of medicinal and herbal plants. The orchards were mostly barren as it was autumn. The guide told me that the best season for the Orchard visit was April-June when the trees would full of fruits. The one hour of walk ended at a forest produce centre where we had rhododendron flower juice. After a long lunch at Chevron Rosemount, we left Ranikhet at 2.30 p.m. and reached Nainital (65kms) at 4.30 p.m.. After taking some rest in our hotel, we decided to take a stroll on the Mall Road when vehicular traffic is prohibited during 6.00 p.m. to 9.00 p.m. The stroll ended with a good dinner at Alka Hotel. With this, our Kumaon trip came to an end.

Day-7 : Nainital-Kathgodam-Delhi. We left Nainital at 7.00 a.m. by Scorpio (Rs.500/-) and reached Kathgodam railway station within an hourh. We reached Delhi Junction at 4.00 p.m .by Uttaranchal Sampark Kranti Express. After spending 6 hours at the waiting room of New Delhi railway station, we boarded Swaraj Express for Mumbai.

The waiting period at New Delhi railway station provided opportunity to critically appraise our Kumaon trip. We had very good weather throughout the trip. We had good culinary experience in all the places, the  best and of course expensive one being at Chevron Rosemount at Ranikhet. Again, we had the good experience of our stays in all the places but our stay at Mountain Resort – Khali Estate at Binsar was the best in terms of its location, vegetarian food, services etc. What we had during our six days of tours were the glimpses of Kumaon and spending 2-3 extra days would have given us opportunity to explore more of places we visited. For instance, in Nainital, we could have one more day to take a walking trips over Thandi Sadak ( Cold Road), Naina peak, Drothy’s seat etc. In Binsar, one extra day would have given us time to ramble through the vast expanse of dense forest for observing flora and fauna. Ranikhet has also some fine walking trails through tall and dense pine forest. But miss out some places in such trips make us  to visit these places again.

I am writing this blog nearly after 3 years of our Kumaon visit. While writing our trip report covering Ranikhet, an idea came to my mind for a  future trip in Kumaon.  It was not Choukori or Munsiary but some less touristy places around Ranikhet such as Sitlakhet, Katarmal Sun Temples, Dwarahat, Dunagiri, Manila and more.  As of now, I can see the possibility of such a trip some time  in post monsoon period of  2011.

Finally, I have been taking my trek/trip pictures from my faithful  Pentex K-1000 since July 1987. However, with ever changing camera technology and some problems with my 28-85mm one-touch zoom lense, I discontinued taking pictures from  this camera after our Kumaon trip. Below are some of the last  pictures taken by my 20 year long companion K-1000 during our Kumaon trip.

Kathgodam railway station - the gateway to Kumaon.

View from our hotel room, Nainital.

Naini Lake view from our hotel room, Nainital.

Tibetan Market, Nainital.

Himalayan peaks view from Snow View Point, Nainital. 

KMVN's Snow View TRH.

High Court Buildings, Nainital.

Krupatal near Nainital.

Himalayan peaks view from Gagar on way to Mukteshwar.

180 degree Himalayan peaks view from Mukteshwar.

A closure view of Himalayan peaks from Mukteshwar.

Shreya, my grand daughter in Mukteshwar.

First rock of Chauli ki Jali in Mukteshwar.

Chauli ki Jali rock in Mukteshwar.

Ramgarh valley seen from Chauli ki Jali.

Way to Mukteshwar temple.

Giant Hanuman in Bhimtal.

Boats in Bhimtal.



Terrace fields in Kaparkhan on way to Binsar.

Binsar Forest Check Post.

Sunset view of Himalayan peaks from Khali Estate, Binsar.

Sunsrise view from KMVN Terrace, Binsar.

Himalayan peaks view from KMVN Terrace, Binsar.

KMVN Terrace. On the left is Tourist Rest House.

Jageshwar temples.

The main Jageshwar temple.

One of the cottages of Holm Farm Heritage Hotel, Ranikhet.

Sunset view of Himalayan peaks from Holm Farms Heritage Hotel, Ranikhet.

Holm Farm Heritage Hotel, Ranikhet.

Choubatia Orchards near Ranikhet.

Himalayan peaks view from Choubatia.

Jhula Devi temple, Ranikhet.