Serene beauty of Lake between mountains: Nainital

Review by: Nikhil Rathi

Destination: South West Delhi


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My passion for travelling is unending, no matter how old i get i will never lose this passion. Road Trips, Backpacking, Budget Trip, Luxurious Trips, and every other type of trip which is possible is in my bucket list, i want to spend my life travelling, from one place to another, i don't want to leave any corner of the world left which i haven't traveled. I don't want to spend my last days on Earth whenever they come (i am pretty sure not soon), thinking that i didn't visit this place or i haven't tried this dish, or i haven't experienced this sport. Before i die i want to see our beautiful earth, this is my dream.

It was a long time since we went to Dalhousie. Over 6 months. We all again wanted to skip our monotonous life and go somewhere. So we planned a night stay at my place. After a night long discussion and brainstorming on the budget and times available to us we finally said simultaneously in the morning, DevBhumi (Uttrakhand) it is. Our families had an idea that we were together again to plan something mischievous, indeed they were right. Next day we took permissions from our parents, and by evening we had booked our bus tickets and hotels. We had a day to pack and get going. After celebrating my cousins birthday on 11th June in evening we finally left for out night bus ride from Anand Vihar ISBT. I couldn't sleep whole night in the because of excitement. In the morning when Sun slowly started to show it's presence I was disappointed, I had expected to se some mountains, we had covered more than 75% of the distance but there was no sign of them. After a half hour wait I finally saw a peak of a small hill, and yes I felt recharged from the inside. And then unexpectedly the steep climb started. Our first destination arrived after 3 hours of steep climb. Nainital. It was 9 in the morning. Sunlight was reflecting from half of the lake and rest half was still deprived of it. It was one of the most beautiful sights ever, we had to walk from the bus stand to our hotel, which was supposed to be only 5 minutes walk from the bus stand. But well we should not completely depend on technology, it was actually 20mins steep walk up the mountain with our luggage. We finally reached before our check in time, so we had to wait for the rooms to get vacant. We finally got room we all got free of our morning chores and went down to mall road same way from where we came up. We were on the mall road made along the Nainital Lake. We noticed that the left side of the road was higher as compared to the right side of the road. Locals told us that even during the British rule Nainital was a famous Tourist destination. So the left side of the road which was higher than the right side was built for the British officials and tourists where as the lower side was for Indians. Well it all ended in 1947. Now the sides of the road are considered just as sides and not a status symbol. Coming back to present. Nainital's mall road is one of the most beautiful and expensive mall roads in India. And indeed it is. Walking down the road along the lake is one of the best experiences we can have. The walk is rejuvenating, refreshing, scenic, pleasant.. in short it's awesome. After having breakfast on mall road in one of my favorite restaurants now Gianni's we went for our most awaited event, boating in the lake. It is said to 120ft deep, as it is made in a valley, so it is said to be chonical, well I definitely don't want to see the depth. It is one of the most scenic boating lakes in India. After our boating we walked up to the Nainital zoo, it was more and 3kms steep walk, tiring as he'll we didn't see much of the animals there but we did see The beautiful Nainital from up there. We came back to mall after zoo tired as he'll, walked to our hotel for some rest which our legs needed. After and hour or so we came back to mall went boating again, it was a different experience in the eveing with Sun setting behind the mountains and cold breeze touching your face. The police blocks the entry for any type of vehicle from 6pm to 9pm on mall road and that is the time when the mall is most lively, thousands of tourists hundreds of couples walking down the road trying to absord the beauty of the lake at night which is one the best views in the world specially in a full moon light. The lights from the surrounding shops on the mall road reflect from the lake, mildly cold breeze touching your face giving you chills through your spine, is the best experience one can have. After dinner we sat by the lake for an hour or so and went back to the Hotel. Next day in the morning we had to go to Bhimtal 11kms from Nainital. We had booked 2 two-wheelers. From a gentleman who own a website called bikersparadise. He delivered the vehicle himself. One of the most pleasant personalities I have ever met. We took 2 Access 125cc scooties, and started our ride for Bhimtal. One of the most beautiful drives for me ever. The road was descending so we had switched off our scooties and they were rolling down slowly and quietly. One of the plus points of hiring a scooty instead of a car, you can roll it down and save fuel %F0%9F%98%81. After an hours ride full of scenic beauty we reached Bhimtal the resort we had booked there was a little away from Bhimtal but was better than the Hotel in Nainital. Open, situated in a valley surrounded by mountains. The best location to relax. We put our stuff in the Hotel and drove to Bhimtal. There is nothing special about this lake other than an under water aquarium on an island in between the lake. Not much eatries around, so when you plan to go there, better pack food from your hotel. We spent a few hours by the lake had lunch and when we were about to leave it started raining, heavily. It rained for and hour or so. When rain stopped our next destination was Nakuchiyatal, it is called so because it has 9 corners and it is said tha the one who spots all the 9 corners from standing at a single point becomes a millionaire, well I had no luck, I don't think anyone ever had such luck, because the geography of the lake dosent allow you to do that. There are a few water sports in Nakuchiyatal and nothing else. Boating there is expensive so better leave it because Nainital is much better for that. After this our next stop was Sattal. We had to cross our hotel and go towards Nainital and take a small road which leads to Sattal. It was almost 6, there was chill in the air and on a 2 wheeler it felt more chilly. The road was secluded. Very few vehicles, by the time we reached Sattal the sun had gone to sleep and there was a weird type of eerieness in the atmosphere, it was scary actually. So we didn't stay there for more than 5 mins and rushed out of there as soon as we could. By the time we reached our resort it was 8 and we were hungry as hell. We all took bath and went to the restaurant in the Hotel and a good meal came to our rooms with no idea of next day. It was supposed to be our last day in Bhimtal. And second last in uttrakhand. We had not planned anything for this day, so we all woke in the morning took bath started our scooties and drove to a different route, which was unknown to us, after a 50km of beautiful scenic drive we reached a river we had no idea where it came from. We parked our scooties by the road and went down Sat on the rocks slipped on them and fell in the river, the flow was normal so we didn't drown, spent few hours sitting there talking and then started our scooties to go back to Bhimtal. We reached our resort early, we requested the resort administration to arrange a bon-fire. We had a relaxing time sitting around the fire quietly for sometime sipping our whisky and staring into the sky saying nothing. Next was supposed to be our last day in Uttrakhand.In the morning we woke up packed our bags and drove to Nainital. After reaching Nainital we decided to go for local sightseeing, we drove to sucide point, lovers point, an over hyped waterfall, and man made lake, cave garden (the best of them) worth visiting. We came back to Nainital parked our scooties and again went for boating, this time we spent solid 2 hours in the lake. And it was time for our return journey. We gave the owner his scooties back, thanked him for the scooties and his guidance too. Came for dinner to Gianni's. Had dinner went to bus stand and boarded our bus to Delhi. The whole night went thinking about our past few days in Devbhumi and about when will be our next trip. Still planning.