Nanital, the most busy hill station of Kumaon region situated at a height of 1938 meters above sea level. Our guest house was at Sukhatal so passing through the busy thoroughfare we finally reached our guest house. We found this guest house to be the most well maintained among all the Kumanon Guest houses we stayed earlier. After we had some refreshment we walked upto Bara Patthar to visit Sri Aurobindo Ashram?s Himalayan Centre. It was a long walk upto the top of Van Niwas. We were welcome by the in-charge Mr. Nolin Dholokia and the chief organizer of youth camps, Mr. Nirankar Agarwal. We went round the Ashram building and especially the flowers grown by Nolinji were the most attractive thing of the Ashram. Before it got dark we bade them goodbye and got back to our guest house.
The next day was the last day of our tour. After breakfast we walked upto the Naini Lake and had a beautiful boat ride and took a number of snaps. The hills surrounding the lake were enchanting and we kept on enjoying the natures bounty while the boat moved on. I was thinking how indebted we are to nature and without it we cannot exist. Still how ungrateful the man is he wants to rule over the nature and exploits its wealthy deposits kept secretly in the deep recesses of the earth. My thought was cut short by my daughter?s call to see a group of small fishes swarming in the lake. Nainital is called a dreamland town, the soft cool breeze, the shade of the tall trees, the songs of the birds welcomes you. Boating over, our next aim was to board the Ropeway trolley. The counter was open but advance tickets had to be bought as it was fully booked till 2.00 p.m. So opted for the 2.30 slot and decided to go back to guest house for bath and lunch. The way up to the lodge was a long walk so it was planned to hire a taxi upto our guest house. The driver also offered us to show some of the surrounding spots after lunch and we gave in to his request. We told him to bring his taxi around 3.30 at the base of the road leading to the ropeway where we can board his taxi there and come back to the guest house to pick up our luggage and head for Bhimtal, Naukuchiatal and finally Kathgodam Station. He agreed at a cost of Rs. 600/-
After completing our bath and lunch we cleared our account with the Guest house and kept our luggage in the cloak room to be picked up by us around 3.45 p.m. We once again walked down the road to a book exhibition near the lake which was opened at that time. Our daughter who is very fond of books had a good time at the exhibition. It was time for us to head for the ropeway. First we registered our tickets and waited for a call. The rope way to the snow view mountain was an exhilarating one overlooking the Naini lake and Mall and the surrounding hills presented a unique view to remember. I also marveled at the progress of technology, a place which used to be very quiet and isolated is now full of activities and accessible throughout the year.
As planned earlier the taxi was ready. We took it to our guest house and collected our luggage and thanked the Guest house staff and took leave. Our next destination was Bhimtal. Here also we found a big lake Bhimtal around 23 km from Nainital and at a height of 1218 meter is famous for its lake where one can swim or take to boating. But the grandeur of the Naini lake was missing here. We were told that this lake?s water is being supplied to many a homes and to farming lands. Thus the level of water is receeding continuously otherwise in rainy season it looks full and presents a beautiful view.
Our next destination was Naukuchiya Tal which was about 3 km away from Bhimtal. This lake is the biggest and looked deepest among the three Tals. We hired a self peddaling boat but Krishna was unwilling to go with us as the approching evening and that too in an unknown place she did not want to take any risk. However she agreed on our request. We enjoyed the boating but it was quite exhausting. Unfortunately at that time the sun already set so we could see the blooming lotus that are grown in a smaller lake next to this lake. On our way we saw the a big variety of Dhutura flower some of which we collected from the roadside plants. The road from Naukuchiya tal to Kathgodam was a continous descend and we enjoyed the ride. Reaching the Rly. station we thanked the driver and paid his dues.
The Railway station was crowded, hot and humid. It was as if a fall from the heaven. Everything around looked ugly, dirty and crooked. For refreshment we went to the Railway Refreshment room but only dinner was available nothing else. However we all had some Khurmani which we bought from Bhowali Market and shared a dinner. When the train came we had to literally drag ourselves to the compartment and identify our births. In the train we met a group of boys from Maharashtra who went to Pindari Glaceier for trekking and we heard from them that the snow fall was so intense that they could not reach the Glacier at all. They had to retreat midway. However they had a good time enjoying the snow.
Very soon we were asleep. We did not know when the train stopped at Delhi station. When we woke up we found the compartment empty. Everyone was gone except ourselves. We hurriedly alighted. It was still dark. We got a taxi and reached home safely carrying with us the priceless memory of the heavens above where we plan to go again.