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Your 10-Point Guide to Kumaon

Your 10-Point Guide to Kumaon

Kumaon is one of the two parts in which Uttarakhand is divided, the other being the Garhwal. Kumaon consists of several districts among the maze of Himalayan Mountains. It is a pleasant place to be at any time of the year with its high peaks, breaming rivers, impenetrable forests and extraordinary temples. There is a feel-good feeling attached to this place with many adventures.

Panchachuli Glacier – This is a trek with spectacular views of the snow-capped mountains. It is a popular place and you won’t have difficulty spotting it in the practical map. It is a 40-km trek and hence includes camping. On one hand, the trek stretches your physical fitness as you go up while on the other, it infuses the beauty of lush alpine meadows inside you surrounding the trek route.

Bright End Corner – Bright End Corner is small place 2-km from Almora. It is situated right at the end of the Almora ridge and is one of the hidden splendours of Kumaon. If peace flows in your blood, then witness the changing colours of the Himalayan Ranges, from cheerful shining buttery at the sunrise to a husky red at the sunset.

Jageshwar – It is one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Shiva mythology. It is very close to Almora and reverberates the chiming bells and auspicious mantras. The setting of this immaculate temple is also a meeting spot of holy rivers – Nandini and Surabhi. There are over 124 shrines here which take your soul into a spiritual zone.

Jim Corbett National Park – The National Park couldn’t have been at a much-desired place surrounded by mountains. The safari is the best part giving you a raw adventure of the wildlife. There are over 1000 species of birds and animals residing freely here and also the Indian Tiger. Have a stay of 2-3 days at any resort of Jim Corbett so that you enjoy every detail of this celebrated National Park.

Naina Lake – Flanked around some of the highest peaks of the Himalayan ranges, Naini Lake will marinate your desire to witness a serene emerald lake. The lake changes its colour season to season thereby is a perennial treat to watch. Be it in the winter where it sparkles in enchanting green colour and sun rays cutting through its mist or whether reflecting the bright blue skies in summers, this eye shaped river just never lets you down.

Nanda Devi Temple – The temple is the epitome of some fine rich class architecture of Kumaoni culture. The mythology and the stories related to her are plausible and will leave you wondering about more possibilities of the past. While you are here, do attend the Nanda Devi fair which is happening every year in August since last 400 years.

Manila – The less travelled places are hard to find but Manila is one such partially discovered a place which can refresh you. You can live here as a local, interact with the locals and know about the unheard pacific life of such peasants. Take a hike in the nearby woods with your friends and not a guide to revamp the old adventure days.

Kausani Tea Estate – There is nothing better to see the entire tea manufacturing process right from picking tea leaves from this plantation to the tea bags. The plantation itself is filled with positivity and the thought of being at a tea plantation at a hill station is soothing. Walk around this 208-hectare plantation to have a permanent friendship with our first love – the tea.

Narayan Ashram – If you ever thought of trying meditation for real, than this Narayan Ashram is a perfect place for you to start. The Ashram is a celebration of silence with culture and nature. There is a socio-education centre in the middle of the blossomed garden. For book lovers, a library at such a place will make them a perpetual member of this Ashram.

Bhimtal Lake – This is a natural aquarium at an altitude of 1.3 km. The lake is the largest one in Kumaon and is an abode to many species of fishes and with time has become a centre for fish cultivation for the marine institute attached to it. Come here for the perfection of this lake and to see how mythology has shaped the Indian landmass as Bhima (one of the Pandavas) had dug this lake to quench the thirst of his brothers.

Kumaon forms a major part of traveling in the north of India. It has its own unique culture and identity. The people of Kumaon are believed to be caring and innocent. Thus, with geographical beauty, the essence of the people here will charm your guts.

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5 Reasons Why Landour Should be Your Next Place to Visit

5 Reasons Why Landour Should be Your Next Place to Visit

The best thing about Landour is that there is no particular “to-do” list here that gives you a pleasure to roam the little hamlet in the most old-fashioned ways. Situated at an outskirt location to the over-emphasised and middle-class favourite Mussoorie, Landour still reeks of the old world of when India used to be a British colony. Landour first came into the maps of India when the British-Raj named it after a Welsh town – Llanddowror.

1. Overhauled by Different Cultures – Landour started to get its identity when the British-Raj used this as their colonial home and made it its cantonment. For people who adore the sophistication and class of British ambience, its Victorian Cottages, hot beverages and all the elegance associated with them, then this is a must visit place for them. Americans also have time and again showed their presence, either as learners of Hindi or teachers of Baptism and lavish bakeries. A close vicinity to Tibet has held the place’s indigenous characteristics in its food and linguistic cultures.

2. Soul of Creativity – This place has a history of igniting creative attributes among people. Our favourite childhood author Ruskin Bond has written hundreds of stories based out of Landour. A brilliant mix of his creative abilities with this mystical place helped us infuse blood in our imaginary veins. Apart from him, Tom Alter who soothed us with his acting in Doordarshan shows and theatres and Vishal Bhardwaj who enticed us with his move direction also started their artistic journeys from Landour. If you are in search of something of your own originality than this place will propel your mind, impassion your heart and resolute your senses into disclosing your quirkiness to the world.

3. Walking has never been this much fun – If you love nature walks than find a home in Landour. Roaming this place on foot is the best way to receive its charismatic altruism. Despite being a small town, Landour draws numerous perspective of life. A leisurely walk around the empty roads on a foggy day will wistfully remind you of your sweet childhood memories. The Indo-Gothic Church, ochre coloured Eiffel Tower, British Raj Bungalows, Kellogg’s Church, celebrated Woodstock Schoolare a delight treat on this hill station. A sip of tea at the Char Dukanarea with eyes fixed on valleys will refresh your wits and align your thoughts in a placid way. There is great irony in the fact that this town is considered a sleepy that will fill your spiritual void, if it is there.

4. Existence of opulent ecosystem – The forest area is abundant in Landour. For the major part of it, this British originated cantonment is mated with Himalayan Oak, Blue Pines, old grown deodar cedar, and many other Himalayan species. Bird lovers will call this place a second home as more than 350 species of birds including the migratory ones from Serbia, Tibet and Central Asia flock their wings over the course of a year. Flying Squirrels, Leopards, Langurs often make their presence felt with jackal, barking deer and the secretive sloth beer do their chores in the shades of the forests. One more striking reason to come here is the startling views of Garhwal Himalayas it shows. Nadnadevi, Yamnotri, Gangotri, Bandarpunch are some of the famous peaks which you can peek into from one your cottages.

5. Not a sell-out hill station – You should feel lucky and blessed that this place has been spared from the hellishness of commercialising of a place. Thankfully, a policy made in 1928 to ban the construction of houses owing to the effects of deforestation has still let this place a traveller’s love than a tourist’s lust. From a black and white photograph to a coloured one, it seems as if the place has maintained its purity, its sanctity and its appeal.

If you have ever wandered your mind to have a stay at a low profile hill station, compel to connect with yourself and away from the quasi importance of technology, than this place is the one for you. In Landour, everything is different from the usual. This place if for the slowness and lethargic old world life. Come here alone or with people who welcome the conventional and traditional ways of life.