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.