about anything under the Sun!
After sleeping like logs on Friday night, we woke up the next morning to welcome the rest of our group from Delhi. We were staying at the beautiful Sherwani Hilltop. The resort has wonderful views to offer and the China Peak serves as its backdrop. It is also reasonably well maintained, particularly the nursery and the lawns. This was also its downside as the caretaker wouldn’t allow us to play soccer or cricket on the lawns 😦 The biggest downside is that the resort is at the end of an extremely steep and winding road, but worry not – there are free shuttles from the resort that ferry passengers to and from the lake.
Once the rest of our group arrived, most of them settled down for a nice breakfast at the resort itself. A few of us were brave enough to venture down to one of the local dhabas for some authentic Nainital fare. And clearly that turned out to be a wise decision because the food comprising aalo, gobi and mooli parathaas with incredibly tasty dahi was just heavenly. The fatigue from the previous day’s journey was quickly forgotten and our vacation was off to a great start. We came back to the resort and played frisball for the next couple of hours. Lunch followed and then folks split off in various directions to do some fun stuff. The lake is about 4kms from the resort and a few of us wandered down to the lake, which is also the center of activity. After a quiet dinner at the resort, it was time to catch up on sleep for a lot of folks while the rest of us sat on the lawns for most of the night and talked about everything under the sun (or moon, in this case).
The next couple of days seemed to fly by although we didn’t seem to do much of anything – guess that’s what vacation is all about and before we knew it, the Nainital portion of our trip was coming to an end. We had a couple of interesting team activities planned while we were there. One of them was a quiz that some folks had prepared (entirely about the members of the group) and helped get people to do something together and have fun at the same time. The other was a TT tournament that was organized within the team (the resort had a TT table) that consumed a good portion of our Monday evening.
As for things we did while in Nainital, some of us hiked up to China Peak, or at least attempted to. The steep climb put my old age to test – combine that with my total lack of fitness, and I was forced to give up after a certain point. I still managed to get a bird’s eye view of the entire city and the valley below and it was simply spectacular. Its definitely worth a climb – take the road up hill from the Sherwani Hilltop and after about a km on the road, you will see a hiking trail take off on your right. Follow this trail up the mountain, all the way to China Peak. It is about 3kms or so, and will take 1.5 to 2 hours considering its an extremely steep climb. One bit of advice is to only do this climb if you believe you are fit 🙂
On the next day, a smaller group took the bus to Sattal and Naukuchiatal – i didn’t go and so cant comment much on how it was but the folks that did go thought the views, lake etc were excellent. It is about a 2 hour ride from Nainital – one hour down to the foothills and another hour or so from there. Another group went to Jageshwar, which apparently houses the oldest temple for Lord Shiva in India. They drove to the temple in a cab that cost about 2k for the day and it took them a little over 3 hours to get there.
Other attractions at Nainital include the ropeway, watching local boys play soccer in the stadium across the lake, boating in the lake, visiting the animal zoo and going to China (or Naina, as some people refer to it) Peak. Overall, we didn’t do much but that was also one of the objectives of this break. It was to relax in a scenic setting and get our batteries recharged, so not having a hectic activity schedule helped immensely. Finally, on Tuesday morning it was time to pack our bags and head towards Mussorie for our next stop!