Stay at the Misty Mountains in Jhaltola, Uttarakhand

We were to be stationed in Jhaltola for 3 nights and 3 days (Our 3rd halt in the Uttarakhand Roadtrip). Misty Mountains was where we’d be parking ourselves. Err, slight correction. Your car can’t go up to where Misty Mountains is. Explanation — located about 3 kms from the village in Jhaltola where the Ram Mandir is, a jeep is sent down for every guest of the Misty Mountains. And it is only that jeep that can brave the rugged roads of Misty Mountains. Some adventure that!

How is the stay at Misty Mountains?

Tucked away in the middle of Oak and Pine forests, Misty Mountains is a destination in itself.  Spread across separate lodges with gardens, dining area and activity centre, we were sure we didn’t want to venture out even when Ambika, the owner, told us about the all so important Shiva temple, Patal Bhubaneshwar. Nope, even the Lord, couldn’t get us out of here.

For, when at Misty Mountains, you will be amazed at how well you can wander aimlessly, and engage yourself with tasks of extreme importance. Like how Jayanta would chase the many beautiful birds for most part of his time, and for the rest, try all his DSLR tricks on the flowers. While I, ‘endeavoured’ to park myself in the garden bench in front of our lodge, looking out into the horizon where the Himalayas stood hiding behind the veil of fog and sipping lemon tea every 30 minutes. And ‘planning’ (vigorously, mind you) how I’d do it up in my way if I had a garden such as this one.

Our daughter, giving up on her parents, made friends with the children of the other guest who were visiting from Pune, caught hold of the guides for her rounds of rappelling and tree climbing, played rounds and rounds of carom and badminton at the activity center. Why, we even learnt a Pahari song from one of the guides….Kaele baja murali o behna unchi niche daano ma…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We did go for the sunset trek one evening. And an early morning trek to Lamkeshwar another morning, that had an eerie-looking Shiva temple, but from where you get one helluva view of the Himalayas. We caught only a glimpse though. The fog stayed adamant. However, we got a good glimpse of the proud mountains on our last morning at the Misty Mountains – had rained the previous night and we seized the opportunity the next morning, woke up even before the lark and stood out, waiting. The sillouhtes were clear, panning out from the east to a great deal south. We did get a good idea of what it must be like on clear days.

Food at Misty Mountains:

Food is good and they provide everything from the humble lemon tea to Bournvita milk for the kids to rotis, rice, chappatis and Chicken. I only wish they had a tea counter inside the room – you see, I wake up really early and tea at Misty Mountains doesn’t come in until 6am. They, of course, supply it throughout the day at your slightest request…

The staff here is awesome – be it the house-keeping guys or the kitchen staff or the trek/activity guides. They go out of their way to make your stay memorable. So is the owner, Ambika, who would brief us about everything Jhaltola whenever we’d meet.

Finally, I warn you, Misty Mountains is not for those who cannot disconnect from their everyday lives. Which means, it is for all those souls who find happiness in sun-bathing on a garden bench, ruminating in garden stairs, admiring the Himalayas while sipping lemon tea, sitting down with a pencil to draw the scenery in front, collecting moss from the jungle for the garden back home, exploring old and locked bungalows, trekking up and down hills for the sunrises and the sunsets. And the Himalayas…

Jhaltola – 3rd Halt in our Uttarakhand Road-trip

And now Jhaltola, the 3rd halt in our Uttarakhand Road-trip (Read: Abbott Mount — the 2nd halt in Uttarakhand roadtrip) Another of those completely offbeat destinations, Jhaltola, for us held promises of treks, treks and more treks and the elusive Himalayas…

Drive from Abbott Mount to Jhaltola

Located at an altitude of 1700 ft, Jhaltola was much lower than Abbott Mount. Our driver didn’t want to take the Lohaghat road. Instead, he drove down the Ghat road about a kilometer from Abbott Mount, going past beautiful ranges and driving alongside the river Kali. We had a total of about 85 kilometers to cover from Abbott Mount to Jhaltola, most of which was a beautiful drive. Only from where Berinag started, did the roads get somewhat bad and it got quite dusty past the little town of Gangolighat. Remember, they do not use the air conditioner in the cars in the hills. Which means, if the roads are bad and there are vehicles in front of your car, dust fills up the car leaving you with no choice but to roll up the windows. Thankfully though, this was the last one hour of the drive. We made it to Jhaltola in about 3 hours, in good time for lunch. And no, the Abbott Mount-Jhaltola drive didn’t make our daughter car-sick. Thank God for the sickness pill and all the songs we sang all the way…:-)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Stay at the Misty Mountains in Jhaltola (Read Review of Misty Mountains)

We were to be stationed in Jhaltola for 3 nights and 3 days. Misty Mountains was where we’d be parking ourselves. Tucked away in the middle of Oak and Pine forests, Misty Mountains is a destination in itself. We were sure we didn’t want to venture out. Self-contained, there are a whole lot of activities to choose from when here – bridge crossing to tree climbing to rappelling to badminton to carom to nothing. We mostly did nothing.

Jhaltola – 3rd Halt in our Uttarakhand Road-trip : Misty Mountains

Allotted a lodge at the far end of the garden, I made the most of the wooden bench placed outside. The lodge is basic and simple and clean. For all those TV buffs, there is no television inside the room. You have one only at the activity centre. Never saw anyone switch it on though. And no, there is absolutely no internet connectivity at Misty Mountains. We stayed happily disconnected for 3 days!

Things to do/ Places to see in Jhaltola

 When in Jhaltola, you can go trek or drive down to the Shiva temple in Patal Bhubaneshwar. We didn’t do that. We only lazed around at Misty Mountains.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

But hey! We did manage to –

  •  Go for a 45-minute Sunset Trek close to the lodge and loiter around in the woods until the sun went down the western sky
  • Also go for a 3-hour Lamkeshwar trek in an endeavour to catch a glimpse of the Himalayas. But no, they stayed behind the stubborn fog. Of course we stopped by the Shiva temple at Lamkeshwar that looked every bit eerie in the middle of the jungle with no soul in sight.
  • And we also walked up to the ‘haunted house’ we saw on our way up to the Misty Mountains. For a moment we had wondered if that was where we were headed. Isn’t that a little too adventurous, I asked Jayant. He shrugged, unsure, saying that the photos were different. Clearly, 3 days into the holiday, and good sense had left us. We were too lazy, too in the holiday-mood, to even bother thinking right. Well, thankfully, the jeep driver went past the bungalow. We gave the bungalow a good look and promised ourselves to walk back to it to find out if ghosts lived there. We did that. Locked up and barricade on all sides, we took our chances and went to check if the place houses ghosts. But bravehearts that we were, we ran back from the grounds itself. For, the bungalow looked every bit haunted!!!

The 2nd Halt in Uttarakhand Road-trip — Abbott Mount

The 2nd halt in our Uttarakhand road-trip was Abbott Mount, a tiny hill-station about 5800 ft from the sea-level, built during the British rule by Mr. John Harold Abbott. Named after him, Abbott Mount is very close to the popular tourist town of Lohaghat, famous for its many Hindu temples. For us, though, Abbott Mount held the promise of peace and solitude, and we were happy to be away from ‘civilisation’…

Drive from Jeolikote to Abbott Mount

And so, Day 2 of our Uttarakhand road-trip started with the 80 km drive from Jeolikote to Abbot Mount. Don’t think it is only 80 kms away! Jeolikote onwards, the roads of Uttarakhand have twists and turns every 50 meters, making fast driving difficult. The drive took us a little more than 6 hours, and no, we didn’t stop for lunch, as our daughter had developed severe car sickness. And so, despite being a very beautiful drive, we got somewhat stressed to make it to Abbott Mount as soon as we could. Fault was ours. We forgot to give her the tablet for motion sickness, and worse, left Jeolikote immediately after a sumptuous breakfast of Paranthas at the Cottage where we were staying.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Stay at the Abbott Mount Cottage

 But one look at the Abbott Mount Cottage where we’d be staying for the night, and all her sickness vanished. Built during the British rule, the Abbott Mount Cottage exudes the charm and cosiness of a cottage in the hills. Flanked by a huge garden and surrounded by flowering trees and shrubs, the Cottage will take away all your exhaustion in a snap. Ours, was long gone though. A day at Jeolikote and now here, we were fast losing our city stress and weariness.

The Abbot Mount Cottage has only four rooms. We were allotted one large room on the 1st floor, overlooking the garden and the hills. There is a big living room, tiny library and a mid-sized dining hall in the ground floor. Pretty basic but clean, the Cottage has an eerie feel to it. I couldn’t help but feel that we had been transported back to the olden days during our stay here. The caretaker, an elderly gentleman, tall and with the seen-in-all aura looked like he must be the guy looking after the place since the beginning of time.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Food was basic, and we had to brief Chachaji, the caretaker, of our preference a day in advance, so that he could ask his assistant to get the provisions from the Lohaghat market 7-10 kms below. And so, breakfast was eggs and bread, while lunch and dinner was rice, roti, veggies and chicken. Extremely simple with no paraphernalia whatsoever.

Despite the English-style dining room, we requested that both lunch and breakfast be served in the garden. Who wants to throw away a bright sunny day in the hills? The garden is where we spent most of the time.Fogged out during the entire time that we were there, the Cottage offers dazzling view of a few Himalayan peaks on clear days.

Things to do/ Places to see in Abbott Mount

 Well, Chachaji ensured we go and see the only two things that Abbott Mount has to show – an old Church and an old cricket ground — unarguably the basic things that the British needed when they set foot in this hill to make it a ‘hill-station’. Chachaji’s assistant, a young boy, took us around the hill, showing us the other British bungalows and adding that the Cottage had the best view and garden, the Church which shut down a couple of years back when its Parish passed away, the cemetery where the architect of Abbott Mount, Mr. John Harold Abbott, lies buried, the cricket ground and the site where the current Uttarakhand govt is constructing a line of guest houses to pep up tourism to this sleepy hill. All of this in a little more than a hour’s trek/walk. Told you Abbott Mount is a sleepy hill!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

And then we went back to the Cottage’s garden to catch the sun go down the hills in the West. It can get pretty chilly after sun-down, and hardly anything to do until dinner time. We requested for an early dinner and retired early, praying that the morning would give us a glimpse of the Himalayas. No, it didn’t. Nonetheless, we took over the garden once again with the breaking of dawn, and loitered around the flowers, butterflies, trees checking out dew drops and nests of birds…until breakfast was served. And after a hour post breakfast and a motion sickness pill, we bade Abbott Mount goodbye and set out for Jhaltola…

PS: Internet connectivity at the Abbot Mount Cottage is extremely modest. No, they do not have any wifi. My Tata Docomo dongle didn’t work either. Only our Vodafone phones connected. The rooms caught no network whatsoever. The garden allowed whatever little bit we could catch.

Also read: Jhaltola — 3rd halt in Uttarakhand roadtrip

Things To Do In Jeolikote, Uttarakhand

Things to do in Jeolikote? Well, nothing much. Remember you decided to beat the crowd and cacophony by going off the beaten track? That’s why you chose Jeolikote – away from the fabled madding crowd, with pretty much nothing to do….

We were stationed in Jeolikote for one day and two nights. Bhuvan Kumari, the owner of the Cottage Jeolikote where we were staying, while warning us that Jeolikote was not the usual ‘sight-seeing circuit’ did go on to tempt us with options of walking up to the river “down there” and paying the horticulture department a visit. Perfect, we said in unison. The horticulture department of the hills is the most attractive place for lovers of flowers, fruits and veggies like us. We promised her and ourselves the sortie…..

The next morning, after a scrumptious breakfast of stuffed paranthas with curd and pickles and butter (!!!) at the Cottage, we set out with our binoculars, hats (for, it was a sunny day) and camera to ‘explore’ Jeolikote. Aunty, Ms Bhuvan Kumari, had instructed us to simply walk down the hillock that housed the Cottage. Taking her advice, we ‘trekked’ down, wearing the right shoes and taking walking sticks (lying in the woods) for support. The beginner’s euphoria showed on our faces. This, after all, was the official beginning of the innumerable treks in this Uttarakhand road-trip.

And didn’t realize how the next three hours passed us by. We –

  • Walked up to the Apiary, and marveled at the scores of bee-boxes sitting pretty in the woods with wild pink lilies. The quiet of the place was broken by gang war of a troop of monkeys in the not-so-distant trees. Their screeching stopped when they were shooed away by a few dominating baboons. We took the opportunity and ran to the apiary office to buy some honey. Sadly, it was the day off for the team that sold honey. We left. Disappointed. But not before enquiring the price at which they sold the honey– Rs 300 for a kilogram, they said. Sigh!
  • Turn of the Jeolikote river now. Although we had heard it gush by during the still of the night, Aunty had warned us that it would be a ‘trickle’ owing to the dry summer months. About a kilometer or little more from the Apiary, we sauntered down towards the river cooing with the Koel, plucking dried wild flowers for the garden back home and looking for some nice stones from the river bed. The river had indeed dried…but you could tell that the rains would soon bring it back to life. After the few customary photographs, we sauntered back, cooing with the Koel and chasing some butterflies…
  • Time now for Jeolikote’s Horticulture Department. We asked around for locations and found that all of them lay on the same road, the apiary, the horticulture division and the river. A building dating back to the British time; a huge garden that had a sea of the red and yellow tiger lilies; a complete section of fruit trees such as avocado, pear; strawberries growing in the greenhouse; a couple of officials loitering around without much aim or purpose was all that the horticulture division had to offer. I was a tad disappointed. For, I had expected to see something like what we had back in Shillong – a huge place with so much flowers and fruit trees, where I’d often spend a good part of the day.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

With that, we were ready to climb back the hillock to our Cottage, wash up and line up for lunch. Aunty had rotis, vegetables and chicken waiting for us. The morning’s Paranthas digested and the butter, hopefully, burned, we were famished….Curious, how hills can get you hungry so easily…it’s the air, I tell you….

 

 

Stay at The Cottage Jeolikote in Jeolikote, Uttarakhand

 The first halt in our 15-day Uttarakhand road-trip was Jeolikote, a little hamlet about 17 kms before Nainital. When confronted with the question, “Where to stay in Jeolikote?”, we chose The Cottage Jeolikote.

Located just as one enters Jeolikote, the Cottage is not difficult to find. Ask anybody, they will nod a knowing nod and point to a narrow lane in the slope on the side of the river. Clearly, guests at the Cottage aren’t a rarity. The lane they showed us was so narrow and steep that we wondered if our car could make it. But no sooner do we doubt this, we saw a man midway through the lane, waving at us. Ah! This means the car can meander down, we thought. And as our driver slowly maneuvered the car and took us to a small clearing that looked like parking space, we were greeted by four dogs, barking, wagging their tails, running helter-skelter in utter excitement. Yes, Bhuvan Kumari’s mail had mentioned them. And then my eyes popped out – there was a sea of Tiger Lillies growing on the slope right next to us. Why! They refuse to bloom in Mumbai, and look how bountiful they are here in this slope even in the absence of care, I accused. And then accepted, The weather does the trick. Sigh! And then I cooed and sighed some more at the awning made by my favourite red rose climber. The Cottage, where we were headed, was covered with some more rose climbers, ivy and bougainvillea’s. We couldn’t wait to get in…

Sure enough, the insides were just as charming – a large living room done up with carved wooden panes, traditional teak furniture, eclectic artifacts and fresh flowers from the garden. Our room was just as beautiful. It was a Deluxe room that has a separate sitting room besides the tastefully done bedroom and most amusing bathroom, we also had a little verandah to ourselves that looked straight into the hills and from where you could catch the rising sun first thing in the morning.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

How is the food and service at The Cottage Jeolikote? Homemade. Simple and very tasty. The owner, Ms Bhuvan Kumari, takes personal interest in every guests’ food preferences, and gets her chef to prepare the meals accordingly. We hogged the Paranthas during breakfast and loved the array of veggies and chicken/mutton during lunch and dinner.

Service is always with a smile, and the staff try their best to meet every request – that included frequent hot water for our daughter for her cough, milk with Bournvita for her every morning and evening, my lemon tea etc.

Does The Cottage Jeolikote have Internet? Yes! A wifi password is shared with you while you check-in. But since the cottage is sprawling, connectivity is best at the dining area. However, network is not bad at Jeolikote. Which means, the 3G on your phone will work. So will the data card for your laptop.

Why should you stay The Cottage Jeolikote? Because it is charming yet simple, and because it is away from the madding crowd. The place exudes warmth, giving that perfect ‘home-away-from-home’ feeling.

Drive from Pantnagar Airport to Jeolikote, Uttarakhand

Our first stop in our Uttarakhand road-trip was at Jeolikote, a little hamlet about 50kms away from the Pantnagar airport. The drive from the Pantnagar Airport to Jeolikote took us a little more than 90 minutes.

We arrived at the Pantnagar Airport at about 3pm on a mid-May afternoon, and it was very very hot. The taxi that we booked for the drive from the aiport to Jeolikote was charging us Rs 1800 for the 50km drive. We negotiated an AC drive up to the point where the hills start with the driver, unable to take the heat and dreading the vehicular pollution enroute.

As you get out of the airport, it’s a beautiful 4-5 kms of drive through the countryside lined with trees and fields. Soon though, we made our way through the chaotic little towns of Lalkuan and Haldwani, full of traffic and crazy honking. Typical of the usual Indian small towns, we found vendors selling every type of wares – vegetables, fruits, items of everyday use – by the roadside. We picked up some fruits as the we had had nothing since our lunch at Delhi airport.

Meandering through Lalkuan, Haldwani, you soon reach Kathgodam, an important town for people coming to/going out of Uttarakhand using Indian Railways. The drive up to Kathgodam is through the plains and hence, straight. Kathgodam onwards, the winding roads of the hills start, and most taxis switch off the ACs at this point. The air does start getting cooler. However, dust and vehicle smoke make you wish you could have the air-conditioning on. However, the roads are good throughout, which is why, you thoroughly enjoy the drive…

Beyond Kathgodam is also when the drive starts getting scenic. You see the first hills, the bends and curves of the hill-road, the mountain river that was just a trickle, the parched hills waiting for the rains and the customary bright orange mandirs of Lord Shiva every now and then.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We reached Jeolikote in good time, much before sunset time. Locating our homestay – The Cottage Jeolikote – wasn’t difficult at all, since every resident of Jeolikote seemed to know its owner, Ms Bhuvan Kumari. And with this started our wonderful wonderful Uttarakhand sojourn…

My next few posts will be about our stay the Jeolikote Cottage and how beautifully we spent a day in the little town. Look out for them…..

 

Pantnagar Airport in Uttarakhand — Helpful Information

Uttarakhand has two airports — one in Dehra Dun (the capital town) and one in Pantnagar (located in the south-east tip of Uttarakhand).

For our Uttarakhand road-trip, we flew down from Mumbai to Delhi on an Air India flight, and took a connecting Air India flight from Delhi to Pantnagar. Delhi to Pantnagar, which is in the south-eastern tip of Uttarakhandand, is only 45-minutes away via the Air India flight. As far as we know, no other flight operates in this route.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Here are some facts about the Pantnagar Airport that you may find useful while planning your trip to Uttarakhand:

  1. Air India flies 4 flights a week to Pantnagar from Delhi. They are on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, to and fro. In fact, the plane that takes passengers to Pantnager, flies back in half an hour with passengers from Pantnagar. Its a very small aircraft with probably seating for just 25-30 people.
  2. The airport at Pantnagar is extremely basic – small and clean enough. However, they do not have a cafeteria or a tea-coffee stall/counter, and so, go prepared with food, snacks and water. A guard did tell me that a tea/water would open soon, but I don’t have the official word for it.
  3. The airport staff manually hands out the bags upon arrival. The waiting room has air-conditioning.
  4. You will find cabs waiting outside willing to take you to your destination, but charge you obnoxious rates for even short drives. They actually charge you for both ways. Our destination was Jeolikote, about 50 kms away, and we had to pay Rs 1800 for the drop.
  5. Autos and busses are available from outside the airport, but then, you will have to change them at Haldwani before you go further up.

Should you find this post on Pantnagar Airport in Uttarakhand — Helpful Information useful, please do share amongst your networks.  Look out for the next post that will speak about our drive from Pantnagar to Jeolikote.

Restaurant Review: Masala Table @Global Culture in Vashi

We are huge fans of Mutton Galauti Kebabs. HUGE. And so, when the chef at Masala Table in Global Culture smiled and offered me Mushroom Galautis, I smiled back not knowing what to expect! Mushroom for the Mutton lover. Clearly, he was treading on dangerous grounds. One bite of the ‘Galauti’ though and I was left thinking that if the Mughal Badshaahs in Lucknow did not order their bawarchis to make Galautis with mutton, they would have probably made them with mushroom! Another era…

Circa 2015, and the Chef of Masala Table has gifted to vegetarians, Galautis. Superbly! That minced mushroom with the Galauti spices can be so exquisite, was an eye opener. But so were the Kabuli Ki Shami; yes, the veg alternative to Mutton Shami. Succulent and just the right spices. You suddenly looked forward to the non-meat/non-chicken platter to find out what other gems the Chef had to offer. I found Saunfwali Paneer – Paneer cchunks tandoored in spices and veggies with a strong aniseed flavor; Soya Sasi – little chunks of soya, perfectly marinated and tandoored again; Dahi Ki Kebab – can you imagine they can make kebabs with the humble yoghurt? They did, and I, shamelessly, took second helpings of it; Kokam Sherbet – a Kokam drink so refreshing and so good that it immediately shooed away the Mumbai heat; Mint Shikanji – a drink, once again, that Mumbai’s sultry weather would be scared of; Chatpati Alu – baby potatoes tandoored with spices, full of flavor and the zing you crave for in rainy afternoons…

And now, in case from all this gushing you get ideas about me turning veg, you are deeply mistaken. I still am as much the mutton lover I always used to be. Its only that Masala Table’s veg options truly bowled me over. Not, to go to my terrain, that of Chicken, Fish and Mutton, there was Chicken Angara – so good with the spices and tandoor that I missed rainy evenings and a good Margarita; Murg Magad – a subtle kebab which when married with the Dahi sauce can be the only thing you’d want to eat; Basa Rawa fry – hmm, all right, Basas are never a favourite with us Bengalis…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

After all of these, you’d think I am a rakshas to have gone for main course. But main course too had interesting items: Kathal Ki Biryani – very very interesting and so tasty that I was reminded of that dialogue in Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Bawarchi where the brothers say the a good cook can make even Yams taste like mutton, while bad cooks can make Yams of muttons! :-) Kalimirch Paneer – full of flavor and perfect with a naan; Mutton Hariyali – tender pieces in a green gravy that was so so right with some plain rice; Mutton Biryani – a hyderabadi style biryani complete with spices, mint and curry leaves. Desserts was Fhirni – very subtle and light, just right for the summer months; Doodhi Ki Halwa – though not a great fan of doodhi, the halwa was good; and ignore the Lemon Tart, brownies and pastries….would have been too much. I, anyway skipped dinner….

All of this and more for Rs 625 per person on a weekday. For weekends, its Rs 675 per person. Check the veg rates in the picture given. Crazy prices for the food they offer – the best part is that they serve snacks hot and fresh, on the table. Similarly for rotis and naans. The spread is awesome and so so value for money.

Vashi truly has woken up to good food. Masala Table is one big example. It forms a part of Global Culture that has 2 other restaurants in the same place – one Continental, one Oriental. Perfect place for large groups with mixed food preferences…

Was touched by the creativity and sincerity of the staff at Masala Table….they have truly created items for the tastebuds of both veg and non-veg patrons. A huge place with simplistic yet stylish decor, come here if with a huge group or a huge appetite. You’d be so so happy, and stuffed when you go back.. :-D

An Uttarakhand Road-trip This Summer

This is about our Uttarakhand road-trip this summer holidays. The whole plan was to run away from the heat and stress. And most importantly, from chores, chatter, crowd and cacophony…

The cooler climes of Uttarakhand, the lure of its hills and the Himalayas seemed perfect for us, the hungry and weary souls…

But this plan for an Uttarakhand road-trip came with a collective corollary, a clear diktat – to not venture towards the ‘popular hill stations’…..we’d bump into the noisy holiday-makers there who look for their usual routine, diet despite being on a holiday in a different terrain. We needed to go where not many go, the proverbial ‘off the beaten track’, where the usual food was not available, where they didn’t apologise for not having a television set, where they’d tell us about the wild and the ways of the wild…. And thus we dug out Jeolikote, Abbot Mount, Jhaltola, Munsiyari, Chakori, Binsar and Gagar from the Uttarakhand map.

With that, the Uttarakhand road-trip has been a fortnight of ogling at the Himalayas; trekking to see both the rising and the setting sun from different jungles, different angles; chasing butterflies; telling flowers that they are beautiful; digging out lizards (!!!!); climbing rocks and climbing trees; disconnecting with ‘civilisation’ and connecting with ‘self’; re-vowing to keep life simple upon return; partaking in Kumaoni gastronomical delights; learning Pahari songs; staying at some extremely exclusive home-stays, century-old lodges, charming bungalows and boutique hotels.

Now that we are back home in Mumbai, and have emptied our suitcases and have lined up the laundry, and have eaten our first maach-bhat (Fish curry-rice, the Bengali staple) in fifteen days, we are ready to tell you all about it with photos and anecdotes and gyan on the musts and don’ts of an Uttarakhand road-trip….

Hop into this space for the steady posts, and do check them out on WOOF’s Facebook page and Twitter handle too…

Itinerary for Nairobi, Naivasha & Maasai Mara in Kenya

It was a 5-day trip to Kenya last Christmas of which, we spent one day in Nairobi, one day in Naivasha, four days in Maasai Mara. We have written exhaustively about our explorations and experiences over the last few months. In order to make it easy for you to locate all the information, should you be planning a similar trip, this post will give you a snap-shot of all the ‘must-dos and must-sees’. Simply click on the individual links to read the complete story.

Mandatory requirements of a Kenya trip:

  1. Polio and Yellow Fever – the compulsory vaccinations that you need to take before you embark on the trip.
  2. Visa, Immigration and other requirements at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport

One-day Itinerary for Nairobi:

  1. Stay at Hotel Sarovar Panifric in Nairobi
  2. Must-See/Do in Nairobi

One-day Itinerary for Naivasha

  1. Drive from Nairobi to Naivasha
  2. Where to stay in Naivasha – Lake Naivasha Sopa Resort review
  3. Must-See/Do in Naivasha

3-day Itinerary for Maasai Mara

  1. Drive from Naivasha to Maasai Mara
  2. Tour of a Maasai Village
  3. Where to stay in Maasai Mara – Keekorok Lodge review
  4. Safaris in Maasai Mara
  5. Best time to go to Maasai Mara

Best tour operator for Naivasha & Maasai Mara – Africa Veterans Safari tour operator review

Travel and food stories from around the world, through the eyes/lenses of a Mumbai-based husband-wife-daughter trio…

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers:

%d bloggers like this: