Sunday, April 26, 2009

Over to Uttarakhand: Best Snaps

This is the famous Mall Road in Nainital. Surprisingly Nainital, though a bustling city, has preserved its own charm and beauty. Unlike many other popular hill stations like Ooty, Kodaikanal, Darjeeling - to name a few, Nainital doesn't seem to be decaying under the threat of over-tourism. Anyone who has visited Ooty recently knows what I mean. The Ooty lake maintained pathetically. The beautiful surroundings are just too crowded to be enjoyed leisurely. Compared to that Nainital, though equally crowded, still has a little element of leisure. The awesome Nani Lake surely takes most of the credit for the beauty and the leisure of Nainital. It's quite big and beautiful too. Most importantly it's maintained properly. The deep blue water, the matching sky and the greenery and the mountains around make Nainital just mind boggling. Mall Road runs parallel to the Naini Lake. It looks like a typical European boulevard decked with trees and popular shops, hotels and restaurants alongside. Taking an easy leisurely stroll along the Mall Road is a must if you're Nainital.

That's the view of Himalayas from Ranikhet. Trishul (seen as the leftmost peak in the picture) and the sorrounding peaks offer a spectacular view of the snow capped Himalayas from Ranikhet and many other places.

That's a view of the Himalayas from Binsar. Similar views abound in plentiful around Almora. Binsar is around 30km from Almora on the Almora-Bageshwar Road. This particular view is from a place called Kasar Devi, a place rich in history and religion, on the way to Binsar from Almora. The layers of Himalayas and the sun hidden in the clouds look like a water color painting. Though not on the popular tourist track, the areas around Almora offer some of the best views of the Himalayas. Ranikhet & Kausani (the site for 1942, A Love Story, Krish and many other movies) are also near by.

This is Gorson's Meadows, near Auli - the most popular skiing destination in India. Gorson's Valley is at an altitude close to 11000ft and is very close to Nanda Devi (within 15km aerial distance) and other about peaks like Trishul & Dunagiri. It's a fantastic place, within a few kilometers of an easy trek from the Clifftop Resort near Auli. It looks like a natural golf course with all the slopes and curves surrounded by a gentle forest and the dazzling snow capped peaks. The peak visible in the picture is Dunagiri. Gorson's Meadow is completely covered with colorful flowers around July - something like the nearby Valley of Flowers, though in a much smaller scale. It's a very good place for spending some leisure time with kids.

This picture is taken from the Clifftop Resort, where we stayed in Auli. There's nothing special about this picture other than the wonderful shades of colors that came out. I don't think I was much attracted by the shot when I took. Later when I was viewing all the pictures in my laptop this one appeared to be a wonderful one. Nanda Devi is hidden above the clouds. The construction work is for creating an artificial skiing slope that can be operational even if the natural snow is not adequate.

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