By: Ananya Majumdar (LTEN)
After a lot of brainstorming, we could finally come up with a weekend getaway from Faridabad. So it was decided, Naukuchiatal it is, the lake with nine corners. It is located in Nainital district in Uttarakhand but, unlike Nainital or Bhimtal, it is less crowded. This is the key reason that inspired us to freeze the spot. All of us had one common interest – some peace away from the busy NCR. So as soon as the spot was finalized, we hired an Innova and set on our road trip to Naukuchiatal.
We started on Friday after office hours. After a brief halt for dinner at McDonald’s on the way and a cup of tea at Rampur, we reached Naukuchia Taal at 2am. The road was decent throughout the journey except for the stretch from Rampur to Rudrapur which was full of potholes. It was a nightmare. Hotel reservations were done online which offered us a 40% discount, and made Travellers Paradise within budget for us. We could feel the chill in the air. So, without further waste of time, we went straight under the comfort of our blankets for a good night’s sleep.
Saturday morning was pleasant with the sun smiling at us in the cool weather. Travellers Paradise seemed to be a well maintained hotel with very courteous staff. The manager shared with us the knowledge of the places of interest and directions on how to reach. After breakfast, we went for a casual walk around the lake. The colorful Shikaras attracted us and we immediately set sail for Naukuchia Taal.
The one hour shikara ride was accompanied by songs and ended with rowing practice by all. At times the rowing made me feel that we would never ever reach the banks.
After a quick shower, we left for Mukteshwar which is located 45kms from Naukuchia taal.
Luckily, we had stopped for a quick tea at a road side stall, where we were informed of a waterfall that is en route Mukteshwar. Since, all of us were interested in a waterfall from the beginning, we jumped at the offer of being guided to the spot. A village lad accompanied us. As we trekked along the rocky path, I only hoped the result is good, else this lad would have received a good chiding.
And after a lot of rock climbing, there it was, a beautiful waterfall, hidden amidst nature.
We spend almost an hour at the waterfall. The waterfall seemed to be the most awesome attraction and made the trip an instant success. We were so happy that we tipped the lad Rs. 300 instead of the lesser amount we had agreed upon.
After this we headed straight for Chauli ki Jali in Mukteshwar. I have no clue why the place has such a strange name, but the view from this location is mesmerizing. And the hue cast by the setting sun, made the atmosphere magical.
With the setting sun, our day ended and we started back for our safe abode in Naukuchia Taal.
Next morning involved a lot of excitement for all of us. It was a day to feel adrenaline rush…Paragliding day. While all enjoyed gliding amidst mountains, I just remained with my camera in an attempt to capture their moments of thrill.
After this activity, we checked out of hotel and left for Nainital.
The road to Nainital was good with scenic beauty all around. En route was the Nainital zoo, but we didn’t have sufficient time to visit it. We reached Nainital around noon and headed for another round of sailing on the lake. Nainital valley is a superb location with a lake to charm the tourists. The only eye sore was the crowd with it resembling a mini Delhi. After a bout of sailing obviously it was time to heed to the call of our tummy. We headed off into an intuitively chosen restaurant, the Moti Mahal on Mall road for a sumptuous meal and “some” shopping! We decided to head back to Faridabad deciding to visit Corbett falls on the way.
But Murphy’s law kicked in and we found out after reaching the gate that Corbett Falls are closed for good. So paying our respect to Murphy we got back without any further events with the feel of Mother Nature in fresh in our minds.
Travellers Paradise Hotel – 4/5
Naukuchiataal (the lake) – 4/5
Waterfall (Pokhrad) – 5/5
Chauli ki jaali (Mukteshwar) – 5/5
Paragliding – 6/5
Nainital – 3/5
Overall experience – 4.5/5