Sunday, August 24, 2008

For Sultan, Tiba, Banjo, Pepper and Others...

I am sure most pet lovers travel but finding a pet friendly resort is a heartbreaking experience. Its such a sad state that you want to travel with your pet but dont seem to find any resort where you could stay together. I have personally come across a lot of people like me who wanted to travel with pets and yet were clueless on pet friendly resorts.
Now grab your leashes...Its time for a much awaited Pet Vacation! Take a pet friendly vacation in Naukuchiatal and The Lake Resort will welcome both you and your pet. Let your pets play hide and seek in any of the nine corners of Naukuchiatal Lake.

Mr. Mahendra Verma, the owner of Lake Resort, is a great pet lover and his life seems incomplete without pets. Currently he has 6 "pahari bhutia" dogs and claims that 6 is the minimum he has had in all these years...Imagine :-) Mr. Verma is not only instumental in making The Lake Resort one of the only few pet friendly resorts in India but also maintaining a balance at the resort.

The lake Resort will alow dogs to be in the room with you and you will have to provide food and other necessities to your dog. However, if informed well in advance, the resort can also arrange for home cooked food for your pet. I guess its still better that you pack in the feeding bowls, biscuits and the sleeping mat and go to Naukuchiatal.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Resorts in Bhimtal

Bhimtal has always been popular among tourists as a stop over. BUT I strongly feel there is more to Bhimtal and people do come here for Holidays. The association with Mahabharata, Bhimeshwar Mahadev temple, Hill of Karkotaka, Nal Damyanti Tal, Hidimba Parvat...There is lots to see and do! One can also explore nearby areas of Naukuchiatal, Sattal and Nainital.

Unlike Naukuchiatal, there are much more resort options in Bhimtal. From low budget to a High end resort, Bhimtal has a good mix of accommodation options. I am listing a few for you:

Country Inn Bhimtal: Country Inn is a good 3 Star Deluxe resort located in a quiet village close to Bhimtal Lake. Please note that Country Inn does not offer any lakeview. However, the rooms are nice and you also have an option of One/Two bedroom Cottage...excellent for families. Country Inn is also one of the only few resorts to have a Swimming Pool. Other facilities include a Health Club, Mini Theatre and Conference Hall, etc. Rates are slightly on a higher side...Not recommended for those who want to stay by the lake.

Monolith Resort Bhimtal: Monolith is known in the entire region for bagging the India Architecture Award in the Best Resort Architecture category. Located above the lake this small but extremely beautiful resort is indeed a work of art. Blessed with a Swimming Pool, A viewing Tower and an open air lake view restaurant, Monolith Resort is arguably the best in Bhimtal. However, I have heard stories of their family dispute which answered my concerns about the resort not being maintained well. But I still liked it when I went in July...Love the food there. That's probably one thing which will definitely not disappoint you. And last but not the least...The rooms are very well made and trust me the quest for "newness" that you are looking for in a resort room gets answered here. Little damp during the monsoons but thats everywhere in the region.

There are some more resorts like Satvik, Mountain Club, Neelesh Inn, etc. in Bhimtal. I will be convering these resorts in my next visit in September. Will probably write a post from there now :)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Bhimtal Attractions

The main tourist attraction in Bhimtal is the lake. Like Naukuchiatal, boating and fishing is also possible in Bhimtal. The beauty about Bhimtal Lake is its Island Centre. The distance of island from the lake shore is about 90 mtrs and it can be accessed by a boat. A multi cuisine restaurant is located atop the island centre in Bhimtal and the view is simply breathtaking.

A large victorian dam close to the Bhimeshwar Maharaj Temple at one end of the lake is famous of terrace flower gardens. The folk culture museum in Bhimtal (a private institution) has an excellent collection of artifacts (ancient wooden artifacts) and great information about the hills of Uttarakhand. You can also see an excellent collection of reproductions and photographs of rock art in this museum.

Garg Parvat is a beautiful place close to Bhimeshvar Temple and source of a local River Gargi. Nal Damyanti Tal which is famous for King Nala is a small natural lake about 2 kms from Bhimtal. Floklore has it that the palace of this famous King drowned in this lake. Hidimba Parvat is known for a small Wildflife santuary created by Vankhandi Maharaj. The hill of Karkotaka is famous for a Nag temple dedicated to Nag Karkotaka Maharaj.

Bhimtal - An Epic Lake

Bhimtal, a nagar panchayat and a town in ditrcit of Nainital is situated at an altitude of roughly 4700 feet above the sea level. Bhimtal is only 22 kms from Nainital, 4 kms from Naukuchiatal and 11 kms from Bhowali. The main attraction of Bhimtal is the mighty Bhimtal Lake and its "island centre". Bhimtal lake is the largest lake (larger that Naini Lake) in the lake district of Nainital.

History: Bhimtal is named after "Bhima", one of the 5 "Panadava" brothers who fought the "Kauravas" in Hindu epic, Mahabharata. It is said that the Pandavas visited this beautiful region during their banishment and Bhima was inspired to build and dedictate a temple to Lord Shiva. It was at this place that they built the "Bhimeshwar Mahadev" temple. The present temple was built in 17th century by the Chand Dynasty. The temple is located along the 40 feet high dam in Bhimtal.

Bhimtal is older than nearby Nainital and has been a stop over for travellers of Kuman region for a very long time. Bhimtal is also a stop over for travellers going to Nepal or Tibet and it is believed that it might be a part of the famous "Silk Route".

We will be discussing attractions and resorts in Bhimtal in our next section. Stay tuned...

Resorts in Naukuchiatal

Frankly, Naukuchiatal came on the tourist map as late as 1993 when Mr. Mahendra Verma thought of coverting some of his lake side land into a resort. When The Lake Resort was opened to public in 1995 it was the only resort in Naukuchiatal with only 12 rooms. Infact the road leading to The Lake Resort or Naukuchiatal at that time was not cemented. Slowly, all the efforts paif off and people started getting to know about The Lake Resort and Naukuchiatal.

Today, there still arent too many resots in Naukuchiatal but better than the situation in 1995. The roads are perfect and there are two more resorts apart from The Lake Resort:

1. KMVN Parichay Resort: Parichay Resort is situated by the lake and neighbors The Lake Resort. The resort is run by Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam Ltd., Uttarakhand Govt. undertaking. The rooms are okay (first floor rooms are fine) but the service standards can disappoint you like any other State Tourism Guest House.

2. Vasudha Resort: This is a small guest house and does not qualify to be called a resort. Good for backpackers (if it is...I doubt), the rooms arent cheap either.

3. Deja Vu: Deja Vu is a small house in the hills and offers a good lake view. You can take up the entire house which has 2 Bedrooms and a drawing cum lounge. Suits small families and a good option for those who prefer a long stay.

We have heard that some more resorts are coming up in Naukuchiatal but as of now The Lake Resort is arguably the best in terms of Lodging, food, service, etc. With excellent lake view and all modern amenities, this is a perfect abode by the lake.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Jai Hanuman!!!

Hanuman as we all know is one of the most popular gods in Hinduism and obviously the most important personalities in Ramayana. Hanuman is worshipped along with other gods in literally every festival In India.

Naukuchiatal has gone a step ahead and dedicated a huge temple to Hanuman. Once you cross the sacred Bhimtal Lake, you are greeted by a huge tower of Hanuman that you cannot miss. The statue is so colorful and huge, that you would like to visit this beautiful temple and take the blessings from "Pavan Putra Hanuman".

Neem Karauli Baba of Kainchi is said to have laid the foundation of this temple long ago and then one of his disciples, Moni Ma fulfilled baba's dream a decade ago by contructing this temple. The temple is a must while you are in Naukuchiatal.
Jai Karauli Baba...Jai Hanuman!!!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Naukuchiatal OR Naukuchiyatal???

Someone rightly said, "words have meaning and names have power". Naukuchiyatal is probably the right spelling of Naukuchiatal if you literally want to spell it in English. But we all know how cool a language Englis(h) is...Always reminds us of Amitabh Bachchan in "Namak Halal" :-) Aha...our very own Amitabh from Sherwood College in Nainital. Sorry, I am little slow and couldnt figure out his influence on Naukuchi(y)atal ;-) No offences, Amit ji. God bless you for taking the language for a ride :)

Coming back to the the spelling controversy (just created by me)... I believe Naukuchiatal is the right way to spell it. However, some people like me will take domain name with a "y" and then create all the fuss. Come one guys, give it to me... After all we need some "chaat masala" (Indians afterall) to keep this blog rolling.
Name does have power but google keywords are far more powerful today. While doing a search on this place, please search with Naukuchiatal and NOT Naukuchiyatal for you ll not get related or best results if you search with the latter. Hope it helps...:)
"Name is a fence and within it you are nameless" - Samuli Paronen

Are You a Fishaholic...???

"Fishing is boring unless you catch an actual fish"... A "fishaholic" laughs at this statement and convinces you to seek the serenity of mind in fishing. For him, a bad day of fishing is better than a good day of work. Indeed, the romance of fishing can make a man sit in a boat and drink beer all day :-)

So while you are in Naukuchiatal, you might catch the famous Mahaseer, the greatest game fish of India. Found throughout India but found of the largest size and in great numbers in mountain streams. Mahaseer fishing is very common in the region and a large fish of 45 kg. in weight has been recorded in the past. However, it is very difficult to find such sizes anymore.

You need a fishing permit in Naukuchiatal and the front desk at The Lake Resort will arrange the same for you. Since things are pretty slow in the mountains please give them a 24 hrs TAT. Make sure you carry the rod...There is no place to hire the rods. Take your boat in the misty blue waters of Naukuchiatal Lake and trust me my dear "fishaholic" you will not be disappointed. Please follow the "catch and release" style.

Always remember, good things come to those who bait and you must lose a fly to catch a fish.

"Gone fishin', be back at dark thirty" - Unknown

Sunday, August 17, 2008


"It's always better to be on the ground and wishing you were flying in the sky, than wishing for the ground when you are up there...the higher we rise, the smaller we appear to those who have no idea about flying".

Within all of us is a varying amount of space substance. We are too busy to notice it...and its stronger in those who want to fly. It is highly responsible for that desire to fly like a bird and explore the undefined boundaries of our origin. In Naukuchiatal, all of us are very lucky to slip into those wings and fly high like a bird, touch the clouds, and be as high as the mountains!!!

Pandegaon, only 4 kms from The Lake Resort is the 'take off" point for Paragliding in Naukuchiatal. You do not have an option of a "Solo Flight" but the pilots are well trained to give you the experience of flying "high AND alone" in the beautiful skies of Naukuchiatal. The charges vary from Rs. 1,000/- to 1,200/- and trust me every penny is worth this life time experience!!! The perfect time/season to do Paragliding in Naukuchiatal is March - June and October - December. Our advice is that you wear a track suite and sneakers while doing Paragliding. Listen to the instructions carefully and that's it...The rest will be handled by the pilot who will navigate the winds and give you a "Life is Beautiful" experience.

Request the front desk to organise a flight for you. Let your Soul fly...!!!

TIP: Since Paragliding is an adventure sport, please make sure that you check the equipment and the company before you decide to take a flight.

My soul is in the sky - William Shakespeare (A Midsummer Night's Dream)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Rocking the Boat!!!

Indeed, Boats are the nearest things to dreams that hands have ever made. Someone rightly pointed out,"Boats, like Whiskey, are all good".

The lake Resort is your ultimate resource to fun and safe boating on Naukuchiatal Lake. With private access to the lake and a small but maintained boat fleet, The Lake Resort has ensured that everyone enjoys pedal boating at very low rates. The pedal boats (seats 04) are rented out @Rs. 150/- for a half hour boat ride. One also has the option of taking row boats fro outside boat vendors. Request the front desk and they will be happy to arrange one for you.
Ant trust me, there is nothing half as much worth doing as simply messing about in these boats :-)

Naukuchiatal - All Season Destination

When to go? Aah! This is really a tough one to answer :) Honestly, I want to be in Naukuchiatal all the time, and everytime I am looking for solitude of the mountains.

Some one rightly said, "Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather".

May - June: The so called "SEASON" time in Naukuchiatal due to summer vacations is full of tourists. The temperature during the day hovers around 18 - 25 degree celcius. Thanks to the lake and amzing greenery, you dont even want a fan if you are under a shade.

July - September: Rains, Rains & Rains! If beauty exists in rains, it has to be Naukuchiatal. One of my favourite months to be in Naukuchiatal purely because of the weather. If you haven't seen a lake in the clouds or the bright shining greenery of the wild hills, please visit Naukuchiatal during these months and witness it yourself.

October - January: October and November are usually very pleasant but also mark the start of winters in Naukuchiatal. Due to "Dussehra" and "Diwali" holidays there is a heavy movement from Gujarat, Maharashtra & Calcutta. It is highly recommended that you plan the trip well in advance. December and January are the coldest months in Naukuchiatal and the temperature hovers around 2 - 12 degree celcius. Please note that it does not snow in Naukuchiatal. One can go to Nainital and nearby areas to see the snowfall.

February - April: Late winters and Spring Time...Such a welcome change. If we had no winter, the Spring would not be so pleasant. Spring makes its own statement so loud and clear that entire Naukuchiatal prepares for the Green Traffic Light and the world thinks GO :-)

Naukuchiatal is definitely an all season destination!!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Reach Naukuchiatal

Naukuchiatal is located at the foothills of Kumaon Hills and easily accessible from Delhi by Rail and Road.

Nearest Railway Station: Kathgodam
Distance from kathgodam: 25 kms
Trains: Ranikhet Express is the best option from Delhi if you wish to travel by train.
Days of Run: All 7 days
Class Available: 1A/C, 2A/C, 3A/C and Sleeper
Book Tickets Online:

RoadMap/Route from Delhi :
From Delhi, take National Highway NH 24 for Moradabad via Hapur Bypass and Gajraula. Please DO NOT enter Moradabad City. Take right for Moradabad Bypass (Landmark: Hotel Best Western). Please note that Moradabad Bypass is a toll road. After crossing the Bypass, take LEFT U-turn for Kashipur (You dont have to go via Kashipur) and after 1-2 kms the road will take compulsory right turn. Follow the road for about 6 - 8 kms till you see a board indicating RIGHT for Bajpur. Take Right Turn for Bajpur and then onto Kaladungi. Keep going straight from Kaladungi till you hit a T-junction of Haldwani. From the T-junction take RIGHT Turn and you will cross haldwani city and again hit a T-junction. Take LEFT Turn from there and follow the road to Kathgodam. Cross the kathgodam bridge and start climbing up. Take the Right Turn for Bhimtal (from the "Y" where one road is going to Nainital and the other to Bhimtal) and come to Naukuchiatal.

"Tadka" by Bhajan at BP Petrol Pump (Opposite Meriton) in Gajraula is a nice place to have vegetarian "dhaba" food. Celebrities stop by at Tadka to have food and the happening and extrememely friendly Sardarji, Mr. Bedi has put up framed pictures of him with some of the hotties of Bollywood :-) Open 24 hrs.

Meriton is a vegetarian fast food option in Gajraula. from Chat papri, Chholey Bhature to main Course, this restaurant offers a lot of variety. Open 1000 hrs - 2200 hrs

Best Western's multi cuisine Pastry Shop/Restaurant on Gajraula - Moradabad Highway serves excellent food. Open 24 hs.

A sip of Nirvana!!!

Ever thought of Slice of a sky, a misty blue lake and the Himalayas coupled together? Or ever thought of the Changing Seasons, ever changing colour of the lake water, waking up to bird songs, barking of the muntjac and yet that silence and peace of mind never getting disturbed?? You think, think and think till you reach this paradise called, Naukuchiatal!!!

Nau-kuchia-tal, meaning nine-cornered lake is situated in the foothills of Kumaon and part of Uttarakhand state (erstwhile Uttaranchal) in India. Naukuchiatal comes under the lake district of Nainital and a very important part of the Rural Tourism inititiative of Uttarakhand Tourism and Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam Ltd. It is the deepest lake in the lake district of Nainital and lost in acres of oak forest in the lesser Himalayas. Naukuchiatal can be so easily accessed from Corbett (60 kms), Nainital (25 kms) and Bimtal (04 kms) that more and more people are covering this beautiful lake in their itinerary.

Naukuchiatal is nourished by an underwater spring, which keeps its water levels high. It is said that a single view of all nine corners of Naukuchiatal will bestow Nirvana upon the onlooker. The folklore attracts a lot of tourists to Naukuchiatal but finding that spot is not easy. Nevertheless, the beauty of Naukuchiatal will freak you out and some lucky ones can taste a sip of nirvana at no extra charge :)