It was my parents’ 25th marriage anniversary and I thought of taking them to a hill station for a small vacation. You can call it an impromptu trip because it was planned precisely 3-4 days before the date on which we set off. Before leaving, we booked a convenient Kathgodam taxi service, from home. We flew off to Delhi the day before their anniversary. We stayed for one night in Delhi and began our journey on the next day.
After a 7 hours long journey to Kathgodam, we entered our hotel and relaxed for an hour or so. We reached Kathgodam at around 2 PM so we had the entire day to explore the lovely location. Kathgodam is a town situated in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand. Haldwani lies to the south of Kathgodam and the distance between them is just about 15 minutes. Kathgodam has an abundance of entertainment to offer for people of all ages. Since it was their anniversary, we decided to go for a small picnic at the dam of the river Gaula. The Gaula River, also known as Kichha, starts in the Lesser Himalayas and eventually expands itself to an enormous size – five hundred and ten kilometres in length.
In the metropolitan cities, we generally do not get the chance to explore such vibrant and spectacular sights. There were young boys swimming and enjoying themselves in the river, while young couples were sitting, holding hands and talking. Young parents were playing with their toddlers in the stream and youngsters were holding hands of their grandparents in order to assist them in reaching the waterway. I was there sitting with my parents and enjoying the rocky snow-covered mountain ranges surrounding the river. There could have been no better feeling than spending such quality time with them on such a remarkable day of their lives. We rested throughout the evening and celebrated their anniversary by cutting small muffins and ordering room service for dinner. We had our food sitting in the balcony while gazing at the crystal clear sky.
Exploring More of Kathgodam-Haldwani
The next day we visited the Sheetla Devi Temple and Kalichaud Temple which are two very popular sites of Kathgodam for travellers. No one should fail to pay a visit to the enchanting Sat Tal which acts as a linkage to the group of seven freshwater lakes located in the Lower Himalayan Range near Bhimtal, which is a town of the Nainital district in Uttarakhand. The last spot of the day was the Bhimtal Lake which was around 1.5 hours from Sattal. Kathgodam and Haldwani are most well-known for their lakes and rivers. While returning back to the hotel we had some local snacks at a roadside shop and returned to our hotel to rest for the night.
A Short Trip to Ranikhet
On the next day in Kathgodam, we decided to visit the nearby famous hill station of Ranikhet. Not only is it famous as a location for film-shootings but also for its boarding schools. A hill station known for its views of the Himalayas, our driver suggested that we visit a few sunset points and the famous Jhula Devi Temple for a fulfilling experience.
Jhula Devi temple is an ancient temple known to be built during the early 8th century. It is located seven kilometres away from Ranikhet near Chaubatia. It is known for its clump of gracefully designed bells. Situated on the Kumaon Hill, in the lap of such a serene and beautiful natural setting, Jhula Devi Temple has its deity sitting on a jhula or swing. The locals over there believe that goddess Durga is the protector of the people of the valley. It is also broadly believed that whoever ties a bell on the temple wall, is granted fulfilment of his/ her desire in due course of time.
The Final Day
Who does not want to pay a visit to the delightful Nainital? An hour away from Kathgodam, we started early to reach Nainital as early as possible and explore it in the little time we had. We went for a boat ride on the way to the Naina Devi temple, nestled between the huge mountain ranges. I generally do not visit temples too often, but I could not resist entering this one. We also went to the local market and did a little shopping, had the famous momos and returned to Kathgodam to pack our bags. We reached our hotel in the evening and booked a cab in Delhi to pick us up.
The next day we returned to Delhi and took a flight back to Kolkata. It was a hectic day for us indeed, but in the end, it was all worth it. It was worth making the impromptu decisions, starting off the journey without any prior reservations and ultimately celebrating their special day in such an extra-special way.
Image Credits: Ashish Joshi