“It’s not just the destination, but the entire journey and company that makes the entire trip a cherishable experience.”
So, on father’s day I decided to walk down the memory lane and gather my old memories of our summer vacations family trip. A short trip with Mummy, Papa & my younger siblings full of fun and frolic.
Being in Bareilly those days, Nainital (Hill station in Uttrakhand) used to be the most premium destination for a family trip in summer vacations. So, going back to my school days, here comes my blog on our most awaited trip of summer vacations.
Bareilly to Nainital is just 150 kms away. With Papa fond of driving, we often used to plan this trip with our own car. It is always so difficult to get up early for school, but on the trip day, all 3 of us (me, my sister & my brother), we used to get up in one call. Getting ready for our dream destination used to fuel us with so much energy.
It was so much fun for us. Me and my siblings used to pack up the car with all our priced possessions (Comics, Play cards, Balls, Ludo, Candies, Chips, Chocolates and what not) making our car a small little home. And yes, how can we forgot stuffing the deck with dozens of cassettes for listening music on the way. Yes, it was an era with no pen-drives & no CD players. And we were unstoppable. Then finally mummy papa used to shout, “We are not going there to live forever. You have kept enough for our 3 days trip.”
Starting early morning with fresh breeze, it was so refreshing and relaxing. The air strokes on our face and hair were more soothing than the spa therapies these days. Yes, we used to travel with car windows open, enjoying the natural freshness of the air unlike these days (moving in a closed AC Car).
There was no internet, GPS, smartphones and I wonder now, how Papa used to take us to all the way just following the signboards. We used to have our preferences on music and we used to keep rotating on window seats, sometimes reading comics, sometimes admiring the natural beauty on the way, sometimes playing and sometimes fighting for small little things (Like how dare you ate that last toffee of orange flavor, it was mine).
We used to take few halts on the way for “Pakodas”, “Bhutta’s” & “Kullad ki Chai”. Away from the city crowd, a highway stop amidst trip is always so awesome. Ordering the tempting delicacies and filling us with mouthwatering dishes was an awesome experience.
And finally we arrived Nainital, (at an altitude of 2084 meters), popularly known as “Lake City”. I and my siblings used to shout with enthusiasm, “We have reached”.
We used to book hotel at Mall Road (it was not pre-booked online those days). As soon as room was booked, all of us used to look at Papa with a gaze that now we have got the room, let’s keep luggage and go out to explore.
Naini Lake/Mango Lake :
Away from the heat waves of Bareilly, it was now time to go for a boat ride at Naini Lake.It is also known as Mango Lake, as it’s of mango shape & it is the most beautiful fresh body natural lake in Nainital, situated amidst the township. Sitting in a boat was adventure for us & going on a ride in water was so much fun. (We didn’t used to have water parks all around those days, so fun with water was a long awaited thing for us).
The boat house at Naini Lake gives an amazingly beautiful view. It’s lovely. The surrounding beauty of mountain ranges, the breath taking views, the ultimate sunrise and sunset views, it was all so amazing. It was a wonderful treat to our mind, body and souls.
A trip to the Naini Lake is perhaps incomplete if one doesn’t indulge in boating here. I have visited Nainital numerous times, but when I will visit again, I can’t imagine missing this boat ride.
We also used to seek the blessings of Goddess Naina Devi at Shri Maa Naina Devi Temple which is situated at the edge of the famous Naini Lake.
After taking blessings at the temple, mummy papa just used to sit back, relax and enjoy the views of the beautiful Naini Lake from the temple. And me and my siblings in spite of being tired used to run after each other enjoying the nature’s beauty, exclaiming to see the clouds, the mountains, the lakes and making imaginary stories of our famous cartoon & comic characters being there with us. We never used to stay settled at one place and Mummy Papa eyes were always glued on us.
We used to feed the birds with food competing among ourselves trying to decide who the best feeder among us is. Another fun filled activity was to get the pics clicked in the traditional dresses that we used to take on rent.
Near to the lake there is gaming zone and skating court. When it comes to skating, you just can’t escape it. All of us used to love it.
Strolling on the Mall Road :
Nainital’s Mall Road, which is a major shopping hub of the town, runs parallel to the Naini Lake, and is a must visit for every shop-a-holic! My mom and sister used to be crazy for shopping – Shopping at Mall Road and Tibetan Market. It’s famous for a variety of things like handicrafts, candles, wooden artefacts, handlooms and shawls. I often used to pick small cute things for my friends.
This is one of the busiest roads of Nainital with most of the hotels, restaurants, Cafes, and shops located here. We often used to visit “Embassy” restaurant which is famous for yummy Choupsey & Sizzler. I used to love the piping hot sizzler & it served us with the kind of warmth we need on a chilly day. We also used to have Momos at Sonam fast food & Punjabi food at Sher- E- Punjab. Also, Boat House Club is famous for Fine Dining Dinner along the Lake.
With the cool breeze blowing across the lake through the road, an evening stroll on the Mall road is a unique experience in itself.
If you still have time left in the day, you may visit the Kainchi Dham, Eco cave Garden, and the Snow View Point.
Tiffin Top :
After the boat ride and bit of shopping, we moved to Tiffin top. It’s a beautiful journey from Mall road to the Tiffin Top. One side with fences and rocks and other side with beautiful Naini Lake. Climbing up on that, we could witness the mango shape of lake. The pleasant weather and chirping sounds of birds and we also trying to mimic those sounds was so much fun. Few people also used to take horse ride to the temple & my bother always used to tease me comparing my hair ponytail with that of horse’s tail. There can be nothing better than walking together with your family in the shadow of your parents feeling protected, secured, & loved all the time. Sometimes, the breeze used to be chilled as we moved up, and we used to wear jackets. Coming from scorching heat of Bareilly, and wearing Jackets here, it was an interesting thing for us & we again used to tease each other saying, now you have to wear it even when we return home.
With bird’s eye view of the entire town, the peaceful and serene environment makes it irresistible for tourists and photographers to check out the place. Even we used to capture these beautiful scenes in our camera (That was not the time of Digi cams, so we didn’t used to click unlimited pics. But, all masterpiece views with our smiles and laughter and unique poses were always captured beautifully).
On clearer days, one can also get hold of the majestic view of Nanda Devi and the Naini Lake. Some adventure activities such as rappelling and rock climbing are conducted at Tiffin Top. For trekking, the hike is about 4 kms long from the city center.
Land’s End :
We used to hire 5 horses and visit Land’s end (located at approx. 2,118m above the sea level). Now, horse riding was another adventure for us. Sometimes screaming in fear, sometimes shouting aloud making noises of horse running, sometimes laughing and sometimes teasing each other, we used to enjoy every second of the trip. With the exquisite view of the plains and the awesome Khurpa Tal (a lake), Land’s End is among the most favorite tourist spots in Nainital. The place offers a picturesque sight for the tourists and of course the name makes it more curious for the visitors to experience the incredible view of valleys, snow clad mountains and lakes.
We also used to visit Birla School & Papa was alumni there. Papa used to narrate us some stories of his school days while we used to roam around the big & amazing school campus.
When it was the time to check out from Hotel, we all wanted to look back at each other and then at Papa can we stay for 1 more day. Away from school studies and homework and being part of this peaceful environment with so many things to explore, it was always difficult to bid farewell and wait for another long year to visit again. The freshness and closeness of Nature – Trees, Mountains, Clouds, Lakes, and refreshing breeze, it was a perfect world for us. It has been years now but the memories are still afresh. On the way back, we keep recollecting our experiences that are to be shared with friends when school reopens. Yes, those were not the days of Facebook & Watsapp, but we made sure that we narrate each moment of our trip to them when school reopens.
Those days were beautiful & I still close my eyes and feel myself to be a part of that world with me as a school going kid, hanging out with my siblings and parents.
On this Father’s Day, my Heart wants to speak out –
“I LOVE YOU PAPA,
YOU HAVE GIVEN ME,
THE BEST OF EVERYTHING,
BE WITH ME ALWAYS,
HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!!”