Thursday, March 5, 2015

A Road Trip to City of Lakes, Nainital

Have you ever been to the city of lakes, Nainital? If you noded yes, then you are a lucky guy else this is the time for you to visit this place. I get a chance to visit Nainital last year. It was a family trip and we drove at our own. Nainital is one of the favorite tourist destination in India. Every year thousand of tourists come here to see the beauty of Naini lake. Although, best time to visit Nainital is from Mar to June, yet you can visit this place throughout the year. Naini lake has its own beauty in different seasons. Nainital is a hill station and is famous of Naini lake and some other lakes around the city. 

I had planned for this trip long time ago, but due to Diwali, the plan was postponed for a week. After chath festival, we decided to go Nainital in the first week of November 2014. As it was a family trip, I booked a room before we started for this journey. Our hotel, "Spring Birds" was based in Naukuchiatal, 25 kilometers away from Nainital. It happens, in a family trip you need to take care of all the things in advance. Nainital is a hill station based in the Indian state of Uttrakhand. It is around 300 kms away from New Delhi and is well connected with different cities of India through different modes of transportation. 

Our journey began when we all three (Archana, Shaurya and me) started from home at around 5:20 in the morning on November 1st. We were driving at our own and I was the only member to drive. Nainital is around 360 kilometers away from my home. Best way to reach Nainital via road is Palwal --> Faridabad --> Delhi --> Noida --> Ghaziabad --> Garhmukteshwar --> Muradabad --> Rampur --> Rudrapur --> Haldwani --> Kathgodam --> Nainital. However, if you are travelling via train then you need to de-board at Kathgodam which is well connected with different cities of India. You can hire a taxi or get a local bus from Kathgodam to Nainital. 

By 6 o'clock, we crossed Faridabad and entered in Delhi. Here, we get fuel for our car and then proceed for Nainital. In next 20 minutes, we crossed delhi border and entered in Noida. The time we crossed Noida, there was no traffic and we had a smooth drive in Noida. Otherwise, in office hours there is always a huge traffic in Noida. Before 7 o'clock, we were running on NH 24 towards Garhmukteshwar. On this road, initially, we faced slow moving traffic but after crossing Dasna toll plaza, the traffic was smooth. We drove one hour non-stop on this road and reached Garhmukteshwar toll plaza. 

Before this journey, I read on various websites that road to Nainital is not very good. But during this journey, I found that road condition is very good and you would love to drive on such roads. During this trip, I never felt that driving my own car on this trip was a bad decision. Actually, we had a bad experience during our last trip to Lansdowne this year. So, I was not in favor of driving at my own to anywhere in Uttrakhand. Anyways, we crossed Zoya toll gate by 9 AM. In next half an hour, we reached Muradabad and paid at two consecutive tolls here. Total amount we spent on toll during this trip is given below:

Badarpur - 25 
Dasna - 15 
Garhmukteshwar - 45 
Zoya - 55 
Muradabad - 15x2=30 
Same amount we paid during our return journey. 

We crossed Rampur and turned left to drive on NH 87. This road leads to Haldwani via Bilaspur and Rudrapur. We drove around one and half hour on this road to reach Rudrapur. In Rudrapur, road is divided in two directions. We turned right, drove 100 meters and turned left for Haldwani. This route is very beautiful and surrounded by green lush trees. The area comes under Tanda region and this road connects you to Nainital via Haldwani, Kathgodam. When we passed through Haldwani, we saw Kathgodam railway station on the roadside. 

When you cross Kathgodam, hill area starts with beautiful views on roadside. Nainital comes under kumaon region of Uttarakhand and Kathgodam is known as gateway of Kumaon region while kotdwar is known as gateway of Garhwal region. I always love to drive on hills. We reached Bhimtal by 2 PM, we stopped near Bhimtal Lake for our lunch. Our hotel was not far away from here, we spent some time here and then started for our hotel. It was a beautiful day and weather was very pleasant.

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