Welcome to Naukuchiatal in the Himalayas. Serene, peaceful, mystical, beautiful…
The stay at Ramgarh had been an uplifting and nurturing one. I loved the pristine silence in the air which relieved me from the intolerable jingles of the metros. As all good things come to an end, soon I was on an unwilling retreat back to the bustle of metros. While on my way back, I had couple of hours spare which was just enough to discover the small town of Naukuchiatal which stays on the brink of being acclaimed as “hill station” but fall short of it. It’s the next door neighbour to little busier and known place- Bhimtal. Both the town have one similarity i.e. the beautiful “tal” meaning a “lake” which give the very name to it and they are so intermingled with each other that you won’t even realize when you have stepped into the territory of the other.
While on my way back from Ramgarh, I de boarded the local bus at Bhimtal lake to board a local taxi which dropped me right in front of the famous Naukuchiatal- the lake with nine corners. I bypassed few intervening restaurants before I could get an unobstructed view of the nine corned lake. The panoramic view of the lake was enough to make anybody immerse in its prettiness. The azure sky intertwined with lake water painting it all blue. The sun shine rippled farther and farther with the water making it prettier to the eyes. On the shore, few duck shaped boats lounged waiting for it riders to be paddled into serene company of the lake. The wind around the lake had a slight coolness as compared to the rest of area which was truly a boon in such a hot weather. Soon the lake shore was busted with families, couples, youngster groups waiting for their turn in the duck boat, shikara and their clamouring had somewhat diluted its earlier serenity. I do not blame them, they were doing what they came for: enjoyment; but it didn’t just suited me as I expect some silence and peace from such trips.
I determined to find my own space along this vast nine corned lake. I had visited this place around 10 years back during a school trek and my eyes started hunting for some familiar location. I remembered that during my last visit we were taken along the lake shore amid the woods. I hurried my eyes all over the place and soon found some clue but wasn’t really sure. I strolled through the mud path which became leaner as I moved forwards. Few more steps, there were string of broken and unusable boats lined up like retired army fleet and were now home to some of marine life of the lake. A few more steps, there was a tree trunk shaped like a snake with some of its roots floating in water and other piercing the earth. I went near to the water and looked closely, I could see minute toads (all these years I thought they were fish) running like athletes running a 100m.
My Private Shore on Naukuchiatal
There was hardly any noise in air apart from occasional chattering sound emanating from nearby resort. I had found my private shore along the stunning Naukuchiatal. I lied down on ground with some support from my backpack and got completely engrossed in the view in front. Time seemed to have stopped as I could listen to my own breath and heartbeat. The silent air devoid of any artificial movement/sound had rejuvenated me entirely. I felt so relaxed that I didn’t knew when I was asleep being continuously caressed by cool winds blowing over the lake. The pebbles underneath didn’t seem to bother my sleep at all.
I didn’t know how long was I knocked out. When I got up I decided to head back to Bhimtal but not through the way I came but the other way along the Naukuchiatal. While on my way back, I was really envied by private estates which had the privilege and luxury of watching the lake every day from their windows. Rambling through the muddy trails, cemented paths, metalled roads and enjoying the lake, I didn’t realized when the Naukuchiatal was replaced by Bhimtal.
A temple amid Bhimtal Lake
Boats on Bhimtal Lake
When I reached the shore of Bhimtal (the lake), it was teeming with food stall, kiosks, restaurants and tourists. The autumn had just arrived leaving only pink flowers on the nearby trees making it look more beautiful. On the shore lied the fleet of multi coloured boats ferrying the tourists in and out. The nature had once again won mine and many other tourists’ hearts with its simplicity and beauty.
Such splendid views and experiences are the reason for my journeys and I hope that there is no end to such journeys!