Monday, September 24, 2012

Summer Break at Kausani

This time I planned for a slightly longer and relaxed summer getaway ....Well don't start jumping into conclusions - it was not a month long break. It was just that instead of the customary 3 nights I planned for 4 nights instead.

I was looking for a peaceful place away from hustle & bustle and maddening crowds which are so common in summer travels to hill stations. After quite a bit of research on internet and considering multiple options, I zeroed upon this place called kausani. The important inputs on this place were that it is hometown of the famous Hindi poet Sumitranandan Pant Ji. Also, Gandhiji had visited this place - and overstayed his planned tour by 2 weeks. The tour plan included choosing a hotel and getting train tickets booked. After some more research online, I selected Hotel Krishna Mountainview which seemed like a decent choice, mostly going by reviews on tripadvisor. I booked both ways Shatabdi tickets to Kathgodam as well.

Then on the designated day we reached Anand Vihar station (yes, the Kathgodam shatabdi starts from here and not from New Delhi) early and boarded the train. The rake was pretty old and not too inviting - but we did not have a choice. The journey was good as usual - like any Shatabdi journey - with regular supply of food & beverages !!!

Once we reached Kathgodam, we need to take cab to reach Kausani. Cabs are easily available - there were lots around as Kathgodam is the central point from where people travel to lot of different hill stations. The rates are standard - and it was the same as I has researched on internet and also checked from the hotel. The cab that we decided on was a brand new white Alto. The driver told it would be almost a 5 hour journey - though I expected it will be shorter. It was pretty hot at Kathgodam but we expected it to get cooler as we went higher in the hills. We started the journey and started moving towards our destination. Though we were getting into the hilly terrain, but somehow the heat refused to subside. Both my mother and me were feeling extremely uncomfortable due to the heat induced nauseating feeling. We are not in a position for taking any lunch and decided to have some soft drinks only. My father had some lunch as he was feeling hungry.

Post the lunch stop, it got more uncomfortable going through the winding roads in the heat. Somehow the weather refused to cool down. So to make us feel better, we requested the cab driver to switch on the AC - which immediately made us more comfortable. It was strange that the AC had to be put on in the hills as well - that tells a lot on the vast climatic changes that are happening across our planet. The cab driver, being a local was mentioning that it is due to dwindling greenery and cutting of more & more trees, it was getting warmer every year.

And then driving through the winding hilly roads, we finally reached our destination. On the way we passed through Almora and saw the road towards the Ramkrishna Mission. We decided that on the way back, we will stop by here - as it was also the Guru Purnima day.

We were feeling very tired and unwell by the time we reached the hotel. The cab driver offered a 4 day package wherein he would stay back and take us everywhere that we planned to visit during our stay in Kausani. That we we will be saved of the hassle of looking for a new cab everyday and definitely it made business sense for him.

We decided that we will do local sightseeing, go to Ranikhet and visit Almora while returning. I had earlier planned to squeeze in Nainital if possible, but going by the long tedious journey from Kathgodam to Kausani, we decided to just take short trips & relax rather than long travels by road.

We checked in to the hotel and just crashed in after freshening up. After few hours of sleep, we got up to have some dinner and then retired for the day. The view from the hotel balcony was just beautiful with greeney all around but due to being tired, we could not enjoy it on day one.

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