Sunday, October 19, 2008

Nainital Almora Binsar Ranikhet Kaushani Choukori Patal-Bhubaneshwar

At one go in Kumaon Himalayas we comfortably visited the famous lake of Nainital, awesome Himalayan beauty from Almora, Ranikhet, Choukori, and Binsar and the ancient cave of Patal-Bhubaneshwar. We enjoyed the busy and colorful Nainital, solitary Binsar with natural forest, Kaushani and chukaori with its stillness and himalayan splendour all in one trip.

The best time to travel Kumaon is from March to May and october to November. Better avoid this route in rainy season July and August.


Nainital is the center point of travel this circuit. It is 34 Km from the nearest Railway Station Kathgodam at an altitude of 1938 Mtrs. It can be reached either from Kathgodam or Haldwani 40 Kms. Haldwani is 8 Km from Lalkua, the nearest Railway station. From both these places cars, share cabs, buses are available. Road is also well maintained. The car from these place will cost INR 275 and the bus fare INR 50 - 70.

The main attraction of nainital is its beautiful natural lake, Tal, which is named Nainital because of the Naini mata, the temple of the devi mata is there in one side of the lake. All the hoels, markets are there around the lake, which look so beautiful with the lush green vegetations all around.

A British hunter P. Baron discoverd this place in 1839 AD and made a pilgrim cottage here on 1942. At one side of the lake there is the temple of Naini Devi. This is a sacred temple of Devi Durga.

Leisurely boating in Naini lake is wonderful experience, will cost INR 125 per hour.

From here walk uphill for 4 Km to reach Dorothy Seat, at 2320 Mtrs, from where the whole Naini lake is beautifully visible. Though pony is available for this short climb but it is better to walk to enjoy the nature to its fullest extant. Snow View Peak at 2287 Mtrs is another point which can be reached by pony, or by cable car. 250 Kms of Himalayan range is visible from here by telescope from here. At 2640 Mtrs Naina peak is 6.5 Kms from Nainital is a beautiful spot from where the views of gorgeous peaks of Himalayas Trishul, Nandadevi, Nandaghunti, Aapi, Nanjangh mesmerized us. Witnessing the sunrise from here can be a life time experience. A part of China is visible from here, hence it is also known as China Peak. Interested tourists can stay here in the Log hut.

1.5 Kms from the bus stand there is zoo of Nainital, where animals of high altitude are kept. Khurpatal 5 Kms from Nainital is a lake is a paradise for the those who love fishing.

The places of interest in Nainital are Lands end, Mukteshwar, Kilbari, State Observatory, Hanuman gari, Tiffin top, Ramgarh, Bhawali, Laria Kanta, Sattal, Bhimtal, Naokuchia Tal etc.

Package tour is available in Nainital by different tour operators.

Three lake tour -1 day- INR 150

Mukteshwar 52 Kms - INR 200

Pithoragarh - Lohaghat - Patalbhubaneshwar - Ranikhet, Bageshwar, Almora - 4 days - INR 500

Kaushani - 2days - INR 400

Choukori - Bhawali - Almora - Kaushani - 3 days - INR 400

Binsar - 2 days - INR 300

Ranikhet - INR 225

Korbet Park - INR 225

Hiring a car I always prefer, though little costiler, INR 1600/ day, but we enjoy the freedom of our movement.

Staying in Nainital:

STD code +915942

Tariff are for DB room

Hotel Manas Sarovar ( ph: 235581) INR 500 - 1000

Hotel Ashok ( Ph: 235721) INR 500 - 600

Hotel Himalaya ( Ph: 235258 / 587) INR 1600 - 3000

Hotel Hill View ( Ph: 235361) INR 800 - 1200

There are many hotels, one can choose according to budget. The rates vary in seasons and off seasons. April to June and October - November is the peak season here.


It is an important district town of Kumaon. This place is known from long ago for its healthy weather. People use to come here and stay for long time to rejuvinate their health. World renowned personalities like Rabindranath Tagore, Swami Vivekananda, Udai Shankar were very fond of Almora.

7 Km from the town over the Kashyap Hill there is temple of Kamar Devi. According to Puran, Devi Durga killed Shumbha and Nishumbha here. Sarada Ashram is beside this temple. Serene natural beauty all around. Dalma guest house (+91 5962 251118/ 078 ) is the place where one can stay Tariff INR 600 for DB room.

8 Km from the town is the Temple of Chitai Devi. This temple is in a huge compound and in a beautiful location. Devotees tie bells and colorful clothes on the temple to fulfil their wishes.

12 km from the town is Katarmal Surya Temple. Last 2 km of the road we hadt walk to reach here. This temple is now a national property and is looked after by the Archeological Department of India. Jogeshwar is another beautiful place 35 kms from Almora amidst the Deodar forest. 124 temples are there in Jogeshwar. It is one of the twelve Jyotirlingas. Two rivers Nandini and Surabhi are flowing down below. Devotees take bath in them. Arrangement of fooding and lodging is avialable here for the ineterested tourists.

Ramkrishna Mission is 2 Km from the town. Okle house, where Swami Vivekananda spent some time is nearby. Bright end corner is 3 km from here from where the fascinating mighty peaks Trishul, Choukhamba, Panchachulli, Nandadevi, Nandakot are beautifuly visible. Other than these there are Ma Anandamoyee Ashram, Govindaballav Museum, Tagore house etc. are worth visiting spots.

Reach Almora from Nainital 63 Kms. by car, bus or conducted tour or it is possible to reach here directly from Haldwani. The nearest airport from Almora is Panthnagar (127 km.)

Stay in Almora:

STD code ( +91 5962)

Tariff of DB room

Hotel Shikhar ( Ph : 230253/ 395 / 156) INR 450 -1500

Hotel Surmal ( Ph: 230460/991) INR 300 - 600

Hotel Konark ( ph: 231217) INR 500 - 1000

KMVN Tourist Bungalow ( ph: 230250) INR 650 - 950

There are more such...

One can stay at the guest house of Ramakrishna Mission at bright end corner too. For that a letter to be dropped to them for reservation beforehand.


38 kms from Almora it was the summer capital of the kings of Chand dynasty. At 2412 Mtrs Binsar is paradise for the nature lovers. Best time to visit Binsar is March to June and September to November. It is wonderful to reach Binsar through the curvy hilly road and the pine forest. After crossing the forest checkpost we drove 11 km to reach KMVN tourist rest house ( +915962 290176) INR 800 - 1200 for DB room. Fascinating view of sunrise can be seen from the roof of the rest house itself. Entrance fee in the jungle is INR 40 per head and INR 50 for the car. Beauty of Binsar is its tranquility. The next day we took a guide (INR 150) and went up to zero point by trekking 3 km inside the jungle. There is a watch tower at that spot.

Note: Please confirm your hotel reservation before reaching Binsar
The two famous resorts in Binsar

Kasar Jungle Resort ( +91 5962 251127)
Mountain resort ( +91 5962 251011) INR 3000 - 4500 per day


Rani means queen. Yes this place can be called queen of the hills. The magnificent snow capped Himalayan peaks is brilliantly visible from here. At 1829 Meters, 50 Km from Almora, this place is well connected by bus service from Nainital, Almora, Haldwani. The places to see here are Kumaon Regimental Museum, closed on wednesdays, Major Somnath Gupta Park, 10Kms from here is Choubatia, where there is research center for fruits. Bhalu Dam is an artificial lake 3 kms from Choubatia. 8 km from the town is Jhuladevi Temple. Golf course is also very beautiful.

Stay at Ranikhet:

STD code: +915966 DB room Tariffs:
KMVN Tourist Bungalow ( Ph: 220893) INR 950 - 1400
Hotel Trivuban ( Ph: 220524) INR 400 - 600
Parvati Inn ( Ph: 220325) INR 800 - 1500
Hotel Himadri ( Ph: 220588) INR 400 - 700


At an altitude of 1890 Meters covered with pines a small place with abundance of natural beauty. This place is well connected by bus from Almora ( 52 Kms), Ranikhet (62 Kms), Nainital (129 Kms), and the Railway Station Kathgodam ( 155 Kms).

Gandhi Ashram is the most prominent place in Kaushani. Standing in the compound, the 300 Kms view of Himalayan Range is awesome! Want to the know the name of the peaks? They are graphically written there in a photo frame. Sunrise from Kaushani! I can go over and over again to view. Please keep 2 or 3 days for Kaushani because every day you will see different views and colors during sunrise depending on the clouds. Sunset also is faboulous. Visited Baijnath Temple 19 kms from here at the bank of Gomti river in Garur valley.

Stay at Kaushani:

STD code +91 5962
DB room tariff

KMVN Tourist bungalow ( Ph: 258006) INR 900 - 1250
Hotel Prashant ( Ph: 258037) INR 500 - 1000
Himalayan Mount View (Ph: 258080) INR 900 - 1500
Hotel Sagar ( Ph: 258018) INR 1000 - 2000
Anasakti Ashram ( Ph: 245028)


Choukhamba, Panchachulli and many other famous peaks are closely visible from Choukori. a
serene place to enjoy the closeness of Himalayan beauty. If interested, one can visit the Kasturi deer farm house about 5 kms from here. 3 kms drive + 2 Kms trekking.
Stay at Choukori:

KMVN Tourist Lodge: ( +91 5964 244345) INR 700
Mahiraj Tent Resort: ( +91 5964 288791) INR 500
Agom resort: ( +91 94120 42455)
Wayfare Mountain Resort ( +91 11 26107715) INR 1200

Patal - Bhubaneshwar:

Here is a ancient cave full of natural stalagmites and stalactiles. They formed many artistic formations like elephants, snakes, god and godessess naturally, fascinating to the eyes. we had to go steep down into the cave and then found a fairly large plane. Nothing is allowed to be carried inside the cave. Sorry no camera! :( Don't forget to take a torch, though there is electricity inside! Guide is compulsory who charged INR 50. Though very slippery inside due to continuous flow of water it was an unique experience altogether.
Patal bhubaneshwar is 39 Kms from Choukori.

There is a tourist lodge of KMVN (+91 5964 242584) INR 450.

Link Website of KMVN


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rajesh said...

Nainital is a place which fascinates me in all seasons. i keep visiting this place as often as i get time.usually i stay in Pangot which is 13km from Nainital, there it is very neat and clean , and economical too . there is one new resort made by the name of Janardan resort , who usually gives us the room at 800/- per day in off season and Rs 1200/- in running season , rooms are big and the main thing is there cook who cooks very delicious food . there is very good trekking route from pangot u can go for shiva mandir down the valley , which is very beautiful place , mandir is constructed over a natural cave which is being used by the Pujari of the mandir , very beautiful stream is running by Mandir premises and a small 16 room dharamshala is there constructed before British era having down to earth infra structure , instead of door , one has to close the door by the help of a stone piece, and lot more to see . it is recomended u all should go there once and stay there for 7 days ,, dont forget to take ur camera with 5X zoom and lot of good battery for taking snap shot of beautiful birds which u may not get any where in world , as all the foreigner comes only to see the birds and wild life and flour and fauna, ........

ashok said...

A beautiful post with great pictures. Thanks for sharing.

Steve Cooper said...

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Sayak said...

Nice blog and great photographs.
My Ranikhet-Nainital blog at
You can take a look and provide your comments.


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anjali gupta said...

Ranikhet is famous for its two temples- jhoola devi mndir and kali devi mndir. The hill station can be visited at any time of the year and hotels in Ranikhet can be pre-booked to make your trip smooth.