I have always admired the idea of Storytelling. A Story takes you on a journey. Imaginary or Real. It has the power to Time Travel you. Well, Let me tell you a story of how I ended up being in the secluded place in Uttarakhand. An enigmatic and mysterious travel diary. I harbored a dream of seeing the Tall Mountains of North India for a long time, but when it came down to finally planning a short trip earlier this year, I had no clue where to begin. It was one real Adventurous travel of my life.
Since I had very few days to explore the Ranges and vicinity, I simply packed my bags, Booked Tickets, and flew to Delhi.Since it was a last moment plan, I relied on none other than Goibibo, it always offers me affordable tickets and lot of coupon codes. It wasn’t the best time to visit Delhi or any part of North India. The reason being, it was pouring heavily and I remember how last time Uttarakhand was badly affected by Floods and Landslide. Ignoring these true facts, I moved on with my best friend.
Yes, We reached Delhi Bus stop at around 11.30 pm and Delhi being Delhi, looked scary and smogged. I remember booking a Sleeper bus but alas it was a Semi Sleeper from mybustickets , a cleaned Recliner Bus for 8 hours. So I was totally ready for the Adventurous journey cum travel ahead. And I always wanted to do this.
The Zig Zag Travel. It is a True adventure that opens the doors and takes you on a Mystery ride. An Adventurous way of living travel plans and diaries.
I recollected “Never plan too much. Listen to your gut. It is trying to tell you something”. I listened to it and here I was. In Uttarakhand. We got down at the Bus stop and The thing was real. There we were. Standing without any Hotel booking, A place to stay or at the least hide our heads. There will be times when you will feel stripped off. You will be scared but hey, focus on the Journey. The Destination is always beautiful. Back to Reality! We saw cabs and shared taxis for Bhimtal. With full confidence, We asked the driver to leave us to Bhimtal. A Place I had never heard of. With what lied ahead was unknown yet quite interesting and full of suspense.
We reached Bhimtal in 50minutes. A little background of Bhimtal. It is a town and a Nagar Palika in Nainital district in the state of Uttarakhand, India. I read it somewhere, it is an offbeat version of Nainital, most famous for the picturesque Bhimtal Lake. Back to where we were. So, It was 8: 00 am and it was raining. Yes, we didn’t have any umbrellas and we hadn’t really slept. Also, our stomachs were asking for food. The shops and restaurants were all shut. I realized that this is going to be not just an adventurous travel for our bodies but also for our Mind and Stomach. Unlike Mumbai, where you will find food at wee hours. We missed the Street food. However, That’s what makes this destination apart from a known place.
In the same way, how situations are different, people are different, circumstances are different, Places can be different too. And so should be your reaction towards it. Actually, I read it somewhere in Tahir Shah’s blog,
A Travel story is made where There is No foreign land only the traveler is foreign”.
Yes! We were foreign to it but it welcomed us. We had no idea of what things to do or what to see. But, We got a place to stay in a Homestay amidst green lush trees overseeing the giant mountains. We spent a few hours watching the mountains from the terrace. Then moved to explore this place called Bhimtal. We thanked God and the universe, literally for all these things.
Well! So My friend spotted a waterbody somewhere in the place from atop and argued that we check it out. We thought of walking instead of hiring a cab or taking a lift. Life was slow. I could hear my own breath. The atmosphere was clearer than ever. Spotted a glimpse of the great Himalayan peaks. The beauty was spellbound and surreal. We trekked for 3-4 km to reach the water body which was, in fact, a lake. But still, we were never out of breath. People were at ease. It was not a fast-paced life.
“This is the place where one could actually wander and have great imaginations. “
After all, Great ideas are born out in great places like these. Now I see why Writers and Curators travel to places like these. Anyways, I could have walked the same distance twice. However, it was already dark. Yes, Mountainous places tend to get darker early when compared to Cities. There were no Street lights. Also, we had to travel back to our Homestay. It was chilling. We were on the land of strangers. Somehow we managed to get a shared Taxi. It is a bit difficult to get a private taxi. We agreed on the commute and watched the dark mountains. We could see some lights on the mountains.
Real Adventurous time began with Real stories on our travel back to our homestay
That’s how the driver shared some light on the Story of Nandadevi mountains and its history. He said, “Nandadevi is a two peaked mountain, named after the goddesses Nanda and Sunanda. These goddesses have occurred together in ancient Sanskrit literature (Srimad Bhagavatam or Bhagavata Purana) and are worshipped together as twins in the Kumaon, Garhwal”. And how “The Nanda Devi Jat is celebrated every year in the Nanda Devi temples spread across the Garhwal and Kumaon regions of Uttarakhand”.
We listened to him like young kids listening to bedtime stories. It was interesting to know real stories from people who have lived there. We reached our Destination, our place to hide our heads and save us from the darkness. Life is such that, it will always surprise you. All in all, We got Food, A place, Experiences and Stories that we would have never googled. Life teaches us in the best and magical ways. You just need to have patience. Your guts and the lights will guide you.