Perhaps everyone needs to have a breather from his mundane schedule. Irritating snarl-ups, freighted with foul smells of gases emitted by vehicles, and cringy noise of traffic swarms is all what makes our life cumbersome and our schedule even more tiring. People often get depressed and vexed with their life and the condition gets more complicated when you’re running low on funds.
An escape destination is what we call an answer to this inexplicable problem. A pleasant environment will not only soothe your inner-self, but shrug off the layers of worry and panic from your mind. Out of all the major tourist attractions and places I’ve visited till now, I really cannot refute from the fact that, Uttarakhand probably is deluged with uncountable number of places for an Indian, to retire. Nainital, not favorite though, is among my favorite travel destinations. I’ve been pursuing my bachelors from Bhimtal, and it all feels so comely to me. However, Nainital is about 22 kilometers or so in distance, (and 700 m above in heights !) from the place where I am currently writing this post, but I’ve visited Nainital quite a few times.
It was just the onset of the new year, 2013, when we all were about to experience snowfall for the very first time, and I never knew the adventure would become this much enthralling! I was unaware about the fact that my very first snow adventure would be such a memorable one. As we took a cab to Bhowali, we started to sense the air getting chiller and our hearts getting purred with excitement. We were a group of 5, and had nothing other than a bottle of water, before we started our first snowy adventure, which, in turn, was more of a “trekking” and “expedition to no-mans-land” kind of experience. The cab dropped us all in Bhowali, and I could easily see the mountain peaks covered with snow, fog, mist, mouths of people blowing smoke without cigarettes, and I could sense the “off-beat” feeling, that’s simply is beyond what words in my dictionary can explain well enough. We were somehow able to catch a bus, which was over-crammed with people, primarily being some local school children. This, as we all deciphered, was due to the constraints of the traffic as a result of heavy snowfall, which was still a “welcoming” and “invigorating” news for all of us. The bus could run no more than 20 or may be at times 30, because of the traffic rules and safety regulations, and it took us somewhat more than 30 minutes to cover a “little 11 kilometers”.
Snow was here, snow was there, and over anything and everything I could see (except for my spects, before we started playing “snow-balls”!). We all made our way to Tiffin Top that very day, but the most strange thing was, that we all took the path which was simply “no-mans-land” and was really pain-staking. Just a slip of a leg, and you’re no more to live!
Well, this fear and apprehension (which especially I was feeling) was just a part of the snowy adventure we were experiencing, and it turned into an inexpressible ardour when we reached “Tiffin Top” or “Dorothy’s Seat”, a terraced hill top (2,292 m (7,520 ft)) on Ayarpatta hill which is a 4 km (2.5 mi) hike from the town centre (via normal route through the Sherwood School) and commands a nice view of the neighbouring country side. Dorothy’s Seat is a stonework picnic perch on Tiffin Top built as a memorial to a British Army Officer’s wife, Dorothy Kellet, by her husband Col J.P. Kellett DSO MC, City of London Regiment, and admirers after her death from septicaemia aboard a ship bound for England to be with her 4 children, Elizabeth, Joan, Barbara and Richard. She was buried at sea in The Red Sea in 1936.
The view from Tiffin Top goes simply beyond words. The winds are quite blowy there and if you ever go there make sure you have plenty of warm clothes (However, if you take no horses or helpers, the trepid treck is enough to warm you, like us! The journey to Tiffin Top can be taken through a hiker’s route or through a horse path. It is advisable for people who have trouble walking to take a horse ride (cost can be anything between 500 – 700 bucks). If you intend to take the hiker’s route, make sure your walking gear is up to the mark ( ie shoes much have flexible soles) because there are plenty of ups and downs along the way which can give aching feet. The “Nainital wala pain” lasted me for a week, and it became an herculean task for me to descend the mountain, as my shoe-sole was quite slippery and plain. The road to Tiffin Top crawls along the rugged hill side swaying this way & that, and than all in one breadth in hushed silence suddenly unfolds a canvas on which nature has painted this beautiful spot. Whats more, It commands an excellent view of the Himalayas as well as the neighboring country side. Some even claim that one can see Chinese borders on a clear sunny day.
Above there, one can find warm tea and maggi or pakoda in the tiffin shops near the cliff which seem to be very invigorating once we reach there. Though the rates are slightly high for the snacks but the environment calls for some tasty warm snacks.
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