Reflections - in Bhimtal Lake
A heading for a travelogue? Sounds a bit out of place! Well this journey was undertaken by me, while surveying the area for a small piece of land for building a post-retirement house for me, in the land whose official travel internet portal opens with the phrase ‘enter the heavenly portals’ and hence the heading. The area I am referring to is Kumaon region of Uttarakhand state in
Silhouette of trees against the golden colour of sun rays
We got past Bhimtal and saw the reflections of the houses on the lake; as usual I could not resist the temptation of taking a shot with my camera. Having gone further ahead I saw the glow of the evening sun setting alight the hills, creating a mesmerizing silhouette of trees against the golden colour of sun rays, again I was tempted to stop and take a shot. My constant stopping of the vehicle, made us lose more of our valuable time and by the time we reached Bhowali, it was already dark. We still decided to head towards Ranikhet, but just before reaching Kainchi were again struck in a traffic jam, caused by the washing away of the small bridge during the record breaking rains of 2010 and as only one side of the road was available, it was being used alternatively by the traffic coming from either side and as the heavy vehicles had also taken to the road by then, the chaos reigned supreme, leading to further loss of time. Finally, we reached Khairna, where we found the entry board to KMVN run restaurant and checked out for availability of rooms, to put up for the night and were surprisingly pleased to find the place vacant with availability of all the rooms at our disposal.
As the dusk set in while driving, one of our friends, who goes by the name of Sunder and was driving, started telling stories about ghosts, which I believe is a favourite past time of the people belonging to the hills. The story spun around sightings of huge ghosts at Betalghat, because of which the place is named as such. However, as we choose our rooms at Khairna and put on the water Gyesers for some hot water, the lights went off, despite the fact that the Gyesers were on. We shifted to another room and the same story unfolded and we started joking that this was doing of ‘Betal’/ghost in Hindi, but finally lights in all the rooms went off. We finally shifted to the Dormitory, but having paid for the rooms, sought the better quality linens & bedding to be shifted there. Thereafter, we settled in and few of us had a few rounds of drinks, whereas others like me took to a few cups of hot tea laced with ginger, which tasted divine in the cold environs. I stepped out to find the sky filled with a million stars, as the night air was crisp & clear, enthralled I took out my camera to take a night shot, sans my tripod, which I did not carry during the trip. After an early dinner, every one of us, snored away to glory, only to get up in the morning.