BHOWALI

LAND OF PEACE AND SEREN­ITY

Airports India - - SWATI JAIN - TEXT & SE­LECT PHO­TOS: SWATI JAIN

Bhowali hap­pened to me at a time when it was nowhere on the trav­ellers’ itin­er­ary and the place still re­mained fresh in my mem­ory with its lush green and misty moun­tains, which I re-vis­ited by chance again this year, while I was look­ing for a quick break in Hi­malayas. I wanted to visit a place where I could find a sense of peace and for once not run around and ex­plore but just sit and re­lax amidst na­ture. The idea of en­joy­ing a hol­i­day to­tally at leisure wherein I only had the com­pany of the mighty Hi­malayas with a cup of tea by me, where at night I would sleep un­der star-stud­ded skies with a warm blan­ket and wake up with a wide re­freshed smile was tempt­ing. While I was search­ing for such a place, I sud­denly pon­dered the idea of re-vis­it­ing Bhowali as it had left a deep im­pact on me when I ex­plored it years ago. Bhowali has al­ways beck­oned since then, not only be­cause it was less touristy and un­touched by com­mer­cial­i­sa­tion then but be­cause I found it the best place to re­ju­ve­nate the in­ner self and draw on a well of calm­ness in the moun­tains. I re­mem­ber how I stayed in a home-stay and en­joyed my­self on the large farms, from where the lo­cals used to get the veg­eta­bles to cook our food. A leisurely walk in the tea gar­dens and help­ing the lo­cals pluck­ing the leaves, be­ing scared of an­i­mals and spe­cially tigers stray­ing in at night from the jun­gle, I en­joyed it all then and packed my bags with fresh en­thu­si­asm to re­new my mem­o­ries.

Bhowali in Ut­tarak­hand is nes­tled amidst the green val­leys and the mighty Hi­malayas and is known for its scenic

vis­tas, giv­ing the vis­i­tor a feel of par­adise on earth. An 11 Km drive from Naini­tal, Bhowali is fa­mous for its fruit or­chards and serves as a ma­jor ex­port fruit mart for apri­cots, ap­ples, peaches, plums, pears, and straw­ber­ries. Here you can buy its fa­mous bal-mithai, juices, jams, pick­les and dry fruits. Bhowali also houses a Sana­to­rium which was built dur­ing the Bri­tish pe­riod, way back in 1912, for peo­ple suf­fer­ing from tu­ber­cu­lo­sis and lung prob­lems, to get re­ju­ve­nated in the hill sta­tion’s salu­bri­ous cli­mate. It was con­sid­ered the premier health re­sort by the Bri­tish due to its pure air and stun­ning views. Though com­mer­cial­i­sa­tion has now touched Bhowali and I could clearly spot ho­tels, guest-houses, cot­tages and even res­i­dent so­ci­eties built on the open hills where I had walked years back, it still re­tains it’s pris­tine flavour and is a serene re­treat, rich in flora and fauna, with de­o­dar, pine, oak and rhodo­den­dron trees and home to wild an­i­mals such as jack­als, kakkar, Hi­malayan ea­gles, pheas­ants, etc. It is close to Gho­rakhal, which is known for Golu Devta tem­ple, vis­ited by many pil­grims, and Sainik School, es­tab­lished in the Es­tate of the Nawab of Ram­pur. Many lakes neigh­bour Bhowali like Naini­tal, Bhim­tal, Sat­tal, Naukuchiy­atal, Nal Damyanti Tal, Sukha Tal, and Khurpa Tal. As a road junc­tion on the mo­torable road from Kath­go­dam, it is a gate­way to Ku­maon’s Almora, Bagesh­war, Muk­tesh­war, Ram­garh, etc. Ideal for camp­ing, pic­nics or trekking, its nearby at­trac­tions are vil­lage Nigh­laat, a Methodist Church, China Peak, Far­soli Lake and Naina Devi Tem­ple.

FAST FACTS:

Bhowali is lo­cated at a dis­tance of 11 kms from Naini­tal near Bhim­tal on the Hald­wani Almora Road, 309 Km from Delhi. The place can be vis­ited through­out the year. Carry Light wool­lens while vis­it­ing in sum­mers and heavy wool­lens in win­ter. Near­est Air­port : Pant Na­gar Air­port which is 71 km from Naini­tal.

Near­est Rail­way sta­tion:

Kath­go­dam Rail­way sta­tion is 36 km away from Naini­tal. It is best to hire your own car and enjoy the wind­ing roads at leisure, stop­ping at scenic places and lakes on the way which pique your in­ter­est.

Val­ley Sham Khet in Bhowali

A boul­der shaped like a frog in a flow­ing river in

be­tween Bhowali and Ranikhet in Ut­tarak­hand

Hill­side cot­tage in Bhowali

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