Bol­ly­wood’s undying ro­mance With The Hills

Stardust (English) - - TÊTE-À-TÊTE -

Naini­tal, nes­tled in the Ku­maon moun­tain range, has been the fave des­ti­na­tion of the filmi folks. Breath­tak­ing lo­cales of this town can be seen in sev­eral Bol­ly­wood films like Koi Mil Gaya, Vi­vah, Kati Patang, Ma­soom, Gum­rah, Anita, Bheegi Raat, Gandhi – The Hero’ and lot of BR Chopra films too! What makes Naini­tal such a hot pick? We de­cided to find out the asli rea­son by trav­el­ling to the place it­self. After a flight from Mum­bai to Delhi, we boarded a train from Old Delhi rail­way sta­tion, which took us to Kath­go­dam rail­way sta­tion, an hour and a half drive from Naini­tal. Once there, we were put up at the beau­ti­ful Leisure Group of Ho­tels prop­erty – The Naini Re­treat. This luxe ho­tel, lo­cated on the Ayarpatta slopes, of­fers a panoramic view of the Naini Lake. Spell­ing a mix of old world charm and new age grandeur, the 52-room re­sort, orig­i­nally used as the sum­mer palace of the royal fam­ily of Pilib­hit in Naini­tal, func­tions as a her­itage re­sort now. Each cor­ner ex­udes the rich her­itage of the re­gion. The re­sort is al­most like a film stu­dio, where each frame ex­hibits a dif­fer­ent era – be it Vic­to­rian, very mod­ern, edgy de­signs or just very royal... We checked into the lux­u­ri­ous Ma­haraja wing of the ho­tel, which was ab­so­lutely breath­tak­ing. Right from stun­ning fur­ni­ture to mar­velous arte­facts, the wing was noth­ing less than a film set. Post get­ting the vibes of roy­alty, we headed to fill our tum­mies with a de­li­cious spread of break­fast. We then kick started the day by avail­ing the services of Tattva Spa, which is lo­cated in the midst of the prop­erty. We were rec­om­mended to avail their sig­na­ture aroma ther­apy mas­sage. A re­ju­ve­nat­ing spa ex­pe­ri­ence re­freshed us and we gorged on some more yummy food for lunch. And even though the rain marred the day’s plan to visit mall road, it def­i­nitely didn’t dampen our spir­its. We walked down the slopes to the Ti­betan mar­ket to pur­chase some lo­cally hand­crafted can­dles and sub­se­quently wrapped up the day with some amaz­ing food. The next morn­ing def­i­nitely made us sing Yeh haseen wadiyaan, yeh khu­laa aas­maan! We ex­plored places in and around the city. Our first stop was the pala­tial Gov­er­nors House. Post which, a trip to one more prop­erty of the Leisure group of Ho­tels in Ram­garh was planned and we got to taste some amaz­ing Ku­maoni food there. Post gob­bling up all that we could, we trekked to an ap­ple or­chard nearby. The place of­fered a view fit for a travel post­card. With some more time to sun­set, we serenly watched the sun go down at the Naukuchia Tal. From there, we took the wind­ing, hilly roads and re­turned to Naini Re­treat. An hour long jour­ney’s tired­ness van­ished as we sipped on some cool cock­tails and had some scrump­tious din­ner. Rain or not, the next day we took a trip to the fa­mous mall road again. From what we heard, veteran ac­tors like Mala Sinha, Dev Anand and Meena Kumari loved sip­ping a cuppa here. We did a bit of walk­ing around and checked out the places our fave film stars vis­ited and shot at and post pol­ish­ing off Ku­maoni del­i­ca­cies for lunch yet again, we headed back to the cap­i­tal, which def­i­nitely made us feel like Alia Bhatt’s High­way. From there, we flew back to Mum­bai after truly re­al­iz­ing the real rea­son the film­mak­ers love Naini­tal. So the next time you’re vis­it­ing Naini­tal, def­i­nitely stay at the Naini Re­treat, more so to feel like a film star!

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