Uttarakhand has been on my mind for a while now. I am longing for the mountains that I grew up watching. Although I have lived in different cities since childhood, the earliest days of my life were spent mostly in Uttarakhand. Thus, I share a special association with it. I have fond memories of Dehradun and Mussoorie in particular. I would say those were the first impressions on my heart that still remain there beautifully.
So much to explore
I think Uttarakhand is a modest land. It is so incredibly beautiful, yet it has not been devoured like other places of its stature. Well, in a way, it is good, because when a place is thronged by tourists, it doesn’t remain the same. Mussoorie, Dehradun and Nainital are the only ones that are frequented and hogged by the regular tourists. Of course, there are Haridwar and Rishikesh too. However, there is so much of Uttarakhand still in its pristine state.
Reminiscing the carefree days in the hills
I am itching to revisit my roots – Pauri Garhwal. I want to walk the same old path, see the new faces, and relive the simple pleasures of life. Although not very vividly, I remember a few anecdotes from my childhood when we visited Pauri for a wedding; it was such an enjoyable experience. The house where we stayed was at a certain height and we used to be out of breath ascending the steps. But we still enjoyed running small errands from one house to another, in the course of which, we plucked fruits from the trees on our way, loitered around for a while, and inadvertently had a good time.
Pining for Landour
Another nice memory that I have is of Landour, a town neighbouring Mussoorie. We visited it in the month of June or July, when there are frequent showers and it gets chilly towards the evenings. We used to set out on spontaneous treks among the Deodars, Pines and Oaks. The experience was more special because we were guests at somebody’s house. So, we also had the joy of having home-cooked food in the bargain.
Gaze the Himalayas
Thus, I am craving for a slow sojourn in Uttarakhand, which would allow me to just sit idle, gaze the Himalayas, inhale the fresh mountain air and chew on each blissful moment. I am not sure where I want to go, but it has to be somewhere unexplored and less frequented. I have been to Sattal, which is also one of the quiet and unassuming places in the Kumaon region. I’d like to pay a revisit there too.
Curious about Lansdowne and the Kumaon villages
Among the places that I haven’t visited, I would like to visit Lansdowne, which is close to Kotdwara where I was born. I’m kind of fascinated with its name and curious to find out the kind of place it is – its atmosphere and people. I am also particularly keen on exploring the villages of Kumaon, but on a really slow pace. I would like to give my camera a break for a while and see the places with my actual eyes, because when I am clicking constantly I feel I miss out on the real stuff. Thus, I would want to stop being in a hurry and absorb my surroundings.
Uttarakhand needs ‘us’ to be able to recuperate
Last year, due to the rains and the disastrous floods, Uttarakhand suffered great losses in terms of life, economy and tourism. Although it was primarily Garhwal that was under the influence of the floods, the region of Kumaon also had to bear the repercussions. Hopefully, things will look better this year and everything should be back to normal.
The whole idea of vacationing in Uttarakhand is to discover its unsung places, know its people, make a connection and come back with some meaningful experiences.
Now I want to hear from you!
What do you think? Which part of Uttarakhand should I explore?