Mountain Magic

Mrs. Sunita Manambrakat | 13th November, 2015 Back to Blog

Clear blue skies, pristine cool air, colourful wild flowers, tall deciduous trees, gurgling waters - mountains can hardly disappoint. The MYP trip for grades 8 and 9 to Nainital and Jim Corbett was meant to be a sure hit from the word go.

After an uneventful flight to Delhi, a panoramic bus tour took us round the key sights like the Rashtrapati Bhavan, the Parliament House, Red Fort and Connaught Place. We also had a brief stopover at India Gate and Rajghat. To be surrounded by monuments of such national importance was a little overwhelming if not intimidating. Seldom does a place overpower you with such intense character and presence.

An overnight train journey from Delhi station took our clamorous group of 44 to the tiny Ramnagar station from where we enjoyed an early morning winding drive to our hotel at Bhimtal. As I took in lungfuls of the clean mountain air and looked at the majestic trees and early morning walkers and joggers, a deep sense of peace and well being descended on me. It felt good to be alive and away from the din of a busy city.

Mapple Hermitage is a strategically located hotel and our rooms provided sweeping views of the mountains and valleys. The stay was as comfortable as it could get. After a brief rest, we kickstarted our tour on a spiritual note with a visit to the Hanuman temple. The cavernous route inside the temple, the quiet ambience topped with a huge Hanuman statue made this visit a unique one. Then the late afternoon boat ride on the serene Bhimtal lake was an experience to remember. The mist was slowly beginning to settle on the lake and the cool breeze caressed our faces. All our souls would have danced in silent joy at this scenic place. Back at our hotel, the students were at their cacophonous best at a DJ night specially arranged for them. While I just hit the bed after dinner, I am sure most of the students would have stayed up in bed for a long.

The next day was very memorable with a visit to Nainital to view snow capped mountains and to explore some labyrinthine caves. The local Tibetan market also gave students time to buy local products.

We started the third day’s adventure with a visit to a candle factory. Candle making, we found, was a cottage industry here. We also got to shop for some beautiful candles. What was more exhilarating was the journey to the upper reaches of Nainital where these factories were situated. Chir pines and deodar trees dotted the entire scenic route. The hair pin bends and steep climb and descend took our breath away. Our next destination, the verdant Jim corbett forest reserve popped surprises at us from every corner. The ride to the hotel, Tiger Groove, involved open jeep rides through forests, dry river beds and unmetalled roads. Adventure was writ large everywhere.

An afternoon open jeep safari to the tiger reserve helped us see herds of deer, monkeys and a few elephants and a jackal. Tigers remained predictably elusive. We had to be satisfied with spotting a few tiger pug marks!The evening was filled with music and masti, with Mr. Felix leading the group.

We jump started the final day in Jim Corbett with adventure activities like rope ladder climbing and zip line river crossing. Oh, what fun we had! All strapped up in our harness attempting to do the unusual. A visit to the Jim Corbett museum was an eye opener. The stuffed tigers and panthers were awe inspiring. The museum also provided us information about the local topography.

When it was time to bid goodbye to the mountains and I am sure all of us did so with a heavy heart. We carried back fond memories of our trip. Like I told you at the start, mountains seldom disappoint!