A Trip to Nainital and the Stay at Shervani Hilltop Resort

By Mridula Dwivedi September 7, 2007 12 Comments
Some trips are fated. That is how I view my recent trip to Nainital with my younger nephew Sunil. I almost could not believe it, when the good folks from the Shervani Hilltop Resort (they own Rodeo too) wrote to me about a possibility of my staying with them as their guest and in return, I had to blog for them! Can you imagine such a good deal? I anyway blog about all my travels! But at that point, I remember thinking, “Now this sounds good but let us see if anything comes out of it actually.” After all, there are so many blog leads that turn out to be nothing in the end. However, this turned out to be one fine trip and a break I desperately needed. They also offered that I could bring a guest as I may not feel safe alone. Sadly, that is true, I do not venture out alone in India. As Sesha had already planned to go to Bangalore, finally Sunil and I went together.

Reaching Naintal

I am so used to traveling by bus that it felt a bit strange to be going by taxi this time. Our journey was smooth and the driver (I somehow never asked his name) a very decent one. We started around 5am in the morning and after a while both Sunil and I feel asleep. I woke only when we were nearing Moradabad and requested that we may stop for breakfast somewhere. Soon after, the three of us had breakfast and then started again. The road was in a bad shape (they always are after the rain) and whenever we neared a town, they were chock-o-full too. However, when Nainital was 30 km away, the road became narrow, empty and flanked by forest on both the sides. We switched off the AC and stuck our necks out. The first sight of the mountains again made me realize how I had missed them. As we were 10 km away from Nanital, a small mist descended on us making everything more beautiful.

Naini Lake, Nainital

The Shervani Hilltop Resort

We reached the resort around 12 noon and frankly the Avomine (anti nausea medicine for motion sickness in the hills) had taken its toll. I announced myself at the reception and was wondering if everything would go right? The person at the reception immediately greeted me, made me fill a small form and handed me the key to our room.

The room was big and well furnished. Once again, we were attended to and informed that our welcome drinks are on the way. I requested them if they could make it tea? They readily agreed and in a short while we were drinking it. After freshening up a bit, it was time for me to admire the flowers around the resort, they really have a lot of beautiful flowers hanging from different corners and some kind of cactus literally growing from the walls!

Soon, we decided we were hungry and headed to the dining hall for lunch. Some good food tucked inside and we headed back to our room. I thought for a fraction of a second if I should catch up on sleep but we decided to head out.

Flowers at the Resort

A Walk to the Naini Lake

The resort is really up a small hilltop and the road to it is steep. But as we are used to walking, we just decided to walk to the Naini Lake. When I went to the reception to give my room key, I told them my plan. They were a bit skeptical and told us that the resort jeeps go to the mall road at regular intervals and we could hop into one. We told them about our motion sickness and our preference for walking. Then we were told, “OK, do let us know when you want to come back” and I replied, “Don’t worry we will walk that way too.” I thought some eyes were rolling upwards at this reply.

Well, we headed out, and soon reached the lake. This was the first time for my nephew at Nainital and soon we decided to go for boating. Our boatman was Harish and he is from the nearby town of Almora and has been coming to Nainital in the season for the last 20 years. In the middle of the lake, we requested him to take our photographs. We offered him the Nikon 3200. Then after taking the picture, he asked for my camera. My face was full of hesitation. Sensing it Harish told me, “Aap de do ye camera, meine ek se eak camera chalaya hai.” (You can give me the camera, I have used really state of the art cameras). Still all hesitation, I gave it to him, and no wonder he handled it like a pro! So much so for my city bred assumptions!!

After the ride, we took a walk around the periphery of the lake and then we felt real hungry. We found a place called Bawrachi (that turned out to be not so great) at the mall road. While I ordered something fancy called noodle cutlet Sunil sensibly went with an omelet. As we were having tea, the skies opened up. The lake and the clouds met and the people, who were out there boating, really had it. We also panicked and called the hotel and asked if they could pick us up. While we were waiting, the rain went off and we were impatient to start again. I called them again and asked if they had not already sent the vehicle, we would like to walk. I was given the best wishes for my walk up. Of course we managed it with a sweat. I told some good folks that just in June we were trekking at the height of 14000 feet in Spiti and this climb was a cake walk.

Later, it was time for us to play some TT and to show Sunil that there is still a game left where I am better than him! Later, after dinner (I am not a foodie but Sunil is and he liked the food) and a big helping of the sweet dish later (I have a big sweet tooth) we sat out in the well lit corridor and I was reading my book. But then, I was just too tired by now and started feeling cold, and I decided to turn in. A little bit of TV and book and it was time to call it a day.

Shervani Hill Top Resort, Nainital (Picture courtesy the Shervani Hill Top resort)

Day 2

We got up late and hurried for the breakfast. I liked it a lot when they asked me for tea for a second time and gave it to me promptly! There were a lot of guests around and I thought the staff tried to chat up with everyone. Then it was time to hand over the key at the reception again. We mentioned that we may not turn up for lunch as we had ambitious plans for the day. We wanted to take the rope way and then from there walk to the China Peak. And that is what we exactly did. The end point of the rope way is too crowded and full of shops and with clouds and all there was no view, so we were waiting to get out. We had an interesting ride
though, where they haul you up to a point and them the ride comes crashing down at an enormous speed. I have to say both of us enjoyed it. We then had a cup of tea and off we went to China peak on foot.

This was the only time when we were ale to leave the crowds behind. We must have taken around 2 hours to reach there and we were lucky that it rained lightly on the way. I am not really worried about us but more about my camera! The way was green, with flowers and some slugs too (that Sunil promptly photographed and wants me to put on this blog! No way is my answer).

At the top is a canteen run by the forest department and we had more tea and omelet. We got busy taking picture and then once again the skies really opened. We took shelter at the other side of the hut. The rain showed no sign of stopping. Soon one of the persons from the hut approached us and asked if we would like to have some food with them! We tried to be polite and said no once. But when he repeated the offer we took it up gladly. We were served Kichdi (A dish of rice and pulses) and it tasted so good. The rain still continued. We once again started getting a bit worried and asked the people more than once, “Ye barish rukege na?” (Will the weather clear up?) and the answer was always in the affirmative. After a long time we headed back again to the Naini Lake and this time we had to walk all the way down as the rope way tickets are valid only for an hour.

We headed to another shop at the Mall Road (Sakley’s Pastry Shop) and polished off a lot of stuff which was good. Then we decided to take a stroll around the lake again. But after walking for a while we decided to take a peddle boat out to the lake. Later, Sunil and I both cursed our decision to row on our own as we were already tired. Yet, in our allotted hour, we managed to peddle to the end and come back. It was almost sunset now and after taking a few pictures it was time to turn back.

Back at the Resort

Guess what we did after coming back? It was a bit late and with a lot of guilt I asked if we could get a cup of tea at that time. They readily served it to us in our room. While I was waiting for it, sitting outside, the door to the room was open. A few of the guests passed (they did not notice me as I was quite close to the wall) and peeped in and claimed a loud Wow! I guess they liked our room. After tea, we played TT again. Then we attacked our dinner (I really liked the Shahi Tukda, that is bread made sweet with a lot condensed milk and garnishing) and Sunil enjoyed his chicken. There was a huge group of kids at the resort on a school trip and were enjoying themselves at the disco. We once again sat out, me with my book and Sunil with his MP3 player. But once again I started feeling cold quickly and it was time for some TV again. The next day after breakfast we were heading back.

Sunil summed up the experience for me when I asked how did he find the trip? He said, “See, we like to go out and really walk a lot. But there are people who want cold weather, good food, drinks, a relaxing environment and a pickup and a drop to the mall on their holiday. Surely they are going to enjoy it. And admit it, for a change it was good for us too.” I agree. I should also mention that I realized that it is really the attention to the small things like asking how our day out was or realizing that I like tea a lot, which are going to remain with me for a long time.

Here is the contact information and the off-season package prices for the Shervani Hill Top Resort-

Tariffs at Shervani Hilltop Nainital:
Rs.2333/- to Rs.5833/- per person for 2nights and 3 days on twin sharing basis inclusive of Breakfast & Dinner + Taxes

Please note-The above-mentioned tariff is valid till March 31 2008 and not valid from December 29 2007 to January 02 2008.

Address: Shervani Hilltop, Mallital, Nainital 263001.
Phone : 05942 – 233800
email Id :nainital@shervanihspl.com

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12 thoughts on “A Trip to Nainital and the Stay at Shervani Hilltop Resort”

  1. hey hey, now isn’t that cool! You no only get to blog (which you love anyway) and on top of that you get paid for it (in a way) !…nobody is getting jealous 😉

  2. Nice pictures, and very nice write-up too. I have a picture from Naini Jheel very similar to your first one here :-)And the resort does look very beautiful and located at a good viewpoint.

  3. i m form nanital but i live in mumbai my problum is that in nanital i never find a job there is no sorce for setel what to do

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Mridula Dwivedi

I started my India travel blog, Travel Tales from India in 2005. In 2016 I realized Travel Tales from India and Abroad better reflected my writings. I love to walk and ride in metros around the world. I have not been everywhere, I am not even close, but it is on my list. I also quit my job as a professor in 2015, it was a happening year! I did a Ph.D. from IIT Kanpur ages ago!

If you wish to collaborate with me, please check out my media kit. You can write to me at mridulablog@gmail.com

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