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.
A Walk to the Naini Lake
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.
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.
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 :firstname.lastname@example.org
I am Mridula Dwivedi and I started blogging on 'Travel Tales from India' in June 2005. I renamed it Travel Tales from India & Abroad in 2016. Within a few months of the launch my travel blog found a mention on both the BBC and The Guardian. I also featured in a National Geographic Skoda Yeti Video. I was recently featured on Via.com
I quit my job as a professor in May 2015. I am having a blast ever since. I do not miss my work but sometime I do miss my salary! Somewhere along the journey I ended up acquiring a Ph.D. from IIT Kanpur! I now wonder why?
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