Monday, June 1, 2009

Break from the Humdrum to the Hills!

The heat is increasing and it is said, “when the going gets tough the tough get going”, well I Went…i.e., went off, for a week to spend some time in the lovely hill stations nestled in the upper ranges of mighty Himalayas. Nothing beats the heat like a jaunt to the cooler and purer environs of the hills. Nainital was my first stopover where the site of lovely blue green waters of Naini Lake encircled by the beautiful Himalayas stole my heart. The cool higher altitude air, like that of Nainital at an altitude of approx. 1900m, is very refreshing and humidity free. Although the place has become a bit crowded overtime, yet it retains the charm as a getaway from the urban chaos. The night scene was even more pleasing as the reflecting lights in the lake water made a wonderful dancing pattern. If the innocent charm of the little ones in your life loves something, it makes that thing even more memorable. My daughter seemed to be in total love with the changed ambience – a far cry from what she is used to in a city, and was completely at home sporting this mountain outfit which is a ubiquitous presence at North Indian Hill stations. The added bonus of being a plant lover is that besides the things which conventionally please at a hill station, the flora of different places is something to look forward to. Plants, such as Hydrangeas, which I struggle to grow here, were thriving naturally, and many of them like Iris were growing in the wild! It wasn’t only the flora; the fauna was no less amazing. A visit to the high altitude zoo there left me in awe. It had beasts not visible in the zoos at plains. It was the majestic and ferocious Siberian Tiger whose swagger I caught on the camera, blessing the sturdy cage that separated the Cat from me. Personally, I prefer that these animals - like the snow leopard in the picture - belong to Jungle and a reserved forest is a better option where humans can satisfy their curiosity in a jungle safari. Being caged in Zoos, howsoever well maintained, curb their natural instincts and is unethical. Well, these issues are always complex and there can always be a counter argument to this line of thought, and so I would rather keep my mind open on this issue. I don’t know if it is the effect of the altitude or the air, but there is a noticeable uplifting in mood and spirits on hills. Personally I find a spiritual side of me, which lies dormant on the plains, taking over and it made me thank God for creating these natural wonders like Seas and Mountains.

16 comments:

Dirt Princess said...

What an amazing trip! I know it must be so beautiful!

My Chutney Garden said...

Thanks for sharing this with us. The Himalayas seem very faraway and exotic.
Beautiful post.

Claude said...

I envy you your trip... I believe that it is refreshing to the mind, body and soul to go new places and see new things... it keeps you interested.

And your daughter looks like a living doll in that costume!

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

What gorgeous shots. I love all of the bright and warm colors on the boats and the little girl is so sweet. I am glad those cats were caged too. The white tiger is beautiful but the yellow one looks more fierce looking.

Hapi said...

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mindspace said...

hey i miss my nainital visit..:( thats my native but we are far away this year.. thanks for sharing the pics, i will make do with these views for mow :) so refreshing..

Sunita said...

Ohhhh, I do envy you! I would love to somewhere cool right now.
I know exactly what you mean about that energised feel in the mountains. I love the mountains too (it figures, doesnt it? I have the sea at my doorstep and I'm longing for the mountains!)
Does it get as cold in Nainital as it does in Manali? You've just got me planning my next holiday already.
BTW, the big cats look awesome. I wish they were in their natural habitat though.

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Andrea said...

Thanks for taking us along on your vacation. As always, your little daughter looks just adorable and the pictures are breathtaking. Andrea

Jan (Thanks For 2 Day) said...

Your 'respite' from the daily 'chaos' looks relaxing and restful, stimulating the senses as well, and bringing you back to who you are. I enjoyed the trip myself! It's most likely the only way I'll ever get to the Himalayas! Those hydrangeas have found their niche, they are in heaven in that spot! Your daughter is adorable:-)

Julie said...

I am so happy you got a much deserved week long break to such a lovely place! Nature just fills you with wonder, doesn't it??? Your little one looks so cute in that outfit!!!

Chandramouli S said...

Those photos are breathtaking and I can't even imagine how the real experience would be. You're blessed, GT. You've visited the most eminent mountain on earth and beheld his beauty in person and also his inhabitants! No wonder Mother Goddess chose him for her father!

Kanak Hagjer said...

Nothing like heading for the hills during summer! I've never been to Nainital--thanks for sharing these lovely photos. Your daughter looks adorable! The last photo evoked memories of the trips we'd taken in hilly areas. Like Bomdila and Gangtok. The hydrangeas are awesome!

Marie said...

Very nice post :)

rajsmusings said...

Nice Post. I particularly liked the part of travel to lesser famous spots like Kausani and Ranikhet. Awsome!! Hopefully i'll be make it myself sometime in near future.

Regards
Raj

Arati said...

nice pictures. yes i love that i have a hobby i can 'carry' with me in my travels.. so interesting to see and learn about the flora of the places we travel to. makes the holiday so much more interesting!

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