On 1st day of April, if I had to sum up the month of March in terms of my travels, I would say it was all about the mountains. I got a chance to be a part of two very exciting and kicking trips and both took me to the hills. While the first one was about quaint and picturesque Gunehr village in the state of Himachal Pradesh, the second one took me to a renowned but less crowded hill station of the Uttrakhand, Bhimtal. So here is my first post around my ‘short and sweet’ hill retreat that happened at Aamod Resorts in Bhimtal. Let me take you through the road map as well as all that we did at the property.
The dates of the trip were 18, 19 and 20th March. On 18th, we started early, something like 7 in the morning from South Delhi. By 9, five of us were in the car and zooming over NH24. So, for all those who have not been on this road, I must introduce you to some of the places that this 7 hours drive to Bhimtal will take you through. Delhi to Noida to Ghaziabad is a familiar drive within NCR. Noida-Ghaziabad road connects to Gajraula and this is where one can find a couple of eating places, usable restrooms and drive-thrus to grab a bite. Even we decided to stop at Macdonalds to freshen up and dig in some burgers. After that we did not take a break until we had crossed Rampur and then Rudrapur. It was somewhere between Rudrapur and Haldwani when we got down to straighten our backs and chill over some fresh sugarcane juice. I clicked the picture (above) right there, where we parked the car. The sugarcane was very refreshing! Now, we just had to cross Haldwani to be in the mountains. The uphill drive merely lasted for an hour. At an an altitude of 1370 meters above sea level, the mountainous road to Bhimtal doesn’t make you go dizzy. Trust me, I was all well. Or may be there could be another reason for that. 5 of us made a great company and when you have bloggers and journalist/movie curator with you, you just can’t be bored. It was fun to catch up on BOLLYWOOD news, gossips and all that which is never written down, ORAL HISTORY!!!
All that we must know about Bhimtal and its surroundings!
Named after the legendary Bhima of Mahabharata, Bhimtal has always been known for its beautiful ‘C shaped’ Bhimtal Lake. It is the largest one in Kumaon region, a peaceful spot of tranquility and beauty. Victoria Dam is situated on this lake.
The lake area is also known for the famous Shiva temple, Bhimeshwar Mahadev Temple.
2 kilometers from Bhimtal, there is a famous story around Nal Damyanti lake and it is believed that famous king Nala’s palace had drowned in this water body. Sounds interesting?
There is a lot of nature and wildlife around the place. One can walk down to Sattal lake. When we did a nature trail, we chanced upon a tranquil Sattal Ashram on the way and we thought it would make a great place if you are writing a book.
And if you love trekking, then a walk to Hidimba parvat is a sure thing to do here. This hillock is named after the wife of Bhima of Mahabharata.
And now let me take you around Aamod Bhimtal Resorts!
Just when we had crossed Bhimtal lake, we knew we were close to our destination. And within a range of a kilometer down the road, we spotted the words ‘Paradise Unplugged’. The resort stood right there. The main building was hidden behind the greens. We entered the main gate and an uphill path took us closer to the facade. The swimming pool, the activity hut, the cottages, architectural designs got my eye almost immediately. For the next three days this was going to be our den and I was really excited about exploring it. ‘Aamod’ means pleasure (in Hindi) and I was really looking forward to a joyous stay here.
After quenching our thirst with a refreshing welcome drink, the manager of the property walked us to our rooms. This side of the property was full of colors and liveliness. I liked the arch made of wood. It was very welcoming and that art work on the tree bark (picture below) won my attention almost immediately. I had a spacious room to myself, one which was good enough to accommodate two double beds. And I love those rooms which have enough storing spaces. This one had cupboards, shoe-rack, dressing table as well as open racks too. There was a sofa on one side and a double bed on another. The room and the restroom had enough essentials and more. The most happy and lovely part was the balcony view.
Since it was already lunch time we quickly washed ourselves and walked back to the restaurant area. The eating area was really big. One of the tables was meant for us. The cute little ribbons held our menu cards. I loved the personal attention. Soon, there was food all around us and we digged in. I was super hungry and did not stop till I was full. The Yellow dal lehsuni and the Chicken kalimirch is worth a mention. In the next two days, we hogged a lot and therefore it demands a separate food story.
Apart from our normal set menu, we asked the chef to prepare some kumaoni dishes for us and he arranged for them in the very next meal. We loved all of it. Some of the names of the dishes are as below.
- Bhatt ki chutkaney
- Kandali ki kafli
- Gaderi ki subji
- Yello Dal Lehsuni (Split red gram cooked with Indian spices and flavored with garlic)
- Subj Diwani Handi (Assorted vegetables tossed in Indian spices and spinach with curd gravy)
There will be more food pictures but only in the exclusive food post. In fact, in this one post its almost impossible to summarize all that we did in the three days. It was a very eventful vacation. From fishing to nature walking, from rope-climbing to bonfire dancing, we did so much. And when we were not doing any of the below, we could only be found in one place and that was the restaurant. Overall, it was a beautiful experience. Yes, this is a teaser post where I am consciously not divulging much details. I want to keep you waiting because this was indeed very exciting. For now, I will just tell you that we did all of it as listed below.
- Star gazing in the night.
- An open conversation with the owner of the Aamod Resorts-Mr. Gaurav Jain
- A walk around the property
- Adventure activities- rope climb and zipling
- Fishing in the lake
- Special Screening of Ind-Pak T20 Cricket match
- Bonfire night
- Nature walk to Sattal Lake