It is commonly said "You visit a place when it calls you". Some how I have started believing in this. I visited Nanitaal few months ago. The trip was so sudden that it took me just hours to find myself in the train to Kathgodam, nearest railway station from Nanitaal. As if the hills and the lakes had called me, and I was bound to go. I couldn't refuse the invitation. With in 5 hours I was in the middle of hills and valleys. Admiring the beauty of god's creation. The picturesque view brought serenity within me. I could feel the air. The purity. I had never seen such a scene in my life. I could see the clouds moving and changing shape at the altitude of my eyes. Nanitaal is a lake, surrounded by Naukauchitaal, Bhimtaal, Sattal and three others which I couldn't visit because of limitation of time and the uncertain weather conditions. On my way to Naukuchiatal I came across a pond full of lotus. A local informed me that lotus farming took place there. That was the first time in 21 years I saw lotus in its most natural form. But the best was yet to come. Naukuchitaal. Naukuchital is hardly known to people except the locals. I couldn't have found a better present on my 21st birthday. I celebrated my birthday along with hills, clouds, sky, valleys and the sun. Naukuchiatal was my gift. I feel I belong to the lake, most beautiful thing I had scene in ages. It was drizzling and the sky had become dark because of the clouds. I could see nothing. The lake was dark, and the whole scene brought shivers. But within 20 minutes, the clouds started moving, giving way to the sun. And it had become bright. The lake sparkled. It was clear, and mesmerizing. Exploring further, I found a spot in the hills from where I could locate the valley. Terrace farming as I had read when I was a kid is the main occupation of Uttarakhand. I sat alone in the sun, drawing a picture in my heart to help me survive the busy routine.
I visited three other lakes Sattal Bhimtal and one more, the name I cannot recall now. I also got an opportunity to go paragliding in the hills. I was like a free bird, flying in the air,moving along with the flow of the wind. I started from the hill, and landed at the valley, full of colourful flowers, adding to the beauty of natural greens.
It started growing dark and I started my journey towards Nanital, my final halt for the day. It was foggy in the hills. But enchanting and adventurous. Nothing was visible, the instinct of the local driver led us through the forest and hills. Nanital is named after Nani lake, which is surrounded by the city. After settling my luggage which was just a back pack, I started exploring the city. I walked on the mall road late at night, with hot chocolate in my hand, and lake on my side. I sat on a bench at mall road, observing the lake which glittered with the reflection of the lights of the city. It looked like a goddess wearing Jewellery of gold and precious stones. The mall road was not much crowded because of off season. It was mostly occupied by petty shop keepers selling wooden gift items, restaurants and eating joints, small traders selling smoke and roadside vendors selling hot beverages to the tourists. Tourists comprised of lone travelers who by chance landed there, the newly wed couples on their honeymoon,and families for their yearly outings.
While sitting down I didn't feel lonely, I didn't have the urge to be with someone. I wanted to be alone, the air was my companion, and nature my friend.
Today, while I am writing, lying down on my bed, I miss the hills. I miss the solitude. I miss the lotus pond and the green valley. I miss travelling. I miss being a traveler.