Vacations: A Day at Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand – Part 2
Posted on: September 7, 2018.

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From Corbett National Park we took a cab down to Ramnagar, hired a shared taxi, and headed uphill to the hilltop town of Ranikhet where we had booked for a homestay accommodation through Airbnb. Our agenda at Ranikhet was singular—to view the pristine, snow-clad Himalayas at sunrise…

The way up to Ranikhet was itself scintillatingly scenic, with the hilly forests of Corbett on one side, and a deep ravine, the hill valley, on the other. It was afternoon—a cool, pleasant, December day—and at one point during the ride we stopped to briefly watch the magnificent Himalayas, resplendent under the balmy, winter sun…

It was a good three-hour drive up to Ranikhet, and it was dusk by the time we reached our homestay. Our host, Mr. Ajay Joshi, was a young, friendly person, hospitable and very helpful. He offered to drive us to a good restaurant for dinner and returned after we’d finished to take us back to his place. It was a very kind gesture in a remote place we knew nothing about. It was freezing cold outside, and we thankfully settled in for a cosy, comfortable night’s sleep under warm covers.

Before dawn the next day, we were on the terrace of the homestay at the about 5:00 AM, positively shivering from the cold, cameras in hand. At the distance were the Himalayas, overlooking the valley in front of us. While we waited for the sun to come up, we took a few candid photos of our surrounding…

…it was an hour later, when the sun came up, that a secret spectacle unfolded—as the nascent rays of the rising sun fell on the snow-clad peaks of the mountains, they slowly began to acquire a deep shade of pink, and then progressively lightened to golden pink, and eventually pure white!!!

Subsequently, one of us pointed out “Trishul Peak” amidst the other peaks in the Himalayas before us, and then also identified Nanda Devi Peak. At about 7:00 AM, we decided to take an exploratory walk to ease our cold limbs and then have breakfast. Our agenda for the day was to check-out of our accommodation and visit a few places locally on our way down to Katgodham in Haldwani—our nearest railhead—to catch our overnight train back to New Delhi…

…After reaching New Delhi, I’d planned on staying there for the next three days and visit a few places of tourist interest. I managed to visit Red Fort, Jama Masjid, my Aunt and Uncle who lived at Mayur Vihar, India Gate, and then Humayun’s Tomb before returning South…

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