Saturday, March 13, 2010

Ranikhet day-2: Worshipping the Himalayas

Day 2

I had heard a lot about some ‘view points’ at this hill station from where the Himalayas are supposed to be visible. We set out for a walk early in the morning hoping to catch a glimpse. An hour later, having soaked in as much fresh air, chirps of birds, but no sights of snow covered peaks, we returned to the hotel. Nevertheless, it was a divine experience.

The Army is the best thing that has happened to this place. While commercialization and mongering crowds have corrupted places like Nainital, Mussoorie and Rishikesh, the cantonment regulations at Lansdowne and Ranikhet have ensured that there is a cap on the number of hotels, hoardings and the number of incoming people. We reached our hotel where we met the manager. He did not fail to point out that the hotel had featured in a couple of movies: Koi Mil Gaya, Vivah, etc etc. We decided to have our breakfast in the lawns. I look forward to buffets and today was no exception. I was carefully bringing the mount food on my plate when my parents told me look up. Behold!!

What I saw was one of the loveliest views that will be etched in my memory forever. The Himalayan range was visible in its full grandeur. I stood still and gazed for a minute. When I recovered, my first thought was to run to fetch my laptop and try to justify the sight in words. Foolish.. I grabbed the camera. They say a picture is worth a thousand words… Several attempts to capture the grandiose of the Himalayas were made. Modes were changed, features were explored but after a while, I gave it up. They say transcendental and celestial beauty cannot be captured. Today I could understand that. Apologies to the greatest writers and the skilled photographers but no words, pictures or videos can do justice to the grandest feature of the planet. So I just stood there and stared..

We headed for the apple orchards next and rest of the time was spent exploring the unknown. The dinner at the hotel was pretty grand as well. One distinct feature of this buffet was the quality of the variety put up. The number of dishes available was limited, yet each one was a masterpiece!

To conclude, this is a place for people who can live with nature. One category of humans complain that there’s not much to do here- not enough ‘points’, boating, shops, etc. Absence of the same and abundance of natural trails- that’s what the other category yearns for..

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