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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Things to see and do at Pauri : A Honeymoon Place - 2

The old travelers saying that, “wandering one gathers honey” is quite appropriate in Pauri, and walking is well worth the effort. The magic of the town is best discovered if you leave the crowded markets and colonies behind and climb up towards the forested ridges.

Kandoliya and Bubakhal:

The temple of the local deity, Kandoliya Devta, is located in a thick forest, 2 km from Pauri on the road to Lansdowne. The walk affords a stunning view of Himalayan peaks and the Gangwarsyun Valley. Majestic oaks, swaying pines, deodars, rhododendrons and a variety of flowers lining the road make for a very pleasant, leisurely afternoon stroll to Bubakhal, another 4 km towards Lansdowne, Bubakhal, itself no more than a tiny mountain village, is a junction from where several minor roads snake across to the many villages on the slopes of the Kandoliya Hills.

Chaukhamba Viewpoint:

Take a good 4 km walk on the road towards the Dwarikhal Forest, to the ridge overlooking the Idwal Valley and Chaukhamba – Mountain of Four Pillars – a peak named thus for its squarish shape. Behind this mighty peak lies the massive Gangotri glacier that feeds the Ganga. Neelkanth, about 540 ft shorter, is in the foreground. Bhaukhamba forms a triangle with the holy peaks of Kedarnath (to the east of the horizon) and Badrinath (not visible). Dead east, the glorious peak of Nanda Devi thrusts into the sky, marking the border between Chamoli and Pithoragarh districts. Afterwards, you can set up a picnic next to the clear, freshwater spring in Dwarikhal Forest nearby.

Kyunkaleshwar Mahadev:

It’s a steep trek up to this ancient 8th century temple, but the view that catches you by surprise makes it all worthwhile. The Shiva Temple here is within a large complex were scores of mendicants stay throughout the year. For the devout, there is a Shivling, a stature of Nandi and an ancient drum. For others, there are some more stunning views of the entire collage of peaks visible from the Idwal Ridge.

Ransi:

Trudge half a kilometer uphill to get to Ransi. At 6,995 ft. Ransi is a huge step in the mountain where Pauri’s lone sports stadium lies – the highest in Uttaranchal. This vast, flat stretch of green also serves as a beautiful picnic spot. On a sunny day, you could even spread out a blanket and doze off to the chirruping of birds and the rustling of pines.

Adwani:

The tiny village of Adwani, connected by a well-maintained road and 17 km from Pauri, boasts dozens of great picnic spots.


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