My Favorite Images From The Bloggers Bus Trip To Uttarakhand
So I got third time lucky with the Bloggers Bus trip to Kumaon region in Uttarakhand organized by Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board. If you are familiar with the geography of India then you will know that Uttarakhand is a north Indian mountain state that is known as the source of some of the most important glacial rivers of India like Ganga & Yamuna. Uttarakhand is also home to several 20,000 ft + peaks like Nanda Devi, Kamet, Trisul, Rishi Pahar etc. Though I have been to Uttarakhand earlier many times on personal trips right from Jim Corbett National Park to the lake city of Nainital and all the way upto Munsyari this was the first time I was traveling with fellow bloggers on invitation from the good folks from Uttarakhand Tourism Board.
Baijnath Temple Uttarakhand
What Is Bloggers Bus 3.0?
This was the third edition of the Bloggers Bus the earlier buses have gone to the Char Dham Yatra and Tehri Lake Festival, that I could not join due to other commitments. But like I said I got lucky the third time and more so as we were traveling in the lesser known areas of Kumaon and many of the places were where I have never been ( or even heard of ). So while I work on detailed posts about our Road Trip To Kumaon in Bloggers Bus, let me share some of my favorite images from Bloggers Bus that I have shared on Instagram. Most of these images were clicked using my Sasta Sunder Tikau Mobile phone and were shared while I was still in Kumon. I will be mentioning wherever the image was clicked by DSLR to avoid any confusion.
Road Trip To Kumaon In Bloggers Bus
The first image below is also the first image I shared on my Instagram feed during the Bloggers Bus Trip. We stopped for a small break next to the Bhimtal on our way to Naukuchiatal, which was to be our first night stop. As I mentioned this trip to Kumaon was full of surprises and the first stop of Bhimtal itself gave me a pleasant surprise. Not only is Bhimtal a well-known tourist spot, it is also a center for research for cold water fisheries!
As I was climbing back from Bhimtal to the highway, I met this little boy who was trying to climb a tree. He had a serious look on his face but perked up when I said can you show me who your favorite movie star is and as you can see he did the signature Shah Rukh Khan pose, with a smile 🙂
The rest of the images in the post are a bit jumbled up and not in the sequence we traveled in Bloggers Bus so please don’t consider it a sequential post about the places visited. I will be writing in detail about some of the places we visited. The below click is from Kausani and was more of an experimental click when I was trying out my SST phone’s capability in the low light situation. The image was processed in Snapseed, my favorite mobile image processing app. If I have to pick one destination where I would like to go again and again in Uttarakhand then Kausani will be at the top of the list for it is not just a hill station popular among couples for honeymoon, it is also a town with historical and cultural ties with the freedom movement of India. We visited the Anasakti Ashram where Mahatma Gandhi ( read this post for the 7 Blogging lessons I learned from Mahatma Gandhi)once stayed and also the home/museum of Poet Sumitra Nandan Pant. But that dear reader is another story in an upcoming blog post.
The next image is from Chaukori, another surprise from Kumaon. Not only you get breathtaking views of Nanda Devi Range from Chaukori, the little town also has many Tea Estates, though many of them are not in good condition, but have a lot of potentials to develop into organic tea estates and also for Tea Estate Tourism. The KMVN Tourist Rest House in Chaukori is also one of the best we stayed in. This image you see is of a huge rose flower that was growing right in front of my cottage.
When we started the journey in Bloggers Bus at the peak of Monsoons in North India, one of the biggest worries was if we will get stuck in any landslides in the hills. I must say that the roads in Uttarakhand even in the monsoons were really good and though we did meet rains we were stuck only for one hour while we were going to Lohaghat. At all other places even in small villages, we found good roads, much much better than we have in Gurgaon. We were also lucky as though there was some landslide due to cloudburst on the way to Munsyari we got the news beforehand and we changed our route. No matter where we went we found excellent scenery that was picture postcard perfect and all one had to do was take out the camera or like, in this case, a mobile phone and shoot and by default you get a beautiful image. This image below is the confluence of Saryu & Ramganga ( local names of rivers, not the same rivers you see in plains )on the way to Lohaghat. What do you say about this image? I can actually stand on this vantage point and continue to look at the scenery forever.
While I have never been to Lohaghat before, it was a pleasant surprise to know that Swami Vivekanand has been to Lohaghat and actually meditated there. The beautiful colonial style building you see in the image below was earlier a warehouse and it was here that Swami Vivekanand stayed and meditated during his journeys in the Himalayas. The ashram is now called Mayavati Ashram ( no relation to the politician ) and is being renovated for future generations. The ashram is surrounded by beautiful gardens that though small in size can easily give Mughal Gardens a run for the money for the thousands of flowers that bloom there. Some of the flowers I spotted and could recognize were – Dahlia, Brugmansia, Petunia, Gardenia, Roses, Begonia etc. The Ashram runs a small nursery from where you can buy saplings to take back the blessings of this sacred place.
The next image I am sharing is of best selling author Anamika Mishra who has written 3 best selling books and is working on her 4th book – “For The Sake OF Love” that has already been booked by a well-known publisher. For the kind of celebrity, she is Anamika is a very humble person who retains her girl next door charm and was kind enough to agree to be clicked by me. This image was clicked on our way to the famed cave temple Patal Bhuvaneshwar. We saw this wall that was covered with tiny flowers so I just requested Anamika to wait for a moment and clicked this image using my mobile phone. Check out her Instagram to follow her journeys and upcoming books
The next image is what most people call ” One for the Gram” or an image clicked & processed for Instagram. While I continue to struggle to grow my Instagram account I do once in a while manage to click ” Gram Worthy” images, that hopefully will increase my Instagram following by a few decimal points. No overnight 10K plus club membership for poor desi Traveler 🙁 . Anyways my Insta Sob story aside the below image was clicked in the Pine forest next to the Army Golf Club in Ranikhet.
The below image is of a Gana ( disciple ) of Lord Shiva, and this idol just sits on the river bank in the Baijnath Temple complex in Kumaon. This was my second visit to the Baijnath Temple complex dedicated to Lord Shiva & Parvati. The first image you see in this post ( yet not shared on Instagram ) is a long shot of the Baijnath temple complex clicked using my Nikon DSLR.
The next two images in this post are clicked from my DSLR and were shared after I have come back from the Bloggers Bus Trip. The first image is of two mules peacefully enjoying green grass and some serene scenery on the banks of a tributary of Kosi River. I clicked this image from the boundary of a small temple that has a Swami Vivekananda connection.
When the Bloggers Bus was in Kumaon, it was time for the Shravan Harela festival celebrated for the rains and is considered auspicious occasion to start planting paddy in the fields. I must say we were lucky to be in Kumaon during this auspicious occasion and I plan to be there again to document and photograph more of the unique festivals and traditions of Kumaon.
The below image is of the team Bloggers Bus in Uttarakhand but this image was clicked inside Nepal that we had entered by just walking across a bridge on River Sharada. More on that in the coming posts.
So dear reader I hope you enjoyed this quick recap of my wonderful journey to Bloggers Bus, thanks to Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board. I must also thank Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam Limited for there excellent hospitality in the KVMN TRHs, that offer the best views, comfortable room, and delicious food. If you are traveling in Kumaon, I would strongly recommend you check out KVMN TRHs.