A family on the road to self discovery
 

Chaukori – The health prone nature zone

Life is hectic. Time is preciously scarce with two young kids, a demanding job, high amour-propre, and with immense interest in never ending supplies of good books and movies.

We still dare to plan vacations on our own with pitfalls of certain ideas dying prematurely, or missing timely train reservation or booking of the preferred accommodation. It happens even though the decision about our next travel destination is always well in advance and we are quick in doing the initial survey. However, after survey we slack as if the job is done and we simply need to pack our bags and leave for the destination on the scheduled date. The reasons for the slack are always trivial like we could not spare few minutes to discuss and decide. After every such debacle, these incidents are labeled as lessons learnt. The cycle goes on and most of the time we are at the same spot when we decide to travel the next time. But such are the ways of life; you forget the lesson as soon as the exams are over.

Beautiful flowers at Chaukori

Beautiful flowers at Chaukori

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Chasing raptors @Tal Chhapar

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Red-necked Falcon

“Where did you spot these Red Necked Falcons?”

“In the Tal Chapar grassland.”

“No. Exactly where? which side?”

Well…..and we narrated the spot as best as we could, telling the spot in a jungle or grassland where trees are not given any address, nor the mud tracks have anything like 7th cross or second left. But we tried.

“Why? Are these uncommon here?”

“Every raptor is uncommon here because you do not get to see so many at one place. But we came all the way from Delhi to see these only.”

During many years of birding ( we are still beginners though), this typical behaviour of experienced birders have sometimes amused and other times puzzled me. You can find newer and newer birds for n number of years but sooner or later you would have seen most or perhaps all, in a given locality/area or even country. Will then bird-watching become boring? Will only the newer finds will give the pleasure? Perhaps I should restrict my bird watching trips to keep the interest alive. But what to do? I am an outdoor animal..to the core. Continue reading


Pasham, Pundit Explorer and Pricey Fungus at Mr Pangtey’s Museum

On the way back from Darkot village we stopped at the tribal heritage museum. It has a small yet good collection of artifacts, traditional clothing and accessories of the region and is established by Dr S.S. Pangtey, a PhD from Kumaon University, who belongs to Shauka tribe. When we visited the museum, he was not there and his younger brother was guiding tourists. Anyway for our information hungry minds even he was a treasure trove.

Sweet spoken Mr Pangtey at Tribal Heritage Museum, Munsiyari

Sweet spoken Mr Pangtey at Tribal Heritage Museum, Munsiyari


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Munsiyari maximized

All over Uttaranchal, Lord Shiva is worshiped with his consort Parvati. It is believed that even nature celebrates their embracing in the merger of sky (Lord Shiva) with earth (Parvati). It is Parvati’s incarnation as Nanda Devi that is omnipresent in Kumaon. She represents her icy, unmoving and stolid form in endless anticipation of her beloved – Shiva. Her abode is usually atop a high mountain peak and its surrounding peaks are her vassals, her kitchen and tend to her other needs.

Nanda Devi Temple, Munsiyari

Nanda Devi Temple, Munsiyari

23rd May 2010, our first destination in Munsiyari was one of the all-pervasive, Nanda Devi Temple. The vehicles brought us at the entrance gate and from there it was an easy twenty minutes walk to the temple. After paying obeisance at the temple we continued on a trail with a steep descend. It unfolded stupendous views of the Gauri Ganga Valley. The steep mountain sides were dropping several feet into the comfort of step farms. Kids were having helluva time, running and racing upward-downward, enjoying their youth and agility.

Nanda-Devi Trek, Munsiyari

Nanda-Devi Trek, Munsiyari

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Munsiyari – The final destination

At the threshold of inner Himalayas, looking down on the Gori river gorge with deep valleys branching up into the high mountains, touching Tibet – the roof of the earth – in the north, and bordering Nepal in the east lies Munsiyari at an altitude of around 2290 meters.

Gori Ganga on the way to Munsyari

Gori Ganga on the way to Munsyari

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Beautiful Birthi Falls

In our Kumaon itinerary, the second night stay was the only one that we left undecided. After all when you have a luxury of a four wheeler with a local driver you want to boast, “When life is so uncertain, why to plan everything in advance!” I would like to put emphasis on the word “Everything”. Of course, the mission statement was there; the place of our stay should be midway between Deenapani and Munsyari. Chaukori – very well fit this requirement, but the plan was to stay there while returning back, so it was ruled out. Dewanji, the senior driver among the two, suggested Aangan resort near Chaukori and we agreed.

After heavy and hearty breakfast at KMVN, Deenapani, we drove through the following segments

“Deenapani to Bare Chhina 32 Kms
Bare Chhina to Sheraghat 55 Km
Sheraghat to Raiagar 27 Km
Raiagar to Berinag(6Km)”

to reach Aangan resort.

Kumaon Map

Kumaon Map

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