You are here: Rediff Home » India » Get Ahead » Leisure » Summer Special
Search: The Web
  Discuss this Article   |      Email this Article   |      Print this Article

Escape to the hills of Kumaon
Tanya Munshi

A view of a lake at Nainital.
Get news updates:What's this?
May 31, 2007

This summer, escape to the quaint hills of Kumaon in Uttarakhand. Apart from its idyllic natural beauty and great views of the majestic Himalayas, the Kumaon hills offer orchards, wildlife sanctuaries, religious shrines and adventure activities. Choose what you'd like to do to make your holiday an unforgettable experience.

Here are some places worth visiting in this region.

Note: The closest airport is Pantnagar and the closest railhead is Kathgodam. Jagson Airlines connects Pantnagar to Delhi. Regular trains connect Kathgodam with Delhi and Lucknow.

From Kathgodham, one can either take a bus or hire a cab. The other alternative is to drive down from Delhi.


Boasting of thick pine forests, Kausani (located at 1890 metres above sea level) offers a spectacular 300 km-wide view of the Himalayan peaks of Trishul (the Trident of Shiva, 7120 m), Nandadevi (Goddess of bliss, 7817 m) and Panchuli. Besides these breathtaking views, Kausani offers some good treks, thick pine forests and a beautiful sunrise and sunset.

The Anashakti Ashram is a quiet place where Mahatma Gandhi spent 12 days in 1929 and wrote his commentary on the Gita-Anashakti Yog.

Other places to visit around Kausani are Bageshwar (38 km), the ancient Baijnath Temples (16 km) and the Patal Bhubaneshwar cave temple (125 km).

How to get there

~ By air/ train: Pantnagar (178 km)/ Kathgodam (142 km).

~ By road: Delhi is 425 km, Nainital is 117 km, Ranikhet is 62 km and Almora is 53 km away.

Where to stay

Chevron Mountain Villa, Kausani.

For more information, click here.

Krishna Mountain View Resort

Phone: (05962) 258008

Sun and Snow Inn

Phone: (05962) 258010



Perched at an altitude of 1789 metres is this tiny hamlet; it's about 25 km away from Nainital on the Bhowali-Mukteshwar road. Ramgarh, with its abundant natural beauty, is a wonderful retreat for those looking for a peaceful holiday. It is also known as the fruit basket of the Kumaon hills for its apple, peach, plum and apricot orchards.

How to get there

~ By air/ train: Pantnagar (80 km)/ Kathgodam (38 km)

~ By road: Ramgarh is 25 km from Nainital and 325 km from Delhi.

Where to stay

The Ramgarh Bungalows

Phones: (05942) 2281156, 2281137
Web site:

Cedar Lodge Ramgarh

Phones: (05942) 281154, 9927359688
Web site:

Himalayan View Retreat, Ramgarh

For more information, click here



Binsar, 35 km from Almora, is a notified forest reserve and bird sanctuary and home to many high altitude species of animals like the leopard, civet cat, serow, gharial, musk deer and brown bear. While Binsar is known for its views of the snow-capped Himalayas, you can also go trekking or on leisurely walks.

Places to visit close by are the Chitai Mandir, Jageshwar, Patal Bhuwaneshwar, Almora and Nainital.

How to get there

~ By air/ train: Pantnagar (150 km)/ Kathgodam (120 km)

~ By road: Binsar is 30 km from Almora, 90 km from Nainital and 418 km from Delhi.

Where to stay

Mountain Resort, Binsar

Phone: (05962) 251011
Web site:

Grand Oak Manor, Binsar Estate, Ayarpani

Phones:  (05962) 290006, 9412909518, 9319693867
Web site:

Valley Resort, Binsar

Web site:



Mukteshwar greets you at a height of 2300 metres, a perfect breather from the city dust and pollution.

The dense forests here are home to 200 species of birds, 15 varieties of fruits, over 75 varieties of flowers and 18 species of mammals.

Mukteshwar offers breathtaking views of the Himalayan Peaks: Neelkantha (Blue-throated Shiva, 6596 m), Nandaghunti (the Veil of the Goddess, 6310 m), Trishul, Nandadevi and the Panchuli peaks. Close by is the Chauli Ki Jali rock formation dedicated to Lord Shiva.

Mukteshwar is also known for the India Veterinary Research Institute established in 1898.

How to get there

~ By air/ train: Pantnagar (95 km)/ Kathgodam (70 km)

~ By road: Mukteshwar is 50 km from Nainital and 350 km from Delhi.

Where to stay

Krishna Orchard Resort, Sarga Khet, Mukteshwar

Phone: (05942) 286292
Web site:

Red Roof, Sarga Khet, Mukteshwar

Phone: (05942) 286299

Mountain Trail, Sarga Khet, Mukteshwar

Phones: (05942) 286040, 286240



Ranikhet, situated on the lower spurs of the Kumaon Himalayas, lies at about 6,000 feet above sea level. The Kali temple, situated on a hill, the Binsar Mahadev temple (a 45 minute drive away, through misty, pine forests), the Chaubatia botanical gardens spread over an expanse of 265 acres and the sprawling, beautifully landscaped golf course are some of the attractions besides panoramic views of the Himalayas.

How to get there

~ By air/ train: Pantnagar (110 km)/ Kathgodam (80 km).

~ By road: Ranikhet is well connected by road with Ramnagar (96), Nainital (68 km), Almora (50 km) and Delhi (365 km).

Cedar Lodge RamgarhWhere to stay

West View Hotel, Mahatma Gandhi road, Ranikhet

Phones: (05966) 220261, 221075 
Web site:

Woodsvilla Resort, Ranikhet

Phones: (05966) 240369, 240374, 240381
Web site:

Chevron Rosemount, The Mall, Ranikhet

Phone: (05966) 221391
For more information,
click here.

Windsor Lodge & Hotels, Kalika Estate, Dadgallia

Phones: (05966) 221888, 222099

Holm Farm Heritage, Ranikhet

Phones: (05966) 220891, 9411520445
Web site:

Cost Plus Resort, Majkhali, Ranikhet

Phone: (05966) 228369
Web site:



Nainital, named after goddess Naini, is nestled amidst seven hills at an altitude of 1938 metres. Dotted with lakes, Nainital also has a number of points like Snow-View (2270 m) 3 km away, Tiffin Top & Dorothy Seat (2,292 m) 4 km away, Lariakanta (2, 481 m) 6 kms, and the Naini Peak (2,611 m) 6 km offering panoramic views. One can enjoy boating at Naini Lake or at Naukuchiatal (26 km).

The Nainital Flats situated adjacent to the lake is a major tourist attraction. You can shop at the Tibetan market, visit the Naina Devi temple or even watch a football or cricket match at the playground.

The Mall road on one side of Naini Lake is dotted with hotels, restaurants and shops. On the other side is the less crowded Thandi Sadak (road) for a leisurely walk.

While in Nainital, you can make a trip to the famed Corbett National Park. It is 120 km away via Kaladhungi and Ramnagar (65 km).

How to get there

~ By air/ train: Pantnagar (70 km)/ Kathgodam (35 km).

~ By road: Nainital is well connected by road with Delhi (310 km), Lucknow (400 km) and Almora (67 km). Ranikhet is 65 km away and the Corbett National Park is 120 km away from Nainital.

Where to stay

Hotel Chevron Fairhavens, Mallital

Phones: (05942) 236057, 232972
Web site:

Aroma Hotel, Ayarpata

Phone: (05942) 235354
Web site:

Alka Lake Side, The Mall

Phones: (05942) 235220, 236626
Web site:

Hotel Welcome Park, Tallital

Phones: (05942) 235552, 236852
Web site:

For more details visit the Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam website.

Want to share your travel pictures? Upload your photos here and send us the link at We will feature them right here on!

 Email this Article      Print this Article
© 2007 India Limited. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer | Feedback