And it will last forever(at least my forever). It’s been 15 months since I traveled for my own thing. The utopic dream of always being a traveler was literally gasping. But it happened amidst all those bull***t reasons to stay in the circle of life and not go anywhere out. All these years I’ve realized that nature is my high, especially mountains. This is not for anyone else. Just me. I need to keep breathing for my own highs.
AC first class in Railway is way better than domestic flights.
Just like those other dozen times, despite following Solan Standard Time(Being Sleepy, Sloppy and Late like hell), we actually made it.
Its beginning to seem like, when we(me and my friends) decide about a place or season to travel to, its always opposite to the contemporary young. When everyone is losing themselves in Goa, we are rising towards the mountains again.
A Lil bit of info first:
DEL to KGM, you should take early-morning Shatabdi, it drops you around 11 AM. This is the most comfortable journey from Delhi to Kathgodam near the foothills of Kumaun hills. And then there is about four hours of road journey elevating along with the Himalayas. The roads in Kumaun are better than Garhwal. You should make a stop at Hills View hotel, where you’ll be able to see a huge painting like backdrop of Koshi river and valley. You get to see Bhimtal on the way and you keep on realizing the local surnames on posters and shops. Further on you’ll reach Almora. I never anticipated that Almora would be such a large town. It imitates Shimla a lot, if you have lived in or around Shimla, you experience deja-vu in many places.
Diving right in the populous town, we made our way to stay in Kasar Devi, a small hippie village. We’re unsure of the stay here where everyone had suggested the KMVN hotels. But it’s cheaper than Binsar resorts and biggest catch, KMVN Binsar just has running power for 3 hours. But the ‘blessing in disguise’ had to wake up with the rising sun the next morning. We took a homestay in Kripal Guest House in Kasar Devi. A lot of travelers had been living here for months. And the reason to settle here was sleeping in chilling cold Kumauns.
The next morning when we went on to the roof to see around, we’re awestruck with the 360-degree views of the mountain ranges around. The biggest reason to be here is to see them all together in one compact view. You see Nanda Devi(7,816m) in the middle of 80 something other popular peaks(visible from here) claiming the second-highest peak spot in India after Kanchanenjnaga. The closest major peak from Kasar Devi was Trishul. We could spot 82 peaks in 362KMs outreach from our place, surprisingly including Leo Purgil the highest mountain in our state Himachal. All you need is good fortune, bright sunlight around and binoculars. The best time to spot hills is after monsoon when you get the maximum clarity in the sky. You can see Garhwal region peaks like Nilkanth and the neighbors around Nanda Devi, it’s actually stacking of the peaks which happens when you see those ranges from Binsar region, a true stroke of fortune. You rarely see these many peaks together from a single place. It’s like a theater of high mountains. There are very few other places in India to give you the PEAKing experience. I will add references to explore them.
Honestly speaking you don’t get a very wide view from Binsar zero point, but yes, you do get a much closer look of landscapes from there. A walk till the zero point is very much similar to the Hatu peak in Himachal.
You can see the autumn effect in winters there, a wide diaspora of colorful leaves around. Also, the place is amazing for ‘light-leaks photography’. If you admire the Thomas Heaton’s work, then, this place is perfect to execute similar work.
The ‘famous’ Apple/Facebook Neem करौली baba is also on the way to Binsar at Kenchidham. It is also said that Swami Vivekanand has also meditated here. You will see the Kosi river in parallel to the road trail in many places. This river here is different than the Koshi river of Bihar, which we often hear for its devastating acts. Traveling in Kumaun gave me so many Deja-vu landscape moments due to it’s a resemblance to our Shivalik Himachal. You will see beautiful pictures of the region and especially of peaks by Amit Sah, a local from Nainital. Definitely check his work out if you are interested. The history of Kumaon is pretty interesting. Check it’s contrasting history with Garhwal.
Huawei P30 Pro in use:
The role of AI-powered apps in recognizing peaks is going to grow in the coming time. We had a glimpse of two such apps there, peakfinder and lenspeak. Peakfinder is a Swiss app and is closest to approximations. I tested my all-new Huawei P30 Pro camera here. I used its entire zoom range extending up to 50x. I found it impressive enough as it used AI to approximate details in higher zoom ranges. Please check the video for more details.