A day in Pangot, the hidden gem above Nainital

Where peace echoes

Tourism

April 1, 2020

/ By / Uttarakhand

day in pangot

Pangot is an ideal place for recharging your spirits, in the lap of nature | Photo Credit: Chandan Gupta

Nothing, but echoes of peace and greenery all around. Welcome to a hidden paradise in the Kumaoni hills where nature still rules. Inaccessible to telephonic networks, Pangot is a perfect getaway to recharge your batteries.

Like a blank canvas painted with every possible shade of green, from olive to henna, are the foothills of Kumaoni range, almost creating a dialogue with a sky painted in a single stroke of light blue, with sparsely placed gigantic white clouds. For morning music, the melodious songs of birds are on offer. Standing in a small cottage resembling a thatched hut, as I admire this natural scenery while enjoying a hot cup of Himalayan tea, the beauty of Pangot carves a special place in my heart.

“There is something different about this place. Whoever comes here once, forms an instant connection. Even I had visited the place without a concrete plan and have settled here now. Unlike the always on a fast-track lifestyle of metropolitan cities, life is slow here. While in Pangot, you are truly in the lap of nature,” says Ankit Singh, a designer by profession, who is also the owner of the cottage.

Without a trace of large buildings, crowded roads or lavish homes in sight, I whole-heartedly agree with Singh. In Pangot, as far as your view goes, there is nothing but spectacular hills to admire. Unlike most of the over-crowded hill stations including Shimla, Dehradun, and Nainital itself, which is just an hour away from Pangot, the destination has nature preserved in its raw form. Only a few camps and cottages can be spotted here, which take extra care in ensuring that the waste is dumped effectively and the place is not littered.

A paradise for trekkers

day in pangot

Sniper and Toffee led us to the waterfalls through the trails of the jungle

It wouldn’t be wrong to describe Pangot as a living map of intertwined trekking routes. From small treks stretching over three to four hours, to the ones requiring a day or two, everything is taken care of in this hamlet. One of the treks that added to my experience here, was that to a local waterfall. As my trek expert Bhaskar Chandra took me through the rugged road leading to the trek, friendly and smiling faces greeted me all along, reminding me of the hospitality that Indian hill stations are known for. As we moved further, two furry friends accompanied us, Toffee and Sniper, as Chandra would call them. On our way, he showed me a small shop of essential commodities, for everything else one needed to go to the Nainital city. Tricky routes of the jungle welcomed us to the trek. While sometimes the ground was smooth, Chandra would ask me to walk over steep paths with a dash of rocks of all sizes, on the other. We both collected pieces of woods for preparing lunch, on our way.  As we moved through thin pathways lined with giant trees on both the sides, Sniper and Toffee trekked beside us, with equal enthusiasm. “It may seem difficult at first, but once you get used to it, it’s quite easy. I can walk through the trails of this jungle even with my eyes closed,” said Chandra, as the faint sound of the waterfall became clearer with each step.

As we finally reach the waterfall, the white waters without an iota of pollution, took me by surprise. Standing in the pristine waters, with greenery and blooming flowers all around me, the might of nature catches my fascination.

Bhaskar cooked a delicious plate of Maggi in the middle of the jungle, to the soothing music of pristine waterfalls

The peaceful moment is interrupted, as Chandra calls me for a hearty meal. He made a small bonfire of woods that we had collected and, in a pan, cooked delicious Maggi, exactly the way I preferred. “Visitors get hungry as they reach the falls. They aren’t used to exploring the paths of jungles for two hours in the cities,” he chortled.

“Something light but fulfilling should be consumed during the trek. My favourite one is Khichdi, it isn’t too heavy and gives you enough energy to complete the trek,” he added. As I click pictures of the tempting plate against the beautiful scenery, Toffee and Sniper pose willingly.

It takes us about five hours, in all, for this trek. As we head back towards the cottage, a beautiful sunset awaits us. Some other treks that can be enjoyed here in Pangot include Guano Hills, Nainital’s Land end, Naina Devi and Cheena Peek. One can also head to the famous Jim Corbett National Park from here, which is situated 80 km from here.

“When in Pangot, one must trek as much as possible. Besides the famous ones, there are so many amazing trekking routes which aren’t that famous but are equally adventurous, and we are willing to take the visitors there,” says Singh, the owner of the cottage.

Relaxing amid the hills

Almost all the places of stay offer recreational activities here | Photo Credit: Chandan Gupta

Pangot knows how to take care of its visitors. From camping in tents to cottages equipped with facilities, it has something for everyone. Adding to the fun is the availability of several adventure activities such as zip-lining, commando net, war escape, sky tunnel and Burma bridge, which are sure to keep your spirits high. Another interesting facet to the break in Pangot can be a bonfire, which is offered in almost all the stays here. Listening to music, under a star-studded sky in front of fire lit in a pot, was undoubtedly therapeutic for me. However, what caught my attention, in particular, was the warm hospitality that Pangot offers. The comfort and preferences of the tourists are given top priority all of their needs are taken care of in the best possible manner.

Away from the hustle and bustle of city life, in Pangot the time is paused. Even while lazying around a strange sense of refreshment takes one over. It wouldn’t be wrong to say, that Pangot is led by the rules of nature.

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