If Only We Had A Little Time THE HIMALAYA IS ALWAYS THERE ...
A Tale Of Two Places
Some of us may still remember the pleasing voice of Leonard Cohen singing in his famous song The Sisters of Mercy :'... You who must leave everything that you cannot control.
It begins with your family, but soon it comes around to your soul.'
But this is a sort of utopia. Though while in our daily life our mind has a tendency to travel to distant places - places which are silent, serene and charming. Where food will be simple, daily chores minimal with lots of leisure to delve deep into the soul. A few books may accompany us there, and a little amount of music too. But nowhere we find such places with silence and solitude at its peak as we come across in lesser travelled places in the Himalaya. And to go there one need not necessarily trek or undergo hazardous journeys. Let us talk about two of such places.
A Small Village Near Almora
nice 10-kilometer drive from Almora towards Binsar takes one to
Papersali, a small village crowded with tall Pines, Deodars and Oaks.
Everywhere at Papersali one comes across uncountable trees and lush
greenery - smeared with untroubled silence. But dawn to dusk
this impenetrable silence has a great company - the ceaseless sweet tunes of
unnumbered birds, common as well as of rare species. Take a chair ouside
of where you stay and get lost.
A Little Known Place close to Mukteswar
is a small hamlet of about 12 km before Mukteswar. If one goes in proper time,
apricots, apples, plums,
pears, peach and likewise fruits of equal delicacy, besides the majestic Himalayan trees, come up in abundance everywhere around
the hills. It's a feast for the eyes while idling along the almost lonely
mountain roads with the deep blue sky above and the majestic snowcapped hills exuding their amazing charm. And thus you fall in love with Peora
How It Began
We were two, me and my wife. Both beyond middle ages. For our nine days trip we took two shoulder bags and a small handbag with titbits which always help.
I carried two books and some music in my cellphone. The first book was Marcus Zusak's The Book Thief. This I had read a year before but wanted to go through again in the solitude of the Himalaya. The other one was Anthony Doerr's All the Light we Cannot See which I began reading just before the trip.
At 07-00 AM on 5 June 2017 we left Kolkata and were in Delhi a little over two hours later. We had beforehand reserved a retiring room at
Old Delhi Railway Station. There we had lunch and rested before boarding
Delhi-Kathgodam Sampark-Kranti Express which leaves at 16-00 PM. At around
22-30 PM we checked-in at the Silver Palace Hotel at Haldwani. The day next
after breakfast we travelled for three hours to Gopal's Binsar Retreat at Papersali and reached there a little after the noon on 6th June.
on 9th we left Papersali in late morning and drove for one-and-half hour to reach Peora before lunch. There we stayed at an old- time British Dak Bungalow till late morning of 12 June before leaving for Haldwani.
En route to Haldwani we visited Mukteswar. At around 17-00 PM on 12th we once again checked-in at the Silver Palace Hotel. On the day next we boarded the Kathgodam-Delhi Sampark-Kranti Express which left Haldwani at 09-08 AM and took us to Delhi at 15-30 PM on 13 June.
At 02-30 AM on 14 June 2017 we left Delhi and were back in Kolkata in just over two hours.