A rain-drenched day at ‘Queen’s Meadow’ Ranikhet

Ranikhet Army Golf Course

This post is a sequel to A Memorable Trip to Nainital – The Lake District of India, the first post of my Nainital Trip Series. Hope you enjoy reading… 🙂

Finally, the day came… we were about to leave Nainital for Kausani. I woke up very early, at 5:30 that morning. Put on my hoodie and got out of the hotel room to take a look at the lake, and the promenade, and the buildings all around for one last time. The sky was still dark; the lake was still plunged into darkness; the streetlights were still on and some fitness freaks were seen jogging up and down the Mall Road.

Nainital Lake, Dawn, Kumaon, Uttarakhand
The lake was still plunged into darkness

Suddenly, the temple bell (Naina Devi Temple) started ringing – ting-ling-ting-ling – piercing the silence of the dawn. That moment, standing alone on the balcony, I felt a pang in my heart. The pang of separation from my beloved Nainital.

We started for Kausani at around 8:30 that morning. The sky was dull and gloomy and the drizzle started. It seemed that Nature reflected my mood at that moment! As we proceeded with our journey the drizzle continued giving a hint of the inevitable downpour later. After two sunny days in Nainital the rain was a sheer disappointment. A thin layer of fog limited our vision. We sat inside the bus with all windows tightly shut, and cursed the unexpected rain silently.

I was vaguely looking at the rain-washed road and trees along the slopes of the hills when I suddenly realized that the view outside was quite interesting. It was different but beautiful. This realization wiped away all the bitterness and filled my mind with joy and hope, once again. “Nature never did betray The heart that loved her”… She always compensates one way or the other.

I caught a few glimpses of the hills and towns bathed in late monsoon rain.

Rain, Ranikhet, Almora, Kumaon, Uttarakhand
“Nature never did betray The heart that loved her”
Town, Ranikhet, Almora,  Kumaon, Uttarakhand
Colors of monsoon at Ranikhet, Almora

On our way to Kausani via Ranikhet our first stop was Kalika Mandir, an old temple nestled on top of the hill overlooking the green slopes. Then we halted at Ranikhet Golf Course in the Army Cantonment area and spent some time there. Rain could no longer spoil my spirit neither the excitement of stepping on a golf ground for the first time in my life.

Unfortunately, I didn’t see any golfer on the ground. After all it’s raining out there…who’s gonna come out for a practice!… But as I looked around I found them grazing at their own pace. 🙂

Cattle, Ranikhet, Golf Course, Kumaon, Uttarakhand
No golfers on a rainy day, only cattle grazing on the fields…

The Army Golf Course at Ranikhet is a wide-open space soaked in quietness. I think the combination of rain and fog made the atmosphere even more dramatic.

Ranikhet Army Golf Course, Almora, Kumaon, Uttarakhand
Ranikhet Army Golf Course

The sprawling green field with varying elevations and towering pines lining the boundary is altogether a treat to the eye.

meadow, Ranikhet, Golf Course, Almora, Kumaon, Uttarakhand
The sprawling green field has varying elevations and towering pines lining the boundary

The pitch-black highway runs through the green field and finally disappears into the mist.

Ranikhet Army Golf Course, Almora, Kumaon, Uttarakhand
The highway runs through the green field and finally disappears into the mist.

I wanted to run like a kid but didn’t dare, as the ground had already turned slippery from continuous rain since morning.

After roaming around amidst the greenery of the golf course for nearly two hours we were back on the road. It was cold and my hands and feet got completely wet from the rain. What I badly needed at that moment was a cup of brewing coffee which I got only after reaching the hotel. Poor me…

I have been on the hills in monsoon when we made our trip to Namchi, Sikkim. So, I have seen it raining on the hills. But in Ranikhet and all the way to Kausani it was more pleasant an experience than it was in Namchi.

It was almost 5 pm when we reached our hotel in Kausani. I switched on the TV in my room while leisurely sipping my coffee. The news report said that this untimely downpour was the side effect of cyclone Hudhud that left my favorite port city Vizag in utter destruction. My heart sank at the scenes of devastations that were showing on the news channel. My memories are still fresh with beautiful pictures of from our trip to Vizag back in 2010.

We stayed at Himalayan Mount View Resort in Kausani from where you can expect breathtaking views of snow-clad Panchchuli peaks of the Himalayas. Since it rained all night I gave up all hope of any scenic view next morning. When I got up at 6:30 next morning rain had stopped but there was no sign of the sun god. A veil of mist covered the hills and blotted out the peaks from our vision. As the morning grew older (it seemed) the mist got heavier and hovered down the slopes of the mountain offering an obscure view of the surrounding.

Himalayas, peak, resort, Kausani, Almora, Kumaon, Uttarakhand
A veil of mist covered the mountains.

And that’s when I spotted this beautiful visitor who got herself perched on top of a tree and posed for me. 🙂

bird, twitter, Kausani, Almora, Kumaon, Uttarakhand
A beautiful bird perched on top of a tree and posed for me…

To be continued…