The long pine trees looked elegant and gigantic while I looked around the hilly region of Ranikhet, a place on the foothills of Himalayas, in the Almora district of Uttaranchal!
Nature truly appears to be at its best here, the place known as the queen of hills. It had been a favorite place of the Britishers during summers, when they ruled India .Fortunately the name of the town didn’t change and it is still know as Ranikhet,sounded sweet and melodious as a beautiful song of the spring!
April 1991 :
This was my first visit to this scenic location which gave the longest view of the Himalayan range.
It was late evening by the time I reached and even in the month of April when the whole of India starts getting scorched by the sun, it was chilling and cold there.
Following day started with a glimpse of the most exhilarating view of the mountain Trishul which stands in the shape of a Trishul, an emblazon weapon carried by Lord Shiva.
The early dawn reflected on the peaks trident and they looked gorgeously golden.
Never had I seen such a pictures queue sight!
Later during the day a walk through the Mall road of the town ,I could feel the warmth of the local people which I experienced during the visit to the local market . Every pedestrian had a smile on his face irrespective of being strangers. The girls had pink crimson cheeks which got more red when they smiled.
There was only a single road which had shops on both sides and which ran for around a kilometer. That was all the place had to offer in its commercial aspect.
Small shops of woolens, grocery, daily needs, cosmetics, a few stationary shops and few vegetable vendors. This was all in the local market besides the handloom outlets which sold the local handmade woolens.
There was a single photostudio, which had the facility of getting clicked, but the developing and printing part was done hundreds of kilometers away down the hills in another city in the plains.
Wonder in which world I lived, it felt like an old version of a filmy town situated in hills but the most beautiful I had ever seen.
My heart instantly had fallen in love with this enchanting place amidst the pine and fir trees.
The carved fir cones looked magnificent on the branches and were a piece of delight when fallen and collected by anyone.
The air I breathed had a pure smell and was fragrant with resins secreted by the fir trees, which was used to make turpentine oil! There were conical shaped tins attached to most of the trees to collect the falling gum from the slits made on the trunk. The scattered fir leaves formed a golden carpet on the slopes which was actually very slippery when I tried walking on it.
To be contd….