After a long and beautiful day at Naini lake surroundings, the evening was spent at peace, in the biting cold, by the fire place sipping a couple of cups of tea. Not to forget that the resort staff kept Neel busy as much as they can. Thanks to the chilling climate that invited fewer guests. Next day’s agenda was Sattal or Seven Lakes. But first decided to visit the Golu Devta Temple at Bhowali, famous far-off, for the belief of people’s wish being granted. Many like me, go with petitions that are tied to the trees or pillars. Once the wish is accomplished, a bell is tied acknowledging the accomplishment.
Alighting from the cab, I walked towards the shop to pick a pooja thali for offering. I was cautioned by the shop keeper to keep coconuts or any other eatables hidden to save it from being pulled by monkey’s who generously welcome every visitor with their naughty acts. I am the kind, who carry a bag usually and this helped me tuck the entire offering in it with a little push. As expected, w were welcomed by lots of monkeys who were observing the on goers hand luggage. As we quietly walked, trying to save from being harmed from them, we saw a couple right in front of us being looted by the warriors…oops..they lost the pooja offerings to a clever monkey. Since the floor was pretty cold, we started running for shelter to warm the feet. The big bells from the very first step of the temple was very welcoming to us. Guess what, we are followed and surrounded by monkeys everywhere at the shrine. Secretly, taking out my offerings, we completed our prayers. Now, it was time for our petition. Neel pulled out the little bell that we got and made a secret wish and tied one along with many others. I then came out to the patio near the exit that was overlooking the hills to relax for a while. The sun rays coupled with gentle breeze hit my face passing on the warmth all over while I witnessed a para-glider circling over the hills right in front of us.
Hunger Strikes-In general breakfast ensues temple visits. Since, this place was way up in the hill, we did not expect any options. There were hardly 2-3 shops selling tea, maggi and packed chips. Sun was now a little closer than before trying to get to me beating the cold wind. Rubbing my palms as often as I can, order for tea and maggi was placed. There were hardly 4 customers seated on the shaky wooden bench. We chose the one that supported the wall, which also gave shelter to a dog that curled in a corner. Here comes our order, steaming tea and maggi. I was in no mood for the same old maggi and in no time changed my opinion, while wondering how the same maggi that I have been hogging for literally for 10+ years turns out to be different and so tasty. Perfectly spiced, not a bit less and not a bit more. Tea was equally good, rather better than the ones I usually have. I gulp 3 cups in the less than 1 hour.
Now that I have had enough to keep my body warm, it was time for the next spot. A tea plantation in less than 15 mins drive. The road sloping down was a sight amidst tall trees leading us to the plantation. With less then 25 visitors early morning, it was a good opportunity to walk freely and click nice photographs…… peacefully. The tall trees that let the sun light seep in bits and pieces allowing light in the shade was the hightlight. The view was mesmerizing, for the mountains were standing right opposite the tea garden. Spending about 30 mins was good time. I did not plan to shop so hopped on the cab ready for the next point. But yes, there is shop for good variety of tea leaves should anyone be interested.
Finally, the last point of our holiday. Yes, we are at Sattal. What a view of the interconnected rivers. The driver stopped at point to show the birds eye view and it was breath taking. The clear waters amidst trees that fenced them by the hills was a view I couldn’t have missed. By the time we reached the spot, a good number of tourist were already gathered at the zip line and river crossing adventure activities. One can pass through food joints and Kashmiri stalls before reaching the lake. A whole lot of acitvity for kids was evident. Though I was keen on doing the zip line, Neel was reluctant, So I dropped the whole idea. I saw ducks lazing by the banks. We decided to visit these shops to check out some embroidery work, shawl and quilts. These sales men will literally pull you to their shop. It took a while for me zero in on what I wanted. But what attracted me was the quilt, which I almost picked.
Its was mid-noon and I decided to laze in the chair to try our luck at whats available. I ordered rajma chawal and rice kheer. The best rajma chawal ever I had with a generous portion of butter floating. The bsasmati rice was perfectly cooked separating each granule beautifully sending nice aroma around. The kheer was an icing on the cake, simple but damn tasty. After the light wonderful meal, I happily dozed in the cab that passed through twists and turns of the valley. For me, it was a journey of a life time and hoping to return soon.
Have bless day!!! Loads of love!!!