This is an English version of one of my Bengali write ups which published in one Bengali magazine ‘Tathyakendra’ on 1st April, 2009. We, a group of 15 members from our family traveled Kumaon in the year of 2008. After 11 years I am reminiscing here one of my most memorable tours. It is an updated one; it will help my readers to know about do’s and don’ts in Kumaon trip.
Do’s and Don’ts in Kumaon Trip
- Prepare an unescapable itinerary so that you do not miss any of the tourist spots in Kumaon.
2. In kumaon give maximum time for your activities.
3. Avoid carrying too much cash; all Kumaon towns have many ATMs.
4. Personally I do not recommend driving of your own regarding Kumaon tour, until unless you are very much familiar with Kumaon roads. Driving in the hills needs some expertise because of sharp turns and rocky edges.
5. Majority of hotels in Kumaon offers temporary parking facilities for their guests. They have also separate fooding and lodging facilities for drivers and free of cost.
6. In Nainital strolling across the Mall Road in evening and night is a must to do activity.
7. Your booking should be well confirmed in advance before 7 days of arrival, call your hotel before you get there to make sure all the arrangements are done there flawlessly.
8. Nainital Mall Road is closed for the vehicles between 6-9 PM all days.
9. Mall road in Nainital is a strict no parking zone.
10. Wear life jackets during boat ride in your Lake tour.
11. Never try to swim in lakes as it is prohibited and extremely risky.
12. Kumaon hotels those offering view yet become extremely expensive during summers in respect of facilities they offer.
13. For suitable accommodations at reasonable rates look to stay in main location’s nearby areas. These places are equally beautiful yet offer good accommodations at reasonable rates.
14. Try to visit Govind Ballabh Pant High Altitude Zoo at an altitude of 2100mts above sea level is located at a distance of 2km from the Nainital bus station. The zoo inhouses rare high altitude species-like Siberian Tiger, Himalayan Black Bear, barking deer, and bird and plant species. The zoo is closed on Mondays.
15. When traveling Kumaon do not forget to visit the Baijnath Temple & Kainchi Ashram. Both are serene places for the peace and history lovers.
16. Must Visit place- Naina Devi Temple: icon of religious importance, is located right on the shore of Naini lake offers majestic view of the Nainital. Located on north side of the shore of Naini Lake, is dedicated to Goddess Sati and renowned among 64 shakti peethas devoted to her. Every year in September Nanda Devi Fest is celebrated which attracts lakhs of devotees.
17. Try to take Cable Car ride when you are in Nainital.
18. Thandi Sarak running parallel to Mall Road adjacent to Nainital Lake and is the walker’s paradise. Morning walk in this road is mind and soul refreshing .Ideal place for doing yoga and meditation on the shores of Naini Lake.
19. Do carry light woolens during your trip to Kumaon as weather changes very quickly and a little rainfall make the temperature to freezing.
20. Kumaon roads are hilly terrain, while driving never insists your driver to overtake other vehicle.
21. Do not encourage your driver to drive at night. In case of any breakdown it is hard to get any assistance nearby.
22. During winters tell your driver not to drive before sunrise. In winters due to fog the roads becomes extremely slippery.
23. Always carry your ID (PAN Card, passport, voter I Card) with you, but do keep it safely.
24. Be careful with your luggage, always keep it with you.
25. It is highly advisable to carry a waterproof laminated card mentioning your and family members details – name, address, blood group or any medical information.
26. Carry maps of the places you have planned to visit.
27. At the airport/railway station contact the travel help desk for any advice rather than asking the people around.
28. Take off your shoes while entering any religious place.
29. Women travelling alone should avoid going out of her hotel at odd hours.
30. Always cross check your bill before leaving the hotel.
31. Always avoid getting into strong arguments.
32. In summers, it can rain any time. An umbrella / raincoat can be handy.
33. For hiring the boats always use pre-paid booths located in the shores of the lakes for your boating.
34. While boating do not pollute the Lake in any way. It’s a punishable offense.
35. While on Hills / Hill slopes & forests trekking avoid throwing cigarette buts on dry leaf litter can cause for forest fires.
36. Avoid loud music and noise.
37. Playing music in Kumaon vehicles is punishable offence. Do not insist your driver to do so.
38. Avoid using Plastic Bags or PET Bottles in Kumaon, as plastic does decay itself & harms the natural environment.
39. Do respect people’s privacy while taking photographs. Ask for prior permission before taking a photograph.
40. While traveling to high Hills always carry Camera, Goggles, Sun screen lotion and Sports Shoes in-case you like nature walks (Binoculars are optional).
If you have any suggestion you can make your comment in comment section mentioned below.
Also read, KUMAON DIARIES- PART 5
For room availability check KMVN