Temples & Tigers of Kumaon Himalayas – 1 week
Duration: 6 nights and 7 days
Destinations: Corbett National Park, Ranikhet & Jageshwar
Best Time: October to June
Tour Code: CPS-TT67
Day 01: Corbett National Park
Connect overnight air-conditioned train the previous night from Old Delhi railway station at 2245 hours. Arrival at Ramnagar today at 0500 hours. You will be met at the station. Wash & Change, Breakfast at Tiger Camp (optional).
OR Drive from Delhi or Dehradun (6-hour drive), arriving at Tiger Camp by noon for lunch.
Afternoon safari through the open chaurs (grasslands) and mixed forests in Bijrani Range Forest, a safari that would last about 3-4 hours. OR After lunch, you may opt for an elephant ride at Tiger Camp and you will have ample time to study the behaviour of this magnificent and intelligent mammal. Or you may go bird watching with a guide. Overnight stay in comfortable cottages / rooms.
NOTE: If you arrive early morning by train, one of the above jungle experiences can be added to your morning activity.
Day 02: Corbett National Park
Morning safari through the open chaurs (grasslands) and mixed forests in Bijrani Range Forest, a safari that would last about 3-4 hours. Return for breakfast. Drive onward to Balluli Bridge for a walk to Riverine Woods (2 km; the wildest lodge!). Cross the river at Balluli Bridge for the Kanda Range, where Jim Corbett shot the famous Kanda man-eater. Arrive at the Riverine Woods. Lunch and relax a bit in the serene, lingering quietness of the jungle and capture the panoramic expanse on your camera. Rest of the day go for long walks, for wildlife tracking and birding with a guide. Bar-be-que dinner and overnight stay in a cottage.
Day 03: Corbett National Park to Ranikhet
Walks for wildlife tracking and birding with a guide. The day is spent experiencing real wilderness of Corbett National Park. You will be transferred to Ranikhet (3 hours) in the afternoon, arriving in the evening. Overnight stay in a hotel.
Ranikhet is a picturesque location surrounded by hills in northern India. It is a cantonment town situated in the Almora district of the Indian state Uttarakhand. It was the place of interest for British who frequented this place to escape from the sweltering heat of the Indian subcontinent during their rule. More is known regarding Ranikhet, it is 1869 meter above the sea level and the entire cantonment town is divided into two ridges, namely Ranikhet ridge and Chaubattia ridge. There are many local myths that make up the history of the hill town.
Day 04: Ranikhet to Jageshwar via Katarmal Sun Temple
We drive to the highly sought after destination, Jageshwar calling Almora on the way to visit Katarmal Temple.
About Katarmal Temple: The Katarmal Sun Temple is a monument of historical importance and also is an example of intricate sculpturing. The first rays of the sun falls straight on this Sun Temple. The main deity of the Sun temple in Katarmal is called Burhadita or Vraddhaditya (the old Sun God). The idols of Shiva-Parvati and Lakshmi-Narayana are also found in this temple. Katarmal Sun Temple complex has one main temple, surrounded by 45 smaller shrines exquisitely carved temples surrounding it.
The Katarmal Sun temple, noted for its magnificent architecture, artistically made stone and metallic sculptures and beautifully carved pillars and wooden doors, the image of Surya in the temple dates back to 12th century. The Katarmal Sun temple has some unique architectural style and the images carved on the walls are very intricately done. Though amidst ruins, it still stands as a major point of attraction in the region and many devotees visit here to offer prayer to the Sun God.
Overnight stay in Van Serai, a very charming lodge with local architectural sensibilities.
Day 05: Jageshwar
Today we will visit Dandeshwar, Vridh Jageshwar and Jageshwar Temples.
About Dandeshwar, Vridh Jageshwar and Jageshwar Temples: The spiritual hamlet of Jageshwar is where you can explore its ancient 8-12th century Shiva temples. Counted among the 12 Jyotirlings in the country, Jageshwar lies in a beautiful narrow valley hedged by monarch-sized, ancient deodars.
Exquisite ancient temple ruins, beautiful Himalayan vistas, gurgling stream nearby, Jageshwar offers a spiritual retreat. With morning Yoga sessions and options for massage as well, you can choose to soak in the spiritual energy of this holy area or go for hikes in the surrounding woods. A picnic on the cool riverside is also a very enticing option.
Visit Vridha Jageshwar in the morning, it is a 3 Km trek and is the source of the river Jata Ganga. The view of the surrounding country side is very imposing and 1.5 km beyond from Hiriya Shikhar (2200 m), the view of the Himalayan peaks is awe inspiring. Overnight stay in Van Serai.
Day 06: Jageshwar to Pangot
Our drive to Pangot is interesting as we visit Neem Kirori and Naina Devi Temples en route. Stop en route at Nainital for lunch, boating, cable car ride and shopping. The entire drive is through the delightful lake city of Nainital and through the forested area of Cheena Peak Range via Snow View Point and Kilbury, the main habitats for excellent flora and fauna. Overnight at the quaint and idyllic Jungle Lore Birding Lodge.
About Neem Kirori and Naina Devi Temples:
Founded by the famous Maharaj Neem Karoli Baba in 1962, the temple is very well maintained and kept neat and clean. The concept of this place came into existence in 1942 when Maharaj Neem Karoli along with Shri Poornanand of the Kainchi Village proposed building an Ashram here dedicated to Sombari Maharaj and Sadhu Premi Baba who used to perform yagnas in this very place. Later in 1962, their dream happened and the forest from this area was cleared and a rectangular platform was constructed. After due permission from the Forest Conservator, Maharaj Ji acquired the lease of this land and constructed a Temple devoted to Lord Hanuman over that rectangular platform and adjacent to it is the Kainchi Temple and an Ashram built for devotees.
The Hanuman temple is built over the platform mentioned above. His devotees started coming from different places and a chain of bhandaras, kirtans, bhajans started. The Pran-Pratishtha of idols of Hanumanji and others was performed on 15th June in different years. Thus, 15th June is celebrated every year as Pratishtha Divas when a large number of devotees come to Kainchi and get Prasad. The number of devotees and the associated vehicular traffic is so large that the district administration has to make special arrangement to regulate the same. Accordingly some changes have been made in the whole complex so that people do not face any difficulty in movement.
The word Naina is synonymous with Sati’s eyes. Since then, devotees started visiting this temple. Once the devotee reaches the hill top, prasad can be bought from any of the various shops or it can also one’s own offerings from home. After crossing the main gate, there is a big Peepal tree on the left side. On the right side of the temple there are idols of Lord Hanuman and Ganesha. After reaching the main entrance of the temple, there are two statues of lions. Inside the temple, devotees have darshan of three deities. On the extreme left is Mata Kali Devi, the centre representing two Netras or eyes is Maa Naina Devi and to right side is idol of Lord Ganesh. Though the temple is named after Naina Devi (another name for Sati), the biggest social occasion here is the festival held in honour of Nanda Devi.
Overnight stay in Jungle Lore Birding Lodge.
Day 07: Pangot to Delhi
Our last leg of the journey to Kathgodam commences at noon as we will board the train to Delhi in the mid-afternoon, arriving in Delhi at 2200 hours. Tour Ends.
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