As we listened to the rain drumming its rhythm on the thatched roofs of our cottage we failed miserably in trying to match up to its maddening pace. So we turned our minds to praying for a brighter morning. An eight hour drive from Kathgodam had drained us physically; but the spectacular vistas that we previewed on our way up had energized us mentally and we were in no mind to waste our vacation by merely watching the rain from our rooms.
Early next morning as we were woken by the shrill call of the whistling thrush and a steaming cup of tea, we peeked out nervously to allay our fears and witnessed a theater unfolding. We saw the skies lift their mist laden curtains to reveal the shy smile of the sun spraying us with his benevolence. We applauded like the audience at a theater who gets to see the first act of a play after an excited wait.
Vijaypur, in Uttarakhand is a quaint little hamlet and has not been subjected to tourism before now. However, with the state really waking up to the needs of new age tourists, Vijaypur can hardly afford to stay away from news for too long. We decided to check out the place before it got ravaged by the trauma of tourism.
The town is comfortably located between Bageshwar and Chaukori and is the most convenient stopover to and from both these places. A dearth of places to stay in, has kept it away from limelight for too long but not any longer. Places like the Chestnut Grove Himalayan lodge are giving visitors another excuse to take a slightly longer break while travelling to places like Chaukori or even Munshiyari.
Our stay in this pristine locale disclosed some fabulous trekking routes. We trudged up to the Dhaulinag temple, trundled down to the lovely Khantoli village and also treaded the path down to the Tea Estate hidden behind clusters of Pine groves. On one of our treks, we got the glimpse of an unimaginable drama that nature was unfolding before us. Far below in the distance we saw black rain stuffed clouds slowly and gradually engulfing one area after the other drenching them with the misty haze of mountain rain. As we rushed for cover, we saw it wait for a few seconds, as if giving us the lead time. Then when we thought we were saved, it raced after us with renewed strength. Just when we turned the lock in our room, it beat down on us with its icy fingers furious at not having caught us earlier. We watched enamored from the warmth of our rooms as the mountain rains forming little rivulets slithered down our window panes frosting the glass to help us etch new stories on them.
On our way to the pretty village of Khantoli we crossed some excellent landscape and met the friendly locals. One gentleman we met quite frequently on our treks actually started treating us like one of them and gave us a nod whenever we met. It filled us with a special feeling to know that we could easily belong to this paradise of peace only if we wanted to.
The cacophony provided by the motley collection of Vijaypur’s birds is sufficient to drive away your loneliness if any. The chattering of the Barbet and the fluttering of the parakeets charmed our mornings and coloured our evenings. It was reason enough to lead us onto some exhilarating bird watching expeditions. On one such walk we strolled into a dense overgrowth and came across an interesting stone hut which we were told was the way houses were built in the area several years ago. We peered into its sinister interiors half hoping to see a Leopard charge out at us. As we gazed into its dark emptiness we were sadly disappointed to miss out on the thrill of adventure.
Our days in Vijaypur were lazy and lethargic yet filled with an energy we hardly ever experience in our busy city life. We relished the idea of enjoying nature at its pristine best. We cherished every waking moment in its green surroundings beating each other in identifying the ‘who’s who’ in the avian world. As our winged friends flitted and floated around us, we relaxed in their pleasurable company.
Gifted with its divine beauty, Vijaypur has sketched out the ideal route plan for you to escape out of life’s monotony. We took the plunge and were enthralled. Are you game enough to dive into its divinity?