I am sure you have heard about Nainital, but do you know that around 15 km from the touristy hill station lies a secluded village which is a dream come true for those in search of solitude and solace. Pangot is a birdwatchers’ paradise, a nature junkie’s next big exploration, and a breathtaking experience for everyone. Located in the picturesque Kumaon region, Pangot is a delight at every view. The place oozes charm thanks to the richness of flora in the region and a mind-boggling number of birds that will welcome you into their home.
Here are few things you can do when in Pangot:
Go for a bird-watching tour: The village is home to the renowned Pangot and Kilbury Bird Sanctuary. Over 580 species of birds have been recorded here. From residential birds that can be found humming throughout the year, to migratory birds exploring the hills, you will be saying hello to everyone in the vicinity. You will spot Himalayan griffon, Iammergeyer, Grey-backed Shrike, Whiskered Yuhinia, Blackheaded Jay to name a few. Don’t be surprised when you find that nature is putting on its best show for you. Even if you’re not an avid fan of bird-watching, you’ll fall in love with the melodic tunes and a plethora of colours.
Trek to Naina Peak: You will start the trek through the forest with soaring deodars and the cypresses for company. The trail passes through the Kilbury forest rest house and leads you through Naina peak (also known as China Peak or Cheena Peak). The trek is calming and relatively easy in terms of the climb. So don’t worry if you have not been on a trek before. Hop, skip, click pictures while you climb. The Naina peak offers a picture-perfect view of the snow-clad peaks of Nanda Devi, Trishul, and Nanda Ghunti. You will also see Nainital from a distance and the views of the Naini Lake are perfection from the top. So pick a quiet place, forget about the world, life back at home, and just be in the moment.
Day trip to Naukuchiatal: There are many lakes around Pangot, and one of the prettiest and a little offbeat is Naukuchiatal. The place is named as the lake is said to have nine corners. Legend also states that if someone is able to see all nine corners, they can achieve Nirvana. Not sure about the legend but you are definitely going to be mesmerized with the beauty around.
You can hop onto a boat and go around the lake. People can also opt for paragliding in Naukuchiatal. Soaring high amidst the mountains is a feeling you will never forget. I highly recommend you go for it.
Visit Nainital: A beautiful emerald lake surrounded by green hills, quaint old cottages and markets, and a web of walking tracks – Nainital has its own charm. Enjoy boating on Naini lake, shop your heart out at the colourful Tibetan market, walk around the famous mall road, and hog on some delicious food. If you are staying in Nainital, you can also trek to Tiffin Top to witness a beautiful sunrise.
Go for a picnic in Pangot: The best thing to do in Pangot is go for those long walks. Pack a picnic lunch, grab your favourite book and you are set for the day. If you go during the months of March – April, you will be greeted with another visual delight – the full bloom of Rhododendron trees. The splattering of crimson through the greens of Himalayas is magic waiting to be told.