Monday, 8 July 2013

Tour of Uttarakhand - Lansdowne

Part 1 National Chambal Sanctuary is here.
Part 2 Lansdowne is here.
Part 3 Enroute Joshimath is here.
Part 4 Badrinath is here.
Part 5 Auli - Tapovan - Kanchula Kharak is here.
Part 6 Chopta Tunganath is here.
Part 7 Devariyatal (Deoriatal) is here.
Part 8 Kakdagaad Haridwar is here. 


Directly after the safari, we drove off to Meerut via Agra. The Yamuna expressway is really very good... our first experience on it.  That stress free drive ended as we took the turnoff to Bulandshahr and onwards to Meerut. Some stretches were really beautiful tree lined avenues... others were potholed and narrow. In all, a decent drive. 

Enroute Meerut

DAY 3 and 4

The next day we made an early start to Lansdowne. Had breakfast of Chole-Bhature from a ‘thela’ in Miranpur which was yummm! Skirting Bijnor, drove past Najibabad, Kotdwar and then onto Lansdowne. The scenery changed after Kotdwar dramatically as the hills began. One particular signboard had us in splits...’Be gentee on the curves’.  Lovely roads and picturesque settings all the way to Lansdowne. 

Close to Lansdowne

I was surprised that despite the place being not particularly high up (in altitude), it was cold indoors even in the afternoon! The most striking thing on reaching was the profusion of flowers everywhere. The tiniest place be it on the mountainside or along the road was blooming with wild flowers. Many moss-laden trees had orchids on them in full bloom. Coming from the hot, dry and dusty plains, this was pure bliss!

The two days in Lansdowne, all we did was bird watching and enjoying the long walks in and around the place. For us from the plains, it was a completely new set of birds we saw there and the Plum headed and Slaty headed Parakeets caught our attention with their raucous screeching. Thus began our acquaintance with birding in the Himalayas...Himalayan Bulbuls,  Russet Sparrows, Lesser Yellownape, Brown fronted and Himalayan woodpeckers, the Eurasian and Black headed Jays, the numerous Tits, Flycatchers, Barbets, the list is endless. Kept us enthralled for the entire duration of our stay there...

Himalayan Bulbul

Slaty headed Parakeet

Black headed Jay

Verditer Flycatcher

Bulla Tal

Great Barbet


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