Come May, June and everyone from the plains rushes to the mountain destinations, especially Mussoorie, Nainital, Shimla and Manali. Unfortunately, this places a lot of strain on these tourist hotspots. Getting stuck in a traffic jam a couple of kilometres from Mussoorie can be a daunting experience what with locals making fun of the poor tourist stuck in the traffic. The Mussoorie crawl can take ages to clear and then when you reach the town, you are faced with another daunting task, that of parking your vehicle in a parking lot a couple of kilometres from your hotel.
It is because of the fact that some of the most popular tourist destinations have become crowded areas that people have begun to explore other options, options that are easily accessible, far from the madding crowd, places that offer some peace of mind. These options are often located in lesser-known villages far away from city centres. Often these locations have resorts that are close to villages. One such location that we visited this year for our summer vacations was a resort in the Dhela Village before Ramnagar. The Resort, Corbett Treat, is just adjacent to the electrified fence of a portion of the Jim Corbett National Park and it offers peace of mind.
While visiting the Jim Corbett National park, one is likelier to spot a wider range of wildlife than in the more populated areas of the hills. We were lucky to spot a tiger while driving back to our resort on the way back from Ramnagar. For people like me, the greatest attraction of visiting a hill station lies in the ability to spot a wide range of flora and fauna. While it might not be just about spotting a tiger, it might be something as simple as watching Munnia Birds playing or a Sunbird sipping nectar!
Eco-tourism is a growing trend not just in the plains but also the mountains of India. Resorts are being built close to villages and they provide employment to the youth. The reduced amounts of pollution, the sight of large vistas of farmlands, farmers sowing seeds or even harvesting provide a suitable break for eyes that have seen nothing but concrete jungles and madly driven cars. The sounds of birds calling to each other, crickets making a noise in the bushes, or perhaps even the call of a tiger is a big draw for discerning tourists.
It is the small pleasures of looking at nature in all its glory that makes you want to visit a place that is not overcrowded, I mean you become so fed up of the mad rush of the towns and cities, that it gives you great joy to connect with nature. The chameleons are so big, the flowers so fresh, the air so clean and what better than to see the clear sky with the stars shining at night!
You hardly get to see a bumble bee in the plains and seeing two is luckier still! Looking at the farmlands stretching till the horizon, or even the scarecrows in the fields all of these sights can be most welcoming at times.
While on an early morning walk you might come across strange sights in the field like for example, I thought there was a very tall woman standing in the field, but then when I got closer I noticed that it was a quilt that had been draped on to a pole!
The earthy scents, the sight of dew-drops on leaf ends, the quiet passage of a gust of wind, these are the treasure that one is bound to miss out when visiting crowded towns in the mountains.