Travelling isn’t always fun, but you just do it due to several reasons, few known and few unknown. Traveling costs, time, and is labor-intensive, as an outcome of this, you do create few memories.
The moment lockdown was eased out, borders were open and we had the right opportunity, we went to Binsar. The right opportunity because on the date, each year, the very next day of Shaurya’s birthday, we step out to see and create few memories for him.
Why Binsar? I have been there in 2016, it was a solo ride, didn’t see much, and was back home in 48 hrs but the calmness and region always attracted me, had to go back. Having seen the place once, I knew what exactly we were planning to do.
The effort started with looking at a stay within the Binsar Forest Reserve, KVNM online booking was closed and next was Khali Resort and Grand Oak, they were costly hence dropped. We decided to stay 5 km before Binsar Forest Reserve, near Kasar Devi Temple, decent property for a few days.
The sheer simplicity of the region, lots of hard-working people, and the grandeur of mountains, that is I need, I feel rejuvenated. People always attract me, especially in mountains where daily life is not easy, yet everyone smiles, make your struggle feel so small.
Above all, Shaurya’s loves mountains, he creates memories and wants to paint them, that’s all the motivation for our travel.
An hour of conversation with lovely people and get a feel of what’s happening in In the region, I spoke on a range of topics and its always refreshing.
COVID; it is not that important, no real testing though all KVNM resorts are converted into COVID facility. People are aware of the infection and do take precautions but in the village, it is very normal, thanks to mighty gods, it isn’t infectious in the region. During the initial days, few villages were isolated and self-discipline was imposed. Self-discipline was the key,
despite improvement connectivity, help will take its time to reach. Almora has a big hospital but no doctors, for serious problems, the region relies on Haldwani.
Employment with COVID around; last 8 months were full of hardship but people lived it with a smile, that’s the magic of living in a village, you can survive with the bare minimum, food from your products, and with some assistance from the government.
People did return to their native places from metro cities, some went back and few have decided to stay. If one
earns 5-6 k in their native place, no point going back to metro for a 10-12 job.
Development; a lot has changed after 2000, the majority of the villages are connected through road, we have electricity but water is still a problem. The supply is once in 3 days, hopefully, over some time, this hardship will go away. Government and NGO’s are encouraging rainwater harvesting, solar power and you can see its usage but the involvement of middlemen/local corruption is still an issue to get the entire benefit transferred.
Toilet revolution is working, nearly all homes have a toilet and the government has helped. People have abandoned their old homes and move closed to the road, there is no point feeling bad about especially for those who live in cushy AC rooms, we need comfort and hardship
can’t be glorified. I have also moved from a village/tier 3 city so it’s not surprising. The old house no matter how good it looks for a camera requires lots of maintenance.
Food, there is something about in Kumaon and I don’t know it, I am not a foodie or critic, I just enjoy it. The freshness of green chili and dhania as a topping is good enough to go back for food. The simplicity of Pure, Aaloo Sabjee & Chole with chutney is special, may it’s the surroundings or the people or probably influence of the mountains cajoled with green forest.
Hey, while we are it, don’t forget Baal Mithai and Shingodee if you are in Kumaon Region.
Until next time, just live it!