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Exploring the hills with my extended family

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It’s been a while since I last visited mountains and the travel-freak inside me was longing for an escape to the hills. So, I implored my uncle to plan a small family trip over the weekend. Surprisingly, he was equally enthusiastic about all of us visiting a hill station.

Traveling with the entire family can be overwhelming. Whether your family is close and travel quite often; or you meet them just once or twice in a year, it’s good to on a vacation with them. It was in 2016 summers when we decided to travel. Everyone had different travel perspectives, budgets, needs and desires. So, finding a place that will please the whole crew was arduous.

We chose a refreshing and soothing destination to the misty and quaint mountains, called Phakot. It’s a serene, lesser known place in the hills, away from the bustling city crowd. While narrowing down our choices, we opted for a resort somewhere convenient for everyone. One of my uncle’s friends had recently stayed there, and his review of the place was just fantastic. The planning and execution of our trip just got a whole lot easier.

Day 1:

We finally began our journey at 6 am from Delhi. After an eight-hour long ride filled with curves, scenic mountains and lush green plains; we reached Phakot in the afternoon. All we could do was unpack our luggage, had lunch and plod our allotted rooms.

In the evening, we went to a famous temple nearby. There were not many people around, and the place was still undamaged and clean. After seeking the blessings of the almighty, we headed for a drive. There was a point near the temple from where one can catch the most spectacular view of the town.

Day 2:

Since it wasn’t possible to cover all the spots in the area, we only put the best ones on our bucket list. Next day, we were scheduled to visit the Tehri dam which was 45 Kms away from our property.

We had to drive downhill to reach the dam. The green-blue lake looked so beautiful and left us in constant awe. You need to procure special permission in advance to visit the Tehri dam from inside. My uncle had already got it, and so we were lucky to get an inside tour of the dam. I suggest one should definitely opt for it if visiting the area.

A few minutes’ drive from the dam was Tehri Lake where one can indulge in water sports. Although the adults (excluding my uncle) in my family opted out, I was supercharged to do it nonetheless. You can munch on Maggi and other snacks being sold by the shops nearby while enjoying the perfect scenery that looks like straight out of a beautiful painting!

Day 3:

We woke up early this morning. It was magical to witness the mountain range early morning as the sun gradually lifts the darkness. Later, we had tea and light breakfast and then proceeded towards Rajaji National Park.

On our way to the park, we saw some beautiful scenes in the area. Every time you go far from the city one gets to experience nature differently. The trees, wild shrubs, terraced fields, streams and lakes; everything looked fascinating.

Before heading, we had prepared for the Safari; packed light and was carrying essentials like hat, goggles, etc. The three-hour jeep safari ride passed through the dense forest and was full of excitement and uncertainty. Our first wild encounter was with a herd of giant Asiatic elephant.

Our guide told us these forests are the ideal place to catch the wild majestic Tiger. Unfortunately, we could not see them. All we could spot were wild buffalo and a bunch of different species of antelope. After three hours of adventurous ride, we came back to our resort.

My refreshing retreat to the hills with loved ones came to an end. It was the perfect antidote from a packed work schedule. If you haven’t been on a family trip yet, I suggest you give it a shot. The time you spend together outside of your routine will be worth it. It’s something you will never regret.

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