The Journey so far…

Day 2 | Nainital – Almora – Chaukori via Sheraghat – Berinag

20th December 2012: Well, we started late this day with a view of magnificent mist floating over the calmness of Nainital Lake in the morning. I clicked few pictures, the sky was clear and we were all set to witness the snow cladded peaks much closely from Chaukori Having just an easy drive of about 6 hrs in mind for Chaukori from Nainital via Almora, we decided to start the day late as well. Had our breakfast with ease, which was again tasty enough, cleared our bills and went ahead towards Chaukori without wasting further time!!

An early morning calmness at Nainital Lake…
An early morning calmness at Nainital Lake

The BLUNDER I did was that I did not ask the directions to Almora from the local and had in my memories a signboard of Almora near Kaladhungi from last day from where we started our ascend to Nainital about 34 KMs down 😯 😯 … We kept driving for couple of hours only to find that I took the WRONG TURN and instead of going towards the direction of Almora from Nainital, we went all the way back towards HaldwaniKathgodam 😥 almost 90+ KMs more and that too in PEAK TRAFFIC hours 😥 :cry:… It was seriously a painful drive and when I was about to reach Haldwani then I realized my mistake because Almora is just 65 KMs from Nainital and must have come within 2 Hrs. It had already been 2.30 Hrs and I cannot see any signs of Almora and we were near Kathgodam. Actually, there is a route of about just 16 KMs from Nainital that directly reaches to the point near Bhowali, the one route that goes towards Bhimtal, Naukuchiyatal meeting on main Highway going towards Almora 🙁 🙁 … Almora is just 50 odd KMs from that junction :D. This along with late start of the day only meant that now we need to PUSH really hard to make it to Chaukori within daylight because in winters days are short too. We have covered a tiring 90+ KMs extra almost 3-4 Hrs of journey more owing to congested traffic due to peak hours. I pushed the accelerator without any other thoughts and all pictures of the day posing with the junior were gone for the party now… But, he was enjoying the drive, unaware of all things what has happened around and so was my wife :D.

Somewhere near Almora
Somewhere near Almora

Finally, around 4 PM we reached Almora where we were supposed to reach by 1 PM and then the bad thing happened that Junior threw out the milk and vomited. We had to clean the car, Junior, change his clothes and all resulted in more time. However, I was worried about the Junior if he was fine or not but he was. I felt the new dzire was responsible equally with the curvy roads of Kumaon and the extra speed with which I was driving to amend the lost time. Driving slow is the key (about less than 15-20 KM/Hr) while taking turns/curves to keep nausea of the passengers away and I was shooting it way ahead. Anyways, Junior was all set to travel ahead and after that he spent most of the time sleeping 😀 … At Almora, we took the route to Chaukori via Sheraghat – Berinag which was about 115 KMs, meaning about 4-4.5 Hrs more to reach. I started pushing hard again and we were all missing the beautiful drive through the dense forests on that route. By now, we were even seeing the snow clad peaks far away but the pressure was to reach Chaukori due to one blunder. We just ogled the beauty outside while drive only without clicking any pictures or relaxing. At one stage while Saurabh was driving, I too felt nausea and had to ask to stop the car. Then, I stepped out of the car to inhale some fresh air from outside. WOW, it was bone chilling outside in between the forest. But, after a little walk the nausea settled. I thought it as normal and then sat at the front seat from back. This helped somehow.

Junior Enjoying the Vistas somewhere near Almora
Junior Enjoying the Vistas somewhere near Almora

Soon the sun faded away and it was all dark. There was nothing to lookout but just drive that single long road towards Chaukori via Berinag. Finally we hit the T Section at Raiagar from where left goes towards Berinag – Chaukori and right goes towards Patal Bhuvaneshwar Chaukori was just 22 KMs away from there and we could take a sense of easy breath now. Thankfully the roads from Almora all the way to Chaukori were in really good condition apart from one or two small very bad stretches. I had seen pictures of the route and knew it was something magical what we were missing while driving at night and had already missed 🙁 … But, anyways we finally reached Chaukori.

I had booked KMVN Guest House at Chaukori and it was right on the road at the corner side with some fantastic or perhaps the best views of the snow cladded peaks in entire Chaukori. There was even a tower to climb up and get the clear view of the sun coming out of the mystic mountain peaks. We immediately checked-in after the tiring and running day. I had booked the room for 3 but Dhruv joined us at the last moment, so the guy offered us a room for 4 and luckily it was available for the 2 days we wanted to stay at Chaukori. Something getting our way finally in the day 😉 …

We quickly settled down, kiddo as usual immediately got a relief and started running around. We had our dinner in the restaurant area as the KMVN guys do not serve food in rooms. Food was decent enough, light and tasted fine. Kiddo immediately got his attention from all the tourists around with his naughtiness, mingled with them as if he knew them since long. After some fun it was time to call off the very long and forgettable day but with lesson learnt. The night appeared really cold but quilts were decent enough to save us from it. Next day was all set for relaxing in and around Chaukori and witness the fabulous work of nature at Patal Bhuvaneshwar.

The Journey ahead…


I am Dheeraj Sharma - a traveler, techie, and Himalayan lover. Since 2009, I have been helping thousands of travelers every year plan memorable & budget-friendly trips to the Himalayas - Smartly, Safely, and responsibly.


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  2. Jitendra Nath Ghosh on

    Hello Sir
    We want to visit Nainital, Ranikhet, Chaukori, Munsiyari, Kausani. It’s like a honeymoon tour for us (a new couple). We want to spent some time (9-10 days) seeing the most scenic beauty & picturesque places in Kumaon.
    Can you please suggest a good itinerary for us without much hectic journey.
    We will be arriving Kathgodam at 6:00 in morning & will be starting from here. Thanks.

      • Anubhav Raikar on

        Hi Dheeraj,

        Thank you very much for all the information you share.. It was an amazing experience.. We started from Kathgodam on a 4 day bike trip to Binsar – Munsyari – Kausani – Almora and back.. November is surely a good time to be here.. its sunny, its green and cold enough.. 😀

  3. Hi Dheeraj,

    Can you please let me know if it is a good time to travel to Chaukori around 3rd week of March? What kind of climate can we expect? Plan to travel with family.


    • Yes Nimesh, early March should be a good time to visit Chaukori. Climate will be cool and pleasant and you will surely enjoy. Do not miss visit to Patal Bhuwaneshwar

      • Hi Dheeraj,

        Thank you for your valuable advice.

        We decided to visit Chaukori – Munsiyari in the 3rd week of March. Reaching Delhi on 21st March and have approximately 9-10 days. The places that we would want to spend more time are Chaukori and Munsiyari (unless ofcourse you have any other suggestions nearby that we must explore). Please let me know what are the best places to break the road trip starting from Kathgodam or Nainital.

        We have visited Mukteshwar, Ranikhet and Kausani earlier, so a different route to see new places would be better unless other routes would mean a longer drive.

        Also, please let me know if KMVN’s accomodation offers good experience especially at Chaukori and Munsiyari or should we opt for other hotels? Appreciate your recommendations.

        Thanks again.

        • Nimesh, in that case please refer: Kumaon, Uttarakhand – Most Common Itinerary

          This plan will help you traverse Chaukori and Munsiyari at ease. Since, you have more days in hand, spend leisure time at those places. KMVN Chaukori has best location for views I will say and same goes with Munsiyari. But for Chaukori, Ojaswi Resort a private property is very comfortable too with very nice food.

        • Hi Dheeraj,

          Thank you for your recommendations.

          Just looked at a few options at Munsiyari, I find that other hotels have better views of the Himalayas than KMVN. If KMVN, do you have any room suggestions?

          Further, please let me know if it is good to opt for taxi starting from Almora rather than Nainital? Since we plan to start from Delhi, we can take a bus directly to Almora if available rather than breaking at Nainital.

          Any ideas on taxi costs would also be helpful including any contacts of recommended drivers.

          Thanks again for all your help.

        • Nimesh, you can be right in that for Munsiyari but for Chaukori nothing beats KMVN for views. Bijlu Inn is there at Munsiyari which seemed quite nice too to us though there was no room view we could take a look at. Also, from KMVN I am sorry on room suggestions because we got the rooms at ground floor.

          Yes, Almora should be a good place to get taxi. Sorry for driver contacts up there as mostly self drive in these regions, so never found thaem

  4. Shrinidhi Hande on

    Nice post. I’ve been to Nainital and Binsar only once.. should visit again

    • Hi Shrinidhi,

      Well yeah, indeed these two places are something one must go again and again. Do check Patal Bhuvaneshwar near Chaukori next time you visit.

      PS: Sorry for delayed reply as I was traveling Ladakh for last couple of weeks.

      Dheeraj Sharma

    • Aah, I wish you soon make a trip to this heavenly place. Chaukori was just awesome experience, I am sure you will love the vistas in the next post of this travel tale.

  5. Saurabh Sharma on

    That was one hell of a drive to Chaukori. But second after the drive from Kaza to delhi..

  6. anil moses on

    Wow.. I would really like to confess that I love to travel in the late evenings in hills. Once we reached Bhowali at 1 am in a Maruti 800. It was month of March, 1st week and the cold was unbearable.
    Nice picture of Junior.. really liked it. Soon he will be following your footsteps.

    • Thanks bhai !! I hope he does follow and take the DoW to whole new level of matured Travel Info. Hub for Himalayas 😉 … Wow!! 1 AM seems awesome :D, I can imagine the cold at that time and yeah, the evenings in lower hills are just majestic with cold breeze blowing and rejuvenating your senses!!