The first time I have been to Pangot was seven years ago, for my school winter camp, we were to conduct a survey on the lifestyle of villagers, What was the development scene? Did they have enough water? What was the standard of schools or higher education? Where is the nearest hospital? And So forth. I still vividly remember the splendidly painted post office which also worked as a tea stall. They thought the government sent us and generously answered our questions.
Pangot Hill Station then and now is a lot different. It is a celebrated weekend hideaway. I was interacting with some youngsters from Delhi, in Haldwani, who were planning to skip Nainital entirely to go directly to the Pangot Camp.
They were also in search of a ‘higher’ purposes(Pun intended). Pangot has really developed itself into a perfect nature camping arena spread in the alluring hands of nature. Pangot Camps are available in different segments from luxury to economical, as per your needs & requirement.
The road to Pangot is a delight in itself, covered with beautiful rhododendron, oak pine and deodar trees and with swift turns. If you are lucky, Himalaya Darshan also awaits you. Pangot Tourism is increasing steadily with travelers coming from different parts of the world.
Recently, we had seen a paradigm shift in Pangot Tourism with changing people preferences & definitely they find it much better exotic nature holidays then over-saturated Naintal. People find in this sleepy little village, much of what gets lost in the lights and noise of Nainital.
It is a gentle and an idyllic place which fits best only for certain type of visitors. The pace of life here slows down dramatically. Despite this, the cracks are now beginning to show, with ever increasing campsites, resorts and hotels. A concrete jungle is slowly finding its roots in Pangot.
Things to do in Pangot?
At crossroads between Tanki and Killbury Road, Pangot is a perfect hideaway. You aren’t supposed to do a lot in one. You just need to relax, put the world behind you and be in peace with the hills that surrounds you. You wake up to the sounds of birds chirping and you thank the God, in who you might not believe. The camping has been a real hit in Pangot.
There are various campsites which offer comfy beds in a tent along with an attached washroom. It’s like living in a guesthouse but slightly better. As Night approaches, a campfire is organized one can talk, sing, dance and merry in front of the flames.
These camps also provide for adventure activities such as rappelling, rock climbing, double bridge crossing, flying fox, Tarzan swing, double rope bridge, bouldering and much more. It might cost you from Rs 1500-2200 per person depending upon the services you have ticked in.
Pangot Weather is really pleasurable in summers & snow in the winters. Pangot is an ideal place just to stroll around aimlessly. You may head wandering to the Tanki road to observe the local pahaadi culture first hand. The road leads to villages like Baggar and Pali. Away from modernity, these people live in villages a few km apart from each other; they don’t ask for much.
The world might be becoming a small place but for them, this little place is the world. Their culture, their beliefs, their way with nature have made them efficient in dealing much crisis. This is the art of making a hard life look simple and elegant.
On the other side, we have the Killbury Jungle is known for its diverse biodiversity along with altitudinal diversity. Kilbury forest has approx 80 species of trees, almost 17 species of wild animals which include leopard, Himalayan palm civet, barking deer, yellow-throated Himalayan martins, ghoral, sambhar etc. Although the security is very tight and you might have to use all your persuasion tools only to get in.
Pangot also is a birdwatcher’s paradise. Birdwatchers from across the Globe have been flooding into Uttarakhand’s Pangot Bird Sanctuary to get a shot of the rare Himalayan Fauna. Pangot Bird Sanctuary, has an ideal ecosystem, at just the perfect altitude, is home to many birds.
Pangot Birding will give you everlasting photography experience to take perfect photoshoots of birds like the red-headed vulture, Grey-crowned Prinia, black-chested tilt, blue-winged minla, slanty blackfolk tail, lammergeyer, Rufous-bellied Niltava and the list goes on.
There are more than 250 species of birds located in this area. Some of the trails stem off the guest houses, a few from the main roads, and many have been carved out by audacious birdwatchers themselves. The authorities have made rules for bird watching so that this synergy between the humans and the wild could be preserved.
Pangot is the starting point of various treks and hikes. Some of the popular ones include a hike to Shivalay Temple, trek to China Peak also called Naina Peak which is a 12 km trek(to and fro).
The Naina peak, on bright days, offers a complete view of Uttarakhand Himalayas. The enthralling view from the top of Naini lake is an experience in itself. It is a must do trek for anyone visiting Nainital and nearby areas.
A trek to Brhamsthali Peak, starts from Pangot which carries the crown of Nainital Region’s highest peak. Another trek that leads to Corbett National Park starts from here. It is a three day downhill trek which includes stays in nearby villages. I have read it in one of the Corbett Books that Maggie (Corbett’s Sister) use go uphill (on her palki) in a day through the same trek.
Last time I visited Pangot, I had a chat with the young guy, Vinod, who is doing his BSc from DSB Campus Nainital. He was telling me that the life of the villagers is the same that it was six years ago. If I had conducted the similar survey today, we would have got similar results.
Some of the Pangot hotels, resorts owners and camping owners are people from outsiders who are milking the money. There is a real threat to the diverse flora and fauna in this area due to increasing human intervention. These are fragile ecosystem preserved for centuries by the locals, tred softly.
Below are the excursions from Pangot that you may also like to visit when you plan your trip to Pangot.
35km way from Nainital lies Bhimtal is named after Bhim, one of the five Pandavas. The lake of Bhimtal is named after Bhim, one of the five Pandavas. The lake at Bhimtal is bigger than Nainital lake. Boating, Swimming, Canoeing, Trekking, Paragliding are the main tourist attractions. An aquarium is located on an island at the center of the lake which is quite famous among the tourists,
21km from Pangot is on Nainital Haldwani Highway. A health resort and is an excellent spot for those who are interested in floriculture and butterfly catching. The beekeeping center is an added attraction.
43 km away from Pangot and 4 km from Bhimtal, lies Nakuchiyatal, which means the lake with nine corners. Bounded by dark woody forests, and lush greenery, Nakuchiyatal remains a place where nature is given preference over man. Famous for its boat rides, it offers some of the best scenic vistas of the sparkling bluish water lake and its delightful environment.
Located 58km from Pangot, Sattal, perched at an altitude of 1370 metres. ‘Sattal’ means ‘seven lakes’. Interestingly, three of these lakes are named Ram tal, Lakshman tal, Sita tal and other are Bharat tal, Hanuman tal, Naldamyanti tal, Gurad tal. TheseIt seven interconnected lakes are surrounded by tall oak and pine trees, and this ecosystem is ideal for bird watchers and adventure enthusiasts. The green mountain ranges and sparkling greenish water reflect nature gloriously in all its bounty.
Ramgarh, also known as the fruit bowl of Kumaun is divided into two part Talla(Down) Ramgarh and Malla (Ramgarh).The other very famous thing about Ramgarh are the orchards which provide you with one of the best apples, pears, and peaches. It has a history of hosting poets, writers, and artist who come to the hills seeking inspiration.
At a distance of 60 km lies Mukteshwar is a stunning place nestled between the dense conifers and fruit Orchards and is situated 2,286 meters above sea level. Mukteshwar offers 180-degrees view of the Himalayan Ranges. One can see the peaks of Nanda Devi, Nanda Ghunti, Nandakot, Trishul, and Panchachuli. It is an important hill station in Kumaon.
7. Kainchi Dham:
Situated at 30 km from Pangot is this Small Ashram Compound where Maharaji spent much of his later years.Kaichi Dham had its share of the limelight when in a candid interview, Mark Zuckerberg revealed to the Prime Minister, that he had visited a temple in India on the advice of Steve Jobs
Located at a distance of 80km, was later named after Jim Corbett, who was a wildlife conservationist, and had played a crucial role in the establishment of the park. Apart from the park the Corbett Museum and Corbett waterfall are major attractions of the place. Jim Corbett National Park a major crowd puller in the region.
It was in 1936 when it was established as Hailey National Park , to protect the endangered tiger. The name was later changed after Jim Corbett, who was a wildlife conservationist, and had played a crucial role in the establishment of the park. Apart from the park the Corbett Museum and Corbett waterfall are major attractions of the place.
How To Reach Pangot:
By Rail: Nearest railhead is Kathgodam at a distance of(33 km) connected by Delhi. Uttaranchal Sampark Kranti in which tickets are available even few hours before the departure arrives at night. You need to make sure that a cab, a booked hotel, and hot dinner is waiting for you in midnight.
Ranikhet Express is an excellent overnight journey which needs booking well in advance. The Shatabdi Express is the favorites; tickets are available easily a few days before the trip. It is the fastest leaves Old Delhi at 6 A.M and reaches Kathgodam by 11:30 AM. The only low of Shatabdi is the food offered in the train.
By Road: Regular buses leave from Anand Vihar ISBT for Nainital. Try (utc.uk.gov.in) for online reservations and timings. It takes 700 bucks to book a complete taxi from Kathgodam to Nainital. For others, you may come out at Haldwani, which is a station before Kathgodam. The bus stand is a walk of 10 minutes.
If you have heavy luggage, you can hire a rickshaw. Buses regularly leave from Haldwani to Nainital between 5 A.M to 6 P.M. A shared taxi is another option which will cost Rs 100 per person. Play the “We-are-not-going-to-Nainital-for-the-first-time” card if the cab driver quotes otherwise. For Pangot you can get a shared taxi from Anda Market in Mallital for Rs 30. You can also book a cab for a thousand bucks from Nainital.
How to Reach from Delhi to Pangot?
Below is the complete directions map to reach from Delhi to Pangot, Uttarakhand by road starting from Anand Vihar, New Delhi. Total journey distance between Delhi to Pangot is approximately 300 km when you start your journey from Anand Vihar by Road.
Starting Point – Anand Vihar, New Delhi
- Take Bhartendu Harish Chandra Marg, Railway Rd and GT Road to NH 91 in Patel Nagar 2nd, Ghaziabad 33 min (13.7 km)
- Follow NH 24 to Kothi Khas Bagh Rd in CRPF Camp, Rampur 2 h 47 min (167 km)
- Take MDR 49W to NH 74 in Maheshpura 1 h 6 min (43.6 km)
- Turn right at Doraha Bus Stop onto NH 74 15 s (13 m)
- Follow Nainital Rd and UT SH 41 to Kilbury Rd in Naina Range 1 h 54 min (69.7 km)
Destination – Pangot, Uttarakhand
By Air: The nearest airport is at Pantnagar which is about 73 km from Pangot.