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KUMAON WAS POPULAR with the British sahibs and their families as a summer retreat from blistering heat that engulfed the plains. The gentle hills, lush valleys and mild weather reminded them of ‘home’. The sloping, slate-roofed stone cottages with ivy-covered walls at many a ‘hill station’ step straight out of the English countryside. Ranikhet is still the head quarters of the Kumaon regiment of the old British Indian Army while names such as Binsar, Almora, Ramgarh, conjure up images of romantic, cloud-shrouded little towns.
But before going up into the hills, we traverse tiger country – the dense forests along the banks of the Ramganga river as it skirts the foothills of the mighty Himalaya that comprise the Corbett National Park. Established as a wildlife reserve in 1936, the park covers much of the terrain criss-crossed by Jim Corbet, after whom the park is named, as he tracked the Man-eaters of Kumaon. At the little hamlet near Ranganga you can visit Corbett’s home, which has now been converted into a museum.
DAY 01: ARRIVAL DELHI
Reception and welcome at Delhi airport followed by transfer to your hotel.
DAY 02: DELHI
Relax through the morning before setting out to acquaint yourself with New Delhi.
DAY 03: DELHI
Visit the bustling lanes f Old Delhi after touring the austere beauty of the Red Fort, seat of Mughal power until the 1857.
DAY 04: DELHI / CORBETT BY SURFACE
Drive out to Corbett National Park this morning for a two-night stay.
DAY 05: CORBETT
Jeep and elephant safaris take you through one of the country’s finest wildlife sanctuaries.
DAY 06: CORBETT / NANITAL BY SURFACE
Journey by road to the cool heights of Nanital.
DAY 07: NANITAL
Walk around the mall, the flats, and the serene beauty that surrounds Lake Naini.
DAY 08: NANITAL / RANIKHET BY SURFACE
The meadows of Ranikhet with their breath-taking views of the high Himalaya are just a short drive away.
DAY 09: RANIKHET / ALMORA BY SURFACE
Spend the next two days at the tranquil resort of Kalmatia Sangam near Almora.
DAY 10: ALMORA
A day at leisure to be spent admiring the natural beauty of thick oak forests at Binsar.
DAY 11: ALMORA / RAMGARH BY SURFACE
Drive on to Ramgarh today and the old world charm of the bungalows there.
DAY 12: RAMGARH / DELHI BY SURFACE
The journey back to the capital takes the morning. The afternoon is at leisure.
DAY 13: DEPARTURE DELHI
Transfer to the airport in time for your flight out.
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