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Who doth ambitions shun,

And loves to live in the Sun,

Seeking the food he eats,

And pleased with what he gets,

Come hither, come hither, come hither,

Here shall he see, No enemy,

But winter and rough weather.

 

Nirad C Chaudhury

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Destination- X        Girechina and Aqua Binsar

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It was an opportunity to get rid of hot Delhi weather when I got a marriage invitation from my village. So on 6th June 05 I started by Ranikhet Express leaving me at Haldwani at 0600 AM. Took a taxi and reached Almora at about 0930.   We formed a group inclusive of my wife, nephew and his wife, my niece  and little Pranjal. On 10 June we boarded the morning bus destined to Gangolihat at 0630 AM reaching Someshwar at about 0930. Someshwar is a Tehsil headquater of Almora District. There is an ancient Shiva Temple situated on the confluence of Kosi and Flagu rivers. We left main road to Bageshwar and took Jeep to Bhoolgoan a  distance of 10 KM along a valley on the both banks of a tributary of Kosi river called Mansyari Nala presenting breathtaking view of lush green paddy feilds and bright well laid villages on hill slopes. In old times this was the common and shortest route to Bageshwar when there were no roads.  During  Koolie Begar movement in 1921, freedom fighters Kumaon Kesari Badri Datt Pande and party traveled through this route. Present C M of Uttaranchal, Shri N D Tiwari also remembers one of his journey when he slipped while descending Girechina Top. When connected it will reduce the distance between Almora and Bageshwar by about 24 KMs.  But due to the negligence of state Government and political leadership the road started 36 years back has not been completed and linked as yet. Now the people are agitating for their genuine demand and are on hunger strike a top Girechina since last one month. But no one is there to listen  in such inaccessible place? From Bhoolgoan it is 1 KM plain and 1 KM  climb up to the top (6000 ft). We forgot the tiredness in the refreshing wind and panoramic view of whole rage of central Himalayas (Pindari Glacier is also seen from here).  At a short distance from the top, there is a plateau called Bhumuk is a plain area between the tall pine jungle where local boys use to play Cricket and other games. A Cricket tournament is held on this ground every year in the month of November in which about 20 teams of nearby villages take part. Make shift shops are established under pine trees to sell tea, samoshas, local fruits etc. A festive atmosphere prevails in the jungle for a whole month.  

  Girechina top can be developed as central point for trekking to Cave Temples of Gananath and Mallika Temple, Aqua Binsar (further to Kausani)  and Bageshwar.

 

 

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Aqua Binsar

There are several Binsar located in Uttaranchal. The most famous (because of its proximity to Almora town, easy access and facilities) of them is Kalmatia Binsar near Almora Town. One is near Ranikhet and one is in Pauri district (there may be more). One thing is common about them is that each Binsar has Shiva temple thus called Binsar Mahadev. Legend is that some pieces of Dronachal Parbat (containing life saving herbs and Serbs required to save war wounded Laxman)  fell down on these places while Hanumanji was carrying it to Lanka.

 

 

From Girechina Top, a 5 KM trek leads to Aqua Binsar which is about 6500 ft from sea level.  There is an old temple of Lord Shiva surrounded by Oak jungle. Locals have great faith on Him. Pujas are offered so often round  the year. There is an icy cold water spring and Naula (water pond). Jhandi Dhar Top presents a splendid view of Central Himalayas, its roots and the Katyur valley underneath. The calm and quiet atmosphere, the scenic beauty and chirping of birds  is relaxing and rejuvenating. There is no arrangement for night stay except few huts of cattle grazers. Locals use to cultivate potatoes, corn and other seasonal vegetables but due to non availability of transportation means they can not market it. From here one trek leads to Kausani (12 KM) and another to Chanauda (8 KM).


 

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