Author Topic: Tourist Places Of Uttarakhand - उत्तराखण्ड के पर्यटक स्थल  (Read 38278 times)

D.N.Barola / डी एन बड़ोला

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Ranikhet – a paradise for tourists.

                Himalayas from Ranikhet

Before reaching Ranikhet one has to stop for a while at China View, a beautiful place where Cantonment employee checks your toll tax receipt. This is a place from where you can have a glance of a wonderful sun-set. The scintillating beauty of the hills and sprawling valleys, which is visible from here, is simply marvelous. The chirping of birds returning towards their nests pronounce that the Sun God is now slowly yet certainly vanishing away in the horizon to appear on the other side of the Globe. The walk between China View and Ranikhet Club is simply superb. One is overawed to see the natural beauty of the Oak, Pine and Deodars spread over a large area. In appreciation of this walk some times back there used to be a hoarding depicting a slogan. ‘In hills it is fashion to walk and not to ride in a car’.  But this slogan is now missing. One more curve and you are near the Commandant’s Drive. Walking through the serpentine roads, you may come across a hoarding special for the attention of the Motorists-‘Curves please, slowly measure’. This reminds me of a writer describing a lady lying in pronate posture with her raised head, as a landscape of hills and valleys. This hoarding has also vanished away long back ago. There used to be another hoarding waning the rash and negligent drivers-‘It is better to be 10 minutes late here, then to die 10 years early’.

Jhula Devi Temple to Chaubatia used to be a really dense forest. Though things have not changed much yet, but the dense forest is craving for ecological conservation.  A few days back I went to Chaubatia, and on my way, I was pleasantly surprised to see a slogan “Leopards have the right of way” in Hindi and English both. I know the Leopards or other beasts would not be able to read it, but then the two legged specie called The Man can certainly read it. Such slogans at solitary spots do create an atmosphere to think and to brood over and therefore are most welcome.
  
It was this very month of October that I was a looking to the glanderous beauty of the Himalayas. The beautiful snowy Himalayan Peaks change colours frequently. The divine beauty of the Himalayas can be observed right from Sun rise to Sun set. Especially in October, the scenic beauty of Ranikhet is simply fantastically marvelous. During this month, the sky is absolutely without blemish. Trees and plants bathed in rain, stand in grandeur, spreading their breeze blow majestically is if bow their head to receive the visitors for the sojourn at Ranikhet. This is charm of this hill station called Ranikhet. Would you believe that 480 Km. long range of Himalayas is visible at one go from Ranikhet? Himalayas are hardly 90 Kms. away from Ranikhet as the crow flies. The Himalayan Peaks visible are Trishul, Nanda Devi, Neelkanth, Nanda Ghunti Chaukhamba, Hathi Parvat, Gaura Parvat,Bandar Puchh, Bharatkhanta, Kedarpeak, , Sukam Peak, Nandakhat, Bhanumati Peak, Panchuli Peak.etc. In all 200 Peaks are sighted from Ranikhet. Some of the Peaks are more than 6000 Meters in height.

Ranikhet has a number of tourist spots. Ashiyana Park and the Ranee Jheel are the latest attractions. With Ranikhet being given a place of honour in ‘International Gateway’ at Zone 5 by the World Tourism Organization, Ranikhet is bound to develop further as a premier tourist destination.(By D.N.Barola)
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D.N.Barola / डी एन बड़ोला

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A bird eye view of Chaukhutia valley.

 Chaukhutia-The Rangeelo Gewar

 Situated on the banks of sacred river Ramganga, Chaukhutia attracts large number of tourists as it is also the Yatra Marg to Badrinath. Of late there has been an increase in the number of French tourists visiting Chaukhutia. You can have a bird view of Chaukhutia from the PWD Guest House which is situated on the top of the hill. Chaukhutia Ganai is situated in Almora District of Uttarakhand and is 95 Km. away from the District Headquarter. To reach Chaukhutia from Delhi one can straight-away come to Ranikhet and can reach Chaukhutia which is about 54 Kms. from Ranikhet. From the Railway Head Kathgodam it is 123 Kms. via Ranikhet.  One can come to Nainital from where one can reach Chaukhutia via Ranikhet. Chaukhutia which used to be the Capital of Katyuri Kings, once upon a time, is also known as Rangilo Gewar (colourful Gewar).  Chaukhutia as the name suggests is the combination of Chau and Khutia. Chau or Char means four and Khutia in Kumaoni means the foot. Some say Chaukhutia is made from Kumaoni word Chaukhuta, which means four feet. Four valleys meet at this place. The Ramganga valley, the valley towards Dwarahat, Masi and Pandukhal are visible from this place.  Some say that it is the meeting point of four villages, i.e. Chaukhutia, Chandikhet, Bakhli and Ganai. Some suggest that it is meeting point of four roads, i.e. Ranikhet-Dwarahat-Chaukhutia road; Badrinath Yatra route- Ramnagar to Chaukhutia; Karnaprayag to Chaukhutia and Taragtal to Chaukhutia. In any case the place, known for its natural beauty is famous for its bumper crop of Mangoes.
The place is also famous for its historical past. It is said that Pandavas had their abode in Chaukhutia and adjoining areas during the period when Pandavas were in secret exile.  The place has a legendary past. The Lake of Taragtal, Bairat City of Raja Malushai, the Capital of Katyuris Lakhanpur, Pandukhal, Bhairab Garhi Temple, Bhumia Temple, Mansa Devi, Agneri, Kaligarh, Bableshwar,  Shiv Mandir, Khirchaura Temple, Tarageshwar, Ram Paduka and a host of other religious places are situated in the vicinity of Chaukhutia. The nearby village Jaurasi situated in the western side of Chaukhutia has the potential for developing it as a tourist attraction centre, as a tea garden, cultivation of Mushroom as also for medicinal herbs.  I had an association with Jaurasi. In fact when I was working as an Officer in the Life Insurance Corporation of India, I had an occasion to visit Jaurasi in 1973 to meet Mr. Ram Singh Bisht, who used be the Vice-Principal of Jaurasi Intermediate College. I undertook this journey on my 3.5 Bullet Motor Cycle. There was a dilapidated forest route to Jaurasi at that time, but somehow I could manage to reach Jaurasi on my Motorcycle. It is some 35 year back.  I was the first motorcyclist to have reached Jaurasi and on reaching Jaurasi, I received a resounding ovation from the curious villagers and was surrounded by them, as if I had landed on the Moon.  On the eastern side is Taragtal Lake, which can be developed as a Dam. The Lake is around 2 Kms long and 0.5 Km. in breadth. This can very well be developed as a tourist attraction centre, by developing it as an all weather Lake by constructing a Dam. Presently the Lake dries down in summers and the villagers reap a good harvest of wheat and mustard from this dried out lake. The Lake when developed would meet the demand for irrigation also.
 
The place is famous for its crop of Mangoes. The Mangoes grown here are very useful for preparing Pickle. The people want a Dehydration Plant to produce powder of the Mango, which may be used for preparing Jam, Jelly and other mango products. It is pertinent to mention the Mango in this area grows in September, October, when the Mango of the plains is not available. Chaukhutia was also in the limelight, when in 1984, people of Chaukhutia rose against Wine. The slogan was ‘Nasha nahin rojgar do’- Give us employment and not wine. The Uttarakhand Sangharsh Vahini was the pioneer to motivate the people against the ills of wine. I was also associated with this during this period, as Lok Chetna Manch was also working in this field and I happened to be the Founder and the President of Lok Chetna Manch at that time.
There is a place known as Udalikhan. Nearby is situated historical Lakhnpur Fort, which is situated at a good height, from where you can enjoy the bird eye view of Chakhutia. Lakhanpur has 24 temples. On one hill top at Lakhanpur is the Fort of Ashanti Devi and on the other side is Bahanti Devi Fort.  In addition Fort of Viram Dev, Ghurshal (horse stable) and a tunnel is also there at this place.
The biggest attraction of the place is the sacred Ramganga River itself.  It is an all weather river. If a dam is constructed on this river, it can be a tourist attraction. It is possible to develop a one-two Km. long lake at Chaukhutia.  People have also been demanding that the Ramganga banks be developed in the same manner as Har-ki-Pauri, Haridwar has been developed. If properly developed, this place would attract tourists in sizeable number.
The Agneri Devi, one of the incarnation of Gayatri Devi derives its name from Gayatri Devi. Gayatri Devi had hundred names and one of the names of Gayatri Devi is Agneri Devi. This temple was renovated in 1901 the temple is famous for one more reason also. Every year in the month of Chatra, Shukla Paksha, Ashtami Tithi, Navratras, the Devi is offered the sacrifice of a Buffalo and a number of goats. The Navratras are celebrated in a big way at this temple and devotees from the surrounding areas religiously throng in the Temple.  Some years back, some forward looking people tried to stop the sacrificial buffalo from killing, but the villagers prevailed upon the people and sacrificed the buffalo. The custom to sacrifice buffalos continues unabated. This is customary in Kumaon and Garhwal as the hill people belong to the Shakta Sect and pray the Shakti (Kali) and Lord Shiva.
Some vital statistics about Village Chaukhutia P.O. Ganai is pertinent to be mentioned here. Chaukhutia Block with its Headquarter at Chaukhutia was established in 1962. It got the status of a Tehsil in 2004. The Block is spread over an area of 36,365 Hectare. It has 171 Village Panchayats with 163 villages being habituated by the people, whereas 8 villages have no inhabitants.  Its population as per 2001 census is 49,020. Female outnumber males and stand at 24,495, whereas the male population is 21,525. It has one Degree College, 12 Intermediate Colleges, 2 Sub-Post Offices, and 18 Branch Post Offices. It has 2 Telephone Exchanges, and a Television Relay Centre. With 5 Commercial Bank and 1 Co-operative Bank, Chaukhutia boasts of its riches. It has 9 Inspection Houses and Rest Houses. PWD Inspection House at Chaukhutia is worth visiting and staying. It has 69 Fair Price Shops, 3 Veterinary Hospitals, 7 Veterinary Publicity Centres, 1 Community Health Centre and 3 Additional Health Centres and 2 Homeopathic Treatment Centres.
Masi : 18 Kms. from Chaukhutia is Masi, a place with which I had a deep association during the period I worked as an Officer in the Life Insurance Corporation of India. In fact I was able to declare Adigram Fuloria as the first Bimagram of the hills with the cooperation of  P.N.Chaunwal, Agent LIC and some of the respectable villagers which included Ishwari Datt Fuloria and Tara Datt Fuloria. The small village, hardly 3 Kms. from Masi, had a population of 224 at that time and 101 policies were taken by the villagers to see that their village is declared as a Bimagram of LIC. The Bimagram was inaugurated by Sri S.S.Jina, the then Hill Development Minister on 30 December, 1977 with great fanfare and a large gathering of the villagers.



एम.एस. मेहता /M S Mehta 9910532720

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sir... thanx for this information


Majkhali is also a popular plce there.


Majkhali is a picnic spot on the Ranikhet - Almora road in Almora District, Uttaranchal. It

D.N.Barola / डी एन बड़ोला

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Ranikhet Club, Ranikhet

     Some hundred and fifty years ago a lone Englishman chanced upon a rhododendron hill  at Ranikhet, and spotted a lovely place. He set up a hill station. British loved the Club culture. A Club, the Ranikhet Club, a sprawling arcaded structure with a fine wood spring dance floor and a well-stocked bar, overhanging trophies of man-eating tigers came up in the gently curving Mall Road on the highest ridge. Sprawling over lush well manicured lawns the low height, conical roofed cottages constituted the Ranikhet Club. Thus Ranikhet Club was established as a European Club in 1868. However during the British era there were a few Indian members.   Ranikhet Club, it is said, used to be the abode of Queen Padmini , queen of Raja Sudhardev. Impressed with this celestial land that is blessed with God’s grace, she built a beautiful palace for her residence at Ranikhet. Outside the Clubhouse are the fascinating remnants of the Queen's residence. Scattered stone walls with arched openings are mostly what remain of it today.

    After independence the Club was being sold by the owners to a private party. Colonel Barbal, Bar-at-law, who was a permanent member of the Club filed a suit against the above sale in Allahabad High Court and won the case. Thus he became the saviour of the Club Since then it has been functioning as a Civilian Club. The Officers of the Army are also the Members of the Club. The strict rules for admission to the Club restricted its Membership to a few civil members. There were loud protests against this. The admission to the Club used to be held by putting Boxes in the Club premises which used to contain white-balls and black-balls. In order to get the admission into the Club, it was necessary that the member-candidate is not black-balled by any member entitled to exercise the right to vote. One black ball used to neutralize 7 white-balls.  The boxes used to be kept open for voting for a month.  Thus new entrants were hardly able to get admission into the Club. The civil candidates who aspired to become the Members of the Club protested against this. Sensing the mood of the people, the General Body decided to withdraw this method and vested the grant of membership to the Managing Committee. The Managing Committee in its wisdom granted membership to the civilian gentleman by a majority vote.

      The President of the Club used to be elected by the Annual General Body. The civil members invariably used to propose the name of the Commandant of the Kumaon Regimental Centre as the President. This was a healthy convention which was instrumental in establishing excellent rapport and relation ship between the civil and army. There has been a change in this. Now the Commandant of the KRC is the ex-officio President of the Club.
 
    In July, 1987, Ranikhet Club was engulfed by a devastating fire. The Office, Bar room, Dance Hall, Library etc. all were burnt. There was partial damage to the Lounge, Billiard room etc. Immediately after the Fire an Emergency General Body meeting was held, which had the uphill task of rebuilding the Club from almost a scrap. The General Body after due deliberations felt that in order to attract aid and donations etc, it was necessary that the Club be registered under the Societies Act 1860. After obtaining legal advice a Constitution Framing Committee was formed by the General Body. Sri D.N.Barola (Convener) and Sri B.S. Mehrotra, Sri Jagdish Chandra Pant, Advocate and Sri Chandan Singh Rautela, Advocate were the Members of the Constitution Framing Committee. The new Constitution was framed by recasting the prevailing old Constitution. Since the Army Members had discontinued its Membership of the Club prior to the Fire, a new provision of Block Membership was incorporated in the Constitution to facilitate the return of the Army Members into the Club. Special gestures were incorporated in the Club Constitution and it was provided that the provision of Screening, Interview, Admission fee, Donations etc. shall not be applicable in the case of Commissioned Officers of the Army and the Officers of the Civil in case they join the Club en-block. Not only that reduced Membership subscription was provided in case of Army Officers. It was also provided that such Members shall enjoy the Club Membership for the duration of their stay in Almora District. Thus the Constitution was passed by the General Body and was sent to the Registrar, Societies, Haldwani with the signatures of nine members, viz. S/Sri G.S. Mahara (President), D.N.Barola, Kashmiri Lal, Y.C. Joshi, A.K.Goel, Atul Kumar, J.C.Pant, B.S. Mehrotra and S.L. Goel. The Club was registered with the Registrar, Societies, Haldwani in January, 1989. Thus Ranikhet Club became a legal entity.
 
     In the meanwhile the Members contributed for the construction of the Club and with the donation and the Fire Insurance Claim money, the Bar, Office, Billiard room, Lounge etc. all were made habitable. During this period all the Members made it a point to visit the Club every evening without fail.  In order to raise the income of the Club four rooms were also constructed which boosted up the income of the Club considerably and the Club started running smoothly. The Members of the Army also joined the Club and Brig. B.C. Khanduri was elected as the President of the Club. Still more was required to be done. The Club needed finances to re-build the Bar-room, Dance Hall etc. The four rooms were leased out a private party, with the condition that the lessee would be construct the Club premises. The lessee constructed a large part of the Club and the renovated Ranikhet Club was thrown open to its members from Ist January, 2000. It was formally inaugurated  by it’s the then President Brig. Rajeshwar Singh VSM The four room Hotel also was thrown open to the public. It was also provided that any person staying in the Hotel would automatically become a Member of the Club, for the duration of his stay in the Hotel rooms of Ranikhet Club. This democratization, it is said was necessary to boost up the income of the lessee. Presently apart from the Members of the Army, the civil membership goes well above 120, whereas there are about 75 Members from the Army who enjoy the Club Membership for the duration of their stay at Ranikhet.


 

               Renovated building of Ranikhet Club

    Ranikhet Club is affiliated to nine reputed Clubs of India. The Club has reciprocal arrangements with Boat House Club, Nainital; Bareilly Club, Bareilly; Wheelers Club, Meerut; Mohmed Bagh Club, Lucknow; Dehradun Club, Dehradun; Dharwar Gymkhana Club, Dharwar; Arun Vihar Institute (Club); Noida, Umed Club, Judhpour and Jaiselmer Club, Jaiselmer.
 
    Ranikhet Club also boasts of Asia’s largest natural Golf Link. At the time of transfer of the Golf Link to the Kumaon Regimental Centre, it was resolved that the Members of Ranikhet Club would become the Members of the Golf Course, if they apply for the same. Now it is understood that Membership to the Golf Link has been restricted.
I had an occasion to talk to few senior Office-bearers of the Club, Dr. D.S. Bangari, who was a House Member (now designated as Hony. Secretary) of the Club for several years as also to Mr. Y.C. Joshi, who used to be Treasurer of the Club for nearly 30 years. I myself also had the privilege of serving the Club as a House Member (Hony.Secy.) of the Club for several years. I could gather lot of information from them on the matter. I would still love to receive suggestions to update this Blog.
   

Anubhav / अनुभव उपाध्याय

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Sir agli baar Ranikhet ki taraf aaunga aapse jarur sampark karunga :)

एम.एस. मेहता /M S Mehta 9910532720

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Ranikhet Club, Ranikhet

     Some hundred and fifty years ago a lone Englishman chanced upon a rhododendron hill  at Ranikhet, and spotted a lovely place. He set up a hill station. British loved the Club culture. A Club, the Ranikhet Club, a sprawling arcaded structure with a fine wood spring dance floor and a well-stocked bar, overhanging trophies of man-eating tigers came up in the gently curving Mall Road on the highest ridge. Sprawling over lush well manicured lawns the low height, conical roofed cottages constituted the Ranikhet Club. Thus Ranikhet Club was established as a European Club in 1868. However during the British era there were a few Indian members.   Ranikhet Club, it is said, used to be the abode of Queen Padmini , queen of Raja Sudhardev. Impressed with this celestial land that is blessed with God’s grace, she built a beautiful palace for her residence at Ranikhet. Outside the Clubhouse are the fascinating remnants of the Queen's residence. Scattered stone walls with arched openings are mostly what remain of it today.

    After independence the Club was being sold by the owners to a private party. Colonel Barbal, Bar-at-law, who was a permanent member of the Club filed a suit against the above sale in Allahabad High Court and won the case. Thus he became the saviour of the Club Since then it has been functioning as a Civilian Club. The Officers of the Army are also the Members of the Club. The strict rules for admission to the Club restricted its Membership to a few civil members. There were loud protests against this. The admission to the Club used to be held by putting Boxes in the Club premises which used to contain white-balls and black-balls. In order to get the admission into the Club, it was necessary that the member-candidate is not black-balled by any member entitled to exercise the right to vote. One black ball used to neutralize 7 white-balls.  The boxes used to be kept open for voting for a month.  Thus new entrants were hardly able to get admission into the Club. The civil candidates who aspired to become the Members of the Club protested against this. Sensing the mood of the people, the General Body decided to withdraw this method and vested the grant of membership to the Managing Committee. The Managing Committee in its wisdom granted membership to the civilian gentleman by a majority vote.

      The President of the Club used to be elected by the Annual General Body. The civil members invariably used to propose the name of the Commandant of the Kumaon Regimental Centre as the President. This was a healthy convention which was instrumental in establishing excellent rapport and relation ship between the civil and army. There has been a change in this. Now the Commandant of the KRC is the ex-officio President of the Club.
 
    In July, 1987, Ranikhet Club was engulfed by a devastating fire. The Office, Bar room, Dance Hall, Library etc. all were burnt. There was partial damage to the Lounge, Billiard room etc. Immediately after the Fire an Emergency General Body meeting was held, which had the uphill task of rebuilding the Club from almost a scrap. The General Body after due deliberations felt that in order to attract aid and donations etc, it was necessary that the Club be registered under the Societies Act 1860. After obtaining legal advice a Constitution Framing Committee was formed by the General Body. Sri D.N.Barola (Convener) and Sri B.S. Mehrotra, Sri Jagdish Chandra Pant, Advocate and Sri Chandan Singh Rautela, Advocate were the Members of the Constitution Framing Committee. The new Constitution was framed by recasting the prevailing old Constitution. Since the Army Members had discontinued its Membership of the Club prior to the Fire, a new provision of Block Membership was incorporated in the Constitution to facilitate the return of the Army Members into the Club. Special gestures were incorporated in the Club Constitution and it was provided that the provision of Screening, Interview, Admission fee, Donations etc. shall not be applicable in the case of Commissioned Officers of the Army and the Officers of the Civil in case they join the Club en-block. Not only that reduced Membership subscription was provided in case of Army Officers. It was also provided that such Members shall enjoy the Club Membership for the duration of their stay in Almora District. Thus the Constitution was passed by the General Body and was sent to the Registrar, Societies, Haldwani with the signatures of nine members, viz. S/Sri G.S. Mahara (President), D.N.Barola, Kashmiri Lal, Y.C. Joshi, A.K.Goel, Atul Kumar, J.C.Pant, B.S. Mehrotra and S.L. Goel. The Club was registered with the Registrar, Societies, Haldwani in January, 1989. Thus Ranikhet Club became a legal entity.
 
     In the meanwhile the Members contributed for the construction of the Club and with the donation and the Fire Insurance Claim money, the Bar, Office, Billiard room, Lounge etc. all were made habitable. During this period all the Members made it a point to visit the Club every evening without fail.  In order to raise the income of the Club four rooms were also constructed which boosted up the income of the Club considerably and the Club started running smoothly. The Members of the Army also joined the Club and Brig. B.C. Khanduri was elected as the President of the Club. Still more was required to be done. The Club needed finances to re-build the Bar-room, Dance Hall etc. The four rooms were leased out a private party, with the condition that the lessee would be construct the Club premises. The lessee constructed a large part of the Club and the renovated Ranikhet Club was thrown open to its members from Ist January, 2000. It was formally inaugurated  by it’s the then President Brig. Rajeshwar Singh VSM The four room Hotel also was thrown open to the public. It was also provided that any person staying in the Hotel would automatically become a Member of the Club, for the duration of his stay in the Hotel rooms of Ranikhet Club. This democratization, it is said was necessary to boost up the income of the lessee. Presently apart from the Members of the Army, the civil membership goes well above 120, whereas there are about 75 Members from the Army who enjoy the Club Membership for the duration of their stay at Ranikhet.


 

               Renovated building of Ranikhet Club

    Ranikhet Club is affiliated to nine reputed Clubs of India. The Club has reciprocal arrangements with Boat House Club, Nainital; Bareilly Club, Bareilly; Wheelers Club, Meerut; Mohmed Bagh Club, Lucknow; Dehradun Club, Dehradun; Dharwar Gymkhana Club, Dharwar; Arun Vihar Institute (Club); Noida, Umed Club, Judhpour and Jaiselmer Club, Jaiselmer.
 
    Ranikhet Club also boasts of Asia’s largest natural Golf Link. At the time of transfer of the Golf Link to the Kumaon Regimental Centre, it was resolved that the Members of Ranikhet Club would become the Members of the Golf Course, if they apply for the same. Now it is understood that Membership to the Golf Link has been restricted.
I had an occasion to talk to few senior Office-bearers of the Club, Dr. D.S. Bangari, who was a House Member (now designated as Hony. Secretary) of the Club for several years as also to Mr. Y.C. Joshi, who used to be Treasurer of the Club for nearly 30 years. I myself also had the privilege of serving the Club as a House Member (Hony.Secy.) of the Club for several years. I could gather lot of information from them on the matter. I would still love to receive suggestions to update this Blog.   




Sir,

I had been there in 2000. The hospital of Dr Bangari is very old there. I believe Dr Bangari is practicing there for last 3 decades or so. 

D.N.Barola / डी एन बड़ोला

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Ranikhet Club, Ranikhet

     Some hundred and fifty years ago a lone Englishman chanced upon a rhododendron hill  at Ranikhet, and spotted a lovely place. He set up a hill station. British loved the Club culture. A Club, the Ranikhet Club, a sprawling arcaded structure with a fine wood spring dance floor and a well-stocked bar, overhanging trophies of man-eating tigers came up in the gently curving Mall Road on the highest ridge. Sprawling over lush well manicured lawns the low height, conical roofed cottages constituted the Ranikhet Club. Thus Ranikhet Club was established as a European Club in 1868. However during the British era there were a few Indian members.   Ranikhet Club, it is said, used to be the abode of Queen Padmini , queen of Raja Sudhardev. Impressed with this celestial land that is blessed with God’s grace, she built a beautiful palace for her residence at Ranikhet. Outside the Clubhouse are the fascinating remnants of the Queen's residence. Scattered stone walls with arched openings are mostly what remain of it today.

    After independence the Club was being sold by the owners to a private party. Colonel Barbal, Bar-at-law, who was a permanent member of the Club filed a suit against the above sale in Allahabad High Court and won the case. Thus he became the saviour of the Club Since then it has been functioning as a Civilian Club. The Officers of the Army are also the Members of the Club. The strict rules for admission to the Club restricted its Membership to a few civil members. There were loud protests against this. The admission to the Club used to be held by putting Boxes in the Club premises which used to contain white-balls and black-balls. In order to get the admission into the Club, it was necessary that the member-candidate is not black-balled by any member entitled to exercise the right to vote. One black ball used to neutralize 7 white-balls.  The boxes used to be kept open for voting for a month.  Thus new entrants were hardly able to get admission into the Club. The civil candidates who aspired to become the Members of the Club protested against this. Sensing the mood of the people, the General Body decided to withdraw this method and vested the grant of membership to the Managing Committee. The Managing Committee in its wisdom granted membership to the civilian gentleman by a majority vote.

      The President of the Club used to be elected by the Annual General Body. The civil members invariably used to propose the name of the Commandant of the Kumaon Regimental Centre as the President. This was a healthy convention which was instrumental in establishing excellent rapport and relation ship between the civil and army. There has been a change in this. Now the Commandant of the KRC is the ex-officio President of the Club.
 
    In July, 1987, Ranikhet Club was engulfed by a devastating fire. The Office, Bar room, Dance Hall, Library etc. all were burnt. There was partial damage to the Lounge, Billiard room etc. Immediately after the Fire an Emergency General Body meeting was held, which had the uphill task of rebuilding the Club from almost a scrap. The General Body after due deliberations felt that in order to attract aid and donations etc, it was necessary that the Club be registered under the Societies Act 1860. After obtaining legal advice a Constitution Framing Committee was formed by the General Body. Sri D.N.Barola (Convener) and Sri B.S. Mehrotra, Sri Jagdish Chandra Pant, Advocate and Sri Chandan Singh Rautela, Advocate were the Members of the Constitution Framing Committee. The new Constitution was framed by recasting the prevailing old Constitution. Since the Army Members had discontinued its Membership of the Club prior to the Fire, a new provision of Block Membership was incorporated in the Constitution to facilitate the return of the Army Members into the Club. Special gestures were incorporated in the Club Constitution and it was provided that the provision of Screening, Interview, Admission fee, Donations etc. shall not be applicable in the case of Commissioned Officers of the Army and the Officers of the Civil in case they join the Club en-block. Not only that reduced Membership subscription was provided in case of Army Officers. It was also provided that such Members shall enjoy the Club Membership for the duration of their stay in Almora District. Thus the Constitution was passed by the General Body and was sent to the Registrar, Societies, Haldwani with the signatures of nine members, viz. S/Sri G.S. Mahara (President), D.N.Barola, Kashmiri Lal, Y.C. Joshi, A.K.Goel, Atul Kumar, J.C.Pant, B.S. Mehrotra and S.L. Goel. The Club was registered with the Registrar, Societies, Haldwani in January, 1989. Thus Ranikhet Club became a legal entity.
 
     In the meanwhile the Members contributed for the construction of the Club and with the donation and the Fire Insurance Claim money, the Bar, Office, Billiard room, Lounge etc. all were made habitable. During this period all the Members made it a point to visit the Club every evening without fail.  In order to raise the income of the Club four rooms were also constructed which boosted up the income of the Club considerably and the Club started running smoothly. The Members of the Army also joined the Club and Brig. B.C. Khanduri was elected as the President of the Club. Still more was required to be done. The Club needed finances to re-build the Bar-room, Dance Hall etc. The four rooms were leased out a private party, with the condition that the lessee would be construct the Club premises. The lessee constructed a large part of the Club and the renovated Ranikhet Club was thrown open to its members from Ist January, 2000. It was formally inaugurated  by it’s the then President Brig. Rajeshwar Singh VSM The four room Hotel also was thrown open to the public. It was also provided that any person staying in the Hotel would automatically become a Member of the Club, for the duration of his stay in the Hotel rooms of Ranikhet Club. This democratization, it is said was necessary to boost up the income of the lessee. Presently apart from the Members of the Army, the civil membership goes well above 120, whereas there are about 75 Members from the Army who enjoy the Club Membership for the duration of their stay at Ranikhet.


 

               Renovated building of Ranikhet Club

    Ranikhet Club is affiliated to nine reputed Clubs of India. The Club has reciprocal arrangements with Boat House Club, Nainital; Bareilly Club, Bareilly; Wheelers Club, Meerut; Mohmed Bagh Club, Lucknow; Dehradun Club, Dehradun; Dharwar Gymkhana Club, Dharwar; Arun Vihar Institute (Club); Noida, Umed Club, Judhpour and Jaiselmer Club, Jaiselmer.
 
    Ranikhet Club also boasts of Asia’s largest natural Golf Link. At the time of transfer of the Golf Link to the Kumaon Regimental Centre, it was resolved that the Members of Ranikhet Club would become the Members of the Golf Course, if they apply for the same. Now it is understood that Membership to the Golf Link has been restricted.
I had an occasion to talk to few senior Office-bearers of the Club, Dr. D.S. Bangari, who was a House Member (now designated as Hony. Secretary) of the Club for several years as also to Mr. Y.C. Joshi, who used to be Treasurer of the Club for nearly 30 years. I myself also had the privilege of serving the Club as a House Member (Hony.Secy.) of the Club for several years. I could gather lot of information from them on the matter. I would still love to receive suggestions to update this Blog.
   

Bahadur Singh, an old employee of Ranikhet Club

    Before finishing this article, I would like to make a mention of a young old man of 88 years, who has served the Club for more than 76 years. Bahadur Singh born in 1920 joined the Club as its employee in 1932. Now in 2008, he is still serving the Club. His wife expired some six months back. He has two sons. He has been a witness to the heydays as also to the difficult times which the Club had to face. Now his last wish is: ‘I was born in the Club and joined to serve it at the age of 12 and now I want to die in the Club itself, serving the Members of the Club.



D.N.Barola / डी एन बड़ोला

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Nyneetal, as the British pronounced it

Nainital is a glittering jewel in the Himalayan necklace, blessed with scenic natural splendour and varied natural resources. Dotted with lakes, Nainital has earned the epithet of ’Lake   District'   of India. The people of Nainital love this beautiful city. In appreciation of the beauty of Nainital, some 50 years back people used to sing a song in the local Kumaoni dialect as follows.

Nainitalo shahar aiso, Laganchho swarag jaiso…
Malla tooka Naina ki Devi, Talla tooka hanumangarhi.
Hito didi talai ki tarfa, dekhi oonoo talai ki sobha
Laganchho swarag Jaiso.

The free translation of the above is as under:

Nainital is a city, which looks like heaven
On the upper side of the city is Naina Devi temple is situated; and
On the lower side is Hanumangarhi.
Didi, let’s go towards the lake and enjoy the beauty of the Lake

   Now Nainital has become a jungle of concrete. The construction spree continues unabated. The Supreme Court has ordered demolition of unauthorized buildings. On this back-drop I remember penning down an article which I wrote a few years back.

   The area of the Kumaon Hills had come under British rule after the Anglo-Nepal War (1814-16) but it wasn’t until 1841 that P.Barron built the first European house in Nyneetal (as the British preferred to spell Nainital). It was a popular retreat for the residents of the plains. Being popular with the British, the town developed a British character with several European Schools, Clubs, Dancing Halls, Hotels etc. The new hill resort saw frantic construction activity. Very soon numerous buildings surfaced all around the hill side. This building spree witnessed a further boost when, in 1862, Nyneetal was declared the summer Capital of the then United Provinces - Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand combined.

   The British remained oblivious to the changes made to the landscape for about a quarter of a century. Until in July 1867, a part of the hill above the west end of the main bazaar in Mallital came down. They were quick to realize this feature as a major cause of the concern. It was a big deterrent for further expansion of their favourite hill resort. Hence, a Committee was promptly constituted. In August, 1867 itself, the Committee recommended remedial measures. A proper drainage-system especially for the roads was considered the most important aspect for preventing further landslides.

   But the worst was still to come, as further expansion of the town continued at a faster pace. On September 18, 1880, the Alma Hill (on the northern aspect of the lake) broke loose and a large chunk of it slid towards the lake. Atkinson’s Gazetteer has vividly described the intensity of the landslide. “A rumbling noise, similar to that occasioned by falling of large masses of earth was heaved by many in the Station……It was apparent that a large portion of the hill behind the hotel, from the Upper Mall, disunited, had completely buried the hotel, and had dashed together into an unrecognizable heap, the Orderly room, the Shop and the Assembly rooms…..”

   The landslip which took place in September, 1880, buried 151 people, of whom 43 were Europeans. The Assembly Rooms and the Naina Devi Temple were destroyed in the disaster. A recreation ground known as the Flats was later built on the site. The cause for this landslide was attributed to the digging of fresh building sites on the hill. Cutting of the hillside for gardens, roads and tennis courts depleted the grass cover of the slopes. This made the crust overcharged with water, which broke loose on the fateful day. After the landslide, further creation of buildings, quarrying, the digging of the terraces was absolutely prohibited on the hill. Steep slopes were turfed and trees were planted. Grass cutting and grazing was absolutely banned. Elaborate water drainage schemes were planned to wash down excess water to the lake.   

   A few years later history repeated itself in August, 1898. A large part of the Kailakhan ridge slid down into the Ballia ravine above the Brewery (Beer Bhatti). Many buildings were destroyed and 27 Indians and 1 European lost their lives in the disaster. This region of Ballia Nullah has been prone to landslips to this day. Each year this Nullah erodes away a significant portion of the Tallital area. Huge revetment walls and drains are being constructed in the Ballia ravine. These measures have yet to stand the test of the nature’s fury and it is premature to predict the future of the ‘Chhoti Bilayat’, which once used to be the Summer Capital of the British in enslaved India.

   Now, it is for the people and the Uttaranchal Government to preserve and protect this invaluable natural heritage from any man made or natural calamity and ensure recurrence of a ‘Varunavat’ in Nyneetal. (Written by D.N.Barola with Mahiraj Mahara)



D.N.Barola / डी एन बड़ोला

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         My ancestral Home
Unteshwar Mahadev Temple of Kanra (Lamgara) Dt.Almora


Whensoever extraction of natural resources of Mother Earth reaches its peak, the difficulties of the people living in the earth have increased. This is the cycle since times immemorial. Unteshwar Mahadev Shiv Temple came into being when the mother Earth was excessively exploited.  As per the ancient stories, the Gods and the demons had been trying to extract maximum Riddhi (Prosperity) and Siddhi (Perfection) from the Earth and a time reached when they extracted the Riddhi and Siddhi to the unbearable extent.
 TheEarth was exploited to such an extent that Mother Earth went to Lord Brahma for help, who asked her to accompany him to Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva. The Earth told them about her problems. The three Gods tried to look to the problems of mother Earth. At that place a voice from the sky (akashvani) said that when the head of Brahmdev would fall on the Brahma Kapali, exactly at that time, Lord Mahadv would give His darshan.  Simultaneously Shivlings would also appear at different places and then only there would be solace to the mother Earth. As per popular belief when Lord Shiv appeared in Jhankar Hill, many Shivlings appeared at different places on the Earth. Unteshwar Mahadev is one of those Shivlings.  This Shivling has appeared as the Tongue of Lord Shiva or as Shiv Jiwha.

 There is a story about Kanra’s Shivling. During the period of Chand Kings, there were Ringal bushes spread over the outskirts of the entire village. The villagers used to prepare things of daily use from the Ringal plant.  Once a villagers tried to sharpen his sickle on a stone. Suddenly there was a spate of blood which came out from the Stone. The villager ran away crying from their, but on the way he was killed by a Lion.  Latter on people decided to establish the Shivling ceremoniously and they started worshipping the Shivling shaped stone. The Ling is seven feet above the surface, and the rest of the length is inside the land. Once the villagers tried to dig the place by the side of the Ling to find out its length, but they could not succeed. Near the Shiv Temple the idol of Panch Muykhi (Five faced) Ganesh is also there. Snakes are normally visible in the vicinity of the temple. Chand Kings constructed the Shiv Mandir and some temples of Sun and Durga.Thus Unteshwar Mahadev Temple is the oldest Temple of the area.

As per villagers, in 1990, there was a great famine and there was no rain fall for a long time. The villagers offered hundreds of Gagar (earthern pot) water on the Shivling, the water submerged inside the Shiv Jiwha. In fact when so ever the water is offered on the Shiv ling, the water sinks inside the Shiv Jiwha, as it goes inside the tongue of Shivling and from there where actually the water goes is a mystery as on date. Due to the offering of water on the Shiv Ling, the Gods were pleased and there were incessant rains which fulfilled the needs of the people.

This is the story of Unteshwar Mahadev Temple situated in my village and my ancestral home, Kanra  is connected by road. It is 40 Km. from Almora.To reach Kanra  from Almora one has to go to Lamgara then to Chaykhan, from where there is a pucca road, named Chaykhan –Thuwasimal road. From Chaykhan you can go by Car or Bus. The distance of Kanra is about 2 and a half Kms. from Chaykhan, after which one has to go half a Km. on foot and you reach the Untreshwar Mahadev Temple as also my ancestral Home. (By:D.N.Barola)

पंकज सिंह महर

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उत्तराखंड में स्थित यह शहर 21वीं सदी का हिल स्टेशन कहा जा सकता है। सागरतल से 1800 मीटर की ऊंचाई पर बसा शहर भागीरथी नदी पर बने टिहरी डैम के निकट पहाडियों पर बसा है। इस आधुनिक शहर का इतिहास बस इतना है कि देश के विकास के लिए बने विशाल बांध के जलाशय में जलमग्न होने वाले प्राचीन टिहरी शहर के विस्थापितों के लिए नई टिहरी शहर बसाया गया था। इस शहर को योजनाबद्ध तरीके से बनाया गया है। इसलिए यहां के घर, फ्लैट, कार्यालय और बाजार समरूपता लिए हुए हैं। यही इस पर्वतीय शहर की विशेषता है।

प्रकृति की खूबसूरती से भरपूर नई टिहरी स्वास्थ्यव‌र्द्धक आबोहवा का धनी है। इस शहर का कोई अतीत नहीं है। यहां केवल वर्तमान है। जो नए आलीशान मंदिर, गुरुद्वारे, मसजिद और चर्च के रूप में नजर आता है। शहर के बीच से गुजरता मुख्य मार्ग यहां का मॉल रोड कहलाने लगा है, जिसके आसपास साफ-सुथरा बाजार है। यहीं कुछ रेस्टोरेंट भी हैं। सैलानी इसी मार्ग पर चहलकदमी करते हुए दूर तक निकल जाते हैं। दुकानों आदि का क्रम खत्म होने के बाद इस पर घने पेडों का सिलसिला शुरू हो जाता है, जहां शीतल हवाओं से भरा वातावरण मन को शांति प्रदान करता है। मॉल रोड पर एक शहीद स्मारक है। एक बडे पत्थर पर उन शहीदों के नाम अंकित हैं, जिनकी स्मृति में यह स्मारक बना है।

नई टिहरी की सबसे ऊंची पहाडी पर एक मनोरम स्थान है। यहां से पर्यटकों को हिमाच्छादित पर्वतों का अद्भुत नजारा देखने को मिलता है। इसलिए लोगों ने इस स्थान को स्नो व्यू का नाम दे दिया। यह स्थान एक पिकनिक स्पॉट के समान है। एकाकीपन की तलाश में आए सैलानी यहां घंटों बैठ कर प्राकृतिक दृश्य निहारते रहते हैं। इस स्थान से कुछ दूर देव दर्शन नामक स्थान है। यहां एक मंदिर है। नई टिहरी के सभी मंदिर नए हैं, लेकिन इनमें स्थापित प्रतिमाएं पुराने टिहरी शहर के मंदिरों से लाकर यहां प्रतिष्ठित की गई हैं। इस स्थान से टिहरी बांध की विस्तृत झील का मोहक दृश्य देखते ही बनता है।

नए शहर का दूसरा हिस्सा बौराडी है। यह कुछ नीचे की पहाडी पर बसा है। यहां कुछ मंदिर हैं और एक भव्य गुरुद्वारा है। पुराने टिहरी शहर की स्मृतियों को बनाए रखने के लिए यहां एक क्लॉक टॉवर बनाया गया है। इसके निकट ही यहां का स्टेडियम स्थित है। घुमावदार सडकों के अलावा नई टिहरी में नीचे से ऊपर की ओर कई सीढीनुमा मार्ग भी हैं। इसलिए इसे सीढियों का शहर कहना गलत न होगा। भागीरथी पुरम के पास टॉप टैरेस नामक स्थान भी सैलानियों को आकर्षित करता है। यहां से भी विस्तृत झील का दृश्य बडा मनोहारी प्रतीत होता है। नई टिहरी से 11 किलोमीटर दूर उत्तराखंड का प्राचीन शहर चंबा स्थित है। नई टिहरी अब धीरे-धीरे सप्ताहांत की शानदार सैरगाह बनता जा रहा है।

 

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