“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover.”
These words of Mark Twain got struck in my mind and also give wings to my forbidden desire of travelling. I have heard a lot about Pandavkholi at a height of 8800 feet which is in Almora district of UTTARAKHAND and it always attracts me. It is roughly 40kms from Ranikhet and to reach there you need to go Dwarahat first then the famous Temple Dunagiri. From Dunagiri you have to travel 8kms to go Kukuchina the last bus stop and from there the actual journey starts by trekking 3kms upwards into the wood.
Finally, I got a chance to go there. I and My friend planned to go there by Bike. I hose down my bike took all the necessary things and the Journey started. I have my friend, my bike and the long smooth road and the beautiful weather of June. We talked nonsense as it happens when you are with your friend. No pleasure is greater than riding Bike in mountains, it chilled my spine to ride bike in long curvy roads. In about 1 hour we reached Dwarahat and when we reached Dunagiri the famous temple we can’t stop ourselves from visiting it, we took part in the worship and took blessings from the goddess of Dunagiri.
Then we continued our journey further and in no time we were in Kukuchina. There the road ends and trekking begins. We investigate there from the local people and found our way. We saw large boards in which “SWARGPURI PANDAVKHOLI” was written which boost our belief that we were on the right path. By seeing the rocky path our steps tumbled first but we dared to accomplish the difficult terrain and somehow managed ourselves to stay positive.
We thought this was the only hurdle but to my surprise suddenly it was raining heavily and we have to take shed under a tree. There we had a keen observation on the flora of the place. There was not much variety and only Oak trees were there mainly. There was no one in the path, not even a single person who can help us. At that time I realised the importance of having a companion. After some time the rain stopped and we tightened our laces and once again pushed our journey. The weather drastically changed once again and the sun shines so brightly as if it was making our way far more difficult. Here I want to mention that you have to carry a water bottle in these types of hilly areas covered with rocky paths. Luckily, my friend has a water bottle which gave relief to our thirsty wet throats.
After relentless and restless trekking of one and half hour we finally reached our ultimate goal – Pandavkholi. As soon as we reached I felt that some positive vibes has touched the corner of my heart. We both were mesmerized by the beauty of the green lush grounds of it. The calmness of the place, the ever changing weather, all blend to give an everlasting joy. Literally, we were on top of the world, as far as our eyes can go, as soft as our ear can listen, there is peace all around. From here we saw the flawless beauty of Himalayas view with the excellent clarity. The deep we went the more we explore. To surmount that there were many things to see. You can see the Babaji Cave, Watch Tower, Tapovan, Draupati Vihar, Manokamna Balwant giri mandir and the famous 5 Pandav stones and many more…
There was also a Swargpuri pandavkholi ashram and the Pandit Ji of the ashram shared all the information with us which he had gathered from over the years. He completely matched the role of a guide for us. He told the actual story that the Pandavkholi name was established by the five Pandavas itself and it is still believed that the Pandavas started their journey to Swarg (heaven) from here only.
The place has much more to give us than we have thought. Pandavkholi is the right place for everyone to visit; the peace of the place is unmatched. It was a once in a lifetime experience. I and my friend have our own share of experience which we will cherish as long as we will live. After this experience I must say “TRAVEL IS THE HEALTHIEST ADDICTION”. I want to go Pandavkholi more and more, it has filled my empty voids of sorrows with joys.
If you are a travel lover and want to explore the world, then this place should be in your must go list. There are many reasons to go here, but the main motive is that it provides us a platform to be the part of the longest epic – THE MAHABHARATA.