Monday, March 9, 2015

My Recent Road Journey ( 985 km) – Delhi – Bareilly – Ranikhet – Nainital - Delhi PART 3

Day Three – Ranikhet Town

Originally, our plan for day three was to go on trek to Bhalu Dam in the morning session. The cold weather had resulted in slight health problem for our son. So that plan had to be shifted to the next day. 

Hence it was decided to use they for sight seeing at Ranikhet. Our first site was famous Shakti Peeth Jhula Devi Temple. A temple adored by thousands of brass bells. It is believed that all the boons sought from Jhula Devi are granted. All those devotees whose boons were granted come back for Darshans and tie one bell into the temple.

Jhuladevi temple Entrance

Temple Complex Full of Bells

We left at about 1030 for Ranikhet town to explore feasibility of repairs to Power Steering. The Maruti dealership in the town was of no help. Then a local mechanic referred us to another mechanic near state roadways bus stand, who agreed to reconnect the pipe.

He did a good job with a Jugad (wire locking of the pipe since he did not have the necessary clamp to fit). I found him to be a helpful person who was ready to try to do his best. After which, we went to Gandhi Chouk and parked the car. This is where I got the necessary fluid (Automatic Transmission Fluid or ATF) and refilled the system. It was of not much use though the steering marginally improved but it was of not much use. It was evident that the pump is gone.

After this effort we roamed around the Gandhi chouk ( a half a km stretch that is main bazaar of Ranikhet). Bought Bal Mithai and Chocolate (Bal Mitahi without sugar balls) from Pandey Sweet Shop at Gandhi Chouk (we were told it is the best place for Bal Mithai in Ranikhet). Had our lunch at Prasad Veg Restaurant in (obviously) Gandhi Chouk. Lunch was testy and hot. We recommend this place.

Post lunch we visited Kumaon Regimental Center’s Woolen Factory and Shop (on the main road between Gandhi Chouk and GPO (which is as one hits Ranikhet from Bhowali). It was an education to see scores of Hand looms and hand loom weavers at their work creating various types of woolens, Shawls, Dress material, Tweeds, etc. 

Tweed Weaving on Hand Loom

Shawl Weaving on Handloom

Rows of handlooms

Had never seen a handloom working before this visit. This is the first time I understood meaning of Taana (the vertical or longitudinal strands of the thread in a cloth) and Baana (the across component of threads of the weave of the cloth). 

Weaving by War Widows, etc

We bought a Tweed kind of Coat piece (3.5 m) for just Rs 1140/- and also Hill Honey. This shop closes for lunch (I think at 1300 hrs and opens at 1430 Hrs). It is a must visit place. See it for yourself and buy something if you like it. It also is a way to encourage War Widows of Kumaon Regiment soldiers who are the main people employed for weaving. 

Next stop was Kumaon Regimental Centre (KRC) Museum. A beautiful museum depicting history, velour and progress of this regiment raised in 1817. Everything is well preserved. 

KRC Museum

The curator of the museum explains everything to the visitors. The recommended plan of action for the museum is to first go with the curator and listen to him and then see the museum yet again at leisure. I must admit that we did only the first part but visiting at leisure is also important and should not be skipped. Museum closes from 1300 to 1500 hrs for lunch and is closed on Tuesday due to weekly holiday. Photography is not alowed, not even cell phones are allowed. 

By the time we finished with the museum, it was already 1630. We returned home post our visit.

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