About my bicycling trip to Sitavani forest near Corbett Park with my friends from Dolmaar Resorts in Nainital. Sitavani has beautiful trails for bicycling between sal and teak trees.
As I was busy with my hectic schedule from long time I decided to go for a long ride to somewhere in the remote forest area where I could relax in utter silence. After thinking a bit I decided to ride to Sitavani. Sitavani is 75 kms from my home town Haldwani and around 85 kms from Dolmaar Resort in Nainital where I work.
Next thing was to get one or two friends to accompany with me as riding alone in the forest was not safe. I asked my friends Manu and Madan who are regular cyclist. They agreed to come with me. We planned about what to carry with us and what not. Small knife, torch, match box, chocolates, biscuits etc were included in the list. I borrowed a small tent from Dolmaar Resort as they have a campsite called 'Dolmaar Riverside Camp'.
The route that was decided was Dolmaar Resort - Fatehpur - Kaladhungi via Basani forest - Corbett Village - Bailparao - Pavalgarh - Sitavani
We departed at around 6 AM in the morning. The morning was extremely cold as it was the month of December. Slowly we paddled towards Fatehpur which is 15 km from Dolmaar Resort. From Fatehpur to Kaladhungi is a shortcut via forest. There is any road hardly in this route. Villagers have painted stones in white paint to get an idea of the direction. With the recent rainfall many of the stones were missing and we almost lost our way in the middle of the forest. Luckily Madan was carrying Suunto watch with GPS which helped us in getting back to right trek. Fatehpur to Kaladhungi is scenic forest with majority of teak trees. We managed to see a few deer’s and wild boar too.
Distance between Kaladhungi to Corbett Village is 3 kms where Corbett museum is a prime attraction. We halted at a restaurant near Corbett Museum and refilled our hungry belly. 'Aloo ke Guttke with Raita' was awesome. After half hour break we moved towards Bailparao which is 25 kms from Corbett Village. This route has a good leveled road and we paddled swiftly. In between had a tiny break for fruit juice at Corbett falls. We reached Bailparao in 1.5 hour.
It was again rest time as we were soaked with sweat. With the rising sun temperature was increasing. The day was bright and was making our ride comfortable with its warmth. Bailparao to Pavalgarh is 6 kms and is little steeper. We did constant paddling till Pavalgarh. This entire route is filled with teak forest and a water canal flowing parallel to the road. Tired we reached Pavalgarh from where starts the forest off road to Sitavani. Distance between Pavalgarh and Sitavani is 11 kms. After relaxing for a while and having bread omelet we resumed our ride to Sitavani.
All our tiredness flew away as we entered the off road to Sitavani. This area is so very picturesque that one can't forget it for life. The first two to three kilometers of the route goes with the river. After every few hundred meters you have to cross the river. However this river is shallow hence had not problem in crossing it.
After crossing the river stretch starts a steep climb of 500 meters which ends at the place called ‘Elephant Corridor’. As the name gives an idea this area is dominated by elephants. Elephant corridor is followed by beautiful trail between the thick Sal forests. Again we saw deer, fox and saw the pug marks of the king of the jungle.
Finally we reach sitavani which is a sacred temple devoted to Godess Sita. This is a heritage temple and managed by Archeological Survey of India – ASI. I loved Sitavani forest. We pitched our tent near the temple. The forest guards were very helpful and even cooked our meals.
Next morning after the visit to the holy temple of Godess Sita we washed our bicycles and rode back to Dolmaar Resort with the unforgettable memories of the Stiavani forest.
Author is working for a travel Company which owns resort in Nainital on the name of - Dolmaar Resort. Dolmaar Resort offers adventure activities in Nainital
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