The town came up in the foothills where the Gaula River disgorges from the Kumaon Himalayas to flow south to join the Ramganga.
The hill sides were thickly wooded with pockets of terraced fields.The natural beauty of this enchanting valley was interrupted by the ugly plastic domes of polyhouse farms set up along the banks of the rocky creek.The town is today in a state of utter neglect if not outright decay but it still prides itself with the historic ‘Raza Library’ that has a priceless collection of rare Oriental manuscripts and Mughal miniature paintings.The library is housed within the splendid ‘Hamid Manzil’ – a palace constructed in the Indo-European style in 1904 within the walls of Rampur Fort that also contains the 19 We were to now follow NH-87 till Almora and had managed to cover half the distance without event.We halted briefly at ‘Udipiwala’ a welcoming budget restaurant with typical South-Indian fare, quick service and reasonably clean loos.
We left the highway again this time to take the Bhimtal – Bhowali road to escape the summer rush for Nanital.
Musafir had insisted on driving the ‘Jazz’ as the winding hill roads make him sick unless he is at the wheel.
The other vehicle was entrusted to our good-old ‘Saarthi’ our comrade of many past adventures.
In 1912 the Government established its first sanatorium at Bhowali that was named King Edward Sanatorium to commemorate the reign of King Edward VII.
The Bhowali Sanatorium served as home for an ailing Subhas Chandra Bose in 1932.
The man speaks little but exudes a quiet confidence and is a good bloke to have with you when the chips are down.