Sigri Tales

Ever since I can remember, I have always been attracted towards the idea of living a nomadic life; a few days here, a few days there, and I swear I could’ve done anything to live this life. But, life had some other plans, and as much as I wanted to be a ‘hippie’ living out of a tent (quite literally!), I went the orthodox way – studies, doing job(s), living a day-to-day life without any aim as such, you get the drift. Then, some-day (I don’t quite remember the exact date/ day), it all changed. I realized how I was wasting my time sitting at the boring cubicle doing what I did not quite like to do and spending time the way I hadn’t really envisioned.

I quit my job, and since then I haven’t really looked back. Am I impulsive? Yes, when it comes to certain things in life, I am termed impulsive, immature, and even kiddish. But, those name-calling aside, I have forever been in love with my life, which, thankfully includes travel & photography. Travel, I believe opens up your mind, it makes you explore the hitherto unexplored & unseen places of the country where you live in, and makes you meet new people, travel to destinations where people generally avoid travelling. And then there is the photography part; the more I say about that, the less. Just holding that camera on my hand and looking through the view-finder each time gives me goose-bumps. Do I like it? I absolutely freakin’ LOVE it!

It had been a few weeks already that I last packed my bags and left for a destination; any destination. So, one evening while discussing my travel plans with him, I just casually asked him to join in me for a trip which I am planning. The destination wasn’t planned but I knew I had to go Uttarakhand, and after being hesitant for a few moments, thankfully, he agreed. Now, since he had already been to this place (Sigri), the routes were known, which meant less planning was required. Hence, I just rushed back home, packed my camera bag and with it a couple of clothes which I thought would be useful, and just headed out.

Day – 1
It has always been like this, no matter how many thousands of kilometres I’ve travelled, I feel like this each time – excited to the core, and I just cannot sleep when I need to get out. So, we just left home around 3 in the night (or morning!), and hit the highway. That late into the night, the traffic is generally nil, except truck traffic which we negotiated and continued on towards our destination. Following is the route which we took to Sigri:
Delhi – Ghaziabad – Rampur – Nainital bypass – Pangot – Sigri

The road conditions have improved dramatically over the past few years. The last time I was on this highway was quite a few years back on my motorcycle, which I’ve since then sold (this reminds me how badly I need to get on the saddle of a motorcycle). The Delhi – Rampur stretch is brilliant with butter smooth tarmac and by sunrise we had already covered much of the distance; thus avoiding the chaotic UP traffic. By the time we hit the hills, it was morning and we could already feel the cool winds blowing around us. We stopped at a couple of places, just to take a small butt-break, and soak in all the scenery. We specifically did not want to hit Nainital as we knew how chaotic the place has gotten over the years, and especially given the fact that the schools have a vacation during April – June/ July, we had a fair share of idea of the utter madness that the so called “hill-station” would’ve had. So, thankfully, we completely avoided Nainital, and took on a small village road towards our destination – Sigri.

Now, as soon as you leave the main highway and get onto the village roads (or state – highways), things change. The traffic dies down, the roads become very narrow, and ofcourse all you can hear are the birds chirping and the winds blowing. This is precisely what we had come in search for. Driving through the narrow (but good tarmac, mind you) roads, we crossed Pangot which seemed like a fairly commercialized place by now, given how famous it has become over the years because it is considered as bird-watcher’s paradise. We did not even halt at Pangot and continued straight on.

After about 7kms. past Pangot, we finally reached Sigri. For the uninitiated, Sigri is a very small village located just past Pangot and has very limited staying options. So, if you plan to visit Sigri, either make sure you’ve made prior bookings by calling the guys at ‘Himalayan Guest House’ (the email ID, website & phone numbers is mentioned right at the end of this travel-article) or if you’re in luck, you’d find accommodation right there after you reach.

We stayed at the Himalayan Guest House, one of the 2 staying options at the small village. Please note, there is absolutely no phone-reception at Sigri (atleast Airtel, Vodafone & IDEA did not). So, make sure you call your near and dear ones earlier and inform them of your whereabouts, lest they will be dead-worried. Nonetheless, the rooms seemed amazing, and the view from the balcony was really really good with beautiful green trees all around us. It was so quiet that we were having a tough time even speaking to each other – whispering seemed like shouting! Yes, it was THAT quiet. It was quiet also because of the fact that we were the only guests in the guest house (which has 5 rooms in all).

After dumping our luggage and resting for a while, I picked up my camera equipment and we went for a walk, without knowing where the roads will take us. Wherever we felt like, we kept walking and exploring the place. We trekked up a small jungle trail, relaxed there for quite a while, we came down and took the road which lead us to…well, nowhere. Basically, it was such an amazing feeling doing nothing, that I couldn’t remember the last time I did NOTHING!

We explored the place to our heart’s content, and since we had already ordered our lunch & dinner beforehand, and we were hungry, we went back and gorged on the awesome food that the guest house staff had prepared for us. Please note, you need to tell the staff what you’d like to have for dinner/ lunch/ breakfast as they generally get their food-items from Nainital (which is about 22kms. from Sigri). So, if you’ve any special requirement, just let them know and they are more than happy to oblige.


Day – 2
After exploring the small village, taking quite a lot of pictures, walking the forest trails and what not, we were really tired and crashed onto the comfortable bed, at the end of day-1 of our travel. The next day, I woke up to the birds chirping really early in the morning as I had plans of photographing the sunrise. But, it was drizzling, and the clouds were literally floating past our guest house. It was such an amazing feeling just to stand there and see it all happening infront of your eyes, that I did not really mind missing the sunrise.

Day 2 was really uneventful, as we had to go back to Delhi today. So, after a lazying around on the bed for a while, and eventually having breakfast, we left back for Delhi by the afternoon. Finally, the phone-network was back and the usual stuff ensued – phone calls, text messages, email exchanges, all of which made me realize how we forget to just relax and be one with nature in the middle of all the chaos that we call “life”. As we approached our daily life, I made a promise to myself to come back here and perhaps be one with nature, yet again because, for me, THIS is what life is all about – the Himalayas, where my heart lies…

P.S: Please scroll down for the pictures, and the details of the place where I stayed just incase you plan on visiting Sigri.

Himalayan Guest House (Vill.Sigri via Pangot, Distt: Nainital)

Deepak: +91-9456765130/ 8979430627 || Dharmendra: +91-9458965040

Email: || Website:





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