Thursday, 17 August 2017

Photo Story-- Unseen Nainital



Undoubtedly, Nainital has been a very well known hill station ever since India's independence, and it has seen countless tourists round the year, which has significantly increased since last few decades. This Garhwal city is not only famous for the lakes, but also the mountains it is surrounded with, where one of it is called China (or Cheena) Peak. Well, there are couple of stories around the city, after naming the peak as China or Cheena.

I went to Haldwani for my friend's marriage which is just half an hour drive away from Nainital and also the last town to board off the train, while going to Nainital. It was a summer evening when I made up my mind to spend a day in Nainital. I've already heard so much (and seen over internet) about Nainital until now, that I couldn't connect myself so much to the ambience around the very first hour after landing down at Nainital. This was when I thought to photograph the same city is a manner it should not look a regular shoot and that I should get the glimpse of an unseen Nainital.          




It was 4 AM, when I took my camera and went out for shoot. It was dark and lonely, but the cold breeze walked by me as a companion.

Exact at 4 AM, there comes a tall, wheatish, soft spoken pahadi man with all his stuffs, to start selling tea half an hour later. He happens to be the first one in entire town to sell the tea every morning, and remains until dusk. This man could be found selling the tea early morning to the laborers who start working just after he settles down. His so popular shop is built on a single study table, and he never had thought to expand since last couple of decades. 

This old man helps the tea seller, selling the tea when there's a huge crowd around at day time because the shop is at the center of the city square. This place happens to be the gateway of Nainital and hence it sees much of crowd all day.

Warped in jacket, sipping hot tea. Though it was summer, but Nainital amazed me by its chilling weather throughout the night until 8 AM when sun was in its full strength. 

Hotel National was the biggest hotel around but I couldn't find a place in here due to tourist season, and had to get into an okay hotel with overrated price just a walk from this hotel. When I keep inclining up to get a vantage point to shoot, I found this hotel looks so cool in darkness. This 6 storied hotel and the smooth road bending down in curves, gives a fair figure that Nainital though being a hill station, holds status of a well designed city.

Hill stations, mostly have inclined rock pavements or mud/ rock stairs to climb up the hill as the residential area are built on mountains. Nainital has concrete pavements and stairs most of the places.  

I was in love with the street light on the cross way. The stone paved path was doing its best to reflect the calm golden light. The pleasant cold weather was an extra ordinary addition to this scene.

Most of the men and woman out there start their daily life walking on the streets of Nainital early morning. He was the first one on the street, whom I came across while I was half done. Since my goal was to document the life before the first light, I was about to call it over. 


The glowing city in black and while seem more peaceful to me. I had never thought of shooting glowing colours in B/W but the experiment worked. The twinkling star in clear sky with dim light of sun worked for this shot.


The blend of street light and the first light of sun made this place serene, and magical.


The Life Insurance Corporation couldn't have found more appropriate place to place its advertisement than on walls of the stares leading to the cliff of Nainital.


The settlement in lower part of Nainital. This part of settlement is very congested yet awesome. The narrow curved lanes and stairs make this settlement accessible. This is the last house of one of such lane.    


Back to work-- A local man is back to his work. He was the first one I saw being back to business as usual. Lifting the shutter of the garage which belongs to a hotel in order to start cleaning the vehicles. 


Dogs having fun


Sun has already illuminated the sky, and its time for Azaan. The rustic hue around made the shot look more charming.



The minaret of the mosque looks perfect in B/W and deliver the exact feeling which I had standing in there at that moment.


The government dispensary of Nainital is as small as to accommodate 5 people at a time.   


A government primary school remains shut for ages, as it seem by the rusted lock on the gate.


The breakfast preparation has begun.  


The building is a grand rest house about 200mts from Nainital bus stand. The road leading to Nainital remains calm and out of traffic until few hours later.


One of the old built house of Nainital. The colour was odd one out complementing the symmetry, which quickly caught my attention.


Porters are back to work. Its morning time and carrying vegetables and dairy products across the narrow lanes and stairs are what these men are best in.


And the show stopper. No, not the cattle, but the dog lying down non-bothered by the presence of the Ox.  


The first light of sun on the Church is something shouldn't be missed at all.





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