Pangot – A Birder’s Paradise

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About 13 km away from the popular hill station Nanital lies an alluring hamlet, Pangot, tucked amidst the Kumaon Hills. A small, charming village at a height of 6,300 feet, offering striking views of the valley.

A birding paradise, Pangot is home to a colourful and diverse array of birds. There are so many great birds to see in Pangot that each birdwatcher will have his or her own highlights. More than 250 species of birds have been recorded in the area. One can see griffons, jungle fowls, woodpeckers, flycatchers, jays, babblers, magpies, fork tails, laughing thrushes to name a few. Strikingly beautiful is the Kalij pheasant, one of the main attractions for all birdwatchers, and can also be spotted here crossing the roads or trails every now and then. This vibrantly hued bird with glossy blue-black overall body and red wattles, forage along the roadside, clearing and forests.

Clockwise from top: Oriental White-eye, Rufous-bellied Woodpecker, Verditer Flycatcher and Himalayan Griffon Vulture

Clockwise from top: Oriental White-eye, Rufous-bellied Woodpecker, Verditer Flycatcher and Himalayan Griffon Vulture

Nature at its Best

The best way to experience the wilderness is by taking a walk through thick oak forests. Trekking from Pangot to Kilbury forest rest house (15 km to and fro) is a great way to witness the wilderness in its real form. Along the trek one can find a lot of diverse landscapes, flora and fauna. There are deep ravines created in the monsoon and small spring water streams along the way. One can go up to Naina peak which is the highest point of Nanital. A panoramic view from 8,622 ft above sea level is just breathtaking. On a clear day, one can see snow-capped peaks of Nanda Devi, Trishul and Nanda Ghunti to name a few. Other than Kilbury trek, there are a few other good trails from Pangot such as Timla Pani, Ggughu Khan and Cheena Peak, each worth exploring.

Pangot, where life tends to be a little simpler and quite laid-back, beckons with the promise of fresh air, wonderful scenery, and an opportunity to be amidst exotic bird-life.

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