Haldwani was an obscure place till about 10 years ago. We passed by it while driving down to Kumaon hills and never felt its presence. It was like one of those small suburban areas on both sides of highway that irritated you as a traveller and never expected you to stop here. But no more now. Haldwani has grown into one of the bigger urban agglomeration of Uttarakhand state now. You can’t blink and miss it. It now forces you to look at it with some respect and offers you reasons to stay back and explore. So during my last visit to Nainital, I decided to stay at Haldwani and explore this place.
So the first challenge was to figure out a decent hotel to stay here. The town has a couple of main roads, Bareilly road and Rampur road. Civil Lines is one of the main areas of the town other than railway and Bus stand. There are multiple hotels in and around Civil Lines area, but most of these are small and dingy places. However, to my pleasant surprise, there are a few nice hotels around Civil Lines too. I checked out some of these hotels and liked Clarks Inn Blue Saphire the most. The reason being its clean rooms, rooftop swimming pool, a well-stocked bar and room amenities. I am quite used to these facilities in a Hotel as most of the times I am travelling to destinations across the world and I believe these are the basics which a Hotel ought to have.
I used this hotel as a base to move to various places in Kumaon hills. I also explored areas in and around Hotels in Haldwani. With the hotel being close to Civil Lines and also in the vicinity of Bus and railway station, I found it very comfortable to move around any time of the day. The place is safe and one can travel freely. While travelling around the town the fact that this town has grown so big also dawned on me. I also understood the reasons behind it. In fact life in the hills of Uttarakhand has not been easy and there is mass migration from hill towns and villages to plain areas. In fact, there is very high number of villages which are now completely deserted. This has resulted in quick increase in the population of Haldwani. As the population increased, the consumption and therefore the business opportunities increased. Also there were a few industrial promotion hubs set up next to this town. All of this has given rise to an urban population that is upwardly mobile.
I understand the biggest change this has brought in has been the lifestyle of people. It has resulted in a number of new eateries, bars and hotels. But once again, I will say, the Hotel Clarks Inn blue Saphire is the jewel of Haldwani town.