Delhi, Feb. 23 -- The Naina Devi Himalayan Bird Conservation Reserve nestled on a secluded long ridge above Nainital is a bird lover's paradise. It is also a nature lover's haven, with some of the oldest preserved forests of Kumaon straddling this rich belt. Its serene and unspoilt beauty lies undisturbed as it falls off the sightseeing circuit from Nainital, leaving only the passionate birders and solitude seeking individuals to visit. I'd like to believe that I fall into the latter category as I have visited the area not jut once but thrice.

Pangot, a small village here is the main hub where most of the lodges of the reserve are located. This time I was heading for the very first birding lodge of India and naturally Pangot's oldest-the...