About 13 kms away from the popular hill station, Nanital lies an alluring hamlet tucked amidst the Kumaon Hills, Pangot. A charming small village at a height of 6,300 feet offering striking views of the valley.
A birding paradise, Pangot is a residence 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 Kalij pheasant which is one of the main attractions amongst all birdwatchers can also be spotted here crossing the roads or trails every now and then. This vibrantly coloured bird with glossy blue-black overall body and red wattles forage along roadsides and in clearing and forests.
Even if birdwatching is not your thing, the bird calls and their astounding beauty will lure you into seeking them out. One can have splendid time amidst breathtaking views, calm environment chasing Himalaya’s most enigmatic and elusive bird species.
This area is also home to a variety of mammals including leopards, yellow-throated Himalayan martens, Himalayan palm civets, ghouls, barking deer and sambhar.
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 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 monsoons 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 feet from the sea level is just breathtaking. One 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 birdlife.
The nearest railway station is Kathgodam, 40 kms away. Taxis are available from the station and they charge Rs 800-1000 or you can also board taxis on sharing basis which would cost much less.
From March to July is the best time to visit although every season is good for different reasons. Snowfall can be encountered in the area in the months of December and January.
There are quite a few options of decent cottage and tent accomodations with all modern amenities available. There is not much for luxury travelers.