Frederick Smetacek Sr. was a passionate Entomologist and Lepidopterist, a researcher of butterflies, which are an important indicator of changing climates and resultant environment change. Smetacek Sr. started a butterfly collection in the 1950’s, which grew to over 10,000 specimens. His son Fredrick Smetacek Jr., known as Fredy and from whom the bungalow gets its name, cared for and added to this collection along with his siblings. This Butterfly Collection is among the largest in Asia and includes many rare specimens. Much of the collection is on display at Fredy’s Bungalow and the rest can be viewed in a Butterfly Museum close by.
Bhimtal Lake (Boating – Bird-watching – Angling):
Bhimtal Lake, located at an altitude of 1370 meters and surrounded by the Kumaon hills, is the second largest lake in the Kumaon region. The Lake is named after the second Pandava Bhima of the epic Mahabharata. The Pandavas are believed to have spent some time here during their exile. The lake provides excellent opportunity for boating in its water. One can also engage in fishing/angling around the lake (permission is needed).
Walks and Treks
The serene surroundings of the bungalow are an invitation for long walks, for quiet contemplation and meditation. Accompanied by melodious bird song and fresh mountain breezes, one can walk up to nearby hill tops with stunning views. One of the nicer family walks is a mountain track that takes you all the way to Sattal Lake (20 minutes).
Longer walks from the bungalow take you to terraced fields and small villages with the smell of cooking and the sounds of children at play. Small mammals (such as Ghoral, Serow, Sambhar, Muntjac) and a large variety of birds abound in the luscious green hillsides and throughout the valleys.
Bhimtal is conveniently close to many places of interest – Sattal, Naukuchiyatal, Corbett Park, Nainital, Almora, Ranikhet, Mukteshwar and Kausani.