With two days to spare for a short holiday near Delhi, I opted to head to the Mukteshwar Hill Station in Nainital, Uttarakhand with a few friends. The numerous zigzag roads from Nainitaal to Mukteshwar is dizzying and can make you nauseous as you go higher the altitude to get to the hill stations. Despite this discomfort, the astounding sceneries will emerge to blur your worries away. As we go higher, we got to appreciate the landscape even more.
The Indian Himalayas , particularly the Nanda Devi, which is India’s second-highest peak was a scene to behold as we peek outside our car window, as we enjoy the fresh and cold breeze of nature. It took us approximately 6.5 hrs to spin around from Noida to Nainitaal and another 2 hrs to the hills of Mukteshwar.
Mukteshwar is a town and also a popular tourist destination in the Nainitaal district, Uttarakhand. The area derived its name from a three and a half century old Shiva Temple. From the lord of salvation, Lord Shiv- mokshya in Sanskrit which is also called mukti in local language, thus the name Mukteshwar- who provides mukti (salvation) was coined.
A few meters walk up to the Mukteshwar temple is the old Lord Shiva Temple where Shri Mukteshwar Maharaji ji lived and where his Samadhi was found too. It was rather a small but sanctified place for those looking for some sacred and solemn meditation moments in the hills. I also played some guitar in the valley of Mukteshwar hills.
The adventurous fellows will surely seize the day by rock climbing and rappelling the highest point in Mukteshwar, the Chauli ki Jali, a sacred hole said to be blessed by Lord Shiva, which is also a great spot to observe eagles and other birds scoop down their prey or to simply enjoy the breathtaking landscape of Mukteshwar.
The orchard of the regional station of Central Institutes of Temperate Horticulture has wide deodar forests that are also home to various wildlife such as deers, rhesus monkeys, languor, red billed leothrix, other birds, and occasionally tigers and bears also drops a visit.
The Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) have hostels or guest houses and laboratories situated in Mukteshwar as well.
Mukteshwar is indeed the ideal place to enjoy walking and being one with nature. Plus it’s close to Delhi, it’s a quick way for a sweet escape from the urban jungle. After two days, I felt energized and ready to go back to the reality, such a busy life. But I bear in mind the tranquillity and space I got when I was able to unwind in the hills of Mukteshwar.