This is the purfle of heaven. If you want to learn slow travel and a serene place where you can sit back and soak yourself in the surroundings, then you are at the right place. I never experienced slow travel until I visited Mukteshwar to avoid the scorching heat of Delhi and at a very glance, I found my affection for this place. Me, I always loved to explore places and enjoy the local food while hopping to the local market. But this time, I thought to give myself a break and enjoy some me-time with good food, books and nature walks.
The reason why Mukteshwar is a hidden gem near Nainital which should be your next weekend destination is because of the cleanliness, the quietness and the amazing nature view with different species of birds. Here is the detailed guide of Mukteshwar, an unfinished affair of mine – where I learned slow travel and a brief for you which will help you in planning your vacation.
Mukteshwar is a little-known hill station in Uttarakhand about 48 km away from Nainital. Kathgodam railway station is about 60 km away which is the nearest railway station. From there you can book a cab and reach Mukteshwar after 2 hours.
Mukteshwar is located at the hilltop of Kumaon hills and is mostly pleasant throughout the year. One can experience snowfalls in the winter season.
Day 1 – Start from Delhi via Kathgodam Shatabdi in the morning. Reach Kathgodam around 12-12.30 and take a cab to reach Mukteshwar. It will take 2.5 hours to reach Mukteshwar and midway, you can halt at Bhimtal lake for 15 minutes to cherish the lake view.
Reach Mukteshwar at noon, and spend the day at leisure enjoying kumaoni food and the natural beauty of Mukteshwar. Spend the evening watching the birds and sunset in the mountains. Call it a day after a delicious dinner.
Day 2– Start the day early with a breathtaking nature trail and enjoy the sound of mountains. Post breakfast goes to Mukteshwar town to visit Doll Museum, chauli ki jali and Mukteshwar Temple. Take a walk on the road and enjoy the scenic views.
Return to the staycation and enjoy a hot cup of tea while reading your favourite book.
Day 3: Start trekking Bhalugaad waterfalls after a delicious breakfast. Come back enjoy a good rest and start for Kathgodam to catch the Kathgodam Shatabdi to New Delhi. Reach New Delhi by 8.30 pm with a full bag of memories.
Mukteshwar is not for every traveller. There are no shopping malls, no fancy restaurants, no amazing markets, and no 5-star hotels, Even the place is not easy to reach. If you have an idea to visit a place like Nainital in that case this tiny sleepy hamlet might disappoint you. Surrounded by breathtaking mountains and dense forests, Mukteshwar is all about natural beauty and slow travel.
Here are the places to visit in Mukteshwar
Doll Museum is situated just in the middle of this place, the fare is INR 40 and it is all about a hall with 20 to 25 dolls in that hall. If you consider a hall to be a museum then you can give it a try.
My personal recommendation does not try to visit if you do not have much time in hand. It is not so worthy to be considered a must-visit place.
Mukteshwar Mahadev Temple is a popular shrine to Shiva. The Mukteshwar town owes its name to this 350-year-old Shiva temple. This hill temple is perched at an elevation of 2,312 metres above sea level and offers an enchanting view of the splendid landscape.
‘Chauli’ means rock and ‘Jali’ means hole. Chauli Ki Jali also known as Chauthi Jali is a visitor’s attraction located behind the cliff of Mukteshwar temple. These cliffs are such a beauty of place and you can see the breathtaking view of the Mountains and cherish such a spectacular sunset from this place.
Tip: Reach the place in the evening to cherish the best sunset from here.
Sometimes you find magic without any expectation. The way I found this magical fall was when I did a small trek at Mukteshwar. Bhalu means Bear and Gaad means Stream in the Kumaoni language. This is situated around 7 km from the main Mukteshwar. There’s a beautiful entry made by the local tourism authority to this waterfall and the entry fee is INR20. Trek for around 2 Km which takes you through dense forests, streams, and rocks to reach Bhalu Gaad.
Tip: Best time to visit is right after the rains – from July to October.
I checked into Cottage Nirvana which found a place to be remembered. Aditya Amar is the founder and most energetic soul I ever met. The view from the cottage was just incredible. The welcoming staff, the delicious meals and the stargazing nights were the best moments of my life. But among all my favourite corners was the bookshelf in the drawing cum dining area I could not forget.
Apart from this cottage there are a few properties there and I found zostel too, so you can check accordingly your budget but in my opinion cottage, nirvana offers a breathtaking view and full-fledged wifi to enjoy a remote stay.
Trust me, I kinda loved the slow travel concept where you can enjoy the tea with a book or can walk slowly to cherish the sunset or sunrise. There’s no pressure to see everything and experience it all within a limited time.
If you want to take a virtual tour of this tiny hamlet, check out this video :
So, what’s your verdict – should you go to Mukteshwar or not? Are there any other offbeat places in Uttarakhand that you would recommend visiting?
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19 thoughts on “Mukteshwar An Unfinished Affair – Where I Learned Slow Travel”
Wowww wasn’t much aware of Mukteshwar. Will definitely check in detail, liked the waterfall the most. Lovely detailed blog
I really feel like going for this green holiday. I hope this pandemic subsides and we can move around safely. Will certainly be going to Mukteshwar.
Mukteshwar is really a nice place, where one can find oneself. It is definitely for long treks, silent walks, and introspections, coupled with reading. It seems you had an awesome trip, probably we can visit it again sometime together.
Mukteshwar is indeed a serene getaway in the lap of nature. One of the lovely places in Uttarakhand. We missed visiting it on our 8 day trip of Uttarakhand. The state is really blessed with enchanting nature and mystical temples. Mukteshwar is surely one of the gems of Uttarakhand.
Such a beautiful place… The waterfalls look awesome! I would love to visit the place some day!
I love slow travel as well. Who said running around and trying to see everything is travel! Sometimes you can just chill and still have fun.
Mukteshwar looks like beautiful place and must visit. Thanks for sharing details, will keep in mind for future travels.
I haven’t heard of mukteshwar but woow, your description is awesome. Beautiful. I would love to visit it. Soon.
Slow travel is my favourite . Me and my husband love to stay put and take our own time to enjoy the place. Good to know about Mukteshwar , might want to visit it
Oh my God Mukteshwar is so beautiful. It looks like one of the dreamy places to visit. I have not explored much of Uttarakhand except a few treks. I would love to go back to the state to spend more time and see more places.
Also have been thinking that trekking to Bhalugaad waterfalls seems so divine. And also it is a very easy trek of 2 kilometres so it should be amazing and a relaxed one.
Mukteshwar is absolutely beautiful and I love the sceneary here. There’s so much to do and see there! Looks like a brilliant place to take the whole family. Will certainly need to add it to my places I want to visit.
Wow it looks like a lovely place to visit but travel is such a distant thing for us as of now. Let’s hope we can go somewhere soon.
I have been meaning to visit Mukteshwar for sometime now. Once the pandemic is over, I will visit Mukteshwar to experience snowfall in the winter season.
I love slow travel. Me and my husband have been to places where there has been hardly any transportation. It brings a calmness back into the busy lives. Will check out Mukteshwar too.
My husband and I are more fond of slow travel. We love to enjoy the scerene views and sunsets and sun rise. This place looks beautiful and since we come to Delhi often for holidays, we wil surely plan a trip there too in the future .
Mukteshwar seems to be a nice place, a place that I would like. amidst nature is what I prefer always and I will keep this in my bucket list.
Sometimes the place has the magic that connects the soul to the nature and most importantly to self. Shall add Mukuteshwar in the list for serene getaway.
I love every place in Uttarakhand. Mukteshwar is one of the first destinations I explored. Beautiful place!