Drive to the abode of lord shiva... drive to mukteshwar! #offbeatuttarakhand

Tripoto
22nd Dec 2018
Photo of Drive to the abode of lord shiva... drive to mukteshwar! #offbeatuttarakhand by Aprajita Parkash

From Delhi to Mukteshwar, it's around 350 kms, which takes around 8 hours of drive. Crossing the traffic, messy roads, difficult passes and disturbing fellow drivers, we reach Jim Corbett National Park, from where we start our drive up the hills. On way we see the Bhimtal, a beautiful lake surrounded by a well set town and beautiful nurseries. The views are beautiful, but the journey is still not over. The journey had some moving traffic till this place, but further the drive became divine.

Day 1

From Bhimtal to Mukteshwar, the tourism went even low and the road was beautiful. This distance of around 40 kms, was just like a drive into the deep calm, a drive just with ourselves. By the time we crossed Bhimtal, it was the time for the sun to set and the moon to take up it's place. the hills gave us the complete view in a go, on one side was the setting sun and opposite was the shining moon. As it was a full moon night, the moon stood bright and sharp, lighting up the complete area as it was an electric bulb.

By the time the sun went to sleep, we reached our place of stay, the Somerset Lodge, Mukteshwar. It was dark by then, we put our stuff in the room and freshened up. For the welcome, we got refreshing cups of coffee with chilling winds as the temperature was down to 2 degrees. Freshening up, we went out to sit beside the bonfire, under the glittering sky to enjoy some time with nature.

The night passed, trying to get some heat, we jumped in the bed early and wrapped ourselves the cozy quilts. But yes, it was cold, the quilts didn't help completely.

The moon was just amazing!

Photo of Somerset Lodge, Mukteshwar, Uttarakhand, India by Aprajita Parkash
Day 2

The morning happened soon, as the sun rose just opposite to the window and peeped in through the curtains. The location of the room was a bliss, which we experienced when in the morning we opened to door to the bunch of beautiful birds, from various families.

Photo of Somerset Lodge, Mukteshwar, Uttarakhand, India by Aprajita Parkash
Photo of Somerset Lodge, Mukteshwar, Uttarakhand, India by Aprajita Parkash
Photo of Somerset Lodge, Mukteshwar, Uttarakhand, India by Aprajita Parkash
Photo of Somerset Lodge, Mukteshwar, Uttarakhand, India by Aprajita Parkash
Photo of Somerset Lodge, Mukteshwar, Uttarakhand, India by Aprajita Parkash

After the breakfast under the sun, we gathered stuff to move to the Mukteshwar temple in the vicinity. The temple was on a driveable location at a distance of around 5 kms and the road to the temple gave some beautiful views on way.

Clean blue sky!

Photo of Drive to the abode of lord shiva... drive to mukteshwar! #offbeatuttarakhand by Aprajita Parkash

View from the sunroof of the car

Photo of Drive to the abode of lord shiva... drive to mukteshwar! #offbeatuttarakhand by Aprajita Parkash

Snow capped mountain range, from the Mukteshwar temple

Photo of Drive to the abode of lord shiva... drive to mukteshwar! #offbeatuttarakhand by Aprajita Parkash

Reaching the temple was easy and just like any other temple in the hills, this too was elevated from the road and needed to be climbed up by stairs. The temple is known to be old and have religious importance.

Photo of Mukteshwar MahadevTemple, Mukteshwar, Uttarakhand, India by Aprajita Parkash

Spending some time in the temple, our journey started further to a nearby waterfall, the Bhalu Gaad waterfall. It was at around 10 kms of drive from the lodge, followed by a trek of around 2 kms. Driving to the point where the trek had to start took us half an hour. The trek to the waterfall is a government maintained area and has a ticket for the entry. Getting the ticket, we start are steps towards a beautiful surprise. Not used to trekking, we took stops on way, sometimes found the stopping places too beautiful thinking to just be there, but then decided to move further.

After all the ups and downs, we reached a point where we could see a maggi point. It was a flat farmland where the travelers stopped for snacks. First we thought this was the end, but then a thin pass gave us hope back to see some beautiful waterfall, and we moved further. The next stop was the waterfall and it was worth all the long trek and the difficult passes.

The first view of the waterfall

Photo of Bhalu Gaad falls, Link Road, Chaukhuta Chak Rooshi, Uttarakhand, India by Aprajita Parkash

Though the ending trek was quite tricky, but we managed to cross it. The waterfall formed a pond below and just besides it we sat down. The water sounded as rhythm to the ears, the view was hypnotizing and the water was ice cold.

Photo of Drive to the abode of lord shiva... drive to mukteshwar! #offbeatuttarakhand by Aprajita Parkash
Photo of Drive to the abode of lord shiva... drive to mukteshwar! #offbeatuttarakhand by Aprajita Parkash

Sitting there, gazing the water, we experienced the beauty of nature, when a rainbow got formed in the waterfall.

Photo of Drive to the abode of lord shiva... drive to mukteshwar! #offbeatuttarakhand by Aprajita Parkash
Photo of Drive to the abode of lord shiva... drive to mukteshwar! #offbeatuttarakhand by Aprajita Parkash
Photo of Drive to the abode of lord shiva... drive to mukteshwar! #offbeatuttarakhand by Aprajita Parkash

The rainbow formed and went away, we stayed there. It was an amazing experience to see the rainbow on ground. Soon then, as the hunger called, we decided to move back. We trekked back to the road, the return was quicker as the directions were known and further we drove to a restaurant serving local kumaoni food. The food was good, but was a mix of kumaoni and garhwali, but for the outsiders like is it's only Uttarakhand.

After lunch, the delayed lunch at 4 PM, we decided to declare ourselves tired and went back to the lodge. There we spent some time relaxing, as the trip was to relax and in the night again moved towards the bonfire to enjoy a moon-light dinner. With the dinner, the talks went on and the time passed. The day ended as the clock said it's mid-night.

Next morning was the day of driving back home. Once again the sleep broke to the birds and sun and the final day gave even more beautiful birds to capture.

Photo of Somerset Lodge, Mukteshwar, Uttarakhand, India by Aprajita Parkash
Photo of Somerset Lodge, Mukteshwar, Uttarakhand, India by Aprajita Parkash
Photo of Somerset Lodge, Mukteshwar, Uttarakhand, India by Aprajita Parkash
Photo of Somerset Lodge, Mukteshwar, Uttarakhand, India by Aprajita Parkash
Photo of Somerset Lodge, Mukteshwar, Uttarakhand, India by Aprajita Parkash
Day 3

Once again, after the bright sunny breakfast, we started to trek to another waterfall, the gahna waterfall. As told by the locals, it was a trek of around 4 kms, through the hills. It was quite longs, with some stops and beautiful captures in between.

Photo of Gahna, Uttarakhand, India by Aprajita Parkash
Photo of Gahna, Uttarakhand, India by Aprajita Parkash

The route had many twists and turns, and nothing could be tracked through the gps. All we could do was to take guidance from the locals. The children guided us and sometimes was our own conscious, and then we hit the road. Still the wait was not over, and we were guided to another turn half a kilometer away. There were some steep stairs down, and finally we reached the waterfall.

It was all isolated, with sign boards alerting about the animal presence, with just the water flowing and the two of us staring. The waterfall again gave us some beautiful views.

Photo of Drive to the abode of lord shiva... drive to mukteshwar! #offbeatuttarakhand by Aprajita Parkash
Photo of Drive to the abode of lord shiva... drive to mukteshwar! #offbeatuttarakhand by Aprajita Parkash
Photo of Drive to the abode of lord shiva... drive to mukteshwar! #offbeatuttarakhand by Aprajita Parkash
Photo of Drive to the abode of lord shiva... drive to mukteshwar! #offbeatuttarakhand by Aprajita Parkash

As we were the only ones at the waterfall, we enjoyed the calmness though, but soon decided to move back as the way back was still a long way to go.

Stepping up the stairs, we moved further to quickly gulp in some maggi and walk further. As it was already late afternoon, we realized that by the time we reach back, it would be dark, so decided to talk the road route instead the mountain route. Though the road was much more longer, but we found it better.

Walking back for 7 kms (as on the google maps), we reached our lodge. Surely we were tired, but a quick power nap, helped us get over all the tiredness and back we were set for the moon-lit dinner with some giggles and drinks with the fellow residents. The day was called off after the dinner.

On the 4th day, the morning was even beautiful. We witnessed some more colours in the birds around.

Photo of Somerset Lodge, Mukteshwar, Uttarakhand, India by Aprajita Parkash
Photo of Somerset Lodge, Mukteshwar, Uttarakhand, India by Aprajita Parkash
Photo of Somerset Lodge, Mukteshwar, Uttarakhand, India by Aprajita Parkash
Photo of Somerset Lodge, Mukteshwar, Uttarakhand, India by Aprajita Parkash
Photo of Somerset Lodge, Mukteshwar, Uttarakhand, India by Aprajita Parkash
Photo of Somerset Lodge, Mukteshwar, Uttarakhand, India by Aprajita Parkash
Photo of Somerset Lodge, Mukteshwar, Uttarakhand, India by Aprajita Parkash
Photo of Somerset Lodge, Mukteshwar, Uttarakhand, India by Aprajita Parkash
Photo of Somerset Lodge, Mukteshwar, Uttarakhand, India by Aprajita Parkash
Photo of Somerset Lodge, Mukteshwar, Uttarakhand, India by Aprajita Parkash
Photo of Somerset Lodge, Mukteshwar, Uttarakhand, India by Aprajita Parkash
Photo of Somerset Lodge, Mukteshwar, Uttarakhand, India by Aprajita Parkash

The morning was beautiful, but then it was the time to head back to Delhi. Soon after the breakfast, we check-out and moved further.

The drive through the hills was relaxing and comfortable and soon we hit the plains. Even the plains are no less in giving some beautiful views by the roadside.

Photo of Drive to the abode of lord shiva... drive to mukteshwar! #offbeatuttarakhand by Aprajita Parkash
Photo of Drive to the abode of lord shiva... drive to mukteshwar! #offbeatuttarakhand by Aprajita Parkash
Photo of Drive to the abode of lord shiva... drive to mukteshwar! #offbeatuttarakhand by Aprajita Parkash
Photo of Drive to the abode of lord shiva... drive to mukteshwar! #offbeatuttarakhand by Aprajita Parkash
Day 4

The beautiful and mesmerizing trip then ends, and gives a memory of forever...

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