Mukteshwar Town: The cocktail of calmness & serenity

Mukteshwar Town: The cocktail of calmness & serenity

Mukteshwar town, once known as Muktesar (as mentioned in the temple Tiger Book) is a hilltop town and research center developed by Britishers in 1983. It is known for its temples, shrines, IVRI (Indian Veterinary Research Institute), and the newly discovered Bhalu Gaad waterfall. Indeed, the town has its imprints in the books like Man-eater of Kumaon written by Jim Corbett.

Mukteshwar Town: The cocktail of calmness & Serenity

The Hill station Mukteshwar got its name from the 350 years old Lord Shiva, Mukteshwar Temple and it lies at 7500 feet in the Kumaon Hills of Uttarakhand. The place is calm, serene, green, and bountiful just like Binsar but after the visit, we can say it won’t be saved longer from the lures of advancements and commercialization. There are camping sites, homestays, and fancy overprized resorts. Some of these resorts have and will take away the innocence of this quaint settlement. Just hope we are proved wrong here and it remains a hill station instead of becoming hill city!

Himalayan Ranges - Mukteshwar Town

The valley is completely bounded by fruit orchards and coniferous trees. It gets pregnant in the months of May – July and makes the place look extra colouricious, with a green backdrop.

Also Read: Day Treks worth adding to Nainital Trip

How to Reach Mukteshwar Town

Mukteshwar in Uttarakhand lies 334 kilometers from Delhi and 50 Kms from Nainital. The only way to reach the town is by car or bus. The nearest railway station is at Kathgodam which is about 65 kilometers from Mukteshwar.

We started our journey around 6 am from Delhi and reached by 3. So, one can reach in 8 to 9 hrs via car from Delhi.

Route from Delhi to Mukteshwar

Delhi – Moradabad- Nainital – Muktesshwar 

Route from Nainital to Mukteshwar

Nainital – Bhowali – Ramgarh – Mukteshwar

Condition of Roads

Roads are graveled and in excellent condition except for the few bad patches between Rampur and Rudrapur.

Mukteshwar Weather

Despite lying at low altitude, the hill station Mukteshwar escapes from the harsh heat waves as compared to other low lying towns and cities. The weather is pleasant in summers whereas winters are pretty cold and some years the valley too get snow-covered in months of December and January. Heavy Rainfalls occur between June – September.

Expected Mukteshwar Temperature

The expected temperature from December to February is between 1- 12 degrees Celsius, from March to April temperature lies between 5- 20 degrees Celsius. May is the warmest month with temperature varying from 12 – 25 degrees Celsius. June to September temperature lies between 10 to 20 degrees Celsius. September onwards temperature starts dripping and minimum go up to 5 degrees Celsius.

About Mukteshwar 

The colonial town perched on the lush hilltop offers unobstructed, 180-degree views of the majestic Himalayan ranges from Nanda Ghunti to Trishul and from sacred Nanda Devi to Panchachuli range. These ranges adorn the quiet town just as the Rhododendron trees adorn the forest trails in Uttarakhand. They are not only majestic but too changes it hues from sunrise to sunset.

Things to do in Mukteshwar Town

Mukteshwar Temple

The centuries-old Mukteshwar Temple perches on the hilltop and offers 360-degree spectacular views of Mukteshwar town. The temple houses white marble Lord Shiva deity in the main sanctum, and wooden pillars with intricate carving circumference the main sanctum. It is believed to be the place where Lord Shiva killed the demon and helped him in attaining salvation.

Mukteshwar Temple in Mukteshwar town

Mukteshwar Dham was an abode of Saint Mukteshwar and today his disciples reside here. It is an ideal place to meditate and soak in the calmness and beauty of nature.

Chauli Ki Jali /Chauthi Jali

Just opposite to the Mukteshwar Temple, lays an overhanging cliff known as Chauli Ki Jali or Chauthi Jali. In the Kumaoni language, Chauli means rock and Jali mean hole. So, it is a rock with a hole in it. There is an interesting mythological story behind it – The Goddess and demon had a fight at this place. So, the trunk of an elephant, indefinite outlines of swords and shields on the rocks serves as a testimony of the battle.

Early morning view of Chauli Ki Jali /Chauthi Jali: Mukteshwar Town

Apart from this story, there is a Charlatan too linked to Chauthi Jali. Locals believe that if childless women pass through this hole on Maha Shivratri, she is blessed with a child afterward. And women actually attempt this, risking their lives. That is why it is Incredible India.

Hole in Chauli Ki Jali: Mukteshwar Town
Hole in Chauli Ki Jali
Close up view of hole at Chauli ki Jali

One can climb on the edge of the cliff to have a feel of being on the top of the world but it’s equally risky and we advise not to do. The tourism department had put boards everywhere to avoid falls. If adventure is up to your alley and you want to have an adrenaline rush with adventurous activities like rock climbing, then attempt it only under trained supervisors.

Bhalu Gaad Waterfall

The Bhalu Gaad waterfall is a newly discovered 60 feet high fall, in the Mukteshwar town province. The word Bhalu Gaad comes from two words where Bhalu means Bear and Gaad means stream in the local language. So, the trail is considered to be a good location for Bear sightseeing too.  At the bottom of the fall, a rainbow can be seen, so locals have named it a Rainbow waterfall.

Crossing Stream on the way to Bhalu Gaad Waterfall in Mukteshwar Town

The Bhalu Gaad fall lies 10 kilometers from Mukteshwar. Drive from Mukteshwar town to village Dhari, and from here the further trek of 2 kilometers to Bhalu Gaad waterfall starts. The trek is a beautiful walk through dense jungle taking ascents, descents, and crossing streams in between. On the way, one can see beautiful birds chirping and singing. So, it is a bird watchers paradise. At the end of the fall, there are huge rocks that need to be climbed down and up to reach the natural clear water pool.

Bhalu Gaad Waterfall near Mukteshwar Town

Overall, the total time for the trek can be done in 45 minutes to an hour. It is a complete adventure package for 3 -4 hrs. Rest you can pack your food, spend the whole day in the dense jungle exploring the trails.

Sunrise and Sunset

Sunrise and Sunset both lit up the sky in different hues and catching the first and last sun rays falling on the Himalayan ranges will be every traveler’s delight. So, it was on our list to watch both sunrise and sunset while being in Mukteshwar.

Himalayan peaks glowing at Sunrise in Mukteshwar Town

The ideal spot to catch both is Chauli ki Jali and PWD guesthouse in Mukteshwar. We left our hotel, Club ten Pine lodge Mukteshwar at 4:30 in the morning to reach Chauthi Jali. The first light spread at 6:00 am and it colored the sky in the shade of orange. The sky was misty but who could stop it from glowing. With time the clouds kept departing and the Himalayan ranges lifted their veil. The views were just breathtaking and our picture surely cannot do justice to what the actual beauty was.

Similarly, watching the sunset here is like a dream. Slowly the show began, again turning the sky into different shades and sun setting down, giving way to the moon.

Sunset in Mukteshwar Town

Seeing all this at the end of the cliff made me feel how small we are is in front of these mountains. These cliffs only separate us from the horizons and the beauty of nature is beyond all the beauties of the world.

Fruit Orchards

Mukteshwar – Ramgarh belt has earned the title of the Food Bowl of the Kumaon region. Here you can get to enjoy shiny yellow-green pears to bright red apples, delectable peaches, local edible berries, and pomegranates.

Local traditional food

The Mukteshwar town is a heaven for the culinary experience too. Do try smoked mutton, raw mutton snack, Madua chapatti for delightful taste with locals.

Smoked mutton Snack: Mukteshwar Town
Smoked mutton Snack

Also visit the original Choco House, for handcrafted European chocolates, but they are really expensive and variety is available only during the season.

Choco House in Mukteshwar town

Some Important tips

  1. Start from Delhi early morning to avoid traffic jams on the way.
  2. There are limited restaurants and Dhabas on the way, so do keep some snacks handy.
  3. Mornings and evenings are a bit cold in Mukteshwar, so always carry a sweater or shawl along. And in winter temperature can dip below negative also.
  4. Medical facilities are available in Mukteshwar town but for advanced care, one will have to visit Nainital only (55 kilometers).
  5. Respect local traditions and do try the local traditional food.
  6. Don’t litter around and bring your waste back from the treks and trails.
  7. All network operators run well in Mukteshwar.

So, if you are the one who wants peace and solitude, loves nature and listening to the air gushing through deodar trees, bird watching, and unlimited fresh fruits, then Mukteshwar town in Uttarakhand is the perfect getaway.

Mukteshwar Town

P.S: We did this road trip with club ten pine lodge, Mukteshwar. Thanks, Mr. Dheeraj & Mr. Praveen for organizing and showing the beautiful colonial town to AllGudThings.

Do, travel to these places of Uttarakhand too.

Uttarkashi in Uttarakhand

The Beautiful Binsar

Day Treks in Nainital

Harsil- The virgin village of Uttarakhand

Mana Village

Badrinath Dham

Tehri Dam


37 thoughts on “Mukteshwar Town: The cocktail of calmness & serenity”

  • Looks like a beautiful and calm place to visit. Especially loved hearing about the Bhalu Gaad waterfall. It’s crazy that it was recently discovered! So beautiful and incredible that you can site bears though (kinda scary too haha). Thanks for the great tips!

  • Usually when you think of visiting India, you think of the cities and typical tourist haunts. Thanks for providing an insight into a different experience. Love the little chocolate shop.

  • Great post! I loved all the pictures! I don’t know anything about visiting India let alone Mukteshwar Town, but this post is definitely something to come back to when I start planning a trip to India. Looks like some great hikes!

  • Mukteshwar brings back memories of the time we went there from our college, with the entire batch of 50 people! It was such an amazing experience, we camped in tents in the open and it was lovely. Your pictures are amazing, it’s definitely one of the nice hill towns to visit near Delhi. Thanks for sharing this post!

  • This is a really well written guide and those views look spectacular, the smoked mutton sounds interesting and would love to visit the choco house 😀 – If ever I do ever travel through India I will make sure to add this to the list 😀

  • I’ve heard a lot about the beautiful hill station towns throughout India, though hadn’t heard of Mukteshwar town, so I thankyou for the introduction. Incredible that there are such unobstructed views of the Himalayan ranges. That would be incredible at sunrise and sunset! The nature enthusiast in me is excited about Chauli Ki Jali – looks like a very unique rock face. I;m definitely the adventurous type, so would be totally up for a climb to the edge. But yes, I see why the tourism board would have to board it off and only advise tourists take supervises visits – safety comes first of course!

  • I like how you included how the locals see the hole in the rock and the mythology. Sometimes, we go to places and get fascinated by the beautiful sceneries not thinking that they are more beautiful when we get to hear the stories. And of course, I love the sunrise and sunset! Golden hour!

  • The geology here looks epic. I always seem to forget how much nature India has because of all the picture of the overcrowded cities. The mythology here is interesting. I wonder about the history behind the story of the barren women walking thru and then getting a child.

  • This part of India looks incredible. I would love to try the smoked mutton. I don’t think I have ever tasted something like that before. It’s amazing to hear about the stories as well. I love hearing the tales and stories of the landscape as well as seeing the beautiful view.

  • Climbing up Chauthi Jali sounds way too scary for me – I hope people don’t get into trouble here! The Bhalu Gaad falls look so lovely – a nice hike up from Mukteshwar sounds like a great afternoon activity. Oh my gosh, your photo of the Himalayan mountain range is exceptional – I’m sure it was even more surreal experiencing that views in person. I might just leave the smoked mutton delicacy to the locals 😉

  • What a beautiful view of the Indian Himalayas. It has reminded of our journey in Uttarakhand a few years back but Mukteshwar was not part of our itinerary. Did yuou have a dip at Bhaalu Gaad waterfall. The overall serene place truly beckons me.

  • Mukteshwar looks so beautiful, with lots of different scenes to take in. I especially love how you’ve captured the sunset, it is truly stunning. I myself would love to escape here to the calm, and I adore waterfalls so I think I could certainly be at peace here.

  • Love your photos of the landscapes in Mukteshwar Town.. It looks very relaxing indeed.. The legend behind the Chauli Ki Jali is very interesting, too. Would love to see the outlines of swords and shield on the rock! 🙂

  • Uttarkhand is a state I am yet to explore. Very interesting sites with historical and spiritual importance.
    Seems like it is still untouched by modern infrastructure. I have a dream to capture some glorious sunrise and sunset moments there.

  • I’m not surprised there’s a place such as Mukteshwar in India, like you said, it’s Incredible India! I love your sunrise and sunset pictures of Mukteshwar. I’d love to climb Chauli Ki Sali buy I doubt I have the mind. But I love the legend around it. You’ve got great pictures to show the beauty of Mukteshwar and I’d love to visit someday.

  • wow that rock with the hole in it looks incredible, and so does the sunset! I never knew India had such great nature, but I guess it shouldn’t be surprising given the proximity to the Himalayas! I’ve never been to India but posts like this really inspire me to visit just for the outdoors alone

  • Mukteshwar looks gorgeous through your lens. I was particularly curious about the legend of Chauli ki Jali and the belief behind it. It does look treacherous for anyone to pass through it and the tourism board is right about stopping people. However, no denying that makes a lovely picture. Cheers

  • It would indeed be a shame if Mukteshwar became a city, it does look like a very peaceful place. It is difficult sometimes for a destination so beautiful to maintain its charm while encouraging visitors, but hopefully if there are more homestays then luxury resorts it will benefit the local people more.

  • What a fantastic and detailed write up about Mukteshwar – the history and beautiful region. Your pictures bring the place to life, especially the Himalayas at sunset and sunrise. I’d love to visit this region of India. Great introduction and seductive photography!

  • We’ve never heard of the colonial town of Muktesar! But it looks sooo breathtaking! Knowing that its valley is completely bounded by fruit orchards makes us want to go there now. Also, it’s crazy that some childless women risk their life to pass through the hole on Maha Shivratri! I would definitely NOT do it! haha… But I would just sit on the top of the mountain to enjoy the wonderful sunsets and sunrises! Thank you for this inspiring post!

  • Wow! Mukteshwar does look all peaceful and has a charm about the place. I would love to be there right now to get away from the crazyness of European urban life. Love the photos and great write up.

  • Wonderful post! Makes me want to go back to India!!! I like the myth around the rock and am shocked (but not surprised) about the women who try to get ‘blessed’ by the stone to get a child… 🙂

  • It is so nice when a beautiful place like Mukteshwar can be protected from encroaching commercialism and too much new construction. Quiet and calm locations with beautiful vistas should be preserved for perfect escapes from city life.

  • The scenery and natural beauty in Mukteshwar are breathtaking. I would love to take photos of the Himalayas from the vantage point you had. I can understand why there is calmness and serenity in this environment.

  • I understand what you are saying. Even though the new stuff may draw more people it ruins the authentic experience you are getting now. The sun on those mountains looks priceless and beautiful. A newly discovered waterfall sounds awesome!

  • Mukteshwar town definitely sounds like the pitamy of peace and serentity. I would probably want to stay in a homestay or camping, as I think the ritzy resorts would take away from what should be an authentic experience. Stunnign views from Chauli Ki Jali and Bhalu Gaad Waterfall, and I can definitely see how watching sunset and sunrise over the Himalayan ranges would have been the ultimate highlight!

  • I can see why this is the perfect cocktail of calm and serenity. It has it all by having just the right amount of experiences. I would love to visit the hole in Chauli Ki Jali and visit the local fruit orchards. It would be a very peaceful getaway.

  • The Himalayan sunrise/sunset range was my favorite thing during my visit to Nepal so I am so happy that I can scope out this beloved view in India too!!! I cannot wait! Also, I am a huge fan of mutton and am very intrigued by this raw mutton snack, Madua chapatti. How is it seasoned?!?