Tag Archives: uttarakhand

Travel Binsar to Rejuvenate your Soul

Birds chirping made us open our eyes and the orange light peeping from our room window cajoled us out of our bed. It was just 6:00 am and we were up & awake. Meanwhile, the prancing footsteps knocked on the door to make sure we were up to admire the sunrise, the first sun rays lighting the Himalayan Peaks. He handed over a freshly brewed cup of tea on the terrace to us, while the dusk gave way to dawn and lifted the veil from the peaks. In continuation, a narration by the fellow server on how the day goes by in Binsar starting with heartwarming breakfast, sun-soaking and peaceful jungle walk followed by seeing the orange ball diving behind the mountains, and ending the day with stargazing in the deafening quiet nights. Overall it looked like a promising relaxed idyllic holiday & that is what we were here for.

So, to experience such days, rush to the hidden unadulterated hamlet of Uttarakhand i.e. Binsar also known as Binsar wildlife Sanctuary.

Travel Binsar to Rejuvenate your Soul

Brief about Binsar Valley

Binsar, a small secluded scenic valley, sits on the top of Jhandi Dhar Hills, at an altitude 2412 meters in the Kumaon region of the Himalayas. It lies 23 kilometers from Almora, 75 kilometers from the Mukteshwar town and 88 kilometers from Nainital in Uttarakhand.

Initially, the valley was just popular as Binar or Binsar Valley but in 1988 it became a Binsar wildlife sanctuary, to conserve and preserve the shrinking broad oak leaf oak forests of the Himalayan region. Today, the Binsar wildlife sanctuary spreads over 46km2 and is highly rich in flora and fauna. It is home to many wildlife animals (like leopards, barking deer, mountain goats, wild boars, porcupine, foxes, langurs, chital, red flying squirrel, etc.), mammals, birds, and butterflies. The sanctuary too has about 200 species of birds like magpies, parakeets, blackbirds, fork tails, pheasants, woodpeckers, etc. In flora, the forest hosts about 25 different types of trees, 24 types of bushes, and 7 types of grass.

Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary, Uttarakhand
Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary, Uttarakhand

Apart from all this, the main attraction of Binsar is the majestic view of the Himalayas one gets from here. The complete 300 km stretch of famous peaks like Kedarnath, Chaukhamba, Trishul, Nanda Devi, Nanda Kot, and Panchchuli are visible on clear days and on cloudy days there is a complete hide and seek game between moving clouds & glorious Himalayas.

Winter Morning in Binsar Sanctuary
Winter Morning in Sanctuary

Entry to Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary

Binsar lies 23 kilometers from Almora. And then there is an entry gate with toll barrier at Ayarpani to the Binsar wildlife sanctuary. To enter one needs to pay Rs. 150 per head for Indians, Rs. 600 per head for foreign nationals, Rs. 75 for Indian students, Rs. 250 for foreign students and add to it the vehicle charges i.e. Rs. 250 for small vehicles, Rs. 500 for medium-sized and Rs 800 for heavy vehicles.

Note: The issued pass is valid for just 24 hours and once you enter, forget going out

Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary Entry Gate at Ayarpani
Entry Permit for Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary
Entry Permit for Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary

Timings to Enter & Leave Binsar Sanctuary

Being a restricted area, there are fixed timings to enter and leave i.e. in between 6:00 am to 6:00 pm

Days in Binsar / Places to visit in Binsar

Days in Binsar are quite blissful, slow & long. There is nothing much to do except relaxing, sipping tea and coffee, or reading books while gazing at the mountains, admiring the beautiful countryside, taking adventurous treks to the small villages and enjoying Kumaoni cuisines with the villagers. So, it is an ideal destination for a perfect long weekend getaway from Delhi to rejuvenate your soul & senses.


Anyways, in Binsar our days started quite early with sunrise and ended early too. For the best sunrise views, Zero point Binsar which lies 2 kilometers from the KMVN guest house is considered as the best location. But the KMVN hotel staff suggested to us, that the hotel terrace itself is the best location. Honestly, we were hesitant to listen to them but somehow agreed, and after experiencing can say, it surely is.

Here, the first sunray lights the snowclad Himalayan peak on one point and then widens its horizon and light up the several kilometers stretch. The whole scene is extremely mesmerizing and a treat to sore eyes. But simultaneously while watching, it makes me wonder – Are locals lucky? Do they appreciate getting up to this view every day or they just think it normal?

Himalayan Peaks view from KMVN - Sunrise
Himalayan Peaks view from KMVN Terrace- Sunrise

After sunrise, the day continued for us with a quick bath (Remember there is a limited hot water supply -like 1 bucket per head in mountains) and a delicious breakfast. A quick lazy nap after that and we were up for the jungle walk. Few meters from the KMVN gate, the road diverges into two- the one descending downwards goes to the Binsar Dak Bungalow, whereas the other one takes you to the zero points. We first took the road towards Dak Bungalow.

Entry to Dak Bungalow Binsar

The Binsar Dak Bungalow (Sunset Point)–  is where Swami Vivekananda had stayed and meditated for two days when he had visited Almora in 1897. The current colonial designed forest rest-house was built in 1902. It has limited rooms with beautiful views. From the grounds of this Dak bungalow, one gets the sunset view and is famous as a set point to the tourists. We went there at noon so just soaked our lazy bodies in the sun and came back for lunch.

Rooms at Dak Bungalow
Rooms at Dak Bungalow

Simple delicious lunch and we again dozed off. After some time we left to explore the Bineshwar Mahadev Temple, situated within the Binsar wildlife sanctuary. It is a 16th-century ancient temple, from which Binsar has derived its name. The Temple lies 6 kilometers from the Ayarpani i.e. main gate and houses Lord Shiva deity. The temple was built during the prosperous reign of King Kalyan Chand. Unfortunately, the temple was closed so we couldn’t enter inside.

Bineshwar Mahadev Temple in the meadows
Bineshwar Mahadev Temple in the meadows

Just opposite to this Temple is a café & scenic waterfall, which looks grand and magnificent in monsoons and completely dried up in summers and winters. By this time, it was already 5:00 pm and it was time to head back. You might be wondering why because the hotel premises works on power backup and electricity is available only from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. So, this is the only time to charge up your phones and batteries.

Monsoon Waterfall
Monsoon Waterfall

Note: Electricity is available only from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

After evening tea, we were back for a stroll on the KMVN terrace to watch the sun descending behind the mountains and sky lit in the shades of orange purple hues, followed by moonrise and stars slowly filling up the whole of the sky. The whole evening screenplay put by nature is impossible to be described in the words and can just say in a word- wow! By 8:00 pm there was a dinner call and by 9:00 pm majority of the lights were off. So, the time to retire to the bed or either night photography at the terrace. We would have chosen the other one but somehow missed carrying our tripod.

Sunset view from KMVN Terrace Binsar
Sunset view from KMVN Terrace Binsar

Our Experience

We recommend spending at least spend 2 days in the Binsar wildlife sanctuary to breathe and feel the place. Binsar valley is a big natural swath of forestland painted with Deodar, Pine, and Rhododendron trees. Indeed, it is one of the thickest forests of Uttarakhand, where sunlight hardly gets a chance to kiss the land. The moss on the trees and rocks looks like a forever unit and the peace and silence are the only elements apart flora fauna here. Time clock seems to have frozen centuries back here and nothing looks changed forever except the constructed gravel road and milestones.

Map of Binsar Sanctuary
Map of Binsar Sanctuary

The place is all about relaxing, gazing at the scenic mountains, and dwelling in the charms of the countryside. Overall, Binsar is the epitome of serenity and tranquility, perched on top of a hill with a spectacular view of the snowcapped peaks and the Almora valley.

History of Binsar

Binsar has a richly diverse history tracing back to ancient times. It was the summer capital of the Chand Dynasty who ruled the region between the 7th to 18th centuries. The Chand Raj kings used to visit the Binsar valley in summer to enjoy the pleasant weather and tranquil scenery among the mountains.

Mythological History

Acc. to mythology, Binsar witnessed a warfare between the Binsar King & Golu Devta/ God (who is believed to be the incarnation of Lord Shiva, mythological & historical God of the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand). In the battle, Golu Devta’s was beheaded and his trunk fell at Gairad Dana Golu and head at Kaparkhan near Binsar. Today, both these locations hold the ancient temples of Golu Devta. 

How to reach Binsar from Delhi

Binsar lies 394 kilometers from Delhi and is well connected by road, rail or by air. The nearest airport to Binsar is at Pantnagar (140 Kms from Binsar) whereas the nearest railway station is at Kathgodam (105 Kms from Binsar). Further journey from both Pantnagar and Kathgodam stations can be covered by bus or cabs.

Route from Delhi to Binsar for Road trip

Delhi – Ghaziabad- Hapur- Garh Mukteshwar- Gajraula – Moradabad- Kaldungi – Nainital – Almora – Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary

Time taken for Road Trip to Binsar

Approx. 10 hours, for a direct journey but we advise you to take a halt in between

Road Conditions

Roads are well graveled throughout. Beyond Kaladungi, expect a narrow ascending road while crossing a few Tals (Lakes) like Khurpatal, Nalital, Malital, etc. Ahead Almora towards Binsar, the route gets highly scenic. The trees look dotted on both sides of ascending roads and in between you will be crossing small picturesque villages, and the highlighted one is Kasar Devi known for a Kasar Devi temple.

View from Kasar Devi near Almora
View from Kasar Devi

Suggested Spots for Halt in Between Road Trip to Binsar from Delhi

The ideal halt town is the famous hill station Nainital from where the further journey to Binsar is just 89 kilometers and can be completed in approx. 3-4 hours. Another option is to stop somewhere near Kaladhungi and experience the greens forests of Jim Corbett or stay at Sattal and enjoy bird watching in Sattal.


Binsar Weather & Best Time to Visit

Binsar enjoys the benefit of excellent weather throughout the year. In Summers, the average temperature ranges between 15 to 30 degree Celsius, in monsoon it lies between 20 to 28 degree Celsius whereas in winter it lies between 5 to 15 degree Celsius.

Summer is an ideal time to enjoy pleasant weather and trekking, winter is best time to enjoy snowfall, autumn and spring is for seeing the plush colors of rhododendrons and flowers blooming and monsoon is ideal for enjoying the lush green, fresh hazy look of the Binsar Valley. Also during this time, the Himalayas play hide and seek between the clouds during this time.


We have seen Binsar in months of February, August and November and honestly it looks entirely different in all months and seasons. Our favorite from all, is a monsoon trip to Binsar valley, when the whole area looks dreamy and magical.

Accommodation/ Hotels in Binsar

There are plenty of resorts, hotels, and guest houses in Almora, Kasar Devi and outside the Binsar wildlife sanctuary. But within the sanctuary, there are limited options, which varies from heritage luxury homestays to resorts to Government guest house i.e. KMVN (Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam).

Resorts/ Hotels within Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary

The Marry Budden Estate 18th century estate is a family run heritage homestay. The Grand Oak Manor built in 19th century by Sir Henry Ramsay as his summer home, is now run by Almora’s family of Lal Sah Gangola. The Khali estate too built by Sir Henry offers an excellent panoramic view of Himalayan ranges. The Binsar Forest retreat is an eco-friendly homestay which was once owned by Major Edin and locally known as Edinpur. The Binsar Forest Dak Bungalow also known as Forest Rest house, where Swami Vivekananda stayed for 2-3 days in 1897.

KMVN Guest House

The Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam (KMVN) Guesthouse located within the Binsar wildlife sanctuary is where we always stay because of its apt location (just 2 kilometers before the zero point), wooden cozy rooms, delicious Kumaoni delicacies and huge terrace and garden which directly offers you an excellent panoramic view of the Himalayan ranges.

KMVN Guest House Binsar
KMVN Guest House Binsar

Cafes/ Restaurants in Binsar

There are multiple cafes in Kasar Devi but within Binsar wildlife sanctuary, we could spot only 1 café i.e. Simba cafe opposite the Bineshwar Mahadev Temple. But our advice is to forget cafes and enjoy the local fresh farm food served in your hotels or the traditional Kumauni food served by villagers. Also, the must-try is Bal Mithai & Singori from Almora, Uttarakhand.

Sweet Singori from Almora Uttarakhand
Sweet Singori from Almora Uttarakhand

Important Points to Remember

  • Electricity is available in the hotel from 6:00 pm- 9:00 pm. So, charge your phones and batteries
  • Wi-fi and phone signals are hardly present in the hotel. So, use this time to detox and rejuvenate among nature
  • Use minimum hot water for bathing as the resources are limited
  • Do not leave your children alone & move around in the jungle after dusk
  • If you are planning to explore jungle trails go with a local guide only as you are in the jungle and in reality it is the natural habitat of wildlife, not ours.
  • Do not light fire or throw lit cigarettes buds as it can lead to a jungle fire
  • Carry a sturdy pair of shoes for exploring the Binsar sanctuary on foot
  • Respect local culture, the sanctity of villages and local customs
  • Manage your waste responsibly. Don’t throw wrappers and non-biodegradable waste here and there. Instead, carry them back and dispose of them in proper bins
  • Carry a refillable water bottle
  • Help locals by making small purchases of hand-knitted woolens, caps, gloves, etc.
  • Carry power bank, tripod and charged batteries for photography

Things you need to Carry

Binsar enjoys the benefit of having a moderate climate throughout the year but still, one needs to pack correctly for making the trip comfortable and enjoyable.

In winters days are warm but nights are extremely cold. So, carry clothes to layer up. Do keep your caps, gloves and stoles handy for covering up your head and neck.

In summers, mornings and evenings are pleasant whereas the days get hot. So, carry light clothes along with a windcheater.

In monsoons, it rains like cats and dogs here. So, you must carry your raincoats and umbrella. Also, after heavy rainfall, there is a chill, so carry a light jacket or windcheater.

Apart from all these, do carry your sunscreens, sunglasses, hats, and medicines for all the seasons.

Travel Binsar to Rejuvenate your Soul

Other Nearby Attractions to Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary

  • Binsar Sanctuary Museum

The Binsar sanctuary museum lies inside the sanctuary and it has all the important information regarding flora and fauna of the region.

  • Pariyadeva-Pashan

Historians believe that the Binsar hills are rich in ancient relics too. Near Dinapani on the Almora-Binsar road, there is a point called Pariyadeva-Pashan where there is a long stone with cup-marks and according to them these belong to Megalithic Age.

  • Kasar Devi Temple

The Kasar Devi Temple located at Kasar Devi, on Almora Binsar road (almost 9 kilometers before Binsar) is a 2nd-century old temple. The place is also known for Crank’s ridge just outside the village, which was famous during the Hippie movement and is still quite popular among both national & international tourists or travelers.

  • Golu Devta Temple / Bell Temple

The Golu Devta Temple lies 4 Kilometers from the main Temple and is dedicated to the local deity Golu Devta of the Kumaon region. The temple is also known as a Bell Temple as the local belief is that tie a bell with your wish written on white paper in the temple, to make it come true, and surprisingly there are 1000’s of bells tied there, which definitely looks beautiful.

Bell Temple Uttarakhand
Bell Temple Uttarakhand
  • Gannath Temple

Gannath Temple is an another Shiva temple, located near village Satrali almost 47 kilometers from Almora. The temple is famous for water percolating into the shiv lingam from the aerial roots (jata in Hindi) of a tree.

  • Patal Bhuvaneshwar

Patal Bhuvaneshwar lies 109 kilometers from Binsar and is famous for the majestic limestone cave temple which is about 160 meters long and 90 feet deep from the point of entrance. The Limestone rock formations have created various spectacular stalactite and stalagmite figures of various hues and forms.

Jageshwar Temple
  • Jageshwar / Jageswar Temple

The Jageshwar temple lies 36 kilometres from Almora & is considered as one of the 12 Jyotirlingas. The complex houses almost 100 temples, dated between the 7th -12th centuries. The site is maintained by ASI (Archaeological Survey of India) and they are putting efforts to get it added to UNESCO Heritage site list.

Chakrata – The unseen land of Uttarakhand

Some experiences stay with you even after you come back home. The sky turning colorful and then fading shades, the scintillating lights in the valley, the cool breeze and that silence at night, well defines our feelings for this heaven – Chakrata in Uttarakhand.

The clouds were roaring and we could see lightning making patterns, MET department had forecasted storm and heavy rainfall alert in Uttarakhand. We were bit anxious to travel to the upper Himalayas but not to the lower ones. To satisfy the arisen wanderlust; we planned to make a weekend trip to the offbeat unexplored gem Chakrata in Uttarakhand.

Chakrata - The unseen land of Uttarakhand


Chakrata, a cantonment lies at an elevation of 7500 feet in the Garhwal Himalayas in Dehradun district. The hill station lies approximately 89 kilometers from Dehradun city and 323 kilometers from Delhi. It was developed by British rulers as a summer retreat for the high executives, exactly like all other cantonments of India.


Historically, Chakrata falls in Jaunsar – Bawar region where Jaunsar refer to the lower part of valleys and Bawar refers to the upper snow clad region. The region is enclosed by River Yamuna in the east;  River Tons in the west; Himachal  Pradesh and Uttarkashi in the North and Dehradun in the South. The habitats of this area call themselves Jaunsaris and trace their origin back to epic Mahabharata.

Sunset at Chakrata

The green town Chakrata has a population of 5000 and is completely circumscribed by deodar, pine and spruce trees making it hardly visible from outside. The hill town has few well spread beautiful homes with simple smiling Pahadi people, who can leave you smiling too with the experiences to cherish forever.

A Scenic spot at Chakrata in Uttarakhand

Chakrata is an access restricted military cantonment. It serves as the permanent garrison of elite Special Frontier Force (Est. 22), the only ethnic Tibetan unit of Indian Army, raised after Sino – Indian War of 1962.

Also Read: Mukteshwar- The cocktail of calmness and serenity

Attractions of Chakrata

The secluded hill town Chakrata apparently looks quite green, shadowed and silent but it offers quaintest experiences to its travelers and tourists.  The place has some major attractions, which should be on your list too for adrenaline rush.


Tiger Fall

The 312 feet high fall lies completely hidden among the mountains and can be sighted from above just as a normal stream. The waterfall can be reached via trekking 5 kilometers through the oak and rhododendron trees or by car till one point and then walking for almost 1.5 kilometer. The charges for taking vehicle down are mere Rs 30 per person.

Trail to Tiger Fall, Chakrata

The fall looks mysterious and leaves one spell bounded. There are only 2-3 shacks nearby so the place is quite clean and not much commercialized as compared to the other falls. The fall is believed to make roaring nose like Tiger after plunging down into a small pond, hence named as Tiger Fall.

Tiger Fall in Chakrata, Uttarakhand

Note: The trail as well roads leading to the fall is quite narrow and can get quite slippery after rains. So, be really careful while driving as well walking.

Also Read: Bhalu Gaad Waterfall


Deoban is formed from two words – Deo meaning Deodar and Ban meaning forests. So, it is a thick Deodar forest area at 10,000 feet, 18 kilometers away from Chakrata. The place is a natures paradise with unprecedented beauty and a heaven for adventure junkies.

Roads to Deoban naer Check post

From Chakrata Toll barrier (Entry Fee: Rs 160/-), drive till Forest Guest house.  Park your vehicle outside and walk to the Vyas Shikhar point, to get the panoramic view of Himalayas. Unfortunately, we could not get the expected views, because of heavy clouds, still it was a drive to remember. The Vyas Shikhar too has an interesting history. It is believed that Sage Ved Vyas wrote the Hindu epic “Mahabharata” at this place.

Driving through Deoban, Chakrata

Deoban is a paradise for bird watchers. Make sure to turn back by 6 pm as the place gets pitch dark and looks haunted after that.

Driving through Deoban, Chakrata

Note: The road to Deoban is quite narrow, steep and unraveled. Expect lot of traffic jam by cows, buffalo, and sheep. After rains, the roads get too slushy, so drive with full concentration and be really slow.

Also Read: Binsar


Chilmiri Point

The Chilmiri point is a wide, green plateau and locally famous as the sunset point. It lies 4 kilometers from the Chakrata market. The road to the point is steep but well graveled. After reaching meadows, further a steep road goes up towards the canopies and prayer flags. Do walk or drive till there to get one of the best views of the valleys.

Chilmiri Neck, Chakrata


Kanasar, another Deodar forest near Chakrata is rated as Asia’s best Deodar forest. It lies 25 kilometers from Chakrata market on Chakrata – Tuini Road.  The meadows here are famous picnic spot. The place houses Asia’s oldest, biggest and largest deodar trees. One of them is claimed to be with a diameter of 6.5 meters.

Kanasar in Chakrata

The proud Kanasar temple lies in between the meadows and just nearby lies the Forest Rest House at an elevation of 2166 meters. The Forest Rest House can be booked prior visit and the place gives the mesmerizing and astounding views of thick green woods. So, Kanasar is a delightful place for all camping enthusiasts, trekkers and tourists.

Note: The roads to Kanasar is completely an off road drive. There are mud roads with lots of pot holes.

Budher Caves

The Budher caves lie at an altitude 2738 meters; at a distance of 30 kilometers from Chakrata. These stalactite and stalagmite caves are also known as Miola Caves as they were discovered by German Explorer named Miola. Mythologically, the caves are believed to be built by Pandavas and they extend up to 150 kilometers in length.

Budher Caves, Chakrata

The caves can be reached by driving till Budher Forest Rest House and then trekking further for 2.5 – 3 kilometer till Moila Top. The trail to cave is really narrow but equally breathtaking. The entrance to the Budher cave is surrounded by the beautiful green meadow. Just like Kanasar there is an ancient Temple here.

Note: The route inside the caves is really complex and tedious, so don’t attempt them without a guide.

Apart from these, there are other attractions nearby like Mundali Meadows, Kimona falls, Lokhandi, Ram Taal, Kalsi, Lakhamandal etc.

Also read: Harsil – The virgin village of Uttarakhand

How to reach Chakrata

Chakrata can be reached from Delhi by car, bus, train or cab. The nearest airport and railway station is at Dehradun. From there one can hire cab or take a bus to reach Chakrata.

Acc. to AllGudThings, the best way is to take a self-drive road trip. There are two routes and we opted for route 1 because it is a highway and to avoid heavy traffic at Meerut and Saharanpur.

Route 1: Delhi – Panipat –Karnal – Yamunagar – Ponta Sahib- Chakrataa

Route 2: Delhi – Ghaziabad – Meerut – Saharanpur –Dakpathar – Chakrataa

Total Time taken to reach: 8 -9 hours with 1-2 stops

Condition of Roads: Excellent, fully graveled highway roads. The steep roads start only after Ponta Sahib


Best Season to Visit Chakrata

Chakrata can be visited throughout the year except few areas like Deoban which gets cuts off by road in winters because of heavy snowfall. Rest, the town has pleasant temperatures during summers and freezing temperatures during winters despite being at lower Himalayas.

Summers March to June and have temperature between 10 -30 degree Celsius

Monsoons -July to September and roads become highly slippery

Autumns– October to November

Winters – December to February and temperature lies between -5 to 15 degree Celsius


There are limited stay options in Chakrata. We could find only 4 hotels – Hotel snow view, Hotel snow valley, Himalayan Paradise and Uttarayan. The Himalayan Paradise is the most famous one and it lies around 7 kilometers from city. We stayed at Hotel Snow Valley which is situated at a perfect location, bit away from the city but still quite accessible. After staying we found that hotel snow view and valley was one property earlier and now is divided into two.

Hotel Snow Valley, Chakrata

The Hotel Snow Valley has descent rooms with attached washrooms and some of them offers the perfect valley views. Food tastes exactly like home food. So, do enjoy some sitting in the open; admiring mountains and greens.

View from Hotel snow valley, Chakrata

Also Read: The valley view Homestay, Ranikhet


There are no cafes or big restaurants in the cantonment town. The only place to relish complete meal is Sher-e –Punjab Hotel in Sadar Bazar, which opens till 10:00 pm. Also, try one of the best Momo’s at Chandna’s food joint.

Sadar Bazar / Market of Chakrata

Important Points

-Chakrata is a cantonment area, so obey the rules and regulations

-Drive carefully as the roads are narrow and get highly slippery after rains

-Do remember to carry some woolens in summers too as the temperature changes here drastically

-There are limited food and stay options in Chakrata

-For staying in Forest Guest House, make the reservation prior your visit. There is no scope of reservation on the spot

-There is no petrol pump in Chakrata. So, get your vehicle fueled up at Vikasnagar

-There are plenty of ATM’s in the market, so don’t worry about cash

-All mobiles networks work here except at few places, where you get only 2G connection

-Do not litter anywhere in the mountains and do get back your trash

Chakrata - The unseen land of Uttarakhand

 Overall, Chakrata is a perfect weekend getaway for those who are in search of peace and want to experience the serenity of nature, away from city’s hustle bustle.

Related Post

Uttarkashi in Uttarakhand


Badrinath Dham and Mana Village

Auli in summers

The 2017 Travel Stories: Flashback

The year 2018 has already begun and our travel tales and road trips too. But we can’t start the new tales without reviewing the tales of the year 2017.  So, this post is all about the 2017 travel stories, just as we have the travel book for the year 2016.

We started our travel and lifestyle blog AllGudThings in September 2016 without thinking how the things will move for us and will we actually survive in this blogging race. And look today we are surviving and have come this far, writing 2017 travel stories, and are much positive for the year 2018.

2017 Travel Stories

The year 2017 was like a roller coaster for us. We bought our house, reached our dream destinations, did several trips both personal and professional, learned so much new in blogging and on the other side fought with medical issues and lost our dear ones in between. So, it was a year where we saw both highs and lows. But as Lord Buddha quotes “Without rain, nothing grows, learn to embrace the storms of your life”; so we accepted every up and down graciously and kept on moving.

In the year 2017, we never targeted where we wanted to see ALLGUDTHINGS but now we are clearer. We have set up our targets for 2018 to write more strategically, be more social and learn to monetize the blog in a better way. And the travel stories of 2017 are epic, so let’s have a look at them.

January 2017

Snow Trip with Parents to Shimla

Just after welcoming 2017 and shifting to our own place, we took a break and did a personal road trip to beautiful Shimla. The colonial town was painted in white by nature and we saw our parents living their childhood. The rich heritage & culture of Shimla introduced us to a Himachali scarf known as Dhatu or Rahide. Check about Dhatu here: Shimla Trip in style with Dhatu as a fashion accessory.


February – March 2017

Visit to the Highest Dam in India – Tehri Dam

In the last week of February, we visited Koteshwar and Tehri Dam for professional work. The holiday started after work and it continued until the first week of March. From Tehri, we took a detour to visit Uttarkashi in Uttarakhand, which proved to be a lot more than the entrance to the Char Dhams of India. Further, the trip continued to Harsil, Gangotri and ending at Mussorie.


The whole trip was an experience in itself as we visited one of the Char Dhams, saw second time snowfall in a row, learned about Mani stones and for the first time stayed in the hostel. You must check the Backpackers must carry essentials for a Hostel stay here.


April 2017

An hour of Patriotism at Hussainiwala Border

In April 2017 we visited our home in Punjab and for the first time we, saw the flag retreat ceremony at Hussainiwala Border, Firozpur. It was an hour of Patriotism, filled with deep emotions where just a white line and gate demarcated our country India from Pakistan.


May 2017

Road Trip to Badrinath Dhams and the Last Indian Mana Village

In May 2017, our parents were with us, so we planned another personal road trip to the sacred temple Badrinath Dham. From here itself we further visited the last village near Indo China border Mana Village and checked out the lush green skiing slopes of Auli in summers.


This was another remarkable and memorable trip of the year.

June 2017

June was the one month when we were actually at home and were fiddling with the ups and downs around.

July – August 2017

Dream Trip to Leh Ladakh

After a lot of stress, we really needed a long break. So, we did a 13 day long Leh Ladakh road trip from Delhi. Ladakh is also known as the land of high Passes. We took the circuit road trip at our own pace without rushing to the destinations. We checked the attractions on Srinagar Leh highway, explored hidden Leh Ladakh palaces, walked and talked with the soldier at Kargil War Memorial, got lost in the Leh Palace and tranquilized in the serenity of Hemis Monastery.


We saw Bactrian Camels and reflection of the Himalayas in the Nubra valley, did off-roading and slept in tents near high altitude lakes like Tso Kar, Pangong Tso, and Tso Moriri.


Do remember, you need Inner Line Permit for entering the sensitive zones in Leh Ladakh.

September 2017

Heritage Walk in the Historical Town, Mahabalipuram

After a year of blogging, we did our first FAM trip to Chariot Beach resort and explored Mahabalipuram, in Tamil Nadu to its best. The UNESCO monuments, monolithic structures, and caves, shore temple left us completely stunned with its beauty.


October 2017

October the month of festivals in India, we decided to take a break from travels and celebrate each one of them at our new place, with our parents.

November 2017

Road trip to the colonial town: Mukteshwar, Uttarakhand

In November 2017, we did another FAM trip with Club Ten Pine Lodge to the colonial Mukteshwar town in Uttarakhand. We got lost in the beauty of Himalayan peaks during sunrise and sunsets; & trekked to explore the hidden gem – Bhalu Gaad waterfall.


December 2017

Road Trip to Kasauli & Rajasthan

The last month of the year is always special as it is Tashi‘s birthday and we celebrated it in the hills of Kasauli. The last month also put us into the thoughts of our activities and achievements for the previous year. But simultaneously we also start deciding the place to celebrate the coming New Year. And, this year we decided to end 2017 and welcome 2018, in Rajasthan exploring the Sariska Tiger Reserve and one of the most haunted places in India – Bhangarh Fort. The stories are yet to come, so tuned.


Conclusion: 2017 Travel Stories

That was our 2017 travel stories. It seems like a year was dedicated to the road trips especially to the hills traversing Himachal, Uttarakhand and Leh Ladakh. Overall, we did 9 trips, including personal, professional and FAM trips extending from 4 days to 15 days covering multiple destinations. We are really grateful as we got good health & the opportunity to make these trips and write 2017 travel stories. We wish to travel more and continue the travel stories in 2018.

Thanks for taking out the time to read our travel stories. Have the wonderful year 2018 ahead…
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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