Misty Mukteshwar – From a 12 year olds’s view

Some time back, I was reading a book named “Man-Eaters of Kumaon” with my father. This famous book was written by Jim Corbett about his hunting of man-eater tigers in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand. In one of the stories he had described a beautiful place called “Mukteshwar” where he had killed a man-eating tiger, which troubled the people of nearby villages for a long time. Mukteshwar gets its name from a very old Shiva temple called ‘Mukteshwar Dham’. I had then requested my father whether we could visit this spot once. That was how a family trip to Mukteshwar was planned. The accommodation and tickets were booked in advance. But, due to exams in the school, my brother and because of him my mother decided not to come. I was very keen on going and my father agreed to take me there this time.

The British Beauty – IVRI Guest House

The British Beauty – IVRI Guest House


Sunset view from Chauli Ki Jaali

Sunset view from Chauli Ki Jaali

We travelled by Shatabdi Express from Anand Vihar station. We reached Kathgodam, which was the last station, in about 6 hours. From Kathgodam, we hired a cab to Mukteshwar which took about 3 hours. The air was cool and I slept in the cab. Hence, I could not see and enjoy the natural beauty on the way. But when we reached Mukteshwar I felt that we are in Heaven. It was more beautiful than I expected, because of the dense green forest. Our guest house was a beautiful old building, constructed in 1907 by the British. In the evening we had a walk to “Chauli Ka Jaali”, a beautiful viewpoint near the guest house and enjoyed the sunset. When we were coming back to our guesthouse, we saw beautiful crescent moon and sky full of stars. Dogs from nearby villages barked throughout the night. My father told me that it may be due to the movement of wild animals. It was tough for me to sleep because I feared that one of the tigers from the nearby forest will come and take me as its meal.

Next morning, we woke up early and went for a walk. Near our guesthouse was the PWD guest house where Jim Corbett used to stay for writing his books. We could see the kettle that was used by him. There is a view point near this guest house for seeing the Himalayas. But due to clouds we did not get a clear view. Then we visited the laboratory of Indian Veterinary Research Institute. We saw many animals like goat, sheep, mouse, and rabbit there. There was a dairy farm but sadly we weren’t able to go there because it was a bit far. Then we had our lunch. After a short nap, in the evening we went to the temple of Lord Shiva on the hill top. It was a very nice temple situated on the highest point in Mukteshwar overlooking a valley with beautiful view. Slowly the hills were filled with mist like a blanket. We went back to our guesthouse and had a delicious pahari dinner made by the khansama, Joshi uncle…………

The second day, while eating breakfast my father told me that he has hired a guide- Dhani – for trekking. Dhani bhayya and I became friends very quickly. We planned to walk to a village called Sitla which was around 4 kilometers away. We started going down the valley, went through a deep forest, fearing encounter with wild animals.

Sitla village - Apple Orchard

Sitla village – Apple Orchard

Sitla Village – Young Peach Tree

Sitla Village – Young Peach Tree

The guide showed us the spot where Jim Corbett killed the man-eater. After walking for about an hour we reached a tarred road and the walk became easy. At the end of the road there was a beautiful open place with blue sky, green grass, rhododendron trees with bright red flowers and fresh air. We had a break while enjoying the surroundings. When we reached Sitla village we saw many apple trees with unripe apples. Dhani bhayya told that if we want to see ripe apples we should come in the month of August. There were other fruit trees like apricots, peach and pear. We saw a villager’s house. It was nicely decorated. We talked to the house owner, Mr. Bisht. He was very friendly and invited us for tea. I noticed that the tea that I drank in his house was different from the tea I normally drink. It was made with fresh tea leaves and cow milk, both from his farm. On the way back my guide showed me a place where a natural spring was coming out of an Oak forest. The water was cold and very sweet. So, I drank a lot, filled my bottles and even carried some water for my brother. When we reached the guest house I called my mother and brother to tell them about the trek.

Kumaoni Village House

Kumaoni Village House

The third day, we went to see a river and waterfall. We went there by trekking, starting early in the morning. It was a very lengthy journey. I kept on asking my guide that when we will reach the river. All the time his reply was that it is just a few kilometers far. The area was full of pine and oak trees. I collected many pine flowers (pine cone).We heard birdsongs of many types. One particular bird with long tail was very attractive. The guide told that the bird’s name may be ‘paradise bird’ but he was not sure. After coming to the guest house I searched in the internet and identified that it was a ‘red billed blue magpie’. It was an extremely beautiful bird which glided smoothly down the valley. I slipped on the fallen pine leaves and fell down many times on the way but it was all fun! After walking for about four hours we heard the sound of water rushing through the rocks. I started running in the direction of the sound and found a very fresh and clear stream, crashing through the rocks. This place was not visited by many tourists and hence very clean. Usually people throw things in the water. The sound of water falling from the high mountain was very loud. I missed my brother because with him I would have enjoyed more. The water was cold and green. Whenever I see water I can’t control myself and I started swimming.

One more kilometer to the river

One more kilometer to the river

Darmoli – Water in a hurry!

Darmoli – Water in a hurry!

Time to enjoy the green cold mountain water

Time to enjoy the green cold mountain water

We enjoyed there for an hour and then started our return journey because the guide told that wild animals may come to the stream in the evening. The return journey was very tough as we had to climb many hills. We reached guest house and relaxed for some time as my legs were aching. In the meanwhile I spoke to my brother and told him all the fun I had. My father promised that we all will come to this place once again. Joshi Uncle was ready with the dinner. We ate and went to sleep because we had to start our return journey early in the next morning. After spending 3 days there I was less afraid of wild animals and had a good sleep…………..

31 Comments

  • Prasad Np says:

    Wonderful post Dev. All the best, and looking forward to read more of your travelogues.

  • RAJEEVAN.V says:

    Happy to read your scintillating experience on your trip to Mukteshwar with your Dad. You really enjoyed the wilderness,the tranquility and the fragrance of the woods that you always miss in the din and bustle of city life. Your dad’s native place Kalloor ,Wayanad is also really adorned with the natural beauty. It too offers you the seasonal changes in all it’s grandeur . Close by is the Muthanga forests teemed with wild animals… Your presentation is so beautiful and outstanding… All the best…

  • Uday Baxi says:

    A great beginning Dev.

    Loved the way you enjoyed swimming in the clear water.

    Looking forward to many of your travelogues in future.

    Best wishes

  • pooja says:

    Commendable post, Dev!!! Truly a treat to read about all the fun you had with some amazing pictures.

  • Rajeev says:

    Excellent narration. I want to go there now. How did you book the guest house please advise.

  • Kamesh Bisht says:

    Dear Dev, this is a wonderful description, especially from the young kid like you. You have captured he essence of place and we can actually feel being there. Hope to read many more travelogue from you. All the best.

  • Mukesh Bhalse says:

    Welcome aboard Dev,

    Your debut post to ghumakkar is so interesting and engaging. Keep writing and commenting here.

    Thanks,

  • PRABIR KUMAR SEN says:

    I enjoyed every bit of the blog. It is obvious from your writing how much you have enjoyed. I am sure next time you will enjoy much more when Vishnu will be with you. This is exactly what I understand by education- learning from nature and enjoying at the same time. I am already anticipating that your curiosity shall help you to achieve great heights in life.

  • Archana Ravichander says:

    Welcome to Ghumakkar!
    Your post has made a wonderful start for your journey here. Keep up the great work of traveling, writing and sharing with us.
    Mukteshwar looks beautiful as usual from your perspective too!

    Best.

  • AJAY SHARMA says:

    Dear Dev,
    Like all your fans, I too enjoyed every bit of your splendid narration & outstanding pictures. At 12 you have the zeal which may inspire many, including me. Traveling is a way of learning too. So keep learning!!

    Keep traveling
    Ajay

  • Dev Narayan says:

    Thanks a lot to everyone for the wonderful comments and encouragement. Actually this was written for my school magazine. I am very happy that you all have appreciated me and I will try to write more such stories. Please continue blessing me……

  • Nandan Jha says:

    Welcome aboard Dev.

    It has come out very well and I am sure you would have got similar response and encouragement on your story in school magazine.

    Did you get a chance to visit other places in this trip ?

    • Dev Narayan says:

      Thank you Nandan Bhayya for all the help and encouragement. No I didn’t go. My father promised me to take me to Joshimath next…I will try to write a blog after trip.

  • Navneet says:

    “It was tough for me to sleep because I feared that one of the tigers from the nearby forest will come and take me as its meal”

    “On the way back my guide showed me a place where a natural spring was coming out of an Oak forest. The water was cold and very sweet. So, I drank a lot, filled my bottles and even carried some water for my brother”

    standout pieces….we all lose this innocence as we grow up!

  • Saurabh Gupta says:

    Excellent Post Dev.

    I had been there 2 times & it’s my one of the best favourite place.

    Keep sharing.

  • Sukanya Venkateswaran says:

    Dear Dev,

    I was so happy in go throughing your blog and felt really proud that you made something interesting with the help of your dear father..Congrats to Both of You..

    I wish you all the best in making like this many more.

  • Shanta says:

    Hello Dev,

    I really loved the narration and the pictures, felt like walking right next to you. You have immense talent, keep up the superb work.

    Shanta

  • Ali Akhtar says:

    Very interesting dear Dev. I am planning to visit Mukteshwar Next month after reading your post. Can you share the contact number of your guide Dhani who took you for the sight seeing. Also please share the pics of the spot where jim corbett shot the maneater.

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