India is a melting pot of cultures and Rituals. Deities form the centre of these rituals and cultures. One of the most revered Gods in Hindu Dharma is Lord Shiva. The Himalayan mountains are referred to as his abode. In the lap of the Himalayan belt lies the town of Mukteshwar which is again, named after The famous Shiva temple known as Mukteshwar Dham. Mukteshwar is a small town in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand. It is an unpolluted beauty that offers you a marvellous view of the Himalayan ranges.
Jim Corbett, the world-renowned hunter and nature lover came to shoot a tiger and fell in love with its natural beauty. He even mentions his experience with Mukteshwar in his book “Man-eaters of Kumaon”.
Till 1893, Mukteshwar served as an abode of temples and shrines. However, post-1893, the place was chosen for the production centre of serums, to protect animals and cattle plagues.
Table of Contents
- Culture of Mukteshwar
- Cuisine of Mukteshwar
- Places to visit in Mukteshwar, Uttarakhand.
- Mukteshwar Temple:
- Nanda Devi View:
- Chauli ki Jali:
- Methodist church:
- Indian Veterinary Research Institute:
- Renewable Park Dhana-Chuli:
- How to reach Mukteshwar?
- Frequently Asked Questions
Culture of Mukteshwar
The People of Mukteshwar follow Kumaoni culture. The important aspects of their culture include folk art, Folk songs and Folk dances.
When you travel to Mukteshwar, you will find Likhai art that has been crafted on Doors and windows. This art is an intrinsic and unique aspect of Kumaoni Culture.
Cuisine of Mukteshwar
Mukteshwar offers you a range of dishes that you must try when you travel to the town. They are not only delicious but also offer you a good portion of nutrition. The first dish to try here is Baante, a cure made of Yoghurt and Radish. It’s served with steamed rice.
The next dish to eat here is Aloo ke Gutke, a delicacy of fried Pahari aloos (potatoes) mixed with spices. They are best served with Bhang ki Chutney. This is the most common dish that is served during the Holi festival in Uttarakhand. The Pahari aloo that is used in its preparation is grown differently than the normal potatoes grown in Plain regions, and therefore it tastes different and adds a unique flavour to the dish.
Dubka/Dubke is next to the list. It is a soupy dish that is made with the concoction of a Variety of lentils including chickpeas and Kidney beans. It is a proper winter dish that is served with rice or roti.
Added to this, Kapa is another delicacy of the Pahadi population, made of Spinach and served with rice. This is often made during the winter season as the Pahadi palak grows only during that time of the year. A special feature of this curry is its recipe which makes it possible for spinach to retain its nutritious value unlike in other dishes where it loses them when cooked to saturation. Ras, Bal Mithai and Singori, Mandua ki roti and Bhang ki Chutney are some other prominent delicacies that you must-must try when you travel to Mukteshwar.
Heading on, Let’s take a look at the pre-eminent places of Mukteshwar.
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Places to visit in Mukteshwar, Uttarakhand.
1. Mukteshwar Temple:
The First and the most famous place to visit in Mukteshwar is the 350-year-old Mukteshwar Dham temple from where the town gets its name. The temple is located at the highest point of Mukteshwar and the devotees are required to trek up to the temple abode.
The Dham is dedicated to Lord Shiva who is believed to have slain a demon here and granted him Salvation (Mukti) at this place. Hence the name, Mukteshwar. Mukteshwar Dham is also an abode to Saint Shri Mukteshwar Maharaj Ji who lived here in a cottage. The Dham offers you a serene environment that is ideal for Meditation.
It takes about 2 hours of trekking to reach the place. The path to the temple is surrounded by Orchids and Coniferous trees. However, be careful while walking as you may get hurt because of stones or other things.
2. Nanda Devi View:
The town of Mukteshwar is situated on a hill point that offers you a marvellous view of Himalayan ranges covered in snow.
From the hill where the Mukteshwar Dham is located, the Nanda Devi and Panchchauli ranges, covered in snow, present themselves in full glory. The sun’s rays add further glow to the majestic mountains.
Apart from Nanda Devi and Panchachuli; Nanda-khat, Nanda-Kot, Hathi Parvat, Nanda Ghunti, and Trisha Rajrambha are major peaks that are visible from Mukteshwar Dham Hill.
3. Chauli ki Jali
Chauli ki Jali is a cliff that is behind the Mukteshwar temple hill. It is 1.5 km away from the Mukteshwar Main market. Chauli means rock and Jali means Hole. Chauli ki Jali is a hill where you will rock with a hole. This place is an ideal spot for nature lovers and adventure seekers. The cliff offers a mesmerising view of the Himalayan range and Kumaon Valley from its edges. People can engage in sightseeing and rock climbing at this place.
There is an excerpt associated with this place. It is said that a Goddess had fought a fierce battle with a demon at this place. The prints of the Elephant’s trunk, a shield and outlines of a sword stand to the testament of the battle that ensued between the two.
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4. Methodist church:
This is one of the main religious sites in Mukteshwar. Situated in the dense green deodar forest, the church is 2 km away from the main town. It is one of the oldest buildings that was built in the 1900s. The structure is adorned with ancient stone walls, wooden windows and a stair bell.
The church is open only on Sunday for 2 hours. People come to this place as it is away from the crowd and hence offers serenity to their minds. However, one must be careful while coming as the Path to the church has stones and pebbles.
In the Kumaoni language, Bhalu means Good and Gaad means river. Bhalu Gaad or Good river is situated in the middle of a dense forest. To reach here, you need to trek for about 2 km. The place offers an ideal picnic spot for nature lovers. However, kindly remember not to spill plastics or spit around in this Paradise of a place.
6. Indian Veterinary Research Institute:
The Indian Veterinary Research institute was made for the treatment of animals on the recommendation of Col.JHB Hallen, Chairman of the Indian cattle plague commission in 1893. The Institute is situated at the intersection of Lohaghat and ghagar. The valleys further add beauty to the location and make it more scenic.
It can be visited during the daytime however, since it’s an Institute, you must follow discipline.
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7. Renewable Park
The Renewable Park was developed by the Energy and Resource institute. This park uses Solar electricity for most of its electricity needs. Currently, the town is flooded with vo structure as people are buying houses in this location to avoid the bustle of Cities.
Dhana-Chuli is a small hamlet on the outskirts of Mukteshwar town. It is located at an elevation of 7000 ft above sea level. It is only 26 km away from Bhimtal lake. The town is filled with Orchids-laden apples, woods, and an enchanting view of Himalayan ranges. The shy-pahadi kids playing on the ground will fill your mind with joy. If you are looking for an escape, then this is the ideal spot for you.
How to Reach Mukteshwar?
The Air and Rail connectivity of the town is very limited. Pantnagar is the nearest Airport to the town and Kathgodam is the nearest station which is 2 hours away from Mukteshwar town.
However, The road network is easily available and affordable. You can hire a cab or taxi or access a private vehicle to reach Mukteshwar. The distance between Mukteshwar from Delhi and Chandigarh is 336 km and 517 km respectively.
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Mukteshwar is a heavenly abode of tranquillity blended with spirituality and culture. Its Natural beauty is what makes it special. Every place in Maheshwar has an associated history with it. The views of the Himalayan ranges add further glory to this hill station. Because of less crowd, the place is an ideal spot if you are looking for some real-time peace, away from the noise of metropolitan cities.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which is the best time to visit Mukteshwar?
You can visit Mukteshwar any time of the year. However, to have an enthralling experience without any problem, visiting the town from March to June is a perfect time.
What special things to shop from Mukteshwar?
Since Mukteshwar is located in a cold region, the warm products produced in this region are quite worthy to have a look at. Woollen rugs, Woollen carpets; Hand knitted sweaters and Shawls are famously produced in this region.
Other Products include traditional copper utensils, bamboo baskets and rope made from hemp plants.