Mukteshwar is another gem in the Nainital District, Kumaon Uttarakhand. Located at an elevation of 2,285 mts, the tiny hamlet is the namesake of a 350-year-old temple Mukteshwar Dham whose residing deity is Lord Shiva. The views from the top of the mountain, also the location of the Mukteshwar Temple, offers you stunning 180 degree views of the vistas!
Here’s all you need to know about this little off-beat wonderland that has so much to offer!
The unspoiled beauty of Mukteshwar has a lot to offer and then some! It is believed that Jim Corbett had visited Mukteshwar to hunt tigers and yet fell in love with the natural munificence.
Major peaks such as the Nanda Devi, Nanda Kot, Nandaghunti, Trishul and Panchachuli are clearly visible from here. On one side, you’ll witness Mukteshwar covered in dense forest, but on the other side – there is a stunning view of the valley and far off peaks.
Mukteshwar was developed by the British as a research and education institute (IVRI) in 1893. Up until 1893 – the region mostly remained in hollows and was known for ancient temples. Early citing of the place is in Jim Corbett’s book “The Temple Tiger” as Muktesar. The current name and its association is the same started after 1947. Nobel prize winning scientist – Robert Koch had visited the hamlet in the 1900s and created a cold room, using only biological materials! It is a beautiful specimen and a must visit at the museum in the region!
As per Hindu mythology, Shivji conquered a fierce battle with a demon at Mukteshwar. When the demon was annihilated, Shiv ji gifted him with mukti – the boon of immortality. Therefore, this is how the region came to be known as Mukteshwar – Mukti + Ishwar, or immortality granted by God.
Mukteshwar enjoys the perfectly pleasant weather of lower himalayas with the summers never getting too warm and the winters enjoys small spounts of snowfall! It is truly a magical wonderland with temperatures ranging from 25-30 Degrees (max) in the summer months to -5 degrees (minimum) in the winter months. Remember to carry enough layers with you as the sun can be a mischevious being in the hills!
Best time to visit
This destination is pretty safe to visit throughout the year. In fact, even in the monsoon months –you can drive up to Mukteshwar. However, this endeavor should be undertaken if you’re a seasoned mountain driver.
How to get there
Well connected to most of the important towns in Uttarakhand, it is easy to reach the tiny village of Mukteshwar. Situated around 336 KMs from Delhi, you can reach Mukteshwar by Air, Rail or Road.
The nearest Airport to Mukteshwar is Pantnagar, around 90 KMs from the village. You can easily find cabs and buses plying the route from here to Mukteshwar. Pantnagar enjoys 4 direct flights (and round trips) from Delhi every week
The nearest railway station is 57 KMs away, at Kathgodam. Again, you’ll easily find cabs (shared and private) as well as buses from Kathgodam to Mukteshwar.
Buses are easily available from ISBT to Haldwani, Nainital, Almora and Mukteshwar. Taxis are also easily available to reach Mukteshwar. Many private buses also operate luxury buses to reach the village.
Things to Do in Mukteshwar
If you’re looking for a scenic and natural connectivity – Mukteshwar is great. But, if you’re also seeking thrill and adventure –Mukteshwar has a ton to offer here as well!
Rock Climbing and Rappelling are quite fun in Mukteshwar, given the stunning scenic location. The overhanging cliffs near Mukteshwar – Chauli ki Jali – is a popular rock climbing destination. Another great activity to partake in is paragliding.
Bang in the lap of nature- you’ll have a fool-proof plan if you decide to under the starry skies of Mukteshwar. Given the magical, mystical location amongst the dense Deodar trees, Mukteshwar is a glorious site.
There are many trails near Mukteshwar – such as – Peora to Mukteshwar, or Peora to Almora as well as Binsar to Artola.
Places to Visit in Mukteshwar
The tiny hamlet is quite blessed with a lot to do in and around the region. Let me break it down for you –
Mukteshwar Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is the ancient temple after which the village has been named. This 350 years old Shiva temple, is perched at an elevation of 2,312 metres above sea level and offers an enchanting view of the surreal landscape. While the temple boasts of humble and simple architecture with a stone staircase leading to the deity’s heavenly abode – the Shiv Linga has huge religious significance. The Mukteshwar temple is believed to be one of the 18 important Shiv temples
Chauli ki Jali
As I said above, Chauli Ki Jali also known as Chauthi Jali is a visitor’s attraction located behind the cliff of Mukteshwar temple. It is located at a distance of 250 metres from the Mukteshwar temple. ‘Chauli’ means rock and ‘Jali’ means hole. Truly a paradise for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike – the rock climbing experience here is out of the ordinary!
At astounding elevation of 7,000 feet, Dhanachuli is only a few KMs from Mukteshwar. With stunning views of the Himalayas, the dense forests and the orchards all around – Dhanachuli offers the perfect companion for your nature connectivity.
Places to visit around Mukteshwar
While Mukteshwar itself has so much to offer, there’s even more to explore around the region –
Situated 50 KMs from Mukteshwar – Nainital needs no introduction. The lake District is dotted with lakes- Nainital, Bhimtal, Naukuchiatal, Khurpatal, Sattal. Especially at night time, the city feels like there is one more under the stagnant water body.
Situated 25 KMs from Mukteshwar, Ramgarh is at an elevation of 1789 mts and offers a very tranquil environment. Full of orchards and with stunning snow-laden mountains as the view to keep you company – Ramgarh is a quintessential Himalayan experience.
Where to Stay in Mukteshwar
Given the close proximity to Nainital and Ranikhet etc. – Mukteshwar enjoys a bunch of options for accommodations. These include the entire diaspora from luxury to budget or guest houses and camping options. The ever trusty .
If you’re looking for a luxury stay (read for honeymoons etc.) is . It has some of the most stunning views and will give you the most stunning views each morning. Worth every penny!
What to Eat in Mukteshwar
There are a bunch of restaurants in Mukteshwar with all sorts of cuisine available from Chinese/Tibetan to North and South Indian. Continental food is also available in addition to all the regional cuisine.
- Mukteshwar is a destination that can be visited all year round.
- Mukteshwar also receives its fair share of snowfall from last week of December last week to mid-February.
- Ideally you should spend at least 3 days in the region to fully immerse yourself in the experience
- The cab far from the railway station to Mukteshwar is around INR 100
- ATM facility is available in the town as well as other services such as hospitals, phone connectivity etc.
- Do purchase the Rhododendron juice concentrate when you’re here!
In the past many articles I have written I have presented a very humble request to all the readers of Devil on wheels. It is not much of a bother to anyone, but it will make a world of a difference for the region, the residents, the tourists and you! When you visit any place in the hills, I urge you to PLEASE not litter. Even if you’re going to touristy places and especially in far flung, isolated villages – please ensure you clean up after yourself. There are no cleanup crews coming after you to pick up your trash. It breaks my heart to go into the hills and see plastic bottles, cigarette butts, paper plates, half eaten food containers, discarded clothes and so much more filth strewn around.
I love the hills, as I am sure you do too! Let’s do our part in ensuring that when we return the next time the place is still the same. Anyone who travels through the hills is a part of a very sacred community. With folded hands, I request you to please clean up after yourself.
Perfect extended weekend getaway or even an off-beat honeymoon destination – Mukteshwar has a lot to offer for all alike. Whether you love adventure or are seeking to reconnect with nature, head on to Mukteshwar for a perfect rejuvenation and relaxation experience. Still untouched by commercial tourism, Mukteshwar retains its charm and manages to keep afloat while packing a punch. I hope the above guide has been helpful in your planning for a weekend getaway. However, if you need any more or specific information, please feel free to reach out and I will be happy to guide you along!