Mukteshwar is a feast for the eyes, a sanctuary for the soul, and an enchanting escape from the ordinary. Whether it’s nature, serenity, culture, or spirituality, this sleepy little town brings so much to the table for an experience like no other. Just venture into its embrace for the panoramic vistas of snow-capped peaks, lush forests, picturesque valleys, and refreshing waterfalls. If that fails to impress you, the soothing climate, cool breeze, great food, and uplifting hospitality certainly will.
So, prepare to embark on a journey of tranquility, self-discovery, and endless enchantment in this idyllic haven nestled in the lap of the Himalayas. Here’s all you need to know for a great trip.
- District: Nainital
- State: Uttrakhand
- Closest Airport: Pantnagar Airport
- Closest Railway Station: Kathgodam
- Things to do: Pilgrimage, Trekking, Rock climbing, Camping, Sightseeing
- Best Time to Visit: January to June and September to December
Mukteshwar is a village in Nainital district that derives its name from a namesake Shiva temple nestled on the town’s loftiest hillock. Situated 51 kilometers away from Nainital and 72 kilometers from Haldwani, the town sits at an impressive average height of 2,171 meters (7,500 feet). Mukteshwar is also near the famed Nanda Devi Temple, just 41.6 kilometers away.
Nestled amidst the majestic Kumaon Himalayas, Mukteshwar is covered with luscious coniferous forests. The primary cultivation includes potatoes and fruits, such as plums, peaches, apricots, pears, cherries, litchi, and more. The four pristine lakes of the Kumaon region, including Bhimtal, Sattal, Naukuchital, and Nainital flow in the town’s vicinity, adding to its overall charm.
- Height: 2171 Meters
- Area: 9 Square Kilometers
- Coordinates: 29.5829° N, 80.2182° E
- Population: 812 as of 2011
Mukteshwar is a hill station in Uttarakhand, offering avenues for unwinding, sightseeing, religious tourism, adventure activities, and more. Whether you are an adrenaline junkie looking for a getaway, a newly-wedded couple keen to start your married life on a high note, or a family person seeking some quality time with loved ones, Mukteshwar has you covered. Even though Mukteshwar is not as popular as Nainital or other tourist destinations in the region, it is worth visiting nonetheless.
You can view the beautiful sights of Sitla, Bhalu Gaad waterfall, and more to satisfy your urge for sightseeing. The easiest way to see all these places is to take a stroll. This will help you in the in-depth exploration of the area to the fullest. Mountain climbing, rappelling, and various other outdoor pursuits are there for the taking. With The Bhalu Ghaad, Rudradhari Waterfall, Tarikhet Waterfalls, and Dhokaney Waterfalls, there’s something for waterfall chasers as well.
But beyond its breathtaking landscapes, Mukteshwar holds a spiritual significance, with ancient temples and a profound sense of peace that permeates the air. You can call it one of the historical places in Uttarakhand. Mukteshwar is dotted with colonial-style houses and bungalows, which add an ethnic touch to the town. Practically, all the sightseeing spots offer you calm, solace, freshness, and a doorway to escape the daily grind of city life. The wind streaming through the forest areas and birds chirping on the luscious green trees deliver an explicit peace to the soul.
The weather in this gorgeous settlement is pleasant throughout the year except for monsoons and some harsh winter days. The location of the hills and the Himalayas affects the town’s weather.
The summers in Mukteshwar are pleasant and perfect for tourism. The skies are usually clear, which makes sunrise and sunset all the more impressive. With temperatures ranging from 14 degrees Celsius to 25 degrees Celsius, exploring the town during summer is an experience in itself.
The monsoons are layered with heavy rainfall during July and August. The weather is humid, with cold, wet nights, and the temperature ranges from 17 degrees Celsius to 24 degrees Celsius. Since the area is prone to landslides and flash floods, you should avoid planning a trip at this time of the year.
With the temperature ranging from 13 degrees to 23 degrees Celsius, the Autumn season is a wonderful time to head to the hills. Fresh conifers, green forests, and serene hills are worth exploring during this season. Also, these months are perfect for adventurous activities.
The winters are blessed with cold chilly mornings and foggy days. This season makes for a perfect time to hang out with friends and family over a camping night with bonfires around and rise early in the morning to wait for the dawn. The temperature ranges from around 3 degrees Celsius to 14 degrees Celsius. These times are ideal for trekking.
Temperature: In Celsius Degree, Rainfall: In mm, Humidity: In Percentage
The ancient history of Mukteshwar is mysterious and intriguing, in the lack of serious historical evidence. All we have is a set of legends and folklore, passed down from generation to generation. A prominent legend links the place to Lord Shiva’s killing of an evil demon, granting him redemption or Mukti. At the spot where all this happened is an ancient Shiva temple, popular as Mukteshwar Dham.
The town is also associated with another legend, that of the Pandavas. During their 12-year exile period, they came up with the Mukteshwar Dham in anticipation of Mukti, or redemption, from their imperfect lives. However, historians dispute the temple’s age. For them, the temple just has a 350-year-old legacy. Regardless of the dispute, we can safely say the history of Mukteshwar is the history of Mukteshwar Dham.
Till 1893, the place was only famous for the Mukteshware Dham. Later, it was chosen for the production of serum that protects animals from cattle plague. The Imperial Bacteriological Laboratory, which was originally located in Pune in 1889, moved to Mukteshwar in 1893 on the recommendations of the Cattle Plague Commission. Further, the laboratory developed into the Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI), and its headquarters moved to Izatnagar.
Legendary hunter and author, Jim Corbett visited Mukteshwar and immediately fell deeply in love with the place. He mentioned the place in one of his books, The Temple Tiger and More Man-Eaters of Kumaon. He referred to the place as Muktesar, which is believed to be Mukteshwar’s ancient name.
How to Reach Mukteshwar?
You can visit the exquisite town via rail, road, and air.
- Air – The closest airport to Mukteshwar is Pantnagar Airport, around 99 kilometers away. You can hire a taxi or take a private bus to travel from the airport to Mukteshwar.
- Rail – The Kathgodam Railway Station, the closest railway station, is 65 kilometers away from Mukteshwar. One can rent a taxi from the railway station to reach the town. Major cities like Lucknow, Delhi, Kolkata, and many others are well connected to Kathgodam. You can easily find a railway heading to Kathgodam, as it is the gateway to the Kumaon region.
- Road – Mukteshwar is well connected to Uttarakhand’s major tourist sites. From Delhi, UTC buses run to Kathgodam/Haldwani and Mussoorie, and taxis are readily available from the Garhwal and Kumaon regions to Mukteshwar. The highways ensure a memorable road trip with friends and family.
Best Time to Visit
Mukteshwar is accessible throughout the year. The pleasant weather makes trekking and sightseeing much more enjoyable. Winters are bitterly cold, and monsoons can wreak havoc on your vacation due to random landslides and flash floods. Besides, you are welcome to explore the lovely town at any time. However, tourists mostly prefer to visit from March to June, i.e., summer.
14 Places to visit in Mukteshwar
For many, Mukteshwar is the best hill station in Uttarakhand. Fruit orchards, coniferous forests, temples, meadows, waterfalls, and colonial-style cottages make up the place where tourists enjoy peace of mind free from the hustle of cities. The beauty is simply breathtaking, scattered across several worth-visiting locations. There are a range of places to explore and make your soul fulfilling.
Here are some of the must-visit, not-to-miss places in Mukteshwar.
Sitla, a 6000-foot-high hilly town, is known for its colonial-style houses. It is about 2 kilometers from the city center. The town has spectacular vistas of the Himalayan peaks, rich woods, and luscious gardens, making it a popular tourist destination.
Tourists can also participate in trekking adventures of varying difficulty levels and bird watching, depending on their interests. The resorts in the area are in charge of organizing these excursions.
2. Chauli ki Jali
Chauli ki Jali, also popular as Chauthi Jali, is 2 kilometers from Mukteshwar’s main bazaar. It is 250 meters behind Mukteshwar Dham. The site is characterized by what appear to be faint traces of a dagger, a shield, and the trunk of an Elephant.
Tourists flock to the area for gazing, mountain climbing, rappelling adventures, and an incredible view of the Himalayan peaks from the cliff’s edge. Chauli ki Jali is a haven for nature enthusiasts and thrill-seekers alike.
One intriguing belief among people is that if women with infertility touch pebbles, they may soon conceive. With this belief, many women from distant locations visit the place. Read More.
3. Mukteshwar Temple
Timings: 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM
Mukteshwar Temple, located about 2 kilometers from the town’s main areas, is a historical temple. Honoring Lord Shiva, it is about 350 years old. The temple is situated on the highest point at an elevation of about 2311 meters above sea level.
According to Hindu literature, this great temple is one of the 18 most significant shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple’s vantage point atop a hill makes it ideal for taking beautiful photographs and collecting memories. Nature enthusiasts should pay a visit to the shrine and take in the spectacular views visible from there.
A white marble Shiv statue with a copper yoni can also be found here. For the ‘Agaries,’ a community of iron ore workers, the Mukteshwar shrine is extremely important. Shri Mukteshwar Maharaj Ji is said to reside at this majestic temple, a good spot to meditate.
One can even hike to the temple’s location on a mountaintop. It also takes around 1.5 hours to get there because the hike is not particularly difficult, and fruit trees and active forests surround the road up to the hill. Reaching the top, one can experience the beauty of Himalayan peaks, including the Nanda Devi peak, Nanda Kot, Panchachuli, and Trishul.
4. Bhalu Gaad Waterfalls
Timings: 8.30 AM to 5.00 PM
The Bhalu Gaad Waterfalls near Mukteshwar is a newly discovered recreational attraction. The waterfalls are less popular and, thus, cleaner than other falls in the state. It’s a 60-foot-high waterfall from an anonymous source that forms a U-shape before gushing down. It is claimed to have a year-round constant water flow; thus, tourists can enjoy a white, frothy cascade of water gliding down into a plunge pool at any time of year.
Bhalu Gaad Waterfalls is a gorgeous sight and a bird lover’s nirvana. This location will mesmerize anyone who appreciates hiking and admiring nature’s magnificence. A rainbow sits at the fall’s base, earning it the nickname Rainbow Falls.
The waterfall is about 10 kilometers from the main town. You have to park your vehicle at Dhari, a place 2 kilometers away from the waterfalls. A trek to waterfalls from Dhari is filled with ascents and descents. It is best to visit the waterfalls at sunrise or sunset.
5. Indian Veterinary Research Institute
Timings: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Founded in 1893, the institution is recognized for notable advancements in Indian veterinary research. It has a large colonial influence, with the campus itself covering a large area and being a quiet spot to visit in Mukteshwar Uttarakhand.
The building is heavily influenced by British architecture. It also contains a rather substantial library and gallery, attracting visitors and providing them with information about the institute’s past. Dense forests and a network of animals surround the building. It is close to the Mukteshwar Temple.
Ramgarh, 17 kilometers from Mukteshwar, is a popular tourist destination for those who like spending time in orchards. It is a perfect blend of old-world elegance and natural beauty. The town of Malla and Talla Ramgarh, which was a cantonment during British rule, is divided into two areas: upper and lower Ramgarh.
The area’s main orchards feature apples, apricots, and peach trees, all of which are plentiful. Hence, it is well-known as the ‘Fruit Bowl of Kumaon’. It is the hometown of many great personalities and writers, including Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, Padma Vibhushan Mahadevi Verma, and Narayan Swami.
It is a small isolated village situated in the Kumaon hills, 19 kilometers from Mukteshwar, graced with such natural beauty that enthralls visitors. Visitors can experience trekking through oaks, pines, and kaphal trees with a clear view of the breathtaking Himalayan Ranges.
The community also has a tiny wooden and marble clubhouse, adding charm to the landscape. It is the perfect getaway from Muketwshwar, which takes 47 to 50 minutes to reach by road.
The little town is located 8 to 10 kilometers from Mukteshwar in the Kumaon hills. Peora is in the Kosyakutoli Tehsil in the Nainital district. Tourists can experience breathtaking Himalayan ranges at this eco-tourism site. Sal, pines, oaks, Buruns, Kappahl, and rhododendron trees populate the settlement and its environs.
Bird viewing and trekking are some of the favorite activities for visitors to Peora. As it does not witness industrialization in large amounts, it is a perfect place to experience peace and escape the city’s hectic pace. Many bungalows in the town have British-inspired architecture.
9. Mukteshwar Inspection Bungalow
Mukteshwar Mahadev Road in Mukteshwar is where you’ll find the Mukteshwar Inspection Bungalow. It is one of the most attractive and significant monuments, with a fascinating history. It is an architectural marvel located near the temple and surrounded by natural beauty.
Jim Corbett spent his entire vacation in this bungalow during his visit to Mukteshwar in 1929. The greenery, beautiful vegetation, and a mesmerizing view of the Himalayan ranges are what one can experience.
If you plan to stay in Mukteshwar, this may be one of the best spots to visit throughout your stay. It provides a breathtaking view of numerous beautiful peaks and lush greenery.
10. Kilmora Shop
Kilmora Shop is a teeny-tiny outlet store on the edge of the town. You can find traditional Kumaoni clothing and trinkets in the shop. It is regarded as the best location for purchasing souvenirs. Hand-knitted winter woollies, handmade shawls, stockings, gloves, perfumes, and other items are also available. A trip to Mukteshwar is incomplete without visiting this shop.
11. Nanda Devi
The second-highest peak in India, Nanda Devi, is definitely one of the most attractive spots for mountain lovers and others alike. Its height above sea level is 7,816 meters. It offers a breathtaking and mesmerizing view that one can remember for a lifetime.
- Suggested Reading: Treks in Uttarakhand
You can enjoy the view of Nanda Devi Peak from Mukteshwar town. Trek lovers can travel to Nanda Devi Flags, which is 55 kilometers from Lata, a small town. The trek makes its way through Dharansi Pass, Debrugheta, and Hitoli and ends at Joshimath.
Sunrise is the best time to witness the outstanding beauty of the snow-capped peak.
12. Methodist Church
Timings: 3:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Sunday
The heart of Mukteshware’s lush Cedar Forests is Methodist Chruch. The building is among the town’s oldest architectural structures, constructed in the early 1900s. Getting to the church is pretty challenging, with a short stairway made of granite.
People can experience a holy atmosphere here with old rock walls, stained glass windows, and a steeple bell. They can enjoy peace and experience spiritual vibes at the place. However, it is accessible only on Sundays for an hour or two.
13. Jain Mandir
Also known as Derasar, Jain Mandir is the place of worship for all Jain followers. It is the first Jain Mandir in the Himalayan mountains, offering a picturesque view of Nanda Devi, Om, Kedarnath, Badrinath, and Kailash mountains.
14. Dhokhaney Waterfall
A hidden treasure of the Kumaon region is Dhokhaney Waterfall, located in the arms of the pine woods, 45 kilometers from Mukteshwar. Many people are unaware of this place; hence, it is often less crowded.
The best thing to experience at this location is tranquility. Surrounded by lush green forests of pines and deodar trees, you can experience the musical echoes of the waterfall. It lies along National Highway 109, connecting Nainital and Almora.
Things to do in Mukteshwar for Thrill Seekers
Apart from visiting places, sightseeing, and experiencing sunrise and sunset at specific spots in Mukteshwar, you can also go on a thrilling adventure.
Some of the adventurous activities include:
One of the most thrilling activities in Mukteshwar is paragliding. Floating over the valley and gliding among the clouds is a bizarre experience that gives you a sense of exhilaration and an adrenaline surge.
It is an adventure that you will experience for once in a lifetime, in addition to providing a stunning 360-degree bird’s eye perspective of the area. It’s frequently included in a camping package with a variety of other adventure activities.
Trekking the meandering trails is one of the most thrilling activities to partake in Mukteshwar. The small hill hamlet, encircled by lush woodlands, provides sufficient options for trekking and hiking up the slopes.
With so many trekking options, you can choose one depending on your stamina and experience level. A trek from Peora to Mukteshwar is an amazing visual treat with magnificent mountain peaks, lush green valleys, and gentle slopes. Some other popular treks include Peora to Almora, Binsar to Artola, and the riverside trek.
With countless beautiful and scenic locations in Mukteshwar, camping is a must-do activity for everyone. You have a variety of camping alternatives to choose from. Best of all, you can create one yourself. Camping in a peaceful environment will be one of your life’s most unforgettable moments.
Survivalist camping, work camping, boutique camping, contemporary camping, and historical camping are popular. Naina Devi Jungle Camp and Wildrift Purple Camp are popular campsites.
4. Rock Climbing and Rappelling
Other exciting pursuits in Mukteshwar include mountain climbing and rappelling. For both beginners and pros, the hilly-rocky environment gives numerous opportunities for rock climbing. Professional trainers can aid you if you are a newbie. The best site for rock climbing is the Chauli-Ki-Jaali Cliffs.
Best Hotels In Mukteshwar
Mukteshwar has various hotels, guest homes, and motels to suit all budgets. Since the place isn’t crowded, finding accommodation is convenient, save for the peak season. Some good options include:
|Hotels||Price range (in INR)||Google Rating|
|Krishna Orchid Resort||5000-6000||4.2/5|
|Ojaswi Himalayan Resort||2200-2800||4.3/5|
|The Moksh Eco Inn||6000-7000||4.9/5|
If you fail to find lodging in Mukteshwar, which is a rarity though, you can consider hotels in Nainital.
5 Best Food Places in Mukteshwar
The food in this small local town is filled with Kumaoni recipes like Jafuli, Dubuk, Bhang ki Chutney, and many others. The small cafes and restaurants offer a multi-cuisine menu with wonderful views where one can binge on their favorite food with their loved ones.
Here are a few popular food places one must try when visiting Mukteshwar:
It is a mountain cafe away from the hustle and bustle of the town. Visiting Chirping Tales Café takes you on a small trek. It is a hut-shaped cafe on a small hill offering local flavors. With home-grown vegetables, herbs, fruits, and home-baked bread, the cafe tries to bring natural flavors to its food. It does not disappoint you with its multi-cuisine approach. You can find any North Indian menu to satiate your taste buds.
- Suggested Reading: Famous Food in Uttarakhand
If you want to try authentic Kumaoni cuisine made with organic ingredients, Nirvana Organic Kitchen is the place you should not miss. Lush green trees and bushes surround it. Kumaoni Thali is what you must give a try to experience all local and Pahadi flavors. It titles itself as a Pahadi Rasoi. Besides, you can enjoy a variety of beverages, including Kadak chai, herbal tea, and honey lemon tea.
Rosefinch Café And Restaurant is a place that satiates your cravings for pizza and coffee. It is a cute, comfy, and cozy relaxing spot with a scenic view and soothing music. You can immerse yourself in the pristine beauty of the outdoors while waiting for your coffee and pizza.
This is the best place for the health-conscious as the cafe offers pizzas with a wheat-based thin crust. Besides, you can tantalize your taste buds with spring rolls and burgers. Shakes, ice creams, and brownies are perfect for people with a sweet tooth.
4. Café Local
This hilltop eatery offers breathtaking mountain views and cool, fresh air with outdoor seating. The interior is made of simple rustic wood. The aroma of brewing coffee spreads throughout the cafe, providing a refreshing feeling. You can try types of coffees, including Espresso, cappuccino, etc.
It is an in-house restaurant of the luxurious Casa The Dream Resort, even open to outsiders. The open-air seating makes a perfect place for the evening. You can experience the beauty of lights villagers lit up in the evening surrounded by the darkness. It creates a sight to behold. The restaurant offers types of cuisines, from Chinese and Indian to Continental.
Mukteshwar has a lot to offer to every traveler. From the calm, soothing atmosphere for solitude lovers to adventurous activities like paragliding and rock climbing, you can binge on any activity you want. Besides, the religious temples of the Mukteshwar let you enjoy a spiritual vibe, and the lovely views of the Nanda Devi peaks of the Himalayas are worth beholding.
We hope this has piqued your interest in scheduling your next vacation to Mukteshwar and aligning your emotions back in control of you. Pack your belongings and get in your vehicle to begin your journey to Mukteshwar, where your body connects with your soul.
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Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why is Mukteshwar famous?
Mukteshwar is recognized for rock climbing, rappel activities, and a variety of other adventure sports, as well as a breathtaking view of the Himalayan peaks. Fruit orchards, deciduous forests, undulating meadows, shrines, and waterfalls are just a few of Mukteshwar’s tourist attractions.
2. What is the best time to visit Mukteshwar?
Because the weather in Mukteshwar is good throughout the year, the best time to visit Mukteshwar is during any season.
3. Does Mukteshwar have snow?
In the months of December and January, the Mukteshwar region receives snowfall. Despite the minimal snowfall, it is a magnificent and fantastic experience.
4. Is it safe to travel to Mukteshwar?
Mukteshwar is one of the safest places to visit in Uttarakhand, and travelers should have no concerns about visiting Mukteshwar alone. One can easily locate a suitable ride to take them up to Mukteshwar.
5. Is Mukteshwar a good place to live?
Mukteshwar is a highly safe neighborhood well connected to the rest of the city. Trains, buses, and public transportation connect it to the rest of the city. This area also has decent transportation options. A school, a financial institution, a couple of ATMs, and a hospital are all within walking distance of the neighborhood.