Whenever you will think of weekend getaways from Delhi to escape the urban humdrums, the name of Mukhteshwar always pops up as one of the ‘hot’ locations, doesn’t it? Pictures of fresh deodars, luscious mountains and the smell of fresh nature take over your senses, don’t they? Yes, that’s how it is with me as well!
If your heart desires for the extraordinary, you don’t need to look at the exotic and unreachable! My philosophy is that there is something special in everything seemingly ordinary. And this is what I try to weed out in everything I do! Digging through lesser known things about Mukhteshwar, I came to know an endearing folklore.
Standing tall and proud from behind the famous Shiva temple of Mukhteshwar (the nerve center of the town’s existence actually) is the majestic cliff called Chauli Ki Jali, perhaps the most glamorous point in the town. It seems to jut out defiantly into the air like a rebellious teenager’s stubborn chin! Quite a trek from the temple too! The panoramic views from here are definitely worth the efforts spent in the arduous trek I can bet! Have you viewed the enchanting red streaks in the sky during the sunset from here?
Jali it is called due to the big gaping hole right in the middle of hard firm rock, as if someone has punched a mighty strong fist right through it! In our country of rich heritage, there is an interesting myth that answers how this hole came to be about!
Legend says that a troupe of pilgrims heading for Mount Kailash and Mansarovar climbed up to this perilous point. Here they prayed to their savior God Shiva to help them complete their mission. Happy with their prayers, Shiva appeared before them and blessed their leader with extra powers. God then asked him to hit the hard rock four times. Such was the power that it made the hole in the rock!
Such is the fame of the hole of Chauli Ki Jali that locals believed that women who have trouble conceiving get the mercy and showers of the Lord if they put their head in the hole. They are soon blessed with babies!
Well, it all actually depends on you whether you want to believe in the interesting myth or fable, whatever you like to call it. The other scientific explanation is of course the usual route of nature’s wonders and its sculptures, well formed by erosion and other forces.
Whatever may be the origin, you cannot deny the exciting urge to out your head through the hole once at least. I admit doing so indeed!
And if real adrenaline rush and thrills excite you, there are the wonderful Adventure activities at Chauli Ki Jali as well. Ever tried daredevil rock climbing and rappelling when all you have is the deep ravine of the valley below you, as you hang for your life literally, with only a harness to support you?
“Modern and ancient – the eclectic amalgamation” is the perfect phrase to describe the charming Chauli Ki Jali at Mukhteshwar!