Ok, so summers are here. Along with the long days comes the unbearable sun that burns Delhi and most of Northern Plains. Obviously, heading to nearby Himalayan retreats to escape the maddening fury of the sun is the top order – and justifiably so! But are the regular hill stations retreats for leisure anymore? Nah!!
In fact last time I visited one of those done-to-death and highly commercialized hills stations, I wanted run away from the noise and maddening crowds! Do you get the same feeling? All is not lost! Those looking for offbeat destinations near Delhi do find solace in the not-so-densely-visited picturesque town of Mukhteshwar, in the Kumaon region of Uttrakhand.
Psss… I can let you onto another secret for peaceful travel! If you like offbeat places– have you ever considered travelling to such places in offbeat times? Yes, that’s right! Mukhteshwar is the perfect retreat during all seasons! Blessed by Mother Nature who changes her hues with each season, Mukhteshwar offers you a rare treat! Easy to reach anytime, all year round!
Since it is at a medium altitude of 2171 m, and fed by a major transport link, Mukhteshwar is motorable all year round! So you can just pack your bags for one of those quite weekend getaways from Delhi and elsewhere in North India to enjoy the natural mystique of the idyllic town, whichever time of the year it may be!
The Green Summer
The Summer offers lush green trails to enjoy treks, laze under the trees for a quiet picnic or a tete-a-tete with nature. You can gaze at the fabulous snow-capped Himalayan peaks from numerous view-points hidden in the folds of the mountainous terrain of Mukhteshwar. Birds chirping, singing, the smell of fresh ripe pines along each trail and the sights of mountain goats grazing over the hills, the village huts in the hillside – all make a living portrait.
Come Winter, this lush greenery gives way to pristine white. The snow of the distant peaks comes to say hello! For it snows in Mukhteshwar, right at your doorstep. If your home is in the plains, like mine is, nothing can beat the child-like excitement inside that brews up inside at the sight of snow! Run your fingers through it – fresh, pure and cold! Slide over the white floor with abandon! Lift your spirits with a snowball match! Ahh, the snowman beckons you to try show off your sculpting skills! The snow on the pine trees and on every possible surface is a reminder of the unbeatable power of chastity and simplicity!
At Other Times!!
What about the times in between? The Spring hails the brightness and long days of coming summer, and Mukhteshwar offers a grand and close view of nature busy at work to bid adieu to winters. Trees start to bear green baby leaves, the hillsides are covered with bright (wild, yet so gorgeous) flowers! Freshness in the air everywhere!
Dramatically opposite in the year’s course – Autumn in Mukhteshwar is another unforgettable experience. Putting the summer carefree spirits to rest, the elements start to prepare for challenging times ahead. The trees shed leaves and pines, the ‘fall’ season’s smells and brown hues of nature seem to be in harmony with the soul of a weary traveler, yearning to take rest. The rustle of dry leaves as you tread on the meandering paths amongst the pines, the dry grass beneath your feet–a perfect backdrop for peaceful soul searching and solitude!
Mukhteshwar epitomizes the circle of life in an entire year!
Whenever you feel like taking a break, pack your bags and head to this destination – no matter what season!