At 7290 ft., Mukteshwar is one of the highest ridges in Central Himalayas. This place is a walker’s paradise – cascading waterfalls, hiking to beautiful quaint villages, conifer forests, and apple and peaches orchards. A perfect hide spots for lovers and indeed, blend of nature that promises sun sets (or rises) over distant snow peaks.
So, one day in June, 2013, a bunch of 10 people were all set for this road trip.
Mukteshwar is well connected by roads. It is approx. 330kms from Delhi. The drive takes you through Moradabad-Rampur-Rudrapur-Haldwani and Bhimtal. We stopped for breakfast and tea-breaks at on-the road dhabas (food-outlets). We played dumb charades, gossiped/giggled, clicked numerous pictures, played Antakashri and kept going. We had a gala time together, all the way. We booked Camp Purple for our stay. On our arrival, we received a warm welcome. We reached at lunch time. So, we were hushed to our tents, and were requested to freshen up and come for lunch. The lunch was so homely and scrumptious.
The accommodation was in American Safari Tent along-with camp cots, mattresses, and sleeping bags. The toilet tents were fully equipped and very clean and hygienic. The dining area was set in the midst of a garden with stone table and benches. Camp Purple is known for its hospitality and modesty. The staffs were very caring and never made us feel a day away from home. We met several families, who come every year to enjoy the serenity and calmness at Mukteshwar. And there were several groups of engineers, MBA’s, students and blogger/photographers that were exploring new places and looking for thrill in adventures. Camp Purple offers a long list of activities rappelling, rock climbing, river crossing and paragliding. The camping experience was one of its own kinds.
It was raining heavily all through our stay at Mukteshwar, and hence, we could not entertain ourselves to any adventure activity. Yet it never dampened our spirit or the stay. The staff at Camp Purple ensured that we stayed entertained and offered several recreational activities – basketball, archery, carom, chess etc. We went for Waterfall Trek downhill. Drenched we reached at the Maggi-spot, where we had delicious Maggi and a hot cup of tea/coffee. The trek-guides were native of Uttrakhand and kept reciting the local stories and songs to keep us entertained.
It was an enthralling trek with magnificent Himalayan backdrops and spectacular sunset in all its hues. The trek took us to the bottom of the valley with heavy water stream flowing. We returned back to the camp, and were given hot soup to keep us warm. The camp is Eco Nature Camp with minimum supply of electricity, but the place is well lit with lantern. We changed and were invited to the bonfire.
Everyone was so happy and enjoying. There were singing, dancing and sharing life experiences. And with dinner announced, we were set to have our fill. This has been a ritual with us. Every night on numerous trips we have taken, we would gather to stay awake all night only to gossip and play TRUTH ’n DARE games and share deep secrets. Next morning, it was time for us to return back. The weekend ended sooner than expected. It has been raining all night and the rain never stopped in morning. It was more of being at “Cherrapunji” than of being in “Mukteshwar”. After our breakfast, we left for our home. It was beautiful sight all the way back home too. We stopped for tea break and later at Udupi Restaurant for lunch. The south Indian delicacies are always a hit among genre of all ages.
And finally we returned Delhi, with imprints of memories of the trip As I sign off – Disaster that hit Uttrakhand saddened us to the core. Warnings by the India Meteorological Department predicting heavy rains were not given wide publicity beforehand, causing thousands of people to be caught unaware, resulting in huge loss of life and property. Probably a wake-up call for everyone.