With 2020 coming to an end, the urge to travel, explore, and rejuvenate is stronger than ever before. And Mukteshwar, in Nainital, Uttarakhand, might be the perfect destination to do all that and more, over the upcoming long Christmas weekend.
Whether you're looking for solitude or adventure, are a lover of nature or religion, and want to cozy up by a fireplace, or find the perfect Instagram shot against the mountains, Mukteshwar is the place for you.
Here's why Mukteshwar, regarded as the 'Apple Country' of Uttarakhand, is an ideal destination for a long weekend:
A hub of adventure sports
From trekking to rock climbing, paragliding to ziplining, Mukteshwar is easily the hub of adventure sports that has something for everyone.
A scenic waterfall that seems straight out of a fairytale.
Situated 6-8 km away from Central Mukteshwar, the Bhalugad Waterfall is easily accessible by a simple trek and makes for a gorgeous view indeed. It also includes a crystal-clear plunge pool, still safe from human intervention.
Picturesque local attractions
From Mukteshwar Dham, the 350-year-old Lord Shiva temple that actually gives the village its name to the Methodist Church, there is no shortage of religious places of attraction in Mukteshwar.
But that's not all there is to it. Apart from the temples that offer a glimpse into India's rich architectural and religious history, Mukteshwar is also home to the Indian Veterinary Institute that houses a library and museum, and Chauli Ki Jali, which, apart from being the designated rappeling spot, is also the perfect spot for 'that' Insta-worthy shot.
Local cuisine, international cuisine, or the pahado-wali Maggi, you'll find it all here.
Whether you're looking for authentic Kumaoni thali or good old-fashioned Maggi, there's no shortage of brilliant eateries in Mukteshwar.
Did anyone say food with a view?
Apart from local, authentic food, you can also sign up to sample and buy artisan cheese, and even tour the cellars with artisan cheesemakers like Darima Farms and Old Hill Foods.
A chance to shop for a cause.
From pashmina shawls to silk stoles, there are multiple NGOs and stores in Mukteshwar selling local handicrafts and handlooms that are well worth the price.
Multiple accommodation options, perfect for both, budget and luxury travelers
Mukteshwar includes accommodation options for all kinds of travelers. Resorts, like the jüSTa Mukteshwar Retreat & Spa, give you a chance to truly unwind and indulge in luxuries like spa sessions and heated pools.
Know more about them here.
Alternatively, if you're looking for budget options, Mukteshwar also includes multiple homestays and a Zostel with a perfect view of the Himalayas.
While there is an airport at Pantnagar, approximately 90 km from Mukteshwar, if you are so inclined, you can also drive to the hill station. At a distance of over 300 km, it's a roughly 9-hour drive from Delhi. And you might just get lucky enough to experience snowfall since it'll be peak winters. Time to get planning!