Friday, June 09, 2006

Yet some more travel crap for the paper..

Tripping in leopard country - Mukteshwar

Old man Corbett said there was ‘no place more beautiful than this and no climate anymore salubrious’. Nothing much has changed since he last ran around the slopes chasing Spots.

Like most of the smaller hill towns in Uttaranchal, such as Ranikhet and Lansdowne, Mukteshwar’s charm lies in the complete absence of commercial commotion.
At an altitude of 2,286 metres, this little village is 51 km from Nainital and is engulfed with fruit-laden orchards and dense coniferous foliage.

The view from here is simply unbelievable. Pick a spot higher up any of the hills and the panoramic view of the snow-kissed Himalayas is a breath-taking sight.
People have to ‘do something’ while on vacation can give this place the skip. Unless you want put those hamstrings into action on some picturesque trekking routes.

Just before you reach the village, you can stop by the Mukteshwar temple, which is just off the road. You’ll have to climb a bit to get to it. Take a stroll down to Chauthi Jaali, a rocky cliff protruding out of the hillside. If you lean over the slanting rocks, you can see the base of the mountain but make sure someone has you by the collar!

At night, the locals say you can hear the big cats, or at least their coughing grunts. But after paying too much attention to Bacchus, one’s sensory perception went into coma.
If you look very hard, you might spot a pug mark, but it will most probably be a confused dog rather than a leopard.

As with all small hill stations neighbouring Nainital, the drive is part of the vacation. To get here from Nainital, you wind your way through ancient oak and pine sentinels, passing the occasional waterfall and shell-shocked shepherd boy on the way.

Accommodation options in Mukteshwar includes the nostalgic Corbett Cottage, an offbeat PWD exotic bungalow, complete with red-tiled roof, marble fireplaces and a sun-washed private lawn with a fantastic view of the valley. The cottage has retained its colonial charm ever since JC came to shoot the notorious Mukteshwar tigress.
The Mountain Trail resort is an eco-friendly joint with spacious double-bedded rooms, a restaurant, gift shop, quarters for travelling help, indoor sports and horrors, a disco!
For those who like their Himalayas undiluted, Camp Purple offers safari tents with comfortable camp cots, mattresses and sleeping bags. Electricity use is limited to the bare necessities, as the camp operators prefer guests to enjoy the great outdoors.

Reserve roughly a week for yourself when you come here. One day to get here, four days to soak it in and the last to force yourself to leave.


Blogger barefoot~on~ice said...

saw this one in the newspaper today. nice read

12:39 PM  

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