Situated at an elevation of 2,171 m, Mukteshwar is a small hill town of Uttarakhand state that offers spectacular vistas, camping options, and adventure activities such as mountain biking, rock climbing, trekking, rappelling, etc. This quaint hamlet is dotted with tiny cottages, stunning meadows, fruit ladened orchards, verdant forests, beautiful temples, and enchanting waterfalls making it one of the most amazing tourist places in Nainital. Famous for its old-world charm, scenic beauty, bird watching, boutique resorts and thrilling activities, a trip to Mukteshwar is truly delightful for any kind of traveler.
An ideal time for visiting Mukteshwar is anytime between March and July when the weather is pleasant and ideal for basking in the lap of nature. In the winter months of December and January, the weather in Mukteshwar gets freezing cold and there is also a snowfall. So, for people who wish to experience snowfall, these months are perfect to get a chilly winter vibe of mountains.
Mukteshwar is named after an ancient Shiva temple - Mukteshwar Dham which was built by Pandavas during the 12th year of their exile and the antiquity of the temple is believed to be about 350 years. According to legends, Pandavas stayed in Mukteshwar for 6 months because the place has a tranquil vibe. They carved 5 caves to stay in and a kitchen to cook that is known as Draupadi’s Rasoi.
Also Read: The Unheard And Unexplored - Harsil Valley
During their stay, they established the Shivling to offer daily prayers as they were ardent devotees of Lord Shiva and enshrined a holy fire called Akhand Dhuna that is lighted to date. Despite the caves being crumbled with the testimony of time, the history of Mukteshwar stays deeply associated with this holy shrine of Shiva which is considered as one of the top religious places in Uttarakhand.
Popular as the most ancient place to visit in Mukteshwar, Mukteshwar Dham is one of the major attractions for pilgrims and tourists alike. The 350 years old Shiva temple is about 1.5 km from the main market in Mukteshwar. A few miles through a peaceful trek leads to the top of the hill where the temple is enshrined or one can also climb stairs of 90 steps to reach the temple. Perched on the hilltop, the panoramic view from the temple is totally unwinding and serene. The temple is open for devotees between 6 am to 8 pm but it is always advisable to visit it in the early hours of the day.
Also known as Chauthi Jali is one of the famous tourist places in Mukteshwar which is about 250 m away from the famous Mukteshwar Dham Temple. Being on the top of the hill, this tourist spot is a delight for nature lovers and adventure junkies. Once a battlefield, this spot today is a hub of adventure activities giving way to Uttarakhand Tourism. One can not only enjoy the spellbinding view of Nanda Devi Peak but can indulge in rock climbing, rappelling, and a plethora of fun activities.
The 60 ft high, Bhagu Gaad Waterfall cascading through an undiscovered source takes the shape of a horseshoe after resting on the ground. This tourist attraction of Mukteshwar is about 10 km away from the main town and is less crowded as the spot has recently been discovered by nature lovers and trekkers who don’t mind going deep in the dense forests. The locals call it ‘Rainbow Falls’ due to the strife of colors akin to rainbow form at the bottom of the waterfall. Ideal spot for bird watching and resting in the lap of nature, Bhalu Gaad Waterfall is the most scenic and must-visit place in Mukteshwar.
Perched at the height of 6000, Sitla offers the magical vistas of Himalayan peaks, dense forests, and verdant orchards. Famous for fascinating colonial bungalows, sightseeing opportunities, bird watching, and adventure activities, visiting Sitla would be no less than a feast for the eyes. This hill station close to Mukteshwar is just 8.5 km away and takes about half an hour's drive. It is around 2 hours away from Kathgodam which is supposed to be the closest railway station.
Established in 1893, this Research Institute in Mukteshwar has contributed to the significant development of Veterinary science in India. Spreading across the sprawling area of 3450 acres, the massive campus holds the beauty of a quiet hill station and imprints of the colonial era. Boasting the architectural beauty of the British era, there's a lot to see in the institute as it has a big museum and a huge library. One of the peaceful places to visit in Mukteshwar, the tourists can visit the institute anytime between 9:30 am to 6:30 pm with prior appointment.
Mukteshwar in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand state is easily accessible via roadways, railways, and airways.
The roads in the hilly region of Uttarakhand are well metalled and pretty maintained so one can expect a great driving experience from Nainital to Muktershwar via NH 109 which is hardly 2 and a half hours drive. The best Route is via Bhowali-Ramgarh-Mukteshwar.
With two trains running daily between Delhi to Kathgodam, the railhead is quite well connected with almost all major cities of India, especially, Delhi, Lucknow & Kolkata.
The Pantnagar Airport has daily flights to and from New Delhi via Air India Regional.
Travel Tip: Although the Pantnagar Airport has frequent flights to and from the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi, sometimes there are flying issues due to sudden changes in weather or heavy downpour.