It had been a few really hectic weeks and months since our last holiday and amidst maddening mundane life; we decided we needed a break. But with a long weekend coming up in exactly 5 days we barely dared to take chances but then we saw strangely that rooms were available so decided to just go ahead and book it. An advise, donot book through third party sites like cleartrip, often they let your booking go through only to inform you later that the rooms were not available, something that could have almost happened with us, if there weren’t sudden cancellations and Vivek Bhaiyaa (the owner) wasn’t kind enough to accommodate us!
Mukteshwar is approx 8 hours drive from Delhi. We had done a fair bit of research about the routes and on Vivek Bhaiya’s guidance we took the road from Muradabad towards Kashipur- Ramnagar-Kaladungi road-Haldwani-Kathgodam. Don’t take the road on your right from Kashipur that takes you to Nainital through Tanda; its easy to take this road but the condition is bad and this route will set you off by an hour at least; so please avoid.
It’s hard to miss the Mystic Mukteshwar lodge, it’s as picturesque as it can get. You are welcomed by Aunty, Vivek bhaiya, their staff and instantly you feel at home. For me, the fresh air, the calming vibrations of the place instantly took away the fatigue. I just couldn’t believe my eyes, the birds nest, the beautiful bells, the lil veggies growing here and there and the lovely cohabitants of the place makes you feel like you have been there for ages.
The food is included in the package and you get to have the most delicious food ever. The staff spoils you rotten. We have travelled a lot but getting really tasty food in the mountains is a rarity. Home cooked food is what they have to offer and it will leave you well fed and a strange amount of satisfaction. Tea and coffee is available round the clock and as many times as you want. I simply fell in love with their dining hall, it’s not hard to imagine a winter evening near the fireplace with friends and family. A tip, please be courteous and adjusting, it is not a hotel but a lodge run by people who don’t treat you as pax but house guests. Also if you are getting home like hospitality, which is rare these days, the least you can do is not treat the people as errand boys. The warmth of everyone on the property is hard to miss, consider yourself lucky if you get to meet lil Seher who is a bundle of sunshine, she is the cutest kid you will find with the coolest family who allow you to spend time with their lil one without an ounce of worry. We used to spend the afternoon playing with Seher, reading and drinking tea. Do meet the dogs as they truly are a fun pack and the most docile beings you will ever come across.
Their cottages are neat and tidy, something that lodges are made of. Try keeping the phone away and avoid TV and be one with the nature as much as possible. It is one of the best experiences ever, it makes you one with the nature. Go for long walks to the temple or the lil market that is nearby. In the evenings, often Vivek bhaiya takes the guests out in his car for a ride in the jungles to see the sunset. It truly is one of the perks of being there.
The couple of days of holiday was over in a blink but the heart was heavy leaving the place behind. There is something very soothing about the place, maybe it is about the people who run the place, Manju Aunty and Vivek bhaiya who don’t treat this as business, and the staff who are always there to lend a hand and cater to you. If nothing else the sheer beauty of the place put together with a lot of love and care truly wins your heart. The lil gift shop in the premises is a must raid place, make sure you pay a visit! By the time we left, we had already made plans to revisit. And we were not the only ones; everyone we met there had visited or visit this place every year. Yes it’s a place where you long to go back to, year after year, we are waiting for January to go back, just pray we get some snow as we have seen the pictures of the lodge during winters and its heavenly.