So to start, this is not a travel guide. My next blog would cover all that you can do in Mukhteshwar. But in this one I am going to share an insane and one of a kind travel experience. I am sure we all have that one travel experience which leaves a lasting impression in our minds. Till date my friends and I laugh at how this trip went and the time we spent there!
There are some key takeaways from my experience and of course an amazing hotel recommendation for you! Despite what happened, this was totally one of the most fun trips I had (Thanks to the crazy time at the bonfire!!) So without any further ado, lets begin the STORY TIME….
So every year my office organizes a tree plantation drive in the beautiful hills of Mukhteshwar, Uttarakhand. I always wanted to go, do my bit for the environment and at the same time have an amazing time exploring the beauty this place has to offer. But due to some or the other reason I was unable to enroll for the drive. Jump to 2019, my friends and I finally decided to go and we booked our slots (There are three slots with 30 people in each). We still remember the day we got our confirmation mails and started discussing what to pack, where all to go and make the most of the two days we had in our hands.
The day finally arrived and we came to office with our bags packed and no intention of working (We did finish our ‘To Do’ guys!). I couldn’t contain my excitement. I had never been to the mountains during the rainy season. We had to catch our bus from Akshardham. As the clock struck 7 pm we began winding up our work and booked our cab. At this point, I think it would be a good idea to introduce the itinerary “originally” planned for us –
Friday – Depart from Delhi at 9:15 pm
– Reach Kathogodam and Transfer to small coaches at 5:30 am (Approximately 3.5 hours drive)
– Check in to the hotel and breakfast
– Transfer to the village for Tree plantation with packed lunch
– Return back to hotel
– Buffet dinner and Bonfire
– Breakfast at hotel and check out
– Local sightseeing/Trekking
– Lunch, Dinner and then come back to basically
A plain, simple and do-able itinerary. I mean what can go wrong! Little did we know, what would follow.
Before going any further with this story time, lets pop up some pictures of what Mukhteshwar has to offer in terms of view!
Will you look at that! Isn’t this insanely beautiful!!
So continuing from where I left earlier, we reached Akshardham on time and decided to eat something before boarding the bus, buy some essentials such as sanitizers, chewing gum etc. We boarded the bus and finally left at 9:45 pm. We crossed the borders after sometime and the the journey finally began. After an hour or so, started what we call a nightmare of a bus journey! We encountered some heavy traffic jam on the highway and couldn’t understand the reason why. Traffic at night is rather smooth and we were pretty sure we will not hit some major bumps!
As time passed by, we still couldn’t figure out what possibly the problem could be (I will be disclosing that soon, so stay tuned). Our bus driver deviated from the set route and decided to take another route which basically involved some off roading! At this point it was approximately 12 am at night and my fellow travelers were hungry. The driver assured us that we will soon reconnect with the highway after which he would stop at some spot for us to eat and basically refresh ourselves. We thought that’s fair, the guy is genuinely doing the best he can do in his capacity. After some time, all of us started feeling sleepy and pretty soon everybody dozed off.
Somewhere around 2 am a few people woke up and realized we hadn’t moved an inch from the spot where we were (Dafuq!). The bus driver had stopped the bus and decided to sleep. We woke him up and he said – “Abhi toh time sei nai pohchenge and jaam bhot h” [We won’t be reaching on time and there is still a massive traffic jam on all the routes].
As most of the people were hungry and perplexed, they started shouting . The tour guide told us that the entire traffic jam is on account of “Kanwar Yatra“, an annual pilgrimage where devotees of Lord Shiva gather sacred water from the river Ganga and carry it across hundreds of miles to dispense as offerings in their local Śiva shrines, or specific temples such as Pura Mahadeva and Augharnath temple in Meerut, and Kashi Vishwanath, Baidyanath, and Deoghar in Jharkhand. We were aware that this event was happening, but as the previous groups had smoothly made it to Mukhteshwar, we believed this will not cause much problem to us (Alas! we were wrong).
So long story short, we encountered blockages at various highways and roads on our way and ended up making it to Kathgodam at somewhere around 2 pm. From there we took another 4 hours to make it to Mukhteshwar . Finally at about 6 pm we reached our Hotel (Hoorah!). A 10 hour journey converted into an agonizing 20 hours. By the time we reached Mukhteshwar, our backs were in complete mess and we couldn’t wait to check in our rooms and sleep. Needless to say the plans of the day also washed away and we ended up doing nothing!
We had a beautiful bonfire at night and ate some amazing food! The next day we went for the tree plantation drive and our group planted approximately 50-60 saplings! We were blessed with amazing weather and for all the time I stayed at Mukhteshwar, I truly enjoyed it.
However, I wouldn’t lie that I was bummed to not explore what Mukhteshwar has to offer. I can’t wait to go back soon. But nevertheless, the time I spent with my friends was beyond compare! Despite the logistics hassle, our property was amazing and one of the best I have ever stayed in.
A mini review of Krishna Orchard Resort, Mukhteshwar
This is one of the most spectacular resorts that Mukhteshwar has to offer. Every room in the hotel has a mountain facing view. And trust me the view is spectacular. You will wake up to beautiful misty mornings and by evening the skies will be filled with different hues of pink and orange!
Apart from the views, the hotel also has a 360 degree view point, from where you can see an amazing view of the whole town of Mukhteshwar. It also offers a sunrise and sunset point with amazing outdoor seating at various places. All major attractions of Mukhteshwar are close by from this resort. If you are planning to visit Mukhteshwar anytime soon, I would highly recommend booking this hotel! (I surely would on my next trip)
My biggest takeaway from this experience is to always (always) check for any exceptional circumstances that I might/can take place (despite a tour guide onboard). You never know what can happen!
Obviously, one cannot control how things will shape up. But the Kanwar Movement was something we were aware of but it didn’t take into consideration. Despite the fiasco, I cannot deny that the time spent at Mukhteshwar was one of the best. It was the prefect break, much required at that point of time. The time I spent with my friends was phenomenal and something I would cherish forever!
I hope this experience of mine was invigorating and entertaining for you. Tell me in the comments section below if you have encountered such similar experience or any other crazy experience. I would love to hear from you all.
Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and enjoy the journey – Babs Hoffman