Azure skies, tall pine trees, crystal clear lakes and snow capped mountains – does it seem like a scene right out of Europe or perhaps New Zealand?? Well, what I just described is a shot from the beautiful hill stations in Uttarakand, where there is nothing but you and nature!!
Uttarakhand is one state that boasts of fabulous hill stations – the regular ones such as Nainital, Kasauli are pretty crowded, the other ones Mukteshwar, Bhimtal, Kausani, Almora and Munsiyari are slowly gaining popularity! All these hill stations can be reached by road. However these places can be reached by train as well. Kathgodham is the nearest railway station and then cabs from the station take us to all the different places.
Our first stop was a small hill station located alongside Mukteshwar – Shitla. The property we were staying in (Ojaswi Himalayan Resort) was breathtaking and the views from the little cottages were brilliant.
The resort is very well maintained and also has an inhouse play area that includes a Bouncy, ice hockey, fooseball, carrom board and a pool table. Parents traveling with kids know the importance of this!!
Most of these hill stations do not have a list of ‘must-see’ places. The serenity, the surrounding and the beautiful Himalayan view ( on a clear day) is what they offer. While in Mukteshwar we visited the Shiv mandir and chauli ka jali, both are regular run-of-the-mill places with nothing spectacular to offer.
But we wanted to do something different even in Mukteshwar, that is when our taxi driver suggested going to Bhalu waterfalls. To reach the waterfalls, we had to trek 3 kms one way . The path was treachorous, steep and we had to be careful while crossing rivulets during the trek. We trekked past cabbage fields and then reached a small clearing in the forest where we saw the waterfall !! What a mindblowing sight it was! suddenly the trek seemed to be completely worth it even for our 5 yr old kiddo!!
Feeling proud of our little trek we returned to the resort , relaxed and decided to leave for Bhimtal the next morning. ‘Tal’ means lake/water body, so no guessing that Bhimtal, Naukuchiyatal, Nainital and Saattal are all famous for lakes!
Bhimtal offers a variety of adventure activities – paragliding and zipline being the most popular. It is a once in a lifetime experience but certainly not for the faint hearted.!!
Bhimtal and Naukuchiyatal have beautiful lakes, but the most amazing lake is the one at Saattal – as the name suggests 7 lakes have been joint to make one big lake. Crystal clear water, reflection of the pine trees and the chirping of the birds makes the boat ride truly memorable.
All good things must come to an end and so did our trip. I wish I could carry some pure air back to Gurgaon as my souveneir:-)