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Mukteshwar

Mukteshwar

Mukteshwar is a town and tourist destination in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand, India. It sits high in the Kumaon Hills at an altitude of 2286 meters (7500 feet), 51 km from Nainital, 72 km from Haldwani, and 343 km from Delhi.

Mukteshwar gets its name from a 350-year-old temple of Shiva, known as Mukteshwar Dham, situated atop the highest point in the town, on the veterinary institute’s campus. Close to it lie the overhanging cliffs, locally known as Chauli-ki-Jali, used for rock climbing and rappelling, with an excellent view of the valleys below. The sunrise point is at the government-run PWD guest house. One can also visit the Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI). Mukteshwar is the abode of a saint — Shri Mukteshwar Maharaj ji — who lived at the Top Cottage Temple where his samadhi is. One of his disciples, Swami Sanshudhanand ji, now stays there. The whole temple complex is a Tapovan and an ideal place for meditation. Mukteshwar temple was built by a pandiya king from the Tamil kingdom during the 15th century. This can be confirmed by local guides who have been living there for generations.

Local attractions

The major attractions of this sleepy town are the IVRI laboratories (experiments on tiny rats, gold-plated books, cattle-sheds), orchards of the Central Institutes of Temperate Horticulture-Regional Station, an expansive deodar forest (Himalayan cedar) measuring 15 square miles, 22 pristine snow-peak views, and the adventure of living among wildlife such as tigers and bears are. The charm of visiting Mukteshwar lies in enjoying nature, listening to air gushing through deodar forests, bird watching, meditation, and seeking peace. The cleanliness, solitude and nature attract people escaping urban life.

Mukteshwar is also home to a post office founded in 1905 which finds mention in Jim Corbett’s writing.

Climate

Mukteshwar has a subtropical highland climate (Köppen climate classification Cwb). The pattern of seasons is similar to that in other parts of northern India, with distinct summer, monsoon and winter seasons. However, due to its high elevation, Mukteshwar is spared the intense heat of lower-lying towns and cities. Mukteshwar has cold winters and relatively cool summer with drastically escalated rain, in relation with lower altitudes, and frequent fog. Summers are warm with moderate rainfall, while the monsoon season is slightly cooler and features much heavier rain. Winters can be quite cool, and temperatures below freezing are not unusual. Snowfall occurs occasionally in December and January, though it is sparse, while the heavy rainfall events occurs during the monsoon season stretching from July to September.