The emerald lake in Naintal and its busy Mall road had fascinated us for first two days of our Kumaon Trip with a touch of tranquil provided by the wonderful ambiance of Sattal. After three days of travel it was time to take a pause and relax at the beautiful cottage we had rented for ourselves. The morning, like always, was calm and refreshing, without the cacophonous chaos we wake up to every morning in cities. The only travel planned for the day was to go to Mukteshwar, around 5 kms from where we were staying. Hence our morning was lazy and relaxed as compared to the other days. It was a day to enjoy everything which was novel about the place we had to ourselves. Things like sipping a cup of hot tea out in the terrace, staring silently at tall mountains showered with sunlight. You don’t get to do that every day, or playing Scrabble in the neat little painting area which the owner had carved out where warm sun rays filtered in through the big glass windows. It was a day mainly devoted to the joy of being disconnected with the world, a precious commodity in today’s hyper connected life.
There were some things to do however, going to Mukteshwar as mentioned was one but before that we had to find Bisht Ji’s shop where we could have some “Herbal tea and Pakodas”. This was a must do, suggested by our cottage’s owner. It was not difficult to find the place, actually a resort situated on the edge of the mountain. The view of the sprawling valley form there was stunning. It was a marvellous setting for a simple breakfast of Chai and Pakodas. Bisht Ji himself was a very gregarious person with whom we had a nice conservation about his business, routine and even the ingredients of his soothing herbal tea. We sat there for quite a while and did nothing but basked in the fresh sunlight, totally taken by the power of zero – zero noise, zero haste and for a few moments zero stress.
In the afternoon we went to Mukteshwar temple and offered our prayers for another good year. A short trail which begins at the gate of the temple takes you to “Chauli Ki Jaali”, the touristy spot here. These are some rock formations right on the edge and people were busy getting adventurous to get the perfect photo of them. Such was the location that they were not to be blamed. In front was the view of mountain ranges, through the haze, running parallel to each other. On the horizon was supposedly the one where the town of Almora was situated. We took the opportunity to get some of our pictures taken at this spot and then walked back to our cab.
After these two short vigils in our vicinity we were back at our cottage to relax and enjoy what was left of the day. One of those days we did not want to end.