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Mukteshwar Trek (part 3)

Continued from :-

Although we hadn't done anything much except chattering and sightseeing, everyone was quite tired at the mere mention of the trek's distance – 5 kilometres and may be more, that too on a very rugged terrain where every step was to be footed carefully. Showing courage we started. I was in the front of the bunch most of the times. Say it my enthusiasm or my cherished 4 years of pahadi experience at NIT Hamirpur.

When we started, the guide showed us the location of the cascade in the middle of the valley, so far that one would need binoculars to figure it out. We had a descent in the valley but quite carefully as it had rained heavily the last day and rocks-soil were quite loose. We saw many great landscapes in the valley and everyone was clicking either the sight or getting clicked himself by others. We moved on. After a good 40-45 minutes, we reached a road head where the guide stopped us and told to get down off the road. Everyone was bewildered because there was no way, just pine trees and bushes, that too on a sixty-degree incline. We carefully started again. And in around 15-20 minutes, reached the base of the cascade. It was simply breathtaking. Everyone was elated to the core. We kept aside our bags and climbed onto the dry side of the rocks. Amit and I had already planned to take a shower there. Deepak also joined us. We enjoyed a lot having a bath, that too after 1 whole day... :)

Seeing us, others also joined us. I went into the main stream of the fall and whack...I was stunned by the force of the water falling on my head. Getting imbalanced, I fell in the water. It didn't hurt but I got a warning to keep away from the stream. After some half an hour or so, we packed up, dried ourselves and changed clothes.

We were again surprised to see the rope across the cascade and learned that river crossing was also an activity there. It was an adrenaline pumping stunt done with all the safety measures like harnesses and gloves. We enjoyed it a lot. After climbing back to the main road, we called our bus and went to the camp as no one was in a position to walk further. As soon as we reached the camp, we gathered at the central shed for a cosy bonfire. The temperature was around 15-20 degrees and we were feeling cold. Bonfire gave us some respite from the cold. I was sitting beside the fire when I noticed blood oozing out of my right ankle. I couldn't figure out why that happened. On showing it to the guide, he took some edible salt and put it on that spot, that's when I learned that a leech had stuck my foot in the waterfall. The bleeding stopped in 10-15 minutes.

After some chatting and gossiping, dinner was ready. We all enjoyed dinner a lot because of the day's exertion. After some time everyone signed off to their respective tents. The funny part was the warning that the guide gave us about wild leopards and ordered to well zip up the tents. The moment I laid on the bed, I didn't know where I went.

Next morning on waking up, we saw that the clouds had entered our tents and outside it was raining lightly. The whole ambience was translucent when the guide called us to the main shed for morning tea. We had planned to go for a sunrise trek but the rain didn't allow that. So we started assembling in the shed and same round of giggles and gossips started. While getting ready for breakfast we planned to go to the Mukteshwar temple. After breakfast, we kept our luggage in the bus and started towards the temple.

It was raining lightly. The temple was about 70-80 steps above the road and as good as another trek for us. Many of us breathed heavily upon reaching the zenith. But it was worth the view. I got a feel of the Jakhoo Mandir in Shimla. We prayed for a while there, listened about the local myth there and after coming back to the bus started for Bhimtal.

The way to Bhimtal was through the same arduous mountains. I enjoyed the view of the valley from the window, but being tired, had a short nap on the back (which wold make me famous, later). On reaching Bhimtal, we decided against boating there because of the time crunch we were having. After roaming around and some sight seeing, we started out for Kathgodam-Haldwani for lunch. At around 4:30 PM we started from there towards Noida.

The whole trek was great and one of the unique experiences for me as I had never been to that place. Although every hill station is more or less the same with a usual mall road, great weather, local artefacts but this place was, I felt, a bit different from those many places that I have been in Himachal. It was a refreshing break from work, the memories of which would reside in my mind for many years to come.

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