Thursday Hops #12

My husband got a 15-day break at office and he immediately rushed to his first love…the hills in his hometown. Although we came back from there only about a month back (and after spending five months of lockdown there), he was already missing Kumaon hills terribly.

Kumaon is now fully open for travel, so although he is mostly staying at our home there, he is also doing a bit of day traveling. Yesterday, he went to Mukteshwar and sent me this pic.

Mukteshwar Viewpoint (View of the Himalayas)

This pic was taken from the viewpoint in the garden in front of the Public Works Dept (PWD) guesthouse. The majestic Himalayas are visible in the background. I’ve been to Mukteshwar several times and on a clear day, the view of snow-clad peaks from this point is spectacular.

In all states I’ve been to, the government-owned property has the best possible location. This is good in a way because any private player would have build high walls and limited the experience (and view) to those who were staying at their hotel. The PWD guesthouse, in contrast, has no such restrictions. Whether or not you are staying there, you can sit or stroll in the PWD garden for as long as you like.

Unfortunately, staying the night at the PWD guesthouse is a bit trickier. On all our trips to Muktheshwar, I have wanted to stay at the PWD guesthouse, but booking rooms in the guesthouse is not straightforward. There is no online booking system, and you either have to know someone who works in PWD or follow some long-winded process. So we have always stayed at the Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam (KMVN) hotel here instead.

The PWD Guesthouse (with the KMVN hotel in the background)

As you can see, although KMVN has the same view as PWD, it’s view is partially obstructed by the PWD guesthouse on the lower floors. Even from the top floors, the view appears much more distant than from the PWD garden.

Mukteshwar is the only place I know where KMVN (or its equivalent in other states) does not have the prime location. I guess as the PWD was also state-owned and was probably there earlier, KMVN was unable to get the best location.

The good news is that apparently KMVN has now taken over the PWD guesthouse in Mukteshwar. That’s what my husband’s heard from the locals. This means we will now be able to book rooms in the guesthouse from the KMVN Web site. Yay! I’m already looking forward to my next trip to Mukteshwar!

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Published by Leena T Pandey

I have been reading voraciously since the age of five when I first discovered the joys of reading. I would lap up anything in print. Unrolling an emptied newspaper cone with one hand, stuffing roasted peanuts in my mouth with the other, all the while devouring the printed content on the cone with my eyes, was one of my first experiences in hedonistic pleasure. In fact, sometimes I feel that I am on an adventurous journey through the secret dreamworld of other people's imaginations, interspersed with occasional visits to my own life to attend events like graduation, first job, marriage, and so on. As a true-blue reader, I think I am uniquely qualified to comment on and critique other people's works of labour. I can tell exactly what puts the average reader to sleep, what sets their pulse racing, and what has them salivating for more. Write to me at leenatpandey@gmail.com.

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