An unforgettable trip to Mukteshwar..............

Oct 2006
There was no plan till night, no certainty , no resources and absolutely no one prepared to plan for this trip but since many days I have hard coded in my mind that we will go to camping and the obvious choice was Mukteshwar because it was suggested by trekking lead in a meeting and it had many activities to offer, I have already told it to many of my colleagues  in TCS, the day I received slides of the activities and place called purple Camp .
Finally during a family night function in TCS, I asked him about the plan he casually asked which plan? and said ... no body was ready to go even after putting lot of efforts to lure the crowd (even I can’t deny this fact because I have also tried my level best ) but my heart was not ready to drop the plan , so I suggested we can still go if we try, he looked at me with surprise ,smiled and gazed me as if I am demanding something which is not feasible but when he got the same gaze in return he knew it is not easy to convince me.
He paused for a while and then continued with a sigh, ‘how we will arrange the trip? right now we don’t have time if we are going tomorrow morning’, I thought for a while, he was actually right there was no driver, the camp was not booked so it was nearly impossible but I kept insisting and forcing him until he agreed.
Hats off to his patience and managing skills it was 8 ‘o’ clock in the evening and the plan was to leave early in the morning in no time he arranged the driver, booked the camp, and collected some people to join us on trip, the only problem left was arranging a female partner to accompany me as my parents can’t allow me to go alone with a group of all guys that too unknown at that time ;-)                                                                      
Now the campaign started to allure female colleagues for this trip  but to my great disappointment no one agreed and all my efforts to pataofy  Sardaar for the trip were going in vain, but that day I realized when you want something whole heartedly you get it , so one of colleagues Archi agreed to join us , I never knew her before but at least I can get permission now, I thanked God a lot and due to great excitement couldn’t sleep whole night …got up early  at 4 ‘o’ clock as I was to be picked first at 5 ‘o’ clock, hurray finally my wish to go for a trek came true and my excitement was uncontrollable.
Before I start describing the wonderful experience let me introduce you with the people who accompanied us on this trip…
1.       The senior Most was Amitava Nandy
2.       Vishal Singh ( trek lead)
3.       Archi Seth
4.       Sanjay Singal
5.       Devesh
6.       Vinod
7.       Myself
The only people I was acquainted with was Devesh and Sardar, so I called my friend from Jaipur and after a lot of struggle to get leave from his company.
Sanjay finally arrived to Delhi from Jaipur just to be a part of this trip , I must say I really admire  him for all he has done to get along with us. Devesh left us in the starting of the trip due to some emergency at home and then we continued….
Our journey was full of fun and I kept my surroundings elated with humor and Sardar kept sending some teasers in between to stop my chatter but it was waste hee hee he hee….. Amitava used to speak less and enjoy others enjoying and making fool of themselves but whenever he said something it was something wise so we named him ‘BEERBAL’.
So the trip filled with ….jokes,  wonderful humorous comments from everyone , my nonstop chatter and not to miss …songs from Altaf Raja’s famous album ‘TUM TOH THAHRE PARDESI’  it was the first time everyone in that Qualis would have ever enjoyed Altaf , all clapped and sang loudly with him …haa haa haa I can still visualize the melodious environment that time.
Our driver turned out to be an interesting fellow and participated in every activity….he was included in the group by Sardar and since he followed his instruction very well like a command saying ‘haan Sardaar’ he was named ‘Sambha’…..(one of the Gabbar Singh’s imp Man) and he was happy with the title.
 There was no senior, no junior, no TCS all were acting like college guys packed with fun and exuberance of youth.
We kept taking refreshments break in between where Amitava got time to click the surroundings with us. J
Finally after a long drive of 12 hours which left our joints aching, we reached the most awaited destination ..our Camp ‘The Purple Camp’. I viewed it from the car window and could not wait for car to stop ..I just wanted to jump and get inside…most of time you will find me extremely excited in such trip so it was not a wonder…     J
J The camp was mind-blowing…surrounded with greenery, hollyhock flowers, colorful tents, similarly designed eco friendly wash rooms and  a basket ball court, it was located on a hill top overlooking Nanda devi mountain ranges, the care taker told us that there was no electricity supply they use lanterns in night which is kept in front of every tent, no doubt it was called eco camp untouched by modern luxuries yet comforting and inviting…and I really wish I could stay there forever ….
Here are some pictures from the camp…hope my description will be more clear to you now.

Day - 1
Since we have arrived after 12:00pm , we had our after noon meal then camp people had some arrangements for Archery and everyone tested their shooting skills .
Vinod  came out the unbeatable star shooter so I named him 'BHEEL KUNWAR' ( The son of tribe leader good at archeries in Indian histories)  which was welcomed by the whole group and now no one call him by his actual name ;-).
After evening tea we headed for a small trek to a local waterfall where we enjoyed river crossing, it was a real fun.
River Crossing...........    

                Water Fall climb.............................................................................................................

When we looked down… the feeling that we are going to cross it through a rope like Mowgli in jungle book fascinated us... but some courage was still required to proceed, however once completed.... it was so fun that we climbed that rock again and repeated it.

We returned at about 7:30 and after enjoying a good vegetarian dinner we went for bonnfire…everyone  decided to play Antakshri …some families staying in the same camp joined the game… teams were divided  and I came out as an invincible player so these people named me IPOD haa haa ha ahaa their expressions were really interesting... the helplessness to win the game was clearly reflected J.
Finally when all their stuff exhausted they surrendered and I was declared clear winner… we left for the day.
Me and Archi were in the same tent….The tent ..called ‘Trishul’ ( every tent has a name in Purple camp) was neatly arranged with two beds separated by a small table in between, neatly spread  bed sheets and quilts. After saying goodnight to each other we finally laid on our beds, I was trying to sleep but due to extreme excitement and fatigue, I was struggling to get a nap... then suddenly I saw a huge spider in the tent, the whole night in my subconscious mind I saw that spider on me, biting me, creeping on my body I was so uncomfortable.... but then I finally slept..
Archi told me in the morning that I was shouting CRT 9 while sleeping…hee hee hee this was the Hangover of the critical system testing that I have not completed in my project so somewhere in my Subconscious mind there was some burden which resulted this.

Day - 2
I got up early because I was not able to sleep well and then called Sanjay to join me to proceed for sunrise view from the mountain top. I tried hard to awake Sardar but failed…as he didn’t wanted to come out of his deep sleep comfort hee hee hee , we went with Amitava’s Camera and the camp care taker asked us to follow,  same  families who played last night with us  joined.
The idea of sipping tea brought by the care taker in a huge kettle and view sun spreading its Aura in sky rising behind the mountains,  was superb….it was a lifetime experience we witnessed the peaks glowing gold with the morning sun and the rays spreading all around …..

we took some shots and then headed back from a different trek thru jungle ….the way was so spell bounding that most of the time I was left behind, lost in the sights and could only come back to my senses when Sanjay shouted my name ‘DON JALDI AA’.

After returning to the camp.... we still found Vishal and Amitava sleeping then I shouted until they got up.
We told them stories about the glorious Sunrise that they have missed but we have witnessed we kept pulling their legs and teased them to miss such a wonderful scenery just for a regular sleep.
View from Sardar's Camp..
After morning breakfast we got ready for the day.
Morning time at camp...


The whole day was busy and planned for adventure packed activities like ‘Rock climbing ’, ‘Repelling’ and ‘Treasure hunt’.
Rock climbing

Since it was my first experience with rock climbing ....I thought its easy just we need to climb the rock… that too ...we have a supporting harness...... it will be easy… I insisted to let me do it first …I really  don’t know why? ....... I always want to mark the start, it may sound kiddish but expecting a change in this will leave you nowhere ….hee hee hee …
To my great disappointment it was not at all easy…in the middle I was thinking of leaving it ...but then it would have spoiled my reputation.. so I kept going , my muscles shivered, hands and shoulders pained , as one has to drag whole body through arms in this... and finding points to climb the rock was nearly impossible it was so straight and smooth…but after finishing it…I had a feeling of accomplishing something remarkable... and the experience was terrific ....
Sanjay followed me..,  Sardar climbed as a professional Rock climber and his tall and light body covered the climb in a few large steps ….everyone did well…but Archi….never dared to attempt…..
Than ...we left for rappelling …….
Rappelling seemed difficult at first ..since the rock was like a straight deep wall.. and leaving yourself to gravitational force and hopping like Tarzan..... was not at all inviting....... however nobody wanted him to be called as coward or POCHU….group members have already done a good leg pulling of Archi so no one backed out…. Sardar always permitted me to go first with a nice mature gesture as if completing a small wish of an excited kid . J

Once I dropped myself on rope I found it was much easy as compared to rock climbing  and I was uselessly scared…however at first.... hanging  one’s body from a high rock in air was not easy for any one.... courage was required at the initial stage.

This time Archi gathered courage however Bheel Kunwar gave up after trying hard he was mentally not ready tro drop himself in a deep valley…others did it 2-3 times…now it was fun taking jumps like Tarzan ….
Camp organized an activity called treasure hunt which turned out most interesting of all we had done till then.
We were divided in to 3 groups and were given a chit each.... which had something written in local language Kumaoini. we had to decode it and find the house in local hill village...... where we were invited for lunch the experience was unmatched….
Walking through …green fields between hills, meeting local ppl we headed to find our destination….
We found that the chit referred to a home whose owner was Harda…so enquiring local people in between we finally reached there,.

Me with Harda
We received a very warm welcome with tea and Khaand (raw sugar solids)….roasted corns from their own field ….had a delicious lunch of Rajma Chawal sitting on chatai.

After we had our meal we looked out at fields owned by the host, got to know about local farming clicked some pictures with the kids …..
and then returned to camp….had our evening tea... all were tired and there was absolutely no energy left.
But the day was still not over for us … when we arrived at camp all exhausted and hungry in the evening we were told that we will be going for a night trek … Archi opposed the idea saying it’s no use… and nobody is going to get a ‘Gallantry award of courage’ for this nonsense act....  but Sardar looked at me with hope and requested..  ’but this can be a lifetime experience do you want to miss it?’ and I could not refuse… so after a long convincing session from us all agreed and we started accompanied  by two local boys with weapon and a big bamboo stick in their hand, few torches and lot of courage.
It was about  21:30 at night when we started the jungle that looks beautiful green and inviting in day and was totally opposite at night, horrible, mysterious and unpredictable we entered the jungle since it was hill one side of path was jungle other side dangerous valley and no light to guide us if someone slips.
I was much terrified not because of the darkness.. but for the reptiles that may cross our path and sting if we unknowingly put our feet on them.....  and similar expression could be seen on other faces, we just walked a few meters and noticed a sound of drum beats and tribal screams…. we stood for a while with a mixed expression of fear and ..curiosity to know what this sound was, one of the locals said that Villagers make this sound to terrify wild animals…he unclimbed the way and after sometime came with a news which made the situation even worse…. a goat from the village was taken away by a Jaguar… and he is still in the jungle……now forwarding a single step was dangerous and fear could be seen in every eye…even at this stage Sardar never missed to click terrified expressions on our faces.
We continued holding each other’s hand…..we would have walked just few meters… that we heard a groaning sound of Jaguar…it could be estimated from the sound ,that it was just 5-8 meters away ….we held our breaths…..the hold between hands tightened…and we were much more cautious and careful now….at that time I really thought Archi was right there was no bravery in this act…she was even more frightened and almost climbed on the back of one of the local boy…..
Bheel kunwar was still unaware of the fact that it was a Jaguar otherwise he would have been the ,most frightened personality amongst us anyway... we came very near to jaguar … and it grunted….. the local boy who was leading stepped forward and made similar sound and searched something with his weapon in the bushes to drive the animal finally he was successfully  driven away…we took deep breath..and now everyone wanted to rush out of this jungle ...... even at this time….  Sardar was busy making video of our frightened faces…..
The time usually took to cover the jungle starting from this point was half an hour as told to us by locals.... but a person can perform well under pressure….LOL…and that pressure of insecurity and leaving that mysterious and dangerous jungle and save our lives made us cross it in just 15 mins…. haa haa haa
finally we were out of jungle and we clicked some bravery shots....
When we returned to our camps….it took some time to realize that we were totally safe now….
We pulled each other’s leg for being so much frightened and now no one mentioned about their own fear….Hee hee hee hee
Now since it was our last day…..Bonnfire was must inspite of all our tiredness…my throat was already choked due to  endless singing last night .........all of us had a newly acquired name…..(mine was Don already)
Vishal –Sardar Mangal Singh (The head)
Amitava – BeerBal ( The advisor)
Vinod - Bheel kunwar( Son of Tribal head)
Sanjay – Circuit
Me – DON
P.S –Sanjay was named ‘Circuit ‘because every time… he kept  supporting me  whatever it may be and was on my side always like a true friend…so I was called his ‘Munna bhai’
The only one left was Archi….since 5 of us except Archi were called Pandaav and so she was named MATA GANDHARI hee hee hee the Giroh was named as ‘Tandaav’ rhyming with ‘Pandaav’  punch line was ‘Taandav ke Paandav’….. …then a movie was directed with all these unique characters….which had Rajyabhishek of Bheel kunwar ….Sardar and Beerbal.. visiting from jungle presenting him a new set of Bow and arrow…Mata Gandhari….did AARTAA, I was pandit chanting shloks, at that time everyone had their own self made dialogues ….the movie shoot was over.
Suddnely  Sardar’s Khurafati dimaag came to action with an idea and he declared that Don is an old name now…and I have to acquire a new name given by group as everyone else did... so after a long discussion     I was named ‘Bhavani’. From then everyone has to follow group constitution designed by me and approved
by Sardar.
Everyone will be called by their acquired name and Tandaav should be used as surname ..for ex my name was ‘ BHAVANI TAANDAV’ . I still have that video….and I can’t stop myself rolling with laughter when I watch that…
The next day was departure day so Sardar planned to get up early in the morning to wash away the sin of missing the wonderful sunrise previous day.....our leg pulling has really encouraged him... :-)
I, Sambha and circuit went for a casual morning walk to collect all the sights in our eyes again before leaving in the way we found Sardar with 2-3 locals clicking shots....after returning we went to the candle shop  inside Campsite it had good variety of candles and other soveniours , Sardar and Beerbal  purchased some...... than we left with a bundle of wonderful memories to cherish…. : )
In the way we clicked Nanada devi…because the sight was breath taking and planned to cover Sattaal as well…after reaching satttal…we hired a boat and enjoyed beautiful views all around…
The memory of that trip still excites me and I can’t stop smiling whenever I see these photos

Tip for the Trip:
State: Uttrakhand
Location: Its a Quite uncrowded place at 7513 ft above sea level in the upper Kumaon hills, 26 km ahead of Ramgarh and 351 km NE of Delhi   
Route from Delhi: NH24 to Rampur via Moradabad; NH87 to kathgodam via Rudrapur; state Road to Mukteshwar via Jeolikot, Bhowali and Ramgarh.
Mukteshwar Route Map From Delhi                    

View Larger Map
If you want to experience the same feeling , plan this trip, choose right people and enjoy This is the sight of purple camp if you plan to go there ..I strongly recommend...this camp..:

Read Users' Comments (2)

2 Response to "An unforgettable trip to Mukteshwar.............."

  1. Manas Garg, on April 8, 2010 at 2:09 AM said:

    Wow, what a detailed account. Landed up here while researching on Mukteshwar and bookmarked this page in my Mukteshwar guide ( Thought I'll drop a thank-you note before I move on :)


  2. Parnashree, on May 24, 2010 at 11:33 PM said:

    Nice blog.....My favorite place Mukteshwar ....anytime ...i can spend my life there.....i visited last year...and i had an amazing experience .....Hay...please visit my blog also.....

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