We were to be stationed in Jhaltola for 3 nights and 3 days (Our 3rd halt in the Uttarakhand Roadtrip). Misty Mountains was where we’d be parking ourselves. Err, slight correction. Your car can’t go up to where Misty Mountains is. Explanation — located about 3 kms from the village in Jhaltola where the Ram Mandir is, a jeep is sent down for every guest of the Misty Mountains. And it is only that jeep that can brave the rugged roads of Misty Mountains. Some adventure that!
How is the stay at Misty Mountains?
Tucked away in the middle of Oak and Pine forests, Misty Mountains is a destination in itself. Spread across separate lodges with gardens, dining area and activity centre, we were sure we didn’t want to venture out even when Ambika, the owner, told us about the all so important Shiva temple, Patal Bhubaneshwar. Nope, even the Lord, couldn’t get us out of here.
For, when at Misty Mountains, you will be amazed at how well you can wander aimlessly, and engage yourself with tasks of extreme importance. Like how Jayanta would chase the many beautiful birds for most part of his time, and for the rest, try all his DSLR tricks on the flowers. While I, ‘endeavoured’ to park myself in the garden bench in front of our lodge, looking out into the horizon where the Himalayas stood hiding behind the veil of fog and sipping lemon tea every 30 minutes. And ‘planning’ (vigorously, mind you) how I’d do it up in my way if I had a garden such as this one.
Our daughter, giving up on her parents, made friends with the children of the other guest who were visiting from Pune, caught hold of the guides for her rounds of rappelling and tree climbing, played rounds and rounds of carom and badminton at the activity center. Why, we even learnt a Pahari song from one of the guides….Kaele baja murali o behna unchi niche daano ma…
We did go for the sunset trek one evening. And an early morning trek to Lamkeshwar another morning, that had an eerie-looking Shiva temple, but from where you get one helluva view of the Himalayas. We caught only a glimpse though. The fog stayed adamant. However, we got a good glimpse of the proud mountains on our last morning at the Misty Mountains – had rained the previous night and we seized the opportunity the next morning, woke up even before the lark and stood out, waiting. The sillouhtes were clear, panning out from the east to a great deal south. We did get a good idea of what it must be like on clear days.
Food at Misty Mountains:
Food is good and they provide everything from the humble lemon tea to Bournvita milk for the kids to rotis, rice, chappatis and Chicken. I only wish they had a tea counter inside the room – you see, I wake up really early and tea at Misty Mountains doesn’t come in until 6am. They, of course, supply it throughout the day at your slightest request…
The staff here is awesome – be it the house-keeping guys or the kitchen staff or the trek/activity guides. They go out of their way to make your stay memorable. So is the owner, Ambika, who would brief us about everything Jhaltola whenever we’d meet.
Finally, I warn you, Misty Mountains is not for those who cannot disconnect from their everyday lives. Which means, it is for all those souls who find happiness in sun-bathing on a garden bench, ruminating in garden stairs, admiring the Himalayas while sipping lemon tea, sitting down with a pencil to draw the scenery in front, collecting moss from the jungle for the garden back home, exploring old and locked bungalows, trekking up and down hills for the sunrises and the sunsets. And the Himalayas…