And now Jhaltola, the 3rd halt in our Uttarakhand Road-trip (Read: Abbott Mount — the 2nd halt in Uttarakhand roadtrip) Another of those completely offbeat destinations, Jhaltola, for us held promises of treks, treks and more treks and the elusive Himalayas…
Drive from Abbott Mount to Jhaltola
Located at an altitude of 1700 ft, Jhaltola was much lower than Abbott Mount. Our driver didn’t want to take the Lohaghat road. Instead, he drove down the Ghat road about a kilometer from Abbott Mount, going past beautiful ranges and driving alongside the river Kali. We had a total of about 85 kilometers to cover from Abbott Mount to Jhaltola, most of which was a beautiful drive. Only from where Berinag started, did the roads get somewhat bad and it got quite dusty past the little town of Gangolighat. Remember, they do not use the air conditioner in the cars in the hills. Which means, if the roads are bad and there are vehicles in front of your car, dust fills up the car leaving you with no choice but to roll up the windows. Thankfully though, this was the last one hour of the drive. We made it to Jhaltola in about 3 hours, in good time for lunch. And no, the Abbott Mount-Jhaltola drive didn’t make our daughter car-sick. Thank God for the sickness pill and all the songs we sang all the way…:-)
Stay at the Misty Mountains in Jhaltola (Read Review of Misty Mountains)
We were to be stationed in Jhaltola for 3 nights and 3 days. Misty Mountains was where we’d be parking ourselves. Tucked away in the middle of Oak and Pine forests, Misty Mountains is a destination in itself. We were sure we didn’t want to venture out. Self-contained, there are a whole lot of activities to choose from when here – bridge crossing to tree climbing to rappelling to badminton to carom to nothing. We mostly did nothing.
Allotted a lodge at the far end of the garden, I made the most of the wooden bench placed outside. The lodge is basic and simple and clean. For all those TV buffs, there is no television inside the room. You have one only at the activity centre. Never saw anyone switch it on though. And no, there is absolutely no internet connectivity at Misty Mountains. We stayed happily disconnected for 3 days!
Things to do/ Places to see in Jhaltola
When in Jhaltola, you can go trek or drive down to the Shiva temple in Patal Bhubaneshwar. We didn’t do that. We only lazed around at Misty Mountains.
But hey! We did manage to –
- Go for a 45-minute Sunset Trek close to the lodge and loiter around in the woods until the sun went down the western sky
- Also go for a 3-hour Lamkeshwar trek in an endeavour to catch a glimpse of the Himalayas. But no, they stayed behind the stubborn fog. Of course we stopped by the Shiva temple at Lamkeshwar that looked every bit eerie in the middle of the jungle with no soul in sight.
- And we also walked up to the ‘haunted house’ we saw on our way up to the Misty Mountains. For a moment we had wondered if that was where we were headed. Isn’t that a little too adventurous, I asked Jayant. He shrugged, unsure, saying that the photos were different. Clearly, 3 days into the holiday, and good sense had left us. We were too lazy, too in the holiday-mood, to even bother thinking right. Well, thankfully, the jeep driver went past the bungalow. We gave the bungalow a good look and promised ourselves to walk back to it to find out if ghosts lived there. We did that. Locked up and barricade on all sides, we took our chances and went to check if the place houses ghosts. But bravehearts that we were, we ran back from the grounds itself. For, the bungalow looked every bit haunted!!!
For the complete Uttarakhand itinerary, where to stay, what to see and what to buy, read — An Uttarakhand Roadtrip This Summer