A visit to Mukteshwar would be incomplete without a visit to Chauli Ki Jali.
Near the Mukteshwar temple, a trail makes its way through the trees along the edge of a steep slope, and then emerges out onto a series of rocky outcrops. On one of these can be seen a circular hole. This is Chauli Ki Jali which gives the site its name. As per local legend, women seeking to be blessed with children visit this spot on the evening of Shivaratri, and attempt to descend down through this hole. It is said that if they succeed in doing so, their wishes do indeed come true.
On any other day of the year, this is a perfect spot for a hike (we were told that during the summer, this area is also popular for rock climbing). It affords great views of the surrounding hills and valleys (Almora is clearly visible), as well as panoramic vistas of the distant snow-clad ranges of the Uttarakhand Himalayas. One can potentially spend several hours here enjoying the natural beauty and exploring the vicinity. We had to keep our visit very brief, but thoroughly enjoyed what we saw. On the way back, we ascended a side trail to the quiet and peaceful Mukteshwar temple.
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