worth a visit if u ever go to Mukteshwar please do visit – Photo courtesy: Poyani Mehta
Text & photographs by Poyani Mehta
My husband, little daughter Kavya and I had visited the hilly and cool Uttarakhand in the summer of 2012. While staying in Mukteshwar at the ever-charming Mountain Trail Eco Lodge (a review that’s for another day) we came across Mohan’s Yoga and Meditation Point, nestled high up in the hills of Kumaon near Nainital.
The favourite pastime for city tourists while at hill stations and small towns is to walk around the meandering paths and discovering new spots. If uphill then be ready for some serious climbing and if downhill then tread carefully.
A beautiful Poyani relishing the calm mountain weather – Photo courtesy: Devang Mehta
One day while climbing uphill from our eco-lodge, panting in tiredness (we city people are so unused to uphill walks) we came across a man sitting on a rock on the side of the road who gave a smile and beckoned us over and introduced himself as Mr. Mohan. He said his ghar (abode) was a little ahead and he ran a Yoga and Meditation Retreat and invited us over to his homely haven. We decided to go along with him, walked uphill and soon reached his house which was at the hilltop.
Our tiredness vanished in a jiffy when we were welcomed by a draft of cool and fresh unpolluted air. We could see the dark clouds flying low and just stood there at the hilltop mesmerized by the beauty of Nainital on one side and the majestic tall peaks on the other side.
Father n Daughter Duo or Oft we go climbing at Mohan’s – Photo courtesy: Poyani Mehta
It was a sheer sight to behold; Mr. Mohan offered to get us some garma garam freshly brewed herbal Parsley/Rosemary tea and a plate of hot scrumptious vegetable pakoras made by his wife from his house which was on the hill itself. We walked around taking in the view and saw a big green patch where he grew varied varieties of fresh herbs. Mohan invited us to sit under a shaded area which looked somewhat like a chai ki tapri (a village tea shop) where a few chairs and a table was put up. Kavya was delighted and happily ran towards the table and picked up a few biscuits from the plate and started her munching.
Now, Mohan like most village folks who live high up in the arduous mountains, had a pitara (collection) of folklore stories and incidents to regale us visitors with. So while we sipped on the refreshing herbal tea and eating the tasty pakoras, Mohan became silent as if in a trance and then slowly started narrating stories, interspersed with songs in his local dialect and serenaded us with lilting music from his flute, stopping in between and explaining the meanings, such as life in the mountains, of family, marriage, children, ghosts, gods and goddesses.
A pic with Mr Mahipal Mohan – photo courtesy: Poyani Mehta
Time just flew by and soon it was time to take his leave with a promise from us to visit his place if possible during sunset time which would give us a 360-degree view before we left for home. We did go and we got to click this awesome photo of the setting sun. We carried back sweet memories and sometimes at home on a hot summery day while sipping tea we reminisced about the happy times spent at Mohan’s.
Text & photographs by Poyani Mehta
Poyani Mehta with her daughter Kavya
About the writer:
Poyani is a former school librarian, Team Member at the Kala Ghoda Lit Fest since and rescuer of injured birds. Apart from traveling, she also loves taking pictures of animals, birds and nature. You can connect with Poyani at [email protected]