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Posted at: Mar 10, 2019, 12:06 AM; last updated: Mar 10, 2019, 12:06 AM (IST)

Peek into the peaks

Satkhol, a quiet and picturesque getaway in Uttarakhand, brings you face to face with the mighty Himalayas

Saachi Dhillon

Nestled amidst dense pine forests, Satkhol is a sleepy, little village located in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand. Off the beaten trail, it is a delight for nature lovers and travellers. Just a short drive from Mukteshwar, a tourist destination, this remote Kumaon village makes for a great starting point to explore this picturesque region. With a few traditional houses scattered across the mountainside, and lemon and orange orchards adding a dash of colour to the landscape, Satkhol has a sublime feel. Add to this, a soul-stirring view of the snow-clad Greater Himalayas. Clear views of major peaks such as Nanda Devi, Nanda Kot, Nanda Ghunti, Trishul and Panchchuli will leave you spellbound.

Take a stroll through the forest, listen to the rustle of the leaves under your feet, sight some unique birds or pick some wild rosemary off the bushes. Visit a local Kumaoni family and learn about its way of life. Do not miss a chance to visit their terraced fields, and get a close-up view of those large, juicy pahadi lemons. In winter, these lemons are sprinkled with salt and eaten to beat the cold. For those interested in shopping, there are many options — from the locally-produced cheese to organic honey to a variety of body oils. Indulge yourself with hand-woven shawls, scarves and footwear made by the local Kumaoni women. 

Early morning views of the snowy peaks can be enjoyed from almost everywhere. The best views are from the PWD Rest House in Mukteshwar, located about 35-40 minute ride away. While driving up early morning, you are likely to find some hares and sambars scampering around. At the crack of dawn, watch in awe as the sky lights up in shades of pink and purple. The mighty snow-clad peaks come to life as the rising sun sheds its warm glow on them. The mighty Himalayas, dressed in amber hues, with misty mountains underneath, makes for an unforgettable sight.

Established by the British in 1905, the Peora Dak Bungalow is a great place to stay. Refurbished by its hosts, you will surely feel at home. While you will enjoy great views of the peaks during the daytime, you will be enthralled by the Milky Way in a clear night sky. Many people from the plains, bored of the rat race, have built summer homes here. Being a close-knit society, everyone knows everyone here, and cosy parties and community dining while sharing travel stories is a way of life here!

Fact file 

Nearest railway station: Kathgodam

Taxis charge between 

Rs1500 – 2500 (one way) from Kathgodam to Satkhol

Best time to visit: April 


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