Banlekhi is a hidden gem, in the true sense of the word. It is a remote village near Mukteshwar in Uttarakhand, and is so untouched that it doesn’t even show on Google Maps. Next time to head to Himachal Pradesh to escape city life, this is the place you must explore. Located amidst famed Nainital hills, the hamlet is just 40km from Kathgodam, and has the potential to make for a memorable getaway.

As opposed to travelling to popular, over-crowded, over-booked hill stations, Banlekhi offers less touristy things to do and more best. The best way to explore the village is on foot; a walk through it will help you learn about the grass root culture of the people of Uttarakhand who are extremely sweet and more than happy to welcome you into their homes.

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Another way of unwinding here is to head to Bhaalu Gaad Waterfalls, located at a distance of about 12km from Banlekhi. You can soak in the beauty that surrounds the place, have a small picnic with your loved ones or even take a dip in the crystal clear waters. It’s a paradise for bird-waters as well, so don’t forget to carry your pair of binoculars!

What’s life without a little adventure? You could go paragliding in Bhimtal, the best offbeat alternative to Nainital. The rolling hills, vast meadows and a picturesque lake make Bhimtal a gorgeous place for paragliding.

We’re aware of the number of religious sites up in the Himalayas. There’s a spirituality up there that you just can’t ignore. You could offer your prayers at the famed Mukteshwar Dham, or in any other famed temple in close proximity to the village such as Shiva Temple, Rajarani Temple, and Brahmeswara Temple. The Mukteshwar Dham, however, is the most acknowledged religious spot in the region; the temple being dedicated to Lord Shiva, Parvati, Ganesha, and Nandi.

Thre’s a certain romance around sunrise and sunset and not without reason. Watching the sun rise over the Nanda Devi Peak could well be a life-altering experience for you. The captivating beauty of that visual is enough to make you want to visit here again and again. Plus, Nanda Devi Peak holds the distinction of being the second highest in the country and Mukteshwar is easily the best place for witnessing the glorious sunrise.