Amlora Ranikhet Travel Guide – Featuring Machus Cottage7 min read

Mauna travel guide

Mauna is a lesser known village amidst the photogenic Himalayan ranges. It is one of the most breath-taking places to see. It is still an untouched place and thus apart from experiencing the beauty of the surroundings you will also receive immense peace here. Apart from visiting temples here, it is also surrounded by orchids and pine trees. Also, since it lies right in the centre of Mukteshwar and Almora, if you have a little extra time in hand you can enjoy these places as well.

Below, I will talk about the accommodation option along with places you can see in this beautiful hill station.

 

 

My Experience in Mauna

As a part of the ‘Stay on Skill Accelerator‘ program, an initiative by ‘Stay on Skill‘, they asked me to experience Machus Cottage, a paradise hidden in the Himalayan region. Their tagline is “a home away from home”, and I couldn’t agree more. As soon as I entered the road that leads to the village of Mauna, I knew that this would be a peaceful place. The road was empty with not a single vehicle to be seen even at a far off distance.

After reaching the cottage we were able to see the peaks clearly. There were Nanda Devi peak (the second highest peak of India) and Trishul peak right in front of us. It was mesmerizing! In fact, the rooms where I stayed in was perfect as I was able to see these peaks and the entire valley including Almora from the room itself. I took a hot shower and after having breakfast and tea I was taken on a guided tour to one of the famous locations in Mauna – Kapileshwar Temple. It is a temple that is dedicated to Lord Shiva. If you will visit Kapileshwar Temple, you will notice that the temple is leaning to its right. It is also surrounded by river streams where you can dip your feet and relax.

Later on, I went to Chauli ki Jali where I witnessed the most beautiful sunset ever. The valley was beyond mesmerizing and seeing the depth of it from Chauli ki Jali was equally thrilling. The next day, we did a guided walk amidst the pine trees and saw the Mauna Village from up above. The sounds are somehow muted in these pine trees and thus, it becomes hard to find a more calming forest experience. In fact, there are plenty of trails to choose from, hence you can enter the forest area from one place and exit through another to reach the cottage. While walking through the forest, all I could wonder was what a fairytale like a place this forest must have looked during the winter season. Because during the month of January and February is starts snowing here which engulfs the trees in snow.

Apart from the amazing tour, I think the stay in Machus cottage was nothing but elegant. The exceptional meals, personalised service and the stunning mountain view made everything worthwhile.

 

 

Accommodation – Luxury Stay in Mauna

Machus Cottage

Use Coupon Code “Radhika” to get a discount of INR 1,399 per room for two night’s stay

Machus Cottage (the page will open in a new tab) is located in the sleepy village of Mauna in the Kumaon hills at a height of 5000 feet. From the cottage, you can see the lovely views of Almora hills and at night the twinkling lights of Almora are alluring. If you are looking for a luxury stay in the lap of the mother nature Machus cottage is the one for you. Surrounded by green hills, this place offers a perfect weekend therapy. The wooden floor and antique structure offer a vintage look to the entire experience.

The cottage has five rooms. Either you can book the entire cottage for INR 15,000/- or book a single room whose price varies from INR 4,500/- to INR 5,000/-. The cottage is worth the price though; the king sized beds, bathrooms with all the facilities and a living area to relax is exceptional. Plus, you will be face-to-face with the Kumaon hills.

Here, you can also indulge in activities like walking through the pine tree forest, reading books, playing indoor games (scrabble, cards, tic tac toe, chess) and relaxing on the swings.

 

Entry Gate
Entry Gate

 

Machus Cottage
Machus Cottage

 

Room 1
Room 1

 

Room 2
Room 2

 

Food in Machus Cottage

If you are staying in Machus Cottage, you do not have to worry about the food to eat. This property offers mouth watering cuisines with a homely vibe. You can choose either a vegetarian cuisine or a non vegetarian. They also have menu cards in every room where you can easily opt for snacks, beverages or proper meals.

The food is freshly made and will definitely satisfy your taste buds.

 

Coffee with a View
Coffee with a View

 

Breakfast With a View
Breakfast With a View

Contact Details

Phone Number: +91 9899874865

Email ID: machuscottage@gmail.com

 

Do not forget to use my code for the bookings which can only be availed if you directly DM them or contact them through their website. The discount option is not available on Airbnb and other websites for bookings. It is especially for you guys. 🙂

 

The Route I Followed

Below, you will find the places I visited during the weekend. You can also go to Almora if you have an extra time in hand. Almora is just an hour away from the cottage. I am also writing down the details of the places in the next section, along with the distance of each place from Machus Cottage.

 

Places to Visit In and Around Mauna

Kapileshwar Temple

Distance from Machus Cottage – 8.1 KMs

This is a 20 minutes ride from Machus Cottage and then 10 minutes downhill walk that passes through the river stream or a crossover bridge. It is an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Shiva that was built somewhere around the 8th century. further, you can enjoy the river streams – Kumiya and Sakuni here.

 

Temple Nearby - Kapileshvar
Temple Nearby – Kapileshvar

 

Chauli ki Jali

Distance from Machus Cottage – 17.8 KMs

Apart from offering beautiful views, this place is also famous for its adventurous activities such as rock climbing, zip line, paragliding. It is closer to the Shiva temple of Mukteshwar. The panoramic view from here is breathtaking and during the sunset, one can see the red streaks in the sky shining brightly in the valley.

Further, the name has a history attached to it. Jali means a hole in the hard firm rocks. It is said that when a group of pilgrims were heading to Mount Kailash and Mansarovar, they sat down here to pray to Lord Shiva and to help them to complete the mission. Lord Shiva granted them extra powers and asked to hit the rock four times which led to a hole in the rock. And hence the name! 🙂

 

 

Pine Forest Hike

Distance from Machus Cottage – 10 minutes away

There is a guided tour to Pine forest where you can hike up to visit the temples right in the middle of meadows. The pine trees during the golden hour make the forest very majestic and alluring. Further, you can also see the locals happily farming, which helps in understanding how the locals are.

 

Pine Trees Trek
Pine Trees Trek

Additional – Almora

I haven’t been to these places yet due to lack of time, however, if you have extra time in hand try to cover these places as well as they are closer to Machus Cottage.

Nanda Devi Temple

Distance from Machus Cottage – 24.2 KMs

Considered as “Destroyer of Evil”, the temple represents Goddess Durga. The artisans have carved the walls of the temple with the utmost creativity. In fact, during the year there is a Nanda Devi Fair which is a very lively festival in Almora and one should definitely not miss.

Lakhudiyar Caves

Distance from Nanda Devi Temple – 13.5 KMs

‘Lakhudiyar’ literally means one lakh caves. In these caves, you can find paintings of animals and humans, along with engravings Trishulshul and Swastika. The caves are said to date back to the Stone Age. through these paintings, you can understand their daily life, hunting scenes and different kinds of symbols.

Bright End Corner

Distance from Nanda Devi Temple – 2.8 KMs

Bright End Corner offers breathtaking views of sunrise and sunset and the red and orange colours while the setting of the sun is magical. It is said that this place was especially dedicated to Swami Vivekananda who spent his time here meditating.

 

How to Reach Mauna

There is no direct transport system to reach Mauna. You would need to change the transport at least once midway. Below, I am providing all the alternative routes that you can opt for depending on the comfort you want.

Train + Bus

The cheapest route to reach Mauna is to take a bus to Kathgodam from Delhi. You can find several trains on www.irctc.co.in and book as per the time slot that suits you. The best would be to take an overnight train to Kathgodam and from the train station, you can take a bus that leaves for Mauna.

On average, it takes about six to seven hours to reach Kathgodoam. From Kathgodam, it takes another three hours to reach Mauna.

Bus + Bus

If you want the entire journey to be undertaken by a bus, you can take a bus from ISBT Kashmiri Gate to either Kathgodam or Haldwani. There are regular buses running from these places to Almora.

Alternatively, you can also book a bus till Rampur that takes about 10-11 hours to reach from Delhi. From Rampur, you can book another bus for Mauna.

Train/Bus + Bus + Shared Taxi

In the follow up of the above two options, if you are not able to find a bus directly till Mauna, an alternative to that would be to take a bus that leaves for Almora. midway, there is a stop by the name “Kwarab”, which is about 11 KMs before Almora. Get down at Kwarab and from here take a shared taxi for Mauna which will take about half an hour to reach Machus Cottage.

 

Typical Cost

Bus and Train

The bus would cost about INR 600-700/- till Kathgodam or Haldwani. From Kathgodam you can then take another bus to Mauna that costs another INR 200/-.

Although, if you plan to take a train instead, you can get a chair car seat for as cheap as INR 110/-. You can also book a seat in 3rd AC coach for about INR 1,500/-.

All in all, it depends on how much you want to spend. You can set a combination of transport on the basis of your budget and comfort. However, in the case you opt from a train ride, do remember to book the seats well in advance.

Accommodation

Machus Cottage can be booked for the entire family. You can also book on a per room basis. The cost of the entire cottage is about INR 15,000. However, if you plan to opt for a single room, the price of the room varies from INR 4,500 to INR 5,000.

The link to room specific prices can be found here – https://www.machuscottage.com/book-a-room (The link will open in a new tab).

 

Seating in Veranda
Seating in Veranda

 

Private Taxi Cost

If you want to book a taxi for a day tour, the cost of the cab is about INR 3,000/-. Again, you can take buses or shared taxis to go from one place to another, but in some of the remote locations like Kapileshwar Temple, getting a bus or a shared taxi becomes difficult. Hence, the best mode would be to hire a private taxi.

An alternate route can be to take a private taxi till Kwarab that costs about INR 300/-. From Kwarab, there are many shared taxis and buses running in all directions of Almora and Mukteshwar.

 

 

I hope you will enjoy the stay at Machus Cottage. Do not forget to use the code, “Radhika” for the bookings. You can avail the discount by directly DMing them on Instagram or contact them on their website. The discount option is not available on Airbnb and other websites for bookings. It is especially for you guys. 🙂

Pen Down Your Thoughts on the Post!