Experience the fresh Himalayan breeze, the enchanting serene nature, the quiet and peaceful environment, the green meadows, the most endearing and exotic panoramic views of the Himalayas in your Dehradoon-Mussoorie-Dhanualti trip.
DEHRADUN : IN THE MAZE OF THE RISPANA
When we came close to Dehradun, the mountains appeared in their full bloom – lush, green and dense. The Rispana river was dry and all stones but nevertheless adding points to the beauty of the ever so famous Doon Valley. And even though Dehradun is just the beginning of the Himalayas, one can inhale fresh Himalayan air here. A few deep breaths in and deep breaths out – and you won’t even know when you cross the tunnel, the mountains and make your way through to Dehradun city which, like all urban townships, is busy and bustling.
Being a tourist hotspot, Doon is full of some amazing hotels and resorts but we decided to go further up the hills a little and take shelter in ‘Forest Avenue’ – a beautifully furnished and elegantly designed hotel with all facilities. After breakfast in the morning, first thing on our hit list was Robbers Cave. According to a famous theory, robbers used this place as the shelter to conceal themselves from the British. Also known as Gucchupani, this place is simply awesome with lots of open area and a water stream flowing amid the rocks. Just walk into the stream barefoot and enjoy the tranquility that will be stamped in your soul forever, compelling you to visit the place again and get buried in the snow of placidity of the water stream.With trek weary legs we returned to the avenue only to have lunch and then check out..
MUSSOORIE : CAUGHT UP WITH THE MOUNTAINS
In our mini maruti, we zipped off to Mussoorie - a place I had always avoided considering it ordinary. But one of us had insisted this time. And to be honest I was stumped when we reached there. On the way I had been singing ragas in praise of the Khardung La Pass undermining the beauty of Mussoorie but the moment our car stopped near the Mall Road to get a view of the valley below, I won't lie - I found Mussoorie a real beauty.
Mussoorie reminded me of Rusty, the legendary character created by Ruskin Bond who fascinated so many children.
It's nice height and deep view can give the weak hearted a chill up their spine. When we entered Mall Road in search of a hotel, it was night actually, and I found the market a few notches below the Mall Roads of Shimla and Manali. We checked into Hotel Abhinandan - a budget hotel with a good view. That folded up our second day on the road. After some deep sleep, the next morning seemed pretty fresh. We went for a walk on the Mall Road to experience a Himalayan morning and then stopped over at a stall for hot tea with matthis (an Indian snack). In Mall Road we huddled over a cup of steaming chai, standing in the morning. We had slept late hence the walk in the woods were skipped but the same can't be said for the buffet breakfast which was quite sumptuous. While the rest of the gang literally unleashed themselves upon the parathas, I stuck to my favorite - corn flakes with milk.
Observing life on the Mall Road, I was reminded of Lansdowne. It gets quiet out here up in the hills. People perhaps like it quiet here where nature is in its full bloom, going about their own business at an altogether different pace and vigor. The rain had only added to these elements that day. So we checked out at 11 am and zipped off.
DHANAULTI : BECOMING ONE WITH NATURE
And as our tyres kept splashing pools of water on the mountain way to Dhanaulti, there was a childlike excitement at everything we saw on the way – the Mussoorie forests with its langoors (Asian monkey), the amazing array of mountains resting upon the bosom of mother earth, the Himalayan air pumping fresh energy into our system - the trip was in itself a paradise. The altitude soared higher and the driving got more slow and watchful as we approached Dhanaulti. It took us over an hour to reach the hamlet which is considered a tourist's paradise. Located at a pretty high altitude, Dhanaulti promises one of the most endearing and exotic panoramic views of the Himalayas.
Dhanaulti is a small town near Mussoorie, beautifully nestled amid the lofty Himalayan peaks. It can be a destination in itself, but it’s more of a serene pit stop for travelers heading for longer journeys. Thus, places to visit in Dhanaulti are not any grand attractions, but small and beautiful places that offer solitude and peace, close to nature.
Dhanaulti is situated at an altitude of 2286m, and is known for its quiet environs amidst the alpine forests of Deodar, Rhododendron and Oak.
There are very few hotels here in Dhanaulti and don't expect too many eateries. So whatever you find, go with it. We were in the hunt for samosas and found none, saw the Kanatal Camp from a distance which is famous for its adventure activities. It was really cold and also drizzling. In fact, when we got out of our car near the Eco Park, we found snow forming at the corners of the road. We snapped a few pictures but it had really got dark and the wind was blowing strong in the woods. Pankaj pressed the accelerator yet again and we drove towards Chamba. But the moment we came out in the open, we’re in the face of the storm. The wind was blowing heavily now. One of our friends was quite concerned actually but the rest of us kept a brave face just to boost his morale.
We kept moving as there was no point halting in no man's land. In an hour, we reached Chamba where we found samosas and tea. It was really cold. Full of green meadows, places like Chamba and Dhanaulti deserve a stay but keeping the weather conditions and Yoga festival itinerary in mind, we surged ahead towards Rishikesh.