Kanatal, this not so popular small little hamlet located at an altitude of 8500 feet above sea level is a gateway to both bliss and adventure. This quaint village is surrounded by the breath-taking panoramic view of the snow-kissed Himalayan range making it the perfect retreat from the monotonous taxing city life.
When to visit:
One can visit Kanatal throughout the year as it provides different experiences in all the seasons, but most tourists flock here between the start of summer in April until the end of monsoons in September. If you want to experience snowfall, the best time to visit here is from December to March.
How to reach:
By Air: The nearest airport is Jolly Grant in Dehradun. One can hire private taxis or buses to reach Kanatal which is located around 90 km from the airport.
By Rail: The nearest railhead is at Dehradun. Taxis/Buses are available from the station to reach Kanatal
By Road: There are 2 routes to take if you are traveling by road to Kanatal. One is Rishikesh-Chamba-Mussoorie and the other is the Delhi-Dehradun-Dhanaulti highway. Kanatal is about 300km from Delhi, 70km from Dehradun, 75km from Rishikesh and 100km from Haridwar. The roads are well maintained and if you are traveling by your vehicle, you will be treated with the best views on the windy zigzag rounds surrounded with pine, deodar and rhododendron trees.
Things to do in Kanatal:
1. First thing, have a garma garam chai with hot pakoras and enjoy the views.
2. Do nothing but share some amazing moments with your loved ones by lazing on the grass and taking in the mystic views of the Himalayan range during the day and gazing at the stars in the clear skies by night.
3. For the adrenaline junkies, you can try out various adventure sports like ziplining, valley crossing, rappelling, sky walking and bridge crossing.
4. Try out the local drink made from Buransh (rhododendron flowers) and pick up a small bottle for home as a souvenir too if you like it.
5. You can go for an easy 3-hour trek to the nearby Surkhanda Devi Temple located at almost 10000 feet where you can get the best sunset or sunrise views.
6. If you are a wildlife enthusiast, you can indulge in safari visit at the Kodai Jungle where you can spot numerous rare bird species and animals like musk deer, wild boar, and nilgai, and barking deer.
Our 2 days itinerary at Kanatal Orchids Camp:
Day 1: Mussoorie to Kanatal
We started off our journey from Mussoorie and reached Kanatal Orchids camp around 2 pm located around 56 km from Mussoorie. We were welcomed with a local refreshing drink prepared from Rhododendron flowers (Buransh) and were allocated swiss tents with the best mountains views we wished we could see every day of our lives. There was so much purity in the air, so much warmth of the humble locals and so much calmness of the mother nature which made us appreciate life even more.
After freshening up, we were served a wholesome hearty lunch prepared by the locals which consisted of rice, dal, sabji, chappati, salad, and pickle. We gulped the appetizing dishes within minutes, and we must mention that the food tasted even yummier with the Himalayan mountain views. Imagine the cool breeze whooshing against your face and all one can hear is birds chirping and leaves rustling while you swallow each morsel of your delicious food.
Post an enjoyable lunch, we snoozed for some time in our tents as we were exhausted from our long 3 hrs ride from Mussoorie to Kanatal. We then woke up after some time and were served garma garam chai and pakoras which only complimented the pleasant weather and panoramic Garhwal mountain views. The staff then set up a bonfire at around 6.30 pm as it started to get chilly and within minutes the skies were decorated with its bright pink and orange hues and we have to admit that we experienced the best sunset of our Uttarakhand road trip.
Bonfire + Music + Star Gazing along with your life partner was the best combination of the evening and we could have asked for such nights every day of our lives. We grooved on some romantic music chitchatted endlessly chilling amongst the warmth of the blazing bonfire. We were then served piping hot dinner consisting of chicken curry, chapati, rice, dal, sabji and a sweet dish called sheera to complete the meal. We sprinted to our camps as it turned out quite chilly (around 14-degree Celsius) by 10 pm and buried ourselves head to toe in our thick blankets and retired for the night.
Day 2: Kanatal Sightseeing
We had planned to wake up for sunrise at 6 am however were tucked into our blankets till 8 am, all thanks to amazing weather 10 degree Celsius ????
Waking up to the 360-degree view of the mighty Himalayan views was nothing but pure bliss.
We then had a scrumptious breakfast where we made yummy aloo parathas, egg bhurji, macaroni, and tea. Post breakfast we headed to enjoy adventure activities for that adrenaline rush. We performed ziplining, valley crossing and skywalk and oh boy how exhilarating it was!!!
If you are in Kanatal, make sure to try out these thrill-seeking sports as this charming little village has loads of them and don't worry, there is always a professional to guide you all along. We performed these activities through @countlessjourney and our guides Amit and Amit, yes both their names are the same ;) were quite helpful and patient with us too as we were trying these adventure sports for the first time and we loved it immensely.
We then headed back to our camps and were served lunch. Post lunch, we headed back to our tents to relax for a while. We had planned to go trekking to Surkanda Devi temple but we were damn lazy to leave our comfortable beds. We then clicked some couple shots for our Instagram profile. Do go and watch it out if you haven't on our IG profile @naughtyandcurly
We then sipped on tea and hogged on delicious fritters and watched our last stunning sunset of Kanatal. Bonfire session started and we were accompanied by another set of fellow travelers from Faridabad and we had a great jam session with music and wine.
We ended the night with yet another delectable dinner and amazing conversations.
Day 3: Check out from Kanatal Orchids Camp
We woke up with a heavy heart knowing that we must leave Kanatal today, but we are taking back wonderful memories for life. We had our last yummy breakfast which had chole puri, sandwich, and tea. We packed our bags, clicked a few last pictures of the Himalayan ranges and bid adieu by thanking the humble and caring staff including the Manager Manoj who took care of all our needs and make sure we had a pleasant stay.
We thank @kantalorchidscamp for this amazing experience and we promise to return to experience both the monsoon and winter seasons.
You can book your stay at Kanatal Orchids Camp through www.booking.com, MakemyTrip, Agoda, and GoIbibo.