The giant rocks, green bushes, colorful flowers, chirping birds, swollen clouds, foggy peaks , snow clad mountains and the natural waterfalls peeping out from the rocks all add up to the beauty of Dhanaulti.Read More
The giant rocks, green bushes, colorful flowers, chirping birds, swollen clouds, foggy peaks , snow clad mountains and the natural waterfalls peeping out from the rocks all add up to the beauty of Dhanaulti.
An amazing idea would be to camp for a day or two in Dhanaulti, further ahead in terms of altitude and enjoy the snowfall amidst tall pine trees. The snowfall can get very heavy in January and February which can cause road blocks. In the December of 2013, my experience was that the day when the local newspapers reported of a snowfall in Dhanaulti, students of nearby boarding schools, people from Dehradun and visitors and locals alike, started heading towards Dhanaulti for the sheer pleasure of watching the first snowfall!People usually visit the hill stations like Mussoorie in the sweltering summer months to escape the heat. But, in my opinion, Mussoorie is to be enjoyed in all its glory in the peak of winter, from November to February (which is technically the off-season months). Not too many people and nature at its best, having its own playtime - bright warm sun and a sharp chill in the air…. you shiver in the cold and at the same time, tiny beads of sweat trickle down your forehead on a long walk in the daytime.Coming back to where I started, memories… for me Mussoorie will be in my heart forever, as it is one of the very few vacations I have taken with my parents (They are not too fond of travelling … this trip was a gift for finishing college, which is a once-in-a-lifetime event). As life moves on and gets busy, friends, colleagues and partners take a lot of our time and parents start taking a back seat. But travelling with parents is a fabulous experience and you take back so much memories, break away from the mundane conversations at home, have those common experiences….. the ones that will make nostalgic dinner table conversations in the years to come...
The next 4 days we stayed over in a personal cottage in Dhanaulti. This place was freezing cold with temperatures dropping to as low as -5 degrees celsius but regardless of how cold the place was, the best part about Dhanaulti is the landscapes and scenic views you get to witness here. The place is godlike and you can see a clear skyline during sunrise and sunset. Me and my friends did not sleep even a single day here just because we wanted to make sure we could witness the skyline everyday during sunrise and sunset. The experience was out of the world and words will fall short if i were to explain. All of us just sat in the balcony for hours and hours with soft music playing on our bluetooth speaker and it was like time froze.
After having nice and heavy breakfast at Astha's place we headed towards our first destination Dhanolti. It was so generous of Astha and her family we travelled to Dhanolti in her Innova with her driver. Astha's younger brother Nandan was also with us and this was his first journey in the mountains inspite being so close.Dhanolti is 58 kms from Dehradun. We started at 10.AM from Dehradun, as soon as you are 10 kms from the city you will start seeing the changes in the surroundings, landscapes, trees etc. As the hilly terrains starts. On the way you could have some glimpses of the hill station Mussoorie which is on the mid way to Dhanolti. As we crossed Mussoorie the roads beacame steeper curves narrower and scenes were just breathtaking. Temparature fell to 20 in that sultry summer. We could now see the tall and green Deodar trees all around.We reached Dhanolti around 12 :30 in the noon. It is at an elevation of 2,286 m/ 7,500 feet above the sea level. It was really beautiful pollution free and very silent hill station. Astha's dad had prebooked the Hotel for us which was the only 3 star Hotel in Dhanolti, Hotel Drive Inn. We checked in kept our bags in the room and quickly came out we were ready to explore Dhanolti.Dhanolti is known for its quiet environs amidst the alpine forests of Deodar, Rhododendron and Oak. The main attraction of this hill station was Eco Park. There are two Eco-parks, "Amber" and "Dhara" about 200 m apart. It houses a protected patch of small forest containing Deodar Trees.There is an entry fee of Rs 25 For Adults and Rs 10 for Children.The adventure sports facility is available for visitors in the form of walking over the flying fox and riding horses. We sat there clicked some nice pictures. Nandan was quite playful and excited in the Eco park. After an hour four of us came out and were now hungry as it was lunch time. We al had lunch in one of the cute dhaba which was on the roof top ! The best thing about this place is that it has not been commercialised. You will find reasonable priced dhabas in this place. After lunch it was time that Nandan would say bye to us and leave for Dehradun along with the driver bhaiya in the Innvova. We felt sad for him as he was enjoying the place and now he had to go.We went for a trek that evening and the roads were very quiet and view was simply awesome. 3 of us just roamed clicked pictures and had fun. After 4-5 kms of trek we decided to come back as it was dark now. We had very light dinner and came back tou our room which was very luxurious and comfortable. We played cards in the night listened some music and went to sleep after a while since we were all tired.
You will get snowfall in abundance at Dhanaulti if you go during winters. I love the Eco Park where an environment lover will find paradise. There are steps supported by wooden logs leading you to the highest point of the cliff and the entire cliff has been converted to and ecopark. Various rare species of plants and birds are a delight.