Complete travel guide from Delhi to Dhanaulti.


Danaulti covered in a white blanket of snow.

Photo of Complete travel guide from Delhi to Dhanaulti. by Nilanjan Roy

No matter how many times I go to Dhanaulti, it still feels like my first. With a breath of fresh air, beautiful looking mountains, and peace, Dhanaulti serves as one of the perfect weekend getaways from your routine hustle bustle of the city life. Back in 2017 when I visited Dhanaulti for the very first time, it had no network so it was just me and the mountains. But now the little hamlet in Uttarakhand is well covered by all the major mobile networks.

Below, you will find all the details regarding stay options, how to plan the trip so that you can soak in the maximum of this place, typical cost, as well as ATM and connectivity issues.

1). Why visit Dhanaulti?

Dhanaulti is fast emerging as a popular weekend getaway from Delhi and nearby areas as it is easily accessible throughout the year. Unlike its popular cousin, Mussoorie, Dhanaulti is still untouched by the maddening rush of hill stations and maintains a quiet charm and peace all around it.

As Mussoorie has become very crowded and commercialized, many travellers and tourists often prefer to retreat to Dhanaulti. It is unlike other hill stations as it is set away from the popular commercialized places. Other small hill stations surrounding it are Chamba, Kanatal and Tehri.

2). Location of Dhanaulti.

The tinsel town of Dhanaulti is situated in the foothills of Garhwal Himalayas in Uttarakhand, located approx. 280kms from Delhi, 36kms from Dehradun and 24kms from the popular hill station of Mussoorie. This magical hill station is perched at an elevation of 2,286 metres above sea level and offers great views of the Garhwal Himalayas.

3). Best time to visit Dhanaulti.

Now, it depends on what exactly you would like to experience in Dhanaulti. Depending on the choice between snow covered mountains and the lush greenery, you can make the choice that fits you. Below I will give you details about how each of the seasons feel there.

3.1). Summers (April-July).

Summers in Dhanaulti has a moderate and pleasant temperature. Nights are mildly chilly and the days are mildly warm. The maximum temperature remains around 31°C and the minimum temperature around 7°C.

3.2). Monsoon (July-September).

Monsoon usually sets in around late July and it receives heavy rainfall till September. Although it look brilliant and charming during this time, but it will be difficult for you guys to venture outside. Therefore, try to avoid travelling during this time of the year.

3.3). Winters (October-February).

Winter starts to set in Dhanaulti during late October and stretches on till early March. It receives good amount of snowfall from December to January and winters are a great time to visit Dhanaulti. For all the snow lovers out there, you guys can take a break from your usual winter destinations like Manali, Kasol and spend a couple of days in this peaceful hamlet.

4). How to reach Dhanaulti from Delhi.

Dhanaulti is situated approx. 280kms from Delhi and the best way to reach there is by bus.

4.1). Dhanaulti by air.

The nearest airport is the Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun. It is well connected with regular flights from Delhi. More on how you can reach from Dehradun to Dhanaulti below.

4.2) Dhanaulti by rail.

The nearest railway stations are Rishikesh and Dehradun Railway Station. Both are well connected with railway networks from Delhi. More on how you can reach from Dehradun to Dhanaulti below.

4.3). Dhanaulti by private vehicle.

Route 1- Delhi – Meerut – Muzaffarnagar – Roorkee – Haridwar – Rishikesh – Narender Nagar – Chamba – Kanatal – Dhanaulti.

Route 2- Delhi – Meerut – Muzaffarnagar – Roorkee – Chhutmalpur – Dehradun – Mussoorie – Dhanaulti.

4.4) Dhanaulti by bus.

The best and the easiest way to reach Dhanaulti is to take an overnight bus from Delhi to Dehradun. There are lots of buses available on this route and one can easily get a good bus under INR 500/-. What I would suggest you is to reach Dehradun by 5-6 AM so as to reach Dhanaulti on time. Don’t de-board the bus at Dehradun ISBT and ask your driver to drop you near the Dehradun Railway Station as the bus stop is just outside the station.

Next you will have to take another bus from Dehradun to Mussoorie. It usually takes around an hour to reach there and will cost you approx. INR 60/-. Alternatively, you can also book a taxi but it will cost you around INR 3000-4000.

Once you’ve reached Mussoorie, wait for the next and the final bus to Dhanaulti to arrive. The bus from Mussoorie to Dhanaulti usually arrives around 7:30 AM. In the meantime, you can have your ‘subah ki chai’ and enjoy the beautiful sunrise that Mussoorie has to offer. Time taken from here to your destination is anywhere around an hour and a half and it will cost you approx. INR 60/-. If you are travelling during winters then you’ll get to see snow covered roads from Mussoorie to Dhanaulti.

5). Where to stay in Dhanaulti.

There are several hotels, homestays and other staying options in Dhanaulti to fit anyone’s budget, ranging from INR 500/- to INR 3000/- and even more than this. Depending on whether you want to stay in a budget and experience the local homestays or you want luxurious hotels, you can choose your accommodation accordingly.

One of the most popular hotels there is Hotel Dhanaulti Heights, which is run by the GMVN (Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam), the tourism branch of Uttarakhand Government for Garhwal. There is another called the KMVN (Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam), which operates in Kumaon region of Uttarakhand. If you choose to stay in the GMVN hotel then I would highly recommend you to book it in advance through the GMVN website.

If you are a budget traveller then I would recommend you to go for homestays or guest houses which you’ll get in around INR 500/-. You’ll just have to search and ask around for a bit to find your perfect homestay for that authentic Garhwali feeling. And if you are someone who would like to spend a luxurious weekend, then you’ll also find some luxurious resorts and hotels on your way to Kanatal.

You can also go for tents if you wish to. There as several campsites on the Dhanaulti – Mussoorie road. You’ll also find few near Kanatal. These are all luxurious campsites though and will cost you around INR 2000/- per night.

If you have your own tents then you can self-camp as well. Finding a suitable spot can be a bit tricky though.

6). What to see in Dhanaulti.

If you people are wondering about what all you can see then the answer is simple, the natural beauty and inner peace that this small village has to offer. However, there are certain tourist spots and hikes in and around Dhanaulti that are worthy of note.

6.1). Eco Park.

The twin eco parks, Amber & Dhara, located 500mtrs apart, are the only tourist attractions in Dhanaulti itself. These are two small parks situated on both of it’s ends. Both of them have been developed and maintained by the Forest Department. Both the parks are built around a protected patch of small forest containing Deodar Trees. There is a campsite and an adventure sports facility available as well in Eco Park.

Opening Hours- 6 AM to 6 PM.

Ticket- Adults- INR 50/- Kids- INR 30/-

6.2). Govt. Potato Farm.

The govt. potato farm, locally known as the Aloo Khet, is a vast stretch of land where potato farming takes place. It is a joint effort by the government and some private farmers. This place offers great sunrise view and will provide you with some good captures. This widespread farmland with stepped potato cultivation is a fabulous tourist attraction in Dhanaulti in a different sense. Aloo Khet acts as the primary source of potatoes for many parts of Uttarakhand and nearby states.

Opening Hours- 9 AM to 6 PM.

Ticket- Adults- INR 30/- Kids- INR 15/-

6.3). Surkanda Devi Temple.

Set at an elevation of approx. 2756 metres above sea level, the temple is located about 8kms away from Dhanaulti and makes up as one of the top tourist attractions of Dhanaulti. As per the mythology, Shiva passed through this spot moving Sati’s dead form and inadvertently dropped her head at this spot. That is how the temple of Surkanda Devi started to exist.

The steep uphill short hike of about 2kms to reach the temple starts from a nearby village called Kaddukhal. You can talk to the owner of your accommodation to arrange cabs for you to and fro Kaddukhal from Dhanaulti. Alternatively, you can also approach drivers from the Taxi Union. They have fixed charges according to the union and will cost you approx. INR 1000/-.

6.4). Tehri Dam.

Tehri Dam, located approx. 49kms from Dhanaulti, is another tourist place around Dhanaulti which you should include in your itinerary. This is a must visit destination if you are going to Dhanaulti. The mighty dam and the Tehri Lake is a view to behold. Boating and other activities also takes place there.

To reach Tehri Dam, you need to take a taxi from Dhanaulti. The Taxi Union drivers charge you approx. INR 3100/- to and fro Tehri Dam. Again, these charges are fixed by the union. Also, you can request your driver to take you for a ride till New Tehri.

6.5). Adventure Activities.

There is an adventure park in the Apple Orchard Resort, 1km further Dhanaulti, which provides you with adventure activities like zip lining, rapelling, sky walk etc. Not highly recommended though.

7). Where to eat in Dhanaulti.

There are a number of small dhabas and eateries in Dhanaulti. You will get to choose from a good range of food options. From authentic Garhwali food, basic North Indian dishes to momos and noodles. You will also find non veg foods like butter chicken and other chicken curries. So in terms of food options, Dhanaulti won’t disappoint you at all.

8). ATM and petrol pump in Dhanaulti

There is an ATM in Dhanaulti of Uttarakhand Gramin Bank, but the availability of cash there is uncertain. Hence, it is recommended to keep enough cash from ATMs in Dehradun or Mussoorie.

Also, there is no petrol pump available in Dhanaulti. And mechanics are also a rare find.

9). Other tips.

On your way back to Delhi, I would recommend you to catch the first bus from Dhanaulti to Mussoorie. It leaves around 11 AM and will drop you at Mussoorie in the afternoon. You will have ample time to walk around Mussoorie and can go further till Landour, Chaar Dukaan and Lal Tibba.

Must Read: durga puja pandal near mesnowfall in mussoorie

When in Landour, never forget to grab something from Doma's Inn. They have the most intricate and beautiful interiors and serves great Tibetan food. Also, it is located just adjacent to Mr. Bond's house. Being a popular and commercialized hill station, Mussoorie has many shops and great eateries. You can also buy souveniers from here.

Have a safe and responsible travel all my fellow travellers.