If you want to go on a holiday, tourist destinations are a plenty ; the only drawback is almost all of these destinations are packed and milling with the city crowd. If what you are seeking is a bit of peace and quiet whilst still amongst nature`s bounty, you can head for Dhanaulti, where even at the height of the tourist season, you will find relatively small crowds. This is simply because not too many people know of this charming little hamlet nestled among the deodar and pine trees at a height of 7500feet.
Dhanaulti is a mere 30 km from the famous hill station of Mussorie. A narrow road and a steady upward climb bring you to the vast mountains and valleys which are covered with deodar and pine forests. Very thinly inhabited, one can only see a few sparse villages and hamlets and bits of the mountainside which have been cut away for terrace cultivation. Apple orchards can be seen at intervals and if you are lucky enough you can spot a langur or two or maybe a mountain goat on the hilly slopes.
There are a few resorts in Dhanaulti which offer rooms and also pitch tents for the more adventurous. Mountain treks are arranged by the local people and a trek of just 2500 feet shows us city bred people that an hour at the gym each day is hardly enough to climb the treacherous mountainside. It is humbling to see the hill people do these climbs as effortlessly as if they were walking a meadow.
Dhanaulti offers abundant natural beauty. If you are early enough to awake just before sunrise, you can catch a breathtaking view of the Himalayan ranges as the golden orange rays peep shyly from behind the snow and cloud covered peaks . As you watch mesmerized, the brilliant golden sun emerges in all its glory and the Himalayas to seem to bask joyfully as its sparkling rays play on the snow.
When the clouds merge darkly to bring rain, the mountains take on a different kind of beauty. December to February will see Dhanaulti covered in snow and the deodars stand with white snow laden heavy on their branches. The roads become treacherous then and snow mobiles with chains are used to clear the way. The rest of the year the mountain sides are dotted with millions of wild mountain flowers and exotic flora.
A temple at 10000 feet, known as the Surkanda Devi temple and the Tehri Dam are other places which one can visit from Dhanaulti. A few resorts offer such adventurous sports as trekking , rock climbing, rafting on the nearby Ganga Banks, air rifle shooting, archery, zorbing ball, rope ladders and nature trails
The peace and tranquility which one can enjoy amidst the virgin forests of deodar, oak, pine and rhododendron bushes, the long wooded slopes and lazy walks in the cool caressing breeze make Dhanaulti an ideal retreat for a relaxed holiday.
To Get There:
- By Air: Nearest airport is Jolly Grant, Dehradun (82 kms).
- By Rail: Nearest railhead is Dehradun, 60 kms.
- By Road: Well connected to Dehradun (60 kms.), Delhi (325 kms.) & Rishikesh (107 kms.)