Dhanaulti is a small village located in the hilly terrain of the Uttarakhand. It is situated around 30 Kms from Mussoorie and can be easily reached by road. The destination makes for a charming getaway if one is looking for some quiet solitude and time away from urban madness.
We decided to spend time away from all the diwali rush and madness at Dhanaulti. We booked our stay there through The Other Home, at Apple Orchard Resort. We took our own car and drove upto Dhanaulti from Delhi, with a brief stopover at Haridwar. The drive on the NH 78 connecting Haridwar to Dhanaulti is a smooth one with wonderful views and lots of eateries to satisfy the stomach too!! However, the road gets steep once the hilly terrain starts and one has to be careful on the blind curves and sharp hair pin bends, which are many. Nevertheless, the views on the way more than compensated for the hilly road; we stopped many times to admire the lovely landscape and breathe in the fresh wind wafting through the pine & deodhar forests. For us, the journey was part of the destination!!
As we got nearer to Dhanaulti, the temperatures dropped sharply and we felt a chill in the air, it was exciting and refreshing at the same time. Also, there was very little traffic on the road and we felt as if we are on our own quiet world driving down empty hill roads.
Dhanaulti is a sleepy village with just enough accommodation and eating out options to comfortably meet a traveller’s requirements.
We checked in at The Apple Orchard Resort, which was located a few meters away from the main road in the forest. After a quick refreshment, we decided to walk and discover the village on foot. The nearest place to sight see was Amber Eco Park. The Eco Park was established by Forest Department to conserve and promote the ecological bio diversity of lower Himalayas. We walked our way through the Nature Walk trail, which was not too steep, at the same time providing nice views of the flora. The tall deodhar trees towering above us, pine trees, delicate ferns and flowers along the way; all made for a lovely walk which culminated at the top of a hill, where we sat down for a long time admiring the views and enjoying the late noon sunshine.
We came back to the Resort refreshed and hungry after the walk. The sun had set ad it was pitch dark; a perfect time for star gazing and enjoying the bonfire. Over hot soups, we did just that before retiring for the night.
The next morning, we woke up a bright sunny day with some more wonderful views. I clicked a lot of pics while enjoying the morning tea at the resort. We dropped the idea of visiting the nearby Surkanda Devi Temple(around 8 kms away), instead we took a walk around the village and enjoyed the views.
For those interested in the Surkanda Devi Temple, it is 8 km (5.0 miles). from Dhanaulti, on the road towards Chamba famous for its Ganga Dasahra fair in autumn. It is part of the Devi Darshan triangle, which offers trekking opportunities around Dhanaulti – Surkanda Devi, Chandrabadni and Kunjapuri.
Soon, it was time to head back home, which we did driving down at a leisurely place, once again enjoying the wonderful views.
Dhanaulti is definitely a good weekend getaway for those wanting to avoid run of the mill hill stations.