Dhanaulti: The tranquil, icy heaven of Uttarakhand
Tucked in between the snow-clad Himalayan ranges, Dhanaulti is a small hill station near the popular hill town of Uttarakhand, Mussoorie. Its proximity to the National Capital and several other popular places in Uttarakhand have made Dhanaulti one of the favourite winter destinations in recent times. The small hill town is home to beautiful rhododendrons, oak and deodar forests, which make it the perfect destination for tourists who love to witness nature at its best.
Located in the lap of Garhwal Himalayas, Dhanaulti is famous for its scenic beauty which is taken up by a notch by during the winter season after a heavy snowfall. Covered in sheets of pristine white snow, the town looks like a ‘postcard place’ and attracts tourists from all parts of Northernacross India and abroad.
Along with providing a panoramic view of snow-clad Himalayan peaks, the presence of alpine forests of Deodar, Rhododendron and Oak make Dhanaulti a pristine perfect location destination for a tranquil weekend getaway.
Source: Wikimedia Commons
Location & How To Reach:
Dhanaulti is located at an elevation of 2,286 meters above sea level. The well-connected hill station is approximately 28 km from Mussoorie on the Mussoorie-Chamba highway. From the capital city Dehradun, Dhanaulti is about 60 km and can be easily reached by via bus and taxi. Local cabs for Dhanaulti are available right outside Dehradun railway station and the one-way ride would cost approximately Rs. 1,700.
Nearest Railway Station: Dehradun Railway Station (66 km away)
Nearest Airport: Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun (82 km away)
The climate in Dhanaulti remains pleasant throughout the year. During Summers, which last from April to June, the mercury does not go beyond 30 degrees. Ample sunlight makes the days pleasantly warm, but the nights can demand some layering of clothes. The Winter season lasts from November to February and the temperature ranges anywhere between 7 and 1 degrees. During the months of December and January, Dhanaulti witnesses harsh winters and the town remains under the blanket of snow during these two months.
Things to See & Do In Dhanaulti
Dhanaulti still remains a less explored hill station as opposed to its counterparts in Uttarakhand, and this is the primary reason why it is still home to some of the most scenic and less-crowded tourist spots in the region.
Surkanda Devi Temple
For people who love to explore the destination, Surkanda Devi temple, which is located at an elevation of 10,000 feet is a real treat. Also, the 1.5-km trek to the temple from Kaddukhal Village makes it a popular spot for trekkers.
Source – All India Photography (Instagram)
Twin Eco Parks—Amber and Dhara
Dhanaulti is enveloped by tall Deodar and Cedar trees. As a result, the hill station is the perfect destination for peaceful walks in the parks. The two gardens—Amber and Dhara—are maintained by the forest department and offer rejuvenating walks, morning yoga sessions and day picnics. One can visit the park anytime between 6 am and 6 pm by paying a nominal entry fee of Rs. 15 per adult and Rs. 10 per child.
Image Source – Devender Kumar (Flickr)
Locally known as Aloo Khet, the farms are a must-visit on a family vacation. Visit the huge farm, that has potatoes spread as far as the eye can see, can be quite an informative field trip for children. As far as the adults are concerned, sunsets from the farm is a sight to behold. The farm opens for tourists at 9 am and closes at 6 pm. Entry fee for adults is Rs. 25 and Rs. 10 for kids.
Image Source – Ixigo
For camping enthusiasts, Dhanaulti has to offer a myriad of options to offer. The Kanatal Adventure camp, which is located on the Mussoorie-Chamba l road, is one of the most comfortable camping sights in Dhanaulti. The camps have attached washrooms and some of the most modern facilities which otherwise is are a rare sight at nature camps. Besides adventure activities such as rock climbing and valley crossing, tourists are treated with lip-smacking meals at Kanatal Adventure camp.
(Image link: https://www.tripadvisor.in/ShowUserReviews-g297689-d4729078-r173119753-Kanatal_Adventure_Camp-Mussoorie_Dehradun_District_Uttarakhand.html)
Best Time to Visit
To experience the best of Dhanaulti, visit the hill station between the months of March and June. The climate during this time is pleasant and getting a clearer view of the scenic beauty of Dhanaulti is easier.