Dhanaulti – The Peaceful Hill Station in Uttarakhand
Dhanaulti is a small town near Mussoorie (about 24 km away) and sits beautifully amidst the Himalayan peaks. More specifically, it sits in the foothills of the Garhwal Himalayan range. Dhanaulti is situated away from the hustle and bustle of cities and is a picturesque place you can travel to, to really connect with nature and ultimately, yourself.
About the place
Dhanaulti is still untouched by the maddening rush that hill stations sometimes experience which makes it a preferred destination amongst nature lovers. Unlike other hill stations that have undergone rapid commercialization, you will find this little city to be quiet and quaint.
In winter, you will find Dhanaulti covered in snow which makes this place very popular amongst tourists. During other times of the year, the beauty of Dhanaulti can be seen in the vast spread of velvety rhododendron, deodar, and tall oak forests. It also acts as the base point for many treks into the Himalayas, especially to the Tehri region.
Dhanaulti is a versatile destination depending on how much time you have: It makes for a good choice if you don’t have a lot of time and are looking to do a short trip and its proximity to the other hill stations (like Mussoorie, Tehri, etc) makes this a great pit stop if you plan to spend time hopping hill stations in Uttarakhand.
Places to Visit in Dhanaulti
One of the most famous attractions of the dreamy Dhanaulti is their eco-parks, called, ‘Amber’ and ‘Dhara’. This place has a minimal entry fee of Rs 10 to Rs 15. The sprawling, lush Eco Park features plenty of flora, the native Deodar and now also houses endangered birds. This is the place to go to if you want to enjoy a beautiful sunrise or sunset. It was built by the Forest Department with the help of the local youth.
The Deogarh Fort has seen a lot of history. This ornate structure has been standing tall since the 19th century but is as beautiful today as it was when it was first built. Upon entering, you will find beautifully carved walls adorned with amazing murals and rustic colors. The spiritual side of you will also be satisfied as this place has multiple Jain temples.
Surkanda Devi Temple
Dedicated to Goddess Parvati, this temple is thronged by both religious devotees and trek-lovers. The temple will give you a breathtaking 360-degree panoramic view of the entire Garhwal region. Most people visit the temple during the Ganga Dussehra festival which takes place between May and June for some electric festive vibes.
A famous Dhanaulti attraction, the Aloo Khet is situated near the main Dhanaulti market. It serves as a fantastic sunrise point and is great fun to be explored on horses. If you are fond of photography or just want some beautiful clicks for your Instagram, make sure to visit the Aloo Khet from where you can capture a panoramic view of the Doon valley.
Activities to do in Dhanaulti
Let the adventure bug bite you
Dhanaulti is a great treat for all adventure junkies. You can visit one of the many popular camps like Camp Thangdhar, Kanatal Adventure Camp and the Dhanaulti Adventure Park. All these camps offer a plethora of outdoor activities like river crossing, rock climbing, rappelling, commando net, trekking, mini basketball and barbecuing at night. If you got tired just reading this, don’t worry, the camp has comfortable safari tents equipped with modern facilities in case you just want to relax and unwind with a game of chess or carrom.
If shopping is your choice of activity, Dhanaulti will not disappoint. Fresh apples, locally made handicrafts, woolen garments, and clothing made of silk, wool, and natural dyes are just some of the gems you get at Dhanaulti. Also, make sure you get fresh juices and jams at the Apple Orchard resort. These make for great gifts.
Sky Walking for the adrenaline junkies
This one is for all you thrill chasers out there. Walk at a height of 120 ft and on a very narrow rope, with precautions included.
Just six kilometers before Dhanaulti are the hidden caves of Pandavas. These are naturally formed caves and are surrounded by gorgeous alpine meadows. Not only is the cave exploring fun but the way to the caves has some great views.
Best time to visit Dhanaulti
Dhanaulti is a great place to take a trip to pretty much all year round except for the months of monsoon. From the month of September onwards, winter starts to set in and during peak winter months you can enjoy beautiful snow. An ideal time frame to visit Dhanaulti would be from September to April.
How to reach Dhanaulti
The closest airport to Dhanaulti is the Jolly Grant airport. From the airport, the hill station of Dhanaulti is about 83 kilometers away. Cabs and Buses that will take you to Dhanaulti are easily available at the airport.
The closest railway stations to Dhanaulti are in Rishikesh and Dehradun. Both these stations have good connectivity to the other parts of the country. Buses ply from both Rishikesh and Dehradun to Dhanaulti.
Mostly people take trains to Delhi before getting in a cab or a bus to Dhanaulti. Lots of buses ply between Dhanaulti and other major destinations of Uttarakhand like Roorkee, Rishikesh, Haridwar, and Mussoorie.
If you are looking for some peace and quiet, Dhanaulti makes for a great travel destination.