Travel to Dhanaulti

If you are one of those wondering where to sneak on a weekend, then here is some advice –check out Dhanaulti or Dhanolti(as it’s referred to  sometimes). Away from the clamour of the city life, it soothes your senses and brings a kind of peace within.

Dhanaulti is a place anyone can fall in love with, at first sight. Located 325 kilometers away from Delhi and 60 kms from Dehradun, on the road connecting Mussoorie and Chamba, the journey to the place is no less than a dream sequence. It’s not as commercialized as Simla, Mussoorie, Darjeeling or any other popular hill station, thereby retaining its tranquility and untouched beauty. For the same reason it is environmentally less polluted which is a growing concern major hill stations are struggling with nowadays.

It’s a sort of a transcendental experience to be at this place. It seems as if you are in some God’s land. The magnificently beautiful deodar trees lined along the road connecting Dhanaulti and Mussoorie are just too soothing, a sight. The mighty mountains surrounding you, the clouds kissing the hilltops, birds chirping somewhere away in those woods and that sweet smell of the earth when it’s drizzling, are a few things to count that can definitely make you feel like a blessed soul.

Alongwith its rich natural beauty, Dhanaulti also has something to offer to its visitors who are religiously-inclined and adventurous people have an option to go for trekking too. Just 10 kilometers away from Dhanaulti, that’s 20-25 minutes of drive up the hills, situated at a height of 3000 meters above the sea level is Surkanda Devi Temple dedicated to Goddess Parvati. It’s believed that head of Goddess Sati fell here when Lord Shiva was taking her body and that is how it got its name “Surkanda”. I’ll suggest an early morning trip to the temple, not out of my religious sentiments for the place but that will give you an opportunity to truly enjoy and admire the natural beauty enveloping from all sides. To get to the temple you have to climb up some 300 odd steps. I remember my walk up those steps quite vividly. It’s a memorable experience of walking through those clouds, the path seems to end at every turn as if leading nowhere, smelling the mist, bells ringing up above in the temple gives you feeling as if you are about to enter the heaven. And as you finally reach the temple, the view around you is simply out of this world.

The best time to visit Dhanaulti is anytime except monsoons as at that time is highly unsafe due to landslides. Make sure you carry woolens with you if you are planning to make a trip in winters. Nearest rail head and airport from Dhanaulti is Dehradun. Situated at an elevation of 2,286 meters above the sea level people suffering from breathing disorders should be extra-mindful. Dhanaulti is a traveller’s paradise. It’s an experience that you will long for again and again. Take my words for that.

Anumeha Saxena