Mussoorie needs no introduction! It is the queen of all the hill stations out there. Mussoorie's most beautiful cousin, Dhanaulti, might require a bit of an introduction. A peaceful hill station, by all means, Dhanaulti is actually an unexplored gem.
Although loads of tourists flood to Mussoorie each year, most of them miss out on this "Nature's Nirvana". Conveniently located only 24 km from Mussoorie, Dhanaulti is an icy heaven during winters. Having visited this place more than once, I can say that the place spells its own magic.
So, exploring both Dhanaulti and Mussoorie on a single trip was an amazing experience. Here's a quick overview of my travel plan, before I get into the nitty-gritty of your journey.
PC: Google maps
Starting Point: Delhi
Destinations Covered: Delhi - Dhanaulti - Mussoorie
Best Time For A Visit: The ideal time for tourists to visit this place is from March to June. This place is at times subjected to snowfalls during the winter season. So, those who want to enjoy snowfall can visit this place during the winter months, i.e., December and January.
PC: Alok Prasad
How To Reach Dhanaulti And Mussoorie:
Dhanaulti has good rail and road connectivity. The nearest airport is 82 km away, the Jolly Grant Airport. The closest railway station is Rishikesh. The distance between Delhi and Dhanaulti is around 350 km via the NH44 route. It would take about 8 to 9 hours of driving to cover 350 km to reach Dhanaulti, and the 24 km distance from Mussoorie can be covered in less than an hour.
If you are travelling by a personal car, you can literally stop at any place, just to relax and soak in the beauty. I only had a weekend at my hand to explore these beautiful destinations. With nearly 700 km to travel back and forth, it makes sense to leave early if you are planning a weekend trip. As for me, I left as early as 4.30 AM in the morning, all by myself.
Places Worth Visiting Around Dhanaulti And Mussoorie
Surkhanda Devi Temple
Located around 8 km from Dhanaulti, it's believed that the temple was built at a spot where Goddess Sati's head is said to have fallen. Located at the top of a hill, this temple could prove to be a joy ride for trekkers, as it takes about 1 to 2 hours of trekking to reach the temple, depending on the intermediary rest stops taken by a person. Non-trekkers can actually dump their weight on a horse, as horse rides are available. Once on the top, the sight is simply mesmerizing. The view and divinity of this place are beyond words. This place is a must visit for tourists who are spiritual.
Situated close to the main market, it's one of the major attractions of Dhanaulti. The sunrise and the sunset of this place is said to be something out of the world. So, it's best to visit this place during sunrise and sunset, especially if photography is your passion. Kids can have a great time here with all the adventure sports this place has to offer.
An excellent picnic spot, Kodia Jungle is a must visit for nature and animal lovers. It's a home for several exotic animals and beautiful water valleys. Trekkers can explore 6 km of the forest area and enjoy every bit of the scenic beauty around. Jeep safaris are also made available to explore the jungle area.
Built in the 16th century near Pratapgarh, this fort is simply awesome, to say the least. It's an ideal place of visit for photo fanatics and those with interest in history.
PC: Samarth Joel Ram
Barehipani Waterfall and Joranda Falls
Located inside Simlipal National Park, the water over here falls from a height of 400 meters. Joranda Falls is another popular waterfall that is located in the Simlipal National Park where water falls from the height of 150 meters.
It's a popular picnic spot in Uttarakhand, where one can get a panoramic view of Dhanaulti. The place offers water sport activities as well, so fun is guaranteed on a visit.
Often visited on religious and spiritual grounds, this place houses plenty of Jain temples. Located inside the Kanali fort of Dhanaulti hills, the pillars and walls of the temples are carved with Jain figures, and they depict various scenes from the Jain mythology.
The 24-km trekking route to Mussoorie goes through a picturesque green valley. Mussoorie has numerous picnic spots, and the major attractions include the Jwalaji temple and Kempty Falls. There's also a popular shopping hub called The Mall Road. It's jam-packed with tourists all the time.
Food And Stay:
From luxury hotels to budget guest-houses, with basic amenities, the options for accommodations are plentiful. If you are on a tight budget, you can also choose to camp out in the open. If you haven't bought your own tent, you can rent a tent. There are numerous local restaurants and street-side outlets, which specialize in North Indian cuisine.
I stayed at the Fortune The Savoy hotel at Library Bazar in Gandhi Chowk. They had luxurious rooms, and the hospitality was superb. With rich interiors and excellent food, it was truly worth a stay.
For adventure seekers, a visit to Dhanaulti and Mussoorie is like hitting the jackpot. From heart-throbbing activities to beautiful sightseeing, the place has everything to offer to quench one's hunger for travel and adventure.