Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Dhanaulti... Holidaying the peaceful way...

Its April 2013... Its been four months since my last vacation and for me it was too much. I was tired of Delhi crowd and routine work. So, my freaking mind shoved me to take a break as early as possible.

I am one of those lucky people whose relatives reside in tourist spots. Mine are in Mussoorie. I was just dying to move out of Delhi for the weekend. I thought to go to Dhanaulti (near Mussoorie) after some googling.

(I always google before going somewhere). The results were perfect as per my requirement. Dhanaulti is a small hill station 24 Km from Mussoorie and 29 Km from Chamba as it is located between the two. We can board a bus to Mussoorie and from there, we can either take bus, shared taxi or private taxi to Dhanaulti. Its around 10 hour journey. This much information was readily available on net.

Then I called up my brother in Mussoorie to ask about the place. He straightaway alarmed me against my wish claiming it to be a boring place where I won't have anything to do... Hey Bro.. Who wants to do anything... M on a holiday!!!

So now decided. Dhanaulti. That's my destination for the coming weekend. I again googled about this little town (town is a huge word for Dhanaulti.. even village is big!!!) and booked Hotel drive inn. Its centrally located near the only tourist attraction. And now I was waiting for the weekend to come. Till then, I was ready to bear crowd and work.

Here comes the Friday and we booked our seats in A.C. bus from Anand Vihar to Mussoorie. We could also chose to go to Dehradun through Volvo and then any bus from Dehradun to Mussoorie. That makes the journey much more comfortable. Train is also good option.

We started from Anand Vihar at 11 O'Clock in the night and reached Mussoorie at around 6.30 in the morning. There we had some tea and snacks till we waited for the bus for Chamba that would take us to Dhanaulti. God! we were tired like hell!!! The 1.5 hour long route is twisted around mountains. Headache and nausea come along easily. But the moment we reached, the air of Dhanaulti washed away all our tiredness.
On the way to Dhanaulti

The journey to Dhanaulti form Mussoorie is like a roller coaster ride. But its worth the pain.  Its sheer delight to enjoy the natural beauty of the place. Unlike Mussorie, Dhanaulti is still untouched of urbanisation. Just pure air, water and sooo much of nature to soak in.

The bus dropped us exactly in front of our hotel.  The place was so calm and peaceful. The air seemed so heavenly.
Amazing views all through the way
 It as around 9 in the morning. There wasn't much staff in the hotel but still they were ready to help in best way possible. We got into our room, freshened up and rested for an hour. By this time, we started feeling hungry. We put warm jackets and shoes (It was wonderfully cold even in summer :-)) and pulled ourselves out of the comfy room. 
 Just in front of the hotel exit, we could locate so many eating options. We wandered up to the Eco Park (That's hardly 5 minutes walk from hotel Drive Inn). And finally settled for Maggi and Aloo paratha. We didn't want to indulge too much into eating as we were in full mood to spend entire day cherishing the beauty of the place.

Entry to the Eco Park

After having our Brunch, we headed for Eco Park. It is the main attraction of Dhanaulti. 

There are two Eco-parks, "Amber" and "Dhara" about 200 m apart. Its a small forest area managed by forest department and local people. The entry ticket is 20 Rs. 

As we entered, there were few kids playing in the park. We went ahead and enjoyed the serenity of the place. 
Flowers at eco park

Flowers at eco park
 Long deodar trees, fresh flowers, lush green surroundings and serenity of the place was enough to mesmerize any city folk.
Me at peace

Its a place so tranquil, so quiet that we forgot all our worries.
Highest point at the park

In a small toy tunnel at the park
Highest point at the park
The pics might look ordinary as I am no great photographer. But the whole atmosphere was magical. Everyone surely deserves to feel the magic.
Other end of the tunnel

View Point- It gives extraordinary view of snow clad Himalayas
 We spent around 3 hours in the park and by now our hungry stomach was crying for food... :-(

Just near to the park were few restaurants. They don't offer very hi fi menu but yes, good food and nice hospitality is promised. I don't know whether it was the effect of pure enviro or happy folks of Dhanaulti, even plain water was so tempting. We had some snacks in the restaurant and then we headed off to our hotel.

Dhanaulti is a small hilly area so it gets closed early in the night. So, we came back again to have dinner in the same restaurant at around 8 in night. We enjoyed simple dinner.
Rhododendron (Buransh) flowers

You must be thinking if there is anything special in Dhanaulti. Yes. Apart from tranquility and simplicity, we noticed Rhododendron juice selling in almost every shop. We asked one of the shopkeepers about the juice and came to know that it is the juice of local "Buransh flowers". Its good for heart and controls high Blood Pressure. The taste is so good that once we tried it we could not resist buying as much as we could carry. Its a must buy in Dhanaulti.
 As I was unable to click the pics of buransh flowers, I have taken this pic from  "A Wandering Mind" a wonderful blog by Anuradha Shankar.

After a great day, we returned back to the hotel and rested to get up early with the birds... When in Dhanaulti, you don't need to set the alarm. Birds take care of that.

we had booked shared taxi earlier day. So, at 8 a.m. sharp we finished our breakfast and headed towards Mussoorie. Just make sure to prebook shared taxi as private taxi is costly as well as it devoids you of enchanting journey with locals. We booked shared taxi but we never regretted that. 
Journey with locals

The taxi wala was allowing everyone to enter and kids were allowed to travel for free- truly a rare gesture. Everyone was helping each other to settle down, to put their luggage and even with less space everybody was managing happily. Throughout the journey, it seemed, everybody knew each other. 
This was the life at Dhanaulti. Simple, pure and peaceful...

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